Barber Clipper Guide
What our precise clipper lengths are
and what will be left on your head.
Clipper Blades and Attachments
A Barbers electric clippers are used to cut the hair short. If used directly on the head without an attachment guard, they will clear the hair from the head, leaving a very short stubble.
Some clippers use a series of different plastic guards over the cutting blades to adjust the length of hair, while others have different length attachable blades. These clipper attachments (either guards or blades) are used to provide a uniform length of hair to be left.
Most Barbers use both adjustable attachments and standard attachments. Clippers made by Wahl use attachment numbers to indicate the length of hair that will be left. Here are some examples of attachments used by some popular clipper manufacturers.
- 0000 - 0.1mm (1/250 inch)
- 000 - 0.2mm (1/125 inch)
- 1 - 3.0mm (1/8 inch)
- 1.5 - 4.0mm (5/32 inch) separate regular and texturizing blades available
- 2 - 5.0mm (1/5 inch)
- 7 - 4.0mm (5/32 inch)
- 5 - 5.0mm (1/5 inch)
- 3.5 - 9.0mm (1/3 inch)
(Source: Andis Barber and Beauty Clipper Blades Page
Metric measurements from the Andis site. Inch conversions are approximate only!)
Oster. Oster clippers which use Blades are often used in military barber shops (they are powered by a motor instead of an electric vibrating device and tend to stay cooler during heavy use). Blades used on Oster clippers include:
- 00000 - 1/125 inch
- 0000 - 1/100 inch
- 000 - 1/50 inch
- 0A - 3/64 inch
- 1 - 3/32 inch
- 1A - 1/8 inch
- 1-1/2 - 5/32 inch
- 2 - 1/4 inch
- 3-1/2 - 3/8 inch
(Source: Oster information referenced from Authorized Marketing Services.)
- #0 (no attachment) - 1/100 inch,
- #1 - 1/8 inch
- #2 - 1/4 inch
- #3 - 3/8 inch
- #4 - 1/2 inch
- #5 and #6 - special tapering attachments
- #7 - 7/8 inch
- #8 - 1 inch
The advantage of using clippers is that they cut hair to an consistent short length quickly and easily. Some people say that only scissors can be used to cut hair short without exposing the skin underneath. This would only apply to moderately short haircuts, as with very short cuts, the aim is to expose some skin.
Another disadvantage of the clippers is that because they are so quick and easy, the chance of mistakes is higher (for example by attaching the wrong attachment or by mis-cutting when tapering without an attachment - we've all heard home haircut disaster stories).
For this reason, you want a professional who is experienced with clippers. This is another reason to use an experienced Barber for short hair.