Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Which Trimmer is Best of Them All? Part 1


In my classes, I always tell students that one single trimmer won’t meet the needs of everyone. However, there is a trimmer that is best for you. Trimmers are categorized by motor type, power source and blade design. Each individual user must determine what features best suit their needs to select the right trimming tool.


Motor Types

There are three motor types in trimmers: magnetic, rotary and pivot. Magnetic motor trimmers are best for outlining hair that is short and dry. Magnetic motor trimmers are very popular in urban barbershops. They are often used for outlining and creating parts in hair to form designs. My favorite magnetic motor trimmer is the Styliner M3. The most popular magnetic motor trimmer is the Outliner II.

Rotary motor trimmers are great for bulk hair removal and outlining hair that is thick, dense or coarse. Rotary motor trimmers are preferred by barbers who dry shave with trimmers and who serve a large amount of clients with hair density that is thick. My favorite rotary motor trimmer is the Slimline Pro Li. The most popular rotary motor trimmer is the SuperLiner.

Pivot motor trimmers are best for trimming wet hair or hair styled with product. Rotary motor trimmers are very strong and are favorites amongst stylists who style hair with mousse and/or gels to hold hair in place. Magnetic motor trimmers would slow down when used to trim hair with product on it, but pivot motor trimmers would trim with ease. An example of a pivot motor trimmer used by stylists is the Pivot Pro.


Power Sources

Most professionals choose corded trimmers for their reliability—they draw consistent power from standard US 120v outlets with no batteries to charge. However, battery technology continues to get better and some people prefer cord-free models. To meet the needs of all consumers, Andis manufactures trimmers in corded, cordless and cord/cordless models. It really comes down to personal preference.


Be sure to stay tuned next month to learn more!

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Kenny Duncan is a nationally known barber, stylist and educator, as well as co-owner of a 12-chair salon—Main Attraction Unisex Salon—based in Philadelphia. He is the barber for several Grammy Award-winning artists and has toured the world as the barber for the Lady Gaga production team. Kenny's styling work has also appeared in films such as "Fantastic Four" and "Creed" starring Michael B. Jordan. He is currently the Lead Educator for Andis Company.