Whether you are a do-it-yourself home barber or you run a professional salon, having the right hair clipper can make the difference between a good haircut and a great haircut.

But here’s the deal:

Not all hair clippers are created equal.  From the width of the clipping edge to the motor that powers it, can all have a large impact on the final results.  

This guide will review popular hair clippers including the Wahl Clipper Elite Pro Hair Clipper.  In addition to our reviews, we will also share with you tips on finding the right hair clippers for your needs and answer several questions others had when buying clippers.

Tl;dr – Our Top Picks

5 Tips for Buying Hair Clippers

When buying hair clippers, you will want to keep the following considerations in mind:

1. Motor

The motor can vary from one clipper to the next; here’s what you need to know:

  • Rotary Motor: Commonly found on consumer-grade hair trimmers, the rotary motor can work on all hair types.  While not as quick as an electromagnetic motor, rotary motors usually are half the price of their professional counterparts.  
  • Electromagnetic Motor:  This motor has the highest stroke per minute (SPM) rate of all clippers.  Expect smooth strokes and no pulling on the hair.  Electromagnetic motors tend to have the longest life, making them suitable for professionals.
  • Pivot Motor: With a significantly lower SPM, pivot motors are made to cut through thick and dense hair.  The pivot motor isn’t recommended for all hair types.

2. Power Source

Clippers will either be corded or battery powered.  Here’s what you need to know:

  • Corded: Provides a consistent motor speed and all-day-long performance.  However, mobility is limited based on the length of the cord. As a result, corded clippers tend to be slightly cheaper.
  • Rechargeable: These clippers have a run time between 45 to 90-minutes.  With no cord, you can concentrate on edgework for better results (and happier customers). Unfortunately, battery performance will gradually degrade over time, eventually requiring replacement.

3. Attachment Combs

More attachment combs provide more styling options.  Additionally, premium clippers from brands such as Wahl or Andis sell replacement combs should they ever get lost or broken.

4. Replacement Blade

If you are using the hair clipper in a professional barbershop, you will want to make sure that you can buy a replacement blade.  By replacing your blade often, you can ensure that clients’ hair never gets pulled out. Replacement blades are reasonably priced (typically under $20) and make the clipper like-new.

5. Design

Design and weight are important considerations, especially if you plan on using the clipper in a barbershop.  An ergonomic design will prevent fatigue in your wrist, arm, and elbow throughout the day.  Aside from comfort, a good grip allows for greater control when trimming hair.

The Best Hair Clippers

1. Best Overall: Wahl Clipper Elite Pro Hair Clipper for Men

Key Features:

  • Great for both home and professional barber shop use
  • Complete hair cutting kit that includes all the required accessories 
  • Low learning curve

Summary:

If you are looking for a well-rounded hair clipper that can cut through all different hair types and lengths, then Wahl Clipper Elite Pro hair clippers are a sound choice.  Here is what we liked most about these clippers:

  • Powerful motor

Thanks to the 8′ chemical resistance power cord, you get high performance as these clippers make their way through any hair type.  Wahl is able to achieve such performance by relying on a powerful electromagnetic motor.  When using this clipper you won’t have to worry about any sudden snags or choppy results.  Instead, you can expect this clipper to cut through hair smoothly and effortlessly.

  • Attachment combs and other great accessories

Whether you are a DIY barber or you are a barber looking for a reliable clipper to use throughout the day, the attachment combs included (6 in total) allow you to achieve many different hairstyles.  Whether it’s buzz cuts or a slick back with an undercut – expect great results.  Unlike other clippers that are attached by cheap and flimsy plastic, the Wahl Clipper Elite Pro has stainless steel clips that provide a secure closure that won’t rust or corrode over time.

When you aren’t using the Elite Pro, the storage case provides simple organization.  It is small enough to be stored under the sink, linen closet, or elsewhere.

  • Some limitations

While the strong powerful motor is undoubtedly the biggest selling point for the Elite Pro, it can also be a drawback for some.  Unlike many cordless clippers that can be used internationally thanks to the lithium battery and swappable power cords, the Elite Pro will only work with 120V outlets (unless you have an adapter of course).  

Secondly, Wahl states that these clippers can cut hair down to 1/16″.  While it’s definitely a respectable hair length, if you want to truly rock the bald look, you would be better suited going with a razor or balding clippers.  

Lastly, both the left and right ear taper attachment combs aren’t included with this model.  The other included combs will need to cut the hair around the ears, not a dealbreaker for most, but worth noting.

Other Noteworthy Features:

  • Unlike most small electronics, the Wahl Clipper Elite Pro was Made in the USA
  • Easy to use taper lever allows for smooth fades
  • Priced aggressively for someone looking for affordable home hair cutting
  • Includes red blade guards for protection when not in use
  • Both blade oil and cleaning brush are included for long term maintenance
  • Wahl provides a 5-year warranty

Pros

  • A powerful motor gets the job done at an affordable price
  • Easily achieve many different hair styles
  • Self-sharpening metal blade guard

Cons

  • No left or right ear taper
  • Corded design limits mobility

What You Need To Know

If you are looking for one of the best hair clippers for men, then the Wahl Clipper Elite Pro hair kit should be at the top of your list.  It includes everything you need in order to get a great haircut whether you are at home or at the barbershop.

2. Best for Professionals: Wahl Professional 5-Star Legend Hair Clipper

Key Features:

  • The electromagnetic motor is designed to last a long time
  • Ergonomic design is great for all-day use
  • The long adjustable lever allows for an easy change in cutting length

Summary:

When it comes to reliable and strong performance, there is no beating the Wahl Professional 5-Star Legend Clipper.  Designed to cut through all types of hair, this flagship trimmer by Wahl is particularly great for your diverse multicultural client base.  

  • Electromagnetic motor and enhanced taper allow for smooth and clean cuts

What makes this clipper so special is the V9000 electromagnetic motor that runs at a whopping 14,000 strokes per minute (this is an upgrade from their previous generation V5000 motor).  When you couple this motor with their unique “crunch” blade design, you get a clipper that can effortlessly slice through hair of any thickness.  You can expect these precision blades to give clean and sharp results.  

Given that this clipper relies on an electromagnetic motor, you should have no issues with it overheating after extended use as it gives off very little heat.  Furthermore, with this motor type, there are fewer moving parts, which can improve the longevity of the device.

With an extended blade lever adjustment, you can really fine-tune the blade length for seamless blends in your fades.

  • Ergonomic design

When it comes to professional barber clippers, cutting performance is important, but equal to that is comfort.  In order to prevent wrist and hand fatigue, an ergonomic design that complements your natural hand position provides relief.  

Beyond comfort, the improved grip on this clipper allows for terrific control.  Therefore, you can easily do all sorts of technical hairstyles where a clipper is required.

  • Replacement parts and accessories

One of the really great features about the 5-Star Legend clippers is that you can swap out the clipper blades with a screwdriver.  So if you accidentally drop the clipper and bend the tip of the blade or you simply want to try a new style, the detachable blades feature a two-screw mount that can be easily swapped out.  You can find on their site several different blade sizes that can be used for different cutting lengths.

Beyond detachable blades, at WahlPro.com, you also can pick up several accessories for the clipper.  This includes a finger ring grip, individual cutting guides, organizers, combs, and more. 

Other Noteworthy Features:

  • Carbon steel blades are both harder and sharper than traditional stainless steel
  • Package includes a red blade guard (high visibility), brush, lubricating oil, and eight cutting guides
  • Screw mount makes it easy to clean the blades regularly
  • Works best on dry hair (although should have no problem on wet hair as well)
  • Includes a 1-year warranty
  • 8′ long chemical resistant power cord 

Pros

  • Sharp blades make for clean and consistent fades
  • Professional hair clipper that is built to last
  • Works on both wet and dry hair

Cons

  • Limited mobility due to power cord

What You Need To Know

When it comes to finding professional clippers, there is simply no beating the 5-Star Legend by Wahl.  It’s easy to see why this clipper is found in barbershops around the world – they are just that good.

3. Best for Fades: Andis Professional Master Adjustable Blade Hair Clipper

Key Features:

  • The electromagnetic motor that runs at a rate of 14,000 strokes per minute
  • The blade can be adjusted from 000 to 1 – also can be zero gapped
  • Lightweight and strong aluminum housing

Summary:

For the professional barber that takes their job seriously, and wants the very best for their clients, then there is simply no beating the Andis Master Adjustable Blade Hair Clipper.  Whether you are looking to do a simple buzz cut or a bald fade, these clippers will slice through the thickest hair like butter. 

  • Robust motor only is seen on few clippers of this caliber

At a staggering 14,000 strokes per minute rate, this powerful magnetic motor creates incredibly smooth results.  Operated by a simple side switch, the corded clippers are set out to do one job and yet do it very well.  

When reviewing clippers for fades, this motor really shines.  Unlike a pivot or rotary motor, the higher stroke per minute rate allows you to simply make a reliable and perfect fade no matter the client’s hair texture.  

  • 000 to 1 blade adjust side lever

While the motor itself is among the best, in order to truly make these the perfect clippers for fade haircuts, it comes down to the lever.  To put it another way, a powerful motor means nothing if you aren’t able to get the most out of it.  

With a wide range of sizes coming from just the lever alone, you have a greater amount of control when working a fade haircut.  In addition to the wide size range, if you want to do bald fades or skin fades, the blade can be zero gapped for even closer results.

  • Andis Master Series adjustable blades can be purchased separately

Like Wahl, Andis provides a wide array of blades that can be swapped out due to their universal mount among the Andis Master Series lineup.  So if you like the motor in this clipper but want to extend its versatility, you can easily pop in the Fade Master – which can go between a size 000000 to a size 000 – which for comparison, cuts just as low as some of the best balding clippers we recently reviewed.

While many of these blades can be picked up at large online retailers like Amazon, if you want to see the entire Andis lineup, you should check out the Andis store here.

Other Noteworthy Features:

  • Simple thumb lever and on-off switch make it easy to use 
  • Cutting blade made from rigid carbon steel
  • The aluminum body provides unsurpassed durability 
  • Runs both cool and quiet so you can talk to your clients
  • The ergonomic body will feel great in your hand
  • 12-month manufacturer’s limited warranty

Pros

  • Makes for buttery smooth fade cuts
  • Indestructible aluminum body
  • The simple design ensures it lasts forever

Cons

  • No guide combs are included
  • One-dimensional device limits its uses to just act as a fade clipper

What You Need To Know

When it comes to trying to find the clippers for fades, the product selection is surprisingly slim.  However, most pro barbers would agree that the Andis Master Adjustable Blade Clipper is among the best.

4. Best for Dense & Curly Hair: Oster Fast Feed Professional Clipper

Key Features:

  • Pivot motor allows it to cut easily through the thickest hair types
  • Steel blades cut from 000 to 1
  • Includes 3 comb attachments, cleaning brush, blade guard, and blade oil

Summary:

When cutting through really thick or ethnic hair types, a pivot motor clipper with a slower stroke per minute rate will provide better results.  With the Oster Fast Feed Professional Clipper, you can expect reliable precision thanks to the simple, yet powerful, design.

  • Fast Feed pivot motor increases productivity

When cutting a client’s hair, you want to give them a great haircut so they keep coming back.  Unfortunately for many men, particularly men with thicker and coarser hair, many standard hair clippers just simply won’t work.  Not only will the clipper cause snags, which can lead to a poor cutting experience, but the results leave a lot to be desired.  The Oster Fast Feed Adjustable Pivot Motor clipper is a game-changer.  With a motor that can cut through the thickest of hair with ease, this beast of a trimmer will make life easier.  Just note that since pivot motors have a slower stroke per minute count compared to their electromagnetic counterparts, you will have to make slower passes in order to prevent tugging or pulling on the hair.

If there was any drawback to the trimmers cutting abilities, it would be that it can’t do a zero-gap cut.  While this may be a dealbreaker for some, we think most can look past this downside.

  • 4 guide combs for different hair lengths

Included with the Oster Fast Feed is 4 different guide combs, which can be cut to the following lengths:

  • Blending
  • ¼” cut
  • ⅜” cut
  • ½” cut

While these combs can work for most barbers, those that want some versatility in length, Oster does sell additional combs separately (includes 10 guide combs and a storage bag). 

The combs have a slide-on plastic fitting rather than a plastic clip.  Therefore, you shouldn’t have to worry about the guides breaking after several uses.

  • Cylindrical and textured housing and stout weight

The barrel design coupled with the ribbed body allows for your hands to get a confident grip on the body.  While not nearly as ergonomic as other clippers reviewed, it should still provide you with plenty of control when trimming in any direction.  

When comparing the Oster Fast Feed to other hair clippers, particularly the Wahl Professional 5-Star Legend, we found that the weight skewed a bit to the higher side.  At 1.16 lbs, this hair trimmer may take a bit of getting used to, especially if you are cutting hair for extended periods – the Wahl Professional 5-Star Legend weighs 1 lb for reference. 

  • Included extras are limited but essential

This is a professional trimmer, therefore, unlike home hair clippers, you won’t find barber scissors, apron, storage case, etc.  Instead, Oster just includes the essentials: blade guard, lubricating oil, and a brush.  These included extras will extend the life of the trimmer when regularly maintained.

  • One-year warranty

Like most major brands, Oster stands by its products.  The Fast Feed has a one-year limited warranty that covers the clippers against any defects.  

Other Noteworthy Features:

  • Can be used as a beard trimmer in a pinch as it shouldn’t cause any nicks or cuts
  • Pivot motor can cut hair to length in only a single pass
  • Different length combs can be purchased separately
  • The taper lever allows these to be easily used as fade clippers
  • 000 to 1 adjustable blade length
  • Corded power limits mobility
  • Whisper Quiet motor allows you to easily keep a conversation with your client

Pros

  • Cuts through thick and wet hair easily
  • Designed for professional use
  • Barber-friendly price tag

Cons

  • Blade can’t be zero-gapped
  • The body is a bit heavy
  • Requires a slower pass to prevent snags

What You Need To Know

If you are looking for a new clipper for your barbershop, or you simply are cutting really thick hair at home, this clipper by Oster is a workhorse. While this remains a great clipper to use on a diverse client base, make sure that you make slower passes due to a pivot motor.

5. Best for Home Use: Wahl Hair Cutting Clipper & Trimmer Kit

Key Features:

  • Includes everything you need to get started cutting hair at home
  • A powerful battery that can get a charge quickly
  • Includes a trimmer for detailing

Summary:

If you are looking to save a few bucks and want to try cutting your family’s hair, then the Wahl Hair Cutting Clipper & Trimmer Kit is the perfect complete set for home use.  Not only does this kit include everything you need to cut your hair, but it also comes with quality craftsmanship that you expect from Wahl.  Here are the highlights of the Wahl Hair Cutting Clipper & Trimmer Kit:

  • 29 essential items included

When you buy professional hair clippers, unfortunately, the extras are in short supply.  But for those home barbers just starting out, you need to make sure that you have all your bases covered when it comes to the essential supplies. In this kit you get the following:

  • 12 cutting guides (including left and right ear tapers)
  • 2 hair clips
  • Brow and ear hair trim guides
  • 2 combs (one barber comb and one style comb)
  • Shears
  • Charger
  • Blade brush and blade oil
  • Soft storage case
  • Styling cape
  • Instructions on using the clipper and trimmer

While the list is long we want to call out a few small features that really speak to the quality.  First the styling cape, unlike other home kits that come with just a cheap plastic sheet that is akin to a trash bag, is actually a nice smooth nylon cape – like what the barbershops use.

Secondly, the cutting guides have easy-to-read numbers on the top of the guides making it easy for anyone to quickly grab.  Not only does this save you some time (especially if you plan on cutting kids’ hair) but it also prevents mistakes from happening.

  • Cordless hair clippers made right

Unlike other hair clippers that rely on a Ni-MH battery that takes a day to get a full charge, the haircutters included in this kit rely on a powerful Lithium-Ion battery.  Able to get a quick charge in only 10 minutes and able to retain a charge for an entire year, you will never have charging anxiety when using this clipper.  

Should the device ever lose power while in the middle of a haircut, you can simply plug it in, use the shears for the other part of the head, and continue where you left off shortly thereafter with a minimum charge.

  • Trimmers are versatile

One of the things we really like about this kit is that it includes a small trimmer.  This trimmer is great for working the details.  Whether it’s detailing the sideburns, removing neck hair, or providing shape for the neckline, the small size makes it easy to work the contours.

Other Noteworthy Features:

  • In addition to cutting head hair, ability to cut both brow and ear hair is a welcome surprise
  • Taper lever on side of clipper makes it easy to provide both texture and a fade
  • When fully charged, the device has a 2-hour battery life
  • A wide array of cutting guides can cut hair to any length
  • Comes with a 5-year warranty on the clipper and 2-year warranty on the trimmer

Pros

  • Trimmer and clipper comes with everything you need
  • Backed by a multi-year warranty
  • The robust battery lasts for hours
  • Can also be used for light body grooming

Cons

  • Not designed for professional use

What You Need To Know

Whether you are looking for hair clippers for men or kids, this kit has everything you need to get started.

6. Best Vacuum Clippers: Remington Vacuum Haircut Kit

Key Features:

  • In body vacuum container to house clippings
  • Self-sharpening blades are made from stainless steel
  • Works on both 120V and 240V outlets 

Summary:

When it comes to hair clipper technology, very few advancements beyond motor power have been made over the years.  While Wahl was the first to introduce a clipper with a vacuum in 1965 (source), Remington has taken this design forward with this haircut kit.

  • Vacuum catches 90% of clipped hair

Now it’s important to set expectations for this trimmer right away.  It will not catch all the clippings – Remington even admits this.  However, if you are cutting hair in a small apartment or in an area where you want to keep the clippings to a minimum, then this will be a lifesaver. 

In order to work both efficiently and effectively, the Remington has two motors in the body – one for cutting and one to power the vacuum.  While this creates a larger power draw (hence why it only comes as a corded clipper), it is one of the reasons why it is able to perform a bit more effectively – especially when compared to similarly designed beard trimmers.  

  • DIY barber friendly

From the 18 pieces that are included in this kit to the removable blade that allows for easy cleanup, the Remington Vacuum Haircut Kit is a fine little machine for home clipping.  While not as robust as some of the other kits we reviewed, it has the essentials in order to get decent results.

  • Self-sharpening blades help to increase product lifespan

Unlike Andis and Wahl trimmers where the blades are held in by a set of screws that allow you to replace them when necessary, the cutting blade on this device cannot be replaced which is a notable disadvantage.  However, to offset this, Remington smartly made the stainless steel blades self-sharpening.  Unlike other clippers that dull with time, the self-sharpening blades will ensure that the hair doesn’t tear as it is being cut.  This will help to prevent split ends and generally poor results.

Other Noteworthy Features:

  • Works on both 120 and 240 voltage outlets (purchase of separate wall adapter required)
  • Able to be easily used on beards
  • 6 guide combs + 2 ear taper combs included in the kit

Pros

  • Great home clippers for people who want to minimize clippings on the ground
  • Self-sharpening blades extend product life
  • Great budget pick for those looking to save money on devices

Cons

  • No taper adjusters will limit technique

What You Need To Know

No one likes to find hair clippings on the floor days after a haircut was done.  This unique clipper by Remington makes cleanup marginally easier with the built-in vacuum handle.  While it’s not the best clippers we reviewed as it is missing key features (like a taper lever), it is moving clipper technology forward in the right direction.

7. Budget-Friendly: Conair Simple Cut Hair Clipper

Key Features:

  • The extremely affordable price point makes it great for budget-minded barbers
  • No-frills design makes it approachable for the beginner barber
  • Cuts hair to length quickly

Summary:

This simple no-frills home barber kit by Conair is a perfect starter set for those DIY barbers that are looking to not only save a few bucks on their monthly haircut, but to also save a few extra dollars by going with a budget-friendly, yet complete, home haircut kit.

  • All the essentials are included

From the trimmer to the shears, the Conair home hair kit has all the things you need for a complete haircut.  Included in this set you will get the following:

  • 4 cutting guides
  • 2 ear taper guides (left + right ear)
  • Barber comb with thin and wide-set teeth openings
  • Shears
  • Oil
  • Cleaning brush
  • Blade guard

Notably absent from this kit will be the barber cape, storage case, and hair clips.  While each one of these on its own is fairly cheap to buy individually, their absence from the kit is noticeable.

  • Warranty provides additional peace of mind

One surprising feature you will find with the Conair Simple Cut is the lengthy warranty coverage.  Covered under a 2-year limited warranty, it surpasses even some of the professional recommendations on our list.  

  • Limited hairstyles

While the trimmer is robust and relies on an electromagnetic motor (a motor found in many of the premium clippers), it doesn’t include a taper lever.  Therefore fades will be impossible and you are severely limited on hairstyles based on the cutting guides.  

Now if you are cutting children’s hair, this likely won’t be a huge problem as you have limited time to cut hair (since kids won’t sit still for long).  So the guides will be fine here.  However, if you are cutting a man’s hair and can work on a hairstyle for extended periods, the lack of a taper lever may prove frustrating.  

Other Noteworthy Features:

  • With an average price of under $25 – it’s incredibly cheap
  • Corded power so you never have to worry about battery life
  • Great for cutting kids hair
  • Six guides provide limited flexibility in hair length – but should work for most

Pros

  • Significantly cheaper than the competition
  • Stainless steel blades retain sharpness
  • A good option for basic hair cuts

Cons

  • Will get warm after an extended runtime
  • The non-ergonomic body may cause strain on wrists

What You Need To Know

If you are looking to save money and want a clipper that can cut through both thick and thin locks effectively, then the Conair Simple Cut can do the trick.  While the advantages of this clipper over others are limited, it can get the job done if you are willing to compromise on the final outcome.

8. Best for Beginners: Wahl Color Pro Cordless Hair Clippers

Key Features:

  • Color coated guides provide easy use
  • Travel-friendly design
  • Can function as a beard trimmer in a pinch

Summary:

The Wahl Color Pro is a perfect clipper for those that like to take matters into their own hands.  Designed for home and travel use, this clipper offers a no-frills design that makes it easy for just about anyone to use.

  • Color-coordinated guides make it dead-simple to use

One of the most notable features of the Wahl Color Pro Cordless Hair Clippers will be the color-coated guides.  With each color for a different length, you can easily and quickly grab a guide and get to work.

But instead of just remembering the color of the guide, Wahl has smartly placed a color key on the handle of the unit itself so you can see just how short you will be buzzing the hair.

  • Designed for international use

Whether you are a road warrior going on another business trip or you simply find yourself traveling the world often, the Wahl Pro is a great travel companion for extended trips.  Able to be used with both 110-220V, you don’t have to worry about compatibility.

On a full charge of the device, you can expect the battery to last about 60 minutes.

  • In spite of its popularity, there are noteworthy downsides

Unlike other Wahl devices we reviewed, the Color Pro does have a few major downsides that you should be aware of.

The biggest drawback of this cordless hair clipper is the battery itself.  Unlike other Wahl devices we reviewed that rely on a lithium-ion battery, this cordless clipper relies on a Ni-MH battery.  Requiring a 12-15 hour charge before use, it’s not a clipper you can quickly pick up and use right away.  Now to counter this downside, Wahl does state that it can be used while plugged in.

The second major downside to this device is that it doesn’t include a taper adjustment.  Therefore its effectiveness at smooth fades will be mediocre at best.

Other Noteworthy Features:

  • Comes with a soft storage case that is travel friendly
  • A favorite for home barbers that are looking for a value clipper
  • Tough body design should withstand some drops
  • Designed to cut head hair, but also works on beards 

Pros

  • Color coated guides great for beginners just starting to cut hair
  • The multi-purpose device makes it great for travel use
  • Lightweight and runs fairly quiet

Cons

  • No taper adjustment
  • Long battery charging time

What You Need To Know

If you don’t need all the features found in more premium clippers, then the Wahl Color Pro can work.  The cordless design allows you to use it anywhere so long as you are willing to be patient while it charges.

Shawn Burns

Shawn Burns is the founder and senior editor of Tools of Men. He started this site with the goal of teaching men proper grooming habits and sensible style. Shawn's expertise includes in-depth product reviews and how-to articles. Shawn was recently featured in the Wall Street Journal for his expertise.

Published: August 16, 2021

Last Updated: October 12, 2021