Powerful, durable, and well-respected among professionals. Rugged motor delivers exceptional performance. Great for buzz and military-style cuts.
Somewhat bulky and awkward; could be more challenging for users with smaller hands.
Value-priced Wahl clippers with a generous set of accessories that includes 12 comb guards. Easy to use, even for those who are new to at-home hair cuts. Blade is sharp and motor is powerful.
Trimmer that comes with it isn't as durable as the clippers. Some defective models reported.
Clipper has a powerful motor with a convenient thumb-control switch. Blade is adjustable for custom trim. Delivers 14,000 strokes per minute for salon-quality results.
Expensive. Requires cleaning and oiling with every use.
Combination of 7 comb guards and an easy-to-use adjustment wheel help you achieve preferred results. Waterproof and rechargeable. Affordable price.
Battery life isn't impressive. Very coarse hair challenges the blades. A few reports of clippers that quit working unexpectedly.
From the professional line by Wahl. Reliably sharp blades are easy to adjust and produce expert-looking results. Great for use on the scalp and for fading and tapering.
Some customers gripe about clippers that arrived looking scuffed and used. Includes just 3 comb guards.
A word of caution up front — using hair clippers is not always as easy as you may think, which means a good set of clippers is essential. They will help you get an even crew cut and may even help you perfect a fade, so choose wisely — you may have to spend a bit more for these high-end products, although you will be saving a bundle by bypassing the barber.
The professional level clippers often come with a variety of combs and keys to get the right cut, but if you are looking for simpler trims and touch-ups, simpler versions are available. Rechargeable battery-operated clippers that are cordless are generally easier to use, especially for smaller jobs and if you are using them on yourself. We looked at a variety of tools across the board, looking at versatility as well as how well the product worked for its intended use.
Whichever you choose, we recommend keeping your clippers clean and oiled for longer life and better usage.
Rotary motor hair clippers are light, powerful, durable, and quiet. While on the pricey side, they are favored by professionals for their versatility and because they can be used all day without overheating.
Rotary motor hair clippers work well on both thick and fine hair types. They are the only hair clippers that can be set to different speeds.
Magnetic motor hair clippers are a solid choice — the majority of home hair clippers are this type.
You get an extremely smooth cut on fine and lightly textured hair with magnetic motor hair clippers, but they can struggle with thick and coarse hair. They require little to no maintenance.
With their extremely fast-moving blades, they have a tendency to run hot.
Pivot motor hair clippers have a high cutting speed but a low blade speed.
The blades move in both directions, meaning you get double the amount of blade strokes compared to other kinds of clippers. They are also up to four times faster than magnetic motor varieties.
If you have thick hair or like to clip your hair when it’s wet, pivot motor hair clippers are an excellent option.
If you’ve ever been to a barbershop, you probably know that standard clipper haircuts are often referred to by numbers. This is because most clippers come with eight numbered guide combs, which adjust the length of the cut. However, some modern hair clippers have a built-in guide, which you adjust via a numbered slide or dial on the outside of the unit.
Since you’re going to be cutting hair yourself, it’s important you know what these numbers mean so you don't end up going too long or — worse — too short.
Number 1 — ⅛ inch
Number 2 — ¼ inch
Number 3 — ⅜ inch
Number 4 — ½ inch
Number 5 — ⅝ inch
Number 6 — ¾ inch
Number 7 — ⅞ inch
Number 8 — 1 inch
You can also use your hair clippers without a guide comb at all, to get an extremely close-cropped result — this is known as a “number 0” or simply a “0.”
Most basic models have blades that are stainless steel, which is a good material for hair clippers as it’s rust-resistant and holds a sharp edge.
Higher-end clippers have blades coated with titanium or carbon, which can improve longevity and performance.
And some high-end models have ceramic blades, which are extremely sharp and don’t dull easily but can be fragile.
There is not much difference in performance between cordless and corded hair clippers.
However, cordless models will only run as long as the battery holds out, whereas corded models will run as long as you need them to.
Decide whether you prefer the convenience of going cordless or the ability to keep on clipping until you’re done.
All clippers should give you the ability to trim hair to a variety of lengths: a close buzz cut, a longer crop, or short back and sides with a longer trim on the top.
Some hair clippers have adjustable settings on the side of the unit, while others use guide combs, which you slip over the blades to adjust the trim length.
Look for hair clippers that come with storage, such as a bag or a case, so you can keep the clippers together with their blades and guide combs.
That way, you won’t have to go searching your house for the right blades and accessories before each haircut.
Basic hair clippers cost about $10 to $30. At the high end of this range, you can find a handful of gems, which are great for occasional use or shaping up a professional haircut. The cheapest models may perform fairly poorly, though.
Models in the $30 to $60 price range are good for regular home use. However, they may not perform quite as well as high-end types or come with as many accessories.
Expect to pay $70 to $150 for high-end home hair clippers and $70+ for professional-grade models. These clippers are fast, durable, and lightweight, plus they perform exceptionally well. They come with a wide range of blades and other accessories.
It’s useful to know what “number” cut you like. Use the guide combs or settings on the side of your hair clippers to find the number for your perfect length.
After using your hair clippers, brush your hair in the opposite direction to reveal any odd hairs you might have missed.
If you want to cut your own hair, make sure your hair clippers have a swiveling cutting head, and always use mirrors to check the back of your head.
Q. Which types of hair clippers are best for cutting my own hair?
A. If you aim to use your clippers on yourself, look for a model with a swiveling cutting head, which will make it easier to get to those hard-to-reach areas. Select a lightweight model to avoid arm fatigue from bending into awkward positions to reach the back of your head.
Q. Can I use hair clippers to cut pet hair?
A. You can clip your pet with regular hair clippers, but we don’t recommend it unless you know what you’re doing. However, if you’re confident in your pet-grooming abilities, human hair clippers will do the job just fine, but be sure to opt for quiet clippers with a low vibration.
Q. What accessories do I need with my hair clippers?
A. That depends on a number of factors, including the styles you’re going for and what make and model of hair clipper you have. Popular accessories include combs, cleaning brushes, scissors, and blade oil. Some clippers come with a range of accessories, but with other clippers you have to purchase accessories separately.
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