Best Hair Clippers for Pro Barbers & Home Hair Cuts

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 equally.  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 the best hair clippers of 2020 – like the Wahl Clipper Elite Pro Hair Clipper.  In addition to our expert reviews, we will also share with you tips on finding the right hair clippers for your needs, answer several questions others had when buying clippers, along with going over some basic maintenance tips to keep in mind.

Let’s begin:

Review Highlights

Wahl Professional Essentials Combo with Taper 2000 Clipper and AC Trimmer for Fading, Edging, and Blending For Beginning Barbers, Stylists and Artists - Model 8329
Wahl Clipper Elite Pro Hair Clipper for Men
  • A powerful motor gets the job done at an affordable price
  • Easily achieve many different hair styles
  • Self-sharpening metal blade guard
BUY ON AMAZON
Wahl Professional New Look 5-Star Legend Clipper #8147 - The Ultimate Wide-Range Fading Clipper with Crunch Blade Technology - Includes 8 Attachment Combs
Wahl Professional 5-Star Legend Hair Clipper
  • Sharp blades make for clean and consistent fades
  • Professional hair clipper that is built to last
  • Works on both wet and dry hair
BUY ON AMAZON
OSTER Fast Feed Adjustable Pivot Motor Clipper...
Oster Fast Feed Professional Clipper
  • Cuts through thick and wet hair easily
  • Designed for professional use
  • Barber-friendly price tag
BUY ON AMAZON
Andis 01557 Professional Master Adjustable Blade...
Andis Professional Master Adjustable Blade Hair Clipper
  • Simply one of the best barber clippers for buttery smooth fade cuts
  • Indestructible aluminum body
  • The simple design ensures it lasts forever
BUY ON AMAZON
Wahl Clipper Lithium Ion Cordless Haircutting &...
Wahl Hair Cutting Clipper & Trimmer Kit
  • 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
BUY ON AMAZON
Remington HKVAC2000A Vacuum Haircut Kit, Vacuum...
Remington Vacuum Haircut Kit
  • 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
BUY ON AMAZON
Conair Simple Cut 12-piece Home Haircut Kit
Conair Simple Cut Hair Clipper
  • Significantly cheaper than the competition
  • Stainless steel blades retain sharpness
  • A good option for basic hair cuts
BUY ON AMAZON
Wahl Color Pro Cordless Rechargeable Hair Clipper...
Wahl Color Pro Cordless Hair Clippers
  • 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
BUY ON AMAZON

How to Buy Hair Clippers

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

1. Motor

When you are reviewing hair clippers, you will find that the motor type will be one of the following: rotary, electromagnetic, or pivot.  Here’s how each of them differs from one another:

Rotary Motor

Rotary motors are most commonly found on consumer-grade hair trimmers given their low cost and balanced performance.  The only motor that is able to switch between multiple speeds, a rotary motor can work on thick or thin hair types.  However, note that if you do change to a slower speed, you will need to make slower strokes in order to prevent a ‘choppy’ look or pulling on the hair.  Rotary motors don’t require oil and are maintenance free.

Electromagnetic Motor

For professional barbers, electromagnetic motors provide the best performance.  Achieving a much higher stroke per minute (SPM) rate, using a clipper with an electromagnetic motor can result in smooth fades and better results.  Electromagnetic motors last longer compared to other motor types and require very little maintenance other than regular blade oiling.

Pivot Motor

Pivot motors are often found on multi-grooming and beard trimmers.  With a significantly lower SPM, pivot motors are made to cut through thick and dense hair.  We wouldn’t recommend this motor if you plan on cutting several different hair types.

2. Power Source

When deciding on a pair of clippers, the power source is an important decision and comes down to two choices: battery or corded.  Here are some important notes on each:

Battery Powered Clippers

When reviewing battery-powered clippers you will find that they either come in Lithium-Ion battery (Li-Ion) or Nickel Metal-Hydride battery (Ni-MH) – our recommendation is to skip the Ni-MH batteries and go straight for Li-Ion.

Li-Ion powered clippers feature short charging times and a fairly long battery life (typically 90 minutes charge / 90 minutes run time).  Whereas Ni-MH requires a lengthy 8-hour charge for a 45 minute run time.

Beyond battery performance, a cordless clipper frees your movement so you can concentrate on the haircut rather than dealing with a cord that continues to get in your way.

Power Cord Clippers

While a cordless hair clipper provides mobility, it isn’t the best when it comes to consistent power strength and all-day-long performance. If you intended to buy a clipper for professional hair cutting, then you need to go with a corded clipper.  A corded clipper will never degrade in performance after several uses and works well with high powered motors.

3. Attachment Combs

Included with your new hair trimmer will be attachment combs.  These combs allow you to cut different hair lengths easily.  Included attachment combs will typically range between ½ to 9 – which provides tremendous versatility when it comes to hairstyling options.

However, the problem with attachment combs is that they are often made from flimsy plastic and are prone to breakage.  Some brands such as Wahl and Andis offer attachment comb replacements, especially for their premium models.

4. Hair Clipper Blades

In addition to attachment combs, the metal blade that is atop the trimmer may begin to dull over time.  Rather than throwing out the entire clipper and causing unnecessary waste, companies such as Wahl sell replacement clipper blades for a fairly affordable price.  It’s little features like this that set trusted brands apart from imitators.

5. Clipper Brand

Finding a quality pair of hair clippers can be tough, but finding a trusted brand can be even tougher.  After much research and review, we found the following hair clipper brands to be among the most trusted and popular among both home and professional barbers (listed in alphabetical order):

  • Andis
  • Braun
  • Conair
  • Oster
  • Panasonic
  • Remington
  • Wahl

6. Price

The price point of hair clippers varies significantly.  Depending on the motor type, design, power source, and more can all have an impact on how much you will have to pay.  With that being said, most hair clippers will typically cost anywhere between $35 and $150.

7. Multi-Function

If you are buying a hair clipper for home use, then you may want to consider a clipper that can do multiple jobs.  Whether it’s to act as a beard trimmer or a body hair trimmer, one device provides convenience, but you must proceed with caution.  Hair clippers have wider heads which can make beard trimming a bit more difficult, especially around tight contours and detail work.

If you are getting hair clippers for body hair trimming, then you will want to make sure they have attachment combs with rounded edges in order to prevent the poking of delicate skin.  Secondly, a cordless hair trimmer will be best suited for this job.

8. Cleaning

Nearly all quality hair clippers will come with a cleaning brush.  This can help to loosen hairs that have been wedged in between the cutting guide and the body of the trimmer.  Furthermore, some barber shops also like to use a blade cleaner (more on this below) such as the Andis Cool Care Plus.  Acting as pressurized air, coolant, and lubricant, these can help to clean hair clippers quickly.

Hair clippers that have been marked as being compatible for use in a wet environment mean that the clipping head can be rinsed under water after use.

9. Ergonomics

If you are planning on using these clippers for professional use, then the design and weight of the clipper will be important.  Not only will this prevent fatigue in your wrist, arm, and elbow throughout the day, but it will also help to provide additional control.  Clippers with a curved contour body allow for a secure and comfortable grip.

For DIY barbers, a comfortable grip isn’t nearly as necessary and is considered to be ‘nice-to-have’ since you won’t be cutting hair for extended periods of time.

10. Additional Features

Here are a few other extra features that may help in your decision:

  • Taper Lever:  A taper lever allows you to make smooth fades between different lengths.  The more steps in the lever provide a much smoother looking fade.
  • Travel Pouch / Storage Pouch: Whether it’s for traveling to a different location or safe storage, a pouch or case for your trimmer will ensure that the cutting guide or body doesn’t get damaged when not in use.
  • Haircut Kit: Beyond a simple hair clipper, some companies include a variety of extras into the kit.  This can be great for home use.  Just note that the included apron and shears aren’t as good if you were to buy separately.

The Best Hair Clippers of 2020 Reviewed

Here is our list of the top hair clippers for this year:

1. Wahl Clipper Elite Pro Hair Clipper for Men

Wahl Professional Essentials Combo with Taper 2000...

Top Award: Best Clippers for Men

Best Features:

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

Best For:

Whether you are cutting hair at home or professionally, these haircut clippers will get the job done exceedingly well.

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 hair styles.  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 barber shop.

BUY ON AMAZON

2. Wahl Professional 5-Star Legend Hair Clipper

Wahl Professional New Look 5-Star Legend Clipper...

Top Award: Best Professional Hair Clippers

Best 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

Best For:

Professional barbers that demand the best professional hair clippers to use on their valued clients.

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), brushlubricating 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 the best professional hair clippers, there is simply no beating the 5-Star Legend by Wahl.  It’s easy to see why this clipper is found in the best barber shops around the world – it is just that good.

BUY ON AMAZON

3. Andis Professional Master Adjustable Blade Hair Clipper

Andis 01557 Professional Master Adjustable Blade...

Top Award: Best Professional Hair Clippers for Fades

Best 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

Best For:

Barbers that need professional hair clippers for fades.

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

  • Simply one of the best barber clippers 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 best hair 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.

BUY ON AMAZON

4. Oster Fast Feed Professional Clipper

OSTER Fast Feed Adjustable Pivot Motor Clipper...

Top Award: Best Hair Clippers for Black Men

Best 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

Best For:

Professional barbers that need to cut through thick and coarse hair.

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 black 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 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 their 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 barber shop, or you simply are cutting really thick hair at home, this clipper by Oster is a workhorse. While this remains one of the best professional hair clippers to use on a diverse client base, make sure that you make slower passes due to a pivot motor.

BUY ON AMAZON

5. Wahl Hair Cutting Clipper & Trimmer Kit

Wahl Clipper Lithium Ion Cordless Haircutting &...

Top Award: Best Hair Clippers for Home Use

Best 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

Best For:

Any DIY barber that is looking for a quality clipper to use at home.

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 the best 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

To put it simply, these are the best hair clippers for home use.  Whether you are looking for hair clippers for men or kids, this kit has everything you need to get started.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *