The main difference between hair clippers and trimmers is the size of the blade. Clippers are used for long hair while a trimmer is meant for short hair.
When you go to your barber for a haircut, they’ll generally start by cutting your hair with a hair clipper.
It’s an electric device that’s designed with a motor and blade to cut different lengths of hair.
Related: Classic men’s hairstyles
A hair clipper comes with attachments called guards, which come in different sizes. The guards attach on top of the blade and the size dictates how much hair it cuts off.
For example, if you ask for a number 2 haircut, that means the number 2 guard will be attached to the clipper which will leave 1/4 inch of hair on the scalp. The shortest haircut is a 0 guard, which leaves 1/16 inch of hair.
The following are the clipper guard sizes and the associated length of hair:
- Number 0 is equivalent to 1/16 of an inch.
- Number 1 is equivalent to 1/8 of an inch.
- Number 2 is equivalent to 1/4 of an inch.
- Number 3 is equivalent to 3/8 of an inch.
- Number 4 is equivalent to 1/2 of an inch.
- Number 5 is equivalent to 5/8 of an inch.
- Number 6 is equivalent to 3/4 of an inch.
- Number 7 is equivalent to 7/8 of an inch.
- Number 8 is equivalent to 1 inch.
- Number 10 is equivalent to 1.25 inches.
- Number 12 is equivalent to 1.5 inches.
Although you can use a clipper of damp or dry hair, it’s best to use it when your hair is damp. It’ll be easier on the clipper blades and to clean up since wet hair clumps together.
Best hair clipper: Andis Master 15-Watt Adjustable Blade Hair Clipper
The Andis Master 15-Watt Adjustable Blade Hair Clipper generates 14,000 cutting strokes per minute. The blades are adjustable, which allows you to cut all types of hair, from fine to coarse.
Buy the Andis Adjustable Blade Hair Clipper from Amazon for $111.98.
Hair trimmers are similar to clippers because they’re designed with a blade and motor as well.
However, the blades on a trimmer a thinner, which makes it better for cutting short hair.
Whether you want a buzz cut or to trim your beard, the trimmer is a great choice for getting a closer cut.
Another benefit of using a trimmer is that you can find them with hypoallergenic blades which is helpful if you have sensitive skin.
Best trimmer: Wahl Stainless Steel Trimmer
The Wahl Stainless Steel Trimmer is affordable and reliable. It comes with four multi-purpose attachments, which are perfect for all hairstyles.
Buy the Wahl Stainless Steel Trimmer from Amazon for $76.79.
Clipper vs. trimmer
The biggest difference between the two is the blade size. Clippers are designed to cut long hair while trimmers are designed to cut short hair.
If you have long hair and want to cut a few inches off, the hair clipper will work best.
On the flip side, if you have short hair and want to get a closer shave, then the trimmer will be the best fit.
However, if you have long hair and want to get a buzz cut, then you’ll use both.
Begin by using the hair clipper to cut off the majority of your hair, then use the trimmer to get a close shave.
Since the two have different purposes, what you use depends on why you need it. Both products are needed to get a polished haircut. Use the hair clippers to shorten your hair and the trimmer to work on the details.
Featured photo courtesy of Unsplash.
About David Em
David Em is the founder of Next Level Gents, the ultimate destination for tips and advice about style, grooming, fitness, and success.