Which hair clippers for fades are best?

Fade haircuts are among the most fashionable styles today among young men. If you’re a barber or want to give yourself a cut, you need to have the skills to produce a top-quality fade base, but you should also have the best tools possible to do so.

Fading hair clippers will make it easier for you to produce crisp, clean-looking fades. It’s a good idea to invest in a high-end machine, such as the Wahl Professional 5-Star Cord/Cordless Magic Clip, that delivers elite cordless performance and power.

What to know before you buy hair clippers for fades

Motor

The best hair clippers will feature one of three motor types: rotary, magnetic or pivot.

  • Hair clippers with rotary motors are light, but they’re also powerful and deliver an equal amount of blade speed and power, making them the most versatile. 
  • Magnetic motors offer fast-moving blades and smooth cuts on fine hair, so they are popular for home or personal use. 
  • Pivot motors are ideal for coarse or thick hair, since they offer more power but slower blade speed.

Blades

Hair-cutting tools should always have sharp blades. Dull blades require more effort to cut hair, resulting in uneven or low-quality cuts.

The most common blade material is steel, which is sharp and requires no maintenance, but high-end fading hair clippers feature carbon or titanium blades, which are self-sharpening and more durable. You can also find clippers with sharp ceramic blades, but these kinds of blades require some maintenance since they’re more fragile.

Number

If you get a haircut with clippers, you should know the number of your cut. Numbers go from 1 to 8 and correspond with the desired hair length in inches:

1. 1/8 inch

2. 1/4 inch

3. 3/8 inch

4. 1/2 inch

5. 5/8 inch

6. 3/4 inch

7. 7/8 inch

8. 1 inch

So, for example, if you tell a barber you’d like a 1 to 4 fade, the lowest part of your fade will be 1/8 inch, and the highest will be 1/2 inch.

What to look for in quality hair clippers for fades

Guide combs

Fading hair clippers come with several guide combs for precision cutting. Comb guides are simple plastic connections that are easy to use and attach directly to the blade. Most hair clippers will come with anywhere from 5 to 10 plastic guides; the more guide combs in a hair clipper set, the easier it’ll be to achieve the desired hair length of a fade.

Corded vs. cordless

Many hair clippers only work if connected to a power outlet via a power adapter cord, but some have rechargeable batteries for use without cords. Cordless clippers usually offer 1 to 2 hours of efficient performance, and are great for traveling and convenient for self-touch-ups. However, some cordless clippers don’t offer as much power as corded ones, so they’re a less popular option for professional use.

Accessories

Some hair clippers come with just a few guide levels, but more comprehensive kits come with several accessories. The most common ones you’ll find in a fading hair clipper kit include blade maintenance oil, cleaning brushes, clips, scissors and travel cases.

How much you can expect to spend on hair clippers for fades

You can get decent-quality hair clippers for about $30-$50, but if you’re looking for a complete kit with all the bells and whistles in terms of accessories and quality, they can cost anywhere from $60-$150.

Hair clippers FAQ

Is it necessary to oil the blades?

A. No, but it does minimize friction and allow for a smoother cut, since the blades will snag or pull at the hair less often.

Can hair clippers for fading be used for trimming beards?

A. Some hair clippers are designed to function as 2-in-1 machines and can effectively trim beard hair, but most hair clippers are designed to cut and fade hair on the top and sides of the head.

What are the best hair clippers for fades to buy?

Top hair clippers for fades

Wahl Professional 5-Star Cord/Cordless Magic Clip

Wahl Professional 5-Star Cord/Cordless Magic Clip

What you need to know: These hair clippers are excellent for fades and ideal for those seeking convenience and professional-grade results.

What you’ll love: They sport ultra-sharp zero-overlap blades, nine comb guide attachments and a taper lever, and offer superior speed for high-precision fades. They allow for both corded and cordless functionality, lasting up to 90 minutes off a full charge.

What you should consider: Some customers find the plastic taper lever and power button to be of inferior quality.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top hair clippers for fades for the money

Wahl Clipper Fade Cut Haircutting Kit

Wahl Clipper Fade Cut Haircutting Kit

What you need to know: This is the perfect kit for those who want to keep their budget low but still get high-quality fading clippers and accessories.

What you’ll love: These clippers have a powerful but quiet motor, self-sharpening blades and a gentle blade angle that provides smoother cuts and fades. There’s an adjustable taper level, and the kit comes with 10 comb guides ranging from 1/16 of an inch to 1 inch.

What you should consider: They get extremely hot after only 1-15 minutes of continuous use.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Fade King All Metal Quiet Motor Hair Clippers

Fade King All Metal Quiet Motor Hair Clippers

What you need to know: This kit is worth your attention if you want a machine that doubles as a hair clipper and beard trimmer.

What you’ll love: These hair clippers operate quietly but are powerful enough to cut through coarse hair without any tugging. They feature both corded and cordless functionality and last up to five hours on a full charge. The LED display indicates how much battery power remains.

What you should consider: It cuts well, but it takes some effort to “catch hair,” meaning some areas may have to be run over several times to achieve the desired fade.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Kevin Luna writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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