Can You Use A Beard Trimmer To Cut Hair? 3 Main Differences Between A Trimmer And A Clipper

Can you use a beard trimmer to cut hair? The answer to this question is provided in this post along with useful information about the proper use of the beard trimmer at home. 

It can sometimes be expensive to buy a beard trimmer for your facial hair then get a clipper just for cutting your hair. That’s why many have considered using one tool for both jobs. 

However, can you use a beard trimmer to cut hair? The answer is not simply a Yes or No. The ultimate answer to this post will be provided for you in this post. 

Can You Use A Beard Trimmer To Cut Hair?

To be short, if you want to – Yes, you can cut hair using a beard trimmer.

A beard trimmer can become an alternative tool for hair trimming if you want to save money going to a barber or if you are quarantined at home. Like a clipper, it has an adjustable blade that can cut the hair on your scalp.

However, a beard trimmer and a clipper are designated for different tasks, so you have to keep a few things in mind. 

Beard trimmer vs Clipper 

Beard trimmer vs Hair clipper
Beard trimmer vs Hair clipper

Many people think a beard trimmer can trim hair as well because they look alike. At first sight, it seems that these two types of devices have the same kind of blade, same long design, and same usage. 

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Lee's Razors

However, there are important differences that set them apart. 


Beard trimmer's blade vs clipper's blade
A beard trimmer’s blade is narrower than a clipper’s blade

The blade on a beard trimmer is narrower than that on a clipper. That’s because cutting hair involves working on wide areas on the head while beard trimming involves dealing with smaller areas and corners. 

Besides, a clipper’s blade is longer than a beard trimmer’s blade as hair grows longer than beard.

As a result, while using a beard trimmer to cut hair, your hair gets clogged quickly on the blade. This means you might need to brush it off more frequently than when using a hair clipper. 


Generally, hair clippers have more powerful motors than beard trimmers. This helps clippers create smoother looks than beard trimmers. 

If you want to style your hair with a more complicated design, having a powerful motor to ensure precision is very important. 


Beard trimmer's teeth vs clipper's teeth
A hair clipper’s teeth (right) are longer and spaced wider

The teeth on a clipper are longer and spaced wider apart. Meanwhile, a beard trimmer’s teeth are shallower and spaced narrower. In fact, a clipper’s teeth can be twice as long as those of a beard trimmer.

This means a clipper can easily cut through long, thick hair chunks on your head. On the contrary, the shorter, narrower teeth on a beard trimmer help it get closer to your facial skin and trim even the shortest hair. 

This also means pushing a beard trimmer through your hair is considerably harder compared with a hair clipper. 

How to cut hair with a beard trimmer

If you decide to use your beard trimmer for cutting hair, the following step-by-step guide will assist you. 

  1. Prepare: Make sure your trimmer is plugged or fully charged. You also need a comb, a mirror, a plastic bag or a towel to catch the falling hair. 
  2. Wash your hair: Clean hair is easier to trim than greasy hair. Therefore, you should wash your hair beforehand. 
  3. Set up the trimmer: Before trimming your hair, decide what hairstyle you want and choose the settings accordingly. We recommend that you trim at the longest settings first to avoid trimming your hair too short to fix. 
  4. Trim: From your forehead, start trimming toward the crown. Next, trim from the sideburns to the crown. And lastly, trim from the bottom to the crown.
    Notice: Because the trimmer’s blade and teeth are smaller than the hair clipper’s, you should do only a small section at a time for better cutting and easier cutting control.
  5. Check and fix: Check your hair cut carefully, especially areas around your ear. 

Should You Use A Beard Trimmer To Cut Hair?

Sure, you can get a haircut at home using a beard trimmer. But as stated at the beginning of this post, there are a few things to keep in mind. 

Although as convenient as it may be to use one device for two jobs, you should not cut hair with a beard trimmer. Here are the reasons why it’s not a good idea.

The beard trimmer is damaged

Beard trimmers are made to deal with short hair on your face, not big chunks of long hair on your head. 

Additionally, the hair growing on your head is much thicker and denser than that on your face and beard trimmers are not made with the power to deal with this. 

Using a beard trimmer to cut hair can result in hair clogging up the blade. This will gradually cause the blade and the motor to wear out. 

All in all, the beard trimmer won’t last as long as it’s supposed to. 

Your head is hurt

When you cut your hair with a beard trimmer, the machine has to work harder and you have to pull harder to go through all the hair on your scalp. 

This leads to discomfort and may even hurt as hundreds of hairs are pulled at the same time. 

More time is needed

Cutting hair is a big job for a beard trimmer. Specifically, you need a stronger motor, a wider blade, longer teeth for hair trimming.

Consequently, you will have to spend more time to make up for the lack of the aforementioned features. 

The trim can’t be even

Try as hard as you can, getting a perfectly even trim with a beard trimmer is very hard, if not impossible. 

Yes, you will still get a fine haircut, but it’s an average one at best. Struggling with a beard trimmer won’t likely give you a haircut as even or smooth as a clipper can. 

There are fewer options for length and style

Beard trimmer blades are adjustable but it offers changes for facial hair, not the hair on your scalp. So, when you use a beard trimmer, your options for hair lengths are naturally narrowed down, not to mention the options available may be awkward.

As with the lengths, the hairstyle you can achieve with a beard trimmer is limited as well. If you want a complicated haircut with glorious fades, a beard trimmer won’t be a reasonable choice. 


Are Clippers bad for your hair?

Clippers can cause damage to your hair, your hair won’t grow as smooth as when you use scissors. However, for cutting hair at home, a clipper remains a better choice than a beard trimmer.

See also: How To Do A Fade Haircut With Clippers?

What do barbers cut hair with?

Barbers use scissors and clippers to cut hair. While scissors are the most fundamental tools for a barber, clippers are great at dealing with basic hairstyles. 

Is it a good idea to cut your own hair?

It depends. If you just want to trim your hair, it’s a good way that can save you time and money. But if you want a new hairstyle, you may want to go to a barber. 

Final thoughts

In summary, to answer the question: can you use a beard trimmer to cut hair, the answer is that you can but it’s not recommended. 

A beard trimmer and a hair clipper are designed differently to perform their own tasks at the highest quality. The biggest difference lies in their blade design, making them suitable for different types of hair.

A beard trimmer is an acceptable choice if you can’t go to the barber and don’t have a clipper at hand. 

See also: Bevel Trimmer vs Andis T-Outliner A Neck-And-Neck Competition

Lee Cantor

Provide the best shaving product reviews and shaving advices to the wetshaving community and friends.

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