Some barbers consider the edge up the most important aspect of a new haircut. Regardless of the crazy and wicked styles you’re creating, if your lines along the sides and the forehead are even slightly off, you’re done.
There’s a lot that goes into a clean edge up, but no doubt the most important of these is the clippers. You can’t just pull out your old rusty bulk cutters and hit a perfect line on your sideburn or neck. You need the proper tool. And make no mistake, edge up clippers are a tool. Without this tool, your good intentions mean nothing.
Below, I list my top ten best edge up clippers. These are the go-to tools of professional barbers from LA to London. That doesn’t mean they’ll cost you a month’s car payment. Most of these products are affordable, and if taken care of, you can hand them down to your kids. Let’s check them out.
Table Of Contents
Best Edge Up Clippers Comparison
|Andis T-Outliner||Carbon-steel T-blade||Corded|
|Wahl Magic Clip||High precision zero-overlap blades||Cordless|
|Wahl 9818||Self-sharpening precision blades||Cordless|
|Wahl 8051||Zero-overlap precision blades||Corded|
|Wahl Lithium Ion||Self-sharpening precision blades||Cordless|
|OSTER Classic 76||Detachable blades||Corded|
|OSTER Fast Feed||Steel blades||Corded|
|Wahl Edge Pro||Zero overlap blades||Corded|
|Andis Master||Adjustable blades||Both|
|Wahl Elite Pro||Finest precision blades||Corded|
Reviews of the Top 10 Clippers for Lineups
The Andis T-Outliner shines as an all-star trimmer and edge up clipper. The fandom for this product is absurd. It has its own Reddit community and Youtube channels dedicated to its use and maintenance. It’s rare to walk into a barber shop and not see at least three Andis Professional T-Outliners hanging from the tables.
That’s because a close cutting clipper is a must have for all salon and barber tradespeople. They use them multiple times a day, which means the product must perform for long periods and be easy to maintain.
The Andis T-Outliner ships with their patented T-blade. This extra-wide blade has been zero gapped and oiled at the factory. The added length supports flat lines and trims on the neckline and hair line. With this blade you can perfect skin close edge ups with fewer passes than competing brands.
With an installed high-speed magnetic motor, you get whisper-quiet performance at cool temperatures. As a one speed device, the T-Outliner requires little mental effort to use. This clipper can run for upwards of eight hours without overheating. The switch on the front is conveniently placed. It’s not in your way while you clip, yet near enough to your thumb that you need just one hand to operate the device.
The T-Outliner supports attachment combs and blade swaps. You can install other zero-gap blades in the Andis line onto this product within minutes. This allows for beard trims, sideburn evening and other body hair maintenance. With this Andis clipper you need just one tool to do the work of two or three.
The ergonomics of the T-Outliner may seem simplistic, but there’s intelligence in the design. The plastic carriage is durable and light. Working with this tool won’t strain your arm or shoulder. The contoured and ribbed plastic edges offer grip support. Holding the Andis from multiple angles feels natural.
Operating the clipper in the bathroom or the shop should be a breeze because of the extra long cord. There are a few minor downsides to the T-Outliner. When used non-stop for over an hour, the blade can overheat. Letting the clipper rest on a side table for five minutes remedies the problem. And while I love the textured plastic chassis, those of you with butter fingers can damage the clipper after just one or two falls. These are just minor setbacks, however, to a fantastic device.
Wahl has manufactured hair clippers and trimmers since the early days of typewriters and cars with no seatbelts. Their brand has withstood the perils and successes of American consumer goods because they work effortlessly to maintain the highest quality standards.
Throughout their extensive product list, the go-to Wahl for professionals since the 1940s has been the 5-Star Magic Clip. This is not only the best edge up trimmer from Wahl, but their best overall clipper.
The impressive features of the Magic Clip begin with its expertly honed precision. This version ships with their Stagger-Tooth Top Blade with variable taper, reaching a near-zero gap edge. This blade has a thick top plate made of stainless steel. It’s meant to last decades hanging from the chair of a hardworking American barber. If you intend this for at-home use, you can expect similar results.
This is the cordless version of the Magic Clip with a newly updated Lithium Ion battery. The battery lasts at least 90 minutes, but I’ve seen them go for 100 or 120. The battery does not fade as it depletes. You’ll enjoy full power from the minute you take it off the charger until the battery finally runs out of juice. And when you reach that end, just plug it in and you can continue to edge.
While ideal for edge ups and precision trims, the 5-Star includes 8 attachment combs for bulk cutting and beard trimming. Buying this device means having all your hair cutting needs satisfied.
The tapering lever pulls back the cutting element for fades or adjusting close-cut styles. Or it can reduce the gap to near-zero precision. Note that if you want a true zero gap, you must adjust the blade manually. But it’s easy. There’re dozens of videos online to teach you.
The body of the Magic Clip is solid. It’s heavier than most clippers because of its durable rotary motor and the long-lasting Lithium Ion battery. Despite the heft, you won’t have any trouble operating the clipper for an hour or more at a time. Unlike the lighter clippers on my list, I doubt the 5-Star will crack or chip with a fall or two.
I love the thick plastic loop on the bottom of the clipper. By installing a hook on your shop wall or cabinet or bathroom sink, you can have your Magic Clip at the ready whenever you need it and show off its gold-flecked burgundy looks at the same time.
While it’s no surprise that bulky professional tools can craft expertly aligned edge ups, there’s a range of consumer-level clippers and trimmers that can do just as good a job. One of my favorites in the consumer category is the Stainless Steel Lithium Ion Beard and Nose Trimmer from Wahl.
Don’t let the designation as a beard trimmer fool you, the mini T-blade on this trimmer cuts some killer edge up lines. And because it’s portable and light, you can maneuver the tool deftly.
This is a self-sharpening device. Wahl’s patented blade technology promises quiet cutting action and a cut that doesn’t dull after months of practicing edge ups in your bathroom mirror. The blade pops off by depressing a small latch on the back of the device for lubrication and cleaning.
The Lithium Ion battery installed in the trimmer doesn’t weigh the handle down. It’s upgraded for speed charge, too. This means you can charge the trimmer for one minute and receive three minutes of charge, perfect for attaining those last touch ups before heading out to work. The speed charge also aids in the max charge rate — within one hour you’ll have four hours’ worth of run time.
I love the quality brushed steel casing. It’s strong and nick resistant, yet light enough to carry in a toiletry bag and not weigh it down. It features just one button on the front of the device that turns it on and off. To release the blades, you just pull off towards your chest and it lifts off.
The product ships with a host of attachments to satiate its claim as a complete grooming system. Along with the T-blade, you get a detail shaver, rotary trimmer, and a detail trimmer. This set provides enough adaptability for most situations, from nose and ear grooming to touch ups between the more rigorous trimmings. And the included 12 guard attachments from 1/16” to 1” lengths supply enough range to trim your beard or sideburns.
The Wahl Stainless Steel Trimmer boasts dual voltage, with 110v and 220v capability. This makes the device ideal for those of you that travel and want to keep up your haircut on the road or overseas.
The Wahl Professional Razor Edger claims a special place in the 5-Star lineup of hair tools for stylists and barbers. It’s specifically designed for edging and touch-ups, with a T-blade that’s been zero gapped for extra close cuts.
You won’t find a collection of extra blades in the package. This one is for those that are serious about their skin fades, bald clips, and precision edging. I wouldn’t call the lack of additional materials a downside. In fact, the performance of this device stands up to the top tools in the industry.
Packed inside the burgundy hard-plastic casing you’ll find an electromagnetic motor capable of running for hours and maintaining cool internal temperatures. That heat-resistant technology also applies to the blade. Installed on the Wahl Razor Edger is a Zero-Overlap T-blade that won’t burn your skin or your customer’s skin after an hour or more runtime.
I admit, however, that this blade was not meant for face trimming. You can use it for edging your beard, but it’s not recommended for full on face shaving.
Every part of this tool has been carefully looked over and revamped for professional use. The electrical cord pushes 120v of power into the machine with the peace of mind of a chemical and tear resistant coating. It’s also extra long, at 8 feet.
The Wahl Professional Razor Edger ships with three blade guides, a pro-set tool to remove the blade, a red blade guard, a manual, and a small brush to clean hair from inside the working mechanism.
I like how this clipper cuts. It’s a louder than the T-Outliner and heavier. But the added weight increases its reliability in the hand. I don’t feel like it’ll break if I place it roughly on the countertop or hang it from a hook near my table.
You won’t have much to grip on the Razor Edger. There’re no contoured or rubberized sides, nor is there raised grooves. The power button, however, is situated perfectly. It’s right near my thumb and I can switch it on and off without over-reaching or using my other hand.
In the search for the best shape up clippers, surprises arrive from the most unlikely sources. I rarely recommend the travel kits you find stocked in pharmacies and supermarkets. But leave it to Wahl to release a consumer kit that rivals their pro-grade clippers.
This Lithium Ion Cordless Haircutting Combo Kit from Wahl is the definition of diamond in the rough. This is a clipper and trimmer combo that includes the entire gamut of at-home hair cutting supplies. Yet what I like about it the most is the key product, the clipper.
While the chassis is your typical consumer-level fair, replete with molded plastic and no rubberized grips or handholds, the motor and blade surprised me. And if you spend ten minutes to zero-gap the installed blade, you can own a budget-friendly edge up clipper along with a fully functional hair cutting kit.
The clipper comes installed Lithium Ion battery, which means it‘s cordless with two-hour runtimes. And because they use the newest in battery technology, they can hold their charge for upwards of a year without ghosting memory issues.
I love the quick charge option on the clipper. Within 10 minutes, you have enough charge for one haircut. Also, the clippers charge from zero to full within three hours.
The included trimmer is battery operated. It doesn’t feature a taper lever, but the blade is stainless steel and cuts accurate lines. It’s fine for fast touch ups or as a backup to stash in your toiletry bag for business trips.
For one low price, you not only receive a high-powered clipper with self sharpening blades, but a case packed full of at-home haircutting necessities. You get ten comb guides, two hair clips, two combs, scissors, power cord, clipper oil, and a cleaning brush. All that for less than a professional Wahl clipper.
Of course, you won’t get the high-end clipper motor and the device feels light and breakable compared to some Wahl models. So it depends on your ideal purpose for the clipper. I recommend this edge up clipper for those planning to cut their hair at home. Those requiring a professional barber tool should look elsewhere.
Oster rests among legendary clipper brands, like Wahl, that have been manufacturing quality tools for hair professionals for over a century. The technology and innovation you find in a pair of Osters cannot be mimicked. And the moment you turn them on, the thud of the motor kicking in tells you this device means business.
Mind you, the Classic 76 is not for the casual consumer. It’s heavy. And after fifteen minutes of edging, you’ll feel it in your wrist. But with that bulk comes a guarantee that it won’t overheat or die on you. Not today and not in three or five years. That’s a level of craftsmanship that’s becoming increasingly rare today.
The Classic 76 is a benchmark workhorse clipper. With some tinkering, it can be zeroed and used to cut precise edges in your hairline and sideburns. The tool ships with two blades, a 000 and a 1. They’re both etched with an Oster’s stamp of quality and won’t overheat, even after an hour of straight cutting.
I can’t stress enough the 76‘s durability. It has a weight that’s not unsimilar to a dictionary or cast-iron pan. I don’t expect these clippers to break no matter how high you drop them or no matter how long you use them.
And that’s another thing. Because they include Oster’s Universal Motor, if you encounter a problem, finding a repair shop that fixes Osters is like finding a mechanic that fixes Honda Civics — they’re everywhere.
The dependability and century’s worth of craftsmanship has a drawback. It’s not a cheap tool, nor was it made for everyone. If you’re a consumer looking for an entry-level device, someone who plans to cut their hair once or twice a month, the Classic 76 is likely too much tool for you.
Aside from professionals, hobbyists and student barbers should consider Oster’s 76. It ships with everything you need to get started on edge ups today. The tube of clipper oil in the box should last you at least a year. And the 9-foot heavy duty cord won’t tear or rip easily.
While it won’t win any beauty awards, the Oster Fast Feed Adjustable Pivot Clipper is a renown workhorse device that barbers have used for over fifty years.
This clipper sports their Whisper Quiet technology, which muffles the sound coming from the motor to near silence. This is great for in-shop use, especially when you have over one pair of clippers going to the same time or when you want to talk to your client or friend sitting beside you.
For edge ups, you need blade that can reach zero gap or close to it. With the taper lever, you just pull the plastic handle back and the blade closes to a 000 size. The taper also pulls forward so you can do fades and bulk clipping with nicking skin.
I love the weight and bulk of this clipper. The extra thick cord around the bottom of the housing stops tears and frays. The added plastic sheath also protects the cord from falling out the bottom of the device which happens when you wrap the cord around the clipper prior to travel or storage.
The power switch sits on the lower half of the clipper. It’s easily reachable with your thumb. This lets you operate the Fast Feed without having to use two hands. And while the device may seem to eschew ergonomics, it’s comfortable in your hand. Holding the clipper for precision edging or flipped over for bulk cutting feels equally comfortable.
You won’t find another edge up clipper with a stronger and more durable motor. The Pivot Motor can eat through any hair type or length of hair and moves fast enough to cut precise lines.
The Oster Fast Feed Adjustable Pivot Clipper ships with three guide combs that attach onto the blade to shorten and trim longer hair. They won’t help you with edging, but if you use the clipper for other purposes, you’ll have the option. You’ll also find a blade guard to protect the clipper between uses and a cleaning brush and white mineral clipper oil.
I recommend this product for those that don’t mind an edge up clipper that makes up for its lack of features and old school looks with a dependable motor and a long-lasting blade.
If you’ve read this far and like some of my picks but don’t think a professional tool is right for you nor a travel edger, then pay attention to this one. The Wahl Edge Pro Bump Free Corded Hair Clipper marries the excellence of their 5-Star series with the convenience and affordability of their consumer lineup of trimmers and clippers.
This clipper has been specifically designed for edge ups and beard trims. That means it ships with a T-blade that Wahl zero gapped at the factory. The blade is sharp and precise, with the traditional quality you’d expect from a USA-made Wahl device.
I love the red-on-black rubberized grip. It adds style to the small yet powerful device. And since it’s corded, you don’t have to fuss with battery swaps or recharges. Just plug it in and experience the top of the line high-torque rotary motor and professional-grade components.
It’s a heavier tool than you’d expect from a compact clipper. It feels sturdy in the hand. I like that the product works both with downward swipes or by gripping it flipped over for upward cuts. With a handheld tool, you need the power button to be near the thumb for quick on and off switches. Thankfully, with the Wahl Edge Pro Hair Clipper you can easily operate it with one hand. This leaves your other hand free to stretch your skin taught or keep your line straight.
Wahl packs a lot of value into the already stylish and useful clipper. You get 12 guard combs in the box, for short trims of 1/8” long or cleaning up the side of your head with up to 1”. The package rounds out with a smart red-on-black Wahl-badged storage pouch, comb, scissors, and cleaning brush.
But if you buy this clipper for any reason, it’s the Wahl high carbon precision blade. The sharp lines cut by this clipper impressed me. They’re carbon blades that self-sharpen and stay cool for upwards of an hour of continual use.
Andis has been in the barber and hair salon industry a long time. They’re known for upending the status quo and innovating the tried-and-true standards set by the likes of Wahl and Oster. And nowhere is their smart design and craftsmanship more obvious than the Andis Master.
This is their answer to the barbershop staples I’ve already listed above, the Wahl Magic Clip and the Oster Fast Feed. It’s a clipper that’s built for daily use. That means a 14,000 cutter strokes per minute magnetic motor that doesn’t overheat.
If you plan to cut your hair at home, you’d never need to buy another clipper again. The tapering lever allows for manual switching from a 000 blade to a 01 blade with just a quick movement of your thumb. To be fair, you must tinker with the blade for a true zero gap, something you must do for an edge up. But Andis tools simplify the process. It shouldn’t take an amateur more than ten minutes.
My favorite aspect of the Andis Master has to be the silver chrome finish. The body housing is made of aluminum, not plastic. It’s sleek and easy to clean. You won’t find a clipper that impresses your guests or clients as it hangs from your bathroom wall or shop cabinet.
The ergonomics of the Master are subtle yet comfortable. The body thins near the cord so both big and small hands can grip the product without an issue. Although Andis outfitted the Master in chrome, it doesn’t slip out of your hand easily. Also, it’s a heavy tool and feels well built.
The 14,000 CPM magnetic motor makes fast work of edge ups. This is nearly triple the speed of other Andis clippers, like Envy and the Fade. You won’t have trouble cutting through thick hair. Plus, it can half the time of your edge up. And the sharp blade won’t require sharpening until long after you buy the product.
I recommend this product for any professional looking for a versatile edge up clipper. You at-home groomers may cower from the price, but if you can afford it, you can’t go wrong with the Andis Master.
For the last product on my list, I picked my favorite all-in-one package, the Wahl Clipper Elite High Performance Home Haircut Kit. Leave it to Wahl to merge their professional durability and performance with one of the most complete and useful packages I’ve ever used.
The only downside to this kit for edge ups is that you must zero gap the blade. But at this price point, a short YouTube video and a screwdriver shouldn’t steer you away. You can enjoy expert lines with this product, plus everything you’ll need to cut your own hair for the next five years.
An edge up isn’t possible without sharp precision blades. The Clipper Elite Pro sports Wahl’s stainless-steel self-sharpening 01 blade. With the installed taper lever, you can drop it down to a near 000. This blade runs cool to the touch and won’t nick or pull. If you keep it well oiled, you won’t need to sharpen it for years.
The guards you’ll find in this Elite package are fantastic. They’re the same or better than the ones barbers use in their shops. I know a few professionals that buy this kit just for the guards. They attach to the blade with steel clips. Wahl molds them from thick industrial plastic, so they aren’t flimsy and do not break easily.
Wahl’s Elite Pro Clipper’s one drawback is the plastic body. It’s not as thick and durable as their 5-Star series. But at this price, you can’t expect higher end casings. The motor, however, is the same one you find in the 5-Stars. It’s whisper-quiet and runs at a near 8,000 CPM. That means it won’t die mid-cut and should last many years.
The home haircut kit by Wahl also includes a spate of extras. You get a snazzy carry case, quality shears, a comb, a hair-cut cape, cleaning oil, spray bottle, and cord wrap. I recommend this product to anyone looking for an entry-level edge up clipper than doesn’t want to skimp on quality parts.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Clippers for Lineup
There’s a lot that goes into choosing the best clippers for your new edge up. And for every product I’ve included on my list, I can assure you there were two or three I had to toss aside.
Below, I offer you some of my personal criteria for sorting the good from the mediocre. Hopefully, they help you as you decide on your clippers.
The History of the Brand
While a name isn’t everything, it can ease the anxiety that rolls in once you near that check out button. My list contains products from companies you know and trust, and others that may be new to you.
It’s important that before you choose the best clippers for lineups, you do your own research. Buying a product from a brand you can relate to and trust bolsters the investment of time and money you put into the clipper.
How it Performs
Nothing matters so much as how the clipper hits, otherwise known as how close it cuts. The key trait all my edge up clippers share is that they cut clean, precise lines.
But there are other aspects to performance, such as how it disperses heat off the blade, its vibration and its sound. I detail these performance issues and more within my reviews. I advise that you spend the extra time to watch videos to hear and see how the clipper works.
Shape and Feel
While all the clippers on my list do the same thing, they look very different. A lot of the aesthetics of clippers comes down to personal preference. That means you can trust your eye with this point and pick the product that appeals to you.
Keep an eye out for how the device feels, however, especially if you plan to use it for long periods of time. Some clippers offer more ergonomic features and contours than others.
Durability and Maintenance
I wish I could say that all the clippers above are equally strong and long lasting, but that’s not the case. Some clippers hit very well but suffer from durability issues. Others have complicated maintenance procedures, or they cannot be disassembled without a key.
Be realistic about how much maintenance you’re willing to do and how careful you are with your devices. It may be worth choosing a product that’s not attractive but was built like a tank.
Blade Type and Size
As strange as it sounds, not all edge up clippers share the same blade type nor are they a uniform size. That’s because an edge up clipper defines a product’s performance attribute, not the category of the clipper.
Some of these products are, in fact, trimmers. Others ship with a T-blade, or require some tinkering to achieve a true zero-gap. Take all this into consideration before adding the product to you cart.
Cord Versus Cordless
You’ll find a spate of videos on Youtube that rave about cordless clippers and inveigh against the outdated corded clippers. The fact is a corded version of a clipper brand works the same, just without a cord. The rest is mostly hype.
If you plan to use this product in your bathroom twice a month, you do not need a cordless device. That doesn’t mean you can’t buy it. Just know that you’re doing so more for your own vanity than practicality demands.
Price and Your Budget
The last piece of advice is the most important — stick within your budget! Some of my favorite edge up clippers can be had for less than the price of a pair of Nikes. And my favorite clippers of all time, the Andis T-Outliners, cost me less than a trip to the movies. Hype comes and goes, but quality can often be had for a surprisingly low cost.
A Step-By-Step Guide on How to Edge Up Your Hairline
So now you have a pair of clippers on the way to your doorstep, and you want to know the proper way to use them. Well, you don’t have to open four tabs and search for a smattering of videos and articles. I can tell you exactly how to edge up your hairline in seven quick steps.
Step 1: Always Begin with Trimmed Hair
Okay, before you whip out your new clippers and stand in front of the mirror, consider your hair length. You can’t edge up a hairline without newly cut or trimmed hair. So trim down those sideburns and neckline before pulling out your edge up clipper.
Step 2: Gather Your Tools and Supplies
While your edge up clipper is your most important tool, you need a few sidekicks to combat that hair line. I never trim without a comb in my pocket to smooth down the hair for added precision. And for those of you that crave the classic experience, buy some liquid razor. This, combined with a safety razor, will quickly sweep up the little hairs your trimmer leaves behind.
Step 3: Visualize the Edge
Before you begin, look at yourself in the mirror and imagine where you plan to edge. You can use photos for reference, but don’t rely on them too much. You need to see the lines on your head. And to do that, you need to be looking at your noggin, not some model or b-ball star.
Step 4: Go Left to Right or Right to Left
The order in which you tackle your edge up doesn’t matter, but you need to know it beforehand. With your edge up clipper at the ready, begin on one side of your head and make quick downward cuts to your hairline and sideburns. Take a little off with every swipe. Remember, less is more. I recommend going around your whole line before going back to take more off where you began.
Step 5: Check in the Mirror
When you’re done, stand back and go over the line in the mirror. Move your head from side to side and check all angles. You’re looking for symmetry. Note anything than seems asymmetrical and cut it off. Go slow. There’s no rush. If possible, use a second-hand mirror to check the lines again. The more angles you have for comparison, the more symmetrical you can make the hairline.
Step 6: Spritz Liquid Razor on Your Hairline
Liquid Razor has been around for eons. It’s a gel-like fluid that acts as a lubricant for razors, with the side effect that it helps keep hair stiff and close to the scalp. That way, you can see any small hairs that need to be shaved off. Apply the gel to your hairline. You need little, just enough so it shines in the bathroom lights.
Step 7: Clean Up with Razor
Although you can’t see them, the clippers can’t pick up the stubble bordering your hairline. Within a few days they’ll grow enough to see them. By shaving them with a razor, you nip that nuisance in the bud. Using the same downward swipes as with your clippers, go around your entire hairline again with the razor.
Any good barber or hair stylist knows that a close-cropped cut is only as good as the lines. If you lack crisp edges to your new fade or short style, then it’ll look awful. Hopefully, I’ve given you enough options that you can buy the best edge up clipper that fits your budget and needs. Now, you can have the style you want without visiting the barber every few weeks.
If I had to pick one product to recommend over the rest, I’d go with my top clipper, the Andis T-Outliner. I’ve used the Outliner, off and on, for over a decade. And while many products have entered the arena since, nothing hits as well or cleans up a style as easily as the T-Outliner.