You have no items in your shopping cart.
Clipper & Trimmer Tips
The right tool for the job is essential for a quality haircut. This may seem obvious to most professionals but often the most appropriate tool is overlooked due to the price, latest trend or even the dreaded “peer pressure”. The most expensive clipper or trimmer is not always the best choice. The latest tool being sold at your local beauty supply or hair show is not a magic wand. Although some barbers in your shop may have used the same tool for years it does not mean it’s the best. It could just be the brand or model they were trained on by their local school or mentor.
There are three basic tools most barbers will need to produce a quality haircut. Remember we are discussing clippers and trimmers, not shears. Although they are an essential tool for straight hair cutting and finishing up most styles, shears or scissors are a topic for a whole other discussion. The three basic tools are the motor driven clipper for heavy-duty cutting, adjustable blade clippers for tapering and general cutting and trimmers for lining and detailing.
A barber should have all three types and multiples of each. At the very minimum two or three of each type is necessary because without the proper working tools you cannot excel in your career. The skills you possess as a tradesman or artist in your chosen field can often only be expressed with the right equipment. In a barber’s case this means clippers and trimmers.
The tool names, trimmer and clipper, are often used interchangeably and understandably so; but there is a factual difference if you are discussing your tools with a technician, sales associate or professional peer. Get to know your clippers and trimmers along with the make and model number. Quite often a barber does not know what exact tool he is using when asked by us at Purtle Barber Supply. Your experience with the current make and model you are using helps to provide you with knowledge for future purchases and professional debates along with quality experience in the barbering profession. A barber should see his trade as a professional career and not just a job. As a barber, you supply a needed service that is based on style and the time honored position as one of the five cornerstones of any community. These would be the clergy, barber, doctor, lawyer and well, bartender.
A clipper can be either a motor driven tool, like my favorite, the Andis Excel 2 (BGC2) or it can be an adjustable clipper, like my favorite, the Andis Master (ML). The motor driven clipper offers a variety of blade sizes and a convenient way to change blades when one becomes dull, too hot or you need a different length. The sizes and types of the blades offered change constantly with new ones being added. Andis just introduced the 1 ¼, 1 ¾, and the 2 ¾. These sizes are now offered to blend the lines that were once caused between the 1, 1 ½, 2 and 3 ½. The current sizes are 00000 Trimmer, 00000, 0000, 000, 0A, 1,1A, 1 ¼, 1 ½, 1 ¾, 2, 2 ¾, 3 1/2, 3 ¾, ⅝ HT, ¾. The Andis BGC2 runs faster than any other motor driven, which means more hair cut quicker in less time. Faster and more reliable cutting means more time for more customers. Unlike many popular models, the carbon brushes take 3 to 5 years to wear out. The motor is also sealed, not air-cooled, like the some other popular models, which means that the hair and dirt in the air are not being sucked directly though the motor.
The adjustable clipper, like the Andis Master (ML) or the Wahl Senior, is perfect for cuts between 000 and 1. If you are planning on using plastic attachments this is the way you want to go due to the design of the plastic attachments and the lower cost of adjustable blade clippers compared to motor driven.
The Andis Master and Wahl Senior clippers, like most other professional clippers, are offered in a fade or surgical model, or a blade can be purchased to convert them from one to another. A fade blade or surgical blade cuts from 00000 to 000. Plastic attachments are not recommended for fade or surgical blade clippers. The blades are set too close to each other and the blades tend to grind into the plastic attachment and cause them to prematurely break. Some barbers are now using metal attachments to solve this problem but this only makes the situation worse by causing the blade to possibly break or chip.
Trimmers are the icing on the cake turning a good haircut into a great haircut. A bad line can ruin a perfectly good haircut. Make sure they do not scratch the neck, face, forehead, or ear. Check the blade before you trim, especially if you have moved them or let someone else use them. Try it out on your inner forearm and see if you can feel a scratch. If you do then they need to be reset or a new blade purchased. The term “zero gap” is thrown around a lot lately. If a trimmer is set to be at a zero gap, it will cut someone eventually. You might as well use a razor, but too many of us break out and have bumps from razors, so we prefer trimmers. I discussed the idea of a “set close” trimmer for the last several issues and it is not always necessary. A trimmer comes factory set and can be appropriate for many haircuts. My favorite is the Andis Outliner II (GO) or T-Outliner(GTO). We at Purtle Barber and Beauty Supply do not recommend anything that is not a quality product. One of the great privileges of writing under the name of this company is to know that our wealth of knowledge is backed in honest and quality experience from 1946 to the present.
Remember the more quality tools you have, the more prepared you are in the event of the unforeseen problems that occur daily as a barber such as dull blades, dropped clippers, trimmers out of adjustment and the individual needs of each client. At the very least, two of each tool is a requirement one for use and the other for backup. This is not including the specialty equipment needed to perform all haircuts and styles. Remember to oil your clippers and trimmer blades before and after each use in order to properly maintain your tools.