How To Align Clipper Blades (Say Goodbye to Uneven Cuts)

Knowing how to adjust clipper blades can save you a lot of headaches.

In this article, we will go through the process of correctly adjusting your clipper blades, (I will also provide you some extra tips to get it right.)

So with that said, let’s get into it. 

How to Align Clipper Blades

Aligning hair clippers is very simple, Here are the steps, and here’s an image so you know the parts I’m referencing.

How to Allign Hair Clippers
How to Adjust Hair Clippers
Step 1
 Slightly loosen the screws on the back of your clipper blade. 

Just enough to be able to move the guard blade 

You don’t have to take off the screws.
Step 2
Move the tape lever up so it’s closed.
Step 3
Now the aim is to move and get the cutting blade straight and parallel with the guard blade.

Nudge the cutting blade until it straightens up and is parallel to the guard blade/ front cutting rail blade. 

Go to eye level to better assess this.
Step 4
Once everything looks straight, tighten the screws carefully.

turn the clipper on and off a couple of times to check if it’s working all right 

Now, this is only a quick outline of how to adjust your cutting blade to get it straight. I go through this process in more detail later on in this article.

But what about the tension or the correct default position for your blades? 

Why is it so important to adjust hair clipper blades? 

We’ll in the rest of this article, I love these questions and go more in-depth on other techniques. 

Why It’s Important to Adjust Clipper Blades 

If you’re here, you’ve probably realized aligning your clippers is pretty important, and you’d be right. 

It can significantly affect your clipper performance and if you’re a barber, possibly your reputation. 

These are some reasons. 

Un-even cuts 

Mis-aligned blades simply do not cut well. 

Some sections of your hair could become shorter or longer than others. This could leave you with a patchy and ugly look. 

To avoid this, it’s important to align the blades so that they are cutting evenly. 

Irritation to skin

When clipper blades are misaligned, they can pull hair or snag on the skin.


This can cause discomfort or even injury.

This can be especially problematic if you or your client have sensitive skin. . 

Damage to blades

Yes, misaligned blades, do damage the blades themselves. 

Over time, misaligned blades will wear unevenly. 

One side of the blade can become worn out from cutting as that side takes up most of the work when cutting. 

This may mean you have to replace your clippers a lot sooner than you would’ve hoped.

This can become very costly.

Decrease efficiency

When your blades aren’t set, everything just becomes poor all around. 

When the blades of the clippers are not aligned, they don’t cut effectively

This can result in haircuts taking longer to complete, as we said earlier, you have to keep going over the patch of hair, again and again, and again. 

If barbers or stylists are working with multiple clients in a day, this can become quite frustrating and time-consuming.

Align your clippers correctly for the best realists.

How to Adjust Hair Clippers

Next, I’ll go into more detail on aligning your hair clippers

Before you align your clippers, you need to make sure they need it. 

Take a look at your hair clippers, and do the cutting blade slightly off. 

Don’t remove your blades this is to show the parts

If the cutting blade is slanted to one side, it could be due to the tension of the blades.

You must check to see if the tension of your blades is set right. 

The simple way to check this is just by turning your clippers on. If the curing blade moves as normal then the tension on your clip is fine.

But if you want to be sure, you can follow the steps below to find the check further 

Step 1

Turn off your clippers

Step 2

Find the top cutting blade on your clippers – (the blade you visibly see move ad the hair clipper is on)

Step 3

Using your index finger push the side of the cutting blade inward with relative force. (do this once or twice from either side). Do not do it too much as you could miss-align the blades.

The blade should easily slide across without too much friction or movement. If
If you have a hard time pushing across, the tension is too much but if it’s too easy and your blade visibly moves then it’s too loose.

Hair clipper
This test is to the extreme, in general, if you turn your clippers on and the cutting blade moves as usual without heating up too quickly or ratting and making noise, then the tension is fine.

If you notice your blades are loose and slightly misaligned, then you need to sort this out. 

Luckily you can solve both of these problems with the steps below. 

Set the tension on your blades

How To Fix Hair Clipper Tension

Set the tension on your blades

Step 1: Screws

Find the screws on the back of your hair clipper.

Step 2: Find out

After your test depending on the problem, you need to figure out whether you’re going to tighten or loosen the tension in your blades.

If your blades need tightening, turn the screws clockwise if they need slight losing to turn them anticlockwise.

Do this very slowly on both screws and do the tension test as you screw. 
When you feel the tension is right, stop.

Now unscrew the blade slightly so you have wiggle room for the back cutting rail to align the blades.

Do this very slowly on both screws and do the tension test as you screw. 

When you feel the tension is right, stop.

Unscrew the blade guard slightly so you have wiggle room.

Now we can begin to Allign your clippers correctly

Wahl clipper blade alignment

This video helps to show this step and it is with a wahl clipper, but you can easily use these steps with any hair clipper brand.  

Step 1: Asses

Go to eye level with your blade teeth

Step 2: Close the blades

Close the clipper lever and make sure both blades are straight.

Step 3: Correct Gap

Check to make sure there is a slight gap between both blades, if there isn’t move the front cutting blade up or down until the is, about the width of a credit card.

This video illustrates how to set the right gap – watch from 2:25 – 4 then come back to the steps last steps.

Align your clippers as shown before you tighten the screws.

Step 4: Align correctly

Now before you tighten the screws to the right tension point you need to make sure your blade default position is right.

Make sure that the cutting blade and try to position the blades as shown in the image above.

Step 5: Finish up

Once everything is aligned, slowly tighten your screws to the correct tension point you found earlier. 

Now your clippers are aligned correctly with the right tension.

How to adjust clippers to cut shorter

Did you know you can adjust your clipper blades to cut A lot closer?

This technique is zero gaping your clippers. 

Zero gapping is when you set the cutting blade as close as it can be to the guard blade (Back blade), while still leaving a small gap when the taper lever is closed.

By pushing your cutting blade to the very edge of your guard blade, it will begin to cut better

Here’s how you do it: 

Step 1

Unscrew the clippers at the back of your hair clippers slightly, you don’t have to remove them completely (unless you looking to clean your clippers) 

Make sure you can wiggle the guard blade, you should focus on moving this more than the cutting blade.

Step 2

Close your clipper lever. 

This shows you the maximum extent your clippers can move in comparison to your guard blade. 

Step 3:

In this position, move the cutting blade as close to the end of the guard blade as you can.

Step 3

Now, this is very important, make sure the cutting blade NEVER passes the guard blade as you zero gap your clippers.

If that happens your clippers will cut skin as the cutting blade is exposed.

Step 4

Now make sure the cutting blade is straight and aligned correctly with tension. 

(We won’t through this earlier) 

At this point, you can tighten up the screws. 

And just like that your clippers can now cut the hair shorter.

The video below best illustrates this process: 


In this article, we went over how to adjust clipper blades.

Aligning hair clippers is an important step in ensuring that your haircuts are precise and accurate. 

When your clippers are misaligned, they can cause uneven cuts and damage to the hair. 

By following the steps outlined in this article, you can easily align your hair clippers and keep them in top condition for optimal performance.

If you have found this article helpful, please check out other articles on this topic below.


How do I know if my clipper blades need aligning?

If your clippers are pulling hair or cutting unevenly, it’s a sign that the blades may need aligning. You can also check for visible gaps between the blades.

Can I align my clipper blades at home or do I need to take them to a professional?

You can align your clipper blades at home, but it’s important to have the right tools and knowledge to do so safely and effectively.

How often should I align my clipper blades?

Only align when the blade isn’t straight or your cuts become un-even

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.