Should You Zero Gap Your Clipper Blades? [+ How To Do It!]

The “edge up” or “line up” is a crucial element of a haircut, and if you want to achieve extra clean lines, consider zero-gapping your trimmers. What are zero gap clippers exactly? It’s a barbering technique that involves adjusting clipper blades to achieve closer cuts than you would with a manufacturer's settings. Aligning the blades as close as possible without touching allows for more precise cutting — especially in hard-to-reach areas. You can also zero-gap trimmers

Zero gapping is a personal preference, and you do have to execute caution when doing so. Let’s look closer at how to zero gap clippers, the associated benefits, and the precautions you should take to keep yourself and your clients safe. 

Benefits of Zero-Gapping Blades 

There are several reasons why you should consider zero-gapping your blades.

Precision Cutting 

The gap between clipper blades is one of the main reasons for inadvertently pulling the hair during cutting. Eliminating the space reduces the risk of tugging, resulting in a cleaner, more consistent cut — which is essential for styles that require precise shapes or lines.


Zero-gapped clippers lessen the amount of hair that’s removed, which means they have the potential to shorten cutting time compared to traditional clippers. Of course, saving time translates to more clients, and who couldn’t get on board with that?

Improved Hygiene

Zero-gapped clippers remove the space (gap) between the guard blade and the cutting blade where hair (especially curly strands), dirt, and grime can become trapped, improving hygiene and lessening infection risk. 

Ease of Use

Zero-gapped clippers are said to be easier to manage than traditional clippers because you don’t have to make as many passes over the hair. To simplify things when cutting thick, dense, or curly hair, ensure that your clippers are sharpened and replace them when necessary. 

How to Zero Gap Clippers 

Step 1. Loosen up the screws on the back of the clipper blade, but don’t remove them altogether. 

Step 2. Once the lever is in a closed position (or all the way up towards the front of the clipper blade), set the blades as close together as possible. Use your fingers to move the guide blade to the cutting blade (located on top) until they’re nearly horizontal. Allow a small gap between the blades — this is the trickiest part because it takes a good eye. 

Step 3. Now that the blades are set and aligned tighten the screws back up while holding them together with one hand to prevent them from being improperly adjusted. Take your time with the step and tighten the screws slowly, one at a time, so you don’t risk misaligning the blades. 

Make things easier on yourself by getting the Wahl Professional Zero Gap Pro Set Tool so you can easily adjust your trimmer blades. The Pro-Set Tool fits the t-wide blade found on the 5 Star Detailer, Retro T-Cut, and Cordless Detailer Li models. Take your lines from clean to crisp!

Should You Zero Gap Your Blades? 

Since zero gapping your blades makes getting a sharper, cleaner cut easier while saving you time, it’s a great technique to try if you already have confidence with your clippers because it can take your styles to the next level. 

However, err on the side of caution if you’re a newbie. If the blades are misaligned, you risk cutting or nicking your skin — or your clients’. The gap also needs to be precise. If the cutting blade is pushed over the guard blade — even a little bit — you’re no longer protected by the guard blade. 

A safer option would be to invest in a zero-gapped trimmer set by a manufacturer. The Gamma+ Ergo Magnetic Motor Cordless Clipper features a fully adjustable zero-gap fade blade that can be easily zero-gapped for the closest cut and finish. Always considered the most heavy-duty and professional motor, the ERGO features the latest magnetic motor technology with the improved and revolutionary linear magnetic motor. This turbocharged long-life magnetic motor runs at 10,000 strokes per minute, offering the ultimate in speed, power, and longevity and the quietest performance of any professional clipper.

Should you zero-gap your clipper blades? That’s entirely up to you — but as long as you have the confidence to do so, you can achieve a sharper, more detailed cut. Shop our Collection of Clippers and Trimmers.

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