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What are the Different Types of Hair Clippers?

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When looking for your next hair clipper, you will come across many different clipper models that vary in size, color, and shape.

Whether you want it for personal or professional use, you must know the different types of hair clippers, their peculiarities, and their functions; because this knowledge will help you choose the perfect clipper for your needs.

Sometimes, these different types and characteristics will be easy to spot because they’re clearly visible, as in the corded or cordless type. But more often than not, the differences will be less visible, as in the motor type, power, usage, and cutting styles.

Keep reading because, in this article, we’ll talk about all the different hair clipper types and give you some model suggestions under each type for reference.

Different Types Of Hair Clippers

You probably already know about the most common classification of hair clippers; the corded and cordless. But that’s not all there is! Hair clippers can also be categorized by other factors like the motor type, blade type, use, and cutting style, so let’s examine these different types.

1. By Motor type

hair clippers motors

The motor is the most important component of hair clippers cause without it – they simply won’t function.

Motors are responsible for moving the cutting blades as they reciprocate on your hair. However, not all motors are the same. Some move faster than others, others have more precise moves, and others vibrate too much. But generally, there are three clipper motor types. The magnetic, the pivot, and the rotary.

The Magnetic Motor 

magnet motor

We will start talking about the motor type that is used in almost 90% of clippers out there, the magnetic motor. The reason clipper manufacturers love using magnetic motors so much is that they are reliable, inexpensive, and fast. This allows them to build decent-quality, cheap clippers suited for the average user.

So, if you are a home user, magnetic motor clippers are a good choice. But if you are a professional needing a very powerful clipper able to cut through any type of hair, then they are probably not a good choice.

The Pivot Motor

pivot motor

The pivot motor is just like the magnetic motor in terms of power; however, it has a lower blade speed. What is noteworthy, though, is that despite its lower blade speed, pivot motor clippers provide at least twice the cutting power of magnetic motor clippers. This is what makes them great for everyday use and so popular amongst hairstylists and professional barbers. 

An example of a pivot motor clipper is the Andis Pivot Motor Combo clipper.

The Rotary Motor 

rotary motor

Rotary motors are the fastest and most powerful clipper motors on the market but also the most expensive. They are barber’s favorite toys because they can cut through any hair type fast and accurately. A rotary motor clipper paired with a sharp blade is the perfect trimming tool in the hands of a skilled barber, and this is why every barbershop has a few of these bad boys lying around.

Some examples of rotary motor hair clippers are  Andis Cordless Envy Li Adjustable Blade Clipper, Andis Supra ZR II Cordless Detachable Blade Clipper, Andis Supra Li 5 Adjustable Blade Clipper, and Andis Ceramic BGRC Detachable Blade Clipper.

2. By Blade Type

hair clipper blades

The cutting blade is another essential part of a hair clipper. After all, what can you do with a hair clipper without its cutting edges? Useless, right?

So as you can understand, the blade type is another way you can categorize clippers. Let’s take a look at the 3 most popular clipper blade types, the normal, the T-blade, and the detachable.

Square (normal) Blade

wahl 5 star senior cordless blades

Just like the magnetic motors, the square blades are the most standard blades used in hair clippers. They are good for general use and depending on their material, they can be of great and … not so great quality.

An example of the square blade clipper is Andis 04603 Professional Outliner ll Square Blade Beard Trimmer.


andis t blade trimmer

The T-blade clippers took their name because the top blade has two curved edges that stick out on each side, forming a T-shape. This design makes the T-blades perfect for detailing and reaching hard-to-reach spots like the neck and behind the ears. T-shaped blades are not designed for all-purpose use, so if you are not a professional that knows why and how to use them, then you probably should not buy a T-blade clipper.

The Wahl T-Pro Cordless Rechargeable Trimmer is a T-blade clipper.

 Detachable Blade 

detachable blades

The detachable blade clippers have blades that can be easily removed and replaced depending on the desired cutting length. They are very popular among barbers because they can be instantly replaced with longer or shorter blades to adjust the cutting length for fades and general trimming. 

Some examples of detachable blade clippers include; Andis Supra ZR, Oster Model 10, and Andis BGRC.

Related Article: How Do Hair Clippers Work? [Explained]

3. Cord or Cordless 

wahl series 100 cord

This is the most popular way to categorize clippers and probably the one you already knew before reading this article.

In corded hair clippers, the cord is attached to the clipper body and plugged into the wall socket to access electrical energy. In cordless clippers, on the other hand, the cord is attached to a charging base and then to the socket for recharging.

The biggest difference is that cordless clippers have excellent mobility and flexibility than their corded counterparts. But with that being said, while corded clippers might not be as flexible as cordless ones, they are more powerful.

They are powered straight from the socket and have more powerful motors simply because the batteries of cordless clippers can’t provide as much electricity as the wall socket.   

Some examples of corded hair clippers include; Wahl USA Pro Series Platinum Corded Clipper, Conair Simple Cut 10-piece Hair Clipper, Wahl Clipper Deluxe Chrome Pro, and many others. While some examples of cordless hair clippers include; COMZIO Hair Clippers for Men, Wahl Color 9649 Pro Cordless Rechargeable Hair Clipper & Trimmer, Wahl Clipper Lithium-Ion, and many others.

4. By Use

Some hair clippers are designed for professional use, while others are designed for home use, and as you can imagine this is another way to categorize them.

For Professional Use

barber using hair clipper

The main characteristics of professional hair clippers are that they have super-powerful motors and very sharp blades. This combination allows barbers cut through any hair type day in and day out with maximum precision.

This is also the reason most barbers prefer detachable/corded clippers. They give them the necessary power to get the job done and, at the same time, work faster by removing and changing the cutting blades in seconds. 

Some commonly used hair clippers for professional use are; Wahl 5-star Cordless Senior Clipper, Wahl Super Taper, Wahl 5-star magic clip clipper, and many others.

For Home Use

beginner cutting his own hair

Usually, home clippers don’t need a very powerful motor. Since the hair clipper will be used occasionally, cordless clippers with magnetic motors are the ones most home users choose.

Some common examples of clippers for home use are Wahl Extreme Grip Pro Hair Clipper, Wahl Elite Pro High-Performance Hair Clipper, and Wahl Elite Pro High-Performance Hair Clipper, among others.

5. By Style

Clipper manufacturers design clipper models for certain hairstyles, so as you can understand when you use them for these styles; they are doing great work. For example, the Wahl Professional 5-Star Balding Clipper with V5000+ was explicitly made for balding heads.  Some other common cutting styles that can differentiate clipper types are fades, lineups, and designs. 

For Fades

quiff high fade

Fades are some of the hottest haircut styles lately, and manufacturers have caught the trend and designed clippers specifically for them. These clippers have taper levers and other characteristics that make the fading way easier. Models like Wahl Magic Clip Cordless, BaBylissPRO GoldFX Clipper, Andis Master Cordless, or Oster Fast Feed are just some of them. To learn more about the best clippers for fades, read our article: “6 Best Clippers for fades

For Balding

Faded Beard Bald man

Balding is a men’s perennial problem, and once again, clipper manufacturers created a product for it, the balding clippers. Hair clippers for balding include; Andis Trimmer T-Outliner, Oster classic 76, Remington Shortcut Pro HC4250, and many others. To learn more about the best balding clippers, read our article: “8 Best Clippers for bald heads

For Lineups 

orange hair shaved sides with a lineup

Any professional will agree that lineups are as good as the clippers used. To get perfect lineups, precision is paramount, and this is why you need a very precise clipper. T-shaped hair clippers like Andis Slimline Pro Li, BaBylissPRO GoldFX Trimmer, Wahl 5-star Detailer, and many others are the best to achieve very detailed results. To learn more about the best clippers for lineups, read our article: “8 Best Clippers for lineups

For Designs


The last clipper type based on a cutting style list is designs. Some hair clippers are made specifically or are better suited for creating designs. Common examples include the Andis Styliner II and Wahl Detailer, among others.


What a ride we’ve had! We categorized the hair clippers based on motor type, blade type, cord or cordless, use, and style. Also, we explored each category one after the other while looking at some examples for reference. I hope you enjoyed this article as we did and made clipper shopping less confusing for you. 

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