Zero gapping is the adjusting of the two blade tips for the purpose of quicker and sharper lines when edging (lining). It also causes the difference in fade or blend guide lines 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 gap is usually required for lining. The more precise the lining, the smaller of a gap you will need. You can use it on fades or tapers as well to reduce blend lines, but some barbers think that not having that little bit of 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 to never 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 in general. Zero gaps can also be used for necklines, around the ears, and sculpting out the cheekbones/jawline.
How To Gage A Zero Gap
The best way to gage a zero gap is with another clippers blade tip pressed up 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 are using 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 of 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 in order 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 guard area and moving towards longer length, which pushes blades together up against guard while working through guard area. Guards can be left on or taken off.
Zero gapping your clipper blades is a matter of compressing the springs in order 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 that you can 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 will cause both clipper sizes (i.e.: size 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 having blend 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 there are different types of blade attachments which 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 basically putting two heavy duty work horses in one shaving head with no guard at all, 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 together when in use. This is different from turning the clippers off and then back on again because it actually changes how much pressure the blade has when in motion. These types of tools are not ideal for beginners because there is less room to make mistakes so it requires 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 then 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 a little bit closer than usual.
Another thing to keep in mind when zero gapping is that when lining with clippers intended to be used without a guard, go in the direction of hair growth to avoid cutting the skin. If you notice any pulling or tugging as you shave, it means your clipper blades need to 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 out to be, but you do have to pay attention to the pressure that’s being 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 the zero gapping on your clippers in order 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 very dangerous for your clients as well as 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 on a regular basis, 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 of moving blades while closing them together. Be aware of where fingers are when you close 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 service, visit our Clipper Zero Gapping & Oiling service page!