The Wahl Peanut Beard Trimmer is possibly the best trimmer in terms of raw performance.
Wahl is one of the major names in the home grooming and care industry. According to their website, they have been a leader in the industry since they invented the first ‘practical electric hair clipper’ in 1919.
Headquartered in Illinois, Wahl products are sold worldwide and come from a long history of manufacturing not only clippers but nearly all of the parts necessary to make a set of clippers. So, Wahl’s got a pretty good, distinguished history and is based in the States (though has multiple manufacturing plants overseas).
The Peanut, while oddly shaped and not promising at first glance, is an excellent set of trimmers. For your peace of mind, displayed right there on the front of the packaging are the words “Made in the USA”.
The 8685 and 8655 models are basically the same, except that the 8655 is black, whereas the other is the older white version. Otherwise, they share the same features. It really becomes about what one you like the look of better and what one is in stock (and at what price).
The first thing you’ll notice about the Peanut is that it’s small – really small. Weighing in at under 4 oz, it’s incredibly light weight (making it easy to handle and great for travel). It is also less than 4 inches long, which is very small compared to other beard trimmers out there.
The combination of it’s slight length and feather weight makes for an easy to use, maneuverable, travel-ready set of clippers. Combine that with the strange, but shockingly comfortable design, and it really is great to handle and feels just right in your hand.
Not only does the size of the Peanut make it easy to use and comfortable, but it allows for a lot of attention to detail because it has an equally small cutting surface. The trimmer blades are about 1.5 inches across, so they’ll easily get to all of your hair, even in awkward places like around the bottom of your jaw line and perhaps your Adam’s apple. The small coverage area means you’ll be able to fit into tighter areas, if you want to put it like that. You’ll have to make more strokes, sure, but you’ll get a much better shave than if you were using a big honking trimmer that makes you feel like you need to stretch your face out so it’s flat in order to get a good shave.
You’ll find more features in other clippers, because this Wahl only has 4 cutting guides plus the usual oil and cleaning brush accessories. The guides come in 1/8”, 1/4”, 3/8” and 1/2” lengths (3mm, 6mm, 10mm and 13mm) and of course you can get a close shave by simply leaving the guards off. So while the sizes give you a decent range, you’re not really going to be able to finesse your beard with varying lengths. Not to mention that if you prefer your beard a different size than the 4 options the Wahl provides, you’re out of luck.
This is a corded trimmer, so you’ll need to be able to plug it in to use it. This means you’ll always have the right amount of juice and don’t have to worry about the battery dying or recharging time, but it might be awkward for you if you’re not used to having a 7-foot cord to deal with while shaving (but for this price, this power, and this longevity, you should seriously consider this trimmer before you pass over it just because it’s corded).
Other than the lack of options and the potential cord issue (your personal preference, of course), the Peanut really impresses. The motor is very strong and the blades are sharp. Not only that, but many owners report near-perfect use after 5 and even 15 years of regular use and infrequent maintenance.
People who buy the Peanut tend to love the Peanut, and that can be proven by the amount of reviews on Amazon.com. There is an incredibly high percentage of 5 out of 5 star ratings when compared to overall ratings, and each of these trimmers sits among the top when it comes to overall ratings from real, everyday users.
For it’s consistency, longevity, price, and no-nonsense trimming, the Wahl 8685 and 8655 Peanut Beard Trimmer is one of the best options on the market, and is absolutely one of the best beard trimmers available.