For the DIY-ers and penny-pinching among us, a solid set of hair clippers is a must. Cutting your own hair can shave off some serious dollars, to your barber's chagrin. But giving yourself a haircut isn't easy and takes some practice. You'll need a healthy amount of hand-eye coordination and possibly even a friend who's willing to finish off the back of your head. There's some risk involved.
Now that we've weeded out the unwilling, let's talk to the undeterred. You'll need some steady hands, sheer patience and the right tools. You might be tempted to go with a beard trimmer. Don't. They look similar, but beard trimmers are built specifically for shorter hair and finer details. Beard trimmers are great for getting sharp lineup and getting really close to the skin. It's what barbers use to get the baby hairs at your neckline.
Hair clippers, on the other hand, are wider and have longer blades which make it ideal for cutting longer hairs. You can use them to get a buzz cut, or a five o' clock shadow, but not a skin-smooth cut. Good clippers should be powerful enough to get through the thickest hair smoothly and without snagging. They should also be built to last. After all, a huge reason you're cutting your own hair is to save money, right?
They run the gamut, from the barbershop standby to the DIY little clipper that could. Whether you just want to buzz it all off, clean up the sides or, likely, something in-between, these are some of the best we recommend.
Wahl 5-Star Magic Clip
Just Get This
The Magic Clip is what the pros use. When they're building up their chops and even after they've been certified, barbers often cite this as their go-to. The build is solid and doesn't feel plasticky, but that doesn't mean it's heavy. At just 10 ounces, your arms won't be fatigued by the time you're done. It's easy to maneuver, too, thanks to the lithium-ion battery with a run-time of about 90 minutes. But, you can also plug it in for unlimited run time. It comes with eight attachment guides from an 1/8 of an inch to 1 inch and includes a styling comb, a brush and blade oil to keep it running smoothly.
Remington HC5850 Virtually Indestructible Haircut Kit
If you're not looking for anything fancy and the whole point of you getting clippers is to save money, Remington's HC5850 Virtually Indestructible Haircut Kit should be your pick. It's lightweight and super quiet, but powerful enough to get through most hair without snagging (ouch). It's not cordless, but the lengthy cord gives you enough slack to maneuver easily.
Andis Master Cordless Clipper
If you're looking to take your haircut game to the next level, get the Andis Master Cordless Clipper. A 90-minute run time may not sound like a lot, but because the powerful rotary motor cuts at 7200 strokes per minutes, you won't need it. It'll cut through the thickest hair like butter and require less passes to do it. But if you happen to need more time sculpting your crown, it charges in just one hour. The adjustable carbon-coated blades can be zero-gapped for a super-close cut and it's housed in an aluminum body so it'll likely be the last set of clippers you'll need.
Wahl Color Pro Cordless
This clipper gets top marks from a lot of customers. Like, a lot. On Amazon, it has over 13,000 ratings and nearly a 4.5 star average. That's all thanks to the easy-to-read color-coordinated comb guides which span from a 1/8 of an inch to 1 inch, cordless capabilities and easy clean-up. At a continuous run time of about 60 minutes, the battery doesn't last as long as some other options (and you'll have to wait up to 15 hours to charge it fully). But, it does allow you to use it while it's plugged in.
While you don't really want to use a beard trimmer to cut your hair, that really depends on the haircut you're going for. Bevel's trimmer is ideal for getting precise lines and smooth fades, whether that's your beard or your head. The blades are easily adjustable and don't require a screwdriver, like some other options. If you're super meticulous (or just really slow), the built-in battery can run for forever (about four hours). And, the handle will stay cool all the way through.
Oster Fast Feed
This one is a barbershop classic. It's powerful and built with solid materials, with an old-school feel. That also means it's stripped of bells and whistles that the young bucks sport. For instance, it isn't cordless and only comes with four guide attachments (though you can buy more guides separately). But if you've ever been in a neighborhood barber shop, you know that it can get the job done.
Remington Hc6550 Cordless Vacuum Haircut Kit
If the cleanup is preventing you from divorcing you from your barber, a set of clippers with a vacuum might make the breakup easier. Remington's HC6550 has a large chamber for collecting hair, saving you a lot of post-cut sweeping. The titanium-coated blades mean it'll cut through the thickest hair and stay sharp for a long time and the kit has everything you need for almost any haircut you could want.