- August 26, 2021
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If you’re the guy who likes to buzz his own hair at home, or the guy who is forced to do so because of matters outside your control (2020 in a nutshell), then you should set yourself up for success with a pair of the best hair clippers. By doing so, you’re already halfway to a surefire even cut, says Julien Howard, a master barber at Blind Barber.
But before you get buzzing, there are a few things you should note when selecting the best clippers, according to Howard. First, consider your hair thickness and density. Guys with coarse, unruly or curly hair require more power and force from the clippers, compared to men with straight or thin hair. Second, more weight often means more power. So while some guys might prefer a lightweight option for the ease of mobility, heft is considered a sign of high-quality engineering, and can even give you a steadier hand during the haircut. Plus, clipping the hairs on your head requires more precision and force than those on your face, so don’t skimp on engineering.
Lastly, identify the reason you want to own clippers in the first place. “What’s your overall purpose?” Howard questions. “Is it just to buzz your head? Or to also trim and maintain beards or shape ups, or to trim body hair?” This is important to consider, because the best hair clippers often come with multiple guards and attachments, allowing for various lengths and details. (And for hair anywhere on the body.) While you shouldn’t use beard trimmers on your head, it is typically fine to use hair clippers as a beard and body trimmer, given their added power and speed.
We asked Howard to choose the best hair clippers for various scenarios, as adored by him and his barbershop cohorts. We added a couple extra to the list, too (two customer favorites that efficiently and smartly manage the DIY buzz).
“This clipper has a masterfully designed aluminum body and a powerful motor that can cut through any hair type,” Howard says. “The adjustable blade handle is perfect for precise fading or getting that five o’clock shadow just right. The [10-oz.] weight reflects the power.”
So, if you ever want to give your barber a gift — or if you want the probable-best clipper at home — then here’s your pick. If desired, the device can be zero-gapped, which means its teeth can be aligned to deliver the closest, sharpest cut possible. (Zero-gapping is best avoided with sensitive skin, however.)
Wahl’s Magic Clip clippers are popular with barbers worldwide, says Howard. “Many of my coworkers use them since they are comfortable to hold, but also strong [on all types of hair].”
The device weighs just 1 lb., which gives it the necessary bulk to trim tough while staying steady. It’s got eight comb guards and three T-trimmers, which allows for the customization and precision you need.
A Forbes favorite, BaBylissPRO’s cordless clipper is notable for its customization, since it has eight different attachments. You can navigate depth and detail while it steadily mows through the hair (no matter how coarse, thin, curly or coiled). Its power is owed to Ferrari-designed engine, which holds a stunning three-hour charge.
Oster’s 120-year legacy is best displayed in its ageless Classic 76. “This is a workhorse and has been a staple for barbers since the beginning,” Howard says. “The sound is unforgettable, and the clipper is powerful enough to conquer any hair, even Wolverine’s.”
Sure, it’s not cordless, but this clipper has outlasted the competition for decades, thanks to a durable shell, as well as blades that cut beautifully through wet and dry hair alike.
Andis’ trimmer is foremost designed for clean lines and pristine edges. However, it’s far more than a detailer: “This is the perfect all-around trimmer,” Howard says. “It is powerful enough to chop down any beard, body hair or buzzed head, yet small enough to make clean, precise lines. It’s also great for travelers.”
Like most Andis options, this one can also be zero-gapped for an as-close-as-possible shave. Plus, it holds a generous two-hour charge, so you can leave its charge port at home while you travel (to Australia, or even just to the gym).
Here’s another Forbes favorite: Remington’s clipper has an ergo-friendly design and piercing Japanese-steel blades. If you’re feeling more adventurous than a buzz, this has all the guards you need to taper and fade with ease.
There are 11 different guard attachments for a totally customized clip, and you can dunk it under the faucet for an easy cleanup. Lastly, its strong, lithium-powered battery carries a 2.5-hour charge.
South Dakota USA native, but I cut my teeth in New York and San Francisco. I’ve been reporting on grooming since 2013, and have written for nearly every men’s
South Dakota USA native, but I cut my teeth in New York and San Francisco. I’ve been reporting on grooming since 2013, and have written for nearly every men’s publication on the topic. My second beat is travel, as I spend nearly half the year in transit. Because of that, however, I am always relieved when I can unwind at home in Berlin, where I’ve been living since early 2018.