11 best hair clippers for a professional buzz cut at home

·14-min read
Invest in a set of hair clippers and not only will you save money, you’ll be able to have a trim whenever and wherever you want (The Independent)
Invest in a set of hair clippers and not only will you save money, you’ll be able to have a trim whenever and wherever you want (The Independent)

Hair clippers might have reached peak popularity during the pandemic, but with the average price of men’s haircuts approaching £15 and the cost of living crisis beginning to bite, they’re still a great, money-saving alternative to a professional trim.

The perfect grooming gadget for creating new styles whenever you want or maintain an existing one between barber appointments, they’re a cinch to use and most pay for themselves in three or four cuts. But, before buying it’s important to find the right clipper for you – one that matches both your needs and budget.

Mains-powered “corded” clippers – the ones used by pros – are a good choice if you’re going to be doing a lot of cutting and are looking for longevity (there are no batteries to wear down). While cordless ones are good if convenience and manoeuvrability are key – look for Lithium-Ion batteries which tend to be longer-lasting. Or, if achieving graduated fades is important, choose clippers with taper levers or digital adjusters that allow you to change cutting lengths in minute increments.

To get the most out of your investment, clean your clippers after every use with the brush provided (or rinse if they’re waterproof) and finish off by oiling the blades. “Not only will oiling keep your blades running cooler, but they’ll also stay sharper for longer and the clippers will run quieter,” says Simon Shaw, global artistic director at Wahl, who suggests oiling them on first use too.

As for using your clippers, celebrity hairdresser Luke Benson recommends cutting hair when it’s dry, combing it through to eliminate tangles and starting on a longer length setting, working your way down, to reduce the risks of mistakes.

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He says, “Place your fingers alongside where you need to shave up to as a guide, follow your head shape and gently flick the blades outwards out as you’re cutting, going down a grade at the lower parts. Then use the trimmer without the guard to tidy up the areas around the ears and finish off by blending any facial hair into the sideburns – again flicking out from the head.”

You never know, after giving a home cut a go you may even decide to become an actual proper barber. The tools of the trade we can certainly help you with, the rest is up to you.

How we tested

When trimming our locks we looked at how easy the hair clippers were to use, battery life, design, noise and vibration and of course its performance in achieving the desired results. All round value for money was crucial too.

The best hair clippers for 2022 are:

  • Best hair clippers overall – Wahl colour pro lithium ion: £49.99, Wahl.co.uk

  • Best hair clippers for style-conscious techies – BaByliss men super-x metal series cordless hair clipper: £80.40, Hqhair.com

  • Best hair clippers for close crops – Barbarossa Brothers electric head and body hair clippers: £44.99, Barbarossabrothers.com

  • Best hair clippers that are washable – Philips Series HC5632 hair clipper: £34.99, Amazon.co.uk

  • Best hair clippers for regular users – Wahl elite pro haircutting kit: £58.50, Wahl.co.uk

  • Best digital hair clippers for men – BaByliss men Japanese steel digital hair clipper: £54.79, Amazon.co.uk

  • Best hair clipper for fades – Remington power-x x5 hair clipper: £49, Coolshop.co.uk

  • Best hair clippers for multi-function cutting – Panasonic beard/hair/body trimmer: £42.45, Amazon.co.uk

  • Best hair clippers for beginners on a budget – Braun HC5010 hair clipper: £26.66, Amazon.co.uk

  • Best hair clippers for buzzcuts – Remington quickcut hair clipper: £26.88, Amazon.co.uk

  • Best multifunctional styling kit for men – Braun all-in-one trimmer 7 MGK 7220: £54.65, Boots.com

Wahl colour pro lithium ion

Best: Overall

Rating: 9.5/10

  • Battery life: 2hrs

  • Charge time: 3hrs

  • Corded / cordless: Cordless

  • Grade lengths: 3mm-25mm

  • Additional accessories: Left/right ear taper combs; haircutting cape; soft storage pouch; scissors; barber comb; blade oil; cleaning brush; instruction booklet

As fun to look at as it is to use, Wahl’s cordless colour key clipper is robust, features a taper lever for precision cuts and comes with tapered ear guards to make it easy to trim around your lugholes. In a clever touch, all the comb guards are individually coloured to prevent you from accidentally using the wrong length guard (the shortest is sensibly coloured red) while each is clearly labelled with grade numbers to make choosing a length super easy – you can choose from 0.8mm to 25mm.

The Lithium-Ion battery provides 120 minutes cordless use on a three hour charge, offers a 15-minute chick charge and is designed to lose virtually no power during storage. It’s a little noisier than the others here and you certainly feel it vibrate in the hand but its overall performance is superb. It even comes with a handy barber-style haircutting cape too!

Read the full Wahl colour pro lithium ion review

Buy now £49.99, Wahl.co.uk

BaByliss men super-X metal series cordless hair clipper

Best: For style-conscious techies

Rating: 9/10

  • Battery life: 3hrs

  • Charge time: 3hrs

  • Corded / cordless: Cordless

  • Grade lengths: 0.8mm-25mm

  • Additional accessories: Ear taper guides, blade oil, storage pouch, information booklet

Brand new for 2021 this premium hair clipper for men from BaByliss Men is the coolest-looking of all the trimmers we reviewed. It’s sleek, elegant and a dream to use, while super-sharp Japanese blades allow for cuts from 0.8mm-25mm. Comb guards, left and right ear taper guides and a five-position taper control for graduated fades are also included, meaning you can cut with confidence.

In a cool touch, there’s a pulsating blue battery charge indicator down the side which gives it a space-age feel, while a handy USB charging stand marks it out from the other clippers here.

Read the full BaByliss men super-X metal series cordless hair clipper review

Buy now £80.40, Hqhair.com

Barbarossa Brothers electric head and body hair clippers

Best: For close crops

Rating: 9/10

  • Battery life: 2 hrs

  • Charge time: 2hrs

  • Corded / cordless: Cordless

  • Grade lengths: 1mm – 3mm

  • Additional accessories: cleaning brush, blade guard

Leeds-based shaving company Barbarossa Brothers might be better known for its superb shaving equipment, but its commitment to quality and style is just as evident in this multi-purpose clipper. Designed for beard, head and body it features just three length guards (from 1 mm – 3 mm) so it’s strictly for those wanting super short crops (think Jason Statham), neat stubbly beards or trimmed back body hair but we loved how this low-noise clipper performed.

We loved how it looked even more though. Taking its design cues from top-end safety razors, its knurled handle (available in gold or black) not only looks great but provides great grip too. Not much fatter than a fancy cigar, it’s fantastically compact and portable too. Style and substance in one sleek tool.

Buy now £44.99, Barbarossabrothers.com

Philips series 5000 HC5632 hair clipper

Best: Washable clippers

Rating: 8/10

  • Battery life: 1hr 30mins

  • Charge time: 1hr

  • Corded / cordless: Cordless

  • Grade lengths: 0.5mm-28mm

  • Additional accessories: Cleaning brush, beard com, two hair combs (long and short), storage pouch, barber kit

Lightweight but solid, Philips’ cordless hair clipper offers an impressive 1hr 30mins cutting from a single 1hr charge, has self-sharpening blades and 28 separate length settings. It also features special “trim-n-flow” technology (yes, the brand actually went there and used “n” in the description) to channel hair clippings away from the blades, which minimises the risk of clogging. This helped it deliver a slightly faster cut because there wasn’t so much stopping to remove clipped hairs.

There’s a no-frills air to it, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and it comes with a beard comb attachment which is a bonus. It’s 100 per cent washable too, which is handy hygiene-wise should other members of the family be brave enough to sample your barbering skills.

Read the full Philips series 5000 HC5632 hair clipper review

Buy now £34.99, Amazon.co.uk

Wahl elite pro haircutting kit

Best: For regular users

Rating: 8/10

  • Battery life: N/A

  • Charge time: N/A

  • Corded / cordless: Corded

  • Grade lengths: 0.8mm-25mm

  • Additional accessories: Travel pouch, cleaning brush, scissors, oil, cape, barber’s comb, blade guard

Wahl has long been the go-to brand for industry pros and these chunky clippers are the nearest you’ll find to the ones used in barbershops. Several things elevate this model above its rivals: it’s weighty, robust and built to last (the motor has a lifetime guarantee) and because it’s mains-powered the power is constant – handy if you’ve thick hair to power through and need consistency. What’s more, the guard combs are nice and strong so are unlikely to break or snap.

As well as 10 separate guards, providing lengths from 0.8-25mm, it features a taper lever on the side which was great for creating a smooth fade. It doesn’t look quite as flashy as its rivals but don’t judge a clipper by its looks: judge it by the looks it gives. It comes with a raft of accessories and a carry case too.

Buy now £58.50, Wahl.co.uk

BaByliss 7785U Japanese steel hair clippers

Best: Digital clipper

Rating: 9/10

  • Battery life: 2hrs 40mins

  • Charge time: 3hr

  • Corded / cordless: Cordless

  • Grade lengths: 0.6mm-28mm

  • Additional accessories: Cleaning brush, oil, hard case

Beautifully designed, this stylish, state-of-the-art digital clipper comes with eight comb guards, which, combined with an adjustable taper, offer a whopping 45 different lengths (from 0.6-28mm). You’re also able to lock the cutting length which is a big plus as it means you can’t accidentally slip into another grade whilst cutting (something which can happen with some clippers).

As well as being one of the quietest clippers tested, the digital display shows you exactly how much battery power you have left. And impressive that battery is too: a three-hour charge gives a full 2hrs 40mins cutting, while a 20-minute “quick charge” will provide 20 minutes cutting time. A carry case to keep everything together is the icing on the cake.

Buy now £54.79, Amazon.co.uk

Remington power-x X5 hair clipper

Best: For fades

Rating: 9/10

  • Battery life: 75 mins

  • Charge time: 2hrs

  • Corded / cordless: Cordless

  • Grade lengths: 0.5mm – 35mm

  • Additional accessories: cleaning brush, blade oil

Solid and reliable, Remington’s X5 clipper doesn’t just stand out because of its turquoise and black colourway, but because of its performance too. Featuring turbo boosted self-sharpening blades to mow through the thickest of hair, it’s certainly powerful and great in the hand (the adjustable length dial is cleverly protected from accidental movement) and it offers a huge amount of cutting lengths.

Worthy of note is the special micro fade comb that offers a whopping 50 length setting in tiny 0.1mm increments, ensuring superb results, even for the fussiest fade fanatics. It’s powered by USB charging but unlike many other shavers the cable comes with a three-pin plug too. A five-year guarantee (extended to six years if you register the products online) sealed the deal for us.

Buy now £49.00, Coolshop.co.uk

Panasonic beard/hair/body trimmer

Best: For multi-function cutting

Rating: 8/10

  • Battery life: 1hr

  • Charge time: 40mins

  • Corded / cordless: Cordless

  • Grade lengths: 0.5-20 mm

  • Additional accessories: Travel case, cleaning brush, oil

We were initially suspicious of a clipper that promised to cut head hair as efficiently as the stuff that sprouts on the face and body – but this three-in-one trimmer ploughs through hair wherever it pops up with equal tenacity. It’s washable (an essential feature if you’re switching from scalp to scrotum in a single session), cuts from 0.5-20mm and features a precision trimmer for edging. The overall design, grip and finish means it both looks and feels much more expensive than it is. Perfect for men who can’t see hair without taking a trimmer to it.

Buy now £42.45, Amazon.co.uk

Braun HC5010 hair clipper

Best: For beginners on a budget

Rating: 8/10

  • Battery life: 40mins

  • Charge time: 8hr

  • Corded / cordless: Cordless

  • Grade lengths: 3mm-24mm

  • Additional accessories: Shaver oil

As you might expect from the hair clipper with the lowest RRP here this no-frills model from Braun eschews fancy functionality, add-ons and accessories in favour of does-what-it-say-on-the-tin simplicity, which is its strongest suit.

It’s cordless and washable like many of the other clippers here but has fewer length settings (just nine ranging from 3-24mm) but that’s fine if you’re not after pinpoint precision fades. A great entry point clipper for beginners and those on a budget though we’re not sure the comb guard would survive a dropping. It provides 40 minutes of cordless action but be warned – for that you need to charge it for a full eight hours.

Buy now £26.66, Amazon.co.uk

Remington quickcut hair clipper

Best: For buzz cuts

Rating: 7.5/10

  • Battery life: 40mins

  • Charge time: 4hr

  • Corded / cordless: Cordless

  • Grade lengths: 1.5mm-15mm

  • Additional accessories: Travel pouch, cleaning brush

This novel, washable palm-sized clipper doesn’t look like conventional clippers and doesn’t cut like them. Not only are the blades curved to follow the shape of your bonce, but the blades are also over 50 per cent bigger than those on other clippers. The upside of this is that it offers a super quick cut; the downside, however, is that it lacks the accuracy smaller blade surfaces allow. What’s more, its guide combs only offer cutting lengths of 1.5mm-15mm and feels a little fragile.

It certainly feels odd in the hand at first, though you quickly get used to it, and its shape actually makes it easier to use on the back of the head and around the nape. Although you can grade and taper, this clipper is probably best for those wanting single length, all-over buzz cuts.

Buy now £26.88, Amazon.co.uk

Braun all-in-one trimmer 7 MGK 7220

Best: Multifunctional styling kit

Rating: 8/10

  • Battery life: 100 mins

  • Rating: 8/10

  • Charge time: 1hr

  • Corded / cordless: Cordless

  • Grade lengths: 3-21

  • Additional accessories: pouch, charging stand, Gillette Fusion razor

If you’re looking for a grooming gadget that does much, much more than just cutting your hair then this 10-in-1 styling kit from Braun is the daddy. Because of the narrowness of the blades, it’ll take you a little longer to get the job done but it still provides a perfectly serviceable haircut, while interchangeable heads allow you to trim your beard, shave, remove body hair and tackle errant ear and nose hair too. There’s a Gillette Fusion razor thrown in too so you can achieve a super-smooth shave as well.

Sure, it’s not the best hair trimmer we tested, but haircutting isn’t its only focus. It is, however, one of the most useful, multi-functional tools we’ve come across. Perfect if you’re only interested in the occasional DIY haircut and have a multitude of other grooming needs to attend to.

Buy now £54.65, Boots.com

The verdict: Hair clippers

For overall value-for-money, performance and reliability we couldn’t fault Wahl’s colour pro lithium ion hair clipper. Built to last, easy to use and bundled with a host of accessories, it’s perfect for beginners or experienced users alike.

A fraction of a grade behind was BaByliss Men’s Japanese steel digital hair clipper which both looks the biz and delivers superb, precision results, while the company’s equally stylish new Super-X metal series cordless hair clipper is the one to watch, fusing both style and substance in a grooming tool that looks as sharp as the cuts it delivers. And since we’re attracted to bright, shiny things like magpies, the Barbarossa Brothers electric head and body hair clippers definitely stood out too.

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