What’s The Difference Between Trimmers and Clippers?

 Difference between trimmer and clipper
Both trimmers and clippers are related closely. But, what’s the difference between clippers and trimmers? We will try to establish the difference between hair trimmer and hair clipper through this guide. However, before we provide the distinction between hair clipper vs trimmer, let us try to understand them both individually.


In This Article:


How Do Hair Clippers Work?

Clippers help in clipping excess hair on the head. You can use them to tackle bulk hair. They do not aid in precision hair removal like trimmers but are used when there is long hair that you would want to cut. So, primarily you start with a clipper and end with a trimmer. Some people even use the clippers on sheep and dogs.


Now, let us get started and address the differences to help you choose from hair trimmer vs hair clipper.


Can I Use Trimmer To Cut Hair?

As the name suggests, a trimmer helps short hair that just needs minor alteration in length. Usually, the trimmers have two blades that slide across one another as the hair is caught between them. Following this, the trimmer will cut the hair. You can find both corded and cordless trimmers. Typically, between hair clipper vs trimmer latter is more precise than clippers.


What’s The Difference Between Trimmer and Clipper?

We will quickly address the major distinction points before we get to the detailed difference between hair trimmer and hair clipper.


Trimmer Vs Clipper Clipper Trimmer
Purpose Bulk cutting on the larger areas For edging, outlining, dry shaving and light shaping on smaller areas
Hair type/length Long Short hair, such as those around sideburns, around the ears, and the back of the neck
Blades Regular blades Thinner blades
Close cut Does not cut real close to the skin Cuts relatively closer than a clipper.
Handling Can be difficult to handle Very easy to handle.
Attachments Yes – to manage different length settings May or may not have
Price range $5 to more than $100 $15 to more than $100
Utility You begin with a clipper End with a trimmer
Appearance Relatively Bigger and heavy Relatively smaller and lightweight
Budget pick Affordable Relatively more expensive
Popular brands 1.       Wahl

2.       Babyliss

3.       Oster

4.       Andis

5.       Remington

1.       Wahl

2.       Philips

3.       Remington

4.       Panasonic

5.       Braun


What’s The Difference Between Clippers and Trimmers?

Let us focus on the differences in a little detail.


1. Hair clipper vs trimmer’s purpose

Broadly, when we compare trimmer vs clipper based on their appearances, there are no differences noted as such. However, when it comes to the purpose they serve, there is indeed a difference between trimmer and clippers. Hence, you cannot use trimmer and clipper interchangeably.


Typically, between hair clipper and trimmer, you will use the former to tackle the larger chunks of hair and areas where you have more hair.


On the other hand, the trimmers are mainly smaller and used for light shaping, dry shaving, outlining, and edging in a relatively smaller area. So, if you decide to use the beard trimmer for a haircut, it would take you two times as much time. times as much time.


2. Blades

There is also a difference in the trimmer vs clipper blades. Compared to the clippers, it is the trimmers, which have thinner blades. This makes it easier to work with shorter hair and finer details. For example, between hair clipper vs trimmer you can use the trimmers for areas around the chin and neck, whereas the clippers are used for haircuts.


3. Control

The clippers assure better control when tackling the hair. However, it is always recommended to commence on a longer grade and exercise full caution when working with a hair clipper.


4. Robustness

There is a difference between trimmer and clipper in terms of solidity, power, and robustness—the latter ranks higher.


5. Attachments

In trimmer vs clipper, the clippers come with more adjustments. This gives you the flexibility to pick the attachment which matches the requisite length needed. On the other hand, there may or may not be attachments in the trimmers. The attachments that come with the trimmers are in the smaller measurements, typically between 1mm and 5mm.


6. Line-up

Between hair clipper vs trimmer, professionals usually start with the best clippers. So, the clippers will aid in thinning the hair overgrowth, following which, it is easy for the shaver or trimmer to give neat shaves. So, basically, between trimmer and clipper, the latter prepares for the final cut and aids in achieving a smoother finish.


7. Expertise

One must have some basic skills when working with the clipper. They are slightly tough to manage and usually find use in barbershops and salons. However, anyone can use trimmers as they are easy to use.


8. Closeness to the skin

The former cuts relatively closer to the skin among the trimmer vs clipper.


This is all on the difference in hair trimmer vs hair clipper.


Are Hair Clippers and Trimmers The Same In Any Way?

Now that we have understood the difference between trimmer and clipper, let us look at a few similarities between a trimmer and a clipper.


1. Purpose

Both of them can cut hair.  However, the degree of precision differs.


2. Design

When comparing trimmer vs clipper side-by-side, we noted that their typical design makes them quite similar. Both trimmer and a clipper come with a set of comb-like blades, which slide across one another when activated.


3. Types

Further, our study of hair clipper vs trimmer helps us establish that these devices can be both electric and manual. However, in today’s times, electric units are far more prevalent. However, if you opt for the manually operated units, they will come with handles, which will be squeezed together for the blade movement.


Should You Buy A Hair Clipper?

After telling you the difference between hair trimmer and hair clipper, we will explain the advantages and disadvantages of a hair clipper through this section. This will further help you make a more informed choice between trimmer vs clipper.



  • They can seamlessly cut through coarse and thick hair.
  • Clippers are ideal for maintaining clean afros.
  • A myriad of attachments or guide combs are included with the clippers, which increase the possibilities of achieving different looks.
  • They are an upgrade from the scissors and aid in achieving a perfect, uniform cut.


  • Clippers cannot give you a close shave. You will need a trimmer for that.
  • These are high maintenance tools, given that you will have to oil the clippers after every use.
  • If you have short hair, they are pretty much useless.
  • They are not lightweight. So, handling them may be a task for some.


What Features Should A Clipper Have?

Now that you can distinguish between trimmer vs clipper. It’s time you knew the factors of consideration when shopping for a clipper.


1. Corded or cordless

The decision on corded or cordless depends on where you usually cut your hair. Corded clippers are generally more powerful and can be used at length for a longer duration. In contrast, the cordless clippers are rechargeable and offer more flexibility.


You can use these clippers anytime, anywhere, sans any power outlet. It is a personal choice, and you can pick one convenient for you.


2. Accessories

Almost every clipper comes with plastic clip-on guides, which separate the blades from hair and help you get a precise cut. Beyond this, some clippers will also have additional accessories, such as trimmer attachments, extra blades, scissors, and a brush.


The whole process becomes more seamless and hassle-free when you have these accessories handy. However, when picking a clipper with accessories, always check when these go out of order; will they be easy to replace?


3. Blade size

Depending on the brand and product, you can find clipper blades in various sizes. So, when shopping for a clipper, check that the blade is not just sharp but also your desired size.


Typically, the clippers will have eight blade guards in them. Further, the sharpness of the blade is also a vital factor. The sharper blade will ensure ultimate precision. Lastly, pick a clipper with self-sharpening blades.


4. Motors

The clipper runs on a motor, and the motor’s power is indeed a vital factor of consideration. You can find clippers with three different types of motors – the rotary motor, pivot motor, and magnetic motor.


  • Rotary motors should be your go-to choice if you need the most powerful motor in your clipper.
  • If you need a clipper with a higher power but lower blade speed, pivot motor clippers can be your go-to choice. These work well with heavy, thick, or wet hair.
  • You can opt for a magnetic motor clipper if you need a straightforward motor with high volume cutting and speed but less power.


5. Maintenance

Lastly, you must pick a clipper, which is very easy to maintain, lasts longer, and is highly efficient. If you don’t want to clear up the mess after cutting hair, go for vacuum clippers.


Why and Why Not Invest In a Hair Trimmer?

Now, we will proceed further and look at the pros and cons of a trimmer and help you decide between hair clipper vs trimmer.



  • They are ideal for grooming and styling short hair.
  • They are not as bulky as clippers.
  • You can use them to cut hair in more inaccessible areas like the intimate region.
  • The trimmers can also work as a shaver for men with sensitive skin, as they do not cut so close. So, the chances of a razor bump are less.
  • Trimmers composed of hypoallergenic blades are available in the market. These do not result in any skin irritation.
  • Compared to the clippers, these are relatively easier to maintain.
  • They are lightweight and compact. Hence, easy to work with. You do have trimmer for eyebrows as well.



  • Since they are very sharp, you must exercise due caution when working with them.
  • Trimmers that help outline, edging, and carving hair are often very pricey.
  • One major difference between trimmer and clipper is that you cannot use a trimmer to cut long hair. If you have long hair, you must start with a clipper.
  • They do not necessarily come with guide combs. Hence, creating effects and designs might be a challenging task.


What Should I Look For When Buying A Trimmer?

If you have decided to buy a trimmer after comparing trimmer vs clipper, here are a few features to consider.


1. Blade

Firstly, when shopping for a trimmer, you need to check the quality of the blade. Hence, always pick a trimmer that at least has a stainless steel blade. It does not rust easily and usually lasts long. Titanium blades are also an increasingly prevalent choice here. Further, the presence of hypoallergenic blades is a plus for men with sensitive skin.


2. Motor

The motor in the trimmer should not just guarantee good power and does not deteriorate the blade performance. If you pick any top-notch trimmer, the motor will be of good quality and not disappoint you.


3. Flexible

Since you have chosen to buy a trimmer on comparing trimmer vs clipper, pick one that can be used for both wet and dry functionality.


4. Build quality

Naturally, the trimmer is not something you buy year after year. So, you need to pick a robust trimmer designed to last. Hence, avoid a trimmer made of cheap quality plastic. Further, read reviews and check how long the blades usually last and if there have been any reliability issues with the trimmer. In addition, your frequency of usage also makes the build quality a dominant factor.


5. Accessories

The presence of the accessories directly influences the price of the trimmer. However, some trimmers come with many accessories, which never really come to use. Hence, you do not need that high-end trimmer. But, of course, you need a trimmer with enough accessories that can help you achieve the desired hair or mustache look without any further spending.


6. Extra features

Typically, you must opt for a trimmer with vacuum to ensure no mess of facial hair to clean once you are done trimming. Both corded and cordless versions are available. Usually, it is the cordless variants, which assure greater flexibility, and should be your go-to pick.


However, if it is the cordless variant, ensure that you pick the trimmer that comes with a sturdy stand that doubles as a charger.


How Do You Shave Without Getting Razor Bumps?

Compare a trimmer vs clipper, choose that suits you best but don’t forget to shave correctly without causing bumps!

  • Before you start shaving, moisten your hair and skin to soften them. Typically, shaving after the shower when your skin is nice and warm is considered ideal.
  • Next, apply a generous amount of gel or shaving cream. People with sensitive skin must pick a shaving gel specifically meant for their skin type.
  • Shave in the direction of the hair growth to avoid razor burns or bumps.
  • After every swipe of the razor, you must rinse it to avoid the gunk deposit.
  • Change your blades after three to five shaves to get a smooth, clean shave.
  • Always store your tools in a dry area to prevent any bacteria growth.
  • Once you are done shaving, always rub a generous amount of moisturizer or aftershave on your skin.


Hair Trimmer Vs Hair Clipper FAQs


Ques 1. Can a trimmer be used as a clipper?

Ans. No, the clipper and a trimmer perform different functions. Hence, these cannot be used interchangeably.


Ques 2. Are clippers and beard trimmers the same?

Ans. Even though there are some visual similarities between the trimmers and the clippers, the two are not the same. There are multiple differences in their operation and function, which we have already enlisted above on comparing trimmer vs clipper.


Ques 3. Can I use a trimmer without a clipper?

Ans. If you are dealing with short hair, you might not need a clipper. However, if the hair is long and coarse, you will have to start with a clipper and finish with a trimmer.


Ques 4. Are trimmer, clipper, and shaver the same?

Ans. No, there is a difference between trimmer and clipper and shavers. They are three different grooming tools that serve different purposes. A clipper can be used to clip the longer hair, which can be further groomed with a trimmer. However, these two cannot help you get a close cut. On the other hand, the shaver enables you to shave the area and not just trim hair lengths. Shavers and trimmers are used interchangeably though.


Related: Best Balding Clippers



Hopefully, you have understood what’s the difference between clippers and trimmers with our guide above. You cannot use these tools interchangeably, as they perform different functions. However, they can complement each other and help you achieve a more admirable and the finest hair-cutting experience.


So, you can use a trimmer vs clipper when:

  • You have to trim your beard.
  • You are shaving the hair on sensitive areas, such as the ear, sidelocks, or neck.
  • You have short hair and wish to shape them.


You can use a hair clipper when:

  • You have to cut longer hair.
  • You have to trim a coarse beard.
  • You want a closer shape beyond trimming.