Oster 76 blades explained: Size chart & tips
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 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.
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.
|Blade number||Size in inches||Size in mm|
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 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: