The Panasonic ER-224-S is a really good trimmer. Usually sitting at the $30 price point, you get a ton of value and quality. The trim is good – it’s even and doesn’t pull your hair – and the wide range of length settings gives it huge versatility.
The mini detailer is a nice touch.
If you don’t want to spend a lot but you want to get a pretty clean trim, there is a lot of value here, so we do not hesitate to recommend this product.
The Written Review
Alright guys, the Panasonic ER-224-S may not have a cool, marketable name, but that may be because Panasonic let the blades do the talking.
The first thing we need to cover is that this is an incredible value (maybe even bargain) unit. Depending on the day and whether there’s a sale going on, you can usually pick this up for just over $30 on Amazon, which makes it among the less expensive options out there, especially when it comes to rechargeable clippers. If you go much cheaper than this, you start getting into the low-end battery powered models and you probably won’t be too happy with anything in that range. You don’t get a lot of bells and whistles, but you get a solid set of blades, a lot of length settings, and even a little extra – the little foil shaver detail trimmer.
To start off with, the blades are stainless steel and spring loaded, which basically just means you don’t need to adjust them yourself (there are some models out there that require you to take the blades apart and adjust them to get the right length). They’re precision cut and hypoallergenic, so they are supposed to be very good at cutting and very good at not irritating your skin.
They are definitely good at cutting – I have not had a problem with pulling or having to go over areas again and again. I think they’ve done a really good job of making sure the blades – the most important part of the whole thing – are high quality. However, when it comes to using the blade itself with no guard to do the neckline, it does feel like it gives a small bit of irritation. This may just be my hair and neck combo, but I noticed a bit of redness right after doing my neck.
The Length Settings
The length settings are one of the main draw for me. Any time you can get a model that has a big range, you are more likely to find the right length. There’s nothing worse than needing to be pretty precise to get it to look good, only to be presented with 4 guide combs that don’t cut the right length.
Here are the settings by the numbers:
- 1mm or 1/32″
- 2mm or 5/64″
- 3.5mm or 5/32″
- 5mm or 3/16″
- 6.5mm or 9/32″
- 8mm or 5/16″
- 9.5mm or 3/8″
- 11mm or 13/32″
- 12.5mm or 1/2″
- 14mm or 17/32″
- 15.5mm or 5/8″
- 17mm or 21/32″
- 18.5mm or 23/32″
- 20mm or 25/32″
A great way to get the short, full beard with a natural look is to fade up from the neck line in increments. So you’d shave with the first setting for about an inch, then move up a setting for another inch, until you hit the length you actually want your beard to be. With the amount of lengths you can choose from, this is a great model to get that done with. More than that, it means that more dudes will be able to use it since there’s just simply a higher chance you will find the right size for your style.
It’s an easy to use system, too, with only one guard that is operated with a wheel that locks into place as soon as you turn on the power.
Cleanliness and Maintenance
Cleanliness is not an issue here, as you can run it under water to get the little hairs off of it. I did this for the majority of the clean, but also took the small brush that is included and did a once over to get any hairs stuck in the blades.
One thing we didn’t like was the recommendation that you should oil these clippers before AND after use. When some brands don’t require any oil, that’s a bit much and you don’t always remember to do it. I don’t want to have to worry about my blades losing performance if I don’t remember to oil them twice per use. This doesn’t come up as being a problem on any of the popular review sites, so presumably if this is an issue it’s a really long term one, so I’m not too worried about missing an oil here and there.
Charging Method and Stats
Quick note about the charger: this actually is another point that we can give to the ER-224-S. It’s rechargeable, but unlike most others, it doesn’t have a cord that will get in the way or a big base that takes up space on your counter top.
Nope, you get a simple charging base that stick right into the wall socket and the beard trimmer sits directly on top of it. The only footprint it leaves is about a 2 x 2 inch square sticking out of your electric outlet. Pretty good when there are more expensive units that force you to charge it in a massive docking station that sits on your counter.
It’s in the low to mid range in terms of charging time ratio. From dead to full, you’re looking at an 8 hour wait time. From that charge, you should get about 40 minutes of solid shaving time, which is good for between 5 and 10 shaves, typically. Compare that to the most efficient charging systems that charge for 1 hour and last for 50 minutes, and you can see that this one won’t win any awards for speedy charge cycles.
The Pop Up Detail Trimmer
It was actually a surprise to get this trimmer and realize it has a little pop out detailer on the back. When you take off the length guard, just turn the thing over and use your thumb to push up the small tab on the back. Up pops this miniature foil razor thing that gives you the ability to get even closer to the skin for a cleaner shave, but also gets in small spaces that the trimmer or even a standard disposable razor can’t handle.
While no replacement for an actual razor in most cases, it does actually cut hair alright and doesn’t pull a lot. It can’t be perfect for this price and how small it is, so I definitely did notice a tiny bit of pulling, but generally it did a good job cleaning the neck line a bit better.
If you’ve got a goatee of some description, it will be great for getting the space on your chin below your lip and above your beard to keep things all smooth and fresh looking.
Final Mark from the Beard Institute
We’re going to go ahead and pass this bargain unit by Panasonic because it is a great value and actually does what it’s meant to do. You pay a seriously low price, get a very sharp and good-working set of blades, and are surprised with the innovative functionality (like the charger) and the extra detail trimmer.
Here are some specs to top it all off:
- Charge: 40 minutes on 8 hour charge
- Length Settings: 14 length settings, 1-20 mm
- Features: Water resistant, Detail trimmer
- Amazon Rating: 3.7/5
Not satisfied with this one? No problem! We’ve got lots of other review you can look through. Find the rest of our reviews on this page!