Elegant. State of the Art.
These terms might be used to describe the Remington MB4550T mustache and beard trimmer. And whoever was using the terms would be accurate. However, that does not tell the whole story. Not by a long shot.
A lot of people have reported problems with these trimmers. That is really unfortunate because there is a lot to like about these groomers. While I have not had an issue with this trimmer, it is impossible for me to ignore all of the reports made.
It is not all bad. So, if you like the look of this unit, hang with me and lets go over the trimmer – warts and all.
I don’t think I’ve seen another trimmer that is more elegant or more adjustable to the user’s wants and desires. This grooming tool seemingly has it all. Let us take a close look at the features Remington has promised.
Start with the 175 adjustment levels. Yes, I said 175 levels. This Remington trimmer can cut facial hair lengths in 0.1mm increments from 0.4mm to 18mm. This level of precision simply is not found anywhere else in the beard trimming world.
Many of the “best” trimmers on the market will start at 0.5 mm and only offer 19 levels of adjustment. Most do not offer even that many. This unit has nearly 200.
While it is not likely you need more than one or two levels, the fact is your desired level is not likely to be exactly the same as mine. This trimmer allows you to find the precise level that you want, not what level is closest to what you want.
Three on the Tree
Length of trim is not the only adjustment this unit is capable of. Most trimmers have a single motor speed. Some will have a secondary speed for cutting through really thick beards. This Remington? Three. Combine that with the titanium coated blades (see below), and you can see how even the manliest lumberjack can trim his facial hair in record time.
Having a three-speed trimmer is a little like having a small block V-8 mustang back in the 60’s: you’ve got a lot of power compared to everyone else, but it still will get you to the grocery store. Ok, I guess that is kind of a stretch for a comparison, but it makes sense to me. The fact is the MB4550T has a lot of power the mow through a thick beard. I’ve never needed the extra power, but it is there in case you do.
Another incredible feature in this groomer is that the adjustment levels are set using a touch interface. In other words, there are no mechanical parts to break or wear out. Check out this video from Remington that shows all of the incredible features of this trimmer:
The MB4550T also has an extensive LED display. The screen shows battery life, charging level, cutting length, speed of the motor and more. Can you really ask for a more detailed read out of the beard trimmer’s status?
Like the other blades in the Remington beard trimming line, these are super-sharp carbon steel blades that are coated in titanium. The titanium give the blades a high degree of durability, corrosion resistance and a lubricity that is great enough to not need oil. I do want to point out that I still recommend adding a light coat of sewing machine oil to the blades, but according to the company, that is not needed.
Nothing is perfect, and the MB4550T is certainly not without its flaws. While I have not had any problems with the trimmer, there are a lot of people who have reported problems with it. That is a shame since it is otherwise a feature packed grooming monster. However, it is important to talk about the potential problems so you can make an informed decision regarding a purchase of this unit.
Batteries and Charging
The trimmer is cordless, and that is where one of the only flaws come into play. The battery must be charged precisely as described in the owner’s manual. I won’t go into the specific details here, but if you buy a MB4550T, make sure you actually pull out the manual and read the section on charging. Otherwise, you may have an unsatisfactory experience.
Even so, people are reporting problems with the battery. According to Remington, the MB4550T uses a nickel metal hydride (NiMH) battery, which is a pretty decent chemistry. I like the Li-ion batteries used on the MB4040 trimmer better, but NiMH are a lot better than the old NiCad.
Some people report that the batteries – even when charged correctly – are not holding a charge. For example, this person on Amazon stated:
…after just a few short months the trimmer will not hold enough charge to perform a single shave of a few days beard growth.
On Remington’s own website, this user reported:
Bought this a week ago, used it once, tried to switch it on again this morning and there’s no sign of life.
One of the really nice features on the charger is that it uses standard USB charging. So, there are no proprietary cords to try and keep up with. If you travel a lot like I do, this means one less thing to pack and worry about. The same cord you use to charge your smart phone or other devices can be used to keep this Remington running. Nice, huh?
Although I have not experienced this issue, some owners have stated they had problems using the touch screen. I think the main problem comes from expectations on how the touch area works. Let me clarify: this is not an iPhone! The iPhone uses very high-quality hard- and software to make the interface so responsive. This is just a beard trimmer it does not have that kind of responsiveness.
|# of Adjustment Levels||175|
|Hair Trimming Length||0.4mm to 18 mm in 0.1mm increments|
|Motor Speed||three settings|
|Blade Type||titanium coated steel|
|Works while plugged in?||yes|
The Remington MB4550T is a very elegant mustache and beard trimmer. It offers unparalleled flexibility in terms of the kinds of adjustments possible in hair length and motor speed. The touch interface is unique in the industry. Wrap in the sleek black styling, and this is a very attractive grooming tool.
However, the reported problems are enough for me to hesitate before giving them a recommendation. The original MB4550 was replaced with the MB4550T, and I had hoped that would fix the problems. Apparently, it did not.
In Europe, Remington no longer offers the 4550T, but is now selling the MB4560. I suspect that unit will be released in the US market soon. The MB4560 is a touch screen trimmer with three motor speeds and 175 levels of trimming length. Sound familiar?
I hope that whatever problems this trimmer may have have been worked out and fixed in the MB4560. I also hope it gets here sooner rather than later. If this trimmer did not have the reported problems it does, it would be an easy five-star groomer.