Everything You Need to Know About Hair Clipper Guard Sizes

All of us can agree:

It takes more than just skills and a clipper to do a proper haircut.

And that’s why, whenever you buy clippers, they often come with some accessories. 


Normally, you’ll find things like clipper oil, a cleaning brush, a styling comb, and several guard combs. All these items are clipper maintenance and clipping necessities.

For a first-time user, things can be a bit confusing.

So, if you’ve been wondering; what do clipper guards do?

You are in the right place.

In this post, you’ll learn about things like:

  • What clipper guards are?
  • Hair clipper guide sizes
  • Types of guard combs
  • And hair clipper blade sizes too

Here’s what you need to know… (click here to see the infographic)

What are Hair Clipper Guards?

Clipper Guards or Attachment Combs or Guide Combs are simply tools that help measure the length of hair you are cutting.

They are designed to fit onto a clipper’s blades.

That way the user can cut precise lengths of hair around the head with ease.

Basically, without clipper guards, some hairstyles (like fades) would be quite hard to pull off.


There are different clipper guard lengths; some longer and some shorter.

And in terms of measurement, hair clipper guard sizes are determined in millimeters (mm) or inches (“).


All clipper guard sizes are graded in numbers and not their actual sizes.

Usually, it’s a number between 0 and 12.

For example:

The number 8 (or #8) of Remington HC 8017 guide combs is 25mm or 1 inch in size.

Get it?

The #1, #2, and #3 clipper guards are the most common ones in a barbershop; you’ve probably heard of them somewhere.

This clipper guard size chart shows all the known clipper numbers today:

Clipper Guard NumberSize in Millimeters (mm)Size in Inches (“)
Number 0 (or 1/2 for Wahl Clippers)1.51/16
Number 131/8
Number 261/4
Number 3103/8
Number 4131/2
Number 5165/8
Number 6193/4
Number 7227/8
Number 8251
Number 10321.25
Number 1237.51.5

Anyway, since most clipper brands come with different guide comb sizes, I’ll focus on five of the most popular brands today.

Here are guide comb sizes from different hair clipper brands:

Wahl Hair Clipper Guard Size Chart

Clipper Guard NumberSize in Millimeters (mm)Size in Inches (“)
# 1/21.51/16

Wahl Premium Clipper Guards

89.8 %

This clipper tray has 8 premium black metal cutting guards that are compatible with most Wahl full-size clippers except detachable blade clippers. The sizes of the 8 secure-fitting guards are; 1/8”, 1/4”, 3/8”, 1/2”, 5/8”, 3/4”, 7/8”, and 1”.

Wahl Color Guards

89.3 %

This is a pack of 8 color-coded cutting guides that fit most vibrating professional barber clippers. Each guide snaps to clipper blades securely and easily glides through the hair. The sizes included are 1/8”, 1/4”, 3/8”, 1/2”, 5/8”, 3/4”, 7/8”, and 1”.


Andis Hair Clipper Guard Size Chart

Clipper Guard NumberSize in Millimeters (mm)Size in Inches (“)

Andis Magnetic Guards

89.4 %

Here is a set of 5 magnetic guards with secure snap-on designs. The guard sizes include 1/16”, 1/8", 1/4", 3/8", and 1/2". They are a fit for clippers in model  MBA, MC-2, ML, PM-1, and PM-4. Note: they do not work with Andis AGC2 and Oster 76 clippers.


Oster Hair Clipper Guard Size Chart

Clipper Guard NumberSize in Millimeters (mm)Size in Inches (“)

Oster Universal Comb Attachments

89.1 %

This Oster Universal guard set is compatible with Wahl, Babyliss, Andis, and other major clipper brands. The 10 pieces of black guides are in sizes 1/16”, 1/8", 1/4", 3/8", 1/2", 5/8", 3/4", 7/8", 1”, and 1 1/4". A soft storage pouch is included.


Remington Hair Clipper Guard Size Chart

Clipper Guard NumberSize in Millimeters (mm)Size in Inches (“)

BaByliss PRO Hair Clipper Guard Size Chart

Clipper Guard NumberSize in Millimeters (mm)Size in Inches (“)

BabylissPRO Comb Set

88.9 %

These are 8 Babyliss Pro clipper guards in sizes 1/16″, 1/8″, 3/16″, 1/4″, 3/8″, 1/2″, 5/8″, and 3/4″. They come with metal clips (better than the plastic ones) and are compatible with Babyliss FX870, FX880, FX825, and FX673 clippers.

With that in mind, you should note:

  • Different clipper brands have different hair clipper sizes. For example, Wahl’s hair clippers 0.5 grade guard is the same as Oster’s #0 blade guard. Also, Wahl clippers guard sizes run up to #12 while Oster only has up to #8.
  • Hair clipper guard sizes differ from blade sizes. Yes, clipper blades also cut different lengths depending on blade/taper lever positions.

Therefore, if you come across different hair clipper lengths pictures, the information above will help you allay any confusion that may arise.


You are probably wondering; what do each of these numbers mean in terms of haircut lengths?

If so, here’s what you should know:

Common Hair Clipper Guard Sizes

Number 0 or 0.5 Guard Combs


The #0 haircut – or 1/2 for Wahl clipper users – is, basically, the shortest there is.

In fact, this number doesn’t have a guide comb; it uses the clippers blades to deliver clean, even, and extremely close cuts.

In a #0 haircut, the hair will be at most 1.5mm or 1/16” long.

It’s the number you ask for when you want any of the following haircuts:

All #0 haircuts often leave the scalp exposed. Also, this haircut is quite easy to clean and maintain.

Number 1 and 1.5 Guard Combs


#1 haircuts guards are often about 1/8th of an inch or 3mm long while the #1.5 are 3/16” or 4.8mm.

These are the numbers you ask for when you’re looking for a perfect buzz cut.


They are slightly longer than the Number 0.

But when used interchangeably, the resulting side fade is always one for the books.


To do a fade, you’ll need to use other guard numbers on the top of the head; the number value will decrease gradually as you move from the top to the back and sides of the head e.g. #3 then #2 then #1.

Also, just like the #0 haircut, there will be a degree of scalp exposure with #1 haircuts.

Number 2 Guard Combs


As far as fades are concerned, the #2 guard comb is always the first choice.

It’s quite popular; mainly because it cuts the hair short but with minimal scalp exposure.

Awesome, right?

That makes it more comfortable to wear for any occasion or space; casual or official.


The #2 guard comb measures 6mm or 1/4 inch; which is, basically, not too long or short.

A number two haircut will leave your hair looking short and fuller.

And the best part is that it works great for people with thinning hair as well as those with thick, bushy hair.

Number 3 Guard Combs


The #3 is also a great guard for fades.

In fact, most barbers often use number 3 haircut sides as the longest guard size for fade haircuts.

Basically, if you are looking for a stunning fade or buzz cut, guard comb #1, #2, and #3 are always your best bet.


The number three guard will leave you with a 10mm or 3/8-inch-long hair.

It’s often fuller but still decently short.

Number 4 Guard Combs


If you are looking for a medium length hairstyle, then the number 4 haircut is exactly what you should ask for.


Well, it measures a 1/2 inch or 13mm long, hence, the #4 is the medium length for standard hair clipper guard combs.

It’s ideal for crew and brush haircuts – basically, these are long buzz cuts with skin fades on the sides.

What’s more?

The best part is that the number four haircut will look good on people with thin or thick hair.

Number 5 Guard Combs


If you are less into fades and more into tapers, then you definitely want a number 5 haircut.

This clipper guard is often ideal for tapering.


It is great for layering when used with other guard combs.

In most cases, the #5 and #6 guards are often used interchangeably.

In terms of length:

This guard size measures 16mm or 5/8 inches long.

Number 6 Guard Combs 9uagpvyy2a7ocgr

Just like the #5 clipper guard, the number six is designed for tapering too.

It measures 3/4 inches or 19mm in length.


The number 6 haircut length is fairly long and often requires frequent trimming unlike buzz cuts and fades.

Number 7 Guard Combs

The number seven is often used hand in hand with the number eight. sajj0ybp1b7ocgr

There is a slight difference between their lengths, but both often serve the same purpose.

Basic facts:

The #7 measures 7/8 inches or 22mm in length; a length that is ideal for a bushy crew cut for men with thick hair.

Just don’t forget to use a lower number guard size to trim the back and sides of the head.

Number 8 Guard Combs

With the number eight, things are a bit different.

How? 087eqhpv6b7ocgr

Well, for starters, it’s the longest standard clipper haircut length in the United States measuring 1 inch or 25mm long.

Getting a number 8 haircut all over is just a simple way of keeping your hair neat, even, and manageable.

It also makes it easy for you to comfortably apply conditioners and hair gel whenever you want to style your hair.


It’s usually great for people looking for a nice, long taper fade.

Number 10 and 12 Guard Combs

If you are an Andis/BaByliss/Remington Clipper user, you’ve probably not seen any of these two clipper sizes.

And that’s because Andis clippers guards size and Remington clipper guard sizes only go as far as #8.

However, Oster users can comfortably make a number 10 haircut due to the availability of this guard size.

Even better, Wahl clipper guard sizes can go up to number 12.

In terms of length, the number 10 measures 1.25 inches or 32mm long; while the number 12 comes in at 1.5 inches or 38mm.

Despite being rarely used, these numbers often come in handy for special requests from a select group of clients.

TIP: Take a look at our extensive review of the best hair clippers on the market today

Side note:

Someone recently asked me:

Is there a 3 inch clipper guard or 4 inch clipper guard Wahl?

Truth is, I’ve never come across either.

But they do exist; they are just a little hard to come by because of low demand and supply.

And my guess is that people have been confusing the guard numbers and the actual sizes.

For example:

Saying 3 inch clipper guard Wahl, instead of a number 3.


There is a 2-inch (51mm) guide comb made by Clipquik or Miaco that fits perfectly onto Wahl clippers.

Moving on…

Types of Hair Clipper Guards

Knowing hair clipper sizes in mm is always important, however, there are other things you should know.

For example:

You’ve learned that not all clippers use the same guards from the clipper guard sizes examples above.

Also, the fact that there is a slight difference in the longest hair clipper grades in mm i.e. the longest Andis Clipper Guard is 25mm long while Wahl goes up to 38mm.

That being said, there are also different types of clipper guards as you shall see below:

Manufacturer-Provided Clipper Guards

These are the guide combs that often come with your clippers.

Wahl Deluxe Chrome Pro

89.7 %

This kit contains a clipper powered by Wahl’s patented PowerDrive motor. It has 13 guards, self-sharpening blades, 2 hair combs, blade oil, a barber cape, and 2 hair clips. The guard sizes are; 1/16”, 1/8", 3/8", 1/4", 1/2", 5/8",3/4", 7/8", 1”, left ear taper, right ear taper, eyebrow, and ear trim guides.

In most cases, they’ll measure between 1/8” and 1”.


Not all clippers come with the same number of clipper guards. In fact, some Andis clippers don’t come with clipper guards at all.

That’s why you should always check to see if your clipper comes with clipper guards before buying it.

There’s also the question of quality; some manufacturer-provided clipper guards are often very low-quality and brittle.

Third-Party and Special Size Clipper Guards

Now, if you get bad or no Remington hc5855 guards from your clipper’s manufacturer, you can always opt for third-party products.

Clipquik 2 Inch Clipper Guard

86.4 %

Here is a unit of Clipquick clipper guard for fixing long hair and it works with both home-use clippers and saloon clippers. It is a 2” size guard that fits most Wahl full-size clippers, including Wahl pet-grooming clippers. It fits just like Wahl’s #10 and #12 guards.

Also, if you’ve been searching for a 2 inch clipper guard, you won’t find it in any original clipper kit; only third-party manufacturers make those.


There are numerous third-party clipper guards available today including Remington hair clipper replacement combs.

Magnetic Clipper Guards

These guide combs are often common with Andis clippers.

Andis Magnetic Guards

89.4 %

Unbox this pack of 5 dual-magnetic clipper guards from Andis. Each is a purple easy-attachable guard with a secure snap-on design that fits clipper models MBA, MC-2, ML, PM-1, and PM-4. They are in sizes; 1/16”, 1/8", 1/4", 3/8", 1/2".

They are fitted with small, strong magnets that help them to stick on the blade during a haircut.


The biggest benefit of using this type of guide combs is that they are easy to attach and detach from the hair clipper; making it easy for you to quickly switch between haircut lengths men with ease.

Color-Coded Clipper Guards

Lastly, there are color-coded guide combs.

Basically, these are clipper guards that come in different colors for ease in remembering their size and number.

The Wahl Color Pro is the best example of clippers that come with color-coded guards.

As for Remington clippers, only their HC6525 version comes with color-coded attachment combs. And you won’t easily find any third-party versions for this clipper brand.


Before I wrap up on our haircut clipper guard sizes, there is still one more important aspect to cover.

How much do you know about clipper blade sizes?

Not much…? – this next bit is for you. 

Understanding Clippers Blades Sizes

Long story, short…

You don’t need to know how to make clipper guards longer, in order to increase your hair length.

Clipper blades can also be adjusted to add a millimeter or two to the cut.

Awesome, right?

I can’t talk about barber clipper sizes without talking about the blades.


There are three main types of blade sizes.

And that’s why we are going to look at Wahl, Andis, and Oster clipper blade sizes in this detailed clipper length guide.

What additional length does each blade type have to offer?

Read on to find out…

Wahl Clipper Blade Sizes

While America’s most popular clipping company is big on clipper guards, their blades are almost similar in size.

That’s why it’s not easy to come by a Wahl clipper blade sizes chart.

Normally, the Wahl 0 guard is often the most popular size for anyone looking for the shortest hair size using a Wahl clipper.

However, if you are looking for an even closer cut, here are your Wahl blade options:

Blade NumberSize in Millimeters (mm)Size in Inches (“)
10051 to 31/32 to 1/8
10061 to 31/32 to 1/8

Wahl Precision Blade Replacement

88.7 %

Replace the broken blade of your Wahl Basic, Deluxe, or Exclusive with a Wahl precision 2-hole blade for sharp performance. This blade fits clippers in the model 8640-500, 8645-500, 8643-500, and Taper 2000, 8472-850, and 8472-700. It comes with a blade oil and 2 installation screws.


Andis Clipper Blade Sizes

Andis is a brand well known for having the best detachable, ceramic blades that are often at least 70% cooler than any other clipper on the market.

This makes them ideal for heavy-duty work in busy barbershops.


Andis blades come in different sizes.

The best part is that their blades can cut hair as low as 0.2mm in length.

Indeed, Andis blade sizes are not as many as the ones you get is an Oster clipper; but as long as they get the job done, all is well, right?

Here’s a simple illustration of an Andis clipper blade conversion chart:

Blade NumberSize in Millimeters (mm)Size in Inches (“)
#1 1/245/32
#3 1/29.53/8
#3 3/4131/2

And that’s not the best clipper size chart you’ll see today…

Andis CeramicEdge Blade, Size 1 1/2

88.7 %

Swap a blade that gets hot quickly with this carbonized steel blade that stays sharp longer and keeps itself cool all day long with ceramic cutting technology. This is a 1 1/2" detachable blade that fits Andis clipper models AG, AGRC, AGC, AGRV, AGP, AGCL, SMC, DBLC, MBG, and AGR+.


Oster Clipper Blade Sizes

In terms of clipper blade sizes, Oster is the undisputed king.

That’s because it has up to 14 different blade sizes; which is way more than you get with Andis clippers.

Impressive, right?

Well, this makes the Oster clipper a top choice for barbers looking for extremely precise haircut lengths.

Not to mention the fact that they are durable, robust, and conveniently sharp.


The Oster clipper blade chart below also applies to the Oster Classic 76.

Here is what you need to know about Oster’s blade sizes:

Blade NumberSize in Millimeters (mm)Size in Inches (“)
Modified 0A0.51/50
#1 1/245/32
#3 1/29.53/8
#3 3/412.71/2
Flattop T0.51/50
18 Skiptooth3.21/8
Texturing Blade3.21/8

Oster Fast Feed Replacement Blade

88.7 %

This is the perfect replacement blade for your Oster fast feed clippers, Topaz, Sable, Rocker, and Speed Line. It fits clipper models 23-54, 30-31, 23-31, 56-31 and 23-51. The blade is made with high-carbon steel to always be cool and extra-durable during heavy duty.

There you have it – everything you need to know about hair clipper guard sizes.

Now you know how to make precise haircut sizes, types of guide combs, blade lengths, and what guard numbers actually mean.

Cool, right?

Anyway, do you have any questions?

If so, don’t hesitate to share them with me. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

Infographic (Hair Clipper Guard Sizes)


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Joe Joe

I have question that I can not seem to find the answer. I get a number 2 haircut all over. Recently I bought my own Wahl hair clippers that included the clipper guards so I can cut my own hair. I got confused with the taper lever but found out what it does.

My question is, when hair clipper has a number 2 guard, should the taper lever be set to closed or open to get the number 2 haircut all over?

I understand when the taper lever is closed it cuts more hair and when open it cuts less hair but how much difference is there in hair length for number 2 between closed and open with number 2 guard and which taper lever position is a true number 2 hair cut with guard?

Barber Mike Barber Mike

There are a few things you need to understand about hair clippers – one of them being the function of the taper lever. As mentioned in the post, taper levers are often used to adjust the clipper’s blades. When a clipper’s taper lever is closed, the haircut length is ~0mm (Zero). Hence, it’s referred to as a #0. Now, when you open the taper lever, you’ll be increasing the length of the cut from your blades.

For example:
If you have an Andis hair clipper, opening its taper lever adds between 0.2mm (#00000) and 16mm (#5/8) of length to your haircut. Therefore, if you were to use you #2 guide comb on a clipper with an open taper lever, the resulting haircut length would be longer i.e. the increase in blade-cutting length added to the haircut size of your guide comb e.g. 0.5mm (#000 blade size) + 6mm (#2 guard size) = a ~6.5mm long haircut.

Basically, opening your taper lever is just the same as using a clipper guard – both are meant to increase the length of the haircut by cutting less hair off. Therefore, when you use both, the resulting hair length will be the sum of the taper lever and clipper guard sizes used.


Hello, does opening the Wahl taper lever add the same amount as the Andis?

Barber Mike Barber Mike

Hi, D.

Not necessarily. As mentioned in the post, the taper lever's work is to adjust the sizes of the blades. And from the post on the last part where I talk about blade sizes, it's clear that Wahl and Andis both have different blades sizes. Therefore, adjusting the taper lever on either of the clippers will result in a different amount/size added or removed.

Pablo Pablo

In Oster guards, If I use a 000 (0,5mm) blade with a #0 (1.5mm) guard the result will be A haircut size of 2mm or guards sizes considers 000 as the standard blade for guards?
In case I use a 0000 blade with #0 guard will I get an 1.75mm size?

Barber Mike Barber Mike

Hi, Pablo.

When combining blade sizes and clipper guard sizes, it's just simple math. If your blade size is "A" and then you use an attachment comb of size "2A," the resulting haircut will be of size "3A."

Therefore, Yes, Oster's #000 (0.5mm) blade with a #0 (1.5mm) guide comb will give you a 2mm long haircut. And that also means that you'll get a 1.75mm long haircut when you combine the #0 guide comb with a #0000 blade in your Oster hair clipper.

Col Col

Hi there,

Thanks for a great article!

One of the things that confuses me about clipper comb guards is their measurements.

I have a razor from a manufacturer not covered in your article and am unsure if I should change the razor to get longer cuts, or if one of the manufacturers above would fit my razor head.

Do you know if it's possible to get measurements for the guide comb anywhere?

My razor head is 4cm by 3cm so it feels like there might be a universal head for this type of size.

Many thanks


Barber Mike Barber Mike

Hi, Col.

I'm glad that you enjoyed the post. Now, to properly answer your question, I need to know what your Razor's name and brand are.

Aditya Singh Aditya Singh

Closed 2 is 2/8 of an inch. Open 2 is 2/8 + 1/16 of an inch, correct ?

Barber Mike Barber Mike

Hi Aditya,

Yes and No...

Yes to getting a 2/8 inch long haircut when you use a closed clipper with a #2 guide comb.

And No, an open #2 does not equate to 2/8 + 1/16 inches because there's no available blade number (on all hair clippers) for size 1/16. The closest you can get to that outcome or haircut length is if you use a #2 (2/8 Inches) guide comb together with an open #1 (3/32 inches) blade on Oster and Andis clippers only.

Steve Sherman Steve Sherman

Hey Mike,
Thank for you taking the time to make this post. It really cleared up a lot for me. My question doesn't there seem to be any metal guides combs available? Wahl makes them for animals, but apparently us humans are not allowed to have our own. When I was in the military one barber I went to had a set of all stainless blade guards. They definitely gave the best haircuts I ever had. I have no idea what brand of clippers he used or even how old they may have been. My plastic combs always seem to get brittle and break over time, but I have never had anyting but cheaper consumer models from places like Walmart. Do you know where to find metal ones, or is there a difference in the professional plastic ones, like the metal "magic" clip Wahl ones? Or should I just be taking better care of my plastic ones?


Barber Mike Barber Mike

Hi Steve,

First of all, Thank You for Your Service. And I'm glad and humbled that this post was helpful.

Now, to answer your question...

Metal/stainless-steel guard combs do exist, but usually for pet and animal grooming. I've seen quite a number of these attachment combs on Amazon and eBay, but haven't been lucky enough to find ones made for human use to replace my flimsy plastic ones.

However, one thing you should note is that most of the sizes on the available metal guide combs are just the same as the ones we have on the plastic (human) combs.

Therefore, in my opinion, the word "animal" is just a label and it doesn't mean people can't use them. So, if you are comfortable using the stainless-steel ones, you can. I'm sure the haircut length results will be the same but the experience will be a tad bit better; plus, durability won't be an issue anymore. If not, I guess the only remaining option you'll have is to take good care of your plastic ones.

If you do happen to come across stainless steel guide combs for men, please share them with us. I'm sure a lot of us who are frustrated by the flimsy, brittle plastic ones will appreciate better and more sturdy options. I'll do more research too and get back to you as soon as I have something good.

Steve Sherman Steve Sherman

Hey Mike thanks for the response!

I was not able to find much more about metal guides, but think I have found what I am looking for. The barber was probably using detachable blade clippers, and I was thinking it was just metal guides. The one I am looking at is the Andis Supra ZRII which works with detachable blades, and is cordless with a replacable battery pack. It is definitely expensive, but I think is exactly what I am looking for.

Mary Mary

As a quarantined woman I have had to start cutting my own hair with scissors. Not a good job! Is there a clipper that can let me cut my hair two inches all over? A sort of Flowbee contraption?

Barber Mike Barber Mike

Hi Mary.

I hope you are doing great and staying safe. Now, to answer your question. I don't know of any clipper brand that makes attachment combs beyond the #12. However, there are several third-party guard combs you can use (mostly on Wahl clippers) to obtain a two-inch haircut.

Here's where you can find them on Amazon:

  1. Clipquik #16 (2-Inch) Clipper Comb Attachment.

  2. Miaco Size #16 (2"/51mm) Clipper Guide Comb.

  3. Miaco Size 10, 12 and 16 (1.25", 1.5" and 2") Clipper Guide Comb Set (Best Value).

Anyway, I hope this helps. If not, hit me up again and we'll see what other options we can try.


John John

Mike, I have a philips norelco 7790. The largest blade guard is 5/8". Is there a third party comb/blade guard that will to to at least 1"? I want a longer cut. My hair has been growing for 3 months now and needs attention while I stay in lockdown

Barber Mike Barber Mike

Hi John,

Unfortunately, the Phillips Norelco MG7790 doesn't have guide combs bigger than the #5 (5/8" or 16mm). And because of its atypical (unique) blade design, third-party clipper guard manufacturers don't have much incentive to come up with bigger guides for it (due to low demand and all).

So, if you are keen on getting a #8 (or bigger), my suggestion is - get another hair clipper; preferably, one from a popular brand like Wahl, Andis, or even Oster. Most of their clippers use the same blades, therefore, it's easier to find different guard comb sizes, including the ones not provided by the manufacturer.

Take care.

Maren Wilson Maren Wilson

Hi, Barber Mike
Your article really gave me a much better understanding of clippers. I have a couple of questions I hope you will answer for me. Due to the fact that I am now at very high risk when exposed to communicable diseases, my public outings are basically just to the doctors' offices and occasionally to the grocer's store if friends are unable to shop for me. Thus, it is unlikely I will be going to a salon even when the pandemic ends. What I have done is to tie my hair in a pony tail and chop it off. However, I'd like to do at least a little bit better job than that. If I get a Wahl's clipper and set of clipper guards, including a #12, then I could get a 1.5 inch cut all over. However, I could increase that by a few hundredths of an inch by extending the taper (doesn't sound like much). Alternatively, if there is a third-party manufacturer for Wahl's clipper guards, I could maybe get a two-inch cut. Have I applied the facts correctly? I'd prefer to start with a two-inch all over cut, but it looks like I might have to settle for 1.5 inches.

Barber Mike Barber Mike

Hi Maren.

How are you holding up? I'm sorry to hear about your current predicament. On the plus side, a lot of resources and bright minds have been tasked with fixing the world, so, let's hope that a fool-proof solution will be found soon.

Anyway, to answer your question:

In truth, Wahl doesn't manufacture guard combs bigger than the #12 (1.5"). However, if you already have Wahl clippers, getting a 2-inch haircut shouldn't be a problem. That's because there are several #16 clipper guards available today from third-party manufacturers like Clipquik and Miaco. Therefore, getting yourself any of their 2" clipper guards can help you get a good, uniform, two-inch haircut at home.

Here's where you can find them:

  1. Clipquik #16 (2-Inch) Clipper Comb Attachment.

  2. Miaco Size #16 (2"/51mm) Clipper Guide Comb.

I hope this was helpful Maren. And if you have any other questions, feel free to ask. I'll be more than happy to help.

Otherwise, Stay Safe and Stay Strong.

Phil Puccio Phil Puccio

Thanks for this great article! I'm glad I found you. I hope you can help me solve this problem -- I'm a new beard-owner and I bought one of the cordless Wahl beard trimmers. My beard recently got too bushy for my taste, so I tried the 16mm guard and it didn't reach my beard at all. So I went to the 13mm and it cut way too short. So I'm desperately looking for 14mm and 15mm guards, but no luck anywhere on the Internet so far. Do you have any advice?



Barber Mike Barber Mike

Hi Phil,

I hope you are doing great. From what I know, there are no 14mm and 15mm Wahl guide combs. The closest you can get to this length range is by using the #4 (13mm). Luckily, I'm all about solutions and I think I have one for you. Just because there isn't an exact size 14/15mm clipper guard, it does not mean there's no workaround. Here's what you can do:

* First, note that your Wahl hair trimmer won't be ideal for this workaround. Why? Because most (almost all) trimmers don't have a taper lever, so you can't adjust the blade size when the need arises. Therefore, a hair clipper is highly recommended for this.

* I'd recommend you get the Cordless Wahl Sterling 4 or Professional Designer because they are both high-quality and strong hair clipper that come with Wahl's #1005 blades and the #4 guard comb in their accessories. The #1005 blade is critical for this workaround because it allows size adjustment of between 1mm (when the taper lever is closed) and 3mm (when it's fully opened).

* Now, the reason why you need the #4 guide combs is that when using an adjustable blade clipper, increasing the length of the cut is easier than decreasing. So, the #5 guard won't do here.

Anyway, with all that in mind and assuming you have everything ready - the clipper (as suggested above or any other you can find with the Wahl #1005 blades) and the #4 attachment comb, here's how to get a size 14mm or 15mm haircut:

1. Oil the clipper and prepare it for work - the usual stuff.

2. Fit the #4 guard comb onto your clipper and open the taper lever fully. When you do that, here's what will happen; the guide comb will give you 13mm of cutting length and the blades will give you 3mm (when the taper is fully opened). If you sum them up (13mm + 3mm), you should be able to comfortably make a 16mm-long beard trim, right? But as you said earlier, 16mm (#5) was too long; so it won't work.

3. So, now you know that this blade and guard combination gives you 16mm and that the guard comb length (13mm) is fixed. Therefore, you'll have to adjust your blades to get the size you want. And since the #1005 blades give you a 3mm adjusting range, it means that moving the taper lever a third of the distance it covers from fully-opened to fully-closed should give you about 1mm i.e. opening by a third adds 1mm and closing by the same distance removes 1mm from your cutting length.

4. Therefore, if your taper lever is fully open, all you have to do is to close it by a third of its working distance to get a 15mm-long cut or by two-thirds of the distance to get 14mm of cutting length.

5. Pro tip: Always start with a longer length and then gradually reduce it to the size you want i.e. Start with size 16mm, then 15mm, then 14mm... until you achieve your desired length. Why? Because starting with a shorter size won't give you the opportunity to test longer sizes when looking for your ideal length; you'll have to wait until your beard grows back up to test the next size. And you don't want that, do you? So, high to low - that's the way to go.

Anyway, Phil. I hope this is helpful even in the slightest of ways. As I said, there aren't any size 14mm or 15mm guards available, so, this workaround might be your best option. In case you have any other questions about this, feel free to ask.

Thank you and have a splendid week.

Phil Phil

Thanks very much for the awesome, detailed answer, Barber Mike!


Hi Barber Mike,

Thanks for the helpful article! I have settled on a Wahl #10 and then taper around the ears. The challenge is getting a clean cut with this long attachment. I go back and forth dozens of times, recomb etc and still a little more hair gets cut each pass. I have fairly straight, mostly gray hair with lots of cowlicks. Do I need better technique, shaver or clip, possibly a clip with more tines or metal, that would better control the hair?

Thanks much!

Barber Mike Barber Mike

Hi, FA.

I hope you are doing great and I'm humbled that you found the post helpful.


This is a bit tricky because of the cowlicks. But from experience, I may have some possible clues as to why you aren't getting a clean cut. So, let me walk you through each.

1. You're Using the Wrong Clipping Style
This is the most probable reason why you keep cutting more hair with each pass. My guess is that you are cutting along your hair grains instead of against it.

Cutting hair against your natural patterns helps you to cut more hair off easily and more efficiently. But, if you have curly hair, it may seem like you've taken off more hair than you intended to. But, on the plus side, this method will ensure you get an exact #10 haircut.

On the other hand, cutting along your grain means that your clipper will only cut small amounts of hair per pass, hence, the need to make multiple passes. And you still won't be able to get the intended #10 with this technique; plus, you may end up with an uneven haircut.

So, try cutting against the flow/pattern/grain of your hair including the cowlicks. And if the problem persists, try the other solutions below.

2. Inconsistencies Caused by Cowlicks
Your clipping issue could also be as a result of the cowlicks. Why? Well, cowlicks tend to grow contrary to your hair's natural patterns. And that makes it hard to maintain a level/evenly-sized haircut all around your head.

Unfortunately, there isn't much you can do about cowlicks. I know that they can be stubborn. Anyway, I'm not sure if this post about taming cowlick will help, but you can give it a try.

3. You are Using Flimsy Guard Combs
So, the third reason I can think of is that your guard combs aren't very sturdy. Most of the standard guards we buy with hair clippers are often made of weak plastic.

If this is your case, it means that your guard may be tilting during usage and that can cause the inconsistencies in hair sizes. To fix this, consider getting premium-grade Wahl guide combs and give it a try.

4. You're Using The Wrong Clipper Blades for Your Hair Type
What do I mean by this? Well, there are several blade technologies available today. If you have curly or soft hair, a standard clipper blade may not be as efficient. And that's why you have to do several passes before getting the size you want.

Anyway, a good example of a clipper blade that's designed for all hair types is the Wahl Magic Clip's #2161 Staggered-Tooth. It's serrated, hence, able to grab and cut hair on the first pass. I've also seen similar blades on the BaBylissPRO X2 Volare. So, I'd recommend you get one of these clippers and see if it solves your issue.

That's just about it. I hope this helps you. And in case, you have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask. I'll be more than happy to help.

Have an awesome weekend FA
Thank you.

the dane barber the dane barber

Hey there,

i hear a few guys around the shop talking about a #1 UK guard instead of a normal #1 guard. do you know what that might be and if there is any difference with the actual guards sizes?

Thank you,

Jessie(aka the dane barber)

Barber Mike Barber Mike

Hi, Jessie.

I hope you are doing great man. So, about the #1 UK guard. To be honest, I've never heard of it, and I'm pretty sure it doesn't exist.


Well, because we all use clippers from the same brands - Wahl, Oster, Andis, Phillips, BaBylissPRO, and more. Therefore, Wahls' #1 guard in the U.S. will be just the same as the one you'll find in the U.K.

However, you should note there may be some differences in how brands number their attachment combs. For example, from the post, you may have noticed the #1/2 from Wahl measures 1.5mm while the #0.5 from Andis measures 2.4mm.

Bottom line?

You can get different guard sizes and numbers from different hair clipper brands, but that won't be the case with guide combs from the same brand.

But anyway, I hope this helps. In case you find out what they guys meant, please let me know. I'm also a bit curious about all this. :)

Have an awesome weekend ahead.

James James

Great article! Is it possible to use clippers to maintain a medium length cut? I have been growing my hair out during quarantine and I want to trim it a little to give it some shape and keep it healthy, but I don't want to take any; significant length off. Right now it is about 3 inches on the back and sides and about 6 on top. This is the look I am going for: https://images.app.goo.gl/eDqci4JRzdiFhnLC6

Any tips? I just bought a set of Wahl clippers. Should I look to buy some really long guards?

Barber Mike Barber Mike

Hi, James.

Glad to hear from you. I hope you are doing great. Anyway, to answer your question; the biggest clipper guards you can get online are 2 inches long and from third-party manufacturers like Clipquik and Miaco. And that means that they won't be of use to you because they are shorter.


There are other ways to maintain that awesome Matt Bomer hairstyle at home. Here are your options:

1. Use a Pair of Scissors With a CombPal Cutting Kit
In this option, you'll be using the scissor-over-comb method to trim your hair. It's the easiest to do for a DIY haircut. Here's a YouTube video that shows how the CombPal works. Unfortunately, the Kit's largest guide comb is of size 3.5 inches. So, it will only be useful for maintaining your sides and back.

As for the 6-inch top, you'll have to approximate the length as you cut. Note that it won't be easy to maintain consistency if you cut the hair yourself. So, advisably, have someone else do this for you. Here's a good scissor-over-comb video tutorial that can help you perfect this.

2. Do a Clipper-Over-Comb Haircut (Still Using the CombPal Kit)
This is just the same procedure as Option 1 above. The only difference is that you'll use your Wahl clipper instead of a pair of scissors to cut hair over your CombPal.

3. You Can Use a FLOWBEE Haircutting System
The FLOWBEE is one of a kind and allows you to cut your hair between 1/2" and 6". It's probably your best option for maintaining a 6-inch long hair at the top. Although, I'm not sure if these systems are still available on Amazon or even in use these days. But if you can get your hands on one, it can be of help - for both the sides and top. Here's a quick demonstration of how a FLOWBEE works.

PS: Watch this video if you have access to a 3D printer. Maybe this method will give you a better solution.

Anyway, I hope this helps you, James. But please get back to me on this in case you find a better way to go about it at home. And don't hesitate to ask in case you have any other questions.

Thank you and have an awesome weekend.


Hi Mike,

Thanks for the excellent article. A lot of the recommended clippers are sold out in Canada. I found one online at Walmart that is quite cheap (C$30): Philips Hair Clipper Series 3000 HC3505/15 (https://www.walmart.ca/en/ip/philips-hair-clipper-series-3000-hc350515/6000199338449). Do you think this is a good one for home haircuts?
Also, the above Philips clippers come with only 1 guard comb but there are 13 in-built length settings on the clippers (0.5 to 23mm) which you can select and lock-in once the comb is attached. Is this design better or worse than what you see on the Wahl/Oster models (e.g. Magic Clip) which have individual guard combs for each length?

Also somewhat related, how are Philips brand clippers in general? They also have some high-end ones for DIY home use at https://www.philips.ca/c-m-pe/hair-clippers/diy-clippers/all#filters=DIY_CLIPPERS_SU.

Mike Medders Mike Medders

Hi, AJ.

Glad you enjoyed the post. Phillips is a great brand with a lot of quality clippers and trimmers on its product catalog. Now, despite the fact that I haven’t had the opportunity to use it, I believe the Philips Hair Clipper Series 3000 HC3505/15 is an impressive home hair clipper. In fact, the correct word to use is unique or out-of-the-norm. Why?

Well, for starters, its design is not something you see every day. It’s ergonomic; allowing for a nice, strong grip. What’s more, haircut size adjustments are quite easy to achieve thanks to this clipper’s 13 lock-in length settings. And the best part is that it’s a very low-maintenance tool. All these features make it easy to use and handle; hence, giving it all the qualities of a good home hair clipper.

About the guide combs, I feel like the 13 lock-in length settings are more than enough; unless you like cutting your hair longer than 23mm. Plus, since you can make length/size adjustments on your clipper, it’s more convenient than dealing with separate guide combs. So, yes. In a way, it’s better than some Wahl/Oster models.

Now, the only issue I might have with the Philips Hair Clipper Series 3000 is the fact that you can’t use it as a cordless clipper. This is a problem because home haircutting works well when you have flexibility and freedom. So, if it comes with a short cord, you may be inconvenienced. But still, that depends on you and your skill level as a home barber. Anyway, I’d recommend it.

Does this answer your question? If not, please, don’t hesitate to ask for more clarifications.

As always, thank you for visiting WiseBarber. And if you are looking for great deals and offers on Barbering products, consider subscribing to my newsletter.

Have an awesome time.

Cheers, Mike

chris chris

Hi Mike great article.

Recently purchased an Andis Master. I want my hair at 19mm. Would I just place a #6 guard onto a closed lever or use a lower number blade with an open lever ?

It gets confusing. Thanks so much.

Barber Mike Barber Mike

Hi, Chris.

Great to hear from you. To answer your question, the #6 guard comb fitted onto a closed-blades clipper should give you a 19mm haircut.

Basically, opening your blades/taper lever will add some length to your hair clipper and you'll end up with hair sizes longer than 19mm. Therefore, keep your taper lever closed when you want to cut the exact size of your guide comb.

Anyway, don't hesitate to ask if you have any other questions. Thank you and have an awesome weekend.

Chris Chris

Barber Mike,

You are too kind. Thank You so much for your reply and your help. Totally understand now.

One more "interesting" question if you don't mind.

If you had a choice to do a #6 Andis Master all over (3/4") vs an Oster76 3 3/4 blade (1/2").....would you give up an 1/8" of length to be able to get the precision cut that the Oster76 blades deliver or would the magnetic #6 guard on the Andis Master be more than sufficient of a cut as far as quality goes ?

Have a super weekend.

Mike Medders Mike Medders

Hi Chris,

First of all, sorry for the late reply. Didn't see it. Anyway...

Great question! See, I always believe that the quality of a haircut is more important than its length. Why? Well, in most cases, no one can make an accurate estimation of how long your hair is; they’ll just generalize it as short, medium, or long. Right?

But as far as quality goes, it’s not something you can hide. Anybody can tell whether your haircut looks good or not; with ease

Case and point:

If you feel that the Oster 76’s 3-3/4 blades will do a better job than the #6 Andis Master, then, by all means, go the Oster way. But, if you are dealing with a client, make sure you run it by them first; let them decide whether they want quality or length precision. The last thing you want is to cut their hair 1/4" shorter only to discover that they were more interested in the length of their haircut; not the quality.

Anyway, I hope that answers your question. Thank you for visiting WiseBarber and don’t hesitate to ask some more. I always appreciate your feedback.


The Dane Barber The Dane Barber

Hey Barber Mike,

Its Jessie again, So ive found out what they were reffering to has the #1 UK Guard. So Apparently Menspire UK sells a #1 guards which says its 3mm however compared to a Wahl #1 3mm or a Babyliss #1 3mm it is a bit smaller. It acts almost has a 0.85 guard if there was one that actually exisited. I must say the bottom of the fades do come out alot cleaner and tighter. just have to make sure to really flcik the wrist when you get to the top part.

if ever your want to check out some of my work. My instagram handle is; The_dane_barber

Thank you,

Jessie(aka. the dane barber)

This is really appreciated that you have presented this data over here, I love all the information shared. It will be very helpful to understand the hair clipper guard sizes. Great post to share!!

Barber Mike Barber Mike


joel rochow joel rochow

This is great stuff! Glad I happened upon it.

Is there any way I can determine what length my Vietnamese-American barbershop usually cuts my hair? Perhaps I am asking the impossible. Would a series of photographs help? Can I take a "test drive" as it were with various combs?

Thanks for writing so well.

Barber Mike Barber Mike

Hi Joel,

Thank you for visiting WiseBarber. Anyway, your question is a bit tricky. What I can say is that there's no clear or predefined way to measure your hair length accurately. But here is what I suggest you do:

1. Ask your barber what size he uses. This is the simplest and fastest way to determine your usual hair length; plus, it will get you more accurate results. If you've been getting haircuts from them for long, you don't have to visit their barbershop; a simple call will do - because chances are that they know it off-head. If that's not possible, try this next step.

2. Use a ruler to measure your hair length. Please note that this method will only work if you have hair that's longer than an inch. Just get a small ruler, pinch a few strands of hair, gently pull them up till they are fully straightened out and hold, place the ruler in line with the strands you are holding (upright), and note the measurement of the hair from the base (your scalp) to the top of your hair strands. Repeat this process on several different parts of your head and get the average of all measurements you collect to get a rough estimate of how long your hair is. But this will only apply if you have an evenly sized haircut; for a fade or taper, you can only use this method to measure the length of your top hair. Also, this may not be an ideal method for any haircut below an inch in length because it will be really hard to do this correctly. For shorter hair lengths, try this next step.

3. Make approximations. If you can't do any of the options above, you can approximate the length of your hair based on pictures with known haircut lengths. All you need are pictures of haircuts with different and known haircut sizes. Take each picture and compare it to your haircut to see which one looks just like yours in terms of size. Note that this is probably the most unreliable method and may have tons of inaccuracies. But it will be useful in some way if all the other options don't work.

Anyway, that's it, Joel. I hope you find a method that works best for you. Be sure to get back to me when you crack this; I'd like to know which one will work. Also, don't hesitate to ask a question if you have any. I'll be more than happy to help. Thank you.


Julie Julie

Question. At my work we use wahl and oster clipper brands. I have a wahl but want to try the oster. My oster 76 came with the 000 blade. If someone comes in and wants a #2, what guard would I put on my 000 blade? Or if they want a #4 guard to make it a 1/2 inch long which guard would I put on my 000? I just heard the length is different between the wahl and Oster

Mike Medders Mike Medders

Howdy, Julie.

Since the Oster Classic 76 comes with detachable blades, it’s not possible to achieve a 1/2" haircut with the #000 blades. However, there is a way around this. You can purchase and use a #2 Oster Blade together with a #2 Oster Universal guard to achieve a #4 haircut. And so, for a #2 (1/4") haircut, you’ll need a #2 Oster Blade instead of the #000.

The difference between the Classic 76 and a Wahl clipper is that the latter comes with an adjustable taper lever. Therefore, when a Wahl Clipper’s blades are closed, all you’ll need to do is attach a guard size for the requested haircut size. But for the Classic 76, you’ll have to combine both the blade sizes and guard combs to come up with the right haircut length. Anyway, let me know if you need further assistance.

Thank you for visiting WiseBarber.com

jhon jhon

Even though I'm using trimmers for the last many years but never thought about the use of all those settings provided. I was today years old when I realize the use of all these settings provided in a trimmer. Thank you Barber Mike for sharing this important piece of information.

Mike Medders Mike Medders

I'm glad I helped :)

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