With its variable length settings, the Philips Norelco beard trimmer Series 3500 promises to help you keep your beard in shape.
I know other trimmers make the same promises. They claim they can shape your beard, only to rip tufts out of it when you use them.
Is the Series 3500 any different?
Let’s find out if it can help you tame your beard.
Table of Contents
The Quick Facts
The Philips trimmer Series 3500 QT4018/49 model offers 20 trimming settings, ranging from 0.5mm up to 10mm.
You can also remove the head and use it as a straight razor to deal with stubble.
Anybody who has a simple and short beard can use this trimmer to keep it in check. It’s also useful for maintaining the beard’s shape around the edges.
However, it’s not the trimmer for you if you want to grow a long, neat beard.
The Key Features
Does the Philips Norelco beard trimmer Series 3500 offer anything that sets it apart from similar trimmers?
Here’s what you need to know about its performance.
Two Hours of Trimming
The first thing I noticed is just how long the trimmer can go before it needs a charge.
You get two hours of trimming charge for every hour that you spend charging the trimmer.
I generally find it takes about five minutes to run a trimmer through my beard and then tidy up the edges. That means 60 trims before the trimmer runs out of steam.
As a result, it’s perfect for taking on your travels, especially if you’re going to spend a long time away from home.
You’re covered if you’re caught short too. You can plug the trimmer into a power supply and keep using it. However, this also means it’s not completely waterproof, so you can’t use it in the shower.
The Cutting Quality
The trimmer uses dual-titanium blades, which apparently sharpen themselves against one another as you use the trimmer. I like the use of titanium, as it has a similar strength to steel while also being much lighter. It may not seem like much, but I think this makes the trimmer easier to use.
That means the blades last the test of time.
But do they cut well?
On a general level, they do a good job. The blades on their own can bring your facial hair down to a light stubble. However, you’ll need a foil or regular razor to achieve a perfectly clean shave.
But that’s not the focus of this beard trimmer. Instead, you’re looking for something that offers an even trim across all of your beards.
At the lower settings, that’s certainly the case. I’d say the trimmer can handle beards of above 5mm with no problems at all.
Unfortunately, it does start to struggle at the higher end of the scale. Cutting 10mm beards is a more hit-and-miss process, so you’ll probably need a couple of attempts to even everything out.
On the plus side, it doesn’t cut too much at the higher settings. It just has a habit of missing the occasional stray hair.
I also like the rounded titanium tips. This may affect the cutting quality slightly, but it also means you don’t get any irritation or unsightly scratches.
As I mentioned, the blades keep themselves sharp because they brush against each other constantly.
But cleaning is more of a mixed bag.
It’s easy to rinse the head and attachment under running water. You’ll have to let them dry off before using the trimmer again because it’s not intended for wet use.
A bit of oil also keeps the blades running smoothly.
But you’re going to run into some problems if you need to replace the blade. You can buy replacements, but they’re costly. It’s also difficult to remove the blade head without causing damage to the trimmer.
Is the Design Right?
So, how does the Philips beard trimmer Series 3500 handle?
For the most part, it’s pretty good. The trimmer has a slim design, so it’s not difficult to get it into tight corners. I also like the texturing at the bottom of the trimmer. This reduces the chance of it slipping out of your grip as you trim.
But I’m not a fan of the placement of the power button or the wheel for the trimmer attachment.
Let’s look at the power button first. It’s right in the middle of the textured grip area. A tight squeeze of an errant finger can turn the razor off.
It’s a minor annoyance, but it’s still a design flaw in my eyes.
The wheel is another problem. Located about halfway up the trimmer, it’s embedded in a little cut-out area.
That presents immediate problems if you have large hands, as the edges of this little area can rub against your fingers while you trim.
You may also end up making direct contact with the wheel. If you’ve forgotten to lock it, you could turn it while shaving and end up trimming your beard to a shorter length than you intended.
Again they’re minor issues, but they make the trimmer harder to use than it needs to be.
So, what do I think about the Philips Norelco Series 3500?
On the one hand, I’m not a huge fan of the design. It seems clumsy in places, though it’s sleek enough for easy handling at least.
On the other, it provides a good and comfortable trim, even if you might need two or three passes on the longer settings. I love how the blades keep themselves sharp and it has an excellent battery.
I’m going to give this a thumbs up, with the caveat that you may need to adjust your shaving style to account for the odd power button and wheel placement. You may also check Philips Norelco Multigroom 5000 Review its available for a very similar price but offer way more features for men's grooming.