How to Fix Hair Clippers That Won’t Cut

by Véronique Raymond
hair clipper

It’s no secret that there are always issues that might pop up when using a hair clipper to cutting your own hair. They don’t only occur after a while but also if the hair clipper also malfunctions and you lack the experience in handling these scenarios, knowing the best solution can be an uphill battle. Fortunately, we can help with troubleshooting.

If your grooming kit isn’t functioning as it should, this step-by-step guide will teach you how to fix hair clippers that won’t cut.

1. Clean Your Hair Trimmer

If you’ve been using your beard trimmers for a while, they require deep cleaning that you can do by following the steps below.

  • Remove the cap that adjusts the cut number and use a cleaning brush to wipe the hair off the clipper. If efforts of proper cleaning prove futile, insert a clip, pin, or needle and ensure you clean the tool thoroughly, getting into the otherwise hard-to-reach crevices.
  • Dab a few drops of oil (baby oil will work) on a cotton swab and clean the top of the clippers and the blade. Wipe off any excess oil. Doing so will ensure the blades have more movement.
  • Once you get it going, put water and soap in a bowl and run the blades in the water for a thorough cleaning.
  • With every use of the hair clippers, remember to clean them for a better outcome.

2. Replace the Battery

If your hair clippers don’t turn on, you might require changing the battery. While most battery replacements are rechargeable, there’s a likelihood that you might need to change them. Here are some tips on checking and replacing your battery.

  • You’ll require tools that won’t damage the sides or leave abrasions.
  • Open your hair clipper to inspect the battery after which it’ll be visible.
  • If you purchased it recently and you’re not sure how to check the battery, we recommend seeking assistance from the seller or manufacturer.
  • Removing the battery is a breeze and if you’ve already purchased a replacement, the process is easier.

3. Change the Blade

If you’ve had your hair clipper for more than a year, consider swapping out the bottom blade for a new one. After a while and with frequent use, the blade wears out and malfunctions. To change the blade, follow the steps below.

  • Discover the ideal tools to open your hair clipper.
  • Once it’s open, get a screwdriver and unscrew the blade.
  • Substitute it with a new blade and screw it back in place.
  • At this point, your tool should be functioning optimally.

4. Inspect the Wires

Wire malfunctioning can be the cause of your clippers not working and calls for the following steps to rectify the problem.

  • For starters, you’ll have to find the ideal equipment to open your hair clipper without damaging it.
  • With your tools in hand, carefully and slowly open the hair clipper.
  • You’ll notice the wires, blade, and battery.
  • Conduct a close inspection.
  • On the side, you’ll see a screw. Unscrew it to loosen the belt.
  • If you discover that the belt was loose, screw it tightly in place.
  • If that wasn’t the case, you can loosen the belt.
  • To secure the belt back into position, ensure it is properly placed and screw it until it’s held tightly.
  • Once the belt starts moving as it should the blades will function properly.
Remington HC5850 Virtually Indestructible Haircut & Beard Trimmer, Hair Clippers, Beard Trimmer, Clippers

Source: Amazon

5. Sharpen Clipper Blades

It’s a no-brainer that blunt hair clippers won’t get the job done and can evoke frustration when using them. To sharpen them, follow the steps below.

  • Remove the cutting and stationary blades from your clipper.
  • Begin by putting your stationary blade on a whetstone.
  • Apply medium pressure and move it in circular motions.
  • Remember to sharpen the inner edge of the blade. It comes into contact solely with the cutting blade.
  • Sharpen the inner side of the cutting blade as well.
  • Once you’re content with the sharpness of the blades, align and reconnect them.
  • Oil the blades and run your clipper for up to 30 seconds to evenly distribute the oil.

6. Remove Rust on the Clipper Blades

Clipper blades inevitably develop rust as a result of exposure to moisture, inadequate oiling or the lack thereof, and the lack of use. Resultantly, rusted clipper blades can impede the quality of cuts produced. Furthermore, it’s unhealthy for the scalp and hair. The good news is that you can rectify this issue from the comfort of your home by following the steps below.

  • Soak your blades in a solution of salt and white vinegar.
  • Use a scrubbing wire to eliminate the rust.
  • Rinse the blades and dry them using a clean towel or napkin.
  • Leave them to air dry.
  • Reconnect them to your clipper, and run it a few seconds for the clipper oil to spread evenly.

7. Consider a Replacement

Let’s face it. Getting your hair clipper fixed by a professional can be pricey. If you can’t fix the issue without roping in an expert, then consider investing in a new device. Opt for a hair clipper that’ll come in handy and function optimally for as long as required. Buying a top-grade new hair clipper can be costly, but if it’s within your budget, consider one that best fits your needs.

What Are the Types of Hair Clipper Motors?

Below are the 3 main types of clipper motors.


These hair clipper motors are renowned for their low blade speeds and impressive power. A pivot motor is best suited for thick and wet hair.


These motors have more balance and usually feature a blade with the same speed and power. Rotary motors are for a broad range of cuts, such as curly, thick, wet-dry, and thin.


These motors have a high blade speed coupled with reliable power. Magnetic clipper motors are best suited for salon owners due to their high volume cutting capacity.

What Causes A Noisy Hair Clipper?

Due to the architecture and design of electromagnetic motors, your hair clipper may at times become inevitably noisy. Typically, that’s because the power voltage screw has been modified past its optimal position. To rectify this problem:

  • Adjust your power voltage screw by slowly turning it clockwise using a screwdriver.
  • If the noise increases, slowly turn the voltage screw anticlockwise until the loud noise becomes a soothing buzz with slight vibrations.

What Causes My Clippers Motors To Underperform?

If you’re worried that your clipper motor cannot perform optimally, here are a few reasons why.


Poor or excessive usage of hair clippers can result in premature exhaustion of the motor, causing its underperformance.

Debris and Dirt Accumulation

Accumulated hair clipping, debris, grease, dirt, and dust can spread to the motor. After a while, clogging will result in underperformance.

Lack of Lubrication

It’s a no-brainer that the components of a dry clipper experience immense friction. Consequently, they don’t operate half as effectively as frequently-oiled clippers.

Low Power Supply

If you use cordless hair clippers, your batteries might wear out and supply low power to the motor. Make sure to replace the batteries in your cordless clippers frequently. However, for their corded counterparts, this usually leads to the misalignment of the power voltage screw that can be resolved with a quick readjustment.


One final tip to consider: if you have standard hair clippers, make sure your using them for yourself and not your pets. Human hair is much different and the hair clipper blades on these trimmers perform differently than dog clippers. The teeth of the blade are unique and you’ll just end up snagging your dog’s hair. We always recommend taking your pet to a professional groomer rather than using your new clippers on them.

Now that you know how to fix hair clippers that won’t work, you don’t have to invest in a new one each time your current device malfunctions. When in doubt, always seek professional advice to avoid damaging your clipper.


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