Recommendations for the Best Haircutting Tools

Essential Tools for Cutting Men's Hair

It is our firm belief that investing in quality haircutting tools is a smart move. Since your tools are what you use every day to create beautiful work and earn a great living, shouldn't you invest in the best? It always amazes how many stylists cut hair every day using the same tools that came with the kit they purchased in hair school. Having the right tools will improve your technical quality and help increase your male client retention.

It's important that every barber or stylists toolkit should contain eight essentials.

  1. Adjustable Blade Clipper for all-purpose cutting and tapering.
  2. Detachable Blade Clipper for free-hand clipper and clipper-over-comb work.
  3. Corded Trimmers for creating outlines and trimming beards.
  4. Shears for general cutting and layering.
  5. Blending Shears for thinning and blending.
  6. Hairstyling Razor for blending and texturizing.
  7. Straight Razor for neck shaving, where allowed by law.
  8. Clipper Combs for all-purpose cutting.

Following are my top picks in each category. These are the tools you should use each day and the most popular among the hundreds of barbers we've worked with over the years.

Adjustable Blade Clipper

We suggest the Andis Improved Master. Many believe this is the best adjustable blade clipper on the market. The housing is all aluminum and steel, which makes it one of the most durable clippers made. The drawback to the Andis Clipper is that it is a high-maintenance clipper which requires oil between haircuts and regular cleaning of the inside of the clipper.

Use with Speed-O-Guard attachment combs when needed. We also strongly recommend the Babyliss Pro FX880 clipper which is extremely powerful and lightweight. 

Cordless Clipper

The Wahl Cordless Sterling 4 Clipper is the only cordless clipper that holds up well in a professional environment. The Wahl Cordless Sterling 4 Clipper itself looks much like any corded clipper, but this one you can unplug.

The clipper itself is very lightweight but still powerful enough to hold up to professional use. Wahl claims the motor-driven clipper with the built-in lithium-ion battery has a 75+ minute runtime and we've found that to be true.

Detachable Blade Clipper

Oster 76 - This clipper has been used for decades and is widely considered the finest detachable blade clipper ever made. It is reliable and effective in wet or dry hair. Its only drawback is that it is air-cooled and the fan can sometimes blow hair in the stylist's face while doing clipper-over-comb work in dry hair. For those who think the fan is an issue, we highly recommend the Andis BGR, a detachable blade clipper that's about the same size, but is not fan cooled. The BGR's performance is on par with the 76 (and it even accepts the 76 blades).


Andis T-Outliner - The workhorse of trimmers. This trimmer cuts closer than any we've found. The T-shaped blade makes trimming around ears very easy and the clipper’s small, almost oval shape makes it easy to hold.

Haircutting Shear

Joewell S2 7" - For everyday haircutting, We find this shear to be a good balance between value and performance. The choice of shear is very personal for each stylist, but we find this is one shear we reach for most often when we need a good, basic shear.

Blending/Thinning Shear

Supercut Taperfine 44/20 - This is the barber's standard and is one of the worlds most imitated shears. With 44 fine teeth, this shear creates a very smooth blend. Hardened steel retains a sharp edge and the slotted and notched teeth provide the smoothest blend possible in a thinning/blending shear. This is an essential tool for easily removing lines of demarcation between your clipper and shear work.

Haircutting Razor

Jatai Feather Styling Razor - An excellent razor with good ergonomics, balance, and feel. Blades have a very small guard to protect against cuts. Kit includes 10 blades and a no-touch blade changing system.

Straight Razor

Feather Artist Club Razor - This razor combines classic design with modern technology. It looks and feels like a traditional straight razor, but has an innovative blade holder that makes changing the blade quite easy.

The handle withstands disinfecting chemicals quite well and is balanced for great shaving.


Oster 1-2-3 System Combs - These combs offer a very flat surface which greatly reduces clipper drag when doing clipper-over-comb. They are also manufactured with a very rigid plastic and will not bend when doing flattop or clipper-over-comb work. These combs tend to be a bit expensive, but worth the price.

Investing in the right tools can increase the quality of your work and make you much more efficient. The suggestions above are a few of my favorites and have served me well for years. Happy cutting!