Shear Cut vs. Clipper Cut

Hudson / Hawk
barber tools on counter

A good haircut is about a lot more than a quick trim — it’s an extension of your unique personal style. Expert barbers should feel completely comfortable offering a wide variety of haircuts with every tool in their arsenal, including shears and clippers. But what’s the difference between a shear cut and a clipper cut, and why does it matter? Read on to find out more about a professional shear cut vs. clipper cut, and why we offer a bit of both.

Should You Ask for a Shear Cut or Clipper Cut?

If you’ve ever taken a peek at an experienced barber’s workstation, you know their toolkits are extensive to say the least. But most barbers rely on two primary tools during haircuts: shears, which are professionally sharpened, uniquely crafted steel scissors, and clippers, which are the electric tools generally associated with buzz cuts and fades. When you’re comparing shear cut vs. clipper cut, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Clipper Cuts: A Clean Base for a Classic Look

Like we mentioned above, clippers are generally the go-to tool for short styles like buzz cuts and fades. Clippers are an efficient, time-saving tool, making them a great choice for customers who prefer low-maintenance grooming routines. Clippers are also a quick way to achieve a uniform look, providing consistency and a clean cut all around the hairline. Finally, barbers may use clippers to create sharp, defined lines, as well as any designs or mosaics within the hair. Ultimately, clipper cuts are convenient and efficient for customers with shorter styles, providing a clean, professional finish and a uniform look.

Shear Cuts: All About Precision

Shear cuts, also known as scissor cuts, are a way for barbers to carefully sculpt and shape the hair. Unlike clipper cuts, shears allow barbers to create softer edges and a more natural-looking finish, which might be preferable for customers with longer hairstyles. Shear cuts also allow barbers to prioritize volume and movement, creating a signature look that goes beyond the basics.

Shear Cut vs. Clipper Cut: Which One Is Right for You?

So, should you ask for a shear cut or a clipper cut? For us, that’s a bit of a trick question — we offer a combination of both. We don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all haircut, which is why our barbers are trained to wield both clippers and shears with confidence. Below are a few examples of our services that involve both shear and clipper cutting:

  • Original Cut: This service involves both clipper and scissor cutting, combining the clean lines of clipper cutting with the attention to detail that shears allow. These unique combination cuts include a consultation, the cut itself, a wash with a hot lather neck shave and vibrating shoulder massage, and any style and grooming advice you might need. This service covers styles from a 1 Guard (⅛”) on the sides up to 1” on the sides.
  • Stay Sharp Cut: We offer this longer (45-minute) service to customers with haircuts that involve more maintenance — for example, a zero fade, which involves shaving the sides and back of the head while gradually tapering to a longer look up top. Our Stay Sharp cut is also a great pick for mullets and hockey flows, mid-length cuts, and long layers. Our signature Stay Sharp cut includes all of the amenities of the Original Cut, plus extra attention needed to keep more involved haircuts looking clean.


Ultimately, your haircut should be as unique as your personal style. The right cut can take your look to the next level, boosting your confidence and leaving a lasting impression everywhere you go. When it comes to choosing a shear cut vs. clipper cut, we recommend focusing less on the tools and more on the expert barber behind the tools. With the right barber in your corner, you’ll leave the shop feeling good inside and out.

Looking for a masculine grooming destination? Look no further than Hudson Hawk Barber & Shop. Since launching in 2013, we’ve become the go-to barbershop in numerous Midwestern communities across Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, and Oklahoma. We offer community, conversation, and an unforgettable experience for men of all ages to receive quality haircuts. Book your appointment online now or give us a call with any questions on types of cuts. We can walk you through the differences between a shear cut vs. a clipper cut, as well as what kind of cut might work for your personal style.