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  1. I was wondering what differences there are between shaver, razor, trimmer and clipper?
  2. For head hair cut that does not make head bald, what tools are used?
  3. For shaving facial hair, what tools are used?
  4. For shaving a beard, moustache or whiskers, what tools are used?
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"shaver" is generally an electric face hair remover, "razor" is the blade version.

"clipper" would be a head hair cutting machine and "trimmer" is a bit generic - I have a beard trimmer which is pretty much the same as hair clippers.

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  • Shaver -- rarely used except to mean an electric razor.
  • Razor -- used to remove hair entirely. Razor usually means a blade, but sometimes people refer to the electronic equivalent as an "electric razor."
  • Trimmer -- Typically a machine with a specific kind of cutting surface, whether for hair or not. When used in personal grooming it means a device that will cut hair to a certain length when used with a guard. (see image below) Machines for cutting shrubs are often referred to as trimmers as well, and use a larger version of the same type of cutting surface.
  • Clipper -- Sometimes used to mean the same thing as a trimmer, but more often scissors used for cutting hair are called hair clippers.

When meaning a machine for cutting hair, "trimmer" usually implies a very short cut such as one would use for a beard, and "clipper" usually implies a longer cut such as a "buzz cut" hairstyle. "Trimmer" usually means a very small cutter of this type, whereas "clipper" usually means a larger one.

A trimmer blade


For a normal hair cut I would expect "clippers / scissors" to be used with a comb to cut longer lengths of hair, usually the hair on top of the head for men or all hair for women. A small "trimmer" would probably be used to touch up the sideburns.

For a military style "buzz cut" I would expect large electric "clippers" to be used with a 2 or 3 guard.


For shaving facial hair a "razor" is most frequently used. Some men prefer an electric "shaver", but some men refer to the exact same devise as an "electric razor." One might say "shaver" or "electric shaver" to mean the machine, but you must specify "electric razor" if you mean the same device, as "razor" without any other modifiers is understood to mean the blade.


Unless you are removing the beard you don't "shave" it, you "trim" it, hence you use a "trimmer."

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