There are a few grooming devices that every man should own, and a good hair clipper is one of them (right up there with an electric shaver and beard trimmer).
Men’s hair clippers are usually more powerful than beard trimmers, and as such, can mow through denser patches of hair with precision, without pulling or tugging on those precious hairs atop your head. That doesn’t mean you need to buy an expensive, barbershop-caliber clipper, especially if you’re only going to buzz yourself at home once or twice a year. However, it is because of those few times a year that you need a reliable hair clipper in the first place—so that you get the job done seamlessly and evenly each time.
Read on for the 10 best men’s hair clippers, none of which offer the same list of benefits. What they do share, however, is an army of fans, including me. But first, some suggestions on how to begin your search.
The Expert: I’ve been a grooming journalist for more than eight years. I love trying new products, speaking with brand representatives, helping readers perfect their self care, and offering my own skin and hair up as a petri dish. My hair clipper game picked up steam with the pandemic, when I got in the habit of buzzing myself, rotating between five or six of the models below with each trim. Now I’m on the grow-out but am keeping a couple clippers on hand for when I have finally had enough bad hair days. My writing has appeared in nearly every US men’s media outlet, including GQ, Men’s Journal, Robb Report, and Gear Patrol.
What to Consider When Buying Men’s Hair Clippers
First and foremost, you want customization, from design to process. No hair clipper is the universal best for everyone—though some come close. Ultimately, it comes down to how frequently you plan to use the device, how thick your hairs are (and how dense your overall hair is), as well as how detailed you want your cuts to be. What you need at home is vastly different from the options a professional barber needs. You might only be giving yourself a buzzcut a couple times a year, whereas others are giving their friends, partners, or children a fresh fade or a cleanup every couple weeks. In the latter case, investing in a professional-grade device is likely more justified. No matter where your needs fall, evaluate a clipper’s guard options (like outlining “T” blades), as well as the range of trimming lengths, be it the ability to “zero gap” the device for a naked fade or use a half-inch guard for a high clip.
Convenience is another factor. Having a cordless clipper is most ideal, especially if you’re giving yourself a buzz. You also want something with a fast charge and a generous battery life. Typically, you’ll find clippers with a 40- to 60-minute run time on a full charge; that’s more than sufficient if you’re managing periodic at-home clips. And some cordless clippers can be used while they’re plugged in, too. Plus, even if your device needs a few hours to juice up, it’s easily solved with an overnight charge.
Best of all, there is a great product for every budget; even the low-cost picks tend to carry a good warranty. However, if you do shell out more, you’ll have sturdier, heftier shells; higher-powered, sharper blades; and better quality overall. That’s not to say the lower cost picks are low in quality; you can feel the difference, though, in how it hums or how hefty it is.
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How We Evaluated
I used one primary standard to select 10 of the best men’s hair clippers: That all the models are great at-home options—whether you’re doing a DIY buzz or helping refresh someone else’s hair.
It can be a little difficult to standardize a list of hair clippers, because some use millimeters as measurements, and others use inches or even industry-standard clipper settings. There’s lots of talk about voltage and which countries these can be used in. I picked all cordless options to better standardize this list. And though some of the more powerful clippers out there demand a plugging in, there are some barber-caliber cutters on this roster that will mow through thick, coarse, coiled hair. (And I denote those.)
I have more or less disregarded cutting speed as a measurement for comparison, though. Some clippers boast about how many thousands of hairs their product can cut in a second. That’s shorthand for the device being powerful, but nobody is going to cut 65,000 hairs in a single second, so I’ll spare you the confusion here. Instead, I paid attention to customization options, charge duration, cost, and warranty. (Note that some retailers offer separate warranties than the manufacturer itself; you have to decide which warranty to pursue. In the specs below, I list the manufacturer’s warranty, not the retailer’s.)
For guard options and trimming length, I use the standard unit of measurement that each brand does, which means some are in millimeters and others in inches. Hopefully, those are both simple to envision in your head, given that clippers tend to keep everything under or around an inch. But, if it helps, here’s a simple brushup:
1.5 mm = 1/16 in.
3 mm = 1/8 in.
12 mm = 1/2 in.