Clippers matter: whether you’re a professional barber hoping to up your game or just trying to save a buck by cutting your own hair, the right clippers can be the difference between success and failure.
The best hair clippers don’t only help you achieve a better cut – they make it easier, and often come with useful extra accessories.
The only problem is there are so many different options that many of us get overwhelmed and can’t make an informed decision.
To help avoid this, we’ve put together a list of the very best clippers – sorted into home-use, self-cutting, and professional use.
For example, our best pick for professional use is Wahl’s Professional 5-star Cordless Clipper – with its powerful rotary motor (ideal for tackling thicker hair) and ergonomic design (for easy mobility) it’s a real heavyweight and ideal for a professional barber looking to take things to the next level.
But that obviously won’t be right for home use by a novice.
In that case, we’ve got the ConairMan Custom at the number one – its 5 position taper control lets you get a really accurate cut, plus it’s super easy to use, charges fast, and comes with a full accessory kit.
And if you’re looking to cut your own hair, you need something different again:
The Mangroomer – Ultimate Pro Self-Haircut Kit is our choice – it’s designed specifically for self-clipping and is cordless and waterproof. Plus, it comes with 9 different cutting lengths and a whole host of accessories.
In short, we’re going to look in detail at exactly what you need and present you with the very best clipper options for each use.
But there’s more:
We’re also going to explore the key considerations you need to make when buying a pair of clippers; help you understand the difference between clippers for home use, self-cutting, and professionals; offer 6 of the most useful hair clipper accessories we’ve come across; offer some tips for maintaining your clippers and using them like a pro, and answer some of the most common clipper-related questions we hear every day.
Let’s start then by checking our top selection of clippers.
Best clippers for home use comparedBalding Beards is reader-supported. When you buy through external links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.
|ConairMAN Custom Cut 20-Piece||Check on Amazon →|
|xTava Pro Cordless Hair Clipper and Beard Trimmer||Check on Amazon →|
|Panasonic Multigroom Beard Trimmer Kit||Check on Amazon →|
|Hatteker Hair Clipper Beard Trimmer Kit For Men Cordless||Check on Amazon →|
|Oster Fast Feed Adjustable Pivot Motor Clipper||Check on Amazon →|
|Oster All Purpose M X Pro Clipper||Check on Amazon →|
Best clippers for self-haircut compared
|Mangroomer Ultimate Pro Self-Haircut Kit||Check on Amazon →|
|Conair Even Cut Dual Blade Multi-Directional Cutting Clipper||Check on Amazon →|
|Panasonic ER1611 Professional Cordless Hair Clipper||Check on Amazon →|
|Hatteker Pro Hair Clipper & Trimmer||Check on Amazon →|
Best clippers for professionals compared
|Wahl Professional 5-Star Series Cordless Senior||Check on Amazon →|
|Oster Classic 76 Universal Motor Clipper||Check on Amazon →|
|BaBylissPRO Barberology MetalFX Series Clipper||Check on Amazon →|
|Andis Master Cordless Clipper||Check on Amazon →|
|Wahl Professional Peanut Classic Clipper/Trimmer||Check on Amazon →|
The 6 best hair clippers for home use
- 5 Position Taper Control (55 total settings for accurate cuts)
- Fast charging
- Full accessory kit
Best hair clippers for:
- Men looking for the absolute best clippers for home use
There is no question: Conair’s Clipper is the absolute number 1 choice for home use clippers. It is hugely versatile – it can be used to shave all parts of the body and both genders – as well as being technically innovative and affordably priced.
It shouldn’t be a surprise: Conair is an institution in the US, and its brand has been synonymous with quality for decades. So let’s start looking at what you get with the purchase:
First, the clipper features a powerful lithium-ion battery, which gives you 75 minutes cordless charge and gives you all the drive you need to achieve an effortless cut. And the battery can be charged in two modes: one for quick trimming (a 20 minute charge time), the other a full charge (which requires around 3 hours.)
Its blade is sharp and effective, giving you a clean and precise haircut or shave. It features 5 position taper control (with 5 settings overall.) And the clipper itself is exceedingly easy to use and lightweight, making it a joy overall.
The kit also comes with 10 comb attachments for multiple lengths, plus barber scissors, comb, cape, clips, cleaning brush & oil & a stylish storage case.
- The precision is exceptional for home cuts
- Its battery life is fantastic and will save you ever getting caught without charge
- The set as a whole provides everything you need in one place
- Some reviewers say it is pretty loud!
A set that gives you everything you’ll need from a brand that knows a little something about quality – the very best choice for home cuts.
- Titanium-ceramic blades
- 4.5 hours of running time
- Accessory kit
Best hair clippers for:
- Men looking for a multi-functional trimmer set
The xTava Pro Cordless Hair Clipper is a fantastic choice – not only for home use but for anyone looking for a solid clipper.
Its titanium blades deliver a clean, precise cut on even the toughest, roughest, most unruly hairs. And they can hack through a beard like nothing else, making it pretty darn versatile.
Its design is compact, lightweight, and ergonomic, which makes maneuvering easy and gives you optimal control – which is great for people who aren’t used to using a clipper and whose wrists might otherwise get tired.
It comes with 4 length settings, and there’s an adjustable switch that makes it easy to change the blade length. Plus, the lithium battery is also exceptionally powerful, with 4.5 hours running time form a 3-hour charge and a worldwide voltage.
The set is completed by two attachment clipping comb, some lubrication oil, a cleaning brush, and a charging adapter, all together in a nice little storage pouch.
- The titanium-ceramic blades make the shaving experience smoother they’re better for those with sensitive skin
- The long-lasting battery (4.5hours running time) and fast charging make it very low maintenance
- The accessory kit is fantastic
- It’s a little bulky for some tastes
A fantastic clipper: powerful yet lightweight, sharp yet safe. It comes with a great accessory kit and will give you a smooth, easy, and above all, stylish home cut.
- Slide up trimmer
- Hypoallergenic Stainless steel blades
- Cord and cordless modes
Best hair clippers for:
- Men with sensitive skin
The first thing you notice looking at Panasonic’s award-winning Multigroom Beard Trimmer Kit is its design: with a Japanese touch, it is a perfect mix of user-friendly and striking aesthetic.
For home cutting, comfort is hugely important – you have to feel at ease with the clippers you’re using. And Panasonic has made sure these clippers are hugely comfortable their hypoallergenic Stainless Steel blades, which are a dream for sensitive skin and avoid any nasty nicks or cuts.
These are also great clippers for shaving and trimming different types of hair and body parts: they provide 39 different precision settings, allowing you to customize to an unusual degree and achieve exactly the kind of cut you want.
What’s more, this is a slide-up trimmer, sliding up 45-degree trimmer to add the perfect trimming and detail to beards, mustaches, and sideburns. And the ergonomic, rubberized grip makes handling it easy and comfortable at all times, giving you maximum control.
It can also be used both corded and cordless. So even if you run out of battery and time, you can still use this fantastic clipper. And it’s easy to clean too: just throw a little warm water on it will quickly wash itself like new.
- Fantastic for sensitive skin
- Really easy and comfortable to use
- High precision cutting
- Not as powerful as some on this list
A great, award-winning clipper that will help men with sensitive skin cut their hair at home without fear and with great ease and comfort.
- Complete all-in-1 kit
- 1-year guarantee
- 100% waterproof
Best hair clippers for:
- Men who travel a lot
Hatteker’s Hair Clipper Beard Trimmer Kit is a great option for home use: it gives you everything you need, with a full clipping kit and several accessories all in one purchase.
More specifically, this kit is perfect for men with traveling needs, as it contains a nice travel bag to which you can add whatever extra accessories you want to have with you on your trip.
The kit itself comes with 5 trimming heads, each for different parts of the body, beard, hair, and nose. Plus, it gives you a general use comb, just in case you need it.
There is a slide switch for precision trimming and fine-tuning. And the stainless steel blades give you a precision cut with a reduced risk of nicks.
The battery life is great: it lasts around an hour, which means it will likely last for even very long trips. And it features a smart USB recharging option just in case.
The kit also features a cleaning brush and a little bottle of maintenance oil. And the clipper itself is 100% waterproof, so cleaning it is super easy and quick – all the easier to travel with!
To top it all off, the kit comes with a 1-year guarantee: if you’re not totally satisfied, you can simply send it back and get a refund.
- Gives you everything you need to stay sharp while traveling
- Great battery life and the USB recharging is smart
- Extremely easy to clean and maintain
- The blade itself could be a touch sharper
A fantastic choice for men who like to cut their own hair, or simply want the option to. It gives you everything you need to travel in style in a single kit.
- Quiet but powerful motor
- Cuts through thick hair easily
- Easy to adjust length settings
- Different colors and models available
Best hair clippers for:
- Men of all hair lengths and styles
The Oster Fast Feed Adjustable Clipper is a quiet trimmer that won’t wake up anyone outside of your bathroom. That doesn’t mean it lacks the power to cut wet and long hair, however.
The Fast Feed’s 12-amp pivot motor is exceptionally powerful yet quiet enough to be dubbed “Whisper-Quiet” by the folks at Oster.
It shears through even the densest hair with a single pass, and also comes with four guide combs (blending, 1/4,” 3/8″ and 1/2″) that make it easy to create fade styles.
Another nice feature is its adjustable blade lever that makes changing settings quick and easy. You can easily adjust on the fly to get the cut and desired length you prefer.
The Fast Feed’s design is lightweight, ergonomic, and features a textured housing that provides an easy grip. Whether you use it at home or for multiple cuttings in a single day, you don’t have to worry about hand and wrist fatigue.
It’s also considered easy to use when compared with many other clippers, and, well, you can’t beat its powerful pivot motor.
The Oster Fast Feed comes with an adjustable Cryogen-x blade that you can adjust to fit your needs easily without having to change blades.
That’s another reason why it’s helpful for non-professional barbers who prefer to cut their hair at home.
An 8-foot power cord gives you plenty of room to maneuver, while your clipper kit also comes with a blade guard, lubricating oil, and a cleaning brush.
- Its ease of use makes it ideal for anyone who prefers a stay-at-home haircut
- Powerful-but-quiet motor is capable of cutting even the densest hair
- Long power cord makes it easy to move around – whether you’re in your bathroom or on the barbershop floor.
- It gets some criticism for not including more attachments
The Oster Fast Feed is easy to use to and features a powerful, quiet motor that won’t leave your ears ringing with noise. No matter your hair’s length, type, or style, the Fast Feed allows you to get the job done.
- Super sturdy design
- Highly adjustable blade
- Includes 4 combs
Best hair clippers for:
- Cutting your hair at home
Oster’s All-Purpose M X Pro Clipper includes everything you need: it has a highly adjustable blade as well as 4 different combs of various sizes (1/8″ – 3mm, 1/4″ – 6mm, 3/8″ – 9mm, 1/2″ – 12mm). The blade is adjustable and goes from approximately 000 to 1 to give you plenty of room for texturing and really close, nuanced cuts.
The clippers are very sturdy, making them easy to use and giving them a real feeling of authority. And they feature a slide switch which is very easy to use. They facilitate a very speedy cut, as well as avoiding any nasty digging or follicle pulling. And the cable is nice and thick, which avoids all the problems other clippers’ thin cables cause.
Now, there are issues with these clippers:
They can heat up a little too much, and they can get pretty loud. But given how fast and agile they are, this should rarely give you any bother.
While there are certainly more impressive clippers on the market (and on this list), Oster’s All-Purpose Clippers are a great, affordable option, particularly for any man looking for a great starter kit or to get a solid clipper without spending too much.
- Can be used on any type of hair and for all need
- The range of combs makes this a genuine ‘All-purpose’ set
- Avoids irritation, pulling, and digging.
- They have a propensity to overheat and get a little loud and ‘buzzy’
A great quality low-cost clipper set that gives you everything you need to get cutting like a pro.
The 4 best hair clippers for self-haircut
- 9 cutting lengths
- Corded or cordless
Best hair clippers for:
- Cutting your own hair with absolute ease
Mangroomer’s Ultimate Pro Self-Haircut Kit is exactly what it sounds like: a clipper set designed specifically for self-clipping. And because of that, it takes our top spot on this list.
Of course, you can use normal clippers to cut your own hair – and there is a pair of clippers below which are great for just that. But the reality is, Mangroomer’s kit is a step above.
So what’s so great about them?
Well, cutting your own hair can be challenging, and there’s a real danger you’ll nick your skin. So the fact that they boast hypoallergenic stainless steel blades – great for sensitive skin – makes them particularly good for mitigating this danger and achieving a clean, safe cut.
The blades are also self-sharpening and perfect for cutting to the contour of your head with ease. Plus the ergonomic rubberized design fits in your hand easily and comfortably, giving you full control to cut your entire head exactly as you like without discomfort or difficult contortions.
Not only that: the lithium battery is fast charging and can be used both corded and cordless, giving you a choice as to how you want to use the clippers.
You get 9 length guides combs with the kit, which range from 1.5mm to 15mm – this lets you achieve a very exact cut with whatever length and style you’re after. And because they’re waterproof, they’re exceptionally easy to keep clean.
Plus, it all comes with a bonus convenient storage and travel case to keep everything organized.
- Hypoallergenic blades are great for self-cutting
- Really easy to use and great freedom to maneuverer
- Low-maintenance upkeep
- They really are a specialist item – not so great to use on other people’s hair!
You can tell these are designed specifically for self-cutting, and they are all the better for it. Safe, easy, and fun to use – a knockout!
- Super long battery life
- Lithium-Ion Technology
- Super easy to use
Best hair clippers for:
- Easy, effortless home cutting
Conair’s Even Cut Dual Blade Multi-Directional Cordless clippers are not for professionals. That is, they aren’t on this list because they’re the very best clippers you can find.
Instead, they’re on this list because they are by far the most cost-effective, easy to use, and immediately actionable for basically anyone; they give you an effortless self-cutting experience.
The dual blade system is very precise and allows the high-grade stainless steel blades to cut at super speed with accuracy and ease. And the Lithium-Ion Technology gives it tons of great power and force, and exceptional cordless battery power (3 hours!)
It also sits very easily and comfortably in the hands, and because it’s cordless, you have plenty of freedom of movement and mobility.
It also comes with 1-4 comb guides, ear taper guide, oil, and cleaning brush.
This is a great option for anybody who just wants the basics: a simple, clean-cut without the hassle of fancier clippers (and without the costs!)
As an affordable option, however, it’s worth knowing that you won’t be getting the closest cut or shave off your life with the Conair: your neck, for example, may need a little extra help to get a complete close shave.
- It’s super easy to use and gets the job quickly and efficiently
- Has unusually great battery power and charge time
- Comes with a good little set of accessories, too
- It isn’t amazing for the closer bits of your grooming routine
A really good, budget choice for men and women who don’t want the fuss of expensive shavers – they just want to cut their hair at home with ease!
- Great for DIY and professionals
- Lightweight design
- Cordless convenience
- Powerful motor and exceptional blade speed
Best hair clippers for:
- Those who prefer trimming with a cordless clipper
Whether you’re a professional barber or a beginning do-it-yourselfer, the Panasonic ER1611 is easy to use and makes it easy to get a quality haircut with every use.
For one, the ER1611 has a lightweight design that’s great for professionals who have a clipper in hand for many hours, and ideal for less-experienced folks who appreciate a clipper that’s easy to handle and maneuver around the different areas of their head.
There’s a lot to like about this clipper, including precision stainless steel blades that are exceptionally sharp and feature Panasonic’s new X Taper blade shape.
The latter makes it easier to cut a larger surface area and provides a faster blade speed than on many other clipper models.
The ER1611 also offers enhanced motion clipping ability and, at 10,000 rotations per minute, has all the power you need for a precise cut and trim without having to make several passes over the same area.
It’s also ideal for use around your hairline and your ears because of its overall precision.
The clipper comes with three comb attachments while it has an overall cutting length of 0.8mm to 2.0mm. That increases to 3.0mm to 15mm when using the attachments.
A control dial located on the ER1611’s front panel helps users adjust cutting lengths easily, which is ideal for newbies or other at-home barbers who haven’t mastered the technique of switching blades.
In turn, that makes tapering, fading, clipping, and trimming easier.
You’ll also appreciate the ER16611’s ergonomic design, which includes a rubber grip that helps you to keep the clipper firmly in hand without worrying about it slipping or dropping.
The ER1611 power supply comes from a Lithium-ion battery that provides 50 minutes of runtime before it needs charging.
A one-hour charge brings it back to full power. An LED located on the clipper body signals the battery’s power status and includes a charging meter.
- The ER1661 is suitable for professional and home use, and easy to handle
- Adjusting the cutting length is easy thanks to the control dial located on the front panel
- You can use it on any type of hair, as well as wet and dry hair
- It takes more time to get the cut you want, which may make it less useful to professionals
The ER1661 features a unique blade design and controls that make it easy to adjust to the length of hair you desire, as well as an ergonomic design that makes it easy to handle.
- Precision blades
- Upgraded motor
- Adjustable taper lever
Best hair clippers for:
- Men looking for a lower-priced quality hair clipper
Hatteker’s Pro Hair Clipper & Beard Trimmer is another good example of a multi-tasking tool. You can use it on all of your facial and scalp hair, and, thanks to its precision ceramic blades, you’ll get a clean, precise cut no matter how you use it.
The blades are super-sharp and won’t get bogged down in thick or curlier hair, as well as hypoallergenic. They also work just as well on your beard and mustache.
Hatteker upgraded its motor from previous versions, and the result is more power, less noise, better efficiency, and more stable cutting experience.
Both the speed and trim length are fully adjustable, and it comes with an adjustable beard trimmer dial that’s easy and quick to use while allowing you to cut with more precision.
In addition, there’s a taper lever for easy blending and customizable cutting lengths.
- The self-sharpening precision ground blades are rust-resistant and snap into the unit easily.
- The upgraded motor is quiet but powerful.
- It’s adjustable to two speeds.
- Few, if any, although some users had durability issues.
There’s a lot to like about Hatteker’s Pro Hair Clipper set: it’s affordable, adjustable, and effective for cutting hair on your scalp, face, and mustache.
The 5 best hair clippers for professionals
- Adjustable thin blades for precision cuts
- Powerful rotary motor ideal to tackle thicker hair
- Ergonomic design for easy maneuverability
Best hair clippers for:
- Pros looking for a great all-round clipper
There are lots of reasons we’ve chosen Wahl’s Professional 5-Star, Balding Clipper, as our number of choice for professionals.
For one thing, they reliably deliver the kind of sharp, precise performance that’s expected of professionals. And they look particularly cool with their retro aesthetic too, which never hurts.
They have a powerful electromagnetic motor that cuts at twice the speed of pivot motors, enabling users to get a surgically close cut. This makes it effortless and quicker to achieve very precise skin and bald fades. Plus, the taper level is top-notch.
The Wahl Professional 5-Star Balding Clipper features German-milled titanium cutting blades and also has a skin-friendly design with a smooth steel base and rounded cutting attachment.
To top it all off, they throw in a handful of great accessories too, including two attachment combs, a blade guard, oil, cleaning brush, and detailed instructions.
There’s also an eight-foot professional-grade power cord that’s chemical-resistant and gives you all the mobility you need, and the design is incredibly ergonomic.
The overall experience is as comfortable as you’ll get, which is very important if you’re working long days on your feet!
- Fantastic for surgically close cuts
- The powerful rotary motor is ideal for tackling thicker hair
- Its ergonomic design makes it a pleasure to use
- It’s really expensive!
The Wahl Professional 5-Star Balding Clipper is our top choice for professionals: it is powerful, precise, and a pleasure to use. Perfect!
- Powerful motor
- Durable housing
- Cuts wet or dry hair easily
Best hair clippers for:
- Professional use
Professional barbers need a hair clipper that can stand up to the demands of their job, which includes giving multiple haircuts on any given day. The Oster Classic 76 is one such clipper.
The latter features a powerful universal motor thats a true workhorse and suitable for all-day, heavy-duty performance. It comes with a break-resistant housing and a 9-foot power cord – the kind of length pros need to maneuver around their clients and their shop.
Moreover, it has an ergonomic design that helps users to avoid hand, wrist, and arm fatigue that can occur during a busy day on the job. Plus, it’s of a lighter weight than most other clippers, which contributes to its overall comfort.
But there’s more.
The Oster Classic 76 comes with sharp, detachable blades that enable you to clip and trim your hair and beard with fewer passes. Being detachable, the blades are easy to clean while getting rid of trapped hair, which may lead to skin irritation.
The clippers’ blade guards help to protect it from dust, water, and air while contributing to its overall longer life. The kit also comes with lubricating oil and grease that keep the clipper running as good as new even after many months of use.
The Oster Classic 76’s powerful motor makes it easy to cut through wet and dry hair.
- It’s lightweight and easy to handle, which are musts for professional barbers
- Its powerful motor can easily handle the rigors and demands of professional use.
- You can use it on wet hair with the same efficiency as you do on dry hair.
- Some users say the housing gets hot after many hours of use
The Oster Classic 76 is a workhorse of haircutting that’s perfect for professional barbers and stylists who put in long hours in their work.
- High-torque, Ferrari-designed engine
- High carbon stainless steel blade, 5-detent taper control
- 2-hour battery life
Best hair clippers for:
- Precision styling and texturing
For a professional, power is important. And that’s just one of many reasons BaBylissPRO’s Barberology clipper won a place on this list.
The exceptional, high-torque, Ferrari-designed engine is not just powerful – it is also surprisingly quiet and fantastically durable. It just hums along like a dream, doing everything you need it to and more.
With most high-powered clippers, you might find they are all about force. But what’s great about the Barberology clipper is it matches its motor with a 5-detent taper control, which gives you fantastic speed and precision.
The high carbon stainless steel blade is sharp and tough, making it great for texturing with ease and precision. And it includes 8 comb attachments ranging from 1.5mm to 19.
The grip is also great: it’s designed with an all-metal knurled barbell grip that is easy on the hand even during a long session. Plus, its lithium battery lasts up to 2 hours, meaning you won’t have to charge too often during busy hours.
- Exceptional accuracy and precision cutting
- The battery life is pretty great
- The engine is among the most powerful you’ll find
- Some find the price a challenge
A fantastic option for a professional who needs a texturing tool worthy of their skills. Exceptional power, great precision features, and really solid battery life. If you’re attempting ambitious styles, this is well worth the money.
- Cord and cordless operation
- High-speed blade
- 90 minutes runtime
Best Hair Clippers For:
- Anyone looking for a lightweight clipper
Just because a clipper is classified as “lightweight” doesn’t mean it can’t hold up under many hours of use. The Andis Master Cordless Clipper is a perfect example: it features a lightweight aluminum housing that Andis says is “unbreakable.”
It’s sturdy, for sure, but you won’t suffer from hand fatigue even after hours of cutting. Moreover, you’ll get years of dependable use from it, making it well worth your investment.
The Andis Master Clipper is powered by a high-speed rotary motor with blade speeds over 7,200 SPM and that feature constant speed technology, i.e., it won’t drag or stall.
It also features corded and cordless technology that includes a lithium-ion battery that delivers nearly two hours of uninterrupted run time on a 90-minute charge.
You can also zero-gap the Andis Master Cordless Clipper, especially after you become proficient with it, which means the gap between the teeth of the blades is nearly non-existent. In turn, you’ll get a closer cut.
- It features a high-speed adjustable blade.
- Lightweight, durable housing.
- It features a LED light to monitor battery power levels.
- It may run a little noisy.
The Andis Master Cordless Clipper is a professional-grade tool that will give you many years of quality use.
- Compact design
- Works on all hair types and thicknesses
Best hair clippers for:
- Professionals looking for the most affordable clippers
Let’s face it, Wahl makes great grooming products, including hair clippers. So, including another one in our list of reviews – the Professional Peanut Classic Clipper/Trimmer – isn’t a stretch, by any means.
The Peanut Classic Clipper is a favorite of many professionals (it’s for professional use only) and consistently delivers the sharp, precise performance that both the user and the customer demand.
And, as its name suggests, its smaller than most other clippers and comes in a compact size and sleek design.
Make no mistake; however, it provides all of the power of a full-size trimmer thanks to its robust motor, yet it’s lighter and fits easily into your hand while reducing the fatigue that may come on during a long day in the shop.
For the record, it’s four inches long and weighs only four ounces.
It also comes with all of the accessories you need to cut your hair, including four attachment combs, a red blade guard, oil, and a cleaning brush. The attachments allow you to switch between different length settings easily.
Also included is a 7-foot power cord that plugs into 110-watt outlets.
You can also use it to trim your beard, which makes it an even better investment at a very affordable price and, with regular maintenance, you’ll get years of use from this clipper.
- The compact design makes it easy to handle but without sacrificing power
- You can also use it to trim your beard
- It works great for close cuts and shaves and for creating hair and beard styles
- It’s replacement blades are a bit more expensive than others
Professionals love the Wahl Professional Peanut Classic for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is its easy-to-handle compact design. It’s also versatile enough to use for other grooming tasks, such as trimming your beard.
6 Things to consider when purchasing hair clippers
There’s more to hair clippers than meets the eye, including when you consider what’s inside of it (like its motor), its blades, its attachments, and its overall ease of use.
Finding the one that best suits your needs isn’t like finding a needle in a haystack – far from it – but it can be a challenge unless you know what to look for.
That in mind, here are further ideas you can consider before buying a new clipper.
1. The motor
Never underestimate the importance of a hair clipper’s motor because it can make all the difference in how well it performs and how long you’ll use it.
The bottom line is that a more powerful motor is going to serve you best, whether you’re a professional barber or someone who prefers to cut his hair at home.
Cheaper motors often don’t have the power you consistently need to get clean, close cuts, and make it harder to achieve the exact style that you prefer.
Also, cheaper motors tend to burn out faster than more powerful motors.
But be careful that the clipper and powerful motor that you choose doesn’t have a reputation for overheating – especially if you’re a professional barber who spends long hours cutting hair.
Rotary, magnetic, and pivot motors are the three most common types of clipper motors:
- Rotary motors
Rotary motors feature an even amount of power and blade speed, which means that the power and blade speed is the same. This helps make for a more versatile clipper regarding the variety of cuts you can make.
- Magnetic motors
A magnetic, or universal motor, is an electromagnetic device that operates on AC and DC. It’s usually capable of reaching high speeds as well as lightweight and compact.
Its primary drawbacks are, A) it’s more prone to wear and tear with frequent use, B) it’s noisier than other types of motors.
- Pivot motors
Pivot motors are powerful but tend to have a lower blade speed. They’re good for use on thick or wet hair, and many professional stylists prefer them.
A clipper’s blades are of similar importance than its motor for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is the preciseness and ease of cutting. Dull, cheap blades can lead to tugging and pulling of hair and make it harder to get the exact style that you prefer.
Common materials used for hair clipper blades include stainless steel and carbon.
Carbon, or high-carbon, blades, are often self-sharpening and, hence, remain sharper for a longer time. If you’re looking for a blade that needs little maintenance, then carbon might be the choice for you.
Titanium is another blade material and ranks near the top regarding quality, but usually comes with a higher price tag.
You can also buy clippers that have ceramic blades. One of the biggest advantages of ceramic blades is that they don’t heat up during prolonged use. But ceramic blades are more fragile than steel blades and also more expensive to replace.
Most hair clippers come with a variety of accessories. While the sheer number of accessories doesn’t necessarily indicate a superior trimmer, it can help you to achieve the style and look you prefer.
Among the accessories that typically comes with a hair clipper are blade guards, comb attachments, clipper oil, a charging unit, to name just a few.
4. Length settings
Take note of the different types of length settings a clipper has before you buy; it will help let you know whether the clipper is capable of doing the job you need it to do.
Also, consider its guard and comb lengths available. Generally speaking, the more options, the better, especially if you’re a professional barber or stylist. The number of length variations the clipper has is a good indicator of its overall versatility.
But even if your clipper doesn’t come with a variety of guards – or if it doesn’t have a greater range of length settings – you can often purchase them separately.
5. Ease of cleaning
Many clippers allow you to “wet” clean them, i.e., you can rinse them under the faucet with water after you’ve finished using them.
Wet cleaning takes less time than cleaning your clipper with the small brush that usually comes with it, but it’s all a matter of personal preference. We do consider these features as positive when reviewing different clippers.
You can always use both.
6. Ease of use
A lot of factors go into determining how easy a clipper is to use, including its weight, its design (often a matter of ergonomics), and its grip.
In general, the lighter the clipper, the easier it is to handle, but you want to choose a clipper that’s robust enough to last a long time – especially if you’re a professional who uses his or her clipper several hours a day.
How we chose these products
Before preparing this section, we have considered many factors that go into the making of a clipper that’s suitable for home and professional use.
The number, and quality, of accessories a clipper has, is important in our evaluation. In general, the more accessories, the easier it is to achieve a complete, clean, and precise cut, although that’s not a hard-and-fast rule.
We also looked at each clipper’s motor and whether it had the power to cut cleanly through even the thickest of hair, and which also isn’t so loud that it will rattle the walls, figuratively speaking.
Price was another factor, as was the quality of the blades. Regarding price, we strive to review products that fit a variety of budgets.
Finally, we took into account the reviews of others, including the reviews of those who regularly use a specific clipper. Moving on, let’s see which accessories can improve your clippers’ performance and make easier its maintenance.
Comparing clippers for home use, self-cut, and professionals
While clippers are often versatile enough for self-haircut, home use, and professional use, there are differences and reasons why you might choose one or the other depending on how you plan to use them.
Let’s take a closer look:
Perhaps the most significant difference between clippers designed for professional use and those designed for self-haircuts and home use is the price.
You should expect to spend a little more on hair clippers if you’re a professional because it represents an investment in your career.
The higher price tag of professional clippers comes down to various factors, including features that make them durable enough to stand up to the rigors that come from hours of use in a professional barbershop or salon.
That’s not to say that it’s OK to cheap out and buy inexpensive clippers for home use. “You get what you pay for” is an adage that’s still applicable after all these years.
Ideally, clippers that work best for professional use should be fairly lightweight. A pro, after all, spends long hours with a clipper in hand, and a heavier clipper body can lead to hand and wrist fatigue.
A lighter weight clipper is similarly helpful for home use and self-haircuts, especially when you consider that a do-it-yourselfer usually spends more time cutting their hair than a well-seasoned professional would cutting a customer’s hair.
Also, an ergonomic design – both on pro and home/self-haircut clippers – is important, both to ease the pressure on your hands, but also to provide better control when trimming hair.
Both professional and self-haircut clippers may come with a power cord or are good for cordless use, or both.
Professionals need a longer power cord to help them maneuver around the shop and their customers.
A longer cord isn’t necessarily a disadvantage to stay-at-home barbers, but keep in mind that you may have limited space depending on where you cut your hair (say, in their bathroom or another smaller space).
Cordless clippers provide plenty of conveniences, but make sure to check the battery’s power capacity before you buy. Professional clippers often provide for more runtime than clippers made for home use.
Hair clippers feature a wide range of motors with varying degrees of power.
Professionals often select a clipper with a more powerful motor that helps them work faster and get a cleaner cut. A pair of clippers with a weak motor isn’t going to cut it (no pun intended) with a shop full of customers.
Whatever motor you chose, whether it’s for professional or home use, you’ll want to look for one that provides all of the power you need without overheating.
The different types of motors include rotary, magnetic, and pivot, although the latter two aren’t generally considered as suitable for professional use.
For pros, the more attachments, the better – whether they’re different sized guide combs, blade guards, lubricating oil, cleaning brushes, and more.
Ease of styling
In general, professional hair clippers make it easier to create different hairstyles, and for applying artistic finishes that help give a haircut its “professional” look. Home-use clippers may be a bit more rigid and not as good for maneuvering around complex hairstyles.
6 Useful hair clipper accessories
There is no shortage of accessories that can enhance your hair clipping experience, as well as for keeping your clipper in tip-top shape. Here are some of those accessories, including many of the most popular and highest rated ones on Amazon.
1. Clipper guards, great example — Professional Hair Clipper Guards Guides
Clipper guards may or may not come with your clipper depending on the model, although most clippers do come with them. Guards are attachments that fit over the clipper’s blades while ensuring that the blade cuts at a consistent, uniform length.
For example, you can buy Professional Hair Clipper Guards Guides that fit all full-size Wahl clippers. They range in size from 1/8 to 1-inch.
2. Clipper oil, great example — Andis clipper oil
Keeping your clippers in great shape for a long time requires the consistent use of beard oil. You should use a small amount of oil each time you use your clippers – both before and after if you like – and two or three drops placed between the blades should suffice.
Many clippers come with beard oil – usually in a small bottle that lasts for a couple of months.
You can always order more oil from the manufacturer, but you can also purchase a product such as the Andis Clipper Oil that comes in a 4-ounce bottle and works on all hair clippers.
3. Clipper spray, great example — Oster 5 in 1 Clipper Blade Care Spray
Some states require that professional barbers use hair clipper spray because it disinfects the blade between uses to prevent the buildup and spread of germs and bacteria that may collect on it.
Clipper spray helps to lubricate the blade and prevents the buildup of rust.
The Oster 5 in 1 Clipper Blade Care Spray is a good option.
4. Scissors, great example — ULG Hair Cutting Shears
Every barber, pro and otherwise, should have a pair of quality haircutting scissors and shears on hand, including for fine-tuning the style and look of a haircut after you’ve finished using your hair clippers.
The ULG Hair Cutting Shears are versatile and safe, and easy to use.
5. Cleaning brush, great example — Andis Blade Cleaning Brush
If your hair clipper doesn’t come with a cleaning brush – many do – then check out Andis Blade Cleaning Brush. It’s ideal for getting rid of hair residues on clipper and trimmer blades.
6. Storage and carrying case, great example — Casematix Buzzer, Clipper, T-Trimmer Storage Case for Stylist or Barber
A hair clipper storage case allows you to organize your clipper and all of its accessories in one place, while also protecting them from damage. The ClipSafe Hard Organizing Case is versatile and is suitable for many brands and models of clippers.
How to maintain your hair clippers so they will last you for decades in 6 simple, illustrated steps
We’ve talked about the many advantages of owning a quality pair of hair clippers, either for home or professional use. While you may pay a bit more than you would for a cheaper pair, the best clippers – such as the ones we’ve listed above – should last you for many years.
That is if you properly care for them.
Even just some basic care and maintenance on a fairly consistent basis will keep your clippers working their best for a long time to come.
Let’s take a look at some maintenance tips that will enable you to get the most out of your clippers:
1. Clean the blades
This tip cannot be emphasized enough. At the least, you should make sure the blade area is clean before you begin to cut your hair or anyone else’s.
The good news is that many hair clipper kits come with their own clipper brush and cleaning kit; if not, you can buy them relatively inexpensively, or even use an old-fashioned hard toothbrush to get into all the nooks and crannies.
Be sure to brush away all the loose hairs and debris from the blade area. They can have the same effect as grit or sand if they get lodged between the blades. Over time, they can eventually damage the blades or dull them.
Even taking a deep breath and blowing into the blade area is helpful. Pretend you’re blowing out a birthday candle.
2. Wash the adjusters
The adjusters are the snap-on clips that allow you to adjust the length of the hair that you’re cutting. They can become grimy from repeated use, and you should take care to wash them thoroughly from time to time.
Remove them from the clippers and then submerge them in hot, soapy water. Use a cloth to scrub them, and then lay them out on a towel to dry.
3. Align the blade
This is an important step for professionals who are intending to cut other people’s hair or are using them in a barbershop/hair salon. To check the alignment, hold the clipper sideways and look down its length.
The blade should be perfectly straight, and there shouldn’t be any teeth protruding. A crooked blade, or loose tooth, can easily produce nicks and cuts.
In some cases, you may need to loosen the blade screws with a small screwdriver. You won’t need to remove the blade, but just loosen it enough that you can wiggle it back into place.
4. Oil it
Oil is the preventive medicine that keeps your clipper running smoothly for many years. If your clipper breaks down, the cause can often be traced to a lack of oil. Here’s the rule: apply some oil to your clipper every time you use it.
It’s simple enough, and by adhering to it, you’ll make it a habit.
And it only takes a few drops of oil on each corner of the moving blade, in the middle, and on the blade teeth.
Then turn your clipper on and let it run for a few seconds to allow the oil to spread evenly. Wipe off any excess oil, and you’ll be ready to get back to work.
The process takes less than a minute, but it’s an investment of time that will pay huge dividends.
Most clippers come with oil.
5. Changing the blade
This won’t often happen, especially if you’ve properly maintained your blade. But there may come a time when you need a new blade, like when you accidentally drop it and damage or chip the blade’s teeth.
Changing the blade isn’t complicated, however, and your best bet is to have a spare blade on hand, so you don’t interrupt your workflow.
If you’re a professional barber, you’re legally required to have clipper spray in the shop. The spray keeps the blades cool (protecting the client from potential burns) while also disinfecting it.
Additionally, spray reduces wear and tear on the blade and protects against rust.
7 Tips for using a hair clipper like a pro
Whether you’re a professional barber or a do-it-yourselfer, getting the most from your hair clippers requires a bit of know-how and the right technique. Here are some tips for using your clippers the right way.
1. Wash your hair
Begin the process by giving your hair a good wash. Washing your hair makes it easier to comb – you want to get rid of any tangles or snags – and ensures that it doesn’t have any extra waves or bends.
You can leave your hair wet for when you’re clipping it, and many barbers spritz some water on dry hair before trimming and styling it. But you can try it yourself on dry hair to see whether it gives you the same results as you do while clipping it wet.
2. Understand and choose your attachments
Make sure that you have a clear understanding of the numbering system for your clipper’s blade guards. The numbers refer to the blade guards, which determine the length of your hair and, in general, the smaller the number, the shorter the cut.
Note: You can use multiple guard lengths to create a style such as a fade. For tapered styles, you or your barber can start with a longer length setting and work your way down to the shorter, or even shortest, settings.
3. Prepare for the “mess”
The person getting their haircut should have a towel or barber’s cape around their neck to prevent the clipped hair from falling onto their clothing. If you’re giving a haircut at home, you may want to put down plastic sheeting or something else to catch the stray hairs.
4. Getting started
It’s time to get started once you’ve chosen the appropriate length attachment.
The best place to begin is at the base of your head, and you should work upwards toward the top of your head.
Tilt the person’s head slightly forward and rest the clippers against the back of the head as you trim.
Apply firm pressure as you cut towards the top and make sure you have a firm hold on your hair clipper at all times.
It’s generally best to cut against the direction of the hair to get a more even and efficient trim.
5. Move to the sides of the head
Once you’ve finished the back of the head, you can move on to its sides. Start at the base of your sides, as you did with the back of your head, and move upward. Make sure to pull the ears out of the way so you can get your clipper around and behind them in all directions.
Again, work in the opposite direction of the hair’s natural growth. Note: If you have trouble identifying the hair’s growth patterns, run your hand through the hair in each direction to understand which way gives you the most resistance.
6. Trimming the top of the head
The best method for trimming the top of the head is to start at the forehead and work towards the top of the head while following the hairline. As with trimming other parts of your head, work slow and steady to catch as much hair as possible with each pass.
7. The final details
Once you’ve completed the bulk of the haircut, it’s time to move on to the fine details that can turn a good haircut into a truly great one.
Remove the length guard and hold the clippers vertically with the blades perpendicular to the skin. Use the clippers to fine-tune the lines around each ear and the hairline at the back of the neck.
To tighten up the hairline, gently press the clipper’s blades against the skin (where you want the hairline to end) and move the clippers downward for a clean, smooth shave.
You can use the same process for straightening the sideburns and for styling other facial hair, including your beard, although we’d recommend using a beard trimmer to get the best results.
Frequently asked questions
Should I go corded or cordless?
Whether a hair clipper is corded or cordless doesn’t have much impact on its overall performance.
That is, how it trims and cuts your hair is far more dependent on other factors, such as the quality of its blades, the accessories that come with it, the quality of its motor, and more.
Nonetheless, the decision to use your clipper for cordless or corded use is an important one. And there are advantages and disadvantages to using both.
Cordless clippers are, if nothing else, convenient to use. After all, you don’t have to contend with a power cord – which can get in the way – and you’ll have greater freedom of movement.
You can even use a cordless clipper in the shower as long as it’s suitable for wet and dry use.
In general, corded clippers and trimmers offer more power than cordless clippers, which isn’t to say that cordless trimmers don’t have enough oomph to get the job done – far from it.
Cordless clippers tend to be less powerful – although not in every case – the longer you use them.
A cordless clipper runs on battery power, which means you’ll need to charge it from time to time when the battery runs low.
How long a cordless clipper runs before its needs charging varies from model to model, but many provide up to an hour of uninterrupted runtime before it’s time for a charge.
Cordless clippers come with a charging stand or a cord that plugs into an electrical outlet. How long it takes to recharge a clipper also varies from model to model (and brand to brand).
As noted in many of our reviews of the best clippers, many models come with a quick-charge function that provides enough power for a single trim or cut.
One thing you don’t have to worry about with a corded clipper is it running out of power. It provides a consistent source of power as long as you have it plugged in.
The “downside” is that the cord can get in your way, and it restricts movement to some degree; however, most corded clippers come with long cords (up to 8-feet and even more) that gives you plenty of room to move around.
Another advantage of a corded clipper is that you can always count on it if you’re in a rush in the morning.
If your cordless clipper is out of power, or you need to give it a quick-charge for one trim, it can mess up your morning routine. With a corded trimmer, you always know that it’s ready to go whenever you need it and for whatever time frame.
Where can you get hair clippers sharpened?
While you may be able to find clipper blade-sharpening services in your city or town, you can always do it yourself, and it’s not that difficult. All you need is a quality sharpening stone and a toothbrush to clean between the blades.
Where can you get hair clippers fixed?
You can choose to have your clippers fixed by a professional, Google your locale to find one nearby, or you can do it yourself with a few simple tools. The problem may be quite simple – like a worn power cord – and something you can fix at home.
Where do you oil hair clippers?
Consistent use of oil will extend the lifespan of your clipper while keeping it running efficiently. Oil the tops and sides of the blades and let the clipper run for 20 seconds after oiling before you begin clipping.
Which hair clippers give the closest cut?
All of the clippers listed in our reviews can help you get a close cut, not the least of which is the Oster All-Purpose M X Pro Clipper 76070-010. Check out our reviews to learn more about the Conair for Men.
Which cordless clippers are the best?
Plenty of high-quality cordless hair clippers abound, not the least of which is the aforementioned Oster All-Purpose M X Pro Clipper 76070-010. The latter is not only good for home and self-haircut use but runs on a Lithium-ion battery for maximum convenience.
What guide should I use for hair clippers?
Blade guides and guards come in various sizes that determine the length of your hair when cutting it. In general, the smaller the number, the shorter the cut. Or, you can use multiple guards for attaining styles such as a gentle fade.
Which oil should I use for hair clippers?
Many clippers come with oil meant to lubricate the blades of that specific model. However, clipper oil is universal in that you can use it on other clippers without causing harm.
Clipper oil needs to have low viscosity to handle the heat of rapidly moving blades. Don’t use motor oil.
Can hair clippers go in hand luggage?
According to the Transportation Security Administration, hair clippers are allowed both in carry-on luggage and checked luggage, although the final decision may depend on the TSA officer at the gate.
Can hair clippers be used to trim beards?
Nothing says that you can’t also use your hair clippers to trim your beard, but when it comes to styling a beard, a quality beard trimmer is a way to go. Beard trimmers have thinner blades while hair clippers work well for trimming and shaping longer hair.
Can hair clippers cause bumps?
Even the best hair clippers can cause bumps and other skin irritations if they’re not properly maintained. Clean and oil your clipper before every time you use it (or immediately afterward) and take your time while cutting your hair or the hair of someone else.
Can hair clippers transmit HIV?
The chances of transmitting HIV via hair clippers are slim and none, with an emphasis on none. Keep in mind that HIV cannot survive outside of the human body, so even if it were present on a clipper or trimmer, it would instantly expire.
Can hair clippers cause folliculitis?
Your hair follicles can become blocked or infected with bacteria, and the result is red and swollen bumps on your skin, often referred to as folliculitis. Disinfecting your clippers after every use will greatly reduce your chances of getting folliculitis.
Can hair clippers spread disease?
Here’s where it gets tricky. While hair clippers can’t transmit HIV, one study showed that contamination on the clipper includes blood-borne viruses, such as Hepatitis B. As the study suggested, further research is needed.
The bottom line: clean and disinfect your blades regularly.
Can hair clippers cut your skin?
While it’s not impossible to nick or cut your skin with hair clippers, it’s also highly unlikely. The blades rotate in a way that doesn’t apply all of its power on a specific point of the skin.
Can hair clippers cause ringworm?
Ringworm is most common in children, and research suggests that it may be transmitted through grooming tools such as combs and, yes, perhaps even hair clippers. Clean. Disinfect. Repeat.
Can hair clippers cause alopecia?
You can rest easy: there’s no evidence that trimming and cutting your hair leads to hair loss, i.e., alopecia. Many factors, such as genetics and age, cause hair loss, and have nothing to do with cutting your hair.
Can hair clippers explode?
The answer is “no,” but with a slight caveat or two. You shouldn’t use clippers around aerosol cans, which may explode, and never use them with the wrong sort of plug that may explode at the outlet. Will the clipper itself explode in your hand? Fat chance.
Can human hair clippers be used on cats?
Kudos to you if you want to take the trouble of shaving your cat. But use clippers designed for pets, not the kind you use on human hair. Human hair clippers can run too hot and burn the cat’s skin, among other potential issues.
Can human hair clippers be used on dogs?
Yes, you can use hair clippers to give your dog a trim if you so choose, but why not use tools designed for the job? Dog clippers have sharper blades that cut through tough, long fur quickly and efficiently, and have a powerful motor that won’t bog down in tangled hair.
Who invented hair clippers?
Leo J. Wahl (recognize the last name?) is credited with inventing the first electric hair clipper in 1921. Wahl’s descendants still operate the company today, which is a world leader in the manufacturing and selling of barber and grooming tools.
What do the hair clipper numbers mean?
Each hair clipper comb comes with a specific number. The higher the number, the more hair is left behind. For example, a clipper comb with the number 1 will create a shorter haircut while No. 10 will help keep your hair longer.
What are professional hair clippers?
The distinction between professional hair clippers and ones for use at home isn’t as dramatic as one would think.
In general, however, professional clippers tend to have a more powerful motor, make it easy for styling, have plenty of attachments – and cost a bit more.
Why are my hair clippers so loud?
To get a bit technical (and mechanical), a hair clipper has two arms within it – a fixed arm and a moving arm.
If the motor isn’t powerful enough, the moving arm doesn’t pull back quickly enough and bangs against the fixed arm, which creates that sometimes irritating “loudness.”
Why are my hair clippers pulling?
A hair clipper that pulls and tugs on your hair may need 1) oiling, 2) its blades sharpened, or both: dull trimmers that need sharpening pull at hair and may leave jagged, uneven lines.
How do I adjust hair clippers?
Misaligned clipper blades can create issues such as pulling and snagging, and also make the clipper rattle noisily. Remove the blades, clean them, and then place them back in the correct position.
How do I disinfect hair clippers?
To disinfect your hair clippers, first, brush or wash away the loose hair inside the clippers. Next, disassemble your trimmer with a screwdriver and place the blades in a disinfectant such as Guardian Gear Oster Blade Wash and let them soak.
How long do hair clippers last?
With the proper maintenance and care, your hair clippers should last you several years, especially the highest-quality clippers. Regular maintenance includes cleaning away trapped hair, oiling the blades, and disinfecting the blades.
How do I lubricate hair clippers?
Lubricate your hair clippers by using oil made for clippers, trimmers, and other grooming tools. Place a few drops of oil on the clipper blades before and after use.
Why do I need to oil my hair clippers?
Keeping your clipper in the best condition means regularly oiling it, including before and after every use (for best results). Without oil, the blade’s teeth will become dull and pull and snag hair.
A quality hair clipper is an invaluable tool for cutting, styling, and trimming your hair. But like any grooming tool, not all clippers are created equal and finding one that best suits your needs will save you a lot of frustration and bad haircuts.
We welcome your feedback. What hair clippers do you use? Why do you like them? We’d love to hear from you.
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