Scissors vs Clippers (The Pros and Cons of Each Tool)

Scissors vs Clippers. 

Two versatile tools with many benefits. 

But where do they work best and how can you use each to get the look you want? 

This article will go over their differences (and I’ll give you tips to get the best from your tools

With that said, let’s get into it. 

Scissors vs clipper

Using scissors for your haircut will give you a natural textured look, meanwhile, electric clippers give you more of a clean low-cut look.

For clipper haircuts, you would use different sizes of guards to adjust the length of the hair being cut whereas, with clipper hair different hair, lengths are achieved depending on how much hair is pulled.

This is only a quick guide on both tools. 

But what are the major differences in cuts and how do they work on beards? 

We cover all of this next. 

Scissor cut vs clipper cut

Scissor cuts and clipper cuts have a very simple difference. 

With one, you use scissors to cut hair in which you utilize a comb for the majority of the cut. 

Clippers or trimmers usually come with an attachable guard to perform more faded cuts to shorten the hair. 

Scissor cutting requires a higher skill level and accuracy to pull off but, fading and clipper cuts take expertise too. 

Any professional offering either service at a good is someone who has worked on the skill as they both can get complicated depending on hair.

What is a clipper cut?

A clipper cut is a haircut where clippers do the back and sides or at least 50% of the hair is cut with clippers. 

This is the middle to lower side of the head.

Clippers tend to be used closer to the neck, but the range can vary from high fades to low taper fades. 

Either way, if clippers are the main tool used to cut hair, then it would be classed as a clipper cut.

Also, clipper cuts usually do not include blow drying.

When deciding where you want to get a clipper, you need to be mindful of where the hair professional (barber/salon) can give you a good clipper cut. 

Not every stylist can do clipper cuts (however, this is changing in recent times).

The skillsets between both barbers and hairdressers are overlapping as barbershops become more inclusive of women’s hairstyles and salons become more inclusive of men’s hairstyles. 

In previous times they didn’t teach it to use at cosmetology school, so most salons picked it up as pixie cuts and shorter hairstyles got in trend. But you can always ask your hairdresser whether they do the style. 

But proffesional who attend barber school tend to get the hang of both clipper and scissor cuts.

But self-thought barbers tend to spend years doing clipper cuts and fade and less time spent learning the art of cutting long hair with scissors unless they want that skill t

Most good barbers, take pride in their work and hone their craft until they can be comfortable doing types of clipper and scissor cuts especially if it’s for their clientele.

But overall, if you want a clean cut, go to a barber. If you aren’t as picky, then a stylist can do too.

On average, using hair clippers to cut hair takes less time than a haircut using mainly scissors.

But any haircut can be achieved with either clippers or scissors as long as the person in practice knows what they’re doing, it may just have to depend on the type of look you are after as we mentioned earlier. 

Scissors and clippers On Beard 

Trimming your beard. 

It’s important to keep a fresh look, but how should you approach it? 

When it comes to trimming a beard, it would be best for you to use a beard trimmer compared to hair clippers. 

Don’t get me wrong, you certainly can use your hair clippers to trim your beard, and it can turn out decent (especially with the use of guards).

You can also get your grooming done rather quickly. 

However, the control, flexibility, details, and accuracy just isn’t there, compared to when you use hair clippers.

Now for the application.

When using a clipper/ trimmer, trim the overall length with the clippers.

Then comb down my hair and use scissors along my neckline and jaw.

That is a quick overview of the process. 

I use clippers/trimmers for my cheeks because it’s the harder part of facial hair to get even with scissors, 

Then I come in with my scissors for the chin and jawline just for extra detailing.

Doing this gives me control to cut parts of your hair that need special attention and if done right it can bring out the face shave correctly and pop out your jawline. 

Note, it can take time to get scissor work right (especially if you do it yourself) and it may be difficult at first if you’re a beginner

But, starting now and building into it over time, will get u on the path of getting the hairstyle you want. 

The best time to use scissors would be if you have long a long beard. 

With long beards, use a  hair tie to separate the chin section from the neck for easier neck access. 

Then you have a fresh canvas to get in there with scissors. 

The ultimate benefit of scissors is you are less likely to mess up. 

The last thing you want is to have to completely take off your beard just because you cut a little bit too much hair. 

Clippers/trimmers, on the other hand, wrong guard or setting and a little nudge and it’s not looking good. 

Which Is Better for Hair Clippers or Scissors

To summarize:

Clippers: Much faster, but you can easily mess up if you not paying attention

Scissors: Much better results and precision, but takes quite a bit of time.

Scissors are always worth the amount of time it takes to not screw up your beard.

Clipper cut vs scissor cut 

In terms of haircuts, it can be a bit tricky.

Also, you have to factor in how much each one would be and whether it will fit into your budget

On average you will find tend to find that scissor cuts are more expensive than clipper cuts. 

Again, this isn’t always the case, but just keep in mind that if you are after the textured, natural look, then any good barbershop or salon will charge a higher premium for that service.

On the other hand, clippers cuts will be cheaper. 

Not saying one holds more ‘value’ than the other, it’s just barbers with the ability to work with clippers are more common so proof isn’t as sensitive.

However, if you want the best professional clipper cut, the price may be up for that service. 

With both types of cuts, you should bring an image of the style you want to help your salon or barber to give you the look your after.


In this article, we went over scissors vs clippers 

Hair clippers best for longer hair and are the best tool for fades and very short haircuts. 

Scissors, on the other hand, are good for long hair and detailing especially around the beard neckline area.

If you found this article helpful, check out other articles such as Can you use hair clippers on wet hair? or Do clippers damage hair?

Which is better for a precise cut, scissors or clippers?

Scissors are generally better for precise cuts, such as trimming hair around the ears or shaping a beard. Clippers are better for cutting larger sections of hair quickly.

Can I use scissors instead of clippers for a buzz cut?

While it is possible to use scissors for a buzz cut, it will be much more time-consuming than using clippers. Using clippers would be far more efficient

Is it better to use scissors or clippers for cutting curly hair?

It depends on the look you are going for. Scissors are better for creating textured looks, while clippers are better for a more uniform cut.

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.