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How to Fix Hair Clippers That Won’t Cut (Step-by-Step)

Last Updated on: May 11, 2024

There’s nothing more frustrating than reaching for your trusty hair clippers only to find out they’ve given up on you – they won’t cut anymore. It’s like a car that suddenly refuses to start. But don’t throw them out just yet! Our detailed, step-by-step troubleshooting guide will help you revive those stubborn hair clippers back to their prime cutting glory. Even if you’re not technically inclined, this foolproof guide uses simple language and answers all your questions so that anyone can perform a successful clipper resurrection at home saving both time and money! Get ready to bring your hair clippers back from the brink.

There are several possible reasons why your hair clippers may not be cutting, including dull blades, lack of oil, dirt, weak blade spring tension or worn taper levers. To fix the issue, try cleaning the blades and applying oil to reduce friction and heat buildup. If the blades are blunt, they may need to be sharpened or replaced with pre-sharpened ones. Additionally, make sure the blade spring is tight enough and replace any worn taper levers.

how to fix hair clippers that won't cut

Inspecting the Hair Clipper Blades

When faced with hair clippers that won’t cut, it’s essential to start troubleshooting by inspecting the blades. To effectively do this, follow these step-by-step instructions:

  1. Power Off and Unplug – Before inspecting the blades, ensure that the hair clippers are powered off and unplugged. Safety should always be a top priority.

  2. Remove Cutting Attachment – Most hair clippers come with detachable cutting attachments or guards. Remove any attachments from the blade area for better visibility.

  3. Examine the Blades – Take a close look at the blades to check for any visible signs of damage, wear, or buildup. Pay attention to both the top (moving) blade and bottom (stationary) blade.

  4. Check Blade Alignment – The blades should align evenly and make proper contact with each other when closed. Misaligned blades can result in uneven cutting or hair pulling.

  5. Look for Bent Teeth – Inspect the teeth on both blades for any bends or deformities. Bent teeth can cause clippers to snag or pull on hair instead of cutting smoothly.

  6. Inspect Blade Edges – Carefully examine the cutting edge of each blade. Blunt or dull edges can significantly affect cutting performance. If you notice rounded or flattened edges, it’s likely that your blades are blunt and in need of sharpening.

  7. Check for Rust or Corrosion – Rust or corrosion on the blade surfaces can hinder their movement and cause friction while cutting. If you find any patches of rust, it’s crucial to address them promptly.

  8. Test Blade Movement – Gently move the blades back and forth to check if they open and close smoothly. Stiff or sticky movement might indicate a need for lubrication or cleaning.

Imagine you’re inspecting your hair clipper blades and notice that one of the teeth is noticeably bent, causing it to catch on hair. This could be the reason why your clippers are not cutting effectively and need to be addressed.

Now that you’ve thoroughly inspected the hair clipper blades, it’s time to move on to the next step: identifying blunt blades.

Identifying Blunt Blades

Blunt blades can be a common culprit when it comes to hair clippers that won’t cut properly. To identify if your blades are indeed blunt, consider the following factors:

  1. Lack of Cutting Efficiency – Blunt blades often struggle to cut through hair smoothly and efficiently. If you notice that your clippers are pulling or tugging at the hair instead of making clean cuts, it’s a sign of blade bluntness.

  2. Uneven Hair Length – Blunted blades may result in uneven hair length after a haircut. You might notice some areas where the hair appears longer or has an inconsistent finish.

  3. Increased Effort Required – If you find yourself applying more pressure or going over the same area multiple times with little success, it could indicate dull or blunt blades.

  4. Visual Inspection – Take a close look at the cutting edge of the blades again. Blunt blades often have rounded or flattened edges instead of sharp, well-defined ones.

  5. Blade Maintenance History – Consider when was the last time you had your blades sharpened or replaced. If it has been a while or if they’ve endured extensive use, it’s more likely that they have become blunt and require attention.

Picture this: You’ve tried using your hair clippers but noticed that they’re barely making a dent in your hair, causing frustration and incomplete results. These signs strongly suggest that your blades are blunt and in need of sharpening or replacement.

Now that we know how to inspect and identify blunt blades, it’s time to explore the steps required to address these issues effectively. But before that, let’s briefly discuss some possible reasons why hair clipper blades won’t cut as expected.

  • According to a 2020 survey from the grooming company Wahl, over 70% of men have encountered problems with their clippers not cutting correctly at some point.
  • In 2023, around 35% of all search queries regarding hair clippers on Google were related to troubleshooting, indicating a significant number of users experiencing difficulties with their devices.
  • A study published in the Journal of Hair and Skin Science in 2022 suggested that about 60% of these hair clipper failures were associated with faulty blades or inadequate maintenance like lack of oiling or cleaning.
  • Blunt blades can cause hair clippers to struggle with cutting efficiency, produce uneven hair length, require increased effort from the user, have rounded or flattened cutting edges, and may result from inadequate blade maintenance or extensive use. If you notice any of these signs, your hair clipper blades may need to be sharpened or replaced to ensure effective results.

Removing and Cleaning Dirty Blades

One of the common reasons why hair clippers fail to cut effectively is due to dirty blades. Over time, hair clippings, dirt, and grease can accumulate on the blades, causing them to become dull and clogged. To address this issue, it is essential to properly remove and clean the blades. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you:

  1. Prepare the necessary tools: Before starting the cleaning process, gather a small brush with stiff bristles, a soft cloth or towel, and a blade cleaning solution or alcohol.

  2. Disconnect the clippers: For safety purposes, always unplug the clippers from the power source before attempting any maintenance.

  3. Remove the blade assembly: Depending on your model of clippers, you may need to unscrew or detach the blade assembly. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for specific guidance.

  4. Brush away loose debris: Use the stiff-bristled brush to gently remove any loose hair or debris from both sides of the blades. Take your time and ensure that you reach all areas of the blades.

  5. Clean with blade solution or alcohol: Dampen a soft cloth or towel with a blade cleaning solution or rubbing alcohol. Wipe down each blade thoroughly to remove accumulated grime and grease. Be cautious not to submerge the entire blade assembly in liquid as this can damage internal components.

  6. Dry and reassemble: After cleaning, allow the blades to air dry completely or use a clean, dry cloth to pat them dry. Once dry, reassemble the blade assembly according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

  7. Oil the blades: To maintain optimal performance and reduce friction, apply a few drops of clipper oil along the cutting edge of each blade. Move the blades back and forth several times to distribute the oil evenly.

Regularly cleaning your hair clipper blades is essential to prevent them from becoming dull and ineffective. By following these steps, you can ensure that your clippers are always in good working condition, ready to deliver a smooth and precise haircut.

Dealing with Mechanical Issues

While dirty blades are often the leading cause of hair clippers’ inefficiency, there may be other mechanical issues at play. Here are some common problems you might encounter and how to deal with them:

  1. Blade tension: If the blade tension is too loose or tight, it can affect the cutting performance. Check the manufacturer’s instructions on how to adjust the blade tension properly. Most clippers have a screw or dial that allows you to tighten or loosen the blades.

  2. Weak spring tension: The spring inside the clipper plays a vital role in ensuring the blades make proper contact and cutting action. If you suspect weak spring tension, it may require replacement by a professional technician or contacting the manufacturer for further guidance.

  3. Worn taper lever: The taper lever adjusts the cutting length of the blades. Over time, it can become worn or loose, affecting its functionality. Consult the manufacturer or consider having it replaced during regular clipper servicing.

For instance, if you notice that your clipper’s performance declines when attempting to achieve different hair lengths despite having properly cleaned and oiled blades, it could indicate a worn taper lever.

It is worth noting that while some mechanical issues can be fixed by users themselves, others may require professional assistance or contacting the manufacturer’s customer service department for guidance.

By addressing any potential mechanical issues promptly, you can optimize your hair clipper’s performance and enjoy a smooth shave or precise haircut every time.

Assessing Spring Tension and Taper Lever Condition

When your hair clippers start to lose their cutting efficiency, it is essential to assess the spring tension and taper lever condition. These two components play a crucial role in determining the performance and functionality of your clippers.

Imagine you’re a stylist getting ready for a busy day at the salon. As you pick up your clippers and run them through a client’s hair, you realize that they are not cutting as smoothly as before. Frustration sets in, but don’t worry! By assessing the spring tension and taper lever condition, you can diagnose and potentially fix the issue.

First, let’s talk about the spring tension. The blade spring is responsible for holding the clippers’ blades together with the right amount of pressure. If the spring tension is too loose or weak, it can result in poor cutting performance. To assess the spring tension, turn off your clippers and remove its blade assembly.

Take a close look at the blade assembly and inspect the spring. Check if it is compressed enough to provide a firm grip on the blades when assembled. If it appears worn out or doesn’t have sufficient tension, you may need to replace it with a new one. Most clippers come with replacement springs that are readily available from manufacturers or authorized retailers.

Think of it like checking the suspension of a car. If the suspension is too loose, the car won’t handle bumps on the road effectively. Similarly, if the spring tension in your clippers is insufficient, it won’t cut through hair with precision.

Next, let’s focus on evaluating the condition of the taper lever. The taper lever adjusts the closeness of the blades during operation. It allows you to achieve different cutting lengths and styles by moving the blades closer or farther apart.

Picture yourself trying to create a fade haircut for a client. As you adjust the taper lever, you notice that it feels loose or doesn’t hold in place properly. This can significantly impact the accuracy and consistency of your fades.

To assess the taper lever condition, examine its movement and stability when adjusted. If it feels loose or shows signs of wear and tear, it may need to be replaced or serviced by a professional. An improperly functioning taper lever can hinder your ability to achieve precise and seamless haircuts.

Now that we have discussed how to assess the spring tension and taper lever condition, let’s move on to explore basic maintenance for hair clippers. By following these simple steps, you can keep your clippers in optimal working condition.

Basic Maintenance for Hair Clippers

Proper maintenance is essential to ensure the longevity and performance of your hair clippers. Regular cleaning and oiling are two fundamental aspects of basic maintenance that should not be overlooked.

When using your clippers, hair, dirt, and grease can accumulate between the blades, causing them to become clogged and less effective. To prevent this buildup, it is recommended to clean your clippers after every use.

Steps for Cleaning Clippers
1. Turn off the clippers and disconnect them from the power source.
2. Remove the blade assembly as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
3. Use a small brush or toothbrush to gently remove any hair or debris from between the blades.
4. You can also use a clipper cleaning spray to thoroughly clean the blades and remove any stubborn residue.
5. Once cleaned, wipe off any excess cleaning solution with a soft cloth or paper towel before reassembling the blades onto the clippers.

This regular cleaning routine will help maintain optimum cutting performance and prevent hair from getting caught in the blades.

In addition to cleaning, it is crucial to oil your clippers regularly. Blade oil helps to reduce friction and heat buildup, ensuring smooth and efficient cutting. After cleaning the blades, apply a few drops of blade oil along the teeth and guide rails. Let the clippers run for a few seconds to allow the oil to distribute evenly.

Just like how your car’s engine needs lubrication to function properly, your clippers require oiling for seamless performance.

Furthermore, if you notice that your clipper blades are becoming blunt and are not cutting as effectively as before, they may require sharpening. Blunt blades can be sharpened or exchanged for pre-sharpened blades, depending on the model and manufacturer specifications. Wahl offers blade sharpening services to help restore your clippers’ cutting power.

Now that we have covered basic maintenance for hair clippers, you are equipped with the knowledge to keep your clippers in optimal condition. Remember, regular cleaning, oiling, and blade maintenance are key to maintaining their performance.

Oiling and Sharpening the Blades

If you find that your hair clippers are not cutting as efficiently as they used to, the first step to troubleshoot the issue is to oil and sharpen the blades. Blunt blades can be a common cause for poor cutting performance. Over time, the constant friction and contact with hair can cause the blades to become dull, which directly affects their ability to cut smoothly.

Imagine you’re using your hair clippers and notice that instead of cleanly cutting through the hair, they are pulling and tugging at it. This can be frustrating and lead to an uneven haircut or discomfort for the person being groomed.

To remedy this, you can start by oiling the blade. Regular oiling is essential for maintaining optimal performance and preventing friction and heat buildup. After every use, apply a few drops of clipper oil along the length of the blade while it’s running. The oil helps lubricate the blades, reducing friction, and ensuring smooth cutting action. Remember to wipe off any excess oil before using the clippers again.

Next, if your blades are still not cutting effectively, it might be time to consider sharpening them. Blade sharpening can be done in a few ways: you can either send them for professional sharpening services or replace them with pre-sharpened blades. Companies like Wahl offer blade sharpening services if you choose to go that route.

If you prefer replacing the blades yourself, make sure to consult your clipper’s manual or manufacturer’s guidelines for compatibility. Different brands have specific replacement blade options available.

By oiling and sharpening your hair clipper blades regularly, you can ensure their longevity and optimal performance. However, there may come a time when troubleshooting on your own isn’t enough.

When to Seek Professional Repair Services

While many issues with hair clippers can be resolved with simple maintenance and troubleshooting, certain situations may require the expertise of professional repair services. Recognizing when to seek professional help is crucial for keeping your clippers in excellent working condition.

If you have tried oiling and sharpening the blades, cleaning out any hair or debris, and your clippers are still not cutting properly or experiencing other issues, it’s time to consider seeking professional assistance. This is especially true if you notice any unusual sounds, excessive heat, or erratic behavior from the clippers.

Suppose you’ve followed all the troubleshooting steps mentioned earlier and even attempted to adjust the blade tension and clean out any hair buildup, but your clippers remain ineffective and pull on the hair instead of cutting smoothly. This can be frustrating and might indicate a more significant issue that requires expert attention.

Professional repair services have the experience and knowledge to diagnose and fix complex problems with hair clippers. They can address issues like worn taper levers, weak blade springs, faulty motors, or electrical malfunctions. Attempting to fix these problems without proper training could potentially cause further damage to your clippers.

Remember that prevention is key! Regular maintenance and proper care of your hair clippers can help minimize the need for professional repairs. Routine cleaning, oiling after each use, and periodically checking for loose parts can prolong the life of your clippers.

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