More and more men prefer to cut their own hair: cutting and trimming hair at home can save a lot of money. Even though the benefits are obvious, not everyone knows how to set up a hair clipper correctly so that they can use it without problems later. In today’s article, we will talk about the intricacies of setting up this type of device and consider some of the features of operation.

The principle of operation of the hair clipper

First, let’s find out how the device works. The main element of the machine is the engine. It sets in motion one row of knives with a cutting blade, while the second is static. The edges themselves are set parallel to each other.

Hair clipper from the inside

Oster rotary hair clipper device

When the blades move during shearing, the cut hair passes between the teeth, and when the gap is closed, the next batch is cut off. The principle of operation of the machine is similar to ordinary scissors, with the only difference being that the speed of movement is much higher here, and there are much more cutting elements.

On sale you can find models with a rotary or vibration engine. Both varieties differ both in structural and technical terms. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages. You can read more about this in the article on choosing a hair clipper.

cutting block

In a good half of the cases, the blades are made of of stainless steel. Budget solutions are equipped with conventional thin metal knives. Apply to stainless steel diamond or carbon coating, rare options come with titanium coating or ceramic. The latter does not heat up and does not burn the skin at the time of the haircut. But such solutions are fragile, so they must be handled with extreme care.

Ceramic blades

Hair clipper with ceramic blades

Titanium coating boasts hypoallergenic qualities and increased durability: it does not irritate the scalp and is practically immune to physical impact. The carbon and diamond options can handle any type of hair, regardless of its condition: dry, coarse, thick or wet.

Hair Removal Height set by nozzles that are installed on the cutting block. They can be made of plastic, soft silicone or steel. Also, there are overlays not with a fixed, but with a floating height, where the comb goes with a certain step (usually 1 mm).

In addition to the standard set, there are specific nozzles for split ends, beards, temples and more. Exotic types, like a tool for cutting patterns, cost many times more than classic solutions. Some attachments are suitable for all machines, while others only for specific brands or series.

Why you need to adjust the machine

Many people wonder why regulate such a seemingly simple device, because it can work without any adjustment. Yes, maybe, but not as long as with proper care. If you set up a hair clipper and periodically service it by performing simple maintenance work, it will work much longer and will not cause problems with minor breakdowns.


Some appliances can become uncomfortable to use over time, bite into clumps of hair, or cause electric shock. At the first sign of malfunction, the device should be serviced immediately.

Over time, unbalanced blades can leave a row of even hair somewhat uncut, which can affect the overall look of the hairstyle. In addition to possible malfunctions, adjustment may be necessary and for comfort of use. So, if you want the device to serve you for a long time and not present unpleasant surprises, then you should follow a few recommendations.

Clipper haircut

Hardware setup

For a more productive haircut, the machine must be properly configured.

Before disassembling the device, it must be completely de-energized: remove the battery if the model is autonomous, or remove the plug from the socket.

Blade adjustment

If the cutting block has a screw mount, then you will need a Phillips or flat screwdriver. Sometimes devices are equipped with clips or other specific holders. In the latter case, it is necessary to seek help from the instruction manual.

New devices from the store come already lubricated and do not need maintenance as such. After one or two haircuts, the screws must be loosened and the knives removed, and then cleaned with a special spray or soapy water. Before laying the blades, be sure to dry them. Now you can start adjusting the knives.

  1. We loosen the clamping fasteners until the blades begin to move freely.Loosen clamping screws
  2. We expose the movable knife in such a way that the leftmost teeth coincide, and the right one slightly goes beyond the plane of the static blade.
  3. Both rows should be parallel to each other.
  4. Lubricate the knives with oil. If it is not included, then the composition for sewing machines or universal WD-40 is suitable.Lubrication of knives before installation
  5. We twist the clamping fasteners to the stop, but without fanaticism, otherwise you can break the slot.

There are one-piece knife blocks that cannot be disassembled. In this case, adjustment is excluded: remove them, clean, lubricate and put in place.

If the machine is new, but already at the first haircut it starts to stop or vibrate excessively, then it’s more likely to stuck hairand not in knives. It is enough to loosen the clamping screws and remove the rubbish. This problem is typical for budget models and when processing hard hair. When the quality of the cut has noticeably deteriorated, and cleaning with lubrication does not help, then the blades may need to be sharpened. If the design does not allow it to be carried out, the knives are simply changed to new ones.

Blade height adjustment

To achieve the optimum cutting height when working without attachments, you can adjust tooth spacing. Most machines have a special lever for this, which goes up and down. Less common are devices with a button, for example, models of the Polaris brand.

blade height adjustment lever

Lever for blade height adjustment

The upper position of the movable blades brings the teeth above the static knife, while in the reverse position the latter moves forward. There are devices where the adjustment takes place not in one, but in two planes, which somewhat expands the capabilities of the machine.

Installing attachments

The length of the bevel is regulated by nozzles, and over a wide range. As a rule, mid-budget and premium models are equipped with a full set of combs from 3 to 21 mm in 3 mm increments. There are rare specimens, like 1.55 or 350 mm.

Also have universal options, where one nozzle is designed for several sizes. In this case, the adjustment takes place on the comb itself by means of sliders or rings. But such solutions are mostly not reliable.

Adjustable nozzle

Adjustable hair clipper

The nozzle is put on the machine in the direction of the arrow. For a good half of the models, it snaps into place, while for others it is attached with bolts or clips. Before installing the comb, it is better to turn off the machine, otherwise there is a risk of dulling the knives.

Examples of knife adjustment (video)

If you still have difficulties in debugging the blades, you can refer to the video tutorials on balancing them.

Video on adjusting the hair clipper Vitek:

Feature: it is best to leave a small gap between the upper and lower knife. This will optimize the operation of the device and eliminate biting during operation. Do not tighten the bolts too much to eliminate the possibility of stripping the threads. If the threads are damaged, the adjustment of the blades will be much more complicated, if not impossible at all.

And here is the best way to adjust the brand machine moser:

Feature: the machine will work best if, when adjusting, set the blades so that the outer tooth of the small knife slightly goes behind the tooth of the large blade. The machines of this brand have a strong thread, in which the screws that secure the blades are planted, but you still should not twist them all the way.

Brand appliances Domotes it’s best to set it up like this:

Feature: before installing the blades, it is best to lightly grind them on the whetstone using the lapping side. Remember to lightly dampen the surface of the board with water. If necessary, the procedure should be repeated until the blades are completely worn in. Unbalance occurs due to constant vibration under loads and contact (friction) of metal surfaces.

For brand machines Scarlett the following steps apply:

Feature: many models are adjustable without removing the blades, by simply tightening the mounting bolts. In some cases, lubrication of run-in parts may be required. For the base, it is better to use new generation lubricants based on hydrocracking additives or regular motor oil.

Machines from this manufacturer require more frequent adjustments. However, the process itself is significantly simplified compared to models from other brands, so it will not be difficult to perform such maintenance.

The nuances of caring for equipment

It is worth paying attention to the criteria for the care of equipment that are common to all.

    1. Read the instruction manual before servicing the device. There, intelligibly and clearly (besides, step by step) the entire service process is shown.
    2. You should not do something if you are not confident in your abilities or are afraid to break the device.
    3. If the device is used throughout the year, the use of lubricants lubricating iron parts is necessary, because. the factory basis has already been developed by this time.

Oil for lubrication

  1. In case of prolonged use, or if the machine is used frequently, it may be necessary to additional lapping of blades. To do this, you need to purchase a grinding board with different surfaces.
  2. In no case should the blades be fixed with force. If the knives don’t snap into position, chances are something is wrong, it might be worth rereading the instructions or looking for more information. Some models come with a special locking key. True, it is quite rare, so experts recommend using ordinary screwdrivers that are available in every home.
  3. If adjusting the blades does not help, it may be worth replacing them. New knives are much cheaper than the whole tool assembly. Many modern hair clippers are unified, and appropriate nozzles and blades can be installed on them.
    Machine knives

The hair clipper is very easy to use. Also, you can easily take care of it. Adjusting the knives does not take much time from the owner, but such a simple action often helps to breathe a second life into the device, which until recently seemed to be faulty. All you need is a little patience and perseverance. In the future, this process will take quite a bit of time. In addition, by getting used to serving one model, you can learn how to adjust the blades on most modern hair clippers.



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