Home » What is the Lever on Hair Clippers for? [Solved]

What is the Lever on Hair Clippers for? [Solved]

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Before I became a clipper freak, I used to wonder what taper levers do. At first, I thought they were just a random thing on the body of hair clippers.

Then I started having questions like: Are they really important? What do they do? What if they fall off?

If you also have these questions, this article is for you! When you finish reading it, you’ll know all about the taper levers on hair clippers and what they do. You’ll also learn how to use them, how much length they cut, and lots more. So grab a cup of coffee and read on!

What Does The Lever On Hair Clippers Do?

Wahl magic cliper taper lever

Taper levers look like a small, unimportant part of the hair clipper, but they’re far from that. Their job is to adjust the closeness between the blades of the clippers, consequently adjusting the closeness of the haircut. 

They are positioned strategically at the side of hair clippers so you can manipulate them easily with your thumb. You can easily change your cutting length simply by moving the taper lever forward or backward. 

This simple act of the lever helps to achieve very detailed fades. All you need to do is push the lever back and forth and make killer fade transitions (it is not a coincidence that the top clippers for fades have a taper lever on them).

How To Use The Hair Clipper Lever

andis master taper lever

As tiny as the taper lever is, it still leaves some of its users lost on where to start. But don’t worry! In this section, we will show you exactly how to use a clipper lever. 

To fully grasp the magnificence of the taper lever, you must understand its function and use (which is actually pretty simple).

The distance between the blade edges changes based on the positioning of the lever. When the taper lever is moved upwards, the blades’ edges get closer (closed position). Hence, the hair is cut shorter as the distance between the top and the lower blade is smaller. In the same vein, when the lever is moved downwards, the blade edges get further apart (opened position), so the hair length will be longer. This is a very important feature, especially for professional barbers, because it helps them achieve very detailed fades.

To do a fade by using a taper lever, simply start with the taper fade in the closed position and gradually move it to the open position as you trim upwards. As the clipper blades move gradually away from one another, the hair will be cut slightly longer, creating the desired fade effect. Of course, it’s easier said than done, but with some practice, you’ll get there.

Related Article: Can you Fade Without a Lever? [Explained] 

How to Fix a Loose Hair Clipper Lever

Remember that, like all machinery, clipper levers can break or become loose and need tightening. For this reason, knowing what to do when your clipper lever acts up is important. Just follow the procedure below to learn how to fix a loose hair clipper. 

First, get a screwdriver and tighten the lever; the trick is not overdoing it and making sure it can move back and forth easily.

If this doesn’t work, you need to loosen it up and take it off with a screwdriver. After exposing the screws on the lever, get a thread locker and apply it to them. This will lock the lever in place and won’t be loose anymore. 

Related Article: How Do Hair Clippers Work?

Taper Lever Frequently Asked Questions

What does lever open and closed mean on clippers?

As already mentioned, when the taper lever is closed, it means that the blades are moved as close as possible to each other, offering a very close cut. On the contrary, when the lever is open, the blades are moved away from one another, offering a longer cut.

Does an open lever cut more hair?

No, an open taper lever does not cut more hair. When the taper lever is in the open position, the distance between the clipper’s blades is the maximum possible, resulting in cutting less hair and not more.

How much length does the Clipper lever add?

When the lever on the clipper is closed, it will leave the hair strand with about ⅛ inch.  

Can you fade with clippers without a lever?

Of course, you can. However, having a clipper with a taper lever will make your life easier. But if you have a trimmer that doesn’t have a taper lever, here is how to do it:
Start by trimming the bottom part of your side and back hair with the shortest hair clipper guard (Number 1).
As you move up, use a medium-sized clipper guard (number 2 or 3) to do the transition between the top and bottom part you’ve trimmed.
Finally, utilize a longer clipper guard (number 3 or 4) to trim the top part of the fade. Look for any stray hair and finish with the details.

How do you fade with a lever?

To do a fade with a taper lever, start by moving the lever to the closed position. Start trimming the bottom of your hair without moving the lever, and as you move toward the top of your head, gradually move the taper lever to the open position. You should be careful and consistent with the pace you are moving the lever to get an even crisp fade.


The taper lever, although tiny, is a very important part of the hair clipper. So far, we’ve explored everything you need to know about using the taper lever on the hair clipper. So take advantage of this miraculous tool and fade on!

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