Our top 3 picks:
- Best Overall: Wahl Clipper Elite Pro Hair Clipper for Men
- Best for Professionals: Wahl Professional 5-Star Legend Hair Clipper
- Best for Fades: Andis Professional Master Adjustable Blade Hair Clipper
Whether you are a do-it-yourself home barber or you run a professional salon, having the right hair clipper can make the difference between a good haircut and a great haircut.
But here’s the deal:
Not all hair clippers are created equally. From the width of the clipping edge, to the motor that powers it, can all have a large impact on the final results.
This guide will review the best hair clippers of 2021 – like the Wahl Clipper Elite Pro Hair Clipper. In addition to our expert reviews, we will also share with you tips on finding the right hair clippers for your needs, answer several questions others had when buying clippers, along with going over some basic maintenance tips to keep in mind.
How to Buy Hair Clippers
When buying hair clippers, you will want to keep the following considerations in mind:
When you are reviewing hair clippers, you will find that the motor type will be one of the following: rotary, electromagnetic, or pivot. Here’s how each of them differs from one another:
Rotary motors are most commonly found on consumer-grade hair trimmers given their low cost and balanced performance. The only motor that is able to switch between multiple speeds, a rotary motor can work on thick or thin hair types. However, note that if you do change to a slower speed, you will need to make slower strokes in order to prevent a ‘choppy’ look or pulling on the hair. Rotary motors don’t require oil and are maintenance free.
For professional barbers, electromagnetic motors provide the best performance. Achieving a much higher stroke per minute (SPM) rate, using a clipper with an electromagnetic motor can result in smooth fades and better results. Electromagnetic motors last longer compared to other motor types and require very little maintenance other than regular blade oiling.
Pivot motors are often found on multi-grooming and beard trimmers. With a significantly lower SPM, pivot motors are made to cut through thick and dense hair. We wouldn’t recommend this motor if you plan on cutting several different hair types.
2. Power Source
When deciding on a pair of clippers, the power source is an important decision and comes down to two choices: battery or corded. Here are some important notes on each:
Battery Powered Clippers
When reviewing battery-powered clippers you will find that they either come in Lithium-Ion battery (Li-Ion) or Nickel Metal-Hydride battery (Ni-MH) – our recommendation is to skip the Ni-MH batteries and go straight for Li-Ion.
Li-Ion powered clippers feature short charging times and a fairly long battery life (typically 90 minutes charge / 90 minutes run time). Whereas Ni-MH requires a lengthy 8-hour charge for a 45 minute run time.
Beyond battery performance, a cordless clipper frees your movement so you can concentrate on the haircut rather than dealing with a cord that continues to get in your way.
Power Cord Clippers
While a cordless hair clipper provides mobility, it isn’t the best when it comes to consistent power strength and all-day-long performance. If you intended to buy a clipper for professional hair cutting, then you need to go with a corded clipper. A corded clipper will never degrade in performance after several uses and works well with high powered motors.
3. Attachment Combs
Included with your new hair trimmer will be attachment combs. These combs allow you to cut different hair lengths easily. Included attachment combs will typically range between ½ to 9 – which provides tremendous versatility when it comes to hairstyling options.
However, the problem with attachment combs is that they are often made from flimsy plastic and are prone to breakage. Some brands such as Wahl and Andis offer attachment comb replacements, especially for their premium models.
4. Hair Clipper Blades
In addition to attachment combs, the metal blade that is atop the trimmer may begin to dull over time. Rather than throwing out the entire clipper and causing unnecessary waste, companies such as Wahl sell replacement clipper blades for a fairly affordable price. It’s little features like this that set trusted brands apart from imitators.
5. Clipper Brand
Finding a quality pair of hair clippers can be tough, but finding a trusted brand can be even tougher. After much research and review, we found the following hair clipper brands to be among the most trusted and popular among both home and professional barbers (listed in alphabetical order):
The price point of hair clippers varies significantly. Depending on the motor type, design, power source, and more can all have an impact on how much you will have to pay. With that being said, most hair clippers will typically cost anywhere between $35 and $150.
If you are buying a hair clipper for home use, then you may want to consider a clipper that can do multiple jobs. Whether it’s to act as a beard trimmer or a body hair trimmer, one device provides convenience, but you must proceed with caution. Hair clippers have wider heads which can make beard trimming a bit more difficult, especially around tight contours and detail work.
If you are getting hair clippers for body hair trimming, then you will want to make sure they have attachment combs with rounded edges in order to prevent the poking of delicate skin. Secondly, a cordless hair trimmer will be best suited for this job.
Nearly all quality hair clippers will come with a cleaning brush. This can help to loosen hairs that have been wedged in between the cutting guide and the body of the trimmer. Furthermore, some barber shops also like to use a blade cleaner (more on this below) such as the Andis Cool Care Plus. Acting as pressurized air, coolant, and lubricant, these can help to clean hair clippers quickly.
Hair clippers that have been marked as being compatible for use in a wet environment mean that the clipping head can be rinsed under water after use.
If you are planning on using these clippers for professional use, then the design and weight of the clipper will be important. Not only will this prevent fatigue in your wrist, arm, and elbow throughout the day, but it will also help to provide additional control. Clippers with a curved contour body allow for a secure and comfortable grip.
For DIY barbers, a comfortable grip isn’t nearly as necessary and is considered to be ‘nice-to-have’ since you won’t be cutting hair for extended periods of time.
10. Additional Features
Here are a few other extra features that may help in your decision:
- Taper Lever: A taper lever allows you to make smooth fades between different lengths. The more steps in the lever provide a much smoother looking fade.
- Travel Pouch / Storage Pouch: Whether it’s for traveling to a different location or safe storage, a pouch or case for your trimmer will ensure that the cutting guide or body doesn’t get damaged when not in use.
- Haircut Kit: Beyond a simple hair clipper, some companies include a variety of extras into the kit. This can be great for home use. Just note that the included apron and shears aren’t as good if you were to buy separately.
The Best Hair Clippers of 2021 Reviewed
Here is our list of the top hair clippers for this year:
Top Award: Best Clippers for Men
- Great for both home and professional barber shop use
- Complete hair cutting kit that includes all the required accessories
- Low learning curve
Whether you are cutting hair at home or professionally, these haircut clippers will get the job done exceedingly well.
If you are looking for a well-rounded hair clipper that can cut through all different hair types and lengths, then Wahl Clipper Elite Pro hair clippers are a sound choice. Here is what we liked most about these clippers:
- Powerful motor
Thanks to the 8′ chemical resistance power cord, you get high performance as these clippers make their way through any hair type. Wahl is able to achieve such performance by relying on a powerful electromagnetic motor. When using this clipper you won’t have to worry about any sudden snags or choppy results. Instead, you can expect this clipper to cut through hair smoothly and effortlessly.
- Attachment combs and other great accessories
Whether you are a DIY barber or you are a barber looking for a reliable clipper to use throughout the day, the attachment combs included (6 in total) allow you to achieve many different hair styles. Whether it’s buzz cuts or a slick back with an undercut – expect great results. Unlike other clippers that are attached by cheap and flimsy plastic, the Wahl Clipper Elite Pro has stainless steel clips that provide a secure closure that won’t rust or corrode over time.
When you aren’t using the Elite Pro, the storage case provides simple organization. It is small enough to be stored under the sink, linen closet, or elsewhere.
- Some limitations
While the strong powerful motor is undoubtedly the biggest selling point for the Elite Pro, it can also be a drawback for some. Unlike many cordless clippers that can be used internationally thanks to the lithium battery and swappable power cords, the Elite Pro will only work with 120V outlets (unless you have an adapter of course).
Secondly, Wahl states that these clippers can cut hair down to 1/16″. While it’s definitely a respectable hair length, if you want to truly rock the bald look, you would be better suited going with a razor or balding clippers.
Lastly, both the left and right ear taper attachment combs aren’t included with this model. The other included combs will need to cut the hair around the ears, not a dealbreaker for most, but worth noting.
Other Noteworthy Features:
- Unlike most small electronics, the Wahl Clipper Elite Pro was Made in the USA
- Easy to use taper lever allows for smooth fades
- Priced aggressively for someone looking for affordable home hair cutting
- Includes red blade guards for protection when not in use
- Both blade oil and cleaning brush are included for long term maintenance
- Wahl provides a 5-year warranty
- A powerful motor gets the job done at an affordable price
- Easily achieve many different hair styles
- Self-sharpening metal blade guard
- No left or right ear taper
- Corded design limits mobility
What You Need To Know
Top Award: Best Professional Hair Clippers
- The electromagnetic motor is designed to last a long time
- Ergonomic design is great for all-day use
- The long adjustable lever allows for an easy change in cutting length
Professional barbers that demand the best professional hair clippers to use on their valued clients.
When it comes to reliable and strong performance, there is no beating the Wahl Professional 5-Star Legend Clipper. Designed to cut through all types of hair, this flagship trimmer by Wahl is particularly great for your diverse multicultural client base.
- Electromagnetic motor and enhanced taper allow for smooth and clean cuts
What makes this clipper so special is the V9000 electromagnetic motor that runs at a whopping 14,000 strokes per minute (this is an upgrade from their previous generation V5000 motor). When you couple this motor with their unique “crunch” blade design, you get a clipper that can effortlessly slice through hair of any thickness. You can expect these precision blades to give clean and sharp results.
Given that this clipper relies on an electromagnetic motor, you should have no issues with it overheating after extended use as it gives off very little heat. Furthermore, with this motor type, there are fewer moving parts, which can improve the longevity of the device.
With an extended blade lever adjustment, you can really fine-tune the blade length for seamless blends in your fades.
- Ergonomic design
When it comes to professional barber clippers, cutting performance is important, but equal to that is comfort. In order to prevent wrist and hand fatigue, an ergonomic design that complements your natural hand position provides relief.
Beyond comfort, the improved grip on this clipper allows for terrific control. Therefore, you can easily do all sorts of technical hairstyles where a clipper is required.
- Replacement parts and accessories
One of the really great features about the 5-Star Legend clippers is that you can swap out the clipper blades with a screwdriver. So if you accidentally drop the clipper and bend the tip of the blade or you simply want to try a new style, the detachable blades feature a two-screw mount that can be easily swapped out. You can find on their site several different blade sizes that can be used for different cutting lengths.
Beyond detachable blades, at WahlPro.com, you also can pick up several accessories for the clipper. This includes a finger ring grip, individual cutting guides, organizers, combs, and more.
Other Noteworthy Features:
- Carbon steel blades are both harder and sharper than traditional stainless steel
- Package includes a red blade guard (high visibility), brush, lubricating oil, and eight cutting guides
- Screw mount makes it easy to clean the blades regularly
- Works best on dry hair (although should have no problem on wet hair as well)
- Includes a 1-year warranty
- 8′ long chemical resistant power cord
- Sharp blades make for clean and consistent fades
- Professional hair clipper that is built to last
- Works on both wet and dry hair
- Limited mobility due to power cord
What You Need To Know
Top Award: Best Professional Hair Clippers for Fades
- The electromagnetic motor that runs at a rate of 14,000 strokes per minute
- The blade can be adjusted from 000 to 1 – also can be zero gapped
- Lightweight and strong aluminum housing
Barbers that need professional hair clippers for fades.
For the professional barber that takes their job seriously, and wants the very best for their clients, then there is simply no beating the Andis Master Adjustable Blade Hair Clipper. Whether you are looking to do a simple buzz cut or a bald fade, these clippers will slice through the thickest hair like butter.
- Robust motor only is seen on few clippers of this caliber
At a staggering 14,000 strokes per minute rate, this powerful magnetic motor creates incredibly smooth results. Operated by a simple side switch, the corded clippers are set out to do one job and yet do it very well.
When reviewing clippers for fades, this motor really shines. Unlike a pivot or rotary motor, the higher stroke per minute rate allows you to simply make a reliable and perfect fade no matter the client’s hair texture.
- 000 to 1 blade adjust side lever
While the motor itself is among the best, in order to truly make these the perfect clippers for fade haircuts, it comes down to the lever. To put it another way, a powerful motor means nothing if you aren’t able to get the most out of it.
With a wide range of sizes coming from just the lever alone, you have a greater amount of control when working a fade haircut. In addition to the wide size range, if you want to do bald fades or skin fades, the blade can be zero gapped for even closer results.
- Andis Master Series adjustable blades can be purchased separately
Like Wahl, Andis provides a wide array of blades that can be swapped out due to their universal mount among the Andis Master Series lineup. So if you like the motor in this clipper but want to extend its versatility, you can easily pop in the Fade Master – which can go between a size 000000 to a size 000 – which for comparison, cuts just as low as some of the best balding clippers we recently reviewed.
While many of these blades can be picked up at large online retailers like Amazon, if you want to see the entire Andis lineup, you should check out the Andis store here.
Other Noteworthy Features:
- Simple thumb lever and on-off switch make it easy to use
- Cutting blade made from rigid carbon steel
- The aluminum body provides unsurpassed durability
- Runs both cool and quiet so you can talk to your clients
- The ergonomic body will feel great in your hand
- 12-month manufacturer’s limited warranty
- Simply one of the best barber clippers for buttery smooth fade cuts
- Indestructible aluminum body
- The simple design ensures it lasts forever
- No guide combs are included
- One-dimensional device limits its uses to just act as a fade clipper
What You Need To Know
Top Award: Best Hair Clippers for Dense & Curly Hair
- Pivot motor allows it to cut easily through the thickest hair types
- Steel blades cut from 000 to 1
- Includes 3 comb attachments, cleaning brush, blade guard, and blade oil
Professional barbers that need to cut through thick and coarse hair.
When cutting through really thick or ethnic hair types, a pivot motor clipper with a slower stroke per minute rate will provide better results. With the Oster Fast Feed Professional Clipper, you can expect reliable precision thanks to the simple, yet powerful, design.
- Fast Feed pivot motor increases productivity
When cutting a client’s hair, you want to give them a great haircut so they keep coming back. Unfortunately for many men, particularly men with thicker and coarser hair, many standard hair clippers just simply won’t work. Not only will the clipper cause snags, which can lead to a poor cutting experience, but the results leave a lot to be desired. The Oster Fast Feed Adjustable Pivot Motor clipper is a game changer. With a motor that can cut through the thickest of hair with ease, this beast of a trimmer will make life easier. Just note that since pivot motors have a slower stroke per minute count compared to their electromagnetic counterparts, you will have to make slower passes in order to prevent tugging or pulling on the hair.
If there was any drawback to the trimmers cutting abilities, it would be that it can’t do a zero gap cut. While this may be a dealbreaker for some, we think most can look past this downside.
- 4 guide combs for different hair lengths
Included with the Oster Fast Feed is 4 different guide combs, which can cut to the following lengths:
- ¼” cut
- ⅜” cut
- ½” cut
While these combs can work for most barbers, those that want some versatility in length, Oster does sell additional combs separately (includes 10 guide combs and a storage bag).
The combs have a slide on plastic fitting rather than a plastic clip. Therefore, you shouldn’t have to worry about the guides breaking after several uses.
- Cylindrical and textured housing and stout weight
The barrel design coupled with the ribbed body allows for your hands to get a confident grip on the body. While not nearly as ergonomic as other clippers reviewed, it should still provide you with plenty of control when trimming in any direction.
When comparing the Oster Fast Feed to other hair clippers, particularly the Wahl Professional 5-Star Legend, we found that the weight skewed a bit to the higher side. At 1.16 lbs, this hair trimmer may take a bit of getting used to, especially if you are cutting hair for extended periods – the Wahl Professional 5-Star Legend weighs 1 lb for reference.
- Included extras are limited but essential
This is a professional trimmer, therefore, unlike home hair clippers, you won’t find barber scissors, apron, storage case, etc. Instead, Oster just includes the essentials: blade guard, lubricating oil, and a brush. These included extras will extend the life of the trimmer when regularly maintained.
- One-year warranty
Like most major brands, Oster stands by their products. The Fast Feed has a one-year limited warranty that covers the clippers against any defects.
Other Noteworthy Features:
- Can be used as a beard trimmer in a pinch as it shouldn’t cause any nicks or cuts
- Pivot motor can cut hair to length in only a single pass
- Different length combs can be purchased separately
- The taper lever allows these to be easily used as fade clippers
- 000 to 1 adjustable blade length
- Corded power limits mobility
- Whisper Quiet motor allows you to easily keep a conversation with your client
- Cuts through thick and wet hair easily
- Designed for professional use
- Barber-friendly price tag
- Blade can’t be zero-gapped
- The body is a bit heavy
- Requires a slower pass to prevent snags
What You Need To Know
Top Award: Best Hair Clippers for Home Use
- Includes everything you need to get started cutting hair at home
- A powerful battery that can get a charge quickly
- Includes a trimmer for detailing
Any DIY barber that is looking for a quality clipper to use at home.
If you are looking to save a few bucks and want to try cutting your family’s hair, then the Wahl Hair Cutting Clipper & Trimmer Kit is the perfect complete set for home use. Not only does this kit include everything you need to cut your hair, but it also comes with quality craftsmanship that you expect from Wahl. Here are the highlights of the Wahl Hair Cutting Clipper & Trimmer Kit:
- 29 essential items included
When you buy the best professional hair clippers, unfortunately, the extras are in short supply. But for those home barbers just starting out, you need to make sure that you have all your bases covered when it comes to the essential supplies. In this kit you get the following:
- 12 cutting guides (including left and right ear tapers)
- 2 hair clips
- Brow and ear hair trim guides
- 2 combs (one barber comb and one style comb)
- Blade brush and blade oil
- Soft storage case
- Styling cape
- Instructions on using the clipper and trimmer
While the list is long we want to call out a few small features that really speak to the quality. First the styling cape, unlike other home kits that come with just a cheap plastic sheet that is akin to a trash bag, is actually a nice smooth nylon cape – like what the barbershops use.
Secondly, the cutting guides have easy-to-read numbers on the top of the guides making it easy for anyone to quickly grab. Not only does this save you some time (especially if you plan on cutting kids’ hair) but it also prevents mistakes from happening.
- Cordless hair clippers made right
Unlike other hair clippers that rely on a Ni-MH battery that takes a day to get a full charge, the haircutters included in this kit rely on a powerful Lithium-Ion battery. Able to get a quick charge in only 10 minutes and able to retain a charge for an entire year, you will never have charging anxiety when using this clipper.
Should the device ever lose power while in the middle of a haircut, you can simply plug it in, use the shears for the other part of the head, and continue where you left off shortly thereafter with a minimum charge.
- Trimmers are versatile
One of the things we really like about this kit is that it includes a small trimmer. This trimmer is great for working the details. Whether it’s detailing the sideburns, removing neck hair, or providing shape for the neckline, the small size makes it easy to work the contours.
Other Noteworthy Features:
- In addition to cutting head hair, ability to cut both brow and ear hair is a welcome surprise
- Taper lever on side of clipper makes it easy to provide both texture and a fade
- When fully charged, the device has a 2-hour battery life
- A wide array of cutting guides can cut hair to any length
- Comes with a 5-year warranty on the clipper and 2-year warranty on the trimmer
- Trimmer and clipper comes with everything you need
- Backed by a multi-year warranty
- The robust battery lasts for hours
- Can also be used for light body grooming
- Not designed for professional use
What You Need To Know
Top Award: Best Vacuum Clippers
- In body vacuum container to house clippings
- Self-sharpening blades are made from stainless steel
- Works on both 120V and 240V outlets
Anybody looking for easier cleanup when cutting hair.
When it comes to hair clipper technology, very little advancements beyond motor power have been made over the years. While Wahl was the first to introduce a clipper with a vacuum in 1965 (source), Remington has taken this design-forward with this haircut kit.
- Vacuum catches 90% of clipped hair
Now it’s important to set expectations for this trimmer right away. It will not catch all the clippings – Remington even admits this. However, if you are cutting hair in a small apartment or in an area where you want to keep the clippings to a minimum, then this will be a lifesaver.
In order to work both efficiently and effectively, the Remington has two motors in the body – one for cutting and one to power the vacuum. While this creates a larger power draw (hence why it only comes as a corded clipper), it is one of the reasons why it is able to perform a bit more effectively – especially when compared to similarly designed beard trimmers.
- DIY barber friendly
From the 18 pieces that are included in this kit to the removable blade that allows for easy cleanup, the Remington Vacuum Haircut Kit is a fine little machine for home clipping. While not as robust as some of the other kits we reviewed, it has the essentials in order to get decent results.
- Self-sharpening blades help to increase product lifespan
Unlike Andis and Wahl trimmers where the blades are held in by a set of screws that allow you to replace when necessary, the cutting blade on this device cannot be replaced which is a notable disadvantage. However, to offset this, Remington smartly made the stainless steel blades self-sharpening. Unlike other clippers that dull with time, the self-sharpening blades will ensure that the hair doesn’t tear as it is being cut. This will help to prevent split ends and generally poor results.
Other Noteworthy Features:
- Works on both 120 and 240 voltage outlets (purchase of separate wall adapter required)
- Able to be easily used on beards
- 6 guide combs + 2 ear taper combs included in the kit
- Great home clippers for people who want to minimize clippings on the ground
- Self-sharpening blades extend product life
- Great budget pick for those looking to save money on devices
- No taper adjusters will limit technique
What You Need To Know
Top Award: Cheapest Hair Clippers
- The extremely affordable price point makes it great for budget-minded barbers
- No-frills design makes it approachable for the beginner barber
- Cuts hair to length quickly
Anyone looking to skip the barbershop and save a few bucks by doing it themselves.
This simple no-frills home barber kit by Conair is a perfect starter set for those DIY barbers that are looking to not only save a few bucks on their monthly haircut, but to also save a few extra dollars by going with a budget-friendly, yet complete, home haircut kit.
- All the essentials are included
From the trimmer to the shears, the Conair home hair kit has all the things you need for a complete hair cut. Included in this set you will get the following:
- 4 cutting guides
- 2 ear taper guides (left + right ear)
- Barber comb with thin and wide-set teeth openings
- Cleaning brush
- Blade guard
Notably absent from this kit will be the barber cape, storage case, and hair clips. While each one of these on their own is fairly cheap to buy individually, their absence from the kit is noticeable.
- Warranty provides additional peace of mind
One surprising feature you will find with the Conair Simple Cut is the lengthy warranty coverage. Covered under a 2-year limited warranty, it surpasses even some of the professional recommendations on our list.
- Limited hairstyles
While the trimmer is robust and relies on an electromagnetic motor (a motor found in many of the premium clippers), it doesn’t include a taper lever. Therefore fades will be impossible and you are severely limited on hairstyles based on the cutting guides.
Now if you are cutting children’s hair, this likely won’t be a huge problem as you have limited time to cut hair (since kids won’t sit still for long). So the guides will be fine here. However, if you are cutting a man’s hair and can work on a hairstyle for extended periods, the lack of a taper lever may prove frustrating.
Other Noteworthy Features:
- With an average price of under $25 – it’s incredibly cheap
- Corded power so you never have to worry about battery life
- Great for cutting kids hair
- Six guides provide limited flexibility in hair length – but should work for most
- Significantly cheaper than the competition
- Stainless steel blades retain sharpness
- A good option for basic hair cuts
- Will get warm after an extended runtime
- The non-ergonomic body may cause strain on wrists
What You Need To Know
Top Award: Beginner Friendly Hair Clippers
- Color coated guides provide easy use
- Travel-friendly design
- Can function as a beard trimmer in a pinch
Anyone looking for a no-frills cordless hair clipper that gets the job done.
The Wahl Color Pro is a perfect clipper for those that like to take matters into their own hands. Designed for home and travel use, this clipper offers a no-frills design that makes it easy for just about anyone to use.
- Color-coordinated guides make it dead-simple to use
One of the most notable features on the Wahl Color Pro Cordless Hair Clippers will be the color coated guides. With each color for a different length, you can easily and quickly grab a guide and get to work.
But instead of just remembering the color of the guide, Wahl has smartly placed a color key on the handle of the unit itself so you can see just how short you will be buzzing the hair.
- Designed for international use
Whether you are a road warrior going on another business trip or you simply find yourself traveling the world often, the Wahl Pro is a great travel companion for extended trips. Able to be used with both 110-220V, you don’t have to worry about compatibility.
On a full charge of the device, you can expect the battery to last about 60 minutes.
- In spite of its popularity, there are noteworthy downsides
Unlike other Wahl devices we reviewed, the Color Pro does have a few major downsides that you should be aware of.
The biggest drawback of this cordless hair clipper is the battery itself. Unlike other Wahl devices we reviewed that rely on a lithium-ion battery, this cordless clipper relies on a Ni-MH battery. Requiring a 12-15 hour charge before use, it’s not a clipper you can quickly pick up and use right away. Now to counter this downside, Wahl does state that it can be used while plugged in.
The second major downside to this device is that it doesn’t include a taper adjustment. Therefore its effectiveness at smooth fades will be mediocre at best.
Other Noteworthy Features:
- Comes with a soft storage case that is travel friendly
- A favorite for home barbers that are looking for a value clipper
- Tough body design should withstand some drops
- Designed to cut head hair, but also works on beards
- Color coated guides great for beginners just starting to cut hair
- The multi-purpose device makes it great for travel use
- Lightweight and runs fairly quiet
- No taper adjustment
- Long battery charging time
What You Need To Know
11 Other Hair Clippers Reviewed
If you are a professional barber that values mobility, then the Wahl Cordless 5-Star Magic Clip is simply one of the best bets out there – especially if you are looking for clippers for fading. Relying on a large lithium-ion battery that has a 90-minute run time, you can go through a lot of grooming sessions before it needs to be recharged. When the clipper does need to be charged, don’t worry, you can still use it while it’s plugged in. Found in hair salons across the country, it’s easy to see why barbers love this professional hair clipper – not only does it work well for the hair on the top of the head, but they are also terrific clippers for fading as well.
- Ergonomic grip
- The metal housing is durable
- A long lever allows these to be one of the best clippers for fades
- Clipper comes with 3 cutting guides, lubricating oil, brush, and instruction manual
Also known simply as the Classic 76, this professional hair clipper by Oster relies on a universal motor that is designed to cut through the thickest of hair with ease. Thanks to the included 000 and 1 sized detachable blades, you can cut to your preferred length every time. With an unbreakable body design and 9′ long power cord, the Oster Classic 76 is made for professional hair salons that see heavy foot traffic day-in and day-out.
- Includes clipper grease, lubricating oil, blade oil, cleaning brush, and blade guard
- Hanging loop allows for easy storage between uses
- Gentle on the skin and scalp
- Perfect for tapering
- Universal motor designed to last a long time
With a high-torque motor and cordless design, this machine will undoubtedly turn heads when used in a professional hair salon. While the gold case is quite bold, especially when compared to the more conservative clippers reviewed, the performance of these clippers speaks for itself.
Relying on quality components like a lithium-ion battery, titanium blades, Ferrari-designed engine, it’s a top consideration for many and is quickly gaining a good reputation within the industry.
- Brushless motor improves efficiency and extends clipper life
- A great alternative to other professional clippers
- 5 detent taper control
- Works internationally
Able to cut down to skin level, the Wahl Professional 5-Star Balding Clipper is great for fades. Like the other Wahl Clipper we reviewed (5-Star Legend), their balding clipper features an ergonomic design and a powerful motor. Check out our full review of this balding clipper here.
- Wide cutting blade area makes for fewer passes
- 8′ long cord length
- Can easily cut through several types of hair
- Simple on/off power switch
- High motor speed
5. Wahl Peanut
Great for touch-ups and maneuvering tight contours, the Wahl Peanut is a small little clipper that delivers surprisingly good results. The lack of a taper lever makes it tough for blending or smooth fades. It includes several guide combs.
- 4 length settings with guard combs
- The simple design allows for ease of use
- Cuts through all types of hair
Whether you are shaving chest hair or sideburns, this complete grooming kit is great for touch-ups. While it doesn’t feature the same powerful motor found in a dedicated hair clipper, it’s a great investment for guys who want to keep unruly body hair in check.
- Can trim hair, beards, and mustaches
- Perfect to prevent gadget clutter in the bathroom
- Covers smaller surface area making it great for general body trimming
Relying on a lithium battery, the Panasonic ER-GP80 cordless clipper is great for home users. With 1-hour battery life, you are sure to get your DIY haircut done in time. The blades have carbon fiber and titanium coating. Guard sizes are limited and the clipper body doesn’t have a taper lever (instead, a taper dial) may take some getting used to. Able to cut down to a short stubble, it should be great for men who normally suffer skin irritation with traditional clippers.
- Control dial to adjust the cutting length
- The lightweight casing prevents fatigue
- A simple button on/off switch
Able to be zero gapped, this trimmer is great for stylists who want to achieve clean and close cuts. While its major downside is due to the limited use, this little detailer is perfect for edging and hair tattooing. An essential tool for professionals.
- T-blade allows for clean corners and trimming necklines
- Made from quality and durable materials
- Rotary motor blade
The biggest pain with home haircuts is the cleanup. In order to make it a bit easier, the Remington HC6550 has a vacuum built into the body in order to catch 95% of clippings – which is a game changer. While not perfect, it’s an innovation that is welcomed. While there are some drawbacks regarding its motor power (making it not perfect for men with thick hair follicles), it will still get the job done.
- Comes with all necessary equipment for a haircut
- Rinse head underwater for easy cleanup
- Designed for home use
Including everything you need, this home hair clipper is perfect for the DIY barbers looking to save some money. With self-sharpening carbon steel blades, it can get both smooth and great results. With a high blade speed and ergonomic grip, it is perfect for beginners looking to cut hair for the entire family. Instructions for home use are included.
- Includes plenty of accessories
- No-frills design
- Can be used for body grooming
Competing head-on with the Wahl 5-Star Magic Clip and Wahl Super Taper II, the Andis Fade Master ranks up there as one of the best clippers for fades. With an adjustable blade that can go between 00000 to 000 and also be zero gapped, you can easily cut to skin level and several increments upwards. The Fade Master relies on a magnetic motor that operates at a staggering 14,000 SPM.
- Clipper comes with just blade oil and a blade guard
- Single-speed motor
- Corded power source
4. Must-Have Accessories for Your New Hair Clippers
Whether you have professional or home clippers, it’s important to clean the blade regularly. One way to clean the blade (other than a simple brush) is by using a cleaning spray such as the Andis Cool Care Clipper Blade Cleaner. This clipper spray not only blasts away dirt and germs from the clipper head, but it also helps to remove debris such as skin flakes and clipped hair. It should work with virtually all clipper models and should satisfy state requirements when it comes to using a disinfectant between clients.
2. Cleaning Kit
A cleaning kit, such as that pictured above, offers a variety of stiff bristle brushes and tools to free the clipper of any jammed hair. A cleaning brush can be helpful in extending the life of the clipper by allowing for full blade oscillation.
3. Hair Shears
A quality pair of hair shears will be able to cut through hair effortlessly while providing you with plenty of leverage for both comfort and control. While some barber shears can cost several hundred dollars, if you are DIY barber, even a pair of $30 shears can make a notable difference in the final results. While the included shears in some hair clipper kits are better than nothing, if budget allows, we recommend making the upgrade here.
Blade or clipper oil extends the life of the clipper by allowing for a much smoother stroke of the cutting blade. Most manufacturers recommend that the blade of the clipper is oiled with each use.
Hair Clipper FAQs
Can hair clippers cut you?
Hair clippers are able to cut or nip your skin. In order to prevent this from happening, the blade must be positioned perpendicular to the skin so the cutting blade doesn’t come in contact – instead, the fixed blade touches the skin first.
Can hair clippers be sharpened?
Hair clippers can be sharpened with the proper tools. Should you live in a larger city, you can often find someone local that specializes in such services. Simply searching ‘blade sharpening service’ or ‘clipper sharpening’ into Google or Yelp may yield some results.
Can hair clippers be used on dogs?
Human hair clippers are designed differently than those that are used on dogs or other pets. Pet grooming clippers have a lower noise so they won’t bother the dog’s sensitive hearing along with snag-free blades so as to not injure or irritate the dog.
Can hair clippers be carried on a plane?
According to the TSA, hair clippers can be stored in your hand luggage, carry-on luggage, or checked luggage when traveling.
Can hair clippers cause folliculitis?
Yes, hair clippers, especially those found at barbershops can cause folliculitis. Also known as “barber’s itch” folliculitis is inflammation in the hair follicle due to bacterial infection (source). Before the barber gets to work cutting your hair, make sure that they use a cleaning spray prior to trimming as it will help to remove any surface bacteria – barbers are often required by state law to be doing this already (source).
Can hair clippers transmit HIV?
According to this recently published study on the NIH website, researchers found that 42% of hair clippers in barbershops showed evidence of blood on the cutting blade. No clippers in the study showed the presence of HIV and further research is needed.
Can hair clippers be used for beards?
While you can use hair clippers on your facial hair, it isn’t recommended. Hair clippers have a much wider cutting head when compared to beard trimmers, which will make it much tougher to navigate the natural contours of your face, specifically under the nose and along the jawline. Also, the cutting guides found on hair trimmers don’t have as small as steps when compared to a beard trimmer making it a challenge to get the proper cutting length to suit your preferences.
What is the difference between a hair clipper and a hair trimmer?
The differences between hair clippers and trimmers are distinct. Hair clippers are used for cutting the bulk of the hair on the head. Hair trimmers, however, are used for shaping the hairline, sides, and wispy hairs. Hair trimmers are often smaller in size while also having a smaller set of cutting teeth as well.
Are clippers bad for your hair?
Unlike shears, hair clippers cut through your hair in a much more aggressive manner. Most beauty experts recommend only using clippers on the side of head hair as it can cause split ends – especially if the blades on the clipper are dull.
Which hair clippers do barbers use?
A professional hairstylist will often use high powered clippers that are powered by an electromagnetic motor. This motor type runs cooler and delivers consistent results.
How long do hair clippers last?
With regular cleaning and maintenance, a hair clipper can last for years. When buying clippers from large brands such as Wahl or Andis, you can also buy replacement cutting blades that greatly extend the life of the device.
Is it better to cut hair with scissors or clippers?
It depends. Hair shears are great for cutting hair on top of the head and provide greater control when trying to achieve a particular style. However, if you are trying to get a smooth fade or buzz cut, then there is no beating a hair clipper.
Can you use clippers without an attachment?
Yes, you can use clippers without an attachment. The taper lever on the side allows for increment levels. Note that even on the longest setting, using just the blade cut will result in a really short haircut.
How do you replace the cutting blade on clippers?
The cutting blade on most professional hair clippers can be replaced with a screwdriver. You just will need to make sure that when you buy a replacement blade that you find the right size for your model and simply unscrew the old blade and insert the new one.
Does the material of the cutting blade matter?
Both stainless and carbon steel have their own unique advantages. A stainless steel blade will often last longer as it naturally resists corrosion, whereas a carbon blade is harder but may start to show signs of corrosion if exposed to water for extended periods.
Is it worth getting a clipper kit?
If you are buying a clipper for home cuts, then going with a clipper kit is recommended as it will contain all the necessary accessories (i.e. shears, guides, apron, hair ties, storage box, etc.). However, if you are a professional barber, you are better off getting a clipper designed for your specialty hair style (i.e. fade clippers, foil shaver, etc.).
Where can you buy hair clippers?
Hair clippers can be purchased from multiple retailer sites which include the following:
- Sally Beauty
- Home Depot
- Best Buy
Hair clippers can also be purchased directly from the company:
Are hair clippers and beard trimmers the same?
While similar, hair clippers and beard trimmers are different in many subtle ways. Hair clippers have a wider cutting head to cover a larger surface area, whereas a beard trimmer is narrower in order to trim around the nose, lip, and jawline areas. Trying to use a hair trimmer on your mustache will be extremely difficult given how narrow the area is.
Are hair clippers easy to use?
Hair clippers are fairly easy to use so long as you understand the basics of hair cutting. Luckily, many skilled barbers have shared their techniques on popular video platforms like YouTube in great detail.
When were hair clippers invented?
Hair clippers were invented by Leo Wahl in 1921 (source). Leo Wahl went on to start the Wahl Clipper Corporation which still operates to this day.
Hair Clippers vs. 3 Other Cutting Options
While the focus of this guide was hair clippers, in your search you will undoubtedly come across other similar trimmers and you may have a few questions. To help you make sense of it all, here’s how hair clippers differ from other similar devices:
Hair Clippers vs. Hair Trimmers
Both of these are designed to cut the hair on the top of your head. However, that’s where their similarities end:
- Are made to cut long hair to a shorter length.
- Feature a wider cutting head when compared to the hair trimmer.
- Will often feature a more comfortable grip for extended use.
- Are made to cut the details around the neckline, ears, and front of the head.
- Have narrower teeth in order to reduce the risk of nips and cuts of the skin.
- Smaller dimensions allow for greater control and accuracy.
Hair Clippers vs. Balding Clippers
Here’s a quick look at how traditional barber clippers and balding clippers differ from one another:
- Come with a taper adjustment lever for fades
- Combs included cutting at several lengths
- Corded and cordless power options available
- Made to cut down to skin level (typically less than 1mm in length).
- Can comfortably come in contact with the scalp without burning or causing irritation
- Some versions may or may not come with an adjustment lever
Hair Clippers vs. Beard Trimmers
Some hair clippers are marketed to be used as a beard trimmer, but are they the same?
- A wider set head and wider teeth is designed for dense patches of hair
- Taper for fades
- Different motor options for all hair textures
- Typically a pivot or rotary motor for thicker and coarser hair texture
- Narrow cutting head to navigate tight contours of the face
- Almost always cordless
- Fine-tuned adjustment levels for personal preference
- Rounded plastic cutting guides to prevent poking and prodding of skin
Thinking about upgrading your beard trimmer, check out our detailed reviews of the top beard trimmers.
Hair Clippers vs. Body Groomers
You could take a hair clipper to your body, but should you?
- Sharp carbon or titanium cutting teeth must be used at certain angles to prevent nips and cuts to the skin.
- May run hot after being used for an extended period of time.
- Larger build makes it harder to grip when reaching for tough areas.
- Cutting heads made of softer plastic or rubber to prevent poking of the delicate skin underarms and groin area.
- Limited length settings.
- Cordless design allows for use in a wet setting (i.e. shower).
- Some offer extended handles so you can shave your back and lower leg with ease.
We don’t recommend trying to use a hair clipper for body grooming. If you want to trim the hair on your chest, back, or balls, pick up a body hair trimmer instead.
Our Criteria for Choosing the Best Hair Clippers
When we set out to find the perfect hair clippers for men, we thought it was going to be a straightforward assignment. However, after looking closely at the diverse set of features, design, motor, etc. finding the best clipper was a challenge.
However, after carefully reviewing all the options across several different categories of use, we are confident that our list above reflects one of the most comprehensive and complete guides currently available. Whether you are looking for the best barber clippers or those for home use, you should find some great options presented above.
We hope that the information in this guide proved useful in finding the best clipper to meet your unique needs.