Can Hair Clippers Cut Skin? (The Lowdown)

So you want to know, can hair clippers cut skin?

Well, you’ve come to the right place!

In this article, we’ll go through what you should know about clippers.

How to stop you your clippers from cutting skin if they do so… And we have other common clipper questions that may intrigue you.

So, with that said, let’s begin. 

Can hair clippers cut skin?

Yes, hair clippers can cut skin but it’s very unlikely – rare even.

Most to all hair clippers are made to cut long/short hair without touching the skin.

If your clippers are cutting skin, It may be due to other reasons.

If your clippers are cutting skin, check out this article on possible fixes:

How To Stop Clippers From Biting (Tame your clippers)

So you want to know how to stop clippers from biting. Well, You’re in the right place for answers. We’ll go …

Now, the overall topic of clipper cutting skin.

Why Are My Clippers Cutting Skin?

Hair clippers are safe (I explain in detail why towards the bottom of this article).

But you shouldn’t worry about them cutting skin, however, they are sometimes where they can. I will talk more about that below. 

If the skin gets caught between the cutting blade teeth, hair clippers can cut the skin.

Fragile/ sensitive skin are more likely to cut also. 

If possible avoid cutting dry skin. Not only is it difficult to cut smoothly, but the added pressure makes the skin weak and very open to cuts. 

If this applies to you, try to add make sure your scalp/ skin is as moisturized and as smooth as possible before you apply clippers and angle your clippers to stop the cutting blade from passing over the skin.

Soft/ loose/ thin skin are areas most at risk of cutting

Your ears are accessible places that can be cut by your clippers.

You should also be on the lookout for loose/ fatty skin. 

This can be along the side and back of your neck and if you’re taking your clippers down there… you should take it very slowly and be very careful. 

These causes are one of the ways clippers can cut/ irritate the skin, but there are some other ways I cover below. 

Can Trimmer Cut Skin?

At times, clippers may cut you but they can certainly hurt you in other ways. 

One of these forms of damage cabs be razor burns

Razor burns are when clipper blades get too hot and burn the skin when in contact

Most hair clippers don’t overheat. Clippers are made to cut hair constantly. It doesn’t matter if it is high or even cheap and crap. 

But at times the constant friction against hair can cause clippers to heat up quickly but I found this to be more common in animal clippers rather than human clippers as they simply have more hair/ fur to go through. 

However, there are some other reasons why overheat. These are:

  • Lack of oiling
  • Too much power within you clippers
  • Lack of maintenance
  • Dull blades
  • Hair too tough or dirty to cut through
Touch the back of your hand as you trim to make sure the blade ain’t too hot to be used on the skin

Dull blades are another hair-clipper part that can cause skin issues. 

Dull blades can pull and Irritate skin which is painful and give the illusion of skin being cut/damaged 

Fragile/ sensitive skin are more likely to cut also. If possible avoid cutting dry skin not only is it difficult to cut smoothly, but the added pressure makes the skin weak to cuts

If you have sensitive skin and motive your skin becomes red or swells up after a haircut, apply some moisturizer or regular treatment moisturizer after a haircut. 

But in my opinion, you can’t go wrong with applying some cooling aloe Vera. 

But be sure to check with your medical physician before applying any new products to your skin

You can add a cool compress of towel to your skin also, but most of the time, just leaving your skin and waiting for it to work itself out can be the best solution.

Avoid applying anything rough on your skin. 

Earlier I said that you shouldn’t be too worried about your clippers cutting your skin but why do I say that? 

I explain more next. 

Why don’t hair clippers cut skin

Clippers are built in a way that stops the blade that cuts, from ever touching the skin due to a natural gap between the cutting blade and guard bale.

Blades are made to vibrate using a motor so that the hair is cut, the nut is never violent enough to cut the skin unless the clippers are modified.

High quality, heck even regular or ‘bad’ hair clippers shouldn’t cut skin. 

Industry-made clippers when prepared make sure all clips are aligned correctly and no matter how close the blade is, the cutting blade always stays behind the front cutting rail.

Clippers can cut skin if the cutting blade is over the front cutting rail.

But most manufacturers make sure this doesn’t happen and often leave a large gap between the end of the front cutting and cutting blade teeth when clippers are closed. 

But as safe as you think you are .. accidents happen.

Dropping or hitting the blades can knock them out of alignment and could result in nicking the skin. Always inspect your blades prior to use.

To check if your cutting blade is set right, use the lever to close your clipper blades (this pushes the cutting blade close to the end of the front cutting rail).

Zero gap trimmers

If you notice the cutting blade pops out above the front cutting rail, then you have a problem.

As I said earlier, this can come about from dropping your clippers, misaligning them, or simply or botched attempts at zero-gapping your clippers

To fix this, you need to look at aligning your blade for the cutting blade always sits behind the front cutting rail blade no matter whether your clippers are open or closed.

To double-check, run clippers against the back of your hand before putting them on your scalp.

If you still feel unsafe about clippers cutting your skin. Use your guards. 

Guards are built to help reduces the risk of clippers pulling the skin. Use them. 

But you must realize that if you want to closer cut, you simply won’t be able to as guards stop it. 

But as long as your clipper is aligned right, the cutting is behind the front cutting rail and your skin is smooth and stretched, I don’t see why you can’t use your clippers as normal. 

Can hair clippers cut body hair?

Hair clippers can cut body skin however it’s recommended as it’s not precise. 

The lack of precision means they can struggle to cut single bits of hair which are more spread out across the body compared to large chunks of hair we have on our heads. 

For this reason, it is advised you opt for a trimmer rather than a hair clipper when looking to cut/ shave hairs on your body.

Edgers and trimmers have smaller blade teeth and vibrate at a higher rate making Them better equipped for cutting singular hairs on the body. 

Either way, whether you use a hair clipper, edger, or trimmer, look to pull the skin as much as you can to stop clippers from cutting the skin on any part of your body. 

Clippers are designed for the head. They are built to cut through lots of hair and use them for their most preferred role. 

Can clippers cause infection?

Yes, If you cut yourself with a type of clipper blade it can cause an infection. 

What type of blade do you ask? 

That would be a rusty hair clipper.  

Rusty clippers are dangerous, Rusty clippers can hold viral, fungal, and bacterial infections that can enter the skin and release toxins which can lead to many illnesses, the worst being tetanus.

Now, I must stress, it’s not the rust that is the problem. The rust in a clipper can at times cause no problems but the risk of using your clipper is something I wouldn’t recommend. 

Rust on blades can hold all sorts of pathogens and it only takes a simple cut for it to be transmitted to anyone. 

This is why as a barber/clipper owner you must make sure to clean and sterilize your hair clippers frequently to reduce the likelihood of transmitting infection. 
Maintain your clippers correctly with my free hair clipper guide.


In this article we answered the question: can hair clippers cut skin, the simple answer is yes but it’s unlikely. 

In the of a chance they do, it’s due to: 

  • Loose skin
  • Sensitive skin 
  • Dry skin
  • Misplaced cutting blade

Most clippers are safe and you shouldn’t worry about them cutting skin but if you are still unsure, check out ways to fix clippers cutting the skin


Why do hair clippers cut skin?

Clippers cut skin mainly due to misplaced clipper blades. Hair clippers are not designed to cut the skin so if they do it’s either the clipper itself is faulty or the skin itself is too dry, loose, or sensitive.

Patrick Boulang

Patrick Boulang

Patrick is the Primary editor for Clipphub. He has sales background however has always had a passion in barbering and personal self grooming. He now he spends most of his time giving information to hair clipper users to get them comfortable with personal grooming and improve their work on clients as he believes anyone can become skills with their blades.