Zero gapping is the adjusting of the two blade tips for quicker and sharper lines when edging (lining). It also causes the difference in fade or blends guidelines lengths to be smaller.
Caution should be taken using zero-gapped clippers due to less room for error. You should never allow the moving blade and the fixed blade to be even (true zero gap). This will cause abrasions and cuts due to the moving blade rubbing the skin.
What Does Zero Gapping A Clipper Do?
Zero gaps are usually required for the lining. The more precise the lining, the smaller the gap you will need. You can use it on fades or tapers as well to reduce blend lines. Some barbers think that not having that little extra blade makes fading easier since there’s less “room” for error.
A standard gap setting would be anywhere from 0.7 mm – 1.5 mm, depending on what kind of clipper you are using and how heavy the hair is that you are working with. Most clippers come with different size attachments to make up for this range (i.e., size 0, 1, 2), which is why if you change your attachment, then your ideal gap setting changes.
Zero gaps are typically anywhere from 0.1mm – 0.4 mm in width. We recommend a minimum zero gap of 0.2 mm.
If the moving blade and the fixed blade are even, it is considered a true zero gap, but this also depends on the type of clipper that you’re using and what size your attachment is (if it’s not already set for you).
It’s recommended never to go less than a 0.5 mm gap if you’re gapping without an attachment since the whole point is to have less surface contact with the skin so there will be a lesser chance of nicks or cuts. However, too much space can cause burs which makes it harder to blend.
What Does Zero Gapping A Beard Trimmer Do?
Zero gap your beard trimmer if you want to achieve a straight line or perfect lines. Zero gaps can also be used for necklines, around the ears, and sculpting the cheekbones/jawline.
How To Gage A Zero Gap
The best way to gauge a zero gap is with another clipper’s blade tip pressed against yours. The closer it is without being even, the smaller your gap will need to be to get that desired precision when lining or edging. Remember that every tool has different attachments, so it’s hard to give an exact measurement unless you use just one type of clipper with just one attachment size. If so, then 1mm is a good average.
It is important to remember that with zero gaps, you are risking getting small nicks or cuts more often. If your clients’ skin is sensitive, then it’s best not to use the smallest zero gaps because there won’t be any room for error if it slips out of place. It is up to personal preference whether or not this risk is worth taking to achieve perfect lines each time you edge/line.
How Is Zero Gapping Performed?
To perform a zero gap, you would need springs attached, pressure on top of blades while starting at the guard area, and moving towards longer length, which pushes blades together up against the guard while working through the guard area. Guards can be left on or taken off.
Zero gapping your clipper blades is compressing the springs to get more resistance on the blade. This allows for more pressure, which causes the blades to be pushed together more. You want enough tension to move through all different types of hair but not so much that it causes scratching or pulling of the skin.
What Are The Benefits Of Zero Gapping?
If zero gapped correctly, it would cause both clipper sizes (i.e., sizes 1 and 2) to act as one large blade with no guard on, allowing them to cut closer than usual (especially if zero gapping vs. using a guard). It also helps give straighter lines without blending issues between the two sizes.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Zero Gapping?
When zero gapping, it’s essential to use a spring attachment system. If not, then the blades will separate and allow for more room for error when lining or edging. Note that different types of blade attachments have different ways to tighten the tension, so it’s best to do research about your clipper blades. Knowing how much resistance is needed without being too tight can be a challenge as well because it also depends on the type of tool you are using.
It can cause small nicks/cuts if less than a 0.2mm gap is used since you’re putting two heavy-duty workhorses in one shaving head with no guard, causing more skin contact.
What Is The Difference Between a Zero Gapped Clipper & a Clipper With Manufacturers Settings?
You can achieve a zero gap by setting the necessary spring tension on your clipper, which compresses the blades. This is different from turning the clippers off and then back on again because it changes how much pressure the blade has when in motion. These tools are not ideal for beginners because there is less room to make mistakes, requiring more precision.
Does Zero Gapping Have Any Benefits For Sensitive Skin?
Yes! When done correctly, zero gapping allows you to have very close shaves or cuts without causing any irritation or redness. Because this method causes less surface area between the blades and the skin, it prevents the blades from digging into the skin, which can cause irritation.
Once again, whether you choose to use small gaps or zero gapping comes down to preference, but if done correctly, either one will work great for people with sensitive skin. While you can shave without any guards on, it’s also possible to add a guard if you want to protect the skin and only get slightly closer than usual.
Another thing to remember when zero gapping is that when lining with clippers intended to be used without a guard, go toward hair growth to avoid cutting the skin. If you notice any pulling or tugging as you shave, your clipper blades must be sharpened and/or loosened.
What Clippers Are Best For Zero Gapping?
Although some products come with blades and attachments that tighten with screws, it’s highly recommended that people buy clippers that tighten using spring tension because they provide more control than regular blade attachments.
Is Zero Gapping A Complicated Process?
Zero gapping isn’t as complicated as people make it. But you must pay attention to the pressure applied when using your new zero-gapped clippers. Using too much or too little pressure can result in an unfinished line. Or even cause some tugging which is never fun!
However, it’s best to let a professional perform zero gapping on your clippers. To give your clients the best haircut and experience.
Who Performs Zero Gapping?
Besides Barber Depot, zero gapping is done by professional barbers and stylists only. This process requires practice and experience, as well as watching videos to ensure you are zero-gapping properly and safely. If the clipper is not zero-gapped correctly, it could be dangerous for your clients and yourself. By performing this process, hair can be cut closer with smoother, cleaner lines which results in a better haircut.
How Often Should I Zero Gap My Clippers?
Clippers should be zero-gapped every time they are used regularly. Depending on how often they are sharpened or serviced will determine how often one needs to make this adjustment. Some barbers don’t even own a fixed blade that isn’t zero-gapped.
What Are Some Precautions I Should Take?
Using clippers with a true zero gap is extremely dangerous. If the moving blade and the fixed blade are touching together even slightly. It will cause abrasions or cuts to the client or barber. Never position your hand or wrist in line with moving blades while closing them together. Be aware of where your fingers are when you close the blades. Do not exert pressure on the moving side of the clipper head/blades while making adjustments.
Let The Professionals At Barber Depot Zero Gap Your Clippers
At Barber Depot, we understand that zero-gapping your clippers is a complicated process. That requires practice and experience to ensure the best haircut for clients. Let our experts help you get the most out of your investment by zero-gapping your new trimmers properly.
For more information on our zero gapping services, visit our Clipper Zero Gapping & Oiling service page!