Shaver vs Trimmer vs Clipper: Find Out Which Is The Best Option For Your Hair

There is a wide variety of tools available in the market for fulfilling an objective. Today, we will look at the various types of tools that are available for removing your facial hair, body hair or the hair on your head.

In an ideal world, you would want one tool as a solution for all your hair removal needs. However, this may be possible but this can never be the most suitable solution for anyone.

Just like there are different needs, there are different tools to cut, trim or shave hair and those who are specific about styling their hair, should be aware of the different types of tools that are widely available today.

It is important to understand that each tool has its pros and cons but, its unique features make it a necessity.

Today in this blog, we will thoroughly discuss all the features and functionalities of a shaver vs trimmer vs clipper for hair removal needs. All three of these are the most popular tools which are used by both professionals and general consumers for removing hair.

Table Of Contents

Comparison Table of Shaver vs Trimmer vs Clipper

Clean & close shaveShort styleVarying lengths
High runtimeMedium runtimeLow runtime
AggressiveLess AggressiveAggressive
Eliminates manual razorsEliminates scissorsEliminates scissors & combs
Best Model: Braun Series 9 9290ccBest Model: Wahl Trimmer 9818Best Model: Wahl Magic Clip #8148

Individual Descriptions of Each of The Popular Haircutting Tools

To begin with, we will individually look at each of the following three haircutting tools:

  • Shaver
  • Trimmer
  • Clipper

Many people without proper knowledge may use these terms interchangeably to describe any hair removal machine – this is simply ignorance. Each of these popular haircutting tools are different in features, functions and usage.

As a bonus, we will look at a few other less popular tools for removing hair. Let’s get started!

What is a Shaver?

A shaver is a lifesaving gadget for modern users who desire a clean shave. It eliminates the need for getting shaving products such as shaving foam, gel, cream, etc. You do not need to prepare yourself by lathering shaving product on your face, and then start using a razor to get a clean shave.

electric shaver

You can use a shaver to get rid of hair without any shaving products, or even wetting the area that needs shaving. You can effortlessly get a comfortable and clean dry or wet shave using a shaver. Shavers deliver some of the closest and longest-lasting shaves that you may require.

So, in a nutshell the following is what you get from using a shaver:

  • Closest, cleanest and quickest shave
  • Battery or electricity powered for easy use
  • Best solution for a clean shave anytime anywhere without any mess

For using a shaver, your hair must not be too long. They are not designed to be used on long hair or long beards. They are designed for those who keep a clean-shaven beard which sometimes grows out to a stubble, only to be shaved off clean again.

An electric shaver today can be corded or cordless, it can be battery powered or electricity powered. Electric shavers are compact devices which are easy to use, store and carry. One of the primary and most popular reasons for using a shaver is that it is a quick, easy and no mess solution.

Best Electric Shaver: Braun Series 9 9290cc

What is a Trimmer?

The next tool that we will cover is the trimmer. As you will understand from the name, unlike shaver which is for shaving your hair off, the trimmer is used for trimming your hair. So, it is a tool which you should use when you don’t want to cut off all your hair, but simply trim it to certain length.


Having said that, you can still use a hair trimmer to get your hair trimmed down to have it extremely short. Of course, you will not be able to get the cleanest cut like the shaver, but it will still be very close to it.

However, to be perfectly clear, hair trimmers cannot be and should not be used as a tool for getting a smooth shave. They are ideal for the following:

  • Trimming mustache to short, clean length
  • Trimming beard to certain lengths for styling
  • Ear and nose hair trimming
  • They can also be used for private areas

Trimmers are a great tool for styling. They are excellent to remove hair and leave just enough for achieving attractive styles or even cutting hair down to a comfortable length. But if you were looking to get a close, clean shave, you wouldn’t be able to get it since there will always be a little bit of hair left even if it cannot be seen at first glimpse.

So, when considering a shaver vs trimmer, you will notice the main difference to be the smoothness achieved after removing hair. Between a shaver vs trimmer, a shaver will give the closest, cleanest shave while the trimmer will give the shortest hair.

Best Beard Trimmer: Wahl Stainless Steel Trimmer 9818

What is a Clipper?

Clippers are the tool of choice for most professionals today and as soon as you walk into a barbershop, you will notice it. Most barbers have adapted to the use of the clippers as the primary tool for cutting hair over scissors since the beginning of the millennium.

hair clipper

You will find it difficult to spot a barber using the old-fashioned methods of a comb and a scissor in any barbershop around the country. Clippers have evolved to become the scissors in every barber’s hands.

When you think about it, over the past few decades getting your hair cut at the barbershop has evolved. Haircuts no longer take an hour to complete, most haircuts can be completed within 20 minutes or so. Hair clippers are very efficient for cutting long hair quickly and safely.

Clippers are nothing like shavers since they are used for cutting hair rather than shaving it off. But in comparison of a clipper vs trimmer, clippers are obviously much more diverse as they allow more to be done. It is complete tool for cutting hair which allows the following:

  • Cutting of different lengths of hair
  • Easily attachable guide combs allow you to cut customized lengths
  • Safe, quick and efficient for full body hair removal

Clippers are useful for everyday users at home to get a quick haircut at home. Simply clip on a guide comb of your desired length and you can cut your hair. It may not be perfect, but it will get the job done. There have been numerous times when I have delayed going to the barbershop by giving myself a quick trim using my clipper. Then using my trimmer, I did the cleanup around the sideburns, ears, etc.

Best Hair Clipper: Wahl Professional Magic Clip #8148

So, let’s do quick recap of the use of a clipper vs a trimmer vs a shaver.

While trimmers allow you to cut short hair to shorter styles, clippers allow you to cut any length of hair to your desired length. In both cases, you are left with hair but if you wanted to remove all hair from the roots to get clean, smooth skin then you would need to use a shaver.

Bonus: Lesser Known Hair Removal Tools

We all know what a razor is. It is the single most widely known tool for removing hair from any part of our body. It is available in various types such as single use or permanent use with cartridge blades. The typical description of a razor is a handheld device that you use to cut hair without the use of electricity or batter power.

They are available in single blade, triple blade, even 5 or more blades. This is because the more blades, the smoother shave you will get on your face or body. They do the same thing as an electric shaver for a fraction of the cost but require accessories such as shaving foam, gel or cream, water, etc. Chances are you must have used a razor at some point in your life.

Now while we discussed shaver vs trimmer vs clipper as tools for removing hair, you must have thought of a razor as well, but there is another electric device for hair removal known as an epilator!

What is an Epilator?

Now, if you do not know what this is then you will naturally feel a bit edgy when reading about it. Epilator is used to remove hair from its root, not by cutting as is done using a razor, shaver, trimmer or clipper, but it is done by pulling it out.


Using an epilator is like using a tweezer. Just like you can use a tweezer to pull out a hair strand from its root. An epilator is an electrical device which has many built-in tweezers that pull-out hair from its roots. It gives results which are much smoother comparable to waxing since there is no hair or hair roots left in the particular area.

It is more common for women to use an epilator than men, because of the following reasons:

  • They complete get rid of hair strands from its root
  • Painful yet the longest period you can enjoy without hair regrowth

In terms of its cons, there is the issue of ingrown hairs, irritation, etc. but you will enjoy a long term of hair free smoothness, if proper after care is taken for your skin.

The Exact Difference Between These Hair Removal Tools

As we discussed and you might have understood by now, there are specific features of each of these tools and they are specified to be used for getting those specific results. So, when comparing a trimmer vs shaver vs clipper, the important thing to clarify is what you want to do to your hair.

Overall, using any or all of these haircutting tools, you will be able to do the following:

  • Cut your facial hair, body hair or the hair on your head

But the deciding factors for the use of these tools are the following:

  • The length of hair you want to cut off
  • The level of smoothness you want
  • The way you want to style your hair

As you will agree, hair comes in all different shapes, sizes and styles. So, it is only natural that you need a particular tool to derive a particular style. For example, when talking about a hair style, you can use a clipper to cut your long hair to short style, you can use a trimmer to make that short hair style even shorter, and with a shaver you can go for the bald look.

Similarly, in terms of styling your beard if you want to go for a clean shave then you must use a shaver. If you want a slight stubble look then you need trimmer. But if you want a longer well-maintained beard then you will need to use a clipper.

Head to Head: Shaver vs Clipper

  • These are very different from each other in function
  • A clipper cannot do what a shaver can do
  • A shaver cannot do what a clipper can do

As you will have realized, a shaver and a clipper is in fact two very different devices. A shaver is to be used on short hairs for cutting them off completely to get a clean, smooth look. While a clipper is to be used on longer hair to get shorter length cuts.

A clipper can be used at best like a trimmer, but can never do a clean shave like a shaver. A shaver can only cut off hair completely, you cannot control lengths or cut long hair with a shaver.

Head to Head: Shaver vs Trimmer

  • They are both similar in look, function and style.
  • They are designed for dealing with short hair.
  • They are both powered either by electricity or battery
  • They can be corded or cordless

While all these are their similarities, a trimmer will only trim hair to a very short length when it may not be visible but you can still feel it. But when you use a shaver, you get smooth skin by cutting the hair down to the closes point of the root while keeping the root intact or without uprooting it.

So, trimmer will let you go short but not smooth and shaver will let you go clean and smooth!

Head to Head: Trimmer vs Clipper

  • They are both very similar in function but are different in size
  • Many clippers or trimmers exist that can function as either a clipper or a trimmer
  • Both can be used to cut fairly longer hair into shorter lengths
  • Both can have attachments to control the length of hair cuts

As mentioned, there are many dual featured devices available in the market which combines the features of a clipper and trimmer. While a clipper is a larger device that gets rid of the bulk of your hair, a trimmer is used to fine-tune the hair cut such as edges, etc.

Since hair trimmers and hair clippers are so similar in function, let’s look a bit more into their exact differences.

The Differences in Using a Hair Trimmer vs Clipper

A trimmer is designed for cutting shorter hair. It is made for use on finer hairs such as nose hair, mustache, around the ears and neck area, underarms, etc. It is smaller in size with smaller blades for ease of use in tighter areas. It is also used effectively for detailing hairstyles and beard styles.

Trimmer vs Clipper

After this, a shaver can be used to clean up the trimmed areas to get the fresh look. While many trimmers may cut hair pretty close, a shaver is needed to get the completely clean look and smooth feel.

A hair clipper, on the other hand is designed for cutting longer hair. While a trimmer may not come with attachments, hair clipper always comes with various attachments. These attachments are guide combs in various sizes to cut longer hair to particular size.

Unlike trimmers, hair clippers are not designed to give close cuts. They leave you with shorter hair but never meant to leave you with no hair. However, dual purpose clipper/trimmers may have this feature. After cutting long hair with clippers, trimmers are used to perfect the style such as edges and linings and then a shaver is used to clean up.

Now that you have a better understanding of all the differences between these hair cutting devices, let’s look at the advantages, benefits or the pros of a trimmer, a clipper and a shaver.

Pros of Using a Shaver

  • Perfect for a quick & easy shave
  • Completely clean and smooth skin after shaving
  • Great for personal use on its own for dry and wet shaving
  • Don’t need any additional products like shaving foam, gel or cream

Pros of Using a Trimmer

  • Smooth, clean, precise styles
  • Great for personal use in styling beard and mustache
  • Smaller in size for areas such as nose, ears, neck, mustache etc.

Pros of Using a Clipper

  • Great for not just trimming long hair but getting a complete haircut
  • Various attachments in different sizes make it possible to get nice haircuts
  • You can easily copy your last hair cut at home
  • Suitable for both personal and professional use
  • Excellent alternatives to using scissors

What’s the Best Choice for You?

Well, we have thoroughly covered many situations involving a shaver vs trimmer vs clipper, including exactly what they are and what they should be used for.

So, you will no longer be like those who see it all as one device.

The best choice for you will depend on the length of your required hair to be cut, the smoothness you want to achieve, and of course the specific area you want to remove hair from.

We hope that the time you have taken to learn about the differences between a shaver, trimmer and clipper will allow you to make smarter investment decision on what to buy for yourself.

However, no matter what you use, an electric shaver, a beard or mustache trimmer or a hair clipper, it is important that you take proper care when using them for your safety.

Also, take steps to maintain your personal care products by cleaning and oiling them.

Keep your haircuts stylish but maintain proper safety!

4 thoughts on “Shaver vs Trimmer vs Clipper: Find Out Which Is The Best Option For Your Hair”

  1. Thank you for the detail explanation about the three hair cut tools (even 4 tools).
    I do need it very much, for I plan to have the tools, but I’d like to decide to buy the highest priority one.
    By this explanation, I know now that they have their respective special function.
    Once more: thank you very much.


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