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When buying hair clippers, there are a number of things you should take into account before parting with your hard-earned cash.
There are so many hair clippers on the market right now, the choice can be overwhelming.
Before you make a purchase, you need to decide why you want the clippers in the first place.
Are they for professional use, to be used in a busy barbershop or salon?
Or do you just need something to cut hair every few weeks or so?
Perhaps you need clippers to cut your own hair or a family member/friend at home.
The most expensive hair clippers are not necessarily the most appropriate for you.
These types of clippers are usually designed for the demands of frequent, daily use.
There are some excellent mid-range/price clippers that the average person that can use to create professional-looking hair cuts.
For my recommended hair clipper choices, check out my page – the best hair clippers for men.
In This Guide..
Here’s what you need to consider when buying hair clippers..
If you’ve previously bought a cheap pair of clippers from Wal-Mart or similar, you’ll probably know that doing so was a false economy.
These types of clippers are far inferior to good quality, brand-named ones.
They tend to be made of cheap plastic, have an average to poor motor, and a blade that ‘hacks‘ rather than smoothly cuts your hair.
Plus you’ll be lucky if they last you more than 12 months!
The Front Runners:
There are 3 leading manufacturers of hair clippers –
Wahl and Oster are synonymous with hair clippers and have been producing them for over 100 years.
There are other brands that also produce decent clippers, but you really can’t go wrong with the big 3.
With the leading brands, you get the reassurance of a solid, reliable company that specializes in hair clippers.
You also get a company-backed warranty from established brands.
Don’t be worried about using other brands, just do your research and make sure they have good customer service and a track record.
DO NOT be tempted to buy cheap, imitation clippers that have flooded the market recently.
Despite often thousands of great (false) reviews, these clippers tend not to last very long and almost impossible to get replacement parts for.
Every clipper is different, and so is the quality. What I mean is, you need to think about things such as:
- What the clipper housing is made of.
- Is it cheap plastic, or made from valox? (a toughened hard-wearing plastic resin)
- Are the blades guaranteed to stay sharp and strong?
- Are they self-sharpening blades or will you need to sharpen them yourself?
- How powerful is the motor?
- Do the clippers come with good quality accessories such as guide combs?
It’s always worth checking out customer reviews on a product.
Amazon has a great system of providing real customer feedback on every product it sells.
If the clipper you want is sold through Amazon, a quick check of the reviews will give you a lot of information about the potential pros and cons of a clipper. People power! 😀
3. The Motor (Makes All the Difference)
The size and power of a hair clipper’s motor are generally what sorts the top-of-the-range models from the poor imitations.
As long as you have a decent blade in your clipper, a good, powerful motor will ensure the hair is cut smoothly and cleanly without grabbing or pulling it.
Prices are usually dictated by the quality of the blades and the motor that drives them.
It is these elements that you should pay particular attention to when making your purchase.
Cheaper motors will burn out quicker and provide less power to the cutting blades.
Rotary motors tend to be the most powerful, and you’ll find them in most cordless clippers.
Electromagnetic motors move the cutting blade much faster and are ideal for corded models and less frequently used clippers.
Blades need to be strong and sharp that will last you at least a few years without dropping in performance.
Check what they are made from and if you can easily get replacement blades.
Blades can damage if you drop the clipper and it’s always handy to have a spare one to hand.
4. Ease and Frequency of Use
The right hair clipper for you may depend on your previous experience with using them.
For someone wanting to buy a clipper for their own use or for the family, there are lots of good quality, mid-range priced models that will do an excellent job.
If you’ve been using clippers for a while, or you are an industry professional who cuts hair on a regular basis, then the Oster Classic 76 professional hair clipper has been a long-time favorite (including mine) over the years.
For a professional cordless hair clipper, the Andis Master and Babyliss FXMetal Series are great choices.
Having good accessories for your clipper is a must, and will make the process of cutting hair much easier.
Some clippers come as a complete haircutting kit, with everything you need to get started.
Other clippers just have the basic clipper and guards.
Whether you opt for professional-grade hair clippers or slightly less powerful, ‘home-use’ clippers, you should have the following accessories:
- Blade guard – to help protect the clipper blade when not in use.
- Clipper oil and/or grease
- Comb attachments – guide combs
- Barbers hair comb
- Barbers cape
- Cleaning brush
Other optional accessories include:
- Carry / storage case
- Stand / charging stand
- Cooling spray or gel
- A hand mirror
Here’s a good video explaining some dos and don’ts of choosing a hair clipper..
Take some time before buying your clipper.
Do your research.
Read my clipper reviews, and based on how much you want to spend, and how often you intend to use them, you should be able to find the right model for you.