If the only place you get to see a hair clipper is at the barber’s, then you are missing out on the conveniences of owning your own personal hair clipper. You no longer have to make a weekly appointment with the barber, which saves you money and time. If you buy a cordless hair clipper, you can even shave your hair away from home.
When shopping for a hair clipper, you need to be extra careful about buying the right one. Otherwise, your head might be left looking like a sloppily mowed grass field. The best hair clippers are easy to hold in your hand, provide a lot of flexibility in terms of styling and are generally easy to use. The bad ones will provide an uneven shave, poor battery life and are frustrating to use.
So we went out with the purpose of finding the best hair clippers in the market. We compared the top products, noting their main features, where they succeed most and any issues we came across. This guide focuses on hair clippers. But if you are looking for beard trimmers, you can buy a 2-in-one gadget that combines a hair clipper and beard trimmer.
Best hair clippers on the UK market
1. Braun HC5010 Cordless Hair Clipper for Men
When it comes to hair shavers, Braun is a highly respected brand. Their HC5010 Cordless Hair Clipper provides the best of cutting efficiency and flexibility. The sharp blades are designed to deliver precision cutting and last for years without degradation. A rubber grip ensures that you have a strong hold onto it when cutting your hair. It is a cordless hair clipper, which means you can use it on the go as long as you remember to charge it often.
- Cordless, which improves ease of use and makes it ideal for travelling.
- Sharp long-lasting blades.
- Water-proof, meaning you can wash it under a tap.
- Battery life is not that great. Needs a recharge after every haircut.
2. Original WAHL Professional 5 Star Series Balding Hair Clipper
If you want a really close cut, this is the clipper to go for. It has been designed for balding hair and for those who want a clean shaven head. The blades are quite sharp and you need to be careful not to nip yourself. On the upside, they provide precision cutting and a quicker shave. The clipper is corded which means it must be plugged before you can cut your hair.
- Powerful clipper with extra sharp blades ideal for tight shaves.
- Easy to use with a comfortable grip.
- Not ideal for frequent travellers since it needs to be plugged in.
3. Philips QC5530 Hair Clipper with 180 Degree Rotating Head
What immediately stands out about Philips’ do-it-yourself hair clipper is the 180-defree rotating head. This provides added flexibility, allowing you to comfortably reach all parts of your head for a clean even shave. An easy-to-use zoom ring sets the desired hair length setting from 18 different lengths ranging from 1mm to 30mm. The clipper can be used either cordless or with the cord plugged in. When fully charged, it provides around 1 hour of cordless shaving.
- Can be used with or without the cord. This makes it ideal for use at home and on the road.
- The rotating head makes for a more efficient shave.
- The 2D contouring comb can be a bit troublesome to use.
4. Remington HC5356 Pro Power Hair Clipper and Detail Trimmer
This clipper has one of the coolest designs and even comes with a travel pouch. Function-wise, it is not too bad. It comes with 2 different combs and the steel blades are self-sharpening. It is however unable to provide a close cut.
While being cordless is an advantage for those who spend a lot of time travelling, the 40-minute battery life is quite disappointing.
- Great design with a travel bag provided.
- Self-sharpening blades.
- Not ideal for close cuts.
- Relatively short battery life.
5. BaByliss for Men Super Hair Clipper
BaByliss is one of the best known hair clipper brands. Their Super hair clipper for men maintains the brand’s reputation for quality and great design. Hardened Japanese steel blades provide precision cutting, making the clipper ideal for those who want a clean shave. It can be used either cordless or with the cord plugged in. When cordless, a full charge provides 75 minutes of operation. If you are in a hurry, a 30 minute quick charge will give you 30 minutes of shaving.
- Engineered to deliver a powerful and precise cut.
- Can be used cordless or corded.
- Long battery life.
- Hair gets caught in it sometimes.
6. Wahl ChromePro Mains Hair Clipper
The durable build and reliability of the Wahl brand is evident in this hair clipper. One of the first things you will notice is the powerful Wahl Powerdrive system which makes easy work of even the thickest hair. Yet it operates smoothly and quietly. One of the best features is the adjustable tapper, which allows you change cutting lengths without changing the comb. This makes for a quicker shave. As a bonus, the clipper comes with a DVD to guide you on how to get a professional-grade cut at home.
- High carbon steel blades and the Powerdrive system make for a powerful and highly-precise clipper.
- Instructional DVD included to help you get the best cut.
- Quiet and smooth operation.
- The DVD guide is not very comprehensive though it will teach you a thing or two.
7. Wahl Super Taper Hair Clipper
A heavy duty motor provides a powerful cut, making the clipper ideal for those with thick hair. Despite the powerful motor, it operates quietly. It handles easily with a solid feel that allows you to easily move it around on your head with little effort.
The clipper is fairly versatile providing a range of cutting lengths from as low as 0.8mm to as high as 2.5mm. It comes with various accessories including lubricating oil, brush and attachment combs.
- Extremely durable. Lasts for years.
- Powerful motor and sharp blades make for an efficient cut.
- The attachment combs tend to come off sometimes.
8. Panasonic ER-GS60 Hair Clipper and Body Groomer
This clipper is all about power, versatility and convenience. The motor provides a powerful kick that works well even for thick hair. For versatility, the clipper has 10 different precision settings and you can take it on the road thanks to its cordless feature. If you are at home, you can also use it while plugged into the socket. For convenience, you can wash it under water with no worry. It also includes all the accessories you need including a charging stand, cleaning brush and comb attachments.
- Can be used cordless or corded.
- 45-degree steel blades deliver high precision cutting.
- Powerful motor.
- Plastic comb attachments feel a bit flimsy and weak.
Hair clippers buying guide
As you have just seen, there are plenty of great options when you are shopping for hair clippers. While variety is good, it could also cause confusion as you try to choose the best from so many options. To help you buy the right clipper for your needs, here are the key considerations to keep in mind.
1. Cordless or corded
There are two main types of hair clippers: cordless and corded. Cordless clippers come with a rechargeable battery that provides power to the blades. They are great for those who travel and those who prefer not having a cord in the way when shaving. When buying a cordless clipper, note the length of the battery life which could range from 40 minutes to 75 minutes of continuous use.
Corded clippers on the other hand, have to be plugged in to work. Their main advantage is that you don’t have to worry about battery life. On the downside, it is not ideal for frequent travellers and the cord can be troublesome when you are shaving.
As a compromise, look for newer clippers that bridge both categories. They can be used with the cord plugged in or cordless with power being sourced from a built-in battery. We have featured a couple such clippers in our reviews above. They are great if you are looking for something you can use at home as well as on the road.
2. Cutting length
The cutting length range of a hair clipper is very important. Some clippers will give you little flexibility often being unable to provide very close cuts. Others have much more versatility, allowing you to adjust cutting length by mere millimetres.
When shopping for a hair clipper, check the range and number of cutting lengths. You will want to get one that provides the greatest flexibility. This is especially important if you want a clean shave.
The blades are the most important components of a hair clipper. Different brands tout specially designed blades including carbon steel blades, Japanese blades and so on. Check to see what other users have to say about the blade quality and sharpness. A good hair clipper needs to have sharp blades that deliver a fast and precise cut.
4. Attachments and accessories
Different hair clippers come with various attachments and accessories. These include combs (the number varies but most have 4), cleaning brush, lubricating oil and travel bag. The combs are essential in providing styling versatility. It should be easy to change from one comb to the other. The cleaning brush and oil are important in maintenance. The oil ensures the moving parts keep working smoothly while the brush keeps the blades and combs clean.
Not all hair clippers come with a travel pouch. So if you are planning to carry the hair clipper with you on the road, look specifically for those that have a travel bag provided.
5. Ease of maintenance
Like any other gadget, a hair clipper needs to be well maintained to keep it functioning well for years. That being said, the hair clipper design should make maintenance easy. The first thing to look for is maintenance accessories, specifically a brush and oil. Second, check whether the clipper is water proof. If it is, that means you can easily and quickly clean it under running water. A quick clean is especially important for those busy mornings or when you are travelling.
There are some customers who have stayed with their hair clippers for more than 10 years. There are also others who say their clippers broke after just a few months. The durability of hair clippers mostly depends on the brand. Some highly respected brands like Phillips, Wahl and Braun produce very long-lasting hair clippers.
A quick look at customer comments can give you an idea of how well a certain hair clipper has been built. Look for warning signs such as wobbly head, flimsy attachments and frequent breakdowns. A good hair clipper should last several years with no problem.
Frequently asked questions
Q: Can hair clippers be used as beard trimmers?
Hair clippers and beard trimmers are two different products. Beard trimmers are designed to provide a closer cut and precise detailing. Hair trimmers on the other hand are designed to handle bigger and thicker hair. Some hair clippers come with beard trimming attachments, creating a convenient 2-in-one product.
Q: Can I cut myself when shaving my head?
Hair clippers do not have as high a risk as razors, with which you can easily cut yourself if you are not careful. Hair clippers, even the sharpest ones, can deliver a smooth cut without cutting your skin. Of course, you need to be careful especially if it is your first time cutting hair. Some clippers have very sharp blades and need to be handles extra carefully.
Q: Will I be able to reach all parts of my head?
Most hair clippers can reach all parts of your head through not with the same ease and flexibility. For an easy-to-use clipper, look for those with a flexible head. For instance, some can turn 180 degrees, allowing you to cut you head evenly without any problem.
Q: Do I need to buy battery replacements for my cordless hair clipper?
No. Most cordless hair clippers have rechargeable batteries. You simply plug them in and the battery charges up again, ready for another shave.
Q: I’m woman. Can I use a hair clipper to cut my own hair?
Yes, most definitely. Have a look at our tutorial for cutting hair using hair clippers.
Q: How to sharpen hair clippers?
Unscrew the screws that hold the blades in place. Remove the blade, and brush out hair and debris with and old toothbrush, or use wire wool for more stuck on residues. Wash the blades in hot soapy water, then dry them well.
Next, place the blades into a bench vice, or attach them to a strong magnet (this will prevent you accidentally cutting yourself as you sharpen). Run the blade over a coarse whetstone at a 30-45 degree angle 5-10 times, until it looks clean and shiny.
Turn the blade over and repeat on the other side (if your blades are ceramic then you will need to use a diamond sharpening stone for the sharpening process). Repeat using a finer grained whetstone.
Reassemble the clippers, and screw the blades down tightly. Apply a few drops of clipper oil to the blades to finish off, and you’re done!
As a final touch, turn the clippers on and let the blades rub together for a couple of minutes – this will hone the blades even further.
Q: How to cut toddler boy hair with clippers?
A good first step is to find something that will distract the child while you are clipping – a wriggling toddler and hair cutting implements can be disastrous! Try snacks, stickers, or cartoons for the best results.
Cover his shoulders with a towel to prevent itchy bits of hair falling into his clothes. Place the guard onto the clippers and slide them slowly through his hair – four is the highest setting that you should use; any higher and the clippers will miss a lot of hairs and make the job take much longer.
Start at the base of the hair and scoop the hair forwards; this puts a good angle on the haircut. Tuck down his ear well as you are going behind the ear, so that you don’t accidentally catch it.
You will need to use scissors for the fringe, unless you’re going for an all over buzz cut, so if you are not confident with this then the next step is to book a barber’s appointment.
Q: How to clean hair clippers?
Start by ensuring the clippers are turned off and unplugged. Wipe off the visible bits of hair and residue that may be stuck to the clippers – an old toothbrush is great for this.
Next, disassemble the clippers (make a note of how they fit back together so you’re not left with a spare screw!) If there is any rust on the blades it will need to be removed – wire wool is perfect for this.
Next, soak the blades and other accessories in rubbing alcohol or liquid disinfectant, then wipe them gently with a clean dry cloth. Let it air dry, then reassemble the clippers. Apply a few drops of oil to the blades before you use them again, to increase their performance and life length.