Did you recently purchase some expensive hair cutting clippers and want to make them last as long as possible? Or are you an experienced barber who finds yourself having to replace your equipment more frequently than you would like? There is a product that can prolong the lifespan of your clippers, so you don't have to keep replacing your tools. The best thing is that it's readily available at many beauty supply stores, auto care stores, grocery stores, and online--and it's almost always under 5 bucks.

What is clipper oil?

According to Sally's Beauty Supply, a clipper oil "is specially formulated to keep clipper blades clean and lubricated. Apply regularly to teeth and bearing surfaces of blades to help maximize clipper performance and ensure longer blade life. Apply when blade becomes noisy, leaves track marks, or skips fine hairs." Ideally, a clipper oil should be reapplied every four haircuts or so.

Does your clipper need oil right now?

According to Rapid Edge, these are the tell-tale signs that your blades need it:

  1. your clipper won't cut cleanly.
  2. your clipper is "gutless"--has no power to cut hair.
  3. your clipper makes a "muting" noise
  4. your clipper makes a loud, sharp noise.
  5. your clipper blades make a rattling noise.
  6. your clipper lever feels loose.
  7. your clipper powers on and off on its own.

The 2 most popular clipper oils

Alternatives to clipper oil

A hair clipper expert on Quora says that any lightweight carrier oil will get the job done. Make sure it can withstand high temperatures--the blades create a friction that causes heat. They suggest using a generic olive oil brand (it doesn't have to be extra virgin).

If you want to maintain the life of your small machine, try a non-vehicle-specific penetrating oil spray from Autozone like Blaster Chemical . While it is just a few bucks more expensive than olive oil bought at the grocery store, penetrating oil contains PB evaporant, meaning it has a slower evaporation rate. This makes it ideal for applying less frequently and having longer lasting results. 

How to use a clipper oil

After taking a small toothbrush to remove any excess hair, place 2 to 3 drops of oil between the blades. Do not take your blades completely off unless you know how to put them back on properly.

Remember, your clippers need it

Conspiracy of Good says that "one thing you don’t want to do is run your clippers without oil. They’ll rattle, cause damage to the blades and eventually seize up. Just as importantly, they won’t cut well. And a trimmer is useless if it won’t cut."

Do you use a clipper oil?