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What Are Manual Hair Clippers?

By Kelly Ferguson
Updated May 21, 2024
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Manual hair clippers are hair clippers operated by hand power rather than by electric power. Several types of manual hair trimmers, beard shapers, and adjustable razors exist in a large variety of shapes and sizes, though manual clippers tend to look like scissors, with handles that squeeze together, but with a head that looks like the head of electric clippers. Squeezing the handles causes the blades to move in a similar, though slower, quieter, and more controllable, way to electric clippers. Many of the attachments that electric hair clippers use to trim hair at varying lengths and shape beards are also available for manual clippers. While the lack of motor makes trimming hair a slower process than with electric clippers, manual hair clippers offer several advantages, such as the freedom to move around instead of being tied to an electric outlet with a cord for electric clippers.

Since manual hair clippers do not require an electrical cord, outlet, or battery, they are often an ideal choice for individuals who go on extended camping trips or are frequently in areas where electric hair clippers would be impractical. Environmentally friendly individuals also often prefer manual hair clippers over electric ones. Manual clippers don't require electric energy.

Grooming children and pets is often easier with manual hair clippers than it is with the electric kind. The loud whir of the motor and the feeling of the vibration in electric hair clippers often frightens young children and pets enough that they will not sit still long enough to receive an even trim. Using manual hair clippers, which lack a motor and therefore do not make a loud noise or vibrate when operating, typically does not cause as much fear. Some users also find that the nearly silent operation is preferable simply because the loud, persistent noise of electric hair clippers can get annoying and disturb other family members.

The comb attachments that connect to the head of the clippers control how close to the skin the clippers cut. This in turn determines the length of the hair that is left behind. Clippers that offer a wide variety of attachment sizes may be helpful for individuals who will need to cut hair into multiple styles and lengths. They are also useful for those who may be unfamiliar with hair cutting and would like to experiment with different lengths.

BeautyAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Laotionne — On Jul 29, 2014

@Feryll - I think manual clippers would be difficult for you to use when you are cutting your own hair. I think you would be more likely to make a mistake. When you're cutting your own hair you should go with a good pair of cordless hair clippers. This way you will have plenty of mobility and not have to worry about the cord getting in the way.

By Drentel — On Jul 29, 2014

I've never used manual hair clippers, but I have seen a barber use them on his customers. The older barber at the shop where I get my hair cut swears by the manual clippers. Surprisingly,they appear to work pretty well. I imagine his hands and fingers are really tired at the end of the day, but his customers don't appear to have any complaints.

My barber uses electric clippers and I prefer that. It's just what I am used to, I guess.

By Feryll — On Jul 28, 2014

This is amazing. I just learned that there was such a thing as manual hair clippers. Well, I always thought manual hair clippers was simply another name for a pair of scissors. Has any used them? I cut my own hair more often than not and these would be really convenient. It's just a matter of how well do they work.

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