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!

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  1. 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.

  2. 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. =)

    1. 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.

    2. 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 ūüôā

  3. 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?

    1. 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

      1. 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.

  4. 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?

  5. 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.

    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

    1. 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.

    2. 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? ūüôā

  6. 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.

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

    2. 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?

  7. 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 me pleasssssseeee

  8. 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?

      1. 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

  9. 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

    1. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.


  12. 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 here you can order barber scissors, thinning scissors, cuticle nippers, eyebrow tweezers, straight razors, blackhead removers and many more. Just check and see.

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

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

  14. 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?

    1. 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?

  15. 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?

      1. 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.

  16. 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!

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

  17. I just bought the andis RACD pet trimmers and I’ve only used them for 1 day. They already freeze up and don’t trim at all. They turn on and make a click noise but then they just stop unless I tap on the side then it starts to work. They also get incredibly hot to the point where it’s uncomfortable to hold them. Any ideas as to how to fix them?

  18. Rob, I have the same clippers pictured in this blog. Oster classic with the red switch on the side. I was cleaning them up and the red switch fell out. I found the spring, but wondering if I’m missing another small piece, because when I reassembled the switch slides without much control or ‘click’ ing into place.

    1. Hi John. I’ve replaced these clippers some time ago. But I can’t remember there being a very noticeable “click”. The transformer sometimes will make a loud click when it engages and the blades are positioned just right. Is that what you mean?

    2. John,
      Hopefully this isn’t too late, but there is a small brass piece that fits in the spring of the switch. It looks like half of a brass rivet. I have a very similar model I’m having problems with and found the brass piece rattling around inside my clippers. After replacing it to the proper location, the switch seems to work better.

  19. Im really thankful on the author of the poswt for producing this lovely annd informative article live too put us.
    We actually appreciate ur effort. Maintain the nice
    work. . . .

  20. Rob,
    My Oster clippers will pop off when turned in the vertical position. Sometimes after multiple tries it will throw the GFCI switch in my wall outlet. You mentioned in other posts loosening a screw. Just curious which screw you mean? Is it one of the screws inside or is it the spring tension screw on the side? I’ve adjusted the one on the side and it doesn’t seem to change much, but I’m not really sure what it’s supposed to do.

    1. Hey Eric, sorry for the late reply. The screw that I had adjusted was one that held the transformer together. There’s obviously a pretty significant current surge to throw your GFCI plug!

  21. Hello rob
    My clipper fell on the floor and the clipper case got damaged
    I tried to change the case my self, which I did successfully but the clipper didn’t vibrate as usual. I loosed the coil and discover breakage.
    I really want to know if I can fix the breakage or is the clipper now beyond repair?

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