Differences between hair clippers and beard trimmers


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Have you ever found yourself in front of the mirror, clippers in hand, wondering whether this tool was really suited to your beard or your hair? If there were any noticeable differences?

I remember a particularly comical morning. In a daring attempt to tame my unruly beard with hair clippers... I ended up looking like a lion that had crossed paths with a vacuum cleaner.
Laughter and mockery from my friends followed. But rest assured, I'm here to make sure you don't have to relive my unfortunate misadventure.

It's time to unravel the mystery surrounding these two tools and make the final battle! And each has its strengths, so enter the arena of the differences between hair clippers and beard clippers.

Video on the differences between beard trimmers and hair clippers

🔍 To remember:

  1. Beard trimmers are designed for facial contours, perfect for irritation-free use on the skin.
  2. Beard trimmers feature finer, more precise blades for sculpting and defining beards.
  3. Hair clippers are often more powerful, ideal for handling longer lengths and thicker cuts.
  4. Hair clippers offer more cutting guides (shoes) for different styles and lengths. Beard trimmers are more specific to hair length.
  5. The beard trimmer's compact size makes it ideal for easy handling and travel.
  6. Precision is the strong point of beard trimmers, especially for fine details, finishes and contours.
  7. Hair clippers are generally bulkier and less maneuverable than their beard trimming counterparts.
  8. Beard trimmers easily navigate around complicated areas such as the nose and mouth thanks to their adapted design.
Men's beard and hair clippers
Differences between hair clippers and beard trimmers 1

What is the difference between a beard and hair clipper?

The main difference between beard trimmers and hair clippers lies in their specific design and use:

  • A beard trimmer is generally smaller, with a shorter blade, and is designed for close trimming of facial hairShe's an expert in precision work, roughing and finishing. She excels in precision work, roughing and finishing.
  • A hair clipper is larger with a longer blade, designed to for thicker hair and for cutting large sections of hair. It doesn't cut as close to the skin as a beard trimmer.
Hair trimmer xlipper differences
Differences between hair clippers and beard trimmers 2

Here's the answer from the point of view of Wahl, a professional hairdressing brand:

"A trimmer is intended for mass cutting of hair over large areas, but does not cut extremely close to the skin. A finishing trimmer, on the other hand, is designed for contouring, delineating, dry shaving and light touch-ups on smaller areas such as the nape of the neck, around the ears, sideburns, and so on. On an animal, finishing clippers would be used on legs, ears, muzzle and narrow areas difficult to reach with the larger blade of a clipper. In general, a finishing clipper cuts closer than a standard clipper."


Notable differences between hair clippers and beard clippers

FeaturesHair clippersBeard trimmerRecommended
High-length capabilityYesNoHair clippers
Medium-length capabilityYesYesBoth
Low-length capabilityIt dependsYesBoth
Suitable for skinNoYesBeard trimmer
Cutting accuracyLowerYesBeard trimmer
Suitable for contoursIt dependsYesBeard trimmer
Size (more compact)NoYesBeard trimmer
Sensitive or hard-to-reach areasNoYesBeard trimmer
Ease of useYesYesBoth
PowerYesLowerHair clippers
Adaptable to cutting guidesYesLowerHair clippers
Notable differences between hair clippers and beard clippers
Different hair and beard trimmers
Differences between hair clippers and beard trimmers 3

Hair clippers

A hair clipper is an electric appliance designed to cutting, trimming or shaving hair on the head. It is equipped with sharp blades and different cutting guides to adjust the length of the cut.

Advantages of hair clippers :

  1. Suitable for high and medium lengths : It cuts long and medium-length hair efficiently, unlike beard trimmers.
  2. Ease of use : Intuitive design for easy use on the skull.
  3. Power : Its motor is more robust, for fast, efficient cutting.
  4. Adaptability to cutting guides : Accepts a variety of guides, offering more length options.

Disadvantages of hair clippers :

  1. Suitability for low lengths : Its performance varies for very short cuts. It is less suitable on short beards.
  2. Skin adaptability : It is not designed to be used directly on the skin. This may cause redness or irritation.
  3. Note: Less precise than the beard trimmer, it is better suited to general trimming.
  4. Outline: It may not be ideal for details or contours, depending on the model.
  5. Compactness : More cumbersome than the beard trimmer, it is less practical for travel.
  6. Sensitive areas : Not recommended for delicate or hard-to-reach areas.
Two table-top corrugators
Differences between hair clippers and beard trimmers 4

Beard trimmer

A beard trimmer is an electric tool designed to trim, sculpt and define beards and moustaches. It features precise blades and often adjustable attachments for different cutting lengths, guaranteeing irritation-free use on the face.

Advantages of beard trimmers :

  1. Suitable for low and medium lengths : Ideal for very short cuts and contours. Handles intermediate-length beards well.
  2. Suitable for skin : Specifically designed to be used on facial skin without irritating it.
  3. Cutting accuracy : Offers superior precision, ideal for defining and sculpting.
  4. Suitable for contours : Perfect for outlining and defining beards and moustaches.
  5. Compact size : Its compact size makes it easy to handle and ideal for travel.
  6. Sensitive or hard-to-reach areas : Designed to easily navigate around complicated areas such as the nose and mouth.
  7. Ease of use : Its ergonomic design makes it comfortable and easy to manoeuvre.

Disadvantages of the beard trimmer :

  1. High-length capability : It is not ideal for trimming longer hair.
  2. Power : It generally has a lower-powered motor than the hair clipper. This may make some cuts take longer to achieve.
  3. Adaptability to cutting guides : Less adaptable to different cutting guides than hair clippers.
Beard trimmer clipper
Differences between hair clippers and beard trimmers 5

1. Design and Use on Skin

Hair clippers :

  • Hair clippers are designed to cut thicker strands of hair.
  • They are not designed to be in direct contact with the skin (let alone the face).

Beard trimmer:

  • They are specifically designed to navigate the contours of the face.
  • Their softness prevents irritation, essential for sensitive areas such as the neck.

Using the right tool is essential to prevent irritation!

Hair clippers, designed to cut thick strands of hair, are generally not intended for direct contact with the skin. This could lead to irritation, redness or cuts.
Beard trimmers, on the other hand, are specially designed to be gentle and prevent these problems, especially in sensitive areas like the neck.
Why not get a waterproof lawnmower, that you can even take into the shower?

Questioning man
Differences between hair clippers and beard trimmers 6

2. Cutting accuracy

Hair clippers :

  • Precision is not their main quality, as they are designed to cover large areas.
  • They can leave irregularities if used for fine details.

Beard trimmer:

  • Designed to target specific, hard-to-reach areas of the face.
  • Precision is the key to a well-sculpted beard.

Explanation Precision is essential to achieve a well-groomed look, especially on the face.
Hair clippers, designed to cover large surfaces, can lack finesse, especially if you're looking to sculpt fine details on a beard.
Beard trimmers, on the other hand, are designed for this finesse and precision.

Men's clippers
Differences between hair clippers and beard trimmers 7

3. Adaptability to sensitive contours and areas

Hair clippers :

  • Generally larger and less ergonomic.
  • May have difficulty adapting to delicate contours.

Beard trimmer:

  • Lightweight, it hugs the curves of the face.
  • Specially designed for delicate areas such as the neck and cheeks.

Explanation Every face is unique, with its own curves and angles. A beard trimmer is light and agile, designed to adapt to these nuances. Hair clippers are larger. Because of their size, they can struggle to manage these delicate contours and result in an uneven look.

Tip: For perfect contours, test the precision trimmer !

Electric men's clipper differences
Differences between hair clippers and beard trimmers 8

4. Ability to cut to length

Hair clippers :

  • Powerful for long locks or beards.
  • May not offer the finesse required for short cuts.

Beard trimmer:

  • Excellent for detailed finishes and short cuts.
  • Less efficient for longer lengths.

Explanation : Hair clippers are powerful, ideal for handling long locks. However, they can be less effective on shorter lengths.
Beard trimmers are ideal for short cuts and detailed finishing. However, they can be less effective on longer lengths.
If you have a very short beard, opt for a trimmer for short hair.

Hair clippers Beard trimmers
Differences between hair clippers and beard clippers 9

5. Size and compactness

Hair clippers :

  • More robust for handling large volumes.
  • Less practical for travel due to its size.

Beard trimmer:

  • Small and compact, it's ideal for travel.
  • Ergonomically designed for easy handling and use.

Explanation :
Size and compactness influence the tool's maneuverability and portability! Sturdier hair clippers may be less practical for travel and maneuverability.
The more compact beard trimmers are ideal for those who need a handy, precise tool.
You can also find mini beard trimmers that go anywhere !

Electric beard trimmer differences
Differences between hair clippers and beard trimmers 10

6. Power

Hair clippers :

  • With a more powerful motor for cutting thicker wicks.
  • Designed for longer cutting sessions.

Beard trimmer:

  • It is designed for faster, more precise use.
  • Its power is adapted to the texture of the beard.

Explanation Power: Power determines the tool's ability to cut efficiently.
Hair clippers with powerful motors are ideal for longer cutting sessions over large surfaces.
Beard trimmers, although less powerful, offer enough power for precise use on the face. They still work on hair, but the cut will be longer!

For a more powerful beard trimmer, opt for a wired model with a high-performance engine.
If your trimmer has trouble with your big beard, get clippers for long beards.

Beard trimmer Hair clipper differences
Differences between hair clippers and beard trimmers 11

7. Adaptability to Cutting Guides

Hair clippers :

  • Several guides to manage different hair lengths.
  • Ideal for a variety of styles.

Beard trimmer:

  • Fewer guides, but more ideal for beards. Smaller length steps.
  • May not offer as much versatility as the hair clipper.

Explanation The cutting guides influence the style and length of the cut.
Hair clippers often offer a variety of guides for different styles, while beard clippers focus on specific lengths. The length pitches (milimeters between the shoes) are smaller and enable a truly precise cut. It's perfect for successful layering.

Did you know that? There are Shoe-less beard trimmersa useful way to get rid of clutter!

Beard trimmer Combat hair trimmer
Differences between hair clippers and beard trimmers 12

8. Durability and maintenance

Hair clippers and beard trimmers:

Explanation Good maintenance ensures tool longevity. Whether it's a hair clipper or a beard trimmer, maintenance is essential to guarantee durability and efficiency. A regular cleaning and the blade lubrication can extend the life of these devices.
Among the quality brandsyou'll find Wahl, Philips, Braun or even Rowenta.

Man asks question
Differences between hair clippers and beard clippers 13

Additional questions

Can hair clippers be used as beard clippers?

Although I don't necessarily recommenduse hair clippers like beard trimmersIt's perfectly possible! All you need to do is take a few precautions.

Is it better to use a hair trimmer or a beard trimmer?

The choice between the two depends essentially on your needs. If you're looking to cut and shape your hair, the hair clipper is your ally. However, if you want to define and maintain your beard (or its contours), you'll prefer a beard trimmer.

Are beard trimmers and hair clippers the same thing?

No, they're not identical! Although they may seem similar, the hair trimmer is suitable for full cuts, while the beard trimmer offers precision, essential for contours and details.

Do I need both a hair trimmer and a beard trimmer?

Yes, if you want a successful haircut and a precise beard finish. However, there are 2-in-1 models that work for both beard and hair !

Why do barbers use different hair and beard trimmers?

Barbers use various professional lawnmowers to ensure a perfect, professional finish. The combined use of hair and beard clippers enables them to achieve impeccable precision, adapt to different hair and beard textures, and meet the specific expectations of each customer.

Kalotte one electric trimmer and one electric clipper on a tabl d648b613 21a4 47b1 a766 9a26927ae521
Differences between hair clippers and beard clippers 14

Perfect Beard vs. Perfect Hair: The Tool Makes the Master

As we delve into the world of men's grooming, one thing becomes clear: each tool is designed with a specific purpose in mind.
The sturdy, powerful hair clipper is to man what the tractor is to the farmer: an indispensable machine for heavy-duty work.
For its part, the beard trimmer is the artist of the lot, delicately shaping every curve and detail, just as a sculptor handles his chisel with meticulous care.

For the appearance-conscious modern gentleman, distinction is crucial. Why should we? Because an impeccable beard requires precision and finesse, while well-groomed hair requires power and endurance.

In short, ladies and gentlemen, in the art of beauty and grooming, the choice of tool makes all the difference.
Let's never forget: Every beard has its artist, every hair its master craftsman!







Get the The Bearded Man's Checklist

And learn more about all the care and accessories to maintain your beard!

Promise: No spam, only interesting info about beards.


Who is the BarbierDuWeb ?

Amateur and passionate about beards since his first hairs (on his face), he is for the intimate and bearded Internet lovers the BarbierDuWeb.

Advises and helps men to have a healthy beard, through blog articles where you will find tests, his feelings but also comparisons and buying guides.

Sincerely yours, Brandon from BarbierDuWeb.

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