Oster 76 blades explained: Size chart & tips

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In my talks with barbers, we’ve always agreed: even today, Oster stick to old school traditions. They lag behind Wahl’s and Andis’ adjustable clippers, where cordless technology has become the norm.

With detachable blade clippers, though?

Oster remains King, and this is thanks to the Oster 76 Classic and its fantastic blades. The same tools your grandpa would’ve used in the mid-50s were he 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.

Oster 76 Blades

Versatile, sharp and durable. Unlock the full potential of Oster 76 with these.

 

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).

All other blades you have to buy separately.

You can see all of them for sale here. [table id=4 /]

Oster 76 Blades

Versatile, sharp and durable. Unlock the full potential of Oster 76 with these.

 

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.

Let’s start with the zeroes.

The #00000 is for a skin-close, complete bald shave. Oster call it ‘micro close’. Careful here, as 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 shaping the tops of flattops. 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.

The #0A is great for light caesars, close (but not bald) fades and flattops. It’s equal to a halfway-open adjustable clipper. The Modified 0A is for finishing and free hand touchups.

Next 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 types. 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 or the nape of your client.

Blade size #2 – a must-have for most, is for blending the sides and 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 be swinging your 76 Classic clipper with these attached.

What about the specialty blades?

Skiptooth 18 – this one 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.

Doesn’t all of this make a detachable clipper 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?

Oster also have a specially designed set of plastic combs for the 76 Classic:

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, 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?

As I mentioned, traditions – both in manufacturing, and in communicating with practicing barbers. The blades – as well the Classic 76 clipper, have been around for decades.

Speaking of manufacture, Oster has a rigorous process in producing these.

It 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.

Remember that these are not fickle ceramic blades which 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.

Important note on current 76 blades vs AgION blades

Oster doesn’t produce their detachables as ‘AgION’ anymore. These are their older blades, which ran 20% hotter than the current manufacture. AgION detachables 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 clipper. 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:

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.

Any questions, let me know in the comments below!

12 thoughts on “Oster 76 blades explained: Size chart & tips”

    1. Hi Ed,

      A number 3 haircut using a #3 guard on a clipper stands at around 3/8″ (or around 9.5mm).

      In other words, an Oster #3 1/2 blade should achieve the same length and overall results.

      Cheers,
      Alex

  1. thank you so much for compiling this info! Very helpful. I’m a trying to invest bc I am sick of buying crap, I have probably gone through at least 10 pairs of crap in 14 years cutting. I am trying to basically buy what I’d be able to do with Wahl guards 1-4.5, but a little nervous about not having the lever to blend between sizes. In addition to the guards that come with the clippers, I think I will need the 0A, the 1A, the 1 1/2, the 2, the 3 1/2, and the 3 3/4. Curious about the difference between the 000 and the Mod 0A. Thanks again for your help!

    1. Hi Kathleen!

      While heavier than other clippers, the Oster 76 won’t disappoint you! Definitely lives up to its name as a classic.

      Onto your question:

      While both the #000 and #0A (modified) cut the same length, their teeth are a little bit different. This makes the #0A Mod better for finishing techniques (free hand), while the teeth of the #000 make it a more standard and versatile choice. You can do anything from fades (close, but not to the level of skin/bald fades), standard clipper over comb etc.

      Here’s a quick image comparison to illustrate the blade teeth difference:
      Mod 0A -> https://www.osterstyle.com/blades/clipper-blades/oster-detachable-blade-modified-oa-fits-classic-76-octane-model-one-model-10-outlaw-clippers/076918-036-005.html

      Standard 000 -> https://www.osterstyle.com/blades/clipper-blades/oster-detachable-blade-size-000-fits-classic-76-octane-model-one-model-10-outlaw-clippers/076918-026-005.html

      Cheers and happy hair cutting!
      Alex

  2. Okay, that’s about sizes. Now what about the different ‘colors’? The silver that came with my clippers, there are some silver ones marked CryogenX, and there are black ones, Diamox? Confused…

    BTW; my 76 ‘Classic’ only came with the 000 blade. It was $99.

    1. Hi Scott,

      Generally, if you see a CryogenX blade, this means it’s one of Oster’s detachable blades for pet clippers. The Diamox are indeed the black ones – you’ll see them for the Oster Titan (usually) and Classic 76 (more rare), even though they fit all Oster detachables.

      I’ll be honest with you – there isn’t that much of a difference between them. Even if you go through Oster’s official site and catalogue you’ll see all these blade series go through the same manufacturing process I outlined in the article.

      You’ll also see some black blades that are Elite Cryogen X — these have a little bit of an extra carbon steel coating for even more long-lasting sharpness.

      For general use, these classifications don’t really matter that much.

      Interesting re: your Classic 76. I think now a lot of retailers have started shipping several versions. One cheaper with the #000 blade only (like yours), and the other one coming with a #1 blade. Wouldn’t be surprised if due to COVID19, some merchants also offer only a 76 clipper with no blades included…

      Cheers,
      Alex

  3. Thank you for a very informative article. I have two quick questions.
    1) Since you are supposed to install the blade when the clipper is running, How do you store the clipper after cutting your hair. Without the blades attached to the clipper?
    2) If I decide to use the blades with the comb/guard what is the best way to clip it on?. a)Install it on the blade and with the combo blade guard on the clipper or b)install the the blade while clipper runs then clip guard and then snap in place?.
    Thanks again for helping.

    1. Hey Ngoc!

      You can always use a storage case, at least that’s what I do. You can leave the blade on the clipper without problems. Depends on how many blades do you plan to use for your detachable clipper – if you use more than 2-3, you might need to get a proper blade case. Otherwise, you can keep them in ANY case – just remember to clean it so things don’t get messy with the leftover hair.

      Regarding 2), first put the guards on the blade and then put the clipper on. Otherwise it will rattle a bit too much if you first turn it on, then put the guards. At least that’s how I prefer to work with mine.

      Cheers!
      Alex

  4. If using guards to achieve lengths not available with just blades, what’s the best blade to use with the guards?

    I’m trying to decide between the Fast Feed, Senior, or Classic 76 for personal home use, and trying to get a better idea of what using blades would look like.

    Thanks!!

    1. Mike, oh my god, I’m not sure how I missed out on your comment! I’m sorry!

      COVID hit my family hard and I forgot to check things out here…

      Probably you’ve already made your purchase, but generally the stock blades detachable clippers come with are usually the best fit for guards. Personally, I like the #1.

      Best regards & stay safe,
      Alex

  5. Looking to purchase the 76 and wondering what blades you recommend getting starting off. I work in a barbershop and do bald fades and use the plastic guards in sizes 1-4 most often. What blades would be equivalent?

    1. Hey Olivia,

      So, one person above noted that his Oster package didn’t come with a #1 blade. If the Oster 76 you get doesn’t include one, get the #1.

      For fundamental purposes, I’d go with the #000, #1, #3 1/2 and #3 3/4. If you do closer bald fades, grab a #0000 for extra close action. Some people love the #00000 for ultra close skin fades, but using this size can be a bit tricky. #0000 achieves a safer bald fade approach for more general situations.

      So, if you get the #000 and #1 in your package, this means the #3 1/2 and #3 3/4 for more bulk cuts and an optional #0000 for extra closeness.

      At least that’s how I see things, you can watch some Youtube videos for extra recommendations from barbers too!

      Cheers,
      Alex

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