Electric hair clipper repair

My Oster electric hair clipper died. It was time to fix it…

The thing has been my trusty friend for many years, allowing me to go far beyond the recommended 2-3 weeks between haircuts. A little neck trim, maybe the sideburns, no one would ever notice.

And then one day, Mr. Oster just quit. His sliding blade stopped sliding. It had power — that unmistakable sound as it “snapped” on.

At first, I thought the slider switch was too corroded over to be making contact. Nope.

Then, I thought there was too much hair and grime between the transformer halves. Nope.

It turned out this strange little anchor screw was merely too tight, such that the coil could no longer alternate back and forth with the AC line current.

Loosen it up, and eureka!

49 comments for “Electric hair clipper repair

  1. January 12, 2006 at 6:07 am

    I am James’ barber. I’ve been doing it for 15 years. Maybe I should start making him pay me! How much do they charge you for a haircut? Those look just like the Oster clippers I use on him.

    • January 12, 2006 at 6:24 am

      I think you should try to get a little spending money for those haircuts Jules! Good job Mr. Fix-it.

    • Rob
      January 12, 2006 at 9:19 am

      $15, Jules! That’s some splurge money right there!

      • January 13, 2006 at 9:24 am

        $15 for a haircut? Wow. I only get charged $9! :P

    • James
      January 13, 2006 at 9:51 pm

      Jules, do you take credit cards?

      • January 14, 2006 at 7:15 am

        I’m a cash only girl. You should know that! ;)

  2. Doug Lauder
    April 24, 2006 at 11:56 am

    Recommendation worked like a charm thanks

  3. Allen
    January 1, 2007 at 11:58 pm

    Hello! I stumbled across this page googling “how to fix hair clippers”, and your advice is pretty good. It worked for one set of clippers (I THINK I loosened the spring you’re talking about correctly), but the second set is giving me problems.

    As I loosen the spring holding the mobile blade, the blade begins moving more and the vibrations are louder. The only thing is, it doesn’t move enough to start cutting, and I’ve already loosened the spring to the point where it falls out of the clipper! It just seems like there’s “something” holding back the blade, but I’m not sure what it is. Any suggestions?

    I’m very curious – do you know why this happens to a set of clippers after use? I don’t have any electrician-background so my understanding of this is very basic, correct me if I’m wrong: The motor is an electromagnet and oscillates the magnet to move the blade. If that’s the case, I don’t see any reason why the magnet would “wear itself down” after time. Why do we need to move the spring at all? I’m just interested to understand the process and would appreciate any explanation. =)

    • Rob
      January 2, 2007 at 1:09 pm

      Allen, good to hear that one of your pairs of clippers is fixed now. As to why this is happening, I’m not completely sure. When my clippers froze up, I assumed it was that anchor screw had just worked itself tight over the years.

      If you have a pair of clippers in which you’ve loosened this screw and it’s still not oscillating, then there’s something wrong with the transformer which provides the magnetic field. It’s possible that the coils are corroded. Look for rust or damage on the coil.

    • March 17, 2015 at 1:57 am

      maybe,just maybe, u should try oiling it some more..and try fine tuning that is tighten all the way the screws and loosen them one turn at a time (if ur screw is + type, u turn the screw driver until north point meet the north point again. try them one turn per pair at a time. because if u go all the way until the screw fall off its not designed to do that.)

      also try putting oil on the blade. because i did the same thing just now. (unscrew all,putting back,fine tuning,etc,etc. at first the vibration and noise is heavy but after oiling it is as smooth as new :)

  4. Dennis
    October 3, 2007 at 1:43 pm

    My clippers only work when turned in the right position (straight up and down usually). I checked for loose wires and the switch and they don't seem to be out of order. Also checked the big adjusting screw and it's the same story.
    What can I do to fix them?

    • Rob
      October 3, 2007 at 1:49 pm

      Dennis, When your pair doesn't work, do you hear any electric "buzz"?  If so, then you know there's power but the coil is binding in that orientation. If there's no power at all in the orientation that causes it to not work, then I'd say you have a cable intermittence. Rob

      • Dennis
        October 3, 2007 at 2:22 pm

        Rob, There is no buzzing at all. They either come on or not. Usually when they are vertical.

        I just checked them again. It's the cable.. Thanks for your help, I wouldn't have fixed them without you.

  5. Kim Sorensen
    December 20, 2007 at 11:51 pm

    I Have 2 pair of andis master clippers and 2 different trimmers they will not cut I have oiled cleaned them but nothing seems to work?

  6. February 18, 2009 at 12:30 am

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    I know about your company by internet today. And found that some of the photoes as like our product. Let me introduce of us. We are Goldollar Co,real manufacturer and exporter of Razor,thinning razor,electric hair clippers and Scissors like Barber Scissors, Thinning Scissors.

    We are in this line since last 21 years and exporting our quality instruments around the globe. Our main markets are USA, UK, EUROPE and many other countries around the world.

    Our experts are ready to redesign any instruments according to the customer’s satisfactions.
    Hope we can establish good bussiness relationship in future.
    In the end we assure you that we will provide you our best attention and services at all the time.
    Best regards and hope to hear from you soon further on this matter.
    Yours faithfully
    Jack Sun
    (Sales Manager)
    Goldollar Co.,Ltd
    Tel:086-0574-88858888   Fax:086-0574-88858555
    333 East ZhongxingRd,Xikou,Ningbo,Zhejiang,China

    • Rob
      February 21, 2009 at 10:56 am

      Hmm, a sales call? I’m flattered you think I need a contract manufacturer for my mods, but alas I have not a sizable market for repairing electric hair clippers.

    • May 8, 2009 at 3:10 pm

      Hey Rob.  I am glad to hear you are doing business with China now.  We all know that they need our business since it is such a small country.  How many thousand instruments are you going to buy from him? :)

  7. veronica pagan
    May 7, 2009 at 1:46 am

    hello.  i have a pair of andis styleliner2, they turn on, but the blade doesn’t move and if they do they barely cut.  This happens to a my clippers when i drop them.  There gotta be a way to fix them, I would greatly appreciate your advice.  I’m getting happy just thinking about being able to fix this problem.

    • veronica pagan
      May 7, 2009 at 2:13 am

      correction. I have oester t-finishers not the styliners.  The oester’s have no screw on the side of them like most clippers do.

    • Rob
      May 7, 2009 at 5:34 am

      There’s a good chance that you’re having the same problem I had as described in my post above. Have you tried taking them apart yet an loosening the transformer anchor screw?

  8. steve
    June 5, 2009 at 6:24 am

    hi rob..hmmm im half way in 2 shaving my head n they have stoped cutting..they are just pulling on my hair and not realy cutting..ther non oil 1s but iv sprayed a bit of aftershave on as in the past this has worked,iv losend the 2 screws on the bottem plate and relined but still no joy..help me pleasssssseeee

    • Rob
      June 5, 2009 at 6:45 am

      Yeah, your transformer could be dead.  If you want to send it to me for repair, I can take a look for you.

      • steve
        June 5, 2009 at 6:49 am

        no worrys m8,il just buy some new 1s
        thanks for the replie

  9. July 27, 2009 at 4:58 am

    I took my Andis Styliners 2 apart and an oval ring with with two rectangular shapes (one flat and the other at 60 degrees all attached together) feel to th ground. I looked at both your diagrams but none illustrate where this piece goes. I’m sure this is important do you have an idea?

    • Rob
      July 28, 2009 at 5:56 pm

      Alex, can you send me some pictures of what you have? I’ll send you an email too…

      • Smitty
        August 25, 2010 at 12:05 am

        Alex or Rob – Did you guy find a solution. I took mine apart to clean and that oval thing fell out. Talk to me guy, please! Thanks

        • Rob
          August 25, 2010 at 10:40 am

          Smitty, it’s been so long I forget what that part looks like. I might be able to help you if you send me pics. I’ll send you an email.

  10. Pablo
    September 2, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    Hey Rob,
    I have the same clippers as you and have been using them for around 16 years now. Problem is, now they just started to sound horrible! They can still cut and work very good, but the sound is louder and really bad.
    I took it apart and cleaned it, did a little maintenance with the rust and everything, and still sounds terrible. I don’t know if it’s the magnet hitting something or some other thing, curious thing is, they still cut perfectly. The screw on the side, I’ve already loosened and tightened it up and nothing seems to work. I’m just affraid that sound would mean they will reheat at some point or something.
    Can you help me with this? Thank you

    • Rob
      September 3, 2009 at 5:26 am

      Hmm, it depends, Pablo. If you’ve already cleaned it and tried loosening and tightening that screw, that’s the extend of what I did to fix mine. Beyond that, you might have to replace the transformer, which could be hard to find. That’s something that I could help with finding, but it might not be all that cheap.

  11. Pablo
    September 3, 2009 at 6:40 am

    Ok thanks for the help anyway. I will try and see what is that sound. I don’t think it’s the transformer,  but I’m not sure. Anyway, thanks. Hope it doesn’t break soon or in the middle of cutting my hair.

    • Rob
      September 3, 2009 at 7:15 am

      It might just be some other mechanical parts inside the clipper that loose now and vibrating. Feel around and see if anything is loose.

  12. James
    December 26, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    Dear Rob;
    Peace be unto you.
    Thank God for the internet. It is really good that you have a desire to help others. I have been a barber for thirty-seven years, and I really need to start fixing my own clippers. Where can I get replacement parts to do the work with? I will greatly appreciate any help you can give me.


  13. August 26, 2010 at 1:24 am

    Hi James and others,

    Well if anyone of you want to lower his/her cost on buying expensive tools for your salon then you can easily do that by ordering your tools directly from Manufacturer at http://www.darexpo.com/ here you can order barber scissors, thinning scissors, cuticle nippers, eyebrow tweezers, straight razors, blackhead removers and many more. Just check and see.

  14. Clif Barnes
    March 21, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    My clipers are stuck right now…I am trimming my wife’s provates and she is yelling. What should I do?

    • Rob
      March 22, 2011 at 6:03 pm

      Clif, I would recommend the following:
      1) Grease up your clippers.
      2) Stop clipping your wife’s provates. Might be dulling the blades.

  15. Clif Barnes
    March 21, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    I meant privates.

    gosh, i butchered the joke.

  16. Mickey
    March 30, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    Hey Rob,
    Your blog is inspiring. I’m new to trying to fix things. My clippers were constantly blowing the fuse in bathroom. Then they started turning on intermittently. I took it apart to clean it and now I can’t get it to go on. I think I might have dropped a part related to the switch into the trash bin. I tried jamming some speaker wire to test to see if I could connect the two ends on the switch plate if it would turn on, but I get nothing. I don’t see any signs of defect anywhere. Any ideas?

    • Rob
      March 30, 2012 at 4:38 pm

      Thanks, Mickey, and good for you for trying to fix them. But be careful when you try shorting out the switch. That’s all AC 115V in there!

      Not sure what to tell you, if you lost a part. If the transformer won’t kick in at all it could be:

      1) Loose connection to the transformer
      2) Bad connection from the switch

      If all is connected properly, you should hear that transformer hum. Do you have a multimeter to measure the voltage?

  17. Sang Jong
    April 30, 2012 at 7:49 am

    wow you have such a nice theme!

  18. Ron
    February 2, 2013 at 9:40 am

    Hi Rob, so do you actually fix clippers or just give people tips on how to fix them. I have a vintage Oster clipper that I’m guessing is at least 30 yrs. old. It’s so old that it even has a cloth electric cord. I don’t want to throw it out cuz I have about 4 cutting blades and it cut great when it was working. Any thoughts?

    • Rob
      February 2, 2013 at 10:38 am

      I’m not a professional. But I have worked on others’ clippers over the years. I could take a look for you, but I can’t guarantee results.

      • Ron
        February 7, 2013 at 6:35 am

        How would I get it to you? I’m assuming snail mail, if you don’t want to make your address public maybe you can email it to me.

        • Rob
          February 8, 2013 at 12:59 pm

          Ron, I’ve emailed you my address…

  19. Carlos
    October 21, 2013 at 8:15 am

    Hey Rob, I’ve blown a clipper into a 220v outlet, what do I have to look for?

    • Rob
      October 21, 2013 at 9:47 am

      I bet the transformer is fused. Check it for melting or smoked areas.

  20. February 20, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    This is nice post. I’m planning to cut my hair with a hair clipper. I really enjoyed reading your post. Looking for more updates from your side.

  21. Jerry Lau
    March 31, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    Hi Rob,

    My mom owns a Oster classic and I offered to change her carbon brush. Since the brush broke off, I had to open up the razor to dislodge it. After replacing all the parts with the new carbon brushes, the Oster razor won’t turn on anymore. Any ideas what I may have done wrong?

    Any help is much appreciated!

    • Rob
      April 9, 2014 at 1:51 pm

      I’ve found that usually it’s an issue of connection. Do you have a voltmeter? Make sure those wires are all making continuity.

  22. Miguel
    November 3, 2014 at 9:03 am

    Hi i need help with an andis styliner 2. It fell down and now it makes a really loud noise. Heres my email mghn04@hotmail.com Miguel.

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