A trip to the barbers can be a costly luxury, particularly if you wear your hair short and need a touch up every week or two in order to keep things in shape.
That goes double if you’re bald – stepping into the chair for a buzz every time things begin to get a little bit fuzzy on top can quickly become an enormous annual outgoing. Wouldn’t it be handy if you could just do it yourself?
With a good pair of hair clippers, you can. A one-off purchase of anywhere between £20 and £200, depending on your budget, means you need never darken your barber’s door again. Simply plug in or power up, switch on and away you go – neat, clean-shaven and with a slightly heavier wallet to boot.
Sound good? Here’s everything you need to know when it comes to choosing the perfect pair of hair clippers for every budget.
Before you part with your hard-earned cash, you’ll need to clarify the following.
Clippers Vs. Multigroomers
The word “clippers” is often used as a cover-all term to describe any electric, bladed device used for the removal of hair. But unless you want to be shaving your head with a body hair trimmer, it pays to educate yourself of the differences before you go shopping.
A multigroomer, as the name suggests, is a tool designed to cover all hairy bases. With different attachments, it can be used to shave a head, trim a beard, carve a neckline or even banish nose hair. However, if you’re familiar with the saying “jack of all trades, master of none” then you’ll already know why a purpose-built set of hair clippers is the best option when it comes to home haircuts of the highest standard.
How Much Should I Spend?
How much money you should part with when selecting the right pair of hair clippers will depend largely on your budget.
Lower down the price spectrum you’ll tend to find battery-run options which use magnetic motors and are typically fairly low grade in terms of power.
From the £30 mark and upwards, you’ll begin to see some solid rechargeable clippers. These might feature lithium-ion batteries, capable of many hours running time. You’ll also find some barbershop-grade mains-powered versions that pack significantly more punch.
£100 and upwards may seem excessive, but if you have the disposable income you’ll be rewarded with high-end, multi-speed motors, luxurious styling and premium features like detachable blades and durable housing. Think of them as a long-term investment you will get your money from – compared to the money you will save going for a trim every 3-4 weeks, they are a relative bargain.
Battery Or Mains?
Choosing whether to go battery or mains-powered is another big consideration. The biggest drawback with battery – as anyone with an iPhone will know – is that it has a limited lifespan. Meanwhile, a set of mains clippers will keep going for as long as you look after them.
Conversely, battery-powered clippers will cut your hair any time, any place, as long as they have charge. Opting for mains limits you to places with plug sockets readily available and accessible. Therefore, if you travel a lot, a battery-powered set might be a more practical option.
The Best Hair Clippers For Every Budget
From extravagant vintage machines designed to last a lifetime to cheap and cheerful battery devices you can throw in your dopp kit on weekends away – these are the finest clippers to appease any wallet.
£20 – £50
Everyone knows how great the Germans are when it comes to engineering. With that in mind, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that their hair clippers are some of the best too. Braun’s focus is on providing you with the best value for your money. Meaning you can expect features like waterproof casing, adjustable blades and more, all for prices that will leave you with change from £50.
When it comes to barbering tech innovation, Wahl is one of the originators. The Illinois-based brand was the first to introduce cordless clippers to the market, and while that’s quite an achievement, we still think its mains-powered options are some of the best around at this price point.
£50 – £100
For high-quality, battery-powered hair clippers, using the latest cutting-edge technology, no brand is better than Philips. The company was the first to use laser-guided trimmers and rotating cutting heads designed to make giving yourself a trim just that little bit easier. For industry-leading tech geared towards home use, you’ll struggle to find better.
The Japanese are famous for their technological innovations in all areas of electronics, and grooming is no exception. Panasonic may be known for everything from smart TVs to refrigerators, but when it comes to keeping your hair tended to the brand’s clippers don’t disappoint.
£100 – £200
Every barber worth his or her salt will know all about Oster’s iconic hair clippers. The brand was founded in 1924 and became the first to introduce motorised clippers to the market. In short, Oster revolutionised the world of barbering, changing it forever. Think of it as grooming’s answer to the electric guitar or broadband internet.
Another hair clipper company favoured by the experts is Andis. Since the 1920s, the brand has been churning out some of the best professional products around. Expect to find throwback styling, superior build quality and premium features like ceramic blades and adjustable taper levels.
Cleaning And Maintenance
If you want your clippers to keep running smoothly, it’s important to keep them properly maintained.
Thankfully, most sets are built to stand up to the rigours of daily use and so caring for them is relatively straightforward. In most cases, all you’ll need to do is give the blades an occasional clean with a small brush. This will usually be provided along with your clippers when you first buy them. Additionally, a small amount of lubricating oil applied to the blades occasionally with keep them gliding nicely without pinching, tugging or getting caught in the hair.