One of the most annoying things about buzzcut maintenance is the irritating noise most hair clippers make. On some days, even having to go to the barbershop is inconvenient enough. After all, I could pretty much get the job done myself with the right trimmer. So for the past few months, I’ve been on the lookout for the best quiet hair clippers.
Naturally, I started by asking my barber which product he’d recommend. For quiet and user-friendly performance, he suggested getting the Oster Fast Feed clipper. Sadly, that device seems to have been discontinued despite being regarded as one of the best corded trimmers on the market. So I took the brands my barber mentioned as a starting point.
Whether you’re a professional hairstylist or an amateur like me, this article should teach you everything you need to know about shopping for quiet clippers. But first, allow me to present the top five products I’ve found.
List of the Best Quiet Hair Clippers
According to my barber, most professionals favor certain hair clipper manufacturers over others. Specifically, Wahl, Oster, and Andis clippers are considered the cream of the crop.
However, I’ve also heard some stylists mention more mainstream hair care brands like Remington and Babyliss. In my reviews, I’ll present a few products from the established brands next to one or two lesser-known ones.
1. Wahl Professional Sterling Mag Trimmer #8779
Wahl’s Sterling Mag Trimmer is a thing to behold. Its long but relatively narrow build allows it to fit perfectly into the palm of your hand. The 5.5-inch, 4-ounce device is ideal for detail-work around the face and beard, thanks to its detachable and replaceable blade. However, the width of the device and its slow-moving motor may impede it from dealing with coarse and thick hair.
Inside the stainless steel case, there’s a rotary motor that runs on a lithium-ion battery, which should last for about two hours. Nevertheless, if you put the device on its charging base immediately after using it and keep it there until it’s full, it will never die on you. The device also comes with a regular charging cord that enables you to use it even while it’s charging.
In addition to the charging cord and base, the package includes four trimming guides that range from an eighth of an inch to half an inch, a cleaning brush, oil, and a blade guard. These accessories were designed for salon use, and their price reflects that, though they’re pretty user-friendly. Still, if you want a similar yet slightly cheaper device, the Wahl Beret clipper would do the trick too.
- Cordless clipper with a rotary motor
- Includes a cleaning brush and a bottle of oil
- Snap-on blade, four combs, and a red blade guard
- Charging cable and base
2. Andis 63700 Ultra Edge Bgrc Hair Clipper With Detachable Blade
Unlike the previous product on my list, the Andis BGRC clipper is a corded model, though the company also makes a cordless converter that’s sold separately. As it is, the cord isn’t disruptive at all, allowing you to circle your (or someone else’s) head without an issue. Also, while the unit looks bulkier than the previous one at 6.5 inches long, it’s actually pretty lightweight.
Like the previous product I mentioned, this one runs on a rotary motor. It can only reach up to 2,900 strokes per minute, though. The underwhelming speed may contradict some of the claims the manufacturer has made. Still, the fact that this clipper is so weak is probably exactly what makes it so quiet.
Most of the time, hair clippers with rotary motors are great for getting rid of hair in bulk. However, more delicate work, like fading, is still achievable.
In this case, though, the detachable blades may make that somewhat difficult, especially for beginners. Fading is generally easier when you’re using clippers with adjustable blades because you don’t have to stop to clean the device or alter the blade height.
Even though the company makes about fifteen blades that are compatible with this clipper model, you’ll only get one in the box. In addition to the 000 size blade, you’ll get a small tube of oil, but that’s about it.
- Lightweight corded clipper with a rotary motor
- Round grip with a matte finish
- Includes a 000 detachable blade and a tube of oil
- Incredibly quiet thanks to the slow-moving rotary motor
3. Remington hc5855 Virtually Indestructible Hair Clippers & Beard Trimmer Kit
The Remington Virtually Indestructible haircut kit contains everything you might need to get the hair and beard of your dreams. The 15-piece set comes with a soft storage pouch that can just barely fit all the goodies you get. In addition to the clipper itself, you’ll also get a blade guard, nine comb guides, a styling comb, and a paddle brush for your beard.
The magnetic motor inside the 5.5-inch polycarbonate case is incredibly silent for such a fast-moving device. However, that speed may cause both the blades and the motor to overheat, which is a common flaw of magnetic motor clippers.
Some become too hot to handle comfortably, even leading people to recoil if the scorching blade touches their scalp directly. Many barbers only use these kinds of clippers with comb guards over them. Still, the simplest way to keep the friction down would be to use the blade oil that comes with the clipper.
Overall, this kit is one of the most affordable and comprehensive solutions for people who need clippers they can use at home. The device is certainly quiet enough to ensure that you won’t bother your roommates or neighbors. And the kit is a perfect compromise in our ongoing debate about brand-name clippers professionals use and no-name alternatives.
- Magnetic motor clipper with detachable blades and an 8-foot cord
- Nine comb guides, a beard brush, and a styling comb
- Rubber grip prevents slips, but the device can withstand a fall or two
- Comes with a soft storage pouch
4. Rozia Low-Noise Rechargeable Cordless Hair Clippers
And speaking of no-name alternatives, let’s take a look at these affordable hair clippers from Rozia. According to the company, this device is incredibly quiet, only producing about 55 decibels of noise.
The device is small enough to fit into the palm of your hand and lightweight enough to keep in the air while you finish grooming. Its lithium-ion battery can hold a charge for up to ninety minutes, allowing you to finish styling before having to charge it.
Like some other hair clippers on this list, it is at least partially waterproof. What’s more, when cleaning the clipper after use, you can use the tiny cleaning brush and oil that come with the package.
In addition to those tools, the clipper also comes with four comb guards, which can trim your hair to 1, 1.5, 2, and 3 millimeters. That’s not a huge range, but you can always extend it by using the clipper-over-comb technique. I’ll go into more detail about that later.
- Cordless clipper with a high-speed motor
- Charge lasts for 60–90 minutes
- Kit contains a charger, cleaning brush, oil, and four guides
- Compact and lightweight
5. Iweel ipx7 Ultra-Quiet Electric Hair Clippers Infants & Toddlers
Lastly, I wanted to mention a fantastic option for people whose kids are not into getting their monthly haircuts. These adorable baby blue clippers from IWEEL only make about 45 decibels of noise. That makes them the quietest product on this list since most of the others produce 50–60 decibels of noise. It also means that this device won’t vibrate as much as the others, so it won’t upset the little ones.
In addition to the low noise level, this device has several other commendable features. For example, it comes with four guide combs with rounded corners, an anti-static hair-cutting bib, a cleaning brush, and a sponge. Better still, the device is fully waterproof. Basically, you can clean it by holding it under a running tap.
Thanks to the long-lasting lithium-ion battery, you’ll have about ninety minutes to finish your child’s haircut. The LED screen near the bottom of the device will show you the battery percentage so that you know when you need to charge it. The clipper needs less than two hours to fully charge.
- Cordless clipper with a long-lasting lithium-ion battery
- Under 50 decibels of noise
- Comes with four guide combs, an anti-static bib, and a cleaning sponge
- Fully waterproof
Features to Look for When Shopping for the Best Quiet Hair Clippers
Ultimately, most of the brands I have mentioned consistently make excellent hair clippers. But to find the best clippers for private use or a barbershop, you’ll have to pay attention to the fine print.
So let’s talk about the most important features to look for when shopping for quiet hair clippers. To begin with, let’s discuss the main source of the noise — the motor.
Type of Motor
The motor that moves the clipper blades is the most important thing to consider when choosing between the products I’ve listed. There are three basic kinds of motors: rotary, magnetic, and pivot motors.
Rotary motors are usually found in detachable blade clippers and cordless units. As the name suggests, the motor turns rotary motion into linear, side-to-side movement.
Because they have to convert that spinning motion, rotary clippers are fairly slow. Still, they’re great for taking off weight and using the clipper-over-comb method. They also tend to be the cheapest options on the market.
Conversely, magnetic motors spin very quickly, which also makes them overheat easily. Furthermore, because that kind of motor requires a lot of power to keep it running, they’re usually corded.
However, most adjustable blade clippers — which are identifiable by the lever on the side of the blade — use magnetic motors. That combination makes them ideal for achieving incredibly well-blended fades.
Pivot motors also use magnetic pull action — though they have different components. If you’re interested in seeing exactly how they differ from regular magnetic motors, I found this video helpful. These clippers have high torque, but they’re pretty slow. Still, that means that they won’t overheat easily.
Whether you’re a professional barber or not, you’ll want to make sure the hair clippers you get are durable. Even if they’re budget-friendly, they should never feel cheap.
So how will you know that the clippers won’t break the first time they slip out of your hands? Well, barber colleges have a way of ensuring that doesn’t happen. Generally, they give newcomers bulky clippers, like Wahl Seniors or Andis Masters, which can take some roughhousing. They also teach young hopefuls to handle heavier clippers before transitioning to light, cordless ones.
In any case, getting bulky clippers might be the way to go if you tend to be careless with your gadgets. But big units are certainly not the most convenient ones to use at home. In the end, I recommend buying a slimmer unit and getting a good grip on it while you use it.
Corded or Cordless
As I have mentioned above, most cordless units house rotary motors. Those are, by their very nature, fairly slow — certainly more so than magnetic and pivot motors. Still, because of their efficient energy usage, they are ideal for cordless devices.
In recent years, most people have accepted that cordless devices are much more convenient than corded ones. When you’re cutting hair, the last thing you want to think about is where the cord is and how far from an outlet you’ll need to be.
And the batteries usually last for several haircuts. They won’t drain while you’re using the clippers, which is more than I could confidently say about the batteries in cordless leaf blowers and vacuum cleaners. Still, just to be safe, you can charge your clipper between uses.
Ultimately, the only reason to get corded hair clippers would be if you wanted a device with a magnetic or pivot motor. But unless you’re a professional barber, there’s no need to reach for the more expensive clippers. A simple, cordless unit with a rotary motor is all you need if you’re looking for at-home hair clippers.
Blades and Clipper Guides
Most clippers on the market come with several comb guides that should help you adjust the length you’re cutting the hair to. They have a somewhat standardized size system, but really, the only consistent thing is that the smallest sizes cut the shortest.
So a blade without a guide would be considered a size zero. If you run it across your head, it will be as close to bald as you can get without shaving with a razor.
Most professionals prefer working with adjustable clippers as opposed to ones with detachable blades. These allow you to achieve a fade much more easily by slightly moving the blade lever.
Fading with detachable blades is more difficult because you have to keep stopping to clean and change your blades. So those devices are better for taking off weight before dealing with the details.
Now, if you decide that you don’t want to cut indiscriminately, you’ll need to clip or slide on one of the guide combs that come with the clippers. Usually, guides have several numbers engraved on them. In addition to their size, you’ll find the length they’ll cut to in inches and millimeters.
Since many brands have slight discrepancies in their sizing, you should check those numbers before you start trimming your hair. Even though your barber’s size four may suit you, your size four clipper guide may be shorter.
Aside from the blade guides, your hair clippers may come with various other accessories. You’ll certainly get a device manual, as well as a charger if you get cordless clippers. Furthermore, most clippers come with a cleaning brush, and some even include blade oil in the package. If you end up having to decide between two fantastic options, the additional accessories could help sway your decision.
How to Deal With Noisy Hair Clippers: A Guide to Regular Maintenance
Now, I never took the time to explain just how loud a regular noise clipper can be. The answer is relatively underwhelming.
Generally, they tend to be in the 50–75 decibel range, which is a fairly wide spectrum. Because every additional ten decibels represent a doubling of the sound volume, the noisiest units can be three or four times as loud as the quietest ones.
That’s simply not loud enough to endanger your hearing,even if you spend all day working with hair clippers. I imagine the worst consequences you might suffer are similar to the negative effects of white noise.
Still, if the sound lingers in your ear even after you’ve turned off the clippers, you might want to wear some protective gear. If you like jamming out while cutting hair, get a pair of noise-canceling headphones. If not, simple earplugs would suffice. But, of course, if you’re using the clippers on other people or noise-sensitive children, you wouldn’t be the one the sound would bother the most.
At the end of the day, that’s why you should prioritize noise levels when shopping for hair clippers. Fortunately, most of the products I’ve recommended should be no louder than a fly — unless something goes wrong with the motor or the blades. To ensure that doesn’t happen, you should make it a point to keep your clippers in pristine condition.
Thoroughly Clean Your Hair Clippers After Use
After each haircut, you should get rid of the hair and skin flakes that might have gotten stuck in the blades. To do that, you’ll use a nylon bristle cleaning brush — most hair clippers come with a tiny one in the box. Obviously, you should take the clipper guides off first and set them aside.
Once you dust off the hair, it’s time to disinfect and lubricate the blades. If you’re a barber, you’ll probably want to invest in a can of the Andis Cool Care spray. That 5-in-1 product acts as a cleaner, disinfectant, coolant, lubricant, and rust inhibitor. If your clippers are often turned on for hours at a time, it’ll give them the TLC they deserve.
Of course, if you’re not a professional stylist and therefore have no need for those kinds of products, you could get similar results with some household items. For example, you can kill any lingering bacteria or fungi by spraying or carefully dipping the blades into rubbing alcohol or distilled vinegar. You could even take the blades off if you really want to give them a thorough cleaning.
Ultimately, if you don’t clean your device regularly, the organic matter in the blades will undoubtedly speed up their deterioration, leading to more noise. And at a more practical level, filthy blades often cause razor burns, itchiness, and redness. If all that can be avoided by simply cleaning your clippers after each use, why not do it?
While you’re at it, you should also clean the comb attachments. They’re usually made out of plastic, so washing them with soap and water and letting them dry overnight should suffice.
Lubricate and Align the Blades
In addition to sterilizing your blades, you’ll also need to oil them to keep them running smoothly. While the Andis spray I mentioned above claims to do that, you could use a separate lubricant, like the Oster Blade Lube, as well. On the other hand, if you don’t own a specialized product or you’re waiting for one to arrive, you could use olive or vegetable oil.
Most professional barbers use the five-drop technique to saturate the blades. First, add three drops onto the blades while the device is running, then one on each side of the back rail. Make sure to do all of this above the sink to prevent the oil from staining your clothes or carpet.
Lastly, every once in a while, you may need to realign the blades. You’ll do that by loosening the screws that hold them and tapping the blades with the butt end of the screwdriver. You can see the technique in this video tutorial, which also shows when and how to replace blades.
Everyone Can Benefit From Getting Quiet Hair Clippers
Before we wrap this up, let’s talk about who can benefit from having one of these products at home. Obviously, they can be incredibly useful if you don’t want to go to the barbershop every other week. You can maintain your cut yourself or have someone do it for you. What’s more, if you get enough practice, you could become the person your family members and friends come to for a refresh, too.
Quiet Hair Clippers Are the Best Option for Children
More than anything else, owning hair clippers is an ideal solution for people who have small children. Let’s face it — kids aren’t usually big fans of going to the hair salon. It’s basically as torturous as visiting a dentist.
Luckily, you could take that anxiety away by having them sit down in the comfort of their home and letting them watch cartoons while you get down to business.
Quiet hair clippers are especially useful if your child is particularly sensitive to stimuli. Between the clipper noise and the vibrations of the device against their head, the experience of getting a haircut can be overwhelming to children with these issues. In fact, even quiet clippers may rub them the wrong way, but at least they’re better than regular ones.
Clippers Even Work on Long Hair
At this point, if you have long hair, you may be feeling pretty excluded. But clippers are actually fantastic tools for cutting a straight line on long hair! You would need someone else to do this on you, but it’s a relatively easy method of cutting hair. They’ll just brush your hair back and cut into it with the blades completely closed.
That should create a crisp, straight line — but it’ll also result in longer front pieces. If you want to avoid that, turn your head to either side and have the person with the clippers cut off the front pieces in straight lines as well. That may sound a bit confusing, but it’s all demonstrated in this video.
So, on the one hand, clippers can help you do a buzzcut, a fade, and even messier shorter styles. On the other hand, they’re a great tool for people with long hair. They can help you achieve a clean cut in mere seconds, as long as you approach the endeavor properly.
Bonus Tips: How to Use Hair Clippers Properly
Having already explained clipper aftercare, I feel obliged to offer some tips as to how you can make the most of these tools. If you’re not a professional barber, you might be wondering how you can prepare your hair and your home for a cutting session.
Well, even though most hair clippers are somewhat water-resistant, you shouldn’t cut dripping wet hair. Instead, you can wash and condition as usual, then pat your hair with a towel before starting. Some people use clippers on unwashed, dry hair, then shower afterward. In that case, be extra careful when removing the hair and dandruff from the clippers.
You can also start with clean, dry hair. As you might have noticed in the video above, long hair should be straightened before attempting the demonstrated technique. So if noise is a concern, you might want to get a quiet hair dryer as well. Then, use it with a round brush to get your hair to lie as flat as possible.
If you can’t take a shower and change out of your clothes right after your cut, you’ll need to cover your shoulders. In hair salons, they use waterproof aprons, but you can use a towel or a tablecloth. Also, if you don’t want to find hairs around the house for days to come, I recommend using the clippers outside or in the garage.
Lastly, before you start cutting, you’ll want to comb through the hair and section it with duckbill clips. A flat comb can also help you control long hair while you cut into it or even allow you to get the perfect fade. If you don’t already have one at home, I recommend checking out Andis ones. After all, they were designed with the clipper-over-comb technique in mind.
Get the Quiet Hair Clippers That Suit Your Needs
Unfortunately, this isn’t the kind of product overview that can end in one conclusive winner. Barbers usually alternate between several clippers on a single cut. For example, they may use one to get a bald fade, another for lining the temples and beard, and a third for shaving designs.
Suffice to say, professionals have to own several of the units I’ve mentioned, as well as some louder staples. But their way of choosing devices could help even if you’re just looking for clippers that won’t annoy your roommates.
Basically, you need to start by identifying why you need them. If you’re looking for something you can use to touch up your hairline and beard between barber appointments, I recommend getting a clipper with a narrow blade. On the other hand, if you want a no-fuss option, just grab any cordless device and be done with it.