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We’ve always agreed in my talks with barbers: even today, Oster sticks to old-school traditions. They lag behind Wahl’s and Andis’ adjustable clippers, where cordless technology has become the norm.
Their classic detachable blade clippers are a go-to for many professional barbers. They might seem intimidating with all the different skip tooth blades and sizes, but knowing the correct size can be vital to any haircut or styling job. So let’s dive into what makes Oster 76 blades unique and how to select the correct size.
With detachable clippers, though?
Oster remains King, thanks to the Oster 76 Classic and its great blades. Your grandpa would’ve used the same tools in the mid-50s if he were a barber. And that’s what traditions are all about.
Now let’s look at an in-depth Oster 76 blade chart with all the sizes explained.
When I first started using Oster 76 blades, they confused me. How did I decide which one to use with so many options? The stock blades with my clipper weren’t the right size for every job. So I decided to look at the different blade sizes and determine what they all meant.
I started my research by looking at the different blades available. I first noticed that there were two types of blades:
- Hot blades are made of stainless steel and tend to be used for bulk hair removal or cutting matted hair.
- On the other hand, cold blades are made from ceramic material and can be used for more detailed work.
Oster 76 blades come in sizes from #000 to #3. Each size corresponds with how short the hair will be cut. The higher the number, the closer the cut.
The Full Oster 76 Detachable Blade Chart
Altogether, there are 14 different blade sizes for the 76 Classic. If you buy a new clipper, you’ll receive a #000 and #1 detachable blade in the package. These are equal to an adjustable clipper’s closed position (#000) or open position (#1).
Clipper blade sizes can vary depending on the brand you use. However, the following chart shows what each Oster 76 blade size is equal to
#000 – 0.1 mm (Closed position)
#00 – 0.2 mm (Very close cut)
#0 – 0.3 mm (Close cut)
#1 – 0.4 mm (Short cut)
#1A – 0.5 mm (Medium-short cut)
#2 – 0.7 mm (Medium cut)
#3 – 1.2 mm (Long cut)
#4 – 1.5 mm (Very long cut)
Skip Tooth Blades for Oster 76s
Now that you know the basics, let’s look at skip tooth blades. These blades are specifically designed for cutting coarser or longer hair textures. For example, if you’re trying to cut hair with a medium-short cut, you could use either the #1A size blade or the #1 skip tooth blade.
The skip tooth blade is identified by a series of ‘skipping’ teeth that are spaced out at intervals along the cutting edge. As its name suggests, these blades have teeth that are spaced further apart than those on other blades, creating a much larger gap between them. This feature helps the clipper slice through thicker, longer hair without snagging or pulling.
When it comes to finding the right size blade for my Oster 76 clipper, I like to look at the full range of options. There’s a variety of blades available, from cold and hot to ceramic and stainless steel. I can also choose between regular or skip-tooth versions, depending on which type of hair I’m cutting.
The key to mastering these types of clippers is understanding the different sizes and what they can do. With this in mind, you’ll be able to find the perfect blade for any job with ease.
Oster 76 Blade Lengths Explained: How to Actually Use Them?
With so many blades, it’s obvious that things can get a little bit confusing. I’ve seen quite a few barbers struggle with this. If you’re one of them, here are a few basic directions on how you can use these blade sets.
Starting With the Zeroes
The #00000 is for a skin-close, complete bald shave. Oster calls it ‘micro close’. Be careful here; you can easily nick skin with its ultra-narrow, sharp teeth.
#0000 and #000 are perfect for bald fades, with #000 serving as a great blade for low-cut surface finishes. You can do clipper over comb with the #000 – not recommending that for #0000.
Don’t try doing any bulk hair removal with these. They weren’t designed for that.
Come the Usual Numbers
#1 is your starting point for bulk hair removal. The good thing is that it’ll plow through hair, curly or thick, regardless of type. Courtesy of how Oster 76 blades are manufactured, sharp and precise.
While #1 is great for medium fades, with #1A, you go over to slightly longer fading or tapering. #1 1/2 is a softer blade; use it for working on the sides of the nape of your client.
Blade size #2 – a must-have for most, is for blending the sides and is a staple for any barber. If you’re after home buzzcuts, the #2 will be a great supplement to the blades you get with a 76 purchase.
Detachable blades #3 1/2 and #3 3/4 are also fundamental for any barbershop. Why? Because both are the starting point and ending point of tapers on regular haircuts. Unless you’re a skin fade specialty shop, some 60% of the time, you’ll swing your 76 Classic clippers with these attached.
When it comes to specialty blades, the Oster 76 has me covered. I like having the option of using different types of blades for different hair textures or styles.
- The hot blade is perfect for tackling matted hair and giving a smooth finish, while the ceramic blade is great for razor-sharp cutting lines.
- The tough blade makes quick work of thick, stubborn hair.
- The extra-wide blade is ideal for cutting large sections of hair quickly.
- Skiptooth 18 is specially designed for thick, textured hair. Get some clipper-over comb action with it if your clients have dense locks.
- The Texturing blade is great for layering, blending lines, and fringing bangs.
- The Flattop T is close to what you see in many T-liner trimmers. Use it for trickier areas like the ears or the neckline, where standard blades might be difficult to maneuver.
For specialized looks, I like to play around with adjustable hair clippers. This gives me the flexibility to fade out from one length to another for a seamless blend and on different hair types. I find that having a range of comb guides handy helps me get consistent results on each client and keep their hair looking its best.
I also try and stock up on spare blades when I can, as they can be expensive to replace if you’re not careful.
Aren’t Detachable Clippers for Barbers Expensive?
To some extent, yes. However, you can start small. You will know what blade sizes you’ll need in your barbershop, and you can expand later on.
For home users, it’s even easier, as you wouldn’t need more than 1-2 blades aside from the #000 and #1 sizes that come in the Oster 76 package.
The tradeoff is that there’s nothing as precise, clean-cut, and professional as how these blades interact with hair.
Detachable blades vs guards: Which to work with?
For me, it depends on the look I’m going for. If I’m aiming for a crisp, high-and-tight style, then guard clippers are my go-to choice. They’re easy to use and great for basic fades or trims. With guards, I can also layer different lengths in one pass, creating soft transitions that work with almost any hair type.
Oster also has a specially designed set of plastic combs for the 76 Classic.
As for detachable blades, they’re the way to go if I want precise lines and a defined finish. You can blend two lengths together without having to adjust the guard clipper size every time you change sections. Plus, detachable blades let you zero in on tricky areas like sideburns or the back of your client’s head with precision.
Naturally, that prompts a question: which is better to use? Should you stick to the stock blades and then work with guards, saving some money?
Generally, I’d advise you to go with blades for any fading/tapering:
- It’s faster – less fatigue for you, and better for your client too.
- You get significantly more precise results as blades cut shorter.
- Honestly, it’s classy.
MMA Barber Life has a very good video explaining the benefits of blades over guards. I suggest you take a look:
Speaking of guards – and specifically, the purple Nano guards he shows in the video…These are better for a Fast Feed as I’ve written in this modding guide.
Why are Oster’s detachable blades that great?
With the Oster Classic 76 clipper, and the most frequent hair clipper sizes (#000, #1, #2, and #3), you get a stainless steel blade that’s extremely resistant to erosion. That means it can last much longer than the usual clipper blades.
Plus, the special ceramic design in the Oster 76 Classic makes it a lot more durable than any other blades out there. It’s engineered to stay cool even when dealing with tough, matted hair and bulk removal.
For the professional barber, I suggest you invest in a set of blades. However, for home use, it’s more cost-effective just to buy individual sizes as you need them. You can also look into buying skip tooth blades instead of the standard ones. These are primarily used on dogs and cats but can be great for blending out a fade.
Tremendous Quality Ensures the Extra Protection
The excellent quality steel Oster clipper blades are made from starts with heat treatment. The blades are thrown in a fiery pit of 1000°F for a short period (approximately an hour). This is a needed stop, so the 1.2% carbon inside them spreads and mixes with the stainless steel for extended durability.
Once scorched properly, the 76 blades undergo an icy treatment. Dipped in freezing temperatures (below 300°F), they stay like this for close to a day.
Guess what? If something doesn’t crack or break in such extreme conditions, it won’t do so ever.
I love working with Oster’s detachable blades because of their precision and quality. Not only do the stainless steel blades remain sharp for longer, but they also don’t heat up as quickly, making them ideal for bulk hair removal. I find that the ceramic coating on the Classic 76 blades adds an extra layer of protection against erosion and keeps them cool even when dealing with tough hair.
In short, regardless of the type of hair you’re dealing with—whether it’s long and straight or coarse and curly—Oster has a blade size that will work for your needs. The chart below explains the different blade sizes available, as well as which size is best suited for each hair type.
Remember that these are not fickle ceramic blades that are easier to crack. Rather, these are Rockwell Scale C (RC62-66) tough steel beasts that are furthermore sharpened, polished and prepared to be shipped to you. They’re more durable than some high-end chef knives.
76 blades vs AgION blades
Oster doesn’t produce their detachable as ‘AgION’ anymore. These are their older blades, which ran 20% hotter than the current manufacturer. AgION detachable are old stock – they will work well, but why would you prefer something that runs hotter anyways?
How to change Oster 76 Classic blades?
I’ll share a classic video that shows how to switch from one detachable blade to another with your 76 clippers. However, let me mention a few very important rules first.
- Always, always leave the clipper on! Otherwise, you risk your blade becoming misaligned, as there’s a lever mechanism inside.
- When changing, hold the blade from both sides. Don’t force it, be gentle.
- Clean up beneath the blade before putting the new one on.
Here’s the video, it’s honestly a 2-minute video that will explain everything in an understandable way:
I have been using Oster 76 Classic blades for years now, and they just never seem to disappoint. The blades remain sharp for longer and don’t heat up as quickly, making them ideal for bulk hair removal. I particularly love the adjustable blade sizes (ranging from #000 to #1), which make it easy to customize haircuts to fit any type of hair.
I’ve been a barber for over 15 years, and I can honestly say that I owe my continued success to Oster 76 Classic blades. The adjustable blade sizes make it incredibly easy to customize haircuts according to the type of hair I’m working with, so no matter if it’s long and straight or coarse and curly, I always have the perfect blade size.
Finally, don’t confuse Oster’s clippers for human hair with their pet products. While the 76 looks like their A5 for dogs, there are significant differences between the blades. I have an additional article on pet clipper combs/blades for those interested.
If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below!