Clippers are a brilliant grooming tool but they do not always function smoothly. Clattering or grinding noise is the most common clipper problem people face. I have been there and just like you, I also used to believe I was unlucky to receive a defective product.
While that could well be the case, the main culprit for the noise is mostly lack of tuning, at least for Wahl and Andris clippers. I have owned and used the clippers of both brands at some point and both of them had this annoying noise issue. Tuning the clipper was all it took to fix the problem.
However, sometimes, the high decibel could be an indicator of a more serious issue. But fret not. In this detailed guide, I will go over all the possible causes and solutions for noisy hair clippers.
Hopefully, by the end of this article, you will figure out a way to make your clipper quiet.
Why Your Andis/Wahl Clippers Are Making Loud Noise?
The first step to fixing a problem is getting to the root of the problem. During my research, I have come across a lot of Andis clipper users complaining about loud noise when they turn on their clipper. Wahl clippers are no exception. To think that both Wahl and Andis are two of the biggest manufacturers of hair clippers puts things into perspective.
After a few hours of digging around, I narrowed down the possible causes of clipper noise to the following:
- The most common reason could be that your clipper isn’t tuned to the voltage of your area (applicable only for corded clippers). Voltage can vary by +/-10%.
- The second probable cause could be the lack of lubrication in the blades. If a machine has moving parts, it will require periodical oiling to function properly. If your clipper is old and you haven’t cleaned and oiled the blades in quite some time, your clipper is bound to produce an abnormal amount of grinding sound.
- The clipper you have bought houses a poor quality, underpowered motor. Although rare, if the motor is the culprit, there’s no way to fix the issue, unfortunately.
The only solution would be to buy a new clipper with a quality motor. Later in the article, I will talk in detail about what kind of clipper motors make the least amount of noise.
How to Make Clippers Quiet: Hacks That (Almost) Always Work
If Your Clipper Is Out-of-tune
If you are sure the loud buzzing noise is owing to the clipper not being tuned to the voltage of your location, the solution is pretty simple. Here’s what you got to do-
Step 1: Grab a Philips flathead screwdriver. Some Wahl clippers come with a tool for the job. If you have it, grab that.
Step 2: Plug the clipper in and turn the device on.
Step 3: Do you see a power screw on the side with a slit on it? Slide the screwdriver in it and slowly turn it clockwise (to your right). Keep turning halfway or until it goes from a pleasant buzzing noise to a loud clattering noise.
Step 4: When the noise gets louder, start turning the screw counter-clockwise (to the left). Keep turning until the noise goes back to the normal level. Give it an extra quarter of a turn in the same direction.
Step 5: Turn the clipper on and off a couple of times to make sure it’s working properly.
If Your Clipper Blades Are the Clogged and Ungreased
Noise or no noise, you should make it a point to clean and oil your clipper blades from time to time to keep the clipper in good shape. Some clippers have a sealed design, meaning you won’t be able to detach the blades for cleaning.
However, most mid-high range models come with snap-on blades. Irrespective of your clipper model type, here are some easy common steps you can follow to revamp your hair clipper blades:
Step 1: Unplug your clipper or make sure it’s turned off if it is a battery-powered model.
Step 2: Steadily hold the clipper at a downward angle and dust off the excess hair trimmings with a cleaning brush.
If your model allows you to unscrew the blades, go ahead and do that. You will be surprised by the amount of excess hair and dirt you find underneath.
The clipper blades were possibly jammed and making loud, clattering noise because of this buildup. Use the brush to clean that stuff off and reattach the blades
Step 3: Add two to three drops of Wahl clipper oil onto the blades and turn on the clipper. The motion of the blades will make sure the oil is well spread.
After reattaching and oiling the blades, you will need to realign the blades to ensure proper functioning. Follow the steps below to realign your clippers blades-
- Make sure the screws are only semi-loose so that you can maneuver the blades easily.
- Align the top and bottom blades parallelly to each other.
- Don’t level the two blades. The top blade should be at least 0.8 mm back from the bottom blade teeth to prevent pinching and nicking.
- Lastly, while aligning, ensure that the extreme left-hand tooth of the top blade is over the first small tooth of the bottom blade.
- Similarly, the extreme right-hand tooth of the top blade should be aligned with the big tooth of the bottom blade.
- Once done, tighten the screws, turn the clipper on and off a few times to see if everything is working fine.
If the Motor Is at Fault
If the above-mentioned methods failed, it’s time you consider the possibility of a faulty motor. The motor size and torque heavily influence the quietness of the clipper. A subpar motor will burn out really fast, simultaneously amping up the decibel level.
The bigger and mightier the motor is, the quieter and faster your clipper will be. There’s no easy way to fix a faulty motor, at least not without spending an unnecessary amount of money.
Instead of attempting the nearly impossible, consider buying a new clipper with a high-quality motor. Now, what’s a high-quality clipper motor like? Let’s see:
Rotary motor-powered clippers are the weapon of choice for professional hairstylists all over the globe. These motors have a terrific torque, combined with great speed, hence no loud noise.
If you are getting a clipper for tough, dense hair or pet fur removal purpose, consider getting a rotary motor clipper for best results.
While not as formidably powerful as a rotary motor, pivot motors are a league of their own. These motors generate enough power to cut through thick hair but at a lower blade speed.
You don’t usually see the noise level going above 50 decibels, even at the highest speed on such clippers. So unless you need a clipper for bulk hair removal, a clipper with a pivot motor will easily meet your grooming needs.
When it comes to speed, magnetic motors are nearly on par with rotary motors. Clippers made with magnetic motors are affordable and lightweight.
In such clippers, an electromagnet and a spring work together to move the blades back and forth. While this produces amazing speed, the motor isn’t quite as powerful as the other two motor types. It’s also the noisiest of the three clipper motor variants. Therefore, I will recommend it for occasional use and cutting thin hair only.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, clipper noise is a pretty common issue and is easily fixable. However, if tuning the clipper and oiling the blade alone isn’t making the clattering noise go away, it’s probably best to invest in a new clipper.
If the grinding sound is the result of an underpowered motor, continuing to use the same clipper will be a criminal waste of your time and effort. A weak motor won’t allow the blades to cut properly, possibly resulting in uneven shave and injuries.
It also inevitably overheats the motor, causing permanent damage in no time. However, don’t panic just yet. Your clipper most likely needs a tuning. And just in case it doesn’t work, there’s no dearth of decent-quality budget clippers in the market.