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I guess you already know that fades are really hot lately, and many guys visit their barbers frequently to get one or maintain their current fade.
But what it takes to do a good fade?
First of all, it takes some skill! Doing a fade is not something easy, and this is why most guys visit the barbershop to get one.
But skill isn’t the only thing you need; you also need to have the right tools. And the most important tool is a good fading clipper. As I mentioned doing a fade is a bit difficult, and in order to do a good job, you need to have a clipper that will make your life easier.
There are many factors that make a trimmer good for fades, like the taper level, the precision, the power, the ergonomy, and many more we will discuss in this article.
So, if you want to see the best clippers for fades, learn why they are the best and what to look for when buying one, keep reading!
But before we get to the actual review part, we wanted to let you know that we did our best to test and review a wide range of trimmers. We did that because everyone has different needs, and something that works great for one person might not work that well for someone else. For example, someone might prefer to sacrifice power for ergonomy, while others might want the exact opposite. This is why, when reading our reviews, you will see some labels like best ergonomic, most powerful, etc. And now that we have cleared that out, let’s get to the good stuff!
Table of Contents
Our Top Picks Overview
Best Overall Fade Clipper: Andis Fade Master
Best Cordless Fade Clipper: Wahl 5-Star Senior Cordless
Best Professional Fade Clipper: Andis Master
Best Beginners Fade Clipper: Oster Fast Feed
Best Premium Fade Clipper: Babyliss Pro Gold Fx
Best Budget Fade Clipper: Wahl Clipper Fade Cut Haircutting Kit
Related Article: 7 Best Hair Clippers for Black Men
6 Top Best Clippers for Fades
1. Andis Fade Master – Best Overall
The Andis Fade Master, as the name suggests, is a high-end clipper designed specifically for fades. It is based on Andis’ Master series (a great hair clipper that made it on our list) but has some tweaks to make it even better for fades.
The first difference between the two is that the Fade Master weights less than the original Master. This makes it more beginner-friendly because when a clipper is too heavy, it is more difficult to handle and control, and when you try to fade your hair, you need total control of the clipper.
The second difference is that the Fade Master has thinner blades that offer closer cut precision, which is something you want when you do a fade. You know fades are all about details, and a 1mm mistake can totally ruin a fade haircut, so in our opinion, the thin blades are the best feature of this particular trimmer.
Other than that, it is the same as the classic Master. It has a taper level on the sides, allowing you to adjust the size from 000 to 1 to easily do your short fades.
The aluminum body makes it very durable cause, unlike other plastic clippers, it won’t break if it drops down (and believe me, this can happen more often than you think).
And finally, it has the same motor as the Andis Master, a monster of a motor that offers 14,000 cutting strokes per minute. This means that it won’t bog down even when it gets through the thickest hair.
And if you thought that because this is the top overall hair clipper, it won’t have any cons, you thought wrong!
There is no such thing as the perfect product, and here at the mensattitude we like being 100% transparent with our reviews, so we always mention the good, the bad, and the ugly of the products we test.
So, as you can imagine, the Fade Master has all the flows that the original Master has, or, to be more precise, almost all of them.
The biggest problem with Andis Master Fade is that it tends to overheat after a while. Just like with the Andis Master, this happens because of the powerful motor and the aluminum body (aluminum conducts heat). Our guess is because these are designed for professionals, Andis chose to go for durability over everything else.
The second problem is that the melody of the motor is a bit too loud, and when I say melody, I mean… well, it makes a noise that can get pretty annoying after a while. Again having a powerful motor with 14,000 strokes per minute will make any clipper pretty loud, so this is not that big of a surprise either.
- Beginner Friedly
- Strong Motor
- Good Taper Level
2. Wahl 5-star Senior Cordless – Best Cordless
Wahl is another high-quality brand with many top-selling products, and the 5-star Senior is their best fade clipper. Just like Andis, Wahl is a professional first brand, so expect to see some common characteristics.
What I like the most about this clipper is its rotary motor. And while it doesn’t use the V9000 motor, the rotary motor can cut any hair type. When you are a professional barber being fast and able to get rid of big chunks of hair with each stroke is essential, and having a clipper (or more) that can do that will make your days a lot easier.
Another really cool feature of Wahl’s 5-star Senior hair clipper is that it is a cordless clipper that performs equally well as a corded one.
And we really like that because most cordless hair clippers are not powerful and can result in pulling hair and other unwanted things.
The lithium-ion battery can last up to 70 minutes on a single charge, which is not something incredible, but if you consider how powerful the motor is, it is decent.
The blades of this clipper are another great thing I really like. They are super sharp (you need to be careful when using them to avoid accidents) and better than the standard Wahl blades (they are the #2191 two-hole blades and the standard Wahl blades are the #1005 three-hole).
Just like the other fading clippers, it has a taper level on the side to adjust the blade to your needs, but unlike the Andis Master, it has only two settings.
Finally, it comes with three metal clip attachment guards, one cleaning brush, one styling comb, and one recharging transformer.
And now, it is time to talk about the pain points of the 5-star Senior.
The first thing I want to mention is the price tag. It is not a cheap clipper (over $100); you can check the price today on Amazon by clicking the button above.
The second and a bit expected thing is that it overheats easily. I mean, it has one of the most powerful motors on the market and is a cordless clipper, so it is something to be expected.
Finally, it vibrates too much. This is a common problem amongst Wahl clippers, and it has to do with the powerhouse rotary motor. Read our “Wahl 5-Start Senior Cordless review article” to learn more about this clipper.
- Rotary motor
- Sharp Blades
- Come with guards etc.
- Vibrates too much
Related Article: Best Wahl Hair Clippers
3. Andis Master – Best Professional
Andis Master is one of the best clippers overall but is also a great choice for fades (we have included it also in our best clippers for bald heads article).
You are probably familiar with Andis if you are into the barbering business. They are a reputable brand with many high-end clippers trusted by barbers around the world.
But it is not just the brand that has put this clipper on our list. This machine is packed with features that make it a great choice for fades.
First of all, let me tell you why we have labeled this hair clipper as the best professional hair clipper.
Andis Master is a barber clipper meaning it is a bit noisy, heavy, and powerful, making it a great choice for professionals but, at the same time, a bit difficult to use for beginners. But please be a bit patient; we will talk about what makes a hair clipper good for fades later in this article.
So let’s get started with the good stuff, and then we will get to the not-so-good things about this clipper.
The first thing you will notice about this clipper is its aluminum body which not only makes it look good but also makes it durable and resistant to falls.
This is very important because accidents happen all the time, especially if you plan to use it professionally, and having a pair of trimmers that can withstand some falls is always a good thing.
The Andis Master is also a very powerful clipper meaning it can cut through any type of hair without any problems. This is due to its magnetic motor, which is one of the most powerful you will find on the market, with 14,000 strokes per minute, and if you don’t know if 14,000 strokes per minute are good, let me tell you that they are way above the average.
And, of course, they wouldn’t be the best barber clippers if they didn’t come with high-quality blades, which it does. But this is not the best thing about the blades. What we really like that makes this clipper one of the best clippers for fades is its taper level. The taper level is this thing on the side that lets you adjust the blades to your needs. And you would probably be thinking, what’s the big deal? All fade clippers have that.
But the thing is that most of them only have two settings, the lower and the higher one. On the other hand, the Andis Master level changes gradually from 000 to 1, making it much easier to get the perfect fade.
And. after talking about the good stuff, it is time to talk about the not-so-good things.
The first thing you need to know is that this clipper is a bit on the heavy side (1,2 lbs), meaning it can get tiring if you use it for a long time.
Remember when I talked about the aluminum body and how great it is for durability? Well, that comes with a price, and the price is overheating. This happens because aluminum is a good heat conductor, meaning it can get hot quickly (about 15 mins).
Finally, because it is so powerful, it can also be a bit noisy.
To be honest, the not-so-good things I mentioned are not that big of a deal if you ask me; they are the price you have to pay when you choose a powerful professional clipper like this one.
- Powerful Motor
- High-quality blades
4. Oster Fast Feed – best beginners
And I am sure that by now, you would be thinking that all the clippers on our list are going to be heavy, bulky, and powerful, but this is not the case with the Oster Fast Feed.
We have labeled this clipper as the best beginner’s hair clipper for fades because it is not as bulky as the other two and doesn’t overheat that much. As you can understand from the photo, it is a pretty simple hair clipper, but please don’t think that simple means low quality.
This clipper has cryogenic tested blades that will cut through any type of hair like a hot knife through butter and will stay sharp for a long time. And if you are wondering what the cryogenic test means – in simple words, it means that it has been tested under extreme temperatures and has proven to be able to withstand them, so it is ultra durable.
And what to do with the cryogenic blades if you don’t have a motor that will make them move? Well, the fast feed has a really powerful pivot motor (not as powerful as the V9000) that makes the blades move smoothly and quickly, allowing them to cut any hair type.
Its taper level will allow you for a smooth transition when you are doing your fades, and at the same time, its sturdiness will make sure that it won’t come off (this is a common problem with cheap clippers).
Finally, the biggest differentiation between this clipper and other professional clippers is the noise level and the overheating issues professional clippers usually have. These clippers won’t get nearly as hot as the other professional clippers (of course, they will be warm after using them for a while), and the buzzing noise is way lower. This is because their motor uses a “whisper quiet” technology that makes them much quieter.
And, of course, like with all hair clippers, there are not only good things but also some bad things about the fast feed.
The first thing is that the quality of the guards that come with this clipper is not that good. They are plastic and tend to bend a bit with heavy use. Another pain point is that they are not as powerful as other professional hair clippers, and you might find cutting through very thick hair difficult.
Finally, it is a corded clipper, meaning you won’t be able to use it if you are away from a power outlet.
- Pivot Motor
- Durable blades
- Low-quality plastic guards
5. Babyliss Pro Gold Fx – best premium
This beard trimmer has almost everything you want from a quality clipper. Let us start this review by talking about the looks of this beauty.
We think the looks are the last thing you should consider when buying a clipper, but we have to make an exception with this one. I know it might be a bit… too much for some of you, but to us, barbers like our bling, so we find it pretty cool.
And now, let’s talk about the things that really matter. For example, the blades. The blades are titanium coated, meaning they are very durable and will last you a very long time. At this point, I would like to tell all beginners to be very careful when using this clipper because the sharpness of the blades is a two-edged sword. It will cut through thick hair easily, but at the same time, you can easily cut yourself if you are not careful enough.
Another great thing about this clipper is its motor. It has a really powerful motor (not as powerful as the v9000) that, combined with the sharpness of the blades, makes this clipper a real beast. And in case you were wondering about this motor’s designer, let us tell you that the answer will blow your mind: it was designed by Ferrari, yes, the Ferrari that makes sports cars. And when Ferrari designs something, you know it is going to be good. Another good feature of this clipper is the taper level, which is sturdy with five different settings that will allow you to have a smooth transition when doing your fades. And, of course, it comes with guards, 8 in total, so you can use it for any hairstyle you want.
Finally, it is very lightweight (0.7 lbs), can be used both cordless and corded, and has a battery life of two hours which is more than the average.
But even with such a masterpiece, there are some flaws. The first one is that it is a bit expensive. There are many very high-quality clippers that cost almost half of what this one does, but I guess this is what you pay when you buy a Ferrari (lol).
The second one is the ergonomy of this clipper and, more specifically, its grip. As you can see in the photos, its main body is just a cylinder and is not very comfortable to hold for long periods of time.
Related Article: Best Clippers for Lineups
- Titanium Coated Blades
- Ferrari designed motor
- Looks awesome
- Not good grip
6. Wahl Clipper Fade Cut Haircutting Kit – Best Budget
Last but not least in our review is the Wahl clipper fade cut haircutting kit, which is a great budget option for those who want to spend less than 50$.
For starters, we are not talking about just a clipper; we are talking about a complete haircutting kit. When you buy this clipper, you not only get the clipper as you would with most professional hair clippers, but you get a complete kit containing a comb, a pair of scissors, and ten guards with different lengths.
And now, let us explain why Wahl is calling this clipper a fade clipper. It is because it has the self-sharpening “Xtreme Precision” Blades. These are different from the standard blades Wahl uses on other clippers. The difference is that they have a softer angle that cuts 40% more hair than the standard Wahl blades, offering you a more precise and close cut.
The heavy-duty electromagnetic motor is very powerful, with 35% more power than the standard Wahl motors, but not as powerful as the V9000.
And, of course, it wouldn’t be a fade clipper if it didn’t have the fade level on the side that adjust the blades for a close transitioning.
As you can understand, a budget clipper would not be a budget one without some flaws.
The first flaw is that it is very, and I mean very, heavy. It weighs 2 pounds which is twice as heavy as most clippers on this list. This is the biggest flaw because they made all the work with the special blades and just threw it away with the heavy design.
The second flaw is that it can be quite noisy; to be honest, we kinda saw this coming when we saw how powerful the motor was and the fact that it is a heavy-duty clipper.
Finally, we cannot confirm this, but during our research, we have read that many people reported that it stopped working after a few months of use.
At this point, we want to talk a bit about online reviews. When we get a product from a company to review, we don’t keep it; we just use it and return it. Of course, there are products we buy and keep, but we don’t buy every single clipper of the market; we only buy the ones we think are worth it.
This means that it is not possible for us to know firsthand how durable every clipper out there is. This is why if we don’t buy the product ourselves, we not only test them but also spend hundreds of hours online researching and reading every review and video from people who have used them for months or even years.
- Low Price
- Complete Kit
- Self-sharpening blades
- Powerful motor
- Very heavy
What to look for when buying a clipper for fades?
As promised in the intro section, we are not only going to talk about which hair clippers are good for fades but also what to look for when choosing the best fade clippers, so you can understand what we look for when we are reviewing and testing a hair clipper.
This is probably the most important factor, along with the power of the motor, as these two combined will determine how fast and precise your clipper will cut.
This is even more important when it comes to fades because it is a really detailed cut, and if your clipper doesn’t have sharp blades that offer maximum precision, then it is almost sure that you won’t have a great result.
So, what kind of blades should you look for?
There are three types of blades, and each one has its pros and cons. Let’s take a quick look:
This is the most common blade type, and there are a couple of reasons for that. First, their price is not as high as the titanium blades, allowing manufacturers to cut costs. Secondly, they are quite sharp and can cut through hair easily.
The biggest drawback of stainless steel blades is that they are not that durable (about one year of frequent use) and are high maintenance (you need to oil them before and after every use).
Titanium and ceramic blades.
Titanium is the best of these three types of blades. They are extremely sharp, don’t need to be oiled, and are quite durable. The only drawback is that they are quite expensive.
The ceramic blades cut the best and don’t overheat, but they can break easily, and this is why they are not used that often.
2. The motor
The motor is what moves the blades, and as you can understand, it is also quite important. The faster and more precise move the motor provides to the blades, the better result you will have.
So you need to do your homework and choose a hair clipper with a strong motor able to provide you with the precision needed for fading.
When it comes to the technology of the motor, there are three types:
Magnetic motors, rotary motors, and pivot motors
Magnetic motors are some of the most common ones used in hair clippers, and there is one reason for that – they are cheap. They work by using an electromagnetic field to move the blade and are quite fast.
The thing is that they are not as strong as the other two types, so you might not be able to cut through really thick hair.
Rotary motors are the most premium and are used in professional clippers. I am not going to talk about how they work as it is a bit complicated and out of the scope of this article, but all you need to know is that the clippers that use them are the most powerful, the most durable, and of course, the most expensive ones.
Pivot motors are the motors used the least and are somewhere in the middle.
The ergonomy of the clippers is multi-faceted. It includes several factors like the weight of the clipper, the grip, the vibration, the noise it makes, etc.
Of course, you should aim for maximum comfort, but this is not always possible. As I already mentioned, you will always have to sacrifice something when it comes to professional hair clippers.
For example, the most powerful and precise clippers are usually a bit heavier, so you will have to get used to that weight.
I won’t get into more details but prioritize your needs and try to get the best possible ergonomy for you.
Let me give you a hypothetical example.
You are a barber, and you are looking for a professional hair clipper for fades to use in your shop.
Ok, this means that you need a powerful and sharp pair of clippers that will be able to handle any type of hair in volume.
You should definitely buy a powerful corded clipper, and you will have to sacrifice the ergonomy, as it is better to get tired a bit because of its heaviness than having a pair of clippers that will pull your clients’ hair making you lose business.
On the other hand, if you are a DIY normal user trying to learn how to fade your own hair at home, then you should not care that much about the power and the sharpness of the clippers as you will be using them every now and then for a bit and most clippers will do the job.
So, you should focus on the ergonomy and try to find a cordless hair clipper that is not too heavy and has a good grip.
We hope this article has helped you find the best fade hair clippers and, at the same time, educated you on how to choose a good fade hair clipper. If there is any model that you think we are missing or you have a question to ask, please let us know in the comments section.
Russell is the founder of themensattitude.com. He is a barber a beard enthusiast and he is obsessed with trying men’s lifestyle products and blog about them. If you have any questions you can hit him up via the contact page.