While hair clippers are a professional tool for barbers and stylists, they are also an essential grooming tool for many men and some women. Hair clippers are available in a variety of styles and sizes and are designed for either cutting hair or trimming facial and neck hair. Clipper blades that cut hair are typically more wide-set than the blades of trimmers designed for beard, mustache or hair line trimming. Whether used in a professional or home setting, the best hair clippers are those with the desired features and functions for their intended purpose.
Hair clippers and trimmers are powered by either electricity or battery. If the corded or cordless option is not a factor, corded clippers are often less expensive. If a cordless clipper is preferred or essential for any reason, invest in a high-quality model with a rechargeable battery. Trimmers that use standard alkaline batteries often perform poorly and fail to provide the clean, smooth cut of more powerful models. In addition, the money used for battery replacement could just as well be put towards a better quality trimmer or clipper.
Hair clippers may be sold separately from their cutting guard attachments or may come in a kit with the most common size guards included. Cutting guards allow for different lengths of hair to remain away from the clipper blades and effectively change the closeness of the cut. These are essential to provide different hair cutting techniques and styles, but keep in mind not all cutting guards are interchangeable with all brands of hair clippers. Hair cutting kits are often more cost-efficient, but only professionals will be comfortable with some of the more unique attachments such as tapered guards. For home use, look for a simple kit with basic guards ranging from ¼ inch to 1 ½ inch (0.6 cm to 3.8 cm).
Most hair clippers have stainless steel cutting blades, but some models have ceramic cutting blades. In most situations it won’t matter which you choose unless you have a personal preference. You will want to consider the size of the motor that powers the blades and the rate at which the blades cut. The speed is often measured in blade strokes per minute and the faster the clipper blade is, the smoother it cuts. Most clipper blades are designed to cut dry hair only, but if you are a professional you may want to consider clippers that work on wet as well as dry hair. Remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding care and cleaning to extend the life of the clippers.