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Growing a big beard takes time and patience, and with just one beard trimming mistake caused by an unsteady hand or poor quality beard tools, you can wipe all that hard work away.

Don’t worry though, our list of best beard shaping tools is here to help.

When using a beard shaping template, you can leave the guesswork out of your beard trimming routine. No more botched necklines and cheeks, and no more having to wait for months to regain that sweet beard you had before messing up the trim.

Are beard shaping tools absolutely necessary?

No.

Beard shaping tools can be super helpful when shaping the beard and carving out straight neckline and cheeks. But if you do have a steady hand and a lot of experience in trimming your own beard, then they’re not that essential tools to own.

Still, considering their usefulness, cheap price, and ease of use, I believe most beardsmen could benefit from owning a good beard shaping template. I’m more than confident it belongs to the list of best beard products.

Here’s the best ones, how to use them, and what to look for:

Beard Shaping Tools Quick Summary

Aberlite Beard Shaping Tool w/ Pencil

  • 100% transparent design
  • 4 tapered edges to shape from
  • Durable shock-resistant plastic
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Aberlite Beard Shaping Tool w/ Pencil

  • 100% transparent, see beard hairs easily
  • 4 tapered edges to shape from
  • Durable shock-resistant plastic
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Beardoholic 1-in-9 Beard Shaping Tool

  • 100% transparent with nine edges
  • Comes with barber pen and beard scissors
  • 1mm thickness makes it easy to use
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Beardclass 1-in-8 Multi-Liner Beard Shaper

  • 100% transparent, easy to see the beard
  • Comes with a mustache comb & scissors
  • Best-seller for years, thousands of reviews
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Anti-Slip Transparent Beard Shaping Template

  • 100% transparent design w/ anti-slip rubber
  • Large size is easier and more stable to hold
  • 4 different edges to shape the beard with
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The Original Cut Buddy Beard & Hair Shaping Tool

  • The first shaping tool to hit the market
  • Can be used on both the hair and the beard
  • Flexible plastic helps with tight angles
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Monster & Son Oversized Beard Shaping Template

  • Large design is easy to hold and use
  • comes with four tapered shaping edges
  • Low price makes it a budget-friendly option
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Aberlite Neckline Shaping Template/Strap

  • Super simple to use, no instructions needed
  • Best tool for shaping just the neckline
  • Somewhat expensive for a strip of plastic
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What is a Beard Shaping Tool

beard shaping tools

Beard shaping tools are beard trimming templates usually made from plastic or wood.

You can press the shaping tool against your face and neck to provide the outline to which you can then safely trim or shave your beard against and get guaranteed straight edges and shapes.

Using a beard shaper leaves the guesswork out of your beard trimming, and even though it’s a bit more time consuming to use them, the results are well worth the time it takes.

There are many different types of beard shaping tools out there, but most of them have three to four tapered edges on each side which you can use to shape your beards neckline and cheeks.

These edges include:

  • The curve cut
  • The step cut
  • The gentle curve cut
  • And the curved step cut

Here’s a picture to showcase what each edge actually looks like:

all beard shaping tool edges

There are also multiple choices of material and color when it comes to beard shaping templates, and not all of them are created equal.

The best ones are made from 100% clear see-through plastic, so you can actually see what’s underneath, but there are also some which use different colored plastics, wood, and even metal as the material.

In our opinion the metal and wood beard shaping tools are the worst options, as they are not flexible enough and you can’t see through where your beard is underneath.

How to Use a Beard Shaping Tool

how to use a beard shaping tool illustration

Step 1: Get a Beard Shaping Tool

Firs you will obviously need a beard shaping tool. I suggest you read through this review to see which beard shaping template best fits your needs, and then get that.

The easy choice that should cover all the bases would be our #1 pick, the Aberlite Beard Shaping Tool.

Step 2: Get a Beard Trimmer and a Razor

You also need a good quality beard trimmer and a razor. These should be ready and waiting right next to you before you start shaping your beard.

After testing out many different beard shaping tools and beard trimmers, I’ve come to realize that the best type of trimmer to go with the edges of the shaping template is one that has a narrow width on the blade housing.

If the trimmers blade width is too wide, it will be close to impossible to run it smoothly against the rounding or sharp edges of the beard shaping tool. One good example of a narrow-bladed beard trimmer to work well with a shaping template would be the Wahl Li-ion Beard Trimmer.

Step 3: Using Beard Shaping Tool on the Cheeks

Start by choosing the right cut edge, and then firmly press the shaping tool against your face and start running the beard trimmer along the edges of the template.

It’s easiest to flip the beard trimmer so that the blades are facing downwards and then just get to work. Also make sure that the shaping tool stays firmly on place and doesn’t move during the shaping process.

Step 4: Using Beard Shaping Tool on the Neckline

Locate for the gently rounded edge of the beard shaping tool and place it firmly against your neck so that the edge will be roughly 1″ above the highest peak of your Adam’s apple.

Then just use a beard trimmer without guard comb to clean up all the hairs remaining underneath the edge of the shaping tool.

Step 5: Finishing off with the Razor

You can either choose to use a razor (or shavette) with the beard shaping tool. Simply follow the above steps but instead of a beard trimmer, use a razor.

But considering that most razor have a pretty wide blade, it would be easier to press the shaping tool next to your face, then take the barber pen (which is included with most shaping tools) and draw the line on your cheek with that. Then remove the shaping tool and start shaving the lines carefully with a razor or shavette for best results.

It’s also possible to skip this step all-together. Most guys (myself included) only trim their cheeks and neckline with a guardless beard trimmer, and that’s it.

As a bonus, here’s a helpful video about how to use a beard shaping tool:

When Can I Start Using a Beard Shaping Tool

using a beard shaping tool on the neckline

You can use a beard shaping tool at any beard length, you can even define the neckline and lineup the cheeks on a stubble with it if you want to.

As for when you can actually start shaping your beard and testing out different beard styles, that’s something you shouldn’t rush into.

Good rule of thumb is to let your beard grow out for 1-2 months before doing any major shaping or trimming work. Some beard styles such as the Garibaldi beard or Ducktail beard require even longer than this, up to 4-6 months in fact.

Bottom line: There is no specific set of rules as for when you can start using a beard shaping tool. It can be used at any beard length and whenever you need some help for creating straight sharp lines on your neckline or the cheeks.

What to Look for When Buying a Beard Shaping Tool

beard shaping tool shaver and trimmer

The Material

Plastics are not often recommended as the best material for beard products, but in the case of beard shaping tools, clear transparent plastic is actually the number one material to look for.

Simply because you want to see what’s underneath the tool when lining up and shaping the beard, and if you’re using metal or wooden beard shaping tools, then that’s simply not possible.

Another factor is the flexibility of the material. There are bumps and edges along your face where having a flexible beard shaping tool is really needed, and this can only be achieved by using a tool made from flexible plastic.

The Features

Any good beard shaping tool should feature three to four tapered edges for the cheeks, and of course one edge that you can use to neatly trim the neckline.

Some brands have gone way overboard with the features though, and their shaping tools start featuring things like 8-9 different angles, added comb edges, and all kinds of extra things like barber pens, key chains, and so on.

The issue with adding too many features to a simple tool like this is that it will easily get big and bulky, and downright hard to use.

When it comes to the optimal balance of features, we like the Aberlite Beard Shaping Tool to be the best choice. It has all the four essential edges for the cheeks (and one can be used on neckline), yet the design is kept simple and easy.

The Price

Let’s face it, beard shaping tools are incredibly cheap to make. Which means that they shouldn’t be that expensive for you – the consumer.

Anything in between the $5-20 price region is acceptable, depending a bit on the material, features, and what other products are included with the shaping tool (often you’ll get small mustache combs and scissors).

If the shaping tool costs less than five bucks, it’s most likely very poor in quality and quick to break. If it’s anything above twenty bucks, then you may be grossly overpaying for a piece of stamp cut plastic.

Best Beard Shaping Tools

1. The Aberlite Beard Shaping Tool

aberlite beard shaping tool

Out of all the beard shaping tools I’ve seen, this is the most advanced. It has four different sides to choose for when deciding your cheek line template.

  • The gentle curve cut
  • The deep curve cut.
  • The straight step cut.
  • And the curved step cut.

The shaping tool itself is made from high-quality durable plastic, that is 100% transparent, so you can see exactly where your beard is underneath. In the center, is an anti-slip rubber piece, so you can have some grip on the tool while shaping your beard.

Pros
  • Sturdy and easy to use.
  • Comes with all the important lines.
  • Looks clean and professionally made.
Cons
  • The barber pen isn’t that useful.
  • Not the cheapest shaper out there.

2. Beardoholic All-in-One Beard Shaping Tool

beardoholic beard shaping tool

This is another good option.

Beardoholic is a known-name when it comes to beard tools in general, and they have recently released their shaping tool.

It’s made of high-quality 100% clear plastic and comes with five different beard and goatee shaping sides.

You get the curve cut and step cut options for your cheek line, some lineup options for the neckline, and it can be even used to line up a goatee.

Pros
  • Made from high-quality plastic.
  • Good looking minimalistic design.
  • Includes all the key edges for cheek line and neckline.
Cons
  • Expensive for a piece of plastic.
  • The comb part seems absolutely useless.

3. The BeardClass Beard Shaping Tool

beardclass beard shaping tool

One of the original brands that first entered the market with beard shapers was BeardClass.

Their shaper is one of the best selling ones on big online retailers, with hundreds of positive reviews.

Although their logo looks like it was made in Microsoft Paint back in 1998, their beard line up template is still pretty good, offering all the important edges like the curve or step cut and various other lines.

It also – sadly – includes the useless comb edge, which when applied to a beard shaper, becomes the least useful idea ever.

Pros
  • One of the original brands to enter the market.
  • Comes with extra mustache comb, keychain, and beard scissors.
  • Includes all the key edges for lining up the facial hair.
Cons
  • A bit expensive for a piece of mass produced plastic.
  • The comb part is just poor design at its finest.

4. The Anti-Slip Beard Shaping Tool

anti slip beard shaping tool

Similar to the Aberlite brand, the Beard Ninja shaping template uses an anti-slip rubber grip in the middle.

It’s made from durable clear plastic and is extremely light to use without feeling wonky in your hands.

You can expect to press it firmly against your cheeks without the risk of breaking it.

Since this beard template comes with eight possible cuts for your neckline, cheek line, sideburns, and goatee, it’s best to read the manual (comes with the box) properly before you start working with it.

Beard Ninja also claims to be the “honest and original” inventor of the beard shaping templates. This isn’t completely true. They were the first to create this specific style of shaper – which has been made into several knock-off versions – but they didn’t invent the beard shaper itself.

Pros
  • Plastic quality is nice and sturdy.
  • The design looks great and it comes with the anti-slip rubber.
  • You get all the right edges for cheeks, goatee, and the neckline.
  • Price is one of the lowest on the market for “good” beard shapers.
Cons
  • Has no return policy.
  • Some claim it to be too rigid.

5. The Cut Buddy Hair & Beard Shaping Tool

the cut buddy beard shaping tool

This product claims to be the original beard shaping tool.

And they were even on Shark Tank (just like the beard bib maker, Beard King), where they managed to cut out a deal as well.

It’s much smaller than the two shapers above, but in my opinion, also looks nicer and more compact.

The cut buddy comes with multiple patented angles in their design, as well as, an edge with a scale on the side for some precision work.

So if this is the original shaping tool, why am I not putting it as the best option?

Well, even if you’re first, doesn’t always mean you’re the best. This product is much thinner than the two above, and unless you’re a barber, you probably can’t even figure out all the edges and where to use them.

Its great product, but I think they’re not the best, just because they were the first.

Pros
  • The original beard shaping tool.
  • Has a good size rubber grip in the middle.
  • Flexibility makes it work for rounder face shapes as well.
Cons
  • The pen that comes with it feels useless at best.
  • It’s small and compact, I would say that it’s even too small.

6. Monster & Son Oversized Beard Shaping Tool

monster and son beard shaping tool

The Monster & Son beard template claims that they have the innovative design that improves upon the older ones. I found out about their beard shaping template, right after I bought their beard grooming kit which I reviewed previously.

It’s quite big at almost 6″ in length and has pretty much all the possible sides you could imagine from step cuts to deep curve cuts.

To make your life easier and actually understand how to use the edges, the package does contain a “how to use” pamphlet guide.

Pros
  • Has pretty much any type of edge you can imagine.
  • Really cheap price compared to most competitors.
  • Sturdy, but offers some flexibility for rounder faces too.
Cons
  • With the blue shade, it’s not fully transparent.
  • It’s a bit too big and chunky in my opinion.
  • I don’t understand why shapers need comb edges.

7. The Aberlite FlexShaper Neckline Shaping Tool

aberlite neckline shaping tool

This “neckline guide” is one of the best and simplest beard trimming and shaping tools out there. And I’ve found that it’s durable enough to last for years, even in heavy use

You essentially get this high-grade plastic piece that is attached into an elastic headband. You then adjust the headband so that the shaper edge stays in place firmly, and Voila, you can now shave or trim your neckline to perfection, hands-free.

It’s the perfect beard shaper for a guy who only needs to shape his neckline, and wants the cheek line to grow up naturally. Sadly, it doesn’t help with anything other than that.

Pros
  • The best option for when you just need to trim the neckline.
  • Gives you a handsfree shaving experience, even with a bigger beard.
  • Perfect for guys with really long beards that need to reach the neckline.
Cons
  • Only useful for neckline, you can’t line up the cheeks with it.
  • Bit expensive considering the material costs.

Beard Shaping Tool Features Compared

Beard Shaping ToolSize (inches)Tapered EdgesRating (out of 10)
Aberlite Beard Shaping Tool 8.3 x 7.9 x 0.5 4 9.6
Beardoholic Beard Shaping Tool 4.5 x 3.8 x 0.2 2 9.4
Beardclass Beard Shaping Tool 6.89 x 4.13 x 0.12 2 9.5
Anti-Slip Beard Shaping Tool 13 x 4.5 x 2.4 3 9.2
Cut Buddy Beard Shaping Tool 6 x 4 x 0.5 3 8.8
Monster & Son Beard Shaping Tool 7.68 x 5.51 x 0.08 3 8.6
Aberlite Neckline Shaping Tool 6.6 x 6.4 x 0.4 1 8.2

Conclusion

Shaping your beard freehand is though, but thankfully you don’t need to freestyle it.

In 2020, so many beard shaping tools have emerged that you can easily choose the best one from tens of different products. These seven in this list, are the current heavyweights, the best of the best.

Combine a beard shaper with the best beard brush, some beard scissors, and a beard trimmer for best results.

As always, thank you for reading and keep on beardin’.

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Ali is a published author and a beard grooming expert. To this date, his articles have been read more than 15-million times on various sites, and he has helped thousands of men make their beards look better and grow thicker. His work has been featured and cited in Seeker, Wikihow, GQ, TED, and Buzzfeed.

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