Hair Clipper Oil: 22 Things You Should Know

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Clipper oil for trimmers and clippers

Hair clipper oil is the lifeblood of your clippers.

If you don’t use it, your clippers will stop loving you.

They won’t perform for you as you would expect.

They will become angry that you don’t use the oil and start fighting with you.

They WILL inflict pain on you for your terrible neglect.

There may be blood involved.

After a long, arduous, painful struggle, they will eventually stop working and die a sad, unnecessary death. 🙁

We don’t want that.

What we do want is a happy, efficient, clean, and robust clipper that will serve you well for many, glorious years.

DO NOT underestimate the importance of clipper oil.

It is the single most important accessory in your hair clipper arsenal.

Just as your car can’t operate for long without car oil, neither will your clippers without clipper oil.

This article is dedicated to the numerous questions that get asked regarding clipper oil and its uses.

If I’ve missed something, let me know in the comments section at the end.

What Is Clipper Oil And What Does It Do?

Clipper Oil, or clipper lubricating oil, is a specific type of oil designed to lubricate the working parts of the clipper blades.

Why Put Oil On Hair Clippers?

You need to put oil on hair clippers otherwise the cutting blade and the base plate will start to rub together causing a lot of friction.

Over time this friction will wear down the blade causing the teeth to splinter, which will lead to snagging of hair and nicks to the skin.

Oiling the blade will ensure it glides freely against the base-plate with minimal friction.

What Is Hair Clipper Oil Made Of? – Hair Clipper Oil Ingredients

Hair clipper oil is made of simple mineral oil – usually petroleum-based.

Mineral oil comes from crystals in rocks and is used in thousands of oil products.

Is Hair Clipper Oil Poisonous?

Any clipper oil sold in the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, etc. is all non-poisonous/non-toxic.

It is virtually the same as baby oil (which is often scented) and is safe if absorbed, inhaled, or digested.

The only issue you may have if you swallow enough of it is it can act as a laxative!

Here’s the Safety Data Sheet for Wahl Clipper Oil:

Hair Clipper Oil Alternatives/Substitute

I often get asked: “what can I use instead of hair clipper oil?”

You shouldn’t need to be using anything other than branded clipper oil, simply because it’s cheap enough to not worry about it.

However, if you are ‘caught short’ and need a quick fix, you can use any cooking oil (not extra virgin olive oil), coconut oil, or baby oil.

Any oil that has a high heat threshold and not too thick will work.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil has a low heat threshold and is liable to omit oil vapor if it becomes too hot.

Bear in mind, if you use something like vegetable oil, be prepared for tiny hairs to stick to your cutting blade, big time!

Natural Hair Clipper Oil

Unless it’s something like organic coconut oil or organic cooking oil, any clipper oil will have gone through some sort of refinement process.

However, as clipper oil originates from minerals in rocks, even branded oils are about as close to ‘natural’ as they can be.

How Often Do You Oil Hair Clippers?

There’s a simple rule when it comes to oiling hair clippers or trimmers – oil before and after every cut.

No exceptions.

Your clippers or trimmers will thank you for it, you will maintain a sharp, efficient cutting blade that will last you much longer.

How To Apply/Properly Oil Hair Clippers

How to oil your clipper blades is as easy as it gets:

  1. Place 3 drops of oil along the top blade – one in each corner and one in the middle.
  2. Turn the clipper on to allow the oil to run along the blade.
  3. If you’ve got a tapper lever, open and close it fully during the process to ensure the oil coats everything.
  4. Turn off the clipper and remove any excess oil with a clean cloth.

How To Clean Hair Clipper Oil

As sure as eggs are eggs, you’ll end up with clipper oil on your hands and other surfaces at some point.

Clean it up with a dry cloth, paper towel, or some toilet roll.

It doesn’t stain but can leave a mark on clothes, so be careful around your best cashmere!

To clean oil from your clipper blade, use a lint-free cloth such as a hanky.

Best Hair Clipper Oil For Dogs

Not sure how this one made the list, but it’s a question that gets asked a lot.

As regular clipper oil is safe to use on human skin and is not poisonous or dangerous in any way, it’s safe to assume you can use any branded clipper oil on dog clippers.

Is Hair Clipper Oil The Same As Sewing Machine Oil?

Another common question that has oddly made the list!

Yes, sewing machine oil is mineral oil – the same as clipper oil.

What Oil Is Best For Hair Clippers?

Without trying every alternative out there, I would just stick with the leading brands.

I use Wahl clipper oil on all my hair clippers and trimmers and have done for years.

Wahl, Oster, and Andis have their own clipper oil, but it’s all the same, except for the branding.

How To Make Hair Clipper Oil

Dead easy – just set up your own mini oil refinery and you’re good to go!

Can I Use Hair Clipper Lubricant/Oil Spray Instead?

Clipper spray like the Oster 5-In-1 Spray is often used by professionals throughout the working day in order to help keep the blades clean, hygienic, cool, and lubricated.

The concentration of oil in the spray isn’t as strong as clipper oil, so you should still use clipper oil before and after every cut.

Can I Use 3-In-1 Oil or WD40 Instead Of Clipper Oil?

3-In-1 oil is quite a thick oil and not ideal for your cutting blades. It also contains products other than mineral oil which you wouldn’t want to be absorbed into your skin.

WD40 is a penetrating lubricant designed to remove rust and debris. It will certainly keep your blades nice and clean but will offer limited lubrication.

These oils also have a very strong smell to them which can be quite nauseating after 20 minutes around your head.

Best Hair Clipper Oil/Brands On The Market

Choose any of the top 3 leading brands and you can’t go wrong – Wahl, Oster, Andis.

If you’re a brand snob and like to keep everything under one brand, by all means, go with the make of your clippers/trimmers.

Where To Buy Hair Clipper Oil

I always advise buying extra clipper oil when you purchase any clippers or trimmers.

Amazon will ship your oil to you the next day.

Best Hair Clipper Oil To Shave A Bald Head

Shaving your head completely bald gives you an even greater reason to use clipper oil.

The last thing you want is a damaged, neglected blade that nicks your skin.

Don’t be concerned with searching for the best clipper oil. If it’s one of the top 3 brands you’ll be fine.

Best Hair Clipper Oil For Home Use

There’s no difference between clipper oil barbers and hair salons use and the stuff you’ll buy to use at home.

The pros use exactly the same, albeit in much larger quantities.

Best Baby Hair Clipper Oil

If you have hair clippers to cut your baby’s hair, regular clipper oil is still the best oil to use.

It’s almost identical to baby oil anyway, just without the scent.

See also: Quiet Hair Clippers For Toddlers And Kids

My Dog Ate Hair Clipper Oil

A few years ago my cat licked up quite a bit of my clipper oil and he was just fine.

It’s not poisonous to us, or animals.

However, if they eat/drink enough of it, it may cause them to have particularly bad diarrhea.

Universal Hair Clipper Oil

All hair clipper oils are universal.

Wahls clipper oil can be used on any Oster, Andis, Remington, Babyliss, etc. hair clippers or trimmers.

It is all the same oil just branded differently.

Final Thoughts

There’s more to hair clipper oil than you probably thought, right?

If you have any other questions or ideas/uses for hair clipper oil, please drop them below (see what I did there!) ..and I’ll add them to this list.


Related Posts:

1. An Easy Guide To Hair Clipper Maintenance

13 thoughts on “Hair Clipper Oil: 22 Things You Should Know”

  1. Hello Paul,
    First of all I have to comment on your eloquence to repeatedly answering the repetitious questions, if they would smartly read your instructions most of the questions would not be so redundant, thank you for your patience!
    There is a port on A5’s that no one seems to give any attention to, Wahl doesn’t mention it in their instructions either, but this is a port to the internal bearings. Is the Wahl cutting oil to be used internally also, or is there another synthetic type oil that would be better suited for this?
    Thank you

  2. Good article Peter. Clipper oil is known in the biz as from a “white” oil. Highly refined mineral oil with no additives, thus safe for cosmetics, candy, hair care, and non-staining sewing machine lube. Just to be sure, mineral oil is not from rock crystals.

    • Hi Jay, I wouldn’t use it simply because of the different consistency. The mineral oil will attract a lot more tiny hairs making it harder to clean. It also won’t lubricate the working parts of the clipper as effectively as clipper oil.

    • Hi Cas, yea I can’t see why not, apart from the Lansky oil will be much thinner than regular clipper oil. You want the oil to properly coat the cutting blades, which the Lansky oil won’t do as well. Still…it’s better than nothing!

  3. Branded clipper oil is not “cheap”. You pay $4 or so for a couple ounces. Compare that to me paying $1 for 16 ounces of baby oil at the dollar store. You just paid about $1/ounce, meaning 16 times what I paid. yeah, it’s “cheap” as in a few dollars, but the price/ounce is not. Plus you don’t need a branded oil, baby oil is fine. Why have two bottles and one of them is just special oil for your clippers? This is like people who buy special “screen cleaner” for $4 for a 1 oz bottle of Windex because it’s the same thing, but in a smaller more expensive bottle.

    • Clipper oil is thicker and coats the blades better than baby oil. Yes baby oil is slightly cheaper in the long run, but a decent size clipper oil bottle will last months.

    • Hi Sandra,

      Motor oil has a different consistency than regular clipper oil. It won’t work as effectively. Plus you don’t really want motor oil in your hair!

      The top hair clipper oil brands are cheap enough and will last a long time.



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