The Ultimate Guide to Zero Gapping Clippers: (All You Need to Know)

Zero-gapping clippers seem to be a buzzword in the barbering space. 

But what are zero-gapped clippers? 

Why is it so popular? And why can it also be dangerous…

In this post, well over everything you need to know and more…

So with that said, take a look at the table for contents, and let’s get into it. 

What Is Zero Gapping Clippers?

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

Sometimes you can zero-gap your blades to the point where you barely even see that critical gap, both blades just lay even.

Zero-gapped clippers basically leave around 0mm of hair.

Zero gapping is trendy and a very common term.

But why is that? 

Why is it such a helpful technique and why could it also be quite dangerous? 

I speak more on this next.

Zero Gap Clipper Meaning

Zero gapping, it’s a fairly easy-to-understand concept. 

Now, we know what zero gapping is, before you rush to get it done, you must understand the full process to keep you safe. 

If you don’t leave an appropriate gap between both blades, your clippers easily end up cutting your skin.

As you move the cutting as close as you can to the top of the end of the guard blade a very simple mistake can happen…

If the cutting blade is ever so slightly pushed over the guard blade, it means you are no longer ‘guarded’ by the guard blade and are exposed to being cut by the cutting blade.

This is the best way to remember which blade is which and its effect.  

Zero-gapping your clippers also helps you get a more precise close cut and sharper cut.

 If done right, you will be pleasantly surprised but how much better your clippers perform. 

You must also realize that sometimes no matter how well you zero gap your clippers, or how much you check the alignment, some hair clippers will still cut around some sensitive parts of the body. 

  • Neck
  • Ears
  • Cheek

These are just some sensitive parts of the body that are vulnerable to sharp/ zero-gapped blades. 

Even the skin on your head itself is at risk, depending on how you angle your clippers and if your blades are naked.

Clipper manufacturers always leave a plentiful gap between the two blades to reduce the risk of injury. 

(And stop it from blowing back on them). 

But it makes sense. Doing this keeps people safe but it also limits the true cutting ability of your clippers. 

So before you zero gap you clippers just be aware of this. 

But this technique really does have some upsides. I talk about this next. 

Is It Good to Zero Gap Clippers?

First and foremost, a good zero-gap clipper should be able to cut your hair better, but it should also be safe to use.

A steady hand must accompany a zero-gapped Clipper to get the best benefits from them. 

But if you have confidence and great ability with your clippers, opt for zero-gapped clippers. 

It could take your haircuts to a new level. 

Zero-gapped clippers can help to give you more freedom and add extra detail to your cuts. 

If you are new to hair clippers and don’t have the confidence or technique down with your clippers, I would advise against zero-gapping your clippers. 

You may misalign your blades while trying to zero-gap your clippers and you leave yourself more vulnerable to cutting as you can very easily slip and cut yourself. 

But that doesn’t mean you can’t zero-gap any of your tools. 

 If you are a beginner with hair clippers, I would suggest you leave your clippers at their standard gapped width.

But trimmers on the other hand basically always come zero-gapped or at least are easier to zero-gap compared to clippers. Some brands even add zero-gapping tools to aid you in getting that gap even smaller.

But if you have a pair of zero-gapped clippers, you can also zero-gap them yourself. 

This video best shows how to do it yourself. 

How to Zero Gap Clippers

Here’s how you can zero-gap your hair clippers.


After you’re done zero-gapping your clippers, turn them over so you’re facing the guard blade:

Now run your finger up the back of your guard blade towards your teeth.

At the point where you glide off the guard blade, you shouldn’t feel the teeth of the cutting blade behind it.

If you do, it means your cutting blade is ahead of your guard blade, and what does that mean.. your cutting blade will cut you.

To ensure safety and precision, it’s vital to tighten the screws and routinely check the alignment of your blades.

This video goes through the checking process:

How to Zero Gap Clippers

Benefits of zero-gapping clippers

Zero-gapping hair clippers offer several benefits, these are:

  • Precision trimming
  • Saving time
  • Improves hygiene
  • Makes your clippers easy to use

Precision cutting: 

Zero-gapping clippers eliminate the gap between the blades, which as I mentioned earlier is a common reason for hair pulling. 

Stopping/reducing this results in a smoother, more precise cut. 

This helps you get a  cleaner and more consistent look, especially for haircuts that require precise lines or shapes.


Because zero-gapping clippers provide a more precise cut and reduce the amount of hair trimmed away, they can save time compared to traditional (normally gapped)  clippers. 

It allows you to get to the good stuff. 

If you’re a professional barber or have many clients to get through in a strict amount of time, zero-gapped clippers can make your job a whole lot simpler. 

Improved hygiene: 

Zero-gapped clippers eliminate the space where hair can become trapped. 

This would be between the guard blade and the cutting blade. 

Curly hair especially, can easily become trapped hair and build up whilst slowly sliding into your clippers. 

Zero gapping your clippers decreases this space and further, reduces the chance of picking up dirt and hair s and overall improves hair clipper hygiene.

Ease of use: 

Zero-gapping clippers are typically easier to use than traditional clippers. 

This is because you don’t have to go over the patch of hair as much with youtr clippers.

If you have a feeling your clippers are blunt, it could give them an extra lease of life before you have to sharpen them or replace them completely. 

This is beneficial as they can better handle thicker hair more easily and provide a smoother cut. 

This can be especially important for barbers and stylists who need to cut through dense, curly, or thick hair without pulling or damaging the hair.


In this article, we went over what the term zero-gapping hair clippers means.

Zero gapping hair clippers are when you set the cutting blade equal or as close to the end of the guard blade without overlapping.

These are the benefits of zero-gapped clippers: 

  • Precision trimming 
  • Saves time 
  • Improves hygiene 
  • Makes your clippers easy to use

Zero-gapping is the technique of setting the cutting blade as close as possible to the guard blade, leaving a minimal gap. This results in precision cutting, time-saving, improved hygiene, and ease of use. However, if done incorrectly, it can lead to injuries. It’s essential to understand the process and risks before attempting to zero-gap your clippers.

If you have found this article helpful, please check out other articles such as:

what is zero gap clippers

In English, “zero gapping clippers” refers to the practice of adjusting the blade gap on hair clippers to achieve a close shave without leaving any visible stubble. This technique is commonly used by barbers and hairstylists to create precise and clean haircuts. Zero gapping involves aligning the cutting blade with the stationary blade, resulting in a minimal gap between them. By eliminating this gap, the clippers can cut hair at the lowest possible length, providing a smooth and seamless finish. This technique is favored in various styles, including fades and bald fades, where a seamless transition from the shaved area to longer hair is desired.

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.