If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the best hair clipper for fade is, then we recommend the Wahl Professional Peanut Clipper the best one.
Sometimes it seems like every hairstyle I’ve had in my life has involved some type of fade tapering. As one of the most popular haircuts in the world—especially among black men—there are practically limitless types of fade haircuts.
While nothing beats a fresh cut from your favorite barber, sometimes it’s easier and cheaper to do it yourself. After buying a few cheap clippers that couldn’t do the job right, I ended up doing my own research to find the best clippers for fades. Even more specifically, I wanted clippers that worked well on the thick, coarse hair for black guys.If you’re looking for the best professional hair clippers for fades, let me help you out today. Check out my mini-reviews for seven popular brands plus a complete guide on buying fade clippers.
In this article, we are going to review the following hair clippers
- Andis Master 15-Watt Adjustable Clipper
- Wahl Professional Super Taper II Hair Clipper
- Liberex Professional Cordless Electric Hair Trimmer
- Wahl Professional Peanut Clipper
- Woner Cordless Hair Clippers
- Sminiker Professional Cordless Hair Clippers
- Remington HC420 Shortcut Pro
The 7 Best Clippers for Fades
The 7 products on our list reviewed below are not ordered in terms of quality or price.
Andis Professional is a well-known industry leader, and their Master line is one of their most popular. It’s a powerful unit with an easy-to-adjust blade.
Its motor, although magnetic, generates a powerful 14,000 cutting strokes per minute. You can also adjust the sizes between .000 to one. It works really well on coarse, thick hair.
The housing is durable aluminum with a classic style. It’ll last for years, even under heavy use. However, on the downside, it is quite heavy. Also, the casing is slick, so it can get difficult to hold for long periods.
There’s some maintenance required, though. For example, you’ll want to oil the blade before every use. If you skip a few oiling sessions, will the clipper fall apart? Of course not, but consistent oiling helps prevent performance issues.
Overall, this is a commercial-quality magnetic clipper that handles most types of thick or coarse hair. It’s easy to use with a classic look, but it’s not the most popular or durable option.
- Powerful motor
- Minimal vibration
- Easy to adjust
- Durable housing
- Classic style with silver coloring
- The unit lacks padding or grip
- Can overheat after about 10 minutes
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Designed for professionals, but also loved for home use, The Super Taper II from Wahl is the real deal. It cuts quickly and precisely through all types of hair, including thick and curly Afro-textured hair. You can use it for fade cuts, blends, touch-up work, or a complete shave.
It includes the clipper, eight hair cutting guides, blade oil, a cleaning brush, instructions, and a safety blade guard. The guides range in size from ⅛” to 1”, and they’re color-coded for easy identification.
Its v5000 motor is much faster than a traditional electromagnetic clipper. It’s a corded unit that operates at 120 volts/60 hertz, and the tough, chemical-resistant power cord is eight feet long.
On the downside, it’s heavy and can get loud at times. Additionally, holding it at awkward angles, such as behind your head, might get difficult when cutting your hair due to the unit’s weight.
- Fast and powerful v5000 electromagnetic motor
- Includes eight color-coordinated cutting guides
- Cuts through multicultural hair
- Commercial-level quality
- Awkward to hold at times
- Often grows warm during use
- Can make loud noises during operation
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While not the most powerful unit on our list, these clippers from Liberex are lightweight, portable, and easy to use.
They operate off a rechargeable, Lithium-ion battery. Fully charging the battery takes about an hour, and you get about 90 minutes of continuous use before recharging is needed. A bright, easy-to-read LED shows you the power level.
It’s lightweight with an ergonomic grip, so you should have no problem working on your own hair. Additionally, it doesn’t make much noise, making it ideal for use at any time of day or night in a full household.
Aside from the clipper, you also get three attachments: 2mm, 3mm, and 4mm. Remove the comb for a 0.1mm shaver.
You can already assume that when you choose a wireless trimmer you’re not getting the most powerful option. However, Liberex’s unit is strong enough to trim multicultural hair while remaining convenient for travel. Whenever I have to head out of town for a day or two, this is the trimmer I bring along.
- Powerful but portable
- Comfortable, ergonomic design
- Operates up to 90 minutes on battery power
- Battery-powered motor not as powerful as corded
- Shave guards run a bit large
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In short, this is our choice for the best fade clipper with which you can create that perfect fade.
Pint-sized but powerful, the Peanut has a rotary motor that delivers the powerful cut of a full-size clipper. It fits in the palm of your hand so you can cut with comfort and precision.
The Peanut includes four cutting guides, a cleaning brush, oil, and a seven-foot, professional-grade cord. It hooks to any standard 120 volt/60-hertz wall outlet.
The small size is ideal for two situations. First, they’re easy to throw in a suitcase to take with you when you travel. Also, they fit well into small bathrooms that don’t have much space to spare.
On the downside, they can get loud. Plus, they’re not as durable as I’d like, so you’ll want to make sure they avoid getting knocked around during travel.
- Powerful rotary motor
- Compact, handheld design
- Includes cutting guides, cord, and cleaning gear
- Portable and well-suited for travel
- Loud operation
- Doesn’t provide super-close cut
- Susceptible to damage during travel
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Bring barbershop quality clippers home with this full-featured set from Woner. It includes a hair clipper, seven guide combs, oil, cleaning brush, and a hardbody storage case.
These professional-quality trimmers have a comfortable, ergonomic design with a rotating dial to easily adjust the cut length on the fly. Plus, the entire trimmer is waterproof.
This is a wireless unit that uses a 2000mAh Lithium battery. It lasts for 240 minutes between charges, but you can also operate it by plugging it into the wall. A built-in LED displays the current power level plus an oil indicator.
One of my favorite features here is the ceramic blade. It’s the best option for cutting thick hair without pulling. Aside from the moving ceramic blade, the unit also has a fixed titanium blade. The blades are self-sharpening and rust-resistant.
These clippers are great for travel. The included waterproof, shockproof, and damage-resistant carrying case holds all the items securely.
Overall, it’s a well-made haircutting kit that includes everything you need for close, comfortable trimming.
- Features sharp, self-sharpening & rust-resistant ceramic blade
- Includes durable and waterproof carrying case
- Both cordless and corded operation
- Includes seven guide combs and cleaning gear
- Narrow head
- The battery doesn’t always hold a full charge
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While you sacrifice some power with a wireless unit, you do gain freedom of use. Why not extend that freedom as much as possible with Sminkier’s hair clippers, which last a whopping eight hours between charges!
They’re heavy-duty clippers with a combination of sharp and durable titanium & ceramic blades that require no sharpening. Additionally, the R-shaped, rounded edge cuts follicles precisely without scratching or damaging your skin.
We’re talking here about a really good clipper, a real companion on your road.
It includes six guide combs ranging in size from three to 18mm. You also get two lithium batteries and a wall adapter for charging.
One feature I especially like is the quiet motor. It operates at below 50 dB, making it suitable for all-hours use in the home. Just shut the door and you’re good to go.
On the downside, the total charging time ranges between two to three hours. That’s at least twice as long as most cordless clippers but is expected with the capacity this battery holds. You’ll want to plan accordingly if you take these clippers with you on a short trip.
- Heavy-duty clippers with titanium and ceramic blades
- Design helps protect your skin from scratches
- The motor is quiet with minimal vibrations
- Operates for eight hours before needing a charge
- Total charging time is between two and three hours
- Not as powerful as corded clippers
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Put the power of full-size clippers in the palm of your hand with the HC420 Shortcut Pro from Remington. You can hold it at practically any angle, making it a great choice for giving yourself haircuts at home. Therefore, it’s easy to trim the back of your head and your neckline.
It has stainless steel blades that cut through thick hair without a problem. The curved blade is extra wide to allow for fast, efficient coverage of your entire head.
Plus, the nine included combs give you precise control of hair length. They range in size from 1.5 to 15mm.
It’s a wireless clipper powered by a Lithium battery which gives you about 40 minutes of runtime between charges.
This HC420 is easy to clean. Being waterproof, you can rinse the entire unit under running water to remove loose hairs and build-up.
- Small size fits in the palm of your head
- Allows for a secure grip with maximum flexibility
- Durable and sharp blades made out of stainless steel
- Includes nine combs
- Short battery life
- Blade guards don’t always attach securely to the unit
Read other reviews here on Amazon
How to Find the Best Clippers for Fades
You’ll find no shortage of different types of clippers on the market. However, not just any pair will work for black male hair, which—as you know—is typically thick and coarse.
Here’s a closer look at how to find the best clippers if you want to fade black hair:
The Clipper Motor: More Power Is Better
The motor in the clippers attaches to a piston, which rapidly moves small blades horizontally to remove the entire follicle.
Remember the old sitcom Home Improvement, where Tim Allen’s character was obsessed with adding “more power” to every household appliance? You want the same philosophy when selecting clippers.
Motor power is arguably the single most important component of the clippers. Why? Because, as you already know, Afro-textured hair has unique characteristics compared to other types of hair. It’s usually thick, curly, wavy, and susceptible to breakage.
Weak clippers don’t allow for precision cutting. They can struggle to move through thick Afro hair. In some cases, the blades can even become stuck in your hair!
Three motor options are available:
Let’s take a closer look at the difference between motors.
Clippers with a magnetic motor are popular for home use and generally the most inexpensive type. They have a fairly simple design consisting of a spring and electromagnet that vibrate the blade. They require minimal maintenance and typically last a long time.
Of the three types of motors, magnetic is usually the weakest. It cuts fine, straight hair with no problem, but it can struggle with black hair.
Unless you find an awesome deal on a high-end pair, I’d recommend staying away from most magnetic motor clippers. They don’t do a great job on most Afro-textured hair, and the thicker your hair is, the worse they’ll perform.
Magnetic motor clippers work well as beard trimmers, though, so you might want to have a look at them for that purpose.
Pivot motors are the next step up from a magnetic motor, and they’re generally a good choice for black hair.
Their design is similar to the magnetic motor; only instead of a spring, the motor has two electromagnets. It allows the blades to move in two directions, which creates twice as much cutting power as a magnetic motor.
It’ll work well on most black hair. The double blade strokes can handle thick, curly, and even wet hair. They’re a solid choice for home use, and you’ll also find them in many professional shops and the hands of stylists.
Rotary motors are the top-of-the-line options for Afro-textured hair. It’s not only the strongest type of motor, but it’s also the most durable and quietest (although there are some rare whisper quiet pivot motors as well). Plus, these clippers have adjustable speeds.
They work on all hair types, including the absolute thickest. You’ll find rotary-motor clippers in most professional shops and salons. They’re the go-to for most commercial hair care because they’re strong, quiet, and won’t overheat even after all-day use.
On the downside, they’re usually the most expensive type. However, you’ll typically get the best cut. Also, a high-quality unit will last for years, maybe even decades, and requires minimal routine maintenance.
I recommend choosing a rotary motor if it’s within your budget. Even though you might pay more upfront, rotary-motor clippers deliver long-lasting, premium performance. However, if you’re on a budget, pivot-motor clippers will also work well.
Blades: What Material Works Best?
After the motor, the next most important component is the blades.
Most hair clippers have blades made from stainless steel. It’s affordable, rust-resistant, and easily maintains a sharp edge. For most guys, a clipper with stainless steel blades will work great.
However, fancier options are also available.
Carbon steel blades are a step up from stainless steel. They’re as sharp and rust-resistant as stainless steel, but with increased durability and a longer lifespan.
Blades can also have a titanium coating. Like carbon, titanium adds to the blade’s strength and longevity.
If you want the absolute best, choose ceramic blades. Ceramic is sharper than steel and it stays sharp for a long time without maintenance. They don’t heat up after long periods of use.
On the downside, ceramic blades are fragile, so they require a certain level of skill to use properly. You’ll commonly find ceramic blades used by professionals.
So, which type of blades should you pick?
Stainless steel blades are fine for most home use. Don’t think of it as an inferior material just because it’s the most common.
Titanium and carbon coatings do increase the sharpness, but their main benefit is increased durability. They are often worth the extra money if you’re regularly cutting thick hair because even a slight increase in dullness can noticeably affect performance.
Choose ceramic if you want professional quality at home. However, keep in mind these blades are fragile. If you’re a total newbie to using clippers, working with ceramic blades might be frustrating.
Although specifics vary by brand, stainless steel blades last about a year before needing replacement. With a coating, though, they can last up to two years or more.
Replacing blades can add up, especially if you own the clippers for a long time. Fortunately, an alternative is available, as many brands offer self-sharpening models.
Self-sharpening is just what it sounds like. The blades sharpen against themselves whenever the motor runs.
Aside from not having to replace blades, self-sharpening models always give you the sharpest cut possible because the blades never get a chance to dull. While they do cost more initially, they’re often the most cost-effective choice over the long haul.
Should You Choose Battery-Powered or Corded?
Clippers require either AC or DC power. Most DC-powered models are cordless, while AC-powered ones require a wall outlet.
So, which is better, corded or cordless?
Truthfully, there’s no one 100% correct answer here. Both have advantages and disadvantages.
Wireless clippers are the most convenient. You plug them into the wall to charge them up, but once fully charged, you have the freedom to use them just about anywhere. They’re especially useful for travel and overnight trips.
However, they’re not as powerful as the corded type. As soon as the battery starts to die, the power level of the motor drops. Even a battery with a charge of 85% or 90% can result in impaired cutting performance.
I prefer corded clippers. I like knowing my clippers are operating at maximum torque at all times. Consistent power provides a precise, controllable cut.
Additionally, I always cut my hair in the bathroom, so access to an outlet is never a problem. However, a cordless option is more convenient if you cut your hair outside or in the garage. It’s also a smart choice for frequent travelers.
However, if you do choose a wireless option, make sure it’s fully charged when you use it for the best results.
Or simply go with a clipper that supports both cordless and corded operation. This way you don’t have to choose.
You want the ability to adjust the trim length easily.
Many clippers include comb guides. You slip the guide over the blade to adjust the trim length. Other clippers have a switch on the side with adjustable settings. Either option is fine. The important thing is that the trim length is adjustable in some manner.
Generally, I recommended staying away from “all-in-one” clippers. Although they seem convenient with their single taper lever, they’re usually poorly made and don’t allow for precise cuts. An all-in-one clipper is mainly useful if you want to shave your head bald.
By the Numbers
Do you know your number? If you frequent the barbershop, you might already know the trim setting you prefer for your styling.
Most clippers use a system of eight numbered guides. If the clippers use a dial or slide, the options will usually correspond to these eight guides.
It’s helpful to know the length each number corresponds to so you can recreate your favorite barbershop cuts at home. Here’s the standard breakdown:
- #1 is ⅛” / 3.2mm
- #2 is ¼” / 6.4mm
- #3 is ⅜” / 9.5mm
- #4 is ½” / 12.7mm
- #5 is ⅝” / 15.8mm
- #6 is ¾” / 19mm
- #7 is ⅞” / 22mm
- #8 is an inch / 25.4mm
You can also use clippers without a guide. It’s typically referred to as a zero. In most cases, it’s used to create bald fades, skin fades, or shave one’s head completely.
How to Care For Your Clippers
Most hair clipper products do have a long enough warranty, but why not try and extend their service life and keep them in top hair-cutting shape?
Although cleaning your clippers might not seem like the most important item on your to-do list, well-maintained clippers work more efficiently than dirty ones. Also, clean clippers are far less likely to irritate your skin.
Here how to clean your clippers in five easy steps:
1. Remove All Extra Hair
The first step is to remove everything that detaches easily and brush away all the loose hair you find.
Unplug the unit from the wall or take out the battery. You don’t want the clippers to turn on accidentally while you’re cleaning.
Brush away all the loose hairs you see. The best tool for this job is a new toothbrush. Don’t worry—any toothbrush will do. You don’t need to spend big on something fancy.
Many clippers have a storage compartment that holds loose hair. If applicable, detach this compartment and dump the contents. Some models also have an easily detachable blade head. If you can remove the entire blade, do so now.
2. Disassemble The Clippers
Now, you want to take the clippers apart, at least, somewhat. Refer to your owner’s manual for the specifics. Some clippers can be taken apart by hand, while others might require a screwdriver.
Generally, most clippers allow you to detach:
- The shaving head
- Metal guards
- Foil attachments
- Attachment combs
3. Sterilize the Trimmer Blades
The main purpose of cleaning your clippers is to sterilize the blades.
They collect lots of follicles, oil, and other skin secretions. Disinfecting your blades is one of the most effective ways to reduce itching, redness, razor burn, acne, and other shaving-related skin irritation.
Sterilize your clippers using one of the following two methods:
- Rubbing alcohol
- Clipper spray
Use Isopropyl alcohol with a potency of 70% or higher to effectively disinfect your blades and remove all bacteria. Pour a quarter cup of rubbing alcohol into a glass cup. Submerge the blades. Let them soak for about 30 seconds. Then wipe them against a clean cloth then allow them to air dry.
Clipper spray is designed specifically for professional hairstylists. It removes bacteria, mold, germs, dirt, and more. Not only is it effective, but it’s also fast and easy to use. Plus, clipper spray also helps lubricate the blades.
On the downside, clipper spray is an extra cost. However, it’s the easiest option if multiple people frequently use the same clippers.
4. Clean Comb Attachments
Don’t forget about the comb guides. They collect just as much gunk as the blades. Wash them with hot running tap water and dishwashing liquid. You can use either a toothbrush or kitchen brush to clean the nooks and crannies.
Allow them to dry overnight. They must dry thoroughly to prevent the build-up of any mold.
This brings me to another point. You should work on completely dry hair before clipping it to a fade in order to avoid mold and other debris build-ups.
5. Oil the Blades
Even if the blades self-sharpen, you still want to oil them about once a month. Hold the blades facing down over a sink and place two to three drops of blade lubricating oil on the blades.
Next, turn on the blades. The movement distributes the oil evenly across the surface. Wipe off any excess oil, and your blades are now ready to use.
Fading clippers allow you to cut your hair exactly as you want. Plus, they’re more convenient and less expensive than going to a professional barber.
All of the clippers on our list are excellent fade clippers. But if you’re looking for the absolute best hair clippers for fades, I recommend Wahl’s Peanut Clipper.
They have all the power of a Wahl clipper in a pint-sized, portable package. Because you can fit the clipper in the palm of your hand, it’s easier to trim the back of your head and neck. Plus, it’s a corded clipper, which means it’s powerful. You should have no problem cutting thick, wavy, and curly hair.
If you’re looking for cordless options, check out the Remington HC420 Shortcut Pro, or the other options from our list. If you want a heavy-duty option, both the Wahl’s Super Taper II Hair Clipper and Woner Cordless Hair Clippers are a solid choice.
One product that wasn’t reviewed in this article, but bears mentioning, is Wahl’s Cordless Magic Clip. It is a professional 5-star magic clip and a full-sized wireless clipper for when you are on-the-go. Other notable mentions would be Oster Fast Feed Clipper, Andis Fade Hair Clipper, and finally, Oster Classic 76.
Use our guide to help identify the best barber clippers for fades. You’ll save money and up your style game when you don’t have to rely on the barber for a trim. Buy your own clippers today, and enjoy the benefits for years!