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?
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||Check On Amazon|
|Aberlite Beard Shaping Tool w/ Pencil||Check On Amazon|
|Beardoholic 1-in-9 Beard Shaping Tool||Check On Amazon|
|Beardclass 1-in-8 Multi-Liner Beard Shaper||Check On Amazon|
|Anti-Slip Transparent Beard Shaping Template||Check On Amazon|
|The Original Cut Buddy Beard & Hair Shaping Tool||Check On Amazon|
|Monster & Son Oversized Beard Shaping Template||Check On Amazon|
|Aberlite Neckline Shaping Template/Strap||Check On Amazon|
What is a Beard Shaping Tool
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:
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Beard Shaping Tool Features Compared
|Beard Shaping Tool||Size (inches)||Tapered Edges||Rating (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|
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’.