The 10 Best Hair Clippers
This wiki has been updated 35 times since it was first published in February of 2015. If you've had enough of spending money at the barbershop every few weeks, hair clippers like these can provide a great cut in the comfort of your own home. The models on this list are affordable, easy to use, and more than capable of giving you a professional finish. With a bit of practice, they are sure to give you a 'do you'll love, but you'll have to provide your own awkward small talk. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
May 11, 2021:
We felt like the last editor for this page did a nice job of putting together a varied selection of options that should include something for most people, and with the vast majority of these choices still being readily available and reviewing well, we saw little need to make many changes to this list.
One exception was the Philips Norelco 7100, which wasn’t available during this update, and was thus removed in order to make room for a new option. To fill that spot, we chose the Wahl Elite Pro Kit — a corded model that’s backed by a limited lifetime warranty, comes with premium-quality blade guards, and is likely to satisfy the needs of most users.
While some people are likely to favor the convenience and portability that comes with a cordless model – like the Remington HC4250 or Surker Cordless – we liked that the Elite Pro came with a serviceable hard case and nice selection of accessories, making it a one-stop solution for those looking to set up their own at-home barber service.
February 26, 2020:
We replaced five of our entries for this update, re-assembling our list with a selection of updated options.
Cordless hair trimmers are getting smaller and more powerful, which is why we included so many on our list. Without a long cord to worry about, its easier to maneuver around a head of hair, getting cuts done faster and with fewer mistakes.
The Remington 6550 is the most noteworthy of these additions, a cordless tool that also features a vacuum fan that pulls in hair trimmings as you cut. By storing this waste inside the body of the unit, instead of letting it fall to the floor or onto whoever's getting a trim, you save a ton of time when it comes to cleanup.
The one drawback of battery-powered options is that eventually they are going to run out of juice and need to be recharged, an issue that corded models don’t have. Luckily, we have an exception to that rule, the Wahl Color Pro. This affordable option can be used while its plugged in and charging, a nice perk if you have a family of heads to cut and want to get everyone done at once.
Clipper Camo Customize your new clippers with one of this company's colorful skins. They come in a wide variety of styles, and are available at prices that won't trim too much off your bank balance. clippercamo.com
Supreme Envy Li Made in collaboration with popular clipper brand Andis, this version of the Envy Li comes in an in-your-face hue of fire-truck red, with the iconic Supreme logo splashed on top. Granted, you'll be paying a sizeable premium just for the additional brand name, but with Supreme, that's really always been the point. grailed.com
Hair Today, Stylish Tomorrow
Electric clippers are powered by either magnetic, rotary, or pivot motors and feature blades that oscillate from side to side across a guiding comb.
Personal grooming reflects one's image of how they see themselves. For example, some men prefer a rough grunge hairstyle or even a disheveled look because it makes them stand out in a crowd. Others may insist on keeping themselves neat, tidy, and even preppy looking. With this in mind, having a good set of hair clippers can make all the difference.
Hair clippers are grooming devices with sharp blades made from either stainless steel, titanium, or ceramic with long handles. They can be used to cut, trim, and shape both human and pet hair. There are 2 major types of hair clippers, manual and electric. Manual clippers depend completely on hand power and are operated with a pair of handles squeezed together to hold locks of hair for fast and close cutting. They are used most often in the military and in prisons. Electric clippers are powered by either magnetic, rotary, or pivot motors and feature blades that oscillate from side to side across a guiding comb.
Electric clippers with rotary-style motors are powered by either alternating (AC) or direct currents (DC), whereas both magnetic and pivot-style clippers use alternating current power to drive the speed and torque of their blades across their guiding combs.
So what about maintenance? Can't I just take the blade off, blow on the top a few times and be done with it? Well, even though electric clippers are relatively durable, they still need maintenance beyond a simple swipe of a brush to keep them working properly. Don't forget that your electric hair clipper has moving parts that need to be taken care of.
First off, make sure the clipper's blades are properly aligned. The last thing you want is to nick yourself or a client. The blades of most electric clippers usually unscrew easily, so it's good practice to take the clipper apart every now and then to make sure the parts are properly aligned and working the way they're supposed to.
Oiling your clipper ensures its longevity by keeping the blade and internal components well lubricated. You can apply a drop of oil to each corner of the moving blade and perhaps to the middle of the blade as well. Leave the clipper running for about 10-15 seconds so that the oil gets evenly dispersed.
Lower Your Ears, Not Your Bank Balance
Just because electric hair clippers are a weapon of choice for professional barbers doesn't mean you have to break the bank to purchase one. In fact, clippers from popular brands like Oster, Wahl, and Andis can be quite affordable.
By contrast, if you're a mobile pet groomer, cordless options would be highly recommended.
While cost is an important factor, others include weight and power. Whether you're clipping your own hair or someone else's, you want something that's lightweight enough to hold, carry, and maneuver, particularly if you're giving someone a close shave/clip. You also want to make sure the device is powerful enough to clip quickly and without catching or jamming.
The variety of available blade types is also something to consider. While basic clippers have stainless steel, other blade options include titanium, carbon, and heat-resistant ceramic blades.
Finally, you need to determine whether it's more beneficial for your clipper to be corded or cordless. If you're a barber and plan to use the clipper in one place, corded options can work out well. By contrast, if you're a mobile pet groomer, cordless options would be highly recommended.
Clipping And Snipping Through Time
Inventions come out of the most interesting of circumstances. That's what makes history come alive. The birth of the hair clipper is no exception.
The invention of the manual hair clipper is credited to a mid-19th century Serbian barber apprentice named Nikola Bizumic. Bizumic was born in 1823 in Neradin, Serbia and lived the life of a rural peasant by breeding pigs. Becoming disenchanted with that lifestyle, Bizumic fled to the city of Ruma where he met barber Petar Javonovic with whom he apprenticed. Eventually, Bizumic developed the first pair of manual hair clippers before his death in 1906.
In 1921, Leo Wahl founded Wahl Clipper Corporation, which is still one of the biggest manufacturers of electric hair clippers today.
Having just invented a hand-held massager for his uncle (Dr. Frank Wahl), a young inventor from Chicago, Illinois named Leo J. Wahl used the idea of the manual clipper as the basis for developing the first electric hair clipper by 1919. In 1921, Leo Wahl founded Wahl Clipper Corporation, which is still one of the biggest manufacturers of electric hair clippers today. Wahl's innovation and versatile ideas would be able to encompass anything from clippers with adjustable blades to cordless trimmers used in a variety of applications, including pet grooming and sheep shearing.
Also in 1921, Mathew Andis Sr joined the electric clipper industry and began selling his devices door to door. Mathew also started Andis O M Manufacturing with John Oster and Henry Meltzer. When the 3 of them parted ways, Matthew eventually established the Andis Clipper Company.
In 1928, the John Oster Manufacturing Company was formed and later acquired in 1960 by the Sunbeam Corporation. Today, Oster is best known for its kitchen products. Wahl, Andis, and Oster all remain successful along with other companies such as Kim Laube & Co., which manufactures its products in the USA and specializes in electric clippers that are powerful enough for the animal grooming industry.