If you plan to maintain a beard, goatee, sideburns or other facial hair with a hair trimmer of some kind, you’ll need to apply hair clipper oil to your trimmer frequently to keep it performing well. But what’s the best brand? And do you have to buy oil that’s the same brand as your trimmer?
Every trimmer and clipper model I’ve tried requires oiling to keep the blades in shape. A small container of oil usually comes with the trimmer, but it won’t last long. What you don’t use up often leaks out of the tiny vial because the oil is very thin and the seal on the bottle is weak.
Here’s the good news: You don’t have to buy oil of the same brand as your clippers. In fact, every hair clipper oil that I’ve examined appears to be exactly the same. It’s a thin machine oil that can withstand high temperatures.
So Which Hair Clipper Oil Should You Use?
It’s simple. Wahl is one of the premier brands of male grooming products and hair clippers for men, so it makes sense to me to choose their brand. It’s easy to find online and is very affordable. On my bathroom counter right now is a bottle of Wahl Professional Clipper Oil — available at Amazon. You can use it for your pet clippers, beard trimmers, hair clippers and whatever other electric shears you have.
Given how much is in that bottle, it’s essentially a lifetime supply. One bottle can last you for many years even if you’re a fanatic about beard grooming.
Hair clipper oil helps keep the blades of your clippers sharp, but more importantly, it does two other things. First, it reduces friction and therefore heat, keeping the blades from warming or even seizing up. And this reduction in friction allows the blades to move faster. When they move faster, they cut better.
To see just how much difference the right hair clipper oil can make, run your clippers for a few moments, then add a few drops of this oil. You’ll hear the tone of the motor get higher. That means the blades are moving past each other quicker, and you’ll get a much better cut no matter what kind of clippers you’re using.
I’ve seen articles suggesting that you use of WD-40 and similar products instead of blade oil, but I don’t recommend that. Those products are water displacers and rust inhibitors, not oils. Don’t use motor oil or other heavy oils either — as I’ve seen some online writers suggest. You need a thin oil that can withstand high temperatures. I’ve tried vegetable or olive oil in a pinch, but it’s too thick for long-term use and the blades tend to heat up. It might be okay to use until you get your bottle of hair clipper oil, however.
You should also avoid over-oiling your clippers. A single drop applied while the clippers are running is usually plenty. And you don’t need to oil your trimmer every time it’s used. If you put too much oil, the clippers will rattle just as they do when they aren’t oiled well enough.
There is one just one caveat here: If your trimmer is still under warranty, it could void your warranty to use another brand of oil in some cases, but that’s really not likely to be a problem. First, warranties on many clippers are short, so the warranty will probably expire before that small bottle that came with the device runs out. And second, if you make a warranty claim there will likely be no way for the company to know which brand of oil you used because they’re all so similar.
While it ultimately may not matter what brand of hair clipper oil you use, most brands are similar in price, so the simplest thing to do is just buy the Wahl brand I recommend above. Some makers don’t even sell oil separately and apparently want you to buy new clippers rather than just some additional oil.
I’ve noticed that most drugstores and discount chains in my area don’t stock hair clipper oil. That’s why I recommend ordering online.