Clippers vs Scissors, What to use and when

January 12, 2022

When it comes to being a barber, you need to be everything from a doctor to a social worker and everything in between - cutting hair is almost incidental. 

Because even when you’ve solved everyone’s problems, assured them the ref was a moron and that a blind monkey on a one-wheeled bike would have seen that he was clearly offside, and yes, their girlfriend still fancies them, they still think all you have to do is wave the scissors around from side to side, and viola! The perfect style magically happens. They seem to forget there are certainly some technical skills involved with being a professional barber.  


The fact of the matter is that different hair types and styles require additional tools to achieve the best results. Achieving a great haircut requires using the right tools for your hair type, making all the difference in how your hair looks when styled.


Clippers Vs Scissors

Both, though similar, are as different as mars and venus. As a beginner, you want to get the best tools at affordable prices. Hence, it's important to know when to use each to achieve the perfect cut. Clippers are designed for short hair, while scissors are long-handled blades specially made for long hair. Misusing either tool can result in an uneven haircut or, worse still, an angry customer, so you must understand the differences before grabbing either of them.


Uses of hair clippers

Barbers and stylists use the standard rotary blade clipper to cut hair professionally. The use of these clippers dates back to the mid-1800s when they were first used to cut the hair of wounded soldiers from the American Civil War.

They are available in different sizes, with varying blade numbers, and for various purposes. The size of the clipper is essential because it determines the length of hair you can cut, and Clippers come in three major sizes.

  • Larger ones are for cutting longer hair and thinner hair like beards or moustaches.
  • Medium-sized ones for cutting medium-length hair, such as on your head.
  • Smaller ones are for trimming small areas around your ears, neck, and nose.

Of course, some rules have exceptions. For example: although the standard size of a beard trimmer is 1/8" to ¼" (3mm to 6mm) blade spacing, some beard trimmers come with 1/8" blade spacing for a close shave.

 Barber-sized clippers are the largest, and barbershops or salons usually use them. These clippers have a heavy-duty construction with large motors to handle the stress from heavy usage. The clipper blades are also durable and can be sharpened when needed. 

Whereas home-sized clippers have a smaller motor and blades, making them perfect for a quick tidy up at home or in a smaller salon. Professional sized hair clippers are slightly larger than home-sized ones, but they are still lighter and smaller.


Scissors are best for - 

You guessed right; the primary function is cutting hair. Haircutting scissors are used every day in the hairdressing industry and have been for decades. They have a particular design, which makes them perfect for the job. Firstly, hair cutting scissors have are very sharp pointed blades. The sharp points allows you to cut straight into the hair without pulling it or cutting corners.


Haircutting scissors are an essential tool for any stylist. They are used to create texture, maintain the shape of a style, and create bangs/layers. Using a pair of scissors can help you create a haircut with precise lines and even dimensions from top to bottom.


While both the Clippers and the scissors are valuable tools that you can use for grooming, it's essential to know when to use each.

Clippers are the more faster, and convenient tool, However, having clippers and scissors are both recommended. Why? simply Because no 2 haircuts are the same and unless it's a buzz cut you cant use 'just' clippers and vice versa with scissors. Although, you can create a style using just scissors but how often its done is no where near to how often both tools are used. Happy buzzing!   

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