Well-Kempt: The 7 Best Beard Combs

Proving your manhood and virility used to be as simple as just having a beard. The faster, thicker, and fuller you could grow one, the more the world knew that you were a man – or in some Eastern European cases, woman – of power and influence. With the rise of the urban gentleman, now it is not enough to merely have a beard, you must also keep it cleaned and groomed, lest other men see you as a mongrel and cast you out into the wilderness. For this task, you need a beard comb.

These combs are made to make grooming simple. They come with wide teeth for clearing out knots and tangles, and in fine-toothed variants for handling shorter beards or fine hairs. Once you would make your comb from the bones of your slain enemies, but these days your options are wood, plastic, metal, or synthetic composite depending on what feels best. If you have found that a beard brush doesn’t do what you need, or are seeking a simpler supplement, choose one of the 7 best beard combs to prove your quaffed manfulness.

Kent Handmade No 81T

Kent Handmade No. 81T

Pro: Contoured to fit your face
Con: Small

Travel Companion: The No. 18T is one of Kent’s flagship products, even though it is also one of their simplest. This tiny titan works for both beards and mustaches and is small enough to slip into your pocket or a luggage pouch for a simple grooming tool that can go with you anywhere. It has a slightly contoured interior to better follow the curves of your face whether being used on your cheeks or your upper lip. The body is high-grade plastic that is cut by craftsmen with a saw and then polished to eliminate the microscopic edges that traditional over-the-counter plastic combs have which rip up beards and leave you with split ends, no matter how rigorous your oiling regimen. The teeth are only 73 mm long and built very close together which works great for finer or limp hair, but if you’ve got some burly follicles on your face, this will have a tougher time than detangling combs made to fight in thick thatches. [Purchase: $9]

Baxter of California

Baxter of California

Pro: Varying tooth lengths
Con: Tiny

Double-Duty: This can work as both a beard or mustache comb, or can be kept on hand as your beard changes length from stubble to winter insulation levels. The body and teeth are made from cellulose acetate that is better than plastic because it is smoother. Each comb is put through Baxter’s 12-step manufacturing process to give them a more rounded tip and sides that can slide through beards with ease and undo tangles without tugging or pulling on your face. The more gentle design is effective, but also kind to your skin so sensitive chaps won’t find scraps or abrasions that could get infected. Baxter has three models of this comb for whatever size beard you have. The tortoise pattern is classic and stylish, so it never looks out of place. A swooping, ergonomic grip makes it easy to control whether you grab an end or hold it from the back. [Purchase: $14]

Grably No 15

Grably No. 15

Pro: Made from completely recycled materials
Con: Teeth will break

Hipster’s Paradise: For those looking to limit their carbon footprint, reduce waste, and reuse some of the wasted relics of the past, the Grably No. 15 is the perfect solution. Rather than using an extensive process to make a new comb out of virgin wood or molded plastics, this employs something that is already wasting away: vinyl records. Employing the thicker part of the vinyl, the No. 15 is a unique beard comb with a green state of mind that also looks good whenever you pull it out. The black finish is still grooved like a record, though even if you put it under the needle it’s not likely you’ll be hearing “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.” The teeth are set wide and the overall body is hearty and grippable, making it best for bigger beards, though it can smooth down strays even on the baby bearded. The only issue is that vinyl is not the hardiest of materials, so some breaking could occur if you have some Gordian knots to undo. [Purchase: $14]

Kent 20T Folding

Kent 20T Folding

Pro: Folds up
Con: Fine teeth

Pocket Rocket: Another offering from Kent, this works much more like a folding pocket knife than a true beard comb. The intent here is to keep it intact as it rides in your pocket, since the majority of chipped teeth on combs happen during transit, rather than ordinary use. This makes it good as an everyday carry item for guys who actually work for a living hauling in crab traps, breaking up concrete, or crunching numbers – which is tougher than you might think. Tortoiseshell inside and out with a gold pocket clip give this a flared sense of style that shows you take your grooming seriously. It works best on thick beards that are wet since the teeth are relatively fine. It is nearly unbreakable so you almost have to be trying to do any damage. [Purchase: $15]

Texas Beard Co Big Beard Comb

Texas Beard Co. Big Beard Comb

Pro: Can handle massive beards
Con: Very large

The Big Dog: These are simple, stylish works of art that are hand-crafted from Cherrywood making each product unique in looks, though they still meet the rigorous quality standards of the Texas Beard Co. every time. They’re polished by hand so you don’t end up with the sticking sensation that laser cut wood can give you. A wooden body offers the advantage of being completely static free to eliminate beard frizz and keep your face mane smooth and supple, as well as soft. The long teeth and wider set are meant for long, heavy beards and built to fight tangles. Cherrywood seems ideal for distributing oils both from your face and any added in to moisten deeply, thoroughly, and evenly so that even your undercoat gets a taste and stays healthy. Shorter bearded gents and those just starting on the path of bearded manhood will find this too much, while those with a wild beast on their chin will find it tamed by this giant for years to come. [Purchase: $22]

Fatbob Crafts Antler Beard and Mustache Comb

Fatbob Crafts Antler Beard and Mustache Comb

Pro: Durable and truly unique
Con: Does not reduce static

Roughneck: You think your whiskers have the stones to stand up to this bad boy? It’s pretty doubtful. The head and teeth are made from chromed steel, not wood, plastic, or space-age composites. It looks more like a brush you might use to groom a yeti, rather than whatever facial fuzz you’re capable of conjuring up. The handle is made from real antlers and the entire item is crafted by hand, hence the heavy price tag. Though each handle is going to be different, they are all long for better leverage should you need to get it through tangles. It’s hard-core from tip to handle, but it can easily cause static like most metal brushes, so you could get some serious frizz if you don’t oil regularly. [Purchase: $48]

Big Red Timber Kit

Big Red Timber Kit

Pro: Handles beard growth of any length
Con: All wood

All In One: Can’t decide on exactly what kind of comb you need? Then the Timber Kit from Big Red is your best choice for covering all the bases. It has a heavy wide-toothed comb in the wood of your choice for thick beards and heavy tangles. It has two smaller combs for your mustache and cleaning leaner summer beards, and it has a big comb with fine teeth for handling styling and the finishing touches. All of them are mounted into an attractive wooden stand with slip-proof and scuff-proof feet that can sit proudly on display for the bevy of beautiful women who will inevitably be showering there, drawn by the siren’s song of your mighty and powerful beard. [Purchase: $108]