Open Vs Closed Clippers

A perfect haircut can make all the difference, and the tools used are just as important. In the world of hair clippers, two main categories emerge: open and closed clippers. Both types have their own unique features, benefits, and applications, which are important to consider when making a choice.

Open clippers are known for their adjustability and versatility, while closed clippers deliver consistent and precise cuts. Determining the best option depends on your hair type, desired style, and overall cutting objectives. Grasping the nuances of each type is key to making a wise decision.

Prepare to embark on a journey that unveils the mysteries of open and closed clippers. This comprehensive guide will equip you with the knowledge needed to select the ideal tool for your styling pursuits, ultimately elevating your hair game to new heights.

Open vs Closed Clippers: Key Differences

FeatureOpen ClippersClosed Clippers
Blade SystemAdjustableFixed
Ease of UseModerateHigh
MaintenanceRegular cleaning & oilingLow maintenance
CostCost-effectiveHigher costs
Open Vs Closed Clippers (2)

What are Open Clippers?

Open clippers refer to hair clippers that have an adjustable blade, allowing you to modify the cutting length without changing the blade or attaching guards. The adjustment lever, typically located on the side of the clipper, lets you control the blade’s position, ensuring versatility and precision in your grooming sessions.

Advantages of Open Clippers

  1. Versatility: Open clippers offer a wide range of cutting lengths, making them suitable for various hairstyles and grooming needs.
  2. Convenience: Adjusting the blade is quick and easy, eliminating the need to swap out blades or attach guards.
  3. Precision: The adjustable blade allows for precise, customized cuts, providing a professional finish.
  4. Cost-effective: With a single clipper, you can achieve numerous styles, reducing the need to purchase multiple tools.

Drawbacks of Open Clippers

  1. Complexity: The adjustable blade system may be confusing for beginners, requiring a learning curve to master.
  2. Maintenance: Open clippers typically demand regular blade cleaning and oiling to ensure smooth operation.

What are Closed Clippers?

Closed clippers, on the other hand, feature a fixed blade system, meaning the blade’s cutting length remains constant. To achieve different cutting lengths, you need to use various attachment guards or swap out the blades for a different size.

Advantages of Closed Clippers

  1. Simplicity: Closed clippers are straightforward to use, making them ideal for beginners and at-home grooming.
  2. Consistency: The fixed blade ensures a consistent cutting length throughout the grooming session.
  3. Durability: With fewer moving parts, closed clippers generally have a longer lifespan compared to their open counterparts.
Open Vs Closed Clippers

Drawbacks of Closed Clippers

  1. Limited versatility: Achieving different cutting lengths requires multiple attachment guards or blades, which may be cumbersome.
  2. Higher costs: Purchasing additional guards or blades can increase overall costs.

Comparing Open and Closed Clippers

While both open and closed clippers serve the purpose of grooming hair, they cater to different needs and preferences. Open clippers are versatile and offer precision, making them ideal for professionals and those seeking customizable grooming experiences.

Closed clippers, on the other hand, prioritize simplicity and consistency, making them perfect for beginners and at-home users.

To further illustrate the differences between open and closed clippers, let’s take a closer look at key factors:

Cutting Length Versatility

  • Open Clippers: Offer a wide range of cutting lengths with a single adjustable blade.
  • Closed Clippers: Require multiple attachment guards or blades for different cutting lengths.

Ease of Use

  • Open Clippers: May have a steeper learning curve for beginners due to the adjustable blade system.
  • Closed Clippers: Simple and straightforward to use, making them suitable for novice users.


  • Open Clippers: Require regular blade cleaning and oiling for smooth operation.
  • Closed Clippers: Generally demand less maintenance due to fewer moving parts.


  • Open Clippers: A single open clipper can achieve various styles, potentially reducing overall costs.
  • Closed Clippers: May incur higher costs due to the need for additional attachment guards or blades.

How to Use Open and Closed Clippers

Regardless of whether you are using open or closed clippers, following these steps will ensure a successful grooming experience:

  1. Preparation: Begin by washing and drying your hair, as clean hair is easier to cut. Comb through to remove tangles.
  2. Choose the right guard or blade: For closed clippers, select the appropriate guard or blade for the desired cutting length. For open clippers, familiarize yourself with the adjustment lever and its different positions.
  3. Start cutting: Begin at the nape of the neck, working your way up and around the head. Maintain a steady hand and use smooth, even strokes.
  4. Finishing touches: After achieving the desired length, use a trimmer to clean up the edges, and style as desired.
Open Vs Closed Clippers (1)

How to Tell if Levers are Open or Closed?

With open clippers, you can quickly identify the position of the lever by visually inspecting the side of the clipper where the lever is located.

If the lever is in the highest position, it means the blades are fully open, offering the longest cutting length. Conversely, if the lever is in the lowest position, the blades are fully closed, providing the shortest cutting length.

For closed clippers, there is no lever to adjust the blade position. Instead, the cutting length is determined by the attachment guard or blade you have selected.

Tip: When using open clippers, start with the lever fully open and gradually close it as you cut to avoid cutting the hair too short.


Can I use open clippers for a complete haircut without guards?

Yes, open clippers with an adjustable blade can be used for a complete haircut without guards. However, the range of cutting lengths will be limited compared to using guards.

Are open clippers suitable for beginners?

Open clippers may be more complex for beginners to use initially. However, with practice and familiarity with the adjustment lever, they can be mastered and provide versatile grooming options.

Do closed clippers require more maintenance than open clippers?

Closed clippers generally require less maintenance compared to open clippers, as there are fewer moving parts and no need for regular blade adjustments.


Now that you’ve learned about the features and benefits of both open and closed clippers, you can make an informed decision based on your specific needs and hair type. The right tool can significantly improve your haircutting experience and outcomes.

Take this valuable knowledge and use it to select the hair clippers that best match your requirements. With the ideal tool in hand, you’ll be able to craft stunning haircuts that reflect your skills and creativity. Enjoy the confidence that comes from mastering your styling tools!

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