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Hair Clipper Guard Sizes

Using hair clippers to cut or style your hair requires proper knowledge of the different clipper guard sizes and it is essential to have the best clipper guards for your needs.

Even those who don’t do it alone however should know the clipper guard size chart so they can give clear instructions to their barber when styling ther haircut.

Knowing your haircut size chart will also enable you to be more clear with your barber.

The more seasoned users out there also know that they cannot just reply on the clipper guards that come with the hair clipper model. To get the perfect hair cut they need the exact guard length.

In this case they usually turn to Speed-o-guide or Wahl’s own Stainless Steel Color Coded Cutting Guides which are separately bought guides that can be used on various types of clipper brands.

These guides will provide you with more options when it comes to cutting lengths and therefore enable you to get the exact cut and style you want.

Wahl Professional Wahl WHLCMB Professional Color Coded Cutting Guides with Organizer 3170-400 – Great for Professional Stylists and Barbers, 8 Count (Pack of 1)
  • Professional precision: from wahl professional's commercial grade line of products, the 8 pack cutting guides are intended for professional use...
  • Convenient accuracy: Wahl professional 8 color coded cutting guides snap securely on to the blade for a reliable fit while you're trimming; Each...
  • Color coded: for your convenience, these cutting guides are color coded for each size; You get 8 combs, each with a different color and different...

10 Pack Clipper Guards Cutting Guides Compatible with Wahl Clipper with Metal Clip/Color Coded-from 1/16 Inch to 1 Inch(1.5-25mm),Fits All Full Size Compatible with Wahl Clippers
  • HIGH QUALITY: made of high-quality PC and metal materials, durable and easy to clean, moderate hardness, giving you maximum protection,adjusted...
  • AVAILABLE IN 10 SIZES: allows you to easily trim any length of hair on your face, made in each size of 10 different colors. One color, one length...
  • FITS for BLADE SIZE: 1.5in x 1.75in (width adaptable range 1.62in-1.75in). It is recommended to measure the blades on the hair clipper before...

To start off, however, if you’re serious about cutting your own hair it is important to get to know your clippers and choose the right one for your particular needs. If you’re still in the process of buying hair clippers then maybe you should check out our list of the best Hair Clippers for Men. You’ll get an explanation of the good and the bad of each clipper model.

Once you chose your clippers, the next step is to familiarize yourself with the different sized guards and know how hair clipper numbers work. This is what I will be showing you here. You can read through the whole thing or just jump to the part you need, by clicking below.

What Hair Clipper Size?

The Hair Clippers used by barbers and even the ones sold for personal home use generally come with various clipper guards that attach to the clippers to alter the length of the cut.

Each guard would have a number on it which corresponds to the hair cut sizes they produce.

Understanding the clipper guard sizes will allow you to understand which size corresponds to the hair cut you want to get and avoids unpleasant surprises.

Wahl clipper guard size 1.5

Clippers can also be used without a comb guard attached. In this case you will shaving your head ​directly with the blade (also known as size 0).

Now it must be noted that whether you use a size comb attachment or not, it’s important to align the blades every once in while to keep them performing at their best and not disrupt the length settings.

To do this you will need to remove the blades by loosening the screws slightly, shift the blades with your fingers and then re-tighten the screws.

Tip: Use a power screwdriver drill to tighten the screws as this will get them tight and enable you to hold the blades in place with your fingers while tightening which ensures they do not get misaligned again in the process. I use my DeWalt cordless drill driver for this, which in my opinion is the best cordless drill.

The main clipper guard sizes that most people use will range from 1/2 to 10. In a nutshell, the larger the size number, the longer the hair that will remain on your head after your haircut, with 10 being the equivalent of one and a quarter inches.

In most cases, apart from the guard number you will also find two other length measurement units on each clipper guard. The metric unit will show you the hair cut size in mm and on the other side you will find the equivalent in the US imperial units, or in other words, length in inches.

So, for example a no. 1 size of the Wahl clipper guards would show 1/8th of an inch on one side of the guard and 3 mm on the other side. In essence this means that when you use the number 1 guide for a Wahl branded clipper, your hair sticking out of your scalp after the cut would be approximately 3 mm in length.

Guard numbers usually represent, more or less, the same hair length size on various hair clipper models however there is no standard universal unit of measure in this case. Therefore each different clipper manufacturer may have slightly different measurements for the various clipper guard numbers.

When going to a new barber, it is in your interest to consult with the barber on what you need before blurting out the clipper guard number which you want them to cut your hair with.

best hair clippers

Understanding Hair Clipper Guard Sizes

Ok! Let’s take a deeper look into the different clipper guard sizes and clipper numbers.

hair clippers guide lengths
The wahl clipper guards shown in the this picture can be purchased as a set from amazon.com

If you own a hair clipper at home take out all the guards that came with your model and notice how each one of them contains a number on it. The below images show you what you should be looking for.

Starting from zero and moving up the scale from low to high you will see that the lower corresponding number, the shorter the guard teeth and therefore this means that the cut is going to be tighter to the head.

Therefore when you use a lower guard number it is going to be leaving less hair on the head. On the other hand, the higher the guard number goes than the more hair is going to be left on the head at the end of that cut.

As a quick guide, the following table shows the Hair Length chart of the Oster Hair Clippers brand range.

Clipper Size Chart Numbers

hair clipper guard size chart

As already mentioned, however, each brand will have it’s own hair length chart showing its own hair clipper sizes and the length equivalent to each guard number. You should familiarise yourself with the different buzz cut lengths of your clipper brand before using them for the first time.

Using the hair clippers without a guard attached to it will result in a very close shave where the hair is cut down to the scalp.

hair clipper lever

Most Clippers are also equipped with a lever that extends the cutting blades by half a size and therefore this means that when used without guards the clipper on its own already has a choice of different variations in buzz cut cut length, albeit all very short cuts. This can come in very handy for cutting fades.

This lever, however, can also be used in conjunction with the guards attached to the clipper. When moving the lever to the higher size it will add another half a length to the measurement as stated on the clipper guards themselves. Therefore a number three clipper will turn into a 3 and a half.

Now, let’s face it; all these different length measurement is all good and dandy but can you really imagine your hair length just by looking at the figures above?

I didn’t think so. Hopefully the following graphic by Hubpages will put things into perspective!

oster clipper size guide

You might also have come across guards for hair clippers of different colors. These are referred to as color coded guards  for hair clippers  and each color would represent a different length number.

wahl color coded guards

In fact, most Professional barber hair clipper guards will usually be color coded which makes it easier for the barber to identify the different sized guards just by choosing the correct color. This obviously speeds up the whole process.

The Wahl has a particular model of hair clippers for home with color coded guides. Not surprisingly they named it the Wahl Color Pro. You can get more details here. ​

Getting Hold of the Exact Hair Clipper Size

If you already have a hair clipper but need to buy just the comb attachments on their own, you can easily find these since most brands will sell them separately. Online shops like Amazon will have Clipper guards manufactured directly by the same brand of the hair clippers you are using.

Wahl clipper guards and Andis clipper guards  can be found for purchase separately. In fact, these brands sell a variety of parts for their products.

Wahl Professional Wahl WHLCMB Professional Color Coded Cutting Guides with Organizer 3170-400 – Great for Professional Stylists and Barbers, 8 Count (Pack of 1)
  • Professional precision: from wahl professional's commercial grade line of products, the 8 pack cutting guides are intended for professional use...
  • Convenient accuracy: Wahl professional 8 color coded cutting guides snap securely on to the blade for a reliable fit while you're trimming; Each...
  • Color coded: for your convenience, these cutting guides are color coded for each size; You get 8 combs, each with a different color and different...

You might also be in a situation where the Hair Clipper Brand you are using does not cater for the exact guard length you need. In this case you can check if this size is available at Speed-o-guide.

The Universal Clipper Guard – Best Clipper Guards

This is a very popular product among professional barbers and home users alike. They produce hair clipper guard attachments which are universal, in that they are compatible with almost all the major brands of clippers.

Their product is known also as the ‘original red comb’ and I can say that they are the best clipper guards you can buy for adaptability and range of cuts.

These universal clipper guards come in a range of different sizes and are made of high quality ABS plastic which makes them stronger for long term use. Their complete range of sizes allows for any hair type and ensures precise cuts whatever style you want.

speed o guide size table

The best thing about Speed-o-guide is that they have such a large range of different clipper guard sizes that many barbers will buy them to fill in a gap in size which may not be produced by the clipper brand they are using.

This table shows the clipper guard sizes available from Speed-o-guide and the relevant code number should you need to order only one particular size of The Original Red Comb.

If you’ve read all the way to this point you should now have a very clear grasp on the different sizes and makes of hair clipper guards available, but if you’d like to know more than this detailed video will give you some deeper insights.

Final Recommendations

Hair clippers are relatively easy to use and safe even to cut children’s hair, however if you’re going to try out some DIY hair trimming for the first time then the chances are you will mess up in some way or another at the start.

Don’t give up though, you will get the hang of it… eventually. Remember it’s always good to have the right hair clippers to use from home, and you can find the same ones that your barber uses from online shops like amazon.

Here’s a list of the most popular Hair Clippers being sold on Amazon

SaleBestseller No. 1
Wahl Clipper Rechargeable Cord/Cordless Haircutting & Trimming Kit for Heads, Longer Beards, & All Body Grooming - Model 79434
  • Long Run Time - These clippers feature convenient cord/cordless use options with 60 minutes of cordless run time. Long-lasting easy-to-clean...
  • A Smooth Cut Every Time - Powerful, long lasting, rechargeable battery and self-sharpening steel blades that stay sharp longer and are removeable...
  • The Perfect Grooming Kit - Including 12 attachment guards for home hair cutting & trimming with everything you need to achieve the style you want
SaleBestseller No. 2
Haokry Hair Clippers for Men Professional - Cordless&Corded Barber Clippers for Hair Cutting & Grooming, Rechargeable Beard Trimmer
7,344 Reviews
Haokry Hair Clippers for Men Professional - Cordless&Corded Barber Clippers for Hair Cutting & Grooming, Rechargeable Beard Trimmer
  • 【CORDLESS&CORDED】 Hair trimmer can be with cord or cordless which is super convenient for self-cutting. Universal charging - One full charge...
  • 【3 Gear Strength Adjustable】Gently press the side power button to start the machine.The indicator above the short symbol of the gear...
  • 【13 pcs Mens Hair Clippers Grooming Kit】 This is a complete barber sets for cutting hair, which includes a electric hair clipper,cape,...
Bestseller No. 3
Wahl Color Pro Cordless Rechargeable Hair Clipper & Trimmer – Easy Color-Coded Guide Combs - for Men, Women, & Children – Model 9649P
  • Cordless Convenience – Color Pro Cordless is rechargeable and wireless. Cord/Cordless allows you to use the clipper on battery or when it's...
  • Color Coded Guide Combs – Finding and remembering everyone’s favorite hair length is easier than ever. Corresponding the correct comb to the...
  • Hygienic Grooming – Since our blades are removable and rinsable they are easy to clean. Simply run them under water to wash away excess...
Bestseller No. 4
Novah® Professional Hair Clippers for Men, Professional Barber Clippers and Trimmer Set, Mens Cordless Hair Clippers for Barbers Haircut Kit Fade
  • PRO TESTED, CREATED FOR ALL - Our Novah barber kit has been tested in some of the best barbershops around the world to do what they do best. Our...
  • A LEVEL ABOVE THE REST - There are many mens hair clippers to choose from, but with decades of experience in working with the world's best...
  • INDUSTRY LEADING PRECISION - It's all about the details. Our Novah wireless hair clipper set gives you the versatility to shape, outline and...
SaleBestseller No. 5
Wahl Clipper USA Color Pro Complete Haircutting Kit with Easy Color Coded Guide Combs - Corded Clipper for Hair Clipping & Grooming Men, Women, & Children - Model 79300-1001M
  • Color Coded Guide Combs – Finding and remembering everyone’s favorite hair length is easier than ever. Corresponding the correct comb to the...
  • Smooth, Easy Haircuts – With a variety of cutting lengths, adjusting the trim length is pain-free. The self-sharpening blades cut through the...
  • 26 Piece Grooming Kit – Featuring 14 guide combs from 1/16” to 1” for various cutting lengths, left & right ear tapers, eyebrow trim combs,...

We do recommend you take the time to understand which are the right hair clipper sizes for the style you want and on you first try go for a clipper guide which is at least one length bigger than what you need. This way you will be able to adjust where necessary by going over it again with a shorter clipper guard.

Oh, and by the way, if you’re doing it for the first time we also recommend that you do not try and cut your own hair before an important event, like your wedding!

In this case maybe it’s better to leave it in the hands of professionals.

Last update on 2024-05-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

AUTHOR

Hi I'm Vincent, the editor of this website. I consider male grooming as a lifestyle choice. If you're comfortable with letting mother nature take care of your looks, then that's cool, however for those of you who want to make sure they look their best, I provide guides and tips for your male grooming needs.

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