Ostensibly, the two devices are created with different trimming philosophies. Beard trimmers will be all about precision shaving on short hair and stubble, with weaker motors that still cut hair but won’t tug so you can delicately work your way around your jaw. The key here is that they’re meant to tackle short lengths, and won’t do well when fading down longer hair and tapering sideburns as well.
This is where hair clippers will excel. They will more than likely come with a greater range of cutting lengths and a host of guiding combs that can cope with hair longer than a few millimetres, and the motor will be souped up to content with that fact. And while you could certainly do a job with the trimmer, we genuinely advise just investing in the proper equipment; you’ll thank us in the long run.
Which clipper is most powerful?
Time was that corded clippers served up substantially more power than cordless variants – not to mention the constant recharging they’d need. Thanks to improvements in battery tech and more powerful motors, times have changed and, according to Tucker, cordless hair clippers are the best choice for most.
“They may cost a little more,” he says, “but it will be well worth it. No more getting your wires tangled and great if you’re doing a self-beard trim or haircut, as you’ll be able to move them around your head all the easier.” Look out for clippers that can also be used while plugged in, though, for those occasions when you’re desperate for a trim but forgot to charge up in advance.
What hair clippers do barbers use?
If you’re looking for a pro-grade cut then you’ll need to get the same haircutting kit that barbers use, which can often be a bit more expensive but definitely worth it in the long run. You might be tempted by the flexibility and freedom of a cordless hair clipper that runs on battery power, but most of the best devices are powerful corded hair clippers that glide through your hair, with well-made blade guards of multiple lengths to stop you from cutting too deeply. Partaking in a risky home haircut can put the fear of God into many, but so long as you have something with plenty of length choice, an ergonomic design for easier trimming, and enough power to get through thicker hair you should be good to go.
In terms of brands, many barbers will opt for the tried and true makers like Wahl, Panasonic, Hatteker and Philips. And if it’s good enough for them, it’s certainly good enough for you.
Remember you’ll need an entirely different tool if you’re looking to tidy up any facial hair at the same time. Your beard hair is completely different to your head hair, and we’d recommend using a dedicated beard trimmer for precision trimming around the jawline over a larger hair clipper.
Are all hair-clipper blades the same?
As with most things, you get what you pay for and there are more blade types and materials out there than you might think, ranging from different grades of stainless steel, titanium or even ceramic. “There’s always a new blade out, which is exciting for a barber,” says Tucker.
“The crunch blade on the Wahl Magic was always the go-to for me to create an easy fade, but pretty much all new clippers are now equipped with very good adjustable blades that are waterproof and rust-resistant.” More expensive blades will prove to be more versatile and tend to last longer due to their hardier materials, letting them deal more easily with thick hair as a result.