10 Best Professional Barber Clippers For A Classy Haircut

Everyone needs hair care. Whether it’s as basic as a haircut or a more extensive styling process, there’s always been and always will be a market for it… and people are willing to pay a lot of money for it.

Buying quality hair cutting tools is essential, because it could spell the difference between a good and a bad haircut… So when buying a pair of the best barber clippers, you want to be confident they’re going to last. One of the prime staples of any barber’s arsenal, barber clippers are the key to any good buzzcut.

But with so many models on the market, it can be hard to find a good clipper.

Should you choose a home or professional clipper? Cordless or corded? Cheap or high-end?

I’ve gone ahead and answered these questions along, compiling the ten best barber clippers available, taking a deep look into the capabilities of each.

While writing this review, I spent hours scouring all the latest releases and I even bought a few clippers to try out first-hand. As a result this is probably the most in-depth and accurate list on the net, so if you’ve ever wanted to take your hair into your own hands; here’s how!

Table Of Contents

Best Professional Hair Clippers & Trimmers Comparison

ModelRunning TimeIncludesFeatures / Great ForPrice
Wahl 5-Star Magic Clip 814890 Minutes8 CombsBarbers & Stylists Check Price
Oster Classic 76 ClipperCorded6 AttachmentHeavy duty use Check Price
Wahl Peanut Clipper/TrimmerCorded4 CombsPowerful rotary motor Check Price
Wahl Lithium Ion Clippers2 Hours10 CombsInclude detail trimmer Check Price
Wahl Lithium Ion+ 98184 Hours12 Guards4 Different head Check Price
Wahl Color Pro Trimmer 964960 Minutes8 CombsColor coded combs Check Price
Wahl Clipper Elite ProCorded10 CombsHeavy duty motor Check Price
Wahl Chrome Pro Barber KitCorded30 Piece Kit2 Extra trimmer Check Price
Oster Fast Feed ClipperCorded4 CombsWet or Dry use Check Price
Wahl Peanut Classic ClipperCorded4 CombsPowerful rotary motor Check Price

Our Top Ten Best Barber Clippers

Whether you’re an aspiring barber or you just want to give haircuts to your friends and family, this list contains everything you need to know on the ten best barber clippers on the market.

Wahl Professional 5-Star Magic Clip #8148

Our very first clipper comes from a titan of the industry. Wahl has always made quality products, and their Cordless Magic Clip is no exception.

The Magic Clip comes in a standard Wahl clipper’s body. It weighs only ten ounces, making it an easy thing to grip and move. To perform its magic, it’s got a rotary motor driving a stainless steel #2161 stagger-tooth crunch blade, a combination that lets it cut through even thick and coarse hair.

Wahl Professional 5-Star Magic Clip #8148

You’ve got two options for length control. Eight combs are provided, ranging from cutting lengths from 1/16″ on the shortest to 1″ on the longest. For fine adjustments, there’s a taper lever on the left side of the clipper that lets you adjust the blade position. This makes it excellent for blending and fading.

Power is supplied by a lithium-ion battery that gives you 90 minutes of runtime from 2 hours of charge. That should be enough for most haircuts, but if you run short, it can also run corded. Just plug the cord in at the tail and head back into it. The battery also provides constant power no matter its charge level, so you have no need to worry about it weakening over time. The other items in the box include the charger, a blade guard, and blade oil and a cleaning brush for maintenance.

There are still some downsides even in a product as excellent as the Magic Clip. Care is warranted when using the short setting on your taper lever with no comb because the blades are very sharp. You may cut into the skin if you push too hard. Also, the Magic Clip lacks a battery indicator, which means you’ll have to keep track of how long you’ve been cutting.

Get Wahl Magic Clip at Amazon

It’s hard to find a combination like the Magic Clip has: a powerful motor that can cut through anything it encounters, versatile cutting ability, and a long-lasting battery, all put together in such a super light weight package.

No matter whether you’re a home barber or a professional one, no matter whose hair your cutting, you can always count on the Magic Clip.

Oster Classic 76 Universal Motor Clipper 76076010

No guide to barber clippers is complete without mentioning Oster and their Classic 76. Every barber knows the name, and many swear by it, for good reason!

Just the body alone is a throwback. The red-brown casing is a noticeably vintage style, and it’s a chunky little device, weighing in at 1.7 pounds. It’s easy to grip, with the ribs along the middle of the body, and the casing itself is made of tough valox resin, making it practically unbreakable.

OSTER Classic 76 Universal Motor Clipper 76076010

Inside that red-brown case is a powerful rotary motor that drives the blades at a steady clip. It can cope with any volume or thickness of hair and never once slow down. Going with the motor, you get two stainless steel blades: a size 1 and a size 000. The size #1 blade cuts hair to 2.4mm, while the size #000 leaves 0.5mm behind it. Both of these undergo Oster’s Cryotech process to ensure optimal durability and longevity.

Length is controlled in two ways. The blades are easily detachable, so you can switch between the two you already have, and you can buy other blades that cut to specific lengths. Alternatively, you can also purchase Oster’s universal combs.

It’s corded-only, with a 9-foot heavy-duty cord. This is a foot over the usual, so you have a little extra room to work with. You also get blade oil, clipper grease, a cleaning brush, and a blade guard: all you need for maintenance.

Get OSTER Classic 76 at Amazon

Like all things, the Classic 76 has its downsides. It’s bulky and it’s noisy, but these are just consequences of its powerful cutting ability. Where it truly falls short is in length control. You can buy more blades and combs, but it would have been nice to have them bundled into the package instead of having to buy them separately.

That one fault aside, there’s a reason the Classic 76 has its place in barbershops. It’s a powerful and competent clipper that can face any challenge you throw at it.

Wahl Professional Peanut Clipper/Trimmer #8655-200

Compared to our previous two products, the Wahl Peanut doesn’t look like much. It’s a tiny, four-ounce machine that looks more like a trimmer than an actual clipper. Its casing even lives up to its name, shaped and patterned like a peanut.

Wahl Professional Peanut #8655-200

But that peanut shell hides a capability out of proportion to its size. Inside is a rotary motor that packs a punch while staying cool and quiet. It drives a one-inch-wide #2068-300 blade made specifically for the Peanut, whose quality is very near that of Wahl’s professional blades.

You also get four combs: 1/8″, 1/4″, 3/8″, and 1/2″. Unlike the Magic Clip, there’s no taper lever, so you may need to exercise some creativity to get a longer cut.

The Peanut is corded-only, running off a 7-foot cord, one foot shorter than standard. You also get the usual set of maintenance implements: blade oil, cleaning brush, and blade guard.

Its small size lets it do some tricks other clippers can’t. It can get at tight spaces easier, and has an easier time clipping around the ears and doing light work. It’s also less intimidating to children compared to a big scary full-sized clipper. The Peanut is also versatile enough to be used to trim facial hair, which is a bonus that’s hard to overlook.

Get Wahl Peanut Clipper at Amazon

However, the body small size also works against it. The motor is a touch underpowered, which makes the Peanut ‘chew’ on hair before cutting. A smaller blade size means you cut less hair per stroke and therefore it can take longer to complete a haircut. Also, if you’ve got large hands, you may find it hard to get a good grip. The last is the easiest to remedy: grip with your fingers instead of your palm, as this also makes for easier maneuvering.

Overall, the Wahl Peanut 8655 is an excellent clipper for its size. When you need something that can fit into a small travel bag, or a clipper that won’t scare children, or that can easily do fine detail work, the Peanut is a perfect choice.

Wahl Lithium Ion Cordless Rechargeable Hair Clippers #79600-2101

Where our last Wahl clipper was still reliant on a cord, this one isn’t. The Lithium Ion Pro 79600-2101 is one of Wahl’s newer products, showing just how much a lithium-ion battery can do these days.

Wahl Lithium Ion Hair Cutting Kit #79600-2101

The Lithium Ion Pro departs from the usual Wahl clipper body, encased in a sleek, rounded black-and-silver shell. It weighs a little under a pound and fits nicely in the hand. It’s still a Wahl at heart, carrying a powerful rotary motor driving a set of carbon-steel self-sharpening blades. This combination ensures that you’ve got enough power to make it through any sort of hair no matter how dense it is.

You have two options for length control. The usual combs are there: ten of them from 1/16″ at the shortest to 1″ at the longest. Fine length adjustments are performed with the taper lever on the left side. You also get two ear taper combs, making it easier to cut around that area, as well as trim guides for the eyebrow and the ear.

It lives up to its name in power capability. It only runs cordless, with a 2-hour battery life and a 3-hour charge time. It also comes with a bonus quick-charge feature: fifteen minutes plugged in gets twelve minutes of use, perfect for an emergency haircut or if you run out of charge mid-clip.

The box comes with some extras. There’s a separate trimmer for the spaces the clipper can’t fit, powered by two AA batteries (not included in the package). It also comes with two blade guards (one each for the clipper and the trimmer), the charger, two hair clips, two combs, scissors, a barber’s cape, and a soft storage case to hold everything. A cleaning brush and blade oil round out the package for your maintenance needs.

Its main downside is battery issues. The clipper’s performance never degrades at any point in its battery life, but the three-hour charge time is a pain; we recommend plugging it in between haircuts. The trimmer doesn’t last long on its AA batteries, so best have some spares ready if you plan on using it regularly.

All that said, the Lithium Ion Pro serves well at the barbershop and on-the -go. The included trimmer lets you get into to the small spaces the clipper might struggle with, and the combs and taper lever give you a lot of control to shape a hairstyle. You honestly can’t go wrong with the Lithium Ion Pro.

Wahl Stainless Steel Lithium Ion+ #9818

Most clippers are specialist tools, intended to cut hair quickly and easily, or focus on a specific function. Wahl’s Lithium Ion Plus goes in the other direction: It’s a versatile generalist that can fill a lot of roles, making it excellent value for money.

Wahl Stainless Steel Lithium Model 9818

It lives up to the Stainless Steel part of its name, with a rounded body for easy grip, and it weighs just under a pound.

The versatility comes from its head options. It comes with a detachable mount that lets you switch out the clipper blade for any of three other heads. The standard blade handles typical cutting and trimming. The detail trimmer with its smaller head can perform precise detail work. The detail shaver is for when you want as close a shave as possible. The ear and nose trimmer cuts the hairs the other heads can’t reach.

You get twelve combs: a set of eight standard combs from 1/8th inch to 1 inch, and four stubble combs. There’s no taper lever, so it’s up to the stubble combs to perform fades.

It runs off a lithium-ion battery and is cordless-only. Battery life is four hours, and charge time is only an hour. You also have a one-minute quick-charge for three minutes of working time if you run low.

You also get a few more extras: blade oil, cleaning brush, beard comb, and a storage case. If you’re worried about it switching on while it’s in the case, there’s a travel lock on the tail of the clipper’s body. Just insert the included bright red plug, and remove it when you’re ready to use.

There are three main downsides to the Lithium Ion Plus. In terms of performance, it’s the curse of the generalist; it can do a lot of things, but it can’t do any of them as well as a specialist. It’s also a little underpowered, so if you’re dealing with thick hair, you may need to take your time to cut through. Another is that it lacks any grip assistance, so the body can get slippery.

If you need a second clipper, or you want something that can do it all in one body, then the Lithium Ion Plus is the device for you.

Wahl Color Pro Cordless Rechargeable Hair Clipper & Trimmer #9649

This particular clipper from Wahl is typically marketed towards families, but it’s a good clipper for professional use as well. The Wahl Color Pro is a complete haircutting kit, containing 21 pieces to make a all-you-need package. Beyond the clipper itself, you also get 12 attachment combs, the charger, a blade guard, two hair combs, scissors, blade oil and a cleaning brush, and a soft storage case.

Wahl color pro model 9649

The clipper itself has a curved body that fits into the hand, a bright blue and white in front, while the back is black rubber for better grip. This houses one of Wahl’s rotary motors, providing steady power for the stainless steel blades. The blades are detachable and washable for easy cleaning.

The twelve included combs run the range from 1/16th inch on the shortest to 1 full inch on the longest. It also includes two ear tapers to help with haircuts around the ear. All the combs are color-coded: four of them (the two blending combs and the ear tapers) are black, while the standard-length combs each get their own color. The color key is on the front of the clipper, and once you’re used to the system, you can switch in the right comb length with just one glance.

Power is provided by a nickel-metal hydride battery with a 60-minute runtime. Charge time is 12 hours to full, but thankfully, you can also use it corded.

It’s got two major weaknesses. On the styling front, it has no taper lever, so you’ll have to rely on the short guards if you want to create a fade. Not a deal-breaker, but you lose out on options. The other is the battery; the long charge time almost took it off the list, saved only by the corded capability.

If you’re handling a lot of hair at home, or if you want a nice cheap kit to start with, then the Wahl Color Pro will serve you well.

Wahl Clipper Elite Pro Haircut & Grooming Kit #79602

Wahl consistently proves it can stay ahead of the clipper game with product releases such as Clipper Elite Pro Kit. When Wahl packs you a haircut and grooming kit, they don’t mess around.

Wahl Clipper Elite Pro Model 79602

It comes in its storage case, which is just part of the 21-piece barber’s kit. You get the clipper, ten attachment combs with a storage bag, a blade guard, and a cord wrap. For maintenance, there’s a brush and oil. You also get some standard barber’s tools: a cape, a comb, and a pair of scissors with a blade cover. This makes the Elite Pro a good choice if you’re starting your career as a barber.

The Elite Pro clipper itself isn’t exactly as light-weight as other clippers we’ve looked at in this article. It weighs a few ounces over a pound, featuring a powerful electromagnetic motor that drives a set of self-sharpening stainless steel blades. The motor is made heavier to overcome the power disadvantage an electromagnetic motor usually has, to better cut through dense hair. It also features a taper lever for better control of blade position.

Working with the taper lever is the included set of ten combs, from 1/16″ to 1″. However, the real benefit is in their composition. These are Wahl’s premium combs, made with tough plastic material and attaching with a stainless steel clip, attaching to the clipper nice and tight.

It’s corded-only, with an eight-foot heavy-duty industrial cord. The cord length is standard, but it’s less prone to curling on itself, and it’s easier to store with the cord wrap. Should you need to travel, the storage case makes packing up a lot easier.

Just about the only downsides are its size and its weight. The Elite Pro’s size means it has difficulty handling tight spaces, and its weight means that extended use might tire out your hand and wrist; you may wish to have a smaller unit on hand for the trickier areas. A smaller nitpick is that despite the excellent set of combs, Wahl hasn’t included any ear taper combs.

There are few kits better than the Wahl Elite Pro, and it’ll render sterling service no matter what hair you’re cutting, with a host of accessories to make you a versatile barber.

Wahl Chrome Pro Home Barber Clipper Kit #79524-3001

If you want to cut hair, you can’t go wrong with Wahl, which is why we’ve covered so many of their products in this guide. The Chrome Pro is part of a complete 30-piece kit.

Wahl Clipper Home Barber Clipper Kit #79524-3001

You heard that right, thirty pieces. Working devices are the clipper itself, a detail trimmer, and a personal trimmer with two separate heads. Grooming aids are twelve attachment combs, styling shears, a mirror, a cape, two hair clips, a barber comb, a styling comb, and a spray bottle. For maintenance, there’s the usual cleaning brush and clipper oil. You also get blade guards for the clipper and the detail trimmer, and a storage case to put everything into. Just like the Elite Pro and Color Pro, this is a good kit to get started with.

The clipper itself has a curved, easy-grip body with rubber pads in front and behind for best grip. It’s powered by a heavy-duty Powerdrive motor; it may be electromagnetic, but it’s got enough power to cut through most hair without snagging. The classic stainless steel self-sharpening blades are also there, providing excellent cutting performance.

Fine length control is achieved with the usual taper lever. You’ve got a good range on the combs: eight are standard, from 1/8th inch to 1 inch, plus taper combs for both ears and trim guides for the eyebrow and ear. You can pretty much achieve any style you want.

It’s powered by a 7-foot cord; a foot shorter than standard, but nothing too bad. You’ll also need three AA batteries for the trimmers: two in the detail trimmer, one in the personal trimmer.

The trimmers offer additional capability. The detail trimmer is intended to work the small spaces the main clipper can’t fit into, like the neckline, sideburns, and around the ears. The personal trimmer and its two detachable heads is for the really fine work, as well as ear and nose hair.

Yet even Wahl can’t be perfect, and the Chrome Pro kit has its shortcomings. This is mainly in the included trimmers. The personal trimmer is noisy and suffers from battery issues, while the detail trimmer tends to pull hair.

Beyond the trimmer problems, the Wahl Chrome Pro kit is a good kit to start you off with, and it packs all the above in an affordable package.

Oster Fast Feed Adjustable Pivot Motor Clipper 76023-510

The Classic 76 is a much-beloved old soul that can still match today’s clippers easily. The Oster Fast Feed is its younger, newer cousin, but it provides performance to a standard that equals the older model.

OSTER Fast Feed Clipper 76023-510

It still comes in Oster’s preferred burgundy, but the body is a more modern silhouette. The curve of the casing and the ribs on the back and sides afford you an excellent grip. It’s only a pound in weight, good for heft but not a pain in the wrist. It’s got a good combination of motor and blades for cutting power: the Whisper Quiet pivot motor is optimised for power while lowering noise and heat, while the blades are treated with Oster’s Cryotech process, ensuring tough and reliable blades.

You’ve got a good set of cutting options, with four combs (1/4″, 3/8″, 1/2″, and a short blending comb) and a taper lever combining to give you excellent length control. The taper lever lets you go from #000 to #1 blade sizes, the same range as the Classic 76.

Power is supplied by the standard eight-foot cord. Accessories are standard for a clipper: a blade guard, oil, and brush. Nothing special here either way.

The Fast Feed’s main weakness isn’t the clipper itself, it’s the combs. They’re rather flimsy, so if you’re expecting heavy use, you may want to look around for a replacement set that lasts a little longer.

Overall, the Oster Fast Feed is a well-performing clipper that can do pretty much any job you ask of it. It’s especially a good choice for a professional barber in need of a second clipper. Pair this up with its labelmate the Classic 76, and you have an excellent, unbeatable pair: the Classic 76 for the bulk duty, and the Fast Feed for the lighter detail work.

Wahl Professional Peanut Classic Clipper/Trimmer #8685

Last on our list is another Wahl Peanut. This one is the 8685, where the one we covered previously was the Peanut 8655. Again, it’s got quite an unassuming exterior; where the 8655 had a black ‘peanut shell’ case, this one has a clean white shell with ‘Peanut’ written on it in red.

Wahl Professional Peanut #8685

But that case hides a heart and performance that sets it in good stead. Really, the two Peanuts are the same device in a different shell. Inside the case of the Peanut 8685 is a rotary motor driving a one-inch-wide #2068-300 blade.

You get the same set of four combs, but they come in white this time. They range from 1/8th inch at the shortest to 1/2 inch at the longest. Without a taper lever, this does mean you’re a bit short on options, so you may need to get creative for certain haircuts.

It’s corded-only, and the cord is 7 feet long, but given how small the Peanut 8685 is, it’s not that bad. The box also includes the standard maintenance package: blade oil, brush, blade guard. No surprises there.

The same applications as the black Peanut apply. It’s smaller, so it fits into tighter spaces; you can cut at the neckline and around the ear with ease. With care, you can also use it as a facial hair trimmer. And of course, it’s not as scary to children, so you may want to get one if you’re cutting your own kids’ hair.

Downsides are also the same, as it’s the same at heart. That tendency to chew is still there, so take it slow and easy. One-inch-wide cuts mean not very much hair cut per pass, so you may take longer. The small size means you may find it better to grip with the fingers instead of the palm, for easier maneuvering.

When you need something for the small spaces, or to cut your kids’ hair, or that can easily travel, that’s where the Wahl Peanut 8685 comes in.

Best Barber Clippers Buyer’s Guide

When you’ve got a lot of clipper models available on the market, it pays to know what you should look for. Here are the factors you should consider before picking out your own barber clipper.

Best Barber Clippers Buyer’s Guide

  • The Motor Inside

When it comes to clippers, you have a choice of three motors: electromagnetic, pivot, or rotary.

Electromagnetic motors use a single magnet to power a spring that pushes the blade back and forth. The only moving part here is the spring. This means the highest blade speeds of the three, easiest maintenance, and a long service life. As long as that spring lasts, it’s still in action. However, they also tend to be underpowered, and the sheer blade speed also means a lot of friction, so electromagnetic clippers have a habit of overheating quickly. They fare best on dry hair with light textures.

Pivot motors use two magnets to push the blade back and forth between each other. This makes for less speed compared to an electromagnetic motor, but since it’s cutting on both strokes, a good deal more power. The same ease of maintenance is still there, since there’s not many moving parts, while the lower blade speed also means less friction and therefore less heat. Pivot motors can easily handle thick and coarse hair without a problem.

Rotary motors use a mechanical motor turning in a circle (hence rotary) to drive the blades. They have the lowest speed of all three motor types, but also the greatest power. Clippers intended for heavy-duty cutting through thick hair will have rotary motors. They also fare better with batteries; most cordless clippers you’ll see use rotary motors. Their main downsides are the price and mechanical complexity compared to the other two motor types.

  • Blades: Steel Or Ceramic

Most blades are stainless steel, as it’s a cheap material that’s easy to work with. Most stainless steel blades are also self-sharpening these days, which makes maintenance a lot easier. However, stainless steel blades tend to overheat during long haircuts, especially on some motors.

Your other main option is ceramic. Ceramic blades are more expensive than stainless steel, but they maintain their sharpness for a lot longer. They also conduct less heat, which makes for a more comfortable haircut experience. Beyond price, another downside is that they’re more brittle than steel.

  • Corded Power or Cordless Battery?

The answer isn’t so clear-cut in favor of corded these days when batteries are getting better at delivering constant power to motors. The older models that pro barbers swear by will all be corded, of course, but some newer models can deliver performance that’s as good while also being cordless.

There are more corded clippers on the market than cordless, which shapes your options. Corded clippers have the advantage of constant power and all three motor types. You can always count on a corded clipper. The disadvantage of corded clippers is that you can’t go too far from a socket, and the cord might be irritating while moving around the customer’s body.

Cordless clippers are newer on the market and may incorporate some improvements over older-model clippers. They’re not bound by proximity to an outlet and are generally lighter and easier to transport. Most cordless clippers, and certainly all Wahl cordless clippers, use rotary motors. The downside is that if you haven’t been paying attention to your battery, you may run out of power mid-haircut.

And of course, there are always those clippers that can be used both corded and cordless, which affords you the best of both worlds.

  • Ergonomics: Weight And Handling

All tradesmen rely on their tools, and barbers are no exception. You’ll spend most of your day with your clipper in hand, so it pays to have something that’s easy to grip and isn’t too heavy. However, some weight is unavoidable. All engineering is a game of trade-offs, so for a clipper to be light, something else has to give, and a lot of the time, that’s performance. You’ll have to judge for yourself whether a clipper’s extra weight is worth what it can do.

  • Accessories: Extras In The Box

Some of the clippers we’ve mentioned above come in kits with a lot of accessories. Even the ones that are just the clipper will come with accessories of their own, whether it’s the usual set of combs for length control or the Oster Classic 76’s switchable blades.

Accessories expand your capabilities, usually opening up options for specific cutting styles and lengths. The more options you have, the more you can offer your customers. It’s easier to create a complicated haircut once you have the right tools for it: namely, the right accessories. We’ll cover these in greater detail in the next section.

  • Ease Of Use And Cleaning

The last thing you want to do in a haircut is to fight your own equipment while you’re at it. Fiddly, over-complicated, unintuitive machines are therefore to be avoided, in favor of a clipper that you can just pick up and use. Once you’ve got your clippers in hand, you can get to the actual business of cutting someone’s hair.

Ease of cleaning also factors into this. Considering what they do, you will need to keep clippers clean so that they can keep cutting without incident. A clipper that requires a lot of effort to clean is also one to avoid.

Helpful Extras For Haircuts

When you’re cutting hair a lot, usually for a living, some tools come in handy. Below, we’re going to list six useful extras and how they can help you on your grooming journey.

Helpful Extras For Haircuts

  • Combs: Length Control

Combs or guards separate the clipper from the scalp, cutting hair at a specific length. They come in a whole wealth of sizes and lengths, from the 1/16th-inch combs for blending, to the chunky 1-inch combs. You can attach and detach them onto your clipper as you deem necessary, varying how much hair you’re leaving. Couple judicious use of combs with either detachable blades or a taper lever, and you can achieve some very fine hair tapering.

Most of the clippers we’ve recommended above come with their own combs, but you should have a full set handy. Plus, some combs are more durable than others. Some combs can fit on clippers of different manufacturers; check around to see which combs fit where.

  • Scissors: Precision Work

Unless you plan to cut only buzzcuts of varying lengths, you will need scissors. These let you do a lot of things: they can get into the tiny spaces that clippers and trimmers have trouble fitting into, they’re not as heavy as a clipper, and they help you add a bit of finish and style to a haircut. The clippers handle the bulk cutting, which you can then shape and fine-tune with your scissors. Make sure you have a good pair on hand.

  • Blade Oil: Smooth Operation

A clipper may not have many parts that can go wrong, but it’s still important to keep them maintained and running. That’s what blade oil is for: it keeps the blades lubricated and cutting smooth. Even the slowest clipper motors still make thousands of strokes per minute, and nothing must get in the way of blade operation.

  • Cleaning Brush: Maintenance

Oil keeps the blades moving smoothly. To help in that task, you have to keep the blades clear of anything that’s got in between them, which is where the brush comes in. Practically every clipper comes bundled with both oil and brush to keep your clippers clean and free of obstructions.

  • Clipper Spray: Disinfection

Cleaning is essential for another reason. Do you realise how dirty hair can get when it’s out in the open? There’s a reason food service workers are required to wear hairnets. Clipper spray does a lot of things. It disinfects the blade and kills any bacteria or germs that may have come onto it. It helps cool down the blade after a long haircut and also keeps them lubricated and rust-free.

  • Storage Case: Portability

If you’re traveling, or if you need to carry your tools with you, or you just want an easy way of hauling your clipper around, then a storage case is in order. Some of the clippers we’ve recommended above come with storage cases of their own, but in case you buy a clipper that doesn’t, you can purchase one of your own.

Clipper Care And Maintenance Tips

Take care of your tools, and they’ll take care of you. A clipper can last you a long time with proper care. Here’s a few things we recommend to keep your clippers cutting for that much longer.

  • Keep Your Clippers Oiled

We’ve covered the importance of blade oil before, but there’s no over-stressing this point: keep the blades oiled. Lubricated blades make for smooth cuts, and smooth cuts are fast cuts. There’s no need to use too much oil; just put a drop in the center, and one on each end, then run the clipper for a bit to spread the oil. Wipe off any excess before it slips into the motor.

  • Keep Your Clippers Clean

Clean blades mean smooth operations. This is why clippers come with a cleaning brush. After every use, address the blades firmly with the brush. At the end of the working day, give them a more thorough brushing down, to be sure no hairs are stuck between the blades.

  • Clean Your Combs

Your combs come into as much contact with hair as your blades do, so don’t neglect them either. A wipe down after use is fine for everyday care, but every so often, give them a deeper cleaning. Give them a good long bath in hot, soapy water and let them soak, then scrub them with a cloth and let them dry.

  • Deep Clean Your Clipper

Brushes and blade oil can only get you so far. Every so often, you will have to remove the blades for a good and thorough cleaning. Unscrew them off the blades and give them a good brushing and wipe-down, then see to the clipper itself. Brush out the rest of the clipper body, and also the little cavity the blade fits into. Sometimes hair gets in there.

  • Keep Your Blades Sharp

While most good clipper blades these days are self-sharpening, some still need the attention of a sharpening tool. You’ll need a honing stone; ideally, you’ll have several, of varying grit scales. Start from the roughest stone, and work your way down to the finer ones. Prime the stone with a little bit of water, then apply the blade, flat parts parallel to the surface of the stone. With very light pressure, swipe the blade across the stone around ten times. Rinse off both, then move on to the next stone.

Professional Clippers Vs Home Clippers

Not all clippers are made equal. In this article, we’ve been looking at professional clippers. This section explores how they differ from home clippers.

Professional Clippers Vs Home Clippers

The most significant difference is in capabilities. Generally speaking, a personal or home clipper will have relatively few options to choose from; it cuts hair and gives you the option of a few lengths to cut your hair to, but not much beyond that. A pro clipper has much better length control, whether it’s in the form of combs, switchable blades, or a taper lever; ideally, it’ll combine combs with one of the other two. With a greater range of capabilities at your disposal, you have more ways to style a customer’s hair.

This is not to say you can’t cut and style hair with a home clipper, because you definitely can. However, you won’t have as many options to work with compared to a pro clipper.

Pro clippers are also built for the long haul. Just like consumer electronics, home clippers come cheap because they’re not expected to last. On the other hand, a professional clipper will see heavy use, and barbers don’t want a clipper that’ll die while they’re busy.

Of course, pro clippers pay for their extra capabilities with higher prices than home clippers. That’s just the way economics works, and when it comes to clippers, you usually get what you pay for.

Frequently Asked Questions

Even for such simple machines, there’s a lot of things that can go into a hair clipper. Here are some of the more frequently-raised concerns, with our expert opinions.

Which is better between corded and cordless?
There are advantages to both corded and cordless operation, so it depends on which advantages are more relevant to your needs. We’ve outlined this in our buyer’s guide above, but to repeat the salient points: corded clippers are more powerful and won’t die mid-cut, but you’re limited by the cord. Cordless clippers can move farther away, but you’ve got a battery to worry about.

Some clippers offer the option of both corded and cordless operation. If in doubt, we recommend such a clipper like the Wahl Magic Clip. This lets you have the best of both worlds: the mobility of a cordless model, and the constant power of a corded one.

How do I perform a haircut on sensitive skin?
With care. Using guide combs is essential to keep the clipper blades from touching the skin. If you’re trying for a shorter haircut, most pro clippers have taper levers that let you alter blade position; avoid the positions that leave no gap between the two blades. Keep your clippers well-maintained and especially clean; clipper spray is quite advisable here. Don’t rush your haircut routine. Remember, slow is smooth, and smooth is fast. Rushing means you’re not taking as much care, which means a greater chance of nicking the skin.

How good are barber clippers at fades?
A good fade is pretty much only possible with a professional clipper, as they have the right equipment for it. It’s the taper lever again, because the blade positions adjust cut length to a finer degree than is possible with guide combs. Combine these with short combs like 1/16th-inch combs, and you have all you need to get a nice, gradual fade on the hair you’re cutting.

Can barber clippers handle shaven-headed or balding looks?
Yes, especially if you set the blade to its finest and shortest setting. This will get you as short a cut as that clipper is capable of. Leave off any combs and set your taper lever to the shortest possible setting, leaving zero gap between the two blades. You’ll get a nice clean short look that way; the only way to get it even shorter is if you take a manual razor to your head.

Of course, there are also clippers specialized for a bald look, in particular, the Wahl 5-Star Balding Clipper. As it’s a specialist tool for a particular job, we haven’t included it in this guide. If you’re dead-set on a balding look, then we recommend it highly.

My clippers are quite noisy, what can I do about this?
If you’re using a Wahl clipper, a noisy clipper is likely is just out of tune. They’re calibrated to be nice and quiet at the factory, but the voltage they get there might not be the same as the voltage you get where you’re trying to use them. So while they may be tuned correctly for the factory’s voltage, they’re out of tune at the point of use. Fixing that is nice and easy since Wahl knows about this problem.

There’s a power screw on your clipper that you can turn with a screwdriver. Ensure that your clippers are oiled, then turn it on. While it’s running, turn the screw clockwise until you hear a loud clattering. Then turn the screw back counter-clockwise, very slowly, until the clattering stops. To be sure of it, turn the clipper off and on a few times. You’ll always get a bit of clatter on starting the clippers, but once you’re properly tuned, it’ll fade out after the motor gets up to speed.

How often should I be oiling my clippers?
This depends on how often you’re using them since heavier use will need more lubrication. If you’re using them only a few times per week, then once every week will be fine. If you’re handling a lot of hair, oiling after two haircuts is better. You don’t have to use a lot of oil, so even a small bottle will last you a while.

Can barber clippers transmit HIV?
Emphatically no. HIV is only spread via transmission of body fluids from a person who is HIV-positive. Blood is indeed one of these vectors, but it takes a highly improbable set of circumstances for hair clippers to be blamed. For this to happen. A barber would have to cut a person who was HIV-positive, then with the infected blood still on the clipper blades, immediately move on to another person, and then also cut the second person with the bloodstained blades.

For this to happen at all, you need an incompetent barber who isn’t careful enough to avoid cutting his customers and has no respect for hygiene. This cannot happen accidentally.

Can I groom animals with my barber clippers?
Technically, yes; hair is hair. In practice, better not. Not all hair is made equal, and human clippers may well struggle to handle any animals that have particularly thick fur. Further, you also have to consider that animals can get more nervous than humans, so a motor that’s too noisy or powerful is contra-indicated, so as not to draw their anxiety.

There’s a boatload of differences between clippers made for humans and clippers made for animals. From how the motor is constructed, to the blades, to a dozen other factors besides, there’s a lot to consider. If you foresee that you’ll be doing a lot of animal grooming, it’s better to get a dedicated animal clipper.

You can use a human clipper on an animal in a pinch, but be prepared for a skittish beast and potentially inferior performance compared to using it on a human.

How often will I need to change my blades?
Blades will last you quite a long time. Under working conditions, the only things that can really harm clipper blades are accidents and breakage. Should a clipper blade be damaged, it’s better to discard it than risk trying to shave with it. But discounting these, a clipper blade can generally see quite a long service life; even under heavy use, it’s not unusual to see blades lasting a year or more.

The Final Cut

Getting started as a barber may take a degree of investment, but it can be well worth it. Whether you’re just cutting your friends’ hair or buying a new part of the best barber clippers for your hair salon, you’ll need the right tools to get started. You have a lot of good options to choose from. The Wahl Magic Clip offers magnificent performance and corded/cordless capability. The Color Pro, Chrome Pro, and Elite Pro kits all offer a complete starting kit any barber can appreciate. And if you need to travel, the Wahl Peanut is always an option.

Get yourself a new barber clipper and your take haircuts to the next level.

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