Learn what to do as I return to the studio with a new tutorial video!
WHY YOUR CLIPPERS ARE HOT, NOT RUNNING RIGHT AND HAVE DISCOLORED BLADES
My popular Larry the Barberman ‘Tutorial Videos’ are back! As you know, I have been traveling the globe for months, bringing you interviews with world-famous, very successful barbers – getting their back stories, their takes on the state of our industry, and their hints on building barbering success. It was immensely educational, and I am loving all the feedback I get from you on these amazingly talented people and their stories. If you haven’t seen them all, head over to my YouTube @Larrythebarbeman and find the ones you’ve missed!
Nevertheless, I’m happy to be back in the studio, making my hands-on tutorials about the tools of the trade, their care, and proper use.
So, let’s get started!
Today, I am addressing questions I get from clients who say their clippers or trimmers are not working correctly. The clippers seem hot and the blades dull or discolored. Upon investigation, I‘ve found the culprit: many barbers are not familiar with the proper way to OIL THEIR CLIPPERS!
On my new video @larrythebarberman, I use an Andis T Outliner to demonstrate proper oiling procedures and talk about why they are so important.
Coolant and Disinfectants Are NOT Oil
First, people mistake COOLANTS and DISINFECTANTS for clipper oils. Let’s be clear right now: These products are NOT oil and do not take the place of oil. They may contain a drop or two of oil, but they are mostly water, meaning they have a lower viscosity than clipper oil and will not lubricate the blades sufficiently.
I see far too many barbers who, when I ask them to show me the oil they are using, produce the little tube that comes out of the box with brand new clippers! That tells me immediately they are neglecting basic maintenance. That little tube shouldn’t last more than a few dozen cuts AT MOST since you should be adding two or three drops of oil to your clipper blades after each use.
With improperly lubricated blades rubbing against each other at a rate of 6,000 oscillations a minute, friction will produce tremendous heat, turning the metal black or blue and wearing out the blades much sooner than you expect. Imagine running your car on just a few spoonsful of oil; the engine would break down in no time! Many barbers are doing the equivalent with their very valuable clippers and trimmers.
Ironically, clipper oil is much cheaper than coolant or disinfectant, so in addition to misusing those products and possibly shortening the life of your clipper, you may be spending more than you need to!
You must oil clippers regularly, but it only takes a minute or two
After each haircut or every two haircuts at most, take one minute and properly oil your clipper. Here’s how:
1) Disinfect your clipper with disinfectant. I suggest you USE TISSUE PAPER instead of a towel to wipe the disinfectant from the blades since you can quickly toss a tissue to the bin, whereas a towel will gather hair, gunk and disinfectant and will need a thorough cleaning before you can use it again.
2) Clean out the blades. Any brush will do, but I always USE A TOOTHBRUSH. After all, blades have teeth, too! A toothbrush is just the right size and stiffness to get the job done. I suggest using a PIPE CLEANER get between the blades, pushing out dirt and gunk.
3) Apply three drops of oil. With the clipper clean and running, apply one drop of oil at each end and one drop in the middle. Tilt the clipper to and fro to allow the oil to distribute evenly.
DO NOT use a solid, single line of oil across the blades. That is much too much! Over-oiling will cause hair, oils, gunk, and goo to stick to the blades, making your clipper or trimmer hard to work with and unsanitary.
NOTE: Some people put a drop down the track, and that’s fine, though I don’t think it’s necessary.
4) Let the clipper run while you wipe it down with tissue. Toss the tissue away and – congratulations! You have a properly-oiled tool ready to give you thousands of great cuts!
You can see me demonstrate these techniques on my YouTube @larrythebarberman.
It feels great to be back in the studio making videos again! I am focused on bringing you a fresh topic, helping you (and your equipment) stay sharp and on top of your game.
Please enjoy, and ‘til next time, happy barbering!
Barbers frequently ask me to make videos about maintenance and repair issues, which I am happy to do! I believe it is just as important that I share tips on how to avoid damaging your tools so that your equipment gives you the long, faithful service you expect.
Today, we will talk about your bread and butter: clippers and trimmers. If these are not performing well your work flow will be scuppered, customers may be irritated, and money will not be made!
First, it is important to have an array of screw driving tools, not just one screwdriver that you try to use on everything. Using a too-small screwdriver will destroy the pattern atop a screw, making it almost impossible to remove quickly.
One Screwdriver Size does NOT fit all
Imagine a busy Saturday when you need to zero gap your clipper, and you go with a too-small screwdriver, damaging the screw top and being unable to loosen it at all. It’s just that easy to spoil the tools that make your money, kill your workflow and kill the income going into your pocket. This will mess up your big money-making day.
On the other hand, if you try to zero gap a trimmer, which takes a smaller screw, that same screwdriver is too big. You will damage the trimmer screws and lose the delicate touch you need to loosen the screws only lightly, so the tightness of the blade keeps them in position. It’s like trying to use your phone while wearing work gloves!
Even when you have the zero gap, you need to gently retighten the screws, first one side, then the other; back and forth; left then right; left then right. If the screwdriver is too big, you have to put too much downward pressure on it, causing the blade to move. Very frustrating, and another reason you need the right tools.
I urge you invest in quality tools, not just any tools. I’ve found excellent ‘Tool Hub’ tools on E-bay, such as a set of screwdrivers with a broad array of Phillips and flatheads. You need a larger flathead screwdriver for the power screw on the side of the clipper, which you adjust to get the arm closer to the motor. You need a quality flathead screwdriver to do the job.
The ‘Tool Hub’ set also has an array of Phillips heads so you can find the correct one that makes snug contact with the screw head.
You also want to ensure your screwdrivers have a good gripping handle because when it comes to zero gapping, you need a good grip as well as a snug fit with the screw head.
This set also features an array of medium screwdrivers perfect for adjusting hair clippers – a Master or Fademaster or the Senior or Wahl Super Taper. Check it out at this link: (LARRY: INSERT LINK HERE)
For making adjustments on a trimmer’s smaller, finer screws, I’ve found another perfect precision kit with interchangeable flathead and Philips attachments and a telescopic handle, which helps with a host of jobs. It even comes with a magnifying glass, so when you position for a zero gap, you can look along the blade without killing your eyes. I strongly suggest you get this kit. (LARRY: INSERT LINK HERE)
Insider Hack: How to Remove Damaged Screws From Your Clipper and Trimmer
Back in the old days, barbers had to sharpen their cut throat razors using a whetstone and oil and a strop. We have it much easier with today’s excellent electric trimmers and clippers. All we need to know is how to tune these things with a screw driver; no heavy manual labor. It’s a relatively easy job, but it demands that you use the right tools.
Now, here’s today’s Larry the Barberman Insider Hack: If you used the wrong screwdriver and hollowed out the tops of the screws, ordering a new one from the manufacturer is a long and expensive process, perhaps as much as £10 just for delivery – and just for one screw!
But temporarily, all you need is a rubber band. Here’s how it works: Place the rubber band over the screw head you have destroyed and push it down into the screw with a screwdriver, using lots of pressure. Under pressure, the rubber band will mold itself to the contours of the damaged screw in a kind of super grip, like when you can’t open a stubborn bottle with your hand and improve the grip by putting a tea towel over it. It works!
That’s it for today’s How-To blog. Once again, based on what I’ve seen in barbershops all over the world, I strongly recommend you get the right tool for every screw in every clipper- and keep your work flow going!
This is Larry the Barberman of barbers.tv coming at you with my five favorite hacks for getting the maximum performance out of your hair clippers with minimal tools and minimal time. As barbers, we all have those lazy days where dragging out the massive tool kits and disassembling our hair clippers just seems like a drag. Thumbs up from everyone who can agree with that statement!
My first lazy hack, my favorite one: do you find there are times where you need to get the blade clean on your hair clippers and trimmers, but you can’t be bothered to get out a screwdriver to remove the blades from the trimmer or clipper. If that is the case, this simple hack is for you. All you need is some sanitation spray, some clipper oil, a pipe cleaner and a hairbrush of your choice.
Once you have all of those items, all you need to do is first brush down your hair clipper or trimmer on the front or sides to remove all of the loose hair. After that, get the pipe cleaner and fold it in half to double the cleaning area. On the side of your clipper, or trimmer, you will notice that there is a gap between the cutting blade and the common blade. Insert the pipe cleaner here and drop it slightly so that it can also clean the bottom. Move that in and out of the blades to get them properly clean. After you’ve done that, remove the pipe cleaner, and reach for the sanitation spray. First, turn on the clipper or trimmer, and spray the top as well as down the sides. What that does is sanitize the inside of the blade, and it also removes and loose hair that the pipe cleaner might have missed. Once you’ve done that, use your bed of tissues to wipe down the excess lubrication and sanitation spray. Turn on the hair clipper or trimmer once more and place some of the blade oul to the right, center and to the left so that the oil doesn’t run down into the actual unit. When you are done, just wipe off any excess oil and you’re done! That’s why it is my favorite – simple and clean.
On to my second favorite lazy hack. Have you ever been to the USA, purchased some US hair clippers or trimmers, and then plugged them into a standard transformer (as shown in the video) only to experience a horrific noise. These transformers are 240 volts to 110 volts with a 40 hertz cycle, thus they are losing out on their full performance. All you need to do is plug it into a Frequcny60hz converter, which basically converts the UK and European voltage of 230 to 240 volts down to 120 volts, with a 60 hertz cycle; essentially making it as if you had plugged it directly into a US power outlet. Seamless performance and a perfect purring noise without the hassle of transformers – what could be better?
Do you sometimes find that your hair clipper or trimmer has issues with the power cutting out intermittently, and just a simple bit of pressure from your thumb on the power switch makes it come alive again? Fortunately, this hack is very simple. All you need is some tissue, which you can see in the video I have used to create a soft bed underneath the affected clipper. You will also need some contact cleaner, a screwdriver, and a standard Phillips screwdriver. With those in hand, let’s get started.
First and foremost, in the case of the Wahl Senior I am using, we need to remove three screws. I recommend having a corrugated rubber mat so you do not lose your screws. With the front casing removed, we now have access to the switch. What we then do is just pop the switch out. Please ensure that the power is off. Now, these switches can often get clogged from dirt in between the switch. What you want to do now is use the contact cleaner and blast out all the hair and dirt that may have gotten lodged in between the conductor, which stops the clipper or trimmer from working effectively. What I do is pull the switch to either the left or right first and put the straw from the contact cleaner in the opposite side of the switch before giving it a good few blasts. You’re going to no doubt see hair and dirt coming out. Flip the switch to the other side and repeat this process. Just a tissue to wipe up the excess and we can move on to the next step.
Once that is done, simply pop the switch back into position. You want to make sure that it sits in the housing correctly, and is nice and snug. Once it is in, put the belly back on your clipper and, once the housing is back on, we can plug in the clipper and turn it on. I recommend letting a good five minutes elapse , but you will see that that clipper or trimmer is now running nice and smooth, no matter how much you wiggle the switch.
This one is for folks who persistently find that the lever arm is loose on their: Wahl Super Taper, Wahl Senior, Wahl Icon or any other Wahl that has the same shape as the aforementioned. All you need to do to remedy this problem is gather: a Philips screwdriver, some cotton swabs, contact cleaner, and (optionally) a hair blower.
First, we need to loosen the screw and set it aside. What I want to do now with the hair blower is basically blast out the hole, as shown in the video, to free any loose debris that may be lodged inside of the frame.
Second, we will want to use the contact cleaner, which is an alcohol based cleaner, to blade the inside of the hole to get any remaining dirt or debris. Just insert the straw and blast away. Now, we know that the contact is clean. Half the reason that this inconsistent power issue happens is due to loose fillings occasionally getting lodged in the area during the manufacturing process. The objective of this hack is basically to put a strong lock on the device so that it doesn’t happen again.
Now, we use the cotton swab to, again, clean out all of the area so we are sure there is no grease or anything still clinging on. Next, we’ll want to reach for the thread locker. Thread locker is basically a glue for screws and threads to lock. Well reach for the screw and the lever, and do a simple application of the thread locker by putting one line of it across the thread. With that done, we’ll put the thread locker screw back in.
Coming to the actual lever, you will notice that there is a notch. This notch needs to be lined up with the female notch, which is in the lever itself. First, we need to find it, as you can see in the video. Once you’ve found it, you basically start gently screwing it in with fairly firm pressure and slow movements. Afterwards, have a quick check that the lever is working: you’ll know that the female thread has met the male thread when all is good, so just give it one last tighten and then let it stand to dry. I recommend five to six minutes, and then you are good!
My finale lazy hack is just a little trick to tighten the tension in your hair clipper or trimmer to increase the performance. If you have clients complain that their hair is being pulled, especially when you are using the Wahl Senior, Super Taper, or Icon, even though you know the blades are sharp, than this hack is for you. Nine times out of ten, it is caused by the tension being off. When I say tension, I mean how tightly the top blade is pressed to the bottom: too tight and the blades will not move. Too loose and the performance will be impaired. Fortunately, this is an easy hack.
All you need for this hack is a Phillips screwdriver. Again, I would recommend doing all of this on a corrugated rubber mat for the sake of your screws. Once the casing is off, I’m just going to give the inside a basic clean – it’s always a good idea when you have your clipper or trimmer open. As you can see in the video, I just bring the sponge back. Now, to increase the tension of this clipper without undoing the rest of it, the hack is very simple.
This particular clipper is the Wahl Senior. You can see in the video which part is the belly and which part is the back. What you want to do is lie the clipper on its back. You can see in the video that there is a metal stump. What you want to do is use your thumb to pull it back slightly, until you feel a tiny bend and the metal arm attached to it. It’s as simple as that. That will give you a tension kick. Once you’ve felt it bend slightly, replace your blade as well as your common blade.
What’ve we done is pulled the stump up so that the cutting blade is more tightly squeezed to the cutting blade. This is a common problem that, fortunately, has an easy fix. In one of my other videos, I’ll go through the full procedure for increasing the tension, as it is a lot more involved than what I’ve shown you here.
This is the fifth and final hack from Larry the Barberman for lazy barbers out there. Utilize them and your barbering game is sure to improve!
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