Hair clippers are a barber’s sword, creating everything from simple buzz cuts to the most elaborate fades and designs. If you cut your own hair or your crew’s hair, or you’re a professional barber—or aspiring to be one!—it helps to have at least one great pair of clippers. With that in mind, here’s our list of the best hair clippers for every kind of person.
We’ve experimented with a wide range of models, from user-friendly tools for cutting your entire family’s hair to sleek, high-end options for a professional setting, and here are the ones we like most, along with what they’re good for.
If you just want a quick recommendation, then we think the best hair clippers for home use are the Wahl Color Pro Cordless, and the best hair clippers for professional use are the BaBylissPRO GOLDFX collection pack.
Best Hair Clippers: Quick Summaries
In a rush? We got you. Here’s a quick summary of our favorite hair clippers. We’ll get into the details after the jump.
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The Best Hair Clippers for Home Use—Full Reviews
With the basics out of the way, let’s dive into the details. These are our full reviews of the features and specs that make each one of these clippers so worthwhile.
Best for Family Haircuts: Wahl Color Pro Cordless Rechargeable Hair Clipper
If you’re after a versatile, beginner-friendly clipper that you can use not just on yourself but on the entire family, the Wahl Clipper Color Cordless can be a great option. We love Wahl’s professional offerings, but this is a tool designed for average folks to use at home.
What makes the Wahl Color Cordless stand out is its 10 color-coded guards and 2 bonus angled guards. They’re not just an eye-catching touch, but they may actually offer some excellent benefits to the entry-level would-be family barber. The color coding can make it easier to pick out the right attachment for every haircut, especially since the clipper itself has a color guide drawn right on its front. If you plan to give some haircuts to the children in your life, the colorful guards might make the process more interesting for the little ones.
The guards range in length from 3 mm to 25 mm, which we think makes this clipper set ideal for short to medium haircuts. If you want to get a little more advanced with your cutting, it might not be enough, since it doesn’t have ultra-short guards for a proper fade. That said, we know most guys cutting hair at home aren’t planning to create such an advanced style. Without any guards, you could probably use it for a buzz cut, although the blades don’t get as close to the skin as some more professional options we’ll discuss further below.
The Wahl is primarily a cordless clipper with a battery life of 60 minutes, although it does require overnight charging to fill up. However, one of the benefits of this hair clipper is that you can use it both corded and cordless, so you can get a quick trim while it’s plugged in even if you forgot to charge it.
In addition to the guard attachments, this clipper comes with a few other tools that the aspiring home cutter may appreciate. Those include a pair of haircutting scissors, two combs, a cleaning brush, a bottle of blade oil, and a blade guard. There’s also a very handsome carrying case to keep everything organized, and while it would be better if the carrying case were a hard case, it works just fine.
With all of the wonderful benefits out of the way, we must admit this clipper does have a few drawbacks. We find that the motor may sometimes struggle against thicker types of hair, and the attachments, though fun, don’t feel the sturdiest to our hand, so you may want to be careful when using them so they don’t pop off accidentally.
If you prefer a non-corded version, we’re also big fans of the Wahl Clipper Color Pro Complete Haircutting Kit, which has similar specs and accessories.
Best for Ambitious Home Cutters: Conair Custom Haircut Kit
The Conair Custom Hair Clipper is another excellent clipper that comes in a kit for home use.
Compared to our pick from Wahl, we think this style of clipper comes a little closer to professional barber shop clippers, in large part thanks to its blade-adjusting lever, which Conair describes as a locking taper control system. It’s designed to allow the user to change the position of the blades as they work, which could mean getting closer to the skin or making subtle changes to length for a more gradual or tapered look.
Because there are 5 blade positions and 8 guard attachments, in a way, it has 45 blade settings. This might be overkill for the average home cut, but if you want something more precise, this might be ideal for you. You could possibly even use this clipper for fades that require a lot of detail, as well as buzz cuts since you can get really close to the scalp.
The Conair is a perfect companion for home use due to its affordability and powerful magnetic motor that can cut through all hair types without issue. It even has an anti-slip grip to ensure that it won’t fall off your hands when you use it.
It comes with a standard package of accessories, including a hard shell carrying case, 6 guard attachments, and 2 attachments for your left and right ear. It even includes a high-quality pair of scissors, a barber comb, and 2 hair clips for sectioning. You’ll also find a blade guard for protection, a cleaning brush, and blade oil for maintenance.
One drawback of this clipper is that you can only use it corded, and the cable it comes with is on the shorter side. However, you can get an extension cord that will give you a little more space to work with.
Best for Head-to-Toe Grooming: Philips Norelco Multi Groomer
If you find the idea of a full-on clipper a little intimidating or too haircut-focused, the Philips Norelco Multi Groomer may be a good option. We think it’s one of the best clippers for home use because it can allow you to perform all kinds of trimming from head to toe, and that’s a rare thing among clippers.
When it comes to clipping hair, we think it’s a better option for very short haircuts, since the largest guard still cuts hair down to 16 mm. If you’re ambitious, you could attempt to learn how to clip over a hair comb to cut longer lengths, at which point the world of hair clipping will truly be your oyster.
It’s on the shorter end of things where we find that this clipper excels. The smallest guard can cut as close as 1 mm while the unprotected blade will bring things down to 0.5. It could even create a proper taper on the sides and back of your head, although admittedly, we decided to go with the more prestigious Multigroom 7000 when selecting the top hair clippers for fades.
It has a rotary motor that cuts quickly while still powering through thick hair, although it may correspond with a slightly worse lifespan. It’s fitted with a set of steel blades that are impressively low-maintenance in our opinion. The blades are advertised as self-sharpening so they don’t require any blade oil. They are also easily detachable for proper cleaning after each use. That said, they may not be as sharp as carbon steel blades.
It also comes with a precision trimmer attachment that we like for outlines and small details in the beard. The nose and ear trimmer is another bonus that may help you get rid of pesky nose and ear hair.
Philips supports both cordless and corded operation and comes with a large battery that lasts up to 60 minutes if you charge it fully for about 8 hours. There’s also a quick charge feature that allows you to get a full trim with only 5 minutes of charging. This is very convenient if you wake up one busy morning to realize you’ve forgotten to charge.
The versatility of the Philips Norelco Multi Grooming Kit is great if you don’t like having a bunch of different tools for different purposes. However, keep in mind that it’s not a dedicated hair clipper but a versatile all-body grooming tool. It’ll do a fine job for most hair types and haircuts, but don’t expect barber-level results.
Best for Easy Clean-Up: Remington HKVAC2000A Vacuum Haircut Kit
We love everything about the grooming process… except cleaning up stubble! The Remington Vacuum HKVAC2000A is an excellent hair clipper if you don’t like the mess either. This unique clipper has a vacuum feature that collects hair inside its chamber as you cut it, which minimizes the amount of hair left on your floor and sink.
To achieve this, the HKVAC2000A is built with two rotary motors. One is responsible for powering the blade while the other powers the vacuum for that blissfully easy cleanup. We find that the motor is powerful enough to handle a lot of hair, but you might experience some pulling if the texture of your hair is coarse.
It comes with 6 guards that range in length from 3 mm to 19 mm. This means that it’s ideal for classic short hairstyles, but it doesn’t cut close enough if you want to go really short or really tight.
This clipper does require a lot of power not to mention space to operate both motors, so it couldn’t accommodate the battery. It can only be used while plugged in which might be a blessing for some since that means no charging. Another little drawback is that we find it can be kind of bulky and noisy, probably also because of that added vacuum. Nevertheless, we think it’s a small price to pay for minimal cleaning.
Inside the box, you’ll find the clipper along with a nice carrying case, the 6 guard attachments, as well as 2 attachments for your ears. There are also 3 clips that could help you section your hair while cutting, a pair of scissors, a styling comb, some blade oil, a cleaning brush, and a blade guard. All excellent. There are a quite a few clippers for home use, but this is one of our favorites.
The Best Clippers for Barbers and Pros—Full Reviews
If you’re a professional, you’re going to need clippers that go through a lot of wear and tear—all while performing at a very high level. Here are our picks for the best hair clippers—the ones we found to be the best options for barbershop and salon pros:
Best for Power & Performance: Andis Professional Master Corded
If you want a professional-grade hair clipper that’ll handle a lot of hair with ease and last you for years, you may want to check out the Andis Professional Master Corded.
Andis is as renowned as a brand can be in the barbering world, and Andis clippers are very popular in professional barber shops. The brand is known for producing heavy-duty (if not very attractive) tools. Indeed, we find that the Master is very heavy-duty and reliable, but it actually bucks the trend by looking quite sleek and modern with its shiny aluminum exterior.
We like the corded version of this clipper a lot. It’s built with a large and powerful magnetic motor that impresses us with its speed and excellent cutting power. More importantly, magnetic motors are known for having an excellent lifespan, and so you may find that this clipper lasts you for years and years and years.
However, with such a large and powerful motor comes additional weight, and you may find that it heats up during long periods of use. It can also be a bit noisy, which might annoy you or your customers.
Magnetic motors are usually best for straight or fine hair, but you may find that the Master is strong enough to also handle thick growth. This is in part because of the motor, but potentially also because it has carbon steel blades, which correlate with excellent sharpness, although they may require a little more maintenance and oiling.
As we generally expect from hair clippers for pros, it does have a lever to adjust the blades from 0.5 mm to 2.4 mm. If you’re a fan of creating very short, tight cuts, you could also zero-gap them, which adjusts the blade to cut even closer.
In addition to the Master clipper, you also receive a small tube of blade oil. That can seem a little sparse compared to clipper kits for home use, but it’s about on par with what we expect from professional offerings. That means you’ll need to buy additional guards, or else you’ll be stuck with limited cutting options.
Best for Cordless Use: Wahl 5-Star Magic Clip
The Wahl Professional 5-Star Magic Clip is our top pick for any barber that wants the freedom and versatility of a cordless clipper with the power and reliability of Wahl. The 5-Star is one of Wahl’s most beloved professional offerings, and not just for its classic retro look (which we adore).
One of the main things we like about the 5-Star is that, despite being cordless, we think that it still operates just as effectively as its corded counterparts. It was built with a rotary motor, which can move fast, but not quite as fast as a magnetic one. However, the benefit of a rotary motor is that, because of the slightly slower speed, it may have an easier time against coarse hair while still cutting other hair textures easily. Plus, you may also find that it takes less of a toll on the blades themselves.
Despite the powerful motor, we find that it’s still quite light and comfortable to hold, which can make all-day clipping easy. Its battery life is impressive, with up to 90 minutes of uninterrupted usage following only 3-4 hours of charging time.
It’s fitted with a unique stagger tooth blade, which barbers often prefer for blending because it can create softer lines as it cuts. However, watch out—this kind of blade may leave nasty cuts if you decide to zero-gap it.
This clipper comes with 8 guards, which we think will be very useful if you’re new to barbering. They range in length from 3 mm to 25 mm, while the lever on the side of the clipper lets you adjust the blade itself. You may find it’s enough for most short and medium haircuts, including soft fades, which is fantastic.
Inside the box, you’ll also find a cleaning brush and some blade oil for maintenance, as well as a comb, which we think is a good amount of bonus accessories for a professional tool.
We absolutely love these, and they get our vote as the top hair clippers overall. Really excellent.
Best for Comfort: Oster Fast Feed
If you’re looking for a small and compact hair clipper that runs cool and quiet, we don’t think any clipper can beat the Oster Fast Feed. It may not be the most eye-catching clipper, but we think this tool is one of the most comfortable clippers to use. We find that this clipper has a solid and comfortable grip, it’s gentle on the ears compared to other bulky hair clippers, and it doesn’t get too hot even after long periods of use. While it’s not cordless, it comes with an 8-foot cord that may offer some leniency when it comes to your distance from the nearest outlet.
The exterior of the Fast Feed has a signature vintage design of Oster. It’s not quite as fancy as the BaByliss below, but we do think it has its own rugged charm. More importantly, we find that it feels pretty lightweight but still durable enough to withstand daily usage in a busy shop.
It features a pivot motor which, although not the fastest, might actually do a better job with coarse or thick hair compared to Andis or Wahl. It’s equipped with some excellent carbon steel blades that we think further contribute to its ability to cut thick, coarse hair. If you have a lot of curly clients, this could be a great pick for you, although it might not impress against straight or fine hair.
The blades are adjustable from 0.5 mm to 2.4 mm to potentially achieve nice tapered styles. Inside the box, you’ll also find 4 combs that add further cutting options from 6 mm to 13 mm as well as one short guard for better blending. There are also standard maintenance accessories, like a cleaning brush, blade oil, and a blade guard.
That said, you may not want to pick up the Osters if you like a bald look or very tight fades. They’re a little harder to zero-gap compared to some of the other professional clippers on this list, although we think they’re great for plenty of other, more classic looks.
Best Premium: BaBylissPRO GOLDFX Collection
If you walked into a barber shop and saw golden hair clippers, you might be a little skeptical. After all, so many brands that try really hard to look luxurious are all glamor and no substance. Well, we’re happy to report that we believe that the BaByliss GoldFX Hair Clipper is both glamor and substance.
The standout feature in this clipper is its Ferrari-designed motor—yes, the supercar manufacturer. Talk about over the top! It’s a brushless motor, which, in the hair clipping world means that it’s designed to offer power and precision when used on all hair types.
It cuts at 7200 strokes per minute, which might not be as fast as some of the other options on this list, but corresponds with excellent cutting power against coarse hair. Because of that, we don’t think it’d be the best clipper for bulk cutting, but it may deserve a spot in your arsenal for precision haircuts on coarse or curly hair types.
The blades themselves are also impressive, with a titanium coating that you may find improves overall sharpness and durability. We find that the blade is easy to adjust thanks to the metal lever on the side, not to mention that you can zero-gap it for maximum closeness. Plus, it comes with 8 attachments that range from 1.4 mm to 19 mm to give you additional versatility. Since these guards are all on the short end, we think it would work well for very tight but well-blended fades.
Brushless motors are famously lightweight and energy efficient, so it’s not surprising that the battery life can last for 2 hours of cordless use after only 3 hours of charging. You might also be able to use it while plugged in, if necessary.
If you’re looking for the absolute best-of-the-best, high-end, deluxe clipper, this is it. BaByliss has become the Cadillac of clippers, and we’ve had a lot of fun using them.
There you have it! Hopefully there’s something here that helps you. If you have any questions, jump over to our “Contact” page and drop us a line. If you’d like to learn more about clippers, here you go!
How to Pick the Right Hair Clippers: Some Tips
Still not sure which clippers to choose? Here are the main buying criteria we think every barber and aspiring barber should consider. Keep in mind—the tips below are if you’re buying clippers to cut hair; we’ve got a few other posts if you’re looking to select balding clippers or looking for a great pair of balding clippers.
The Debate: Cordless or Corded
One of the first decisions you should make when choosing the right hair clippers for you is whether you want a cordless or corded tool.
Cordless clippers give you a lot of freedom of movement and portability, which is very important if your house or barbershop doesn’t have a convenient electrical outlet set up. It’s also great if you travel a lot or if you just don’t want to get tangled up in cords—especially if you’re cutting your own hair. We selected a few great cordless clippers for our list, but we’ve also written an entire article dedicated to reviewing great cordless hair clippers.
Corded clippers also have their own benefits. To start, corded clippers are generally more reliable. In the short term, you don’t need to worry about forgetting to charge your clippers or running out of batter. In the long term, there is no battery that can fail, so corded clippers tend to have a longer lifespan.
Understanding Motor Types
There are a few kinds of clipper motors that companies favor, and each one operates a little differently. Here’s a quick summary:
Rotary motors for bulk cutting. Clippers with rotary motors like the Wahl 5-Star are very powerful and fast-cutting, making them an excellent choice for bulk cutting or cutting through dense hair growth quickly. However, with power also comes heat—these kinds of hair clippers can get pretty hot, especially after a long period of cutting. They’re more complex than some of the other motor types, so they can break down a little more easily.
Magnetic motors for speed and straight hair. Magnetic clippers tend to be affordable and durable, which is why they’re so plentiful on our list. They’re excellent for speed, moving the clipper blades very rapidly. They’re powerful enough to cut through thin or fine hair, even when there’s a lot of it, but they’re not as good against coarse hair. They also tend to stay cool, which is a bonus if you’re using them for a long time.
Pivot motors for coarse hair and cool operation. Pivot motors are the best option for thick or coarse hair. They have a slower blade speed which, uniquely enough, corresponds with better cutting power, at least when the hair is thick or dense.
Even though the blade moves more slowly, there is still a lot of power behind each stroke. As such, clippers like Oster Fast Feed with pivot motors have more time to adequately cut through a lot of hair, while fast ones are more likely to snag or pull. Compared to rotary motors, pivot motors are a little more durable, as well.
Brushless motors for all purposes. Clippers with brushless motors like BaByliss are computer-operated, so they tend to be quite costly. They’re generally much quieter and cooler than even pivot motors, which makes them very pleasant to use. Much like rotary motors, they tend to be very versatile when it comes to different hair types.
Consider Your Hair Type
We already touched on this, but here’s how to choose a clipper based on your or your clients’ hair types.
Fine. Fine hair has a very thin shaft, rather than low density. With fine hair, sometimes, the strands just slide past the clipper blades or they can even get caught and pulled. Clippers with magnetic and rotary motors tend to do the best job with this hair type.
Medium. Medium hair is neither too thick nor too thin, so choosing a clipper is pretty easy. Chances are any set will do, but rotary is probably the best choice for a balance between power and speed.
Coarse. Coarse hair has thicker strands which can be a little more difficult to cut through. Curly hair tends to be more coarse, though not always.This is an instance where speed isn’t useful—instead, powerful yet slow clippers with a pivot motor tend to work best.
Thick. Thick hair isn’t the same as coarse hair—in fact, your hair can be both thick and fine! Thickness refers to how densely your hair grows. Focus on choosing clippers based on the actual thickness of your hair strands, first, but in general, machines that are good at bulk cutting like a rotary are the best choice.
Bonus Accessories: Very Helpful
You need more than just clippers to cut hair well. Consider whether these accessories you may find in a standard clipper kit will offer you any utility.
Guards. Comb guards are the tools that allow you to customize the length at which your clippers cut hair. Unless you’re only interested in doing buzzcuts, having some comb guards is a must. Consider to what lengths you plan on cutting hair since some selections tend to range towards shorter cuts while others accommodate medium haircuts as well. If you’re a professional, you may want to splurge on a nice set of guard attachments that are sold separately.
Hair cutting accessories. Additional accessories can be a nice bonus, especially if you’re not a professional and you don’t have any other hair-cutting gear. A robe will be useful if you’re doing cuts on others, while clips are great if you sometimes deal with long hair since they’ll help you separate hair into sections.
The free scissors that come in a hair clipper set are not usually of a high enough quality for use in a professional barber shop, but if you’re just doing cuts at home, they can be very useful to have.
Tool maintenance products. You’ll receive blade oil with most new clipper purchases, and occasionally you’ll also get cleaning brushes. These are a must-have for taking care of your clipper, so we definitely prioritized kits that included them in our selection. After you get the hang of using your clippers, you can use brushes you have around the house, as well as substitutes for clipper oil if you run out.
What to Look for in Clippers for Home Use
If you’re going to cut your own or your family’s hair, these are some specific features to consider.
Ease of use. When shopping for clippers to use at home, we think the most important element is finding clippers that’ll be easy to use, even if you’re a beginner. That’s why we like the color-corded Wahl Cordless Hair Clipper so much.
Durability. Another factor is durability, which was a non-negotiable feature for us when compiling the entirety of our list. A high-quality hair clipper can last for years, and that’s especially important at home where accidents can happen.
Right for your style. Finally, make sure to choose the right clipper for your and your family’s hair type as well as the kind of cuts you plan to create. Make sure the comb guards that come with your clipper and the direct adjustments you can make to the blade will accommodate the kinds of cuts you want to do, whether that’s simple, one-length cuts or more classic tapered styles.
What to Look for in Clippers for Professionals
When it comes to professionals, you’ll want a more prestigious, professional-grade tool that holds up to the following standards.
Durability. Just like the average guy at home, professional barbers also need durable hair clippers. At the barbershop, durability is even more important, since you’ll be using your clippers all day every day. All of the professional clippers on our list have an excellent reputation for durability, so you should be safe with any of them.
Right for your customers. A lot of barbers find that their customers belong to a specific demographic, which can manifest in most of them having the same hair type or liking the same kind of style.
If you think you’ll specialize, make sure to choose a set of clippers that’ll excel at creating the main kinds of cuts you perform. For example, if most of your customers like a more mature, classic style, you may want a clipper like the Oster Fast Feed that keeps things nicely blended. For a more modern, fade-focused style, a clipper like the Andis Master or BaByliss might be a better choice.
Versatility. Unlike home cuts which tend to be pretty straightforward, barbers usually need clippers that can do a few different things well. On the one hand, you want to work fast when cutting a lot of hair, but on the other hand, you’ll also need a tool that offers precision. The Wahl 5-Star is probably the best tool on our list for versatility, but a lot of barbers choose to buy a couple of different clippers.
What is the Difference Between Clippers and Trimmers?
Clippers and trimmers…. They look pretty similar, so what’s the difference? To keep things simple, clippers are designed to cut hair while trimmers are designed to cut beards or to do precision work on haircuts.
Their design and method of operation are nearly identical, but clippers tend to be much larger. Trimmers are usually small so they do a better job of shaping a beard. They’re also better for fine-tuning the hair outline or refining a fade.
In a pinch, you could probably use them interchangeably, but don’t expect to have an easy time. If you do want a tool that can do both tasks, a hybrid like the Philips Norelco Multi Groom is your best option.
Basic Clipper Use Tips
Learning how to use clippers can be a lifetime endeavor. As any great barber will tell you, there’s always room to develop skills, try new techniques, and push your creativity. Or you can just perfect the one buzzcut and call it a day… Not every person has to be an artiste.
With that said, these are the basic starter tips for using a clipper, so you can start cutting hair the moment your new and shiny clipper arrives at your door.
Get to know your guards. Knowing exactly which guard to reach for and when will make the cutting process much easier. Look at the numbers on your guards—the shorter the number, the shorter a guard will cut, but the precise lengths can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, so you’ll want to read the user manual as well. Keep them organized so you always know which guard to reach for.
Practice the hold and direction. Before you actually start practicing on yourself, get used to the weight of the clipper in your hand. When cutting, you’ll want to hold your clipper so that the blade is parallel and almost flush against the head, with the actual teeth facing upwards in the direction in which you’re moving the clipper.
For tidying up edges and outlining, you can flip the clipper over to cut directly with the teeth, but reserve that for once you’ve had a bit more experience, especially if you’re trying to cut your own hair.
Wash first. It’s better to clip hair when it’s damp after a shower. The water makes the hair shaft swell, making it more pliant and also allowing it to hang down more straight. Plus, it’s nicer to cut clean hair!
Cover up. This might be obvious, but don’t forget to cover up your shoulders with a towel or a hair-cutting cape. There’s nothing worse than getting covered in scratchy stubble—that’s the worst.
For self-cuts, get another mirror. If you’re cutting your own hair, having a two or three mirror set up can be very helpful, especially when it’s time to cut the hair at the back of your head.
Cut gradually. Clippers alone don’t do a great job of mowing down long hair. Guards are really important because they help remove hair gradually, taking less of a toll on the blades. When cutting hair, always start with a longer comb to remove the bulk. Then, gradually work your way down as you cut your hair shorter.
Don’t forget to blend. The mark of a very good haircut is that it goes from short to long seamlessly. To avoid harsh transitions, make sure to always blend the areas where you started cutting hair to a slightly different length. You can do this by switching to a guard with an in-between number, or by using your clipper with the shorter guard and gently refining the edges with a small upward swooping motion.
Get to Clippin’
Getting into the world of barbering can be very rewarding. What’s better than tackling a mess of hair and transforming it into a crisp, groomed look? Hopefully something here helps you on your journey. Be good, have fun, and happy clipping!
Michael Morris is the head writer here at Rough and Tumble Gentleman. He's got a ducktail beard and loves Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He's married to the woman of his dreams and lives in Brooklyn, NY.