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What Are the Different Types of Barber Clippers?

By Jennifer Mackin
Updated May 21, 2024
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Barber clippers are a type of electronic scissors that can cut hair closer to the scalp than traditional shears. Hairdressers may use clippers when they need to taper the hair close to the sides of a client’s head. Standard clippers, trimmers, and specialty clippers are all types of this tool. Some clippers are powered by electricity, while others run on a rechargeable battery. The type of clipper a hairdresser selects is normally based on personal preference and how many clipper cuts are typically done in a single day.

Standard clippers are usually used for everyday haircuts and are the first type of clipper barbers usually own when they first begin working. The size of of these tools vary, so there are choices for people with small and larger hands, however, they all basically have the same features including different-sized attachment combs. These generally snap onto the blade of the barber clippers and act as a guide to ensure a certain length is cut. Most standard clippers come in a kit that includes the clippers, attachment combs, a regular hair comb, a blade brush, and oil to grease the blade.

Using clippers on wet hair can clog up the blade and motor, and can potentially break the machine. Some barbers, however, prefer to work with a clean hair and wash each client’s head before starting a hair service. Since the hair must be dried before barber clippers can be used, this can add additional work for the hairdresser. There are specialty clippers made for cutting wet hair that can cut down the extra step of blow drying the hair before the haircut can begin.

Trimmers are another type of barber clippers and are normally used for the finishing touches at the end of a haircut. These are usually much smaller than standard-sized clippers and can make trimming around the ears and neckline easier. They can also be used to trim mustaches and edge out a defined line on a beard. Electric shavers can cut even closer to the scalp than standard-sized trimmers and are typically the next best thing to shaving cream and a razor.

Both types of clippers usually come with a model option that is either powered by a power cord or recharged on a deck. Corded and cordless barber clippers have their advantages and disadvantages. With corded clippers, hairdressers normally do not have to worry about the clipper dying in the middle of a haircut. Sometimes, however, the cord can get wrapped around them as they are cutting and get in the way.

Cordless clippers do not have a cord that can get in the way. Yet, if the barbers do a lot of clipper haircuts back to back, the battery in cordless clippers can give out before the day is out. Barbers usually have corded models for back-up just in case this happens.

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