How to Align Clipper Blades: A Comprehensive Guide

Crooked or Misaligned clipper blades prevent your clipper from functioning smoothly and using its full cutting potential. If your blade is not cutting the way you imagined or snagging your hair more than what’s deemed normal, re-aligning the blade will probably do the trick.

Sometimes, when resetting or zero-gapping the clipper blades, one side of the bottom blade might overlap the top blade while tightening the screws.

Don’t let out a sigh of despair just yet because I’ve got the solution. I will walk you through the process of aligning your clipper blades, step by step:

Step 1: Semi-loosen the screws, just enough to be able to move the blades. No need to take off the screws. If your clipper has a taper or blade adjustment lever, move it all the way up.

Step 2: Now comes the important part. First, you identify which one is the top blade or comb blade and which one is the cutting blade. Yes, some lads do confuse them quite often, including me.

Now, gently align the top blade with the bottom blade, making sure the extreme left-hand tooth of the top blade is covering or at the left of the first small tooth of the bottom blade.

If you get that part right, the big fat tooth of the bottom blade will be on the extreme right-hand tooth of the bottom blade.

Step 3: One of the most common mistakes people make while aligning the clipper blades is that they let the teeth of the small cutter blade sticking over the large comb blade.

This could result in nicking as the clipper will cut dangerously close to the skin. The vibration of the motor could cause the bottom blade to overlap the top blade, preventing the clipper from cutting properly.

So what you need to do here is position the top blade and the bottom blade parallel to each other, with the top blade teeth being at least 0.8 mm back from the tips of the bottom blade teeth. Doing so will prevent overlapping as well as keep the moving blades from slicing off your skin.

Step 4: Tighten the screws carefully, turn the clipper on and off a couple of times to check if it’s working alright.

Cleaning the Clipper Blades

Sometimes, even after re-aligning the blades, they won’t simply cut smoothly enough. The problem might be dirty, clogged blades. Cleaning up the clipper blades is no big deal. Let me show you how it’s done:

Cleaning the Clipper Blades

Step 1: Take a screwdriver and unscrew the blades.

Step 2: Use a small cleaning brush to clear off hair trimmings and other gunk from the blades as well as the top chamber of the clipper.

Step 3: Thoroughly wash the comb guide attachments with soapy water or liquid dish wash. You can also use a blade wash for the job. It’s specially formulated to clean, sanitize, and expand the lifespan of all kinds of razor blades.

If your clipper doesn’t allow you to detach the blades, don’t worry. Use the same soapy water or blade wash solution to immerse only the blade part of the clipper.

Turn the clipper on and watch all the dirt build-up shooting out of the gaps between the teeth of the blades. Use the same process to get rid of the build-up even if your clipper has detachable blades. Whatever floats your boat.

Once the cleaning is done, wipe off the blades, turn the device on and off a couple of times, and done!

Lubricating the Clipper Blades

Any equipment with moving parts requires lubrication to run smoothly for a long time. Therefore, you should lubricate your clipper blades periodically to get the best performance out of them. The process is fairly simple:

  • Turn off the clipper and add two drops of oil onto the blades. A drop of two is enough. We should avoid over-lubricating them.
  • Turn on the clipper for a few seconds and let the motion do the work.
  • Turn off and wipe off the excess oil from the casing.

And that’s how you make your clipper blades as good as new.

The Bottom Line

Clipper blades can be misaligned while shipping as well. So if your clipper isn’t operating as expected right out of the box, don’t blame the product itself. Try realigning the blades first, following the instructions above, and start styling your hair like you have always wanted.

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