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Best hair clippers 2021: Top budget and professional clippers to use at home

Steven East
26 Aug 2021
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Looking to keep your hair well groomed at home? These are the best hair clippers, including great options that you can buy online right now

Buying a pair of hair clippers is a great way to save money on haircuts and can save yourself a great deal of time too. After all, there's no need to make a monthly trip to the barber if you're able to cut your own hair from the comfort of your home.

Scared of doing it yourself? Have no fear, there’s a wealth of videos on YouTube by professionals showing how to groom your hair with electric hair clippers. And if you’re not confident enough to give it a go yourself, you can always get your other half or a trustworthy friend to give it a go instead.

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Best hair clippers: At a glance

  • Best wireless clippers: Wahl Lithium Power | Buy now
  • Best hair clippers under £30: Remington HC5035 Colour Cut | Buy now
  • Best budget cordless hair clippers: Wahl Color Pro Cordless | Buy now
  • Best for retro style: Oster 606 Pro Power Adjustable Blade Pivot Motor | Buy now
  • Best for thick and uncontrollable hair: Wahl 79400-800 Colour Pro Corded | Buy now

How to choose the best hair clippers for you

How much do I need to spend?

The majority of clippers come in at under £50, which isn't a lot for a precision instrument. It’s a competitive market and that's driven down prices. All of these clippers can give you a good or excellent cut, depending on your skill, but ask any barber what they paid for their clippers and it will likely be £100 or more.

So, as with anything else, you should expect to get what you pay for as a rule. We’ve included one professional-quality clipper as a comparison.

Which models cut hair quickest?

Quality models will use stronger motors and more refined cutting blades to cut hair faster than others, although lower-end brands try to convince you otherwise. Having said that, spending more isn’t always a guarantee of speed or quality.

Should I buy mains-powered or cordless clippers?

Some users claim mains-powered models give them extra power for thick or unruly hair and lessen the chance of snagging. But the latest cordless models seem to cut thick hair as well as corded, partly due to improved batteries that provide full power right up until they run dry.

If you’re looking to cut your own hair, cordless models are easier to use single-handed – and are lighter to take on overnight trips. But they’re usually a bit more expensive compared to similar quality main-powered models.

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What are clipper grades?

This relates to how short the clipper cuts the hair, so make sure you check what’s on offer. Grade 1 equates to roughly 0.3mm and grade 8 is 25mm. Most now offer grades 1 to 8 using included a set of comb attachments, as well as left and right asymmetrical tapering combs to run around your ears.

US models, such as the Oster below, tend to work in inches, and different manufacturers – especially established marques such as Oster and Wahl – even have their own grades, so we’ve added millimetre measurements for them all.

Can I get hair clippers that look the part?

A number of manufacturers, such as Oster and Wahl, offer vintage-styled clippers that wouldn’t look out of place in a barber’s shop from the 1950s. And some of them are high quality, with cutting performance on a par with the most modern-looking designs, so they’re worth considering if form is as important to you as function.

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The best hair clippers to buy

1. Wahl Lithium Power Hair Clipper: The best wireless clippers

Price: £70 | Buy now from Argos

Offering two hours of usage from a single three-hour charge, this Wahl cordless clipper will give you a beard and hair trim every week for several weeks at a time. The build quality is decent and the simple design, with just a blade adjuster level and on/off switch, is attractive and minimises the chance of something going wrong.

You get a full grade 1-8 comb set plus left and right ear tapers, scissors, a comb, blade oil and a cleaning brush, along with a soft pouch for storage.

Key specs – Power: Mains or cordless (120 mins after 3-hour charge); Cutting range: Grade 1-8 (3-25mm); Weight: 288g; Accessories: Grade 1-8 combs, left and right ear tapers, hand comb, scissors, cleaning brush, blade oil

2. Remington HC5035 Colour Cut Hair Clipper: The best hair clippers under £30

Price: £15 | Buy now from Amazon

This clipper punches well above its weight – and that’s saying something as it weighs quite a lot. It’s a simple design, with a mains-powered corded clipper that covers the shortest lengths from 0.5-2mm for trimming your hairline and then a set of nine combs to cover grades 0-8 along (3-25mm) with two tapered combs to do around your ears.

Unsurprisingly for the price, the body is heavier and bigger than most, but this gives it a reassuringly weighty feel and makes it easy to handle. And it won’t cut your hair quite as fast as the other models here.

Mains power means beards present few problems for this model. And, as with any value product, if it was to break after a year or so, you’ve only lost a lot. Unlike all the other models reviewed, it doesn’t come with a storage case, so you’ll need somewhere to keep it and all the attachments.

Key specs – Power: Mains; Cutting range: 0.5mm-25mm; Weight: 800g; Accessories: Grade 0-8 (0.5-25mm) combs, left and right ear tapers, hand comb, scissors, neck brush and cleaning brush

3. Wahl Colour Pro Cordless Hair Clippers: The best budget cordless hair clippers

Price: £35 | Buy now from Argos


It offers a more basic experience than the Wahl Lithium cordless clippers above – there's no taper lever and battery life is limited to just 60 minutes – but if you're looking for a cheap cordless clipper, you can't go too far wrong with Wahl's Colour Pro Cordless.

It can be used plugged into the mains and cordlessly and comes with combs for grades 1-8 as well as ear tapers, oil, comb and scissors. There's also a soft travel pouch, so for most people, it has everything you need. Just be mindful that the battery takes 12 hours to fully charge.

Key specs – Power: Mains or cordless (60 mins after 12-hour charge); Cutting range: Grade 1-8 (3-25mm); Accessories: Grade 1-8 combs, left and right ear tapers, comb, scissors, blade oil, soft carry bag

4. Wahl 79400-800 Colour Pro Corded Mains Hair Clipper Kit: The best for thick and uncontrollable hair

Price: £36 | Buy now from Wahl


The Wahl Colour Pro Coded sits at the lower end of the market, but provides you with all you need. As well as a set of combs covering grades 1-8 and tapered combs for sideburns, this clipper also comes with a barber’s cape and mirror, and a pair of hair grips. It’s especially good at getting through thick hair and beards, and looks a little more stylish than the entry-level Remington.

It also comes in a plastic storage case to protect it and keep all the attachments together. The colour-coded combs USP is a little dated as the cheapest models now feature it, but this is a well-designed product at a reasonable price.

Key specs – Power: Mains; Cutting range: Grades 1-8 (3-25mm); Weight: 227g; Accessories: Grade 1-8 combs, left and right ear tapers, hand comb, scissors, two hair clips, mirror, cape, blade oil, storage case

Buy now from Wahl


5. Oster 606 Pro Power Adjustable Blade Pivot Motor Clipper: The best for retro style

Price: £108 | Buy now from Amazon


This represents a serious investment, but if you want a professional-quality clipper, this is what you have to pay. This US brand has been supplying barbers for over 100 years so these products are tried and tested, and should last. The blade can be adjusted from grade 0 (0.5mm) to grade 1 (2.4mm) and then the four attachment combs take it up to grade 4 (12mm).

You can buy a set of grade 1-8 combs for an additional £12. One feature the manufacturer claims is that they can cut wet or dry, although with short hair this hardly seems an issue. The clippers look incredibly cool, like an attachment for a 1960s Marshall stack, although there’s no storage case – just a cardboard box. That said, if you consider yourself a bona fide hipster, you might not care in the slightest.

Key specs – Power: Mains; Cutting range: Grade 0-4 (0.5mm-12mm), or up to grade 8 (25mm) if you buy an additional set of combs; Weight: 800g; Accessories: Grade 2-4 combs (6-12mm), cleaning brush, blade oil, manual