Can You Use Sewing Machine Oil On Hair Clippers

No, You Should Not Use Sewing Machine Oil on Hair Clippers

It may seem reasonable to assume that one oil is as good as another, and that sewing machine oil can therefore be used as a substitute for oil designed specifically for use on hair clippers. Unfortunately, this assumption is a mistake. Sewing machine oil and hair clipper oil are not the same, and using the wrong oil can damage the clippers and render them unusable.

The Different Types of Oil

Sewing machine oil is formulated to have properties that are suitable for lubricating metal parts in a sewing machine. It is a light oil that does not attract dirt and dust and does not oxidize or reduce visibility in the stitch pattern the machine is programmed to produce. Hair clipper oil, on the other hand, is thick and very sticky, designed to stay in place and not evaporate. It protects metal components from rust and offers Anti-germ protection. It binds metal surfaces together and makes cleaning easier.

The Dangers of Using the Wrong Oil

Using sewing machine oil on hair clippers risks the motor overheating and burning out, which is a costly repair or may be irreparable. Additionally, using the wrong oil will clog the teeth of the blades and reduce the cutting performance, making it impossible to make the correct cut.

Choose the Right Oil

It is vital that you choose the correct oil for your hair clippers. It is usually a clear, light oil and will be available from your hair clipper manufacturer, barber supply store, or online. Our experts recommend applying a few drops to the blade set when it appears dry, but to not over lubricate it.

Protect Your Investment

Hair clippers are an investment and require regular maintenance in order to keep them functioning correctly. Unplug the clipper before cleaning and lubricating, and ensure that all surfaces are dry before oiling. Be aware that repeated lubrication will result in oil build-up on the blade set and could rust them, so ensure that you clean the blade set with a clean cloth after oiling. Taking this extra step will ensure that your clippers last as long as possible.

How to Make the Blades Last Longer

For many hairdressers, their clippers are an essential tool. Making sure they are in good condition is essential and will help them to last longer. That said, there are things that can be done to make sure they run as efficiently as possible and last longer. It is essential to always work with clean and dry clippers, as moisture causes rust, which will eventually corrode the blades. Additionally, it is important to change the blades regularly, check for any parts that may be loose, and store them correctly.

What to Do If You Already Used the Wrong Oil

If you have already used sewing machine oil on your clippers then it is important to take action immediately. Take the clipper apart and clean the blade set as best you can with a clean cloth and hot soapy water. If the oil has built up and is not removable then it is best to replace the blade set as the wrong oil could rust the blades.

Using Other Alternatives

Some barbers have found success using mineral oil as an alternative to clipper oil, however, this should be done with caution. Mineral oil is a combination of liquid hydrocarbons derived from petroleum and is much lighter than clipper oil. It is easily absorbed by the skin and therefore, it should not come into contact with skin as it is absorbed through the pores. It is not a substitute for clipper oil, but rather an alternative for people who cannot purchase clipper oil.

Using a Comb

A second alternative to using oil is to prevent unnecessary friction between the blades with a comb. This is an inexpensive option for people with tight budgets and who may not be able to afford clippers. Simply pass an antistatic comb between the blades occasionally to prevent them from getting stuck and reduce noise. This can also help to extend the life of the clipper blades and make make sure they stay sharper for longer.


Using the wrong oil on hair clippers is a mistake and can cause potential damage. It is essential that the correct oil is used, as recommended by the manufacturer or purchased from a barber supplies store. Even if clipper oil is not available, there are alternatives such as using mineral oil or passing a comb between the blades. Taking these steps will ensure that hair clippers remain in perfect condition.

Geoffrey Kirby is an experienced author and sewist who has been creating sewn projects for over 20 years. He has a passion for teaching beginners and inspiring more advanced sewists both online and through his writings. Outside of writing about sewing, Geoffrey loves to explore new techniques and styles of sewing that incorporate upcycling fabric remnants into sweet items with personality.

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