- September 14, 2021
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Investing in the right tools is a crucial step in avoiding any at-home haircut debacles.
So you’re copping a pair of hair clippers, huh? Good choice. Maybe you read through one of the handy guides on Esquire dot com (I’m shameless, really) or maybe you’re one of the few people who remembers my great hair-cutting fiasco of 2010, when, after coming home from a haircut displeased with the results, I took a regular old electric shaver to the sides of my hair to “straighten them out” and ended up completely fucked for, like, a full month of 8th grade.
Take it from me, man—tracking down the right pair of hair clippers is worth the effort. Whether you’re looking to shave it all off for good or trying to give yourself a little touch-up every now and then, investing in the proper tools is crucial, especially when you don’t have the added luxury of being able to hightail it to the closest barber should things go terribly awry. The good news is, armed with the right equipment, cutting your own hair can liberate you from the tyranny of the every-two-weeks appointment and the desperate “Hey man, any chance I could swing by for a cut later today?” texts.
For now, though, I wouldn’t recommend getting too jiggy with it. Just stick to what you already know works and proceed with caution. Start by giving yourself a cut that’s particularly suited to your head shape, and remember: upkeep is key. In other words, do exactly the opposite of what I did and buy yourself a proper pair of hair clippers, ensuring you avoid any at-home haircut debacles in the process. Good luck out there, gentlemen.
You can shave or trim with this guy, and unlike some other options designed for at-home use, it’s pretty damn good at giving you a clean edge where you need it. Philips’ trimmer might be more suited to beard maintenance than a full-on haircut, but if you’ve decided a fully—or very nearly—bald dome is the move, no one’s going to fault you for using the OneBlade to get it.
If you’re looking to replicate the super clean edges your barber leaves you with post-cut—but at home, naturally—go in without a guard and shape things up to your heart’s content. And for those about to shave it all off, this is a great option too. FYI: The guards that come with this clipper only go up to a 3, so don’t expect to keep too much length all around.
Corded or cordless, it’s your call. BaByliss’ trimmer can go either way, and though its battery life is a little shorter than some of its competitors when unplugged—1.25 hours—that should still be more than enough time to tackle the back of your head without getting hung up on a cord.
The Oster Fast Feed is a corded clipper—and barbershop staple—ideal for maintaining close crops or fades. The Fast Feed is beloved for its overall durability, and won’t lose a bit of its signature power (or heat up dramatically) at any point throughout the day. Far from being a burden, its 8 feet (!) of cord provide the length you need to move around freely in the makeshift salon that is your home, especially if you need to reach a faraway outlet tucked behind some dusty crevice in the bathroom.
The Andis Master is a tried-and-true barbershop classic, in part because if you treat it correctly, it’ll be the only clipper you’ll ever need to invest in. The Master’s endearingly retro look masks an extremely powerful engine that can precisely cut through even the thickest thickets of hair with ease, which means your lockdown mane will be no match. The corded version spotlighted here is a bit less pricey, but Andis now sells an excellent cordless update to the style too.
Wahl’s T-shaped blade makes lineups a lot easier than they would be with a standard clipper. One thing to bear in mind: The guards for this guy only go up to 3/16″, so it’s best for very short haircuts, beard trims, and the aforementioned lineups.
Wahl is one of the biggest names when it comes to hair clippers, and its Professional 5 Star model is (no surprise) favored by pros in barbershops the world over, and has been for decades. The senior clipper allows easy adjustments to taper or touch-up on the fly, all without changing a blade, and also comes corded if that’s more your thing.
Another T-shaped blade means another trimmer that’s particularly adept at giving you those clean, clean lines, especially around the ears. This one packs a lot of power into its cordless design, and the barbershop-ready build means you can rely on it even if you’ve been regularly venturing outside your home for a cut.
Bevel’s signature product is one of the best trimmers on the market today, and an ideal option for at-home touch-ups. The product’s easy-to-use dial system makes switching between a no-gap situation and a (still very short) blade setting a cinch, while its soft-touch grip offers superior in-hand control to ensure there’s little room for accidental nicks and cuts when you’re going at it.
It should come as little surprise that Panasonic is responsible for one of the most precisely engineered products on the market today. The brand’s hair clipper is a deceptively durable, professional-grade product that features a ruthlessly efficient linear motor and carbon blade that can cut from 0.8 to 2 millimeters without attachments, and up to 15 mm with ’em. The clipper also boasts a dial system that allows for seamlessly selecting different lengths on the go, all wrapped up in an impact-proof outer body so sleek it almost looks futuristic.