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. As one of the most popular haircuts in the world – especially among black men – there are practically limitless types of fades.
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 clippers for fades, let me help you out today. Check out my complete guide plus mini-reviews for seven popular brands.
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
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 but 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.
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.
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. 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 quality unit will last for years, maybe even decades, and requires minimal routine maintenance.
I recommend choosing a rotary motor if it’s in 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. Also, 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 often worth the extra money if you’re regularly cutting thick hair because even a slight decrease 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, 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. 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.
Cordless 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, especially 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 cordless option, make sure it’s fully charged when you use it for the best results.
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, 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 style.
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 the cut your favorite barbershop cuts at home. Here’s the standard breakdown:
- #1 is 1/8 inch
- #2 is 1/4 inch
- #3 is 3/8 inch
- #4 is 1/2 inch
- #5 is 5/8 inch
- #6 is 3/4 inch
- #7 is 7/8 inch
- #8 is an inch
You can also use clippers without a guide. It’s typically referred to as a zero. In most cases, it’s used to shave one’s head completely.
How to Care for Your Clippers
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. Plus, 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
- Comb attachments
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 three 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. 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 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.
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. 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.
The 7 Best Clippers for Fades
Now that you know what features to consider let’s take a closer look at popular clippers for fades.
Andis 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.
Although it’s a magnetic motor, it generates a powerful 14,000 cutting strokes per minute. Also, you can adjust the sizes between 000 to one. It works 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.
Another potential negative is the maintenance required. 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
Read other reviews here on Amazon
Designed for professionals but also loved for home use, The Super Taper II from Wahl Professional 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 fades, blends, touch-up work, or a complete shave.
It includes the clipper, eight cutting guides, oil, a cleaning brush, instructions, and a safety guard. The guides range in size from 1/8 to 1”. They’re color-coded for easy identification.
It has a v5000 motor that’s much faster than a traditional electromagnetic clipper. It’s a corded unit that operates at 120 volts/60 hertz. The tough, chemical-resistant cord is eight-feet long.
On the downside, it’s heavy and can get loud at times. 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
- Made in China
- Often grows warm during use
- Can make loud noises during operation
Read other reviews here on Amazon
While it’s 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. You get about 90 minutes of continuous use before a charge is needed. Fully charging the battery takes about an hour. 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 shave as close as 0.1mm.
When you choose a cordless 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
Read other reviews here on Amazon
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 requires 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. 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
Read other reviews here on Amazon
Bring barbershop quality home with this full-featured set from Woner. It includes a hair clipper, seven guide combs, oil, cleaning brush, and a hardbody storage case.
The 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.
It’s a cordless unit that uses a 2000mAh Lithium battery. It lasts for 240 minutes between charges. 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.
Plus, it’s great for travel. The included carrying case holds all the items securely. It’s also waterproof, shockproof, and damage resistant.
Overall, it’s a well-made kit that includes everything you need for close, comfortable trimming.
- Features sharp ceramic blade
- Includes durable carrying case
- Cordless and corded operation
- Includes seven guide combs and cleaning gear
- Narrow head
- The battery doesn’t always hold a full charge
Read other reviews here on Amazon
While you sacrifice some power with a cordless unit, you do gain freedom of use. Why not extend that freedom as much as possible with Sminkier’s Cordless Hair Clippers, which last a whopping eight hours between charges!
They’re heavy-duty clippers with a combination of titanium and ceramic blades. They’re sharp, durable, and require no sharpening. Additionally, the R-shaped, rounded edge cuts follicles precisely without scratching or damaging your skin.
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.
On the downside, the total charging time ranges between two to three hours. That’s at least twice as long as most cordless clippers. 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
Read other reviews here on Amazon
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. 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 cordless clipper powered by a Lithium battery. You get about 40 minutes of runtime between charges.
Plus, it’s easy to clean. 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
- Stainless steel blades are sharp and durable
- Includes nine combs
- Short battery life
- Guards don’t always attach securely to the unit
Read other reviews here on Amazon
Clippers allow you to cut your hair exactly as you want. Plus, they’re more convenient and less expensive than going to the barbershop.
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 Professional 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 Professional Super Taper II Hair Clipper and Woner Cordless Hair Clippers are a solid choice.
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!