The Panasonic Milano Series ER-GB40-S Hair & Body Trimmer is a wet/dry shaver that boasts solid in-water use performance. In fact, the trimmer’s waterproof construction is the top reason you want to consider it as your regular beard sculpting tool.
(Remember the wet part of wet/dry doesn’t mean it’s waterproof – although this model is. It refers to the fact that you can use it with shaving cream).
The ER-GB40-S has 19 length settings ranging from 1mm to 10mm, which means you have a vast array of length choices (as long as you have a relatively short beard), with an incredibly small size increment (.5 mm per size). You will be able to choose exactly the length you want, and the small increments make it ideal if you are looking to fade your beard in any way.
The length size is changed by using the built-in dial that controls the length of the single guide comb. This is convenient and fairly easy to use, and also means that you won’t be dealing with multiple guide comb heads, which is a plus.
This unit can stand getting wet, which means you can use it in the shower. It’s also designed to get a good clean from being passed under water. There are built in water holes around the head of the shaver that allow water to pass through while cleaning it.
You’ll be able to get 50 minutes of shave time out of a charge, which is on the high end of the scale. The problem is that it takes a full 15 hours for this trimmer to charge, which is quite long, even compared to comparable models. Definitely not a game-changer, but something to be aware of.
The Panasonic Milano Series ER-GB40-S comes with a stand, which sounds like a great thing, because too often you get a beard trimmer like this and you’ve got to leave it lying on the counter in the way of everything, with the cord plugged in, taking up room and an easy target for an errant swipe of the hand.
The stand is fairly large, however, and takes up a good amount of counter space. It glows red while charging, and does indeed hold the trimmer, keeping it mostly neat and tidy and out of the way (it’s just the size of the base that now gets in the way).
One of the things we noticed about the base is that it will always be illuminated and it will always be red. As long as your trimmer is plugged in and charging (and even when it’s fully charged), you’ll have a crimson glow emanating from your bathroom.
This is slightly annoying, because it would be nice to know when the trimmer is fully charged. Something like a green light, a chirp, or even the red charging glow turning off would be a fine indicator. It’s not great to ‘overcharge’ something like this, and it can affect the ability of it to hold a charge in the future. Not to mention the red light can get disturbing to look at.
Another hassle you will run into with this product is that the owner’s manual states that it is necessary to oil the blades both before and after every use. This is much different than many other trimmers, some of which require no oil at all.
Panasonic states that you should get about 3 years use out of this in terms of the blades and the battery life. This will vary depending on how much you use it, and it is likely that they are being conservative in their estimates so you feel as if you are getting more value out of the trimmer, but this is an average from the manufacturer.
While this beard trimmer has a few faults that make it slightly annoying (which really doesn’t take away from it’s ability to cut a beard), it is quite good at doing it’s actual job, which is trimming your beard to a length between 1mm and 10mm. And remember, the waterproof casing of the body is the main feature here and is great if you like to shave while you shower, and the easy water-cleaning method of maintenance is a nice feature.