Hair Trimmer Vs. Hair Clipper: Which One Do You Need?

by Anjelina Tongco

Doing your own hair at home can be a daunting task, but it becomes easier when you have the right tools at home to do it. With tons of hair tools out in the market, though, how do you know which ones you need and which ones you don’t? 

If you’re a guy, you’re lucky. Your choices are pretty narrow compared to the ladies. Just choose between a hair clipper, hair trimmer, or scissors and you’re good to go. Now, the scissors are pretty universal. The clipper and the trimmer, though, are two tools that most people would get confused with. 

If you’re wondering whether you should get a clipper or a trimmer for yourself to do your own hair at home, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s talk about what makes each tool different and what they’re actually good for. 

Hair Clipper 

A clipper is a hair cutting tool that’s used for bulk cutting hair. If you intend to get rid of a lot of hair on your head, you’re going to want to reach for a hair clipper. It often has a bigger and/or thicker blade so it can handle more hair and can cover a bigger area in one pass. Clippers come with guards that help you get as close to the scalp as you need. 

The teeth on clipper blades are bigger and spaced more widely apart compared to those on a trimmer’s. In terms of size, clippers are usually bigger, heavier, and bulkier. However, you can always get a cordless clipper if you’re looking for something a bit more portable than the traditional style. 

Get a clipper if you: 

  • Have long hair
  • Have thick hair 
  • Are looking to get rid of a lot of hair (aka actually wanting a proper cut)
  • Are looking to cut head hair and not beard/body hair

Hair Trimmer


Compared to a hair clipper, a hair trimmer is usually used for hair maintenance instead of hair cuts. Since the blade on a trimmer tends to be smaller, they’re more practical to use for trimming the hair (hence the name) or adding details like curved waves or sharp edges. 

The blade on a hair trimmer is often smaller and thinner, too, which is why it’s not advisable to use one for thick or long hair as it may have difficulty handling it. When it comes to size and portability, the hair trimmer wins. This tool is smaller, slimmer, slicker, and overall more compact compared to a hair clipper. Like the clipper, you can also get a cordless trimmer for quick and easy styling and trimming on the go. 

Get a trimmer if you: 

  • Already have short hair that you’d like to maintain the length of 
  • Have thin hair
  • Don’t need to get rid of a lot of hair
  • Want something you can use for head and body hair

One of the biggest and most popular brands in men’s hairstyling tools, Wahl, offers a wide variety of clippers, trimmers, and other hair accessories for men. Make sure to visit this page and check out which trimmer or clipper is right for you.