Over years I have tried a huge variety of haircutting tools. Most clippers and shears will last a lifetime if taken care of properly. But in spite of that fact, I’ve gone thru countless clippers, shears, trimmers, and whatever else is used in this profession. I’ve always enjoyed trying out and sorting thru different haircutting equipment in search of the most effective and reliable tools.I’ve tested $350 clippers and clipper that could be purchased for less than $20. Up until lately, there was not a variety of clipper made by Andis, Wahl, or Oster for human haircutting that I had not tried at least once. So, here is a short list of my favorites.
1.Wahl Senior - If I had to have only one clipper, it would be a Wahl clipper and preferably the Wahl Senior.A lot of my favorite clipper cutting processes involves the use of both a Wahl Senior and the Andis Master ML. But, again, if I had to choose one, it would be a Wahl clipper. I would choose almost any Wahl clipper over the Andis Master ML so long as it has the adjustable blade guard.
·The Wahl Senior is light, so it is friendly to long days of fading.
·While the Wahl Senior is not as powerful as the Andis Master, it is plenty powerful enough for most human hair cutting applications.
·Another bonus, but not a deciding factor for me, is the price of the Wahl Senior. If a $200 clipper would get me a better result, it would be worth it to me.
2.Andis Outliner II - It seems all the roads of “trimmers”, “edger”, and “outliners” end at the Andis Outliner II.Over all, no trimmer I’ve ever used from any clipper company best the Andis Outliner II. Most barbers I’ve ever known settle on this same clipper as their go to trimmer. It’s that simple. Andis Outliner II, often imitated, but never duplicated.
·Not particularly prone to quickly overheating, as some trimmers are.
·Ideal size and weight for detailed work.
·Blades outperform other trimmers
·Smooth operation without excessive vibration or noise.
3.Andis Master - Reputed as “The Cadillac” of clippers and the professional’s choice. Having used the Andis Master as a principle clipper for most of my professional haircutting career; I know it to be an extremely powerful, smooth operating magnetic clipper with high quality blades and clipper housing. This clipper is built to last a lifetime and some. I inherited my first pair from my Great Grand Father, who was also a Barber.
·High quality clipper housing
·High quality, corrosion resistant blades
·Exceptionally power magnetic clipper
·Rigid adjustable blade guard and housing has notches to which the adjustable lever may be set.
Wahl Senior -VS- Andis Master
After using the Andis Master ML almost exclusively for most of my professional haircutting career,why have I now made the Wahl Senior magnetic clipper my #1 go to clipper and reduced the Andis Master magnetic clipper to a “Role Player” of sorts? The answer is simple; the Wahl Senior makes haircutting easier for me when compared to the Andis Master ML.
To say that the Wahl Senior makes haircutting easier for me when compared to the Andis Master ML is fairly simple. However, to describe how the Wahl Senior clipper makes haircutting easier for me is a bit more difficult. With that said, I will give my best effort to explain what makes the Wahl Senior magnetic clipper preferred to the Andis Master ML.
I think that in general; anyone would have an easier time learning to cut Fade and Tapered men’s’ haircut styles with a pair of Wahl adjustable magnetic clipper than with the Andis Master. This could be the reason Wahl clipper are so popular in the Home Use market. The Wahl Senior is a slower more forgiving clipper when compared to the Andis Master. Because the Andis has a faster more powerful cutting action, it put more demands on the skill set of the operator.
Allow me, if you will to use sport cars in an analogy to suggest the difference in these clippers. A Corvette is a great sports car for the weekend enthusiast and is suitable as a first sports car. While on the other hand there are other high performance sports cars like the Lamborghini, that probably should require special drivers training before being driven in a way that the driver is realizing any more than 40% of the cars potential.If the average driver of 10 or more years experience mashes the accelerator pedal of a stock Corvette on the open road; chances are that they could handle what comes next. On the other hand, average driving skills may not be enough to handle a high performance sports car if the accelerator pedal is mashed to the floor. I recently read that most high performance sports car owners will never realize more than 30% of the cars potential. And my guess is that most of those owners don’t care about not realizing more than 30% of the high performance sports car performance because they buy them for status symbols or trophies of some sort. So goes the story of the Andis Master ML: more power and performance features than most operators will need or use.
Below, I’ll continue to review other popular haircutting tools that I’ve used.Buying different clippers and haircutting tools over the years have help keep haircutting interesting and fun. I’ve enjoyed testing and experimenting with a large variety of tools and although it’s been expensive at times, I do not have regrets. You just never know when you’ll come across something that really makes a difference for you.
ØOSTER 76 ~ Speaking of expensive, as I was just above, the Oster 76 clipper is just that. I’ve had at least two pair of these clippers. One pair I took to a repair shop that went bankrupt and closed before I could get them back. This is a relevant point with regards to the overall appraisal of the Oster 76 hair clipper.
The Oster 76 is an expensive option for a number of reasons. First off, the clipper itself retail for as high as $200 depending on the distributor. That’s just the beginning. Should you, as I did, opt to buy additional clipper blade attachments; be prepared to spend $25 to $40 for each attachment. These attachments allow you to vary the length at which the hair is being cut by the Oster 76 clipper. Finally, unlike most magnetic clippers, the Oster 76 clipper has parts that wear with regular use and must be replaced: which is why I lost a pair to a repair shop that went out of business while giving my Oster 76 clippers an overhaul. Most quality magnetic clippers could last 15 years without even replacing or sharpening the blades if well maintained and if the operator cuts only clean hair. Hair with foreign debris (sand, metal shavings, wood chips, etc.) in it can quickly damage or dull clippers.
The Oster 76 motor driven clipper is like a lawn mower for hair. The Oster 76 is very powerful and is very effective at removing lots of hair fast without bogging down and seizing up like some magnetic clipper will when over tasked with thick coarse hair. So when you have to take old shaggy down to “High & Tight” this is your clipper. Otherwise, the power is overkill for most haircutting applications. Also, like a lawn mower, the Oster 76 clippers are very loud when compared to most magnetic clippers. Also, the Oster 76 clipper is a little bulky and cumbersome when compared to comparable magnetic clippers. Another disadvantage the Oster 76 is that the blade attachments cut at a fixed length and are not adjustable like the Andis Master ML or the Wahl Senior.
While I’ve know an exceptional barber who uses the Oster 76 clipper exclusively; I seldom use mine. Overall, my general opinion is that most can get along without them they are not worth the trouble of frequent servicing, loud noise, and having to switch blade attachments to get any variation in cutting lengths.With that said, I will probably always have a pair around because; as a consummate professional and Tonsorial Virtuoso, I would not want to be without a tool that could give me an edge in those rare instances where the Oster 76 outshines all others.
ØANDIS STYLINER II TRIMMER:
I’ve purchased this clipper more times than I can remember. This clipper is used mostly as a trimmer or outliner, but is powerful enough for some big clipper operations like shaping up Afros. One reason I’ve had to buy this clipper over and over is because of the very fragile housing that breaks very easily.
While this clipper is more powerful than it cousin the Andis Outliner II, it is however less smooth in my opinion. I don’t like the blades as much either because they are a little less comfortable against the skin when compared to the Andis Outliner II.
Over all, I’d say this is a good clipper, but one I can do without. Also, it is worth noting that Andis has a relatively new version of this clipper called the Andis Styliner M3 Trimmer, which is said to run cooler, run quieter, have a more powerful motor and magnesium housing. The Andis Styliner M3 trimmer also cost nearly twice the price of the Andis Styliner II. I’ve not tried the new version of the Styliner yet.
ØANDIS PIVOT PRO TRIMMER
oWhen my longtime haircutting partner and I first tried out the PIVOT PRO TRIMMER, we thought we’d found our new “trimmer love”. One that could finally put down the ANDIS OUTLINER II that had been the long reining favorite.
oThis clipper is indeed ultra fast, and when we had made our magical barber adjustments to the blades; the PIVOT PRO TRIMMER cut hair like butter.
oOver time, however, our affection for the ANDIS PIVOT PRO TRIMMER began to fade. The clipper is fast but it got extremely hot very fast. Also, the blade design and general clipper construction seem to make the blades apt to shifting and becoming maladjusted.
oFinal call on the ANDIS PIVOT PRO TRIMMER is close, but no cigar.
ØANDIS SPEEDMASTER CLIPPER
oMuch like its litter brother (PIVOT PRO TRIMMER), the ANDIS SPEEDMASTER CLIPPER is fast but not well constructed and get too hot too fast.
Overall not a good durable choice for heavy all day use.