Balding Clipper / Head Shaver Reviews

I feel your pain, I too am one of the unlucky bunch that started balding in my 20s. Whether bad genes or just bad luck, the bottom line is that the hair is not coming back. No cream or magic potion will make it grow and it certainly isn’t worth the pain, risk, and cost of surgery to have a fake-looking mop of hair on your head.

The alternative is to embrace your balding and make lemonade from the lemons that life has given you. Don’t wait for nature to take its course, take charge and shave that head clean yourself. Never before has there been such wide acceptance of head shavers and the general opinion is definitely that this is more attractive than the good old male-pattern baldness.

Getting your head shaved is something that can be achieved in a couple of ways. I’ve written a short piece here that details the best ways to shave a head. Personally I strongly recommend using an electric clipper and specifically I recommend using a clipper specifically meant for the task.

The clippers you see here are balding clippers or T-blade finishing clippers. Either of these will work well to get your scalp hair down nearly to the skin. Balding clippers have a very low profile and T-blades often can’t accept combs because of their width. The T-blades are generally much wider than regular head shavers and can shave more in one go. Since all you want to do is remove all the hair on your head, both of these attributes are ones that we would like.

These sorts of clippers are quite a bit harder to find, so here I have listed a few of the most promising-looking ones. The ones I think are best get listed at the top and the rest are in no order.

BEST OVERALL:
Wahl Professional 5-Star Balding Clipper #8110

I really like the Wahl T-blade clipper, but this is the product that Wahl explicitly markets as being for balding use. When I say they market it, I really mean it. The clipper has the word “balding” written in big bold letters all down the side of the body. The box has the word as large as possible on the front. I sort of feel like it should go in a brown paper bag.

The clipper itself looks pretty good, but as I just mentioned I don’t like the lettering or the dumb little stars. Still, I try not to put too much stock in looks alone and want to give this product a fair shake. In any case, you might think it’s awesome, so who am I to judge?

This trimmer has the powerful V5000 motor in it that Wahl loves to put in its commercial-grade trimmers. I actually expected it to be in the T-blade pro but they don’t come out and say it, so I don’t want to just make an assumption. This is a motor that has had a lot of positive things said about it in other clippers, so it’s a good one.

This is a weighty beast, though, at a whole pound. The motor will also only work with U.S. electricity specifications, so it’s not for travelers.

Wahl describes the cut from these clippers as “surgically close”, which is a weird way of putting it since surgeons generally cut into people. I get what they are trying to say, though, and that’s exactly what we want from balding clippers.

People, really really love this clipper. They love it enough to post photos of their bald heads after taking care of business with it. You really can’t argue with the results. This is basically as good as it gets before you have to let a man run a straight razor over your scalp.

The main criticism has nothing to do with quality or performance – instead people don’t treat this with the right respect and realize too late that the blades on this are SHARP. There’s a reason this is meant to be used in professional hands and that lesson is learned quickly.

If you take it slow at first, though, you’ll be very pleased with the results. There can be little doubt that for those of us who prefer a more aerodynamic look, this is the current king.

SECOND PICK:
Oster Ac T-finisher Trimmer Clipper

I really like the Wahl T-blade clipper, but this is the product that Wahl explicitly markets as being for balding use. When I say they market it, I really mean it. The clipper has the word “balding” written in big bold letters all down the side of the body. The box has the word as large as possible on the front. I sort of feel like it should go in a brown paper bag.

The clipper itself looks pretty good, but as I just mentioned I don’t like the lettering or the dumb little stars. Still, I try not to put too much stock in looks alone and want to give this product a fair shake. In any case, you might think it’s awesome, so who am I to judge?

This trimmer has the powerful V5000 motor in it that Wahl loves to put in its commercial-grade trimmers. I actually expected it to be in the T-blade pro but they don’t come out and say it, so I don’t want to just make an assumption. This is a motor that has had a lot of positive things said about it in other clippers, so it’s a good one.

This is a weighty beast, though, at a whole pound. The motor will also only work with U.S. electricity specifications, so it’s not for travelers.

Wahl describes the cut from these clippers as “surgically close”, which is a weird way of putting it since surgeons generally cut into people. I get what they are trying to say, though, and that’s exactly what we want from balding clippers.

People, really really love this clipper. They love it enough to post photos of their bald heads after taking care of business with it. You really can’t argue with the results. This is basically as good as it gets before you have to let a man run a straight razor over your scalp.

BEST CORDLESS: KIKI NEW GAIN
Head Shaver Balding Hair Clipper

You’ll notice that nearly all balding and T-blade clippers are corded models. For the most part this is the case because they require more power to do their jobs. The motors are more powerful overall and the wider blades also need more torque to do their job. Which means that if you were to hook all of that up to batteries the experience would be rather disappointing. The problem is that travelers who need to use power in a foreign nation or who just won’t have access to electricity are left out in the cold in this case. That doesn’t mean that going the battery route is impossible and that’s exactly what KIKI NEW GAIN has tried to do here.

This T-blade shaver is rather garish; I don’t like gadgets that have this plastic gold look. This is not a cheap shaver, with a price that equals the units from Oster and Wahl, but since it uses a rechargeable battery it means that some of that money went there rather than into the body, motor, or blades.

The trimmer has a specific mode for balding which adjusts the blade to get a closer cut than usual. The blades are stainless steel and an eight hour charge gives you sixty minutes of use, which is about par for the course with NiMH batteries. You get four guide combs, a cleaning brush, and of course the charge adapter.

There’s isn’t much in the way of customer feedback on this product, but it was literally the only battery-powered head shaver I could find that didn’t seem like complete junk. Those who have used it says it works just fine, but the bottom line is if you want battery power in a balding clipper this is basically your only choice.

Wahl T-Pro Trimmer #9307-300 Review

This T-blade trimmer from Wahl is one of the cheapest products in this category that I could find. I decided that I wanted to have a look at it because Wahl is such a respected brand, and at this price I was honestly curious about the quality of the trimmer.

The first thing that I can say is the design and coloring of this shaver is lovely. The dark red and black is a great choice and goes a long way to making this look far more expensive than it is. For the money you get a fair number of accessories as well. There’s a comb, a brush, and a set of three comb-attachments. There’s also a bottle of blade oil.

Wahl doesn’t explicitly say what their blades are made of, only referring to them as having a “diamond finish”. They also say that the trimmer is specifically designed to avoid ingrown hairs and razor bumps, which is a good thing for any type of shaving.

Wahl says that this is a compact trimmer, but that may in fact be a disadvantage, since the whole point of a T-blade is to have a wider blade. A more compact T-blade system may just end up being like a regular-size clipper.

You should also take note that if you are outside the U.S. this clipper will not work, so international travelers need not apply.

The fact that this is a corded head shaver is probably one of the reasons that the price has been kept so low. Maybe the compact nature would have been better-suited to a battery-operated version of the shaver, which would also have gotten around the electricity compatibility problem.

When looking at what people who have actually used the trimmer have to say about it, opinions are mixed. As you might expect, the actual construction of the trimmer is pretty cheap.

Despite this, Wahl has kept its standards up in the way that matters the most, which is to say that it performs well as an actual clipper. The downside is that in practice it is quite small. While that is fine if you want the T-blade only to do detail work, for those of us looking to use them as balding clippers it’s less than ideal and I would recommend going for a bigger model instead.

Wahl Professional Detailer Shaver
with Adjustable T-Blade

This is Wahl’s answer the T-blade finisher and it comes in at an almost identical price to the offering from Oster. Both of these companies are strong competition for each other, although Oster doesn’t bother with the truly cheap-end of the market the way Wahl does.

In any case, it is hard not to compare the two since they both cost just about the same amount of money.

From a style perspective the Wahl wins hands down. There have been plenty of other Oster products that I did like the look of, but the T-finisher I reviewed here is not one of them. While I don’t think the Wahl trimmer is going to win any beauty contests, I definitely do not find it unpleasant and the design does look modern.

As with the Oster, this clipper from Wahl explicitly says that it is not intended for use by amateur stylists. This is something meant for the use of professionals who need to be fast and accurate. That’s another way of saying that this product does not hold your hand and if you do not know what you are doing you may end up ruining the haircut faster than you realize. As I said with the Oster, though, when it comes to shaving off all your hair it is pretty much impossible to mess up the haircut. So the extra oomph and sharpness of these clippers becomes very attractive indeed.

Wahl has used a rotary motor design which they say makes it possible for the clipper to be very light and compact, but still have the same power output as a big full-size clipper. That remains to be seen, but it is a nice fact if it is true.

Although the asking price is the same, Wahl tends to put more extras in the bag and here they have included several things you will not find in the Oster’s package. This includes comb guides and a cutting guard. This is another clipper that will only work from U.S. power sources, and of course it is corded.

So what do people think about it in practice? They love it and it is especially good for bald shavers apparently. Wahl has managed to actually cut the weight and size down significantly and yet it still performs as well or better than larger more traditional models. Overall I think this is a better alternative to the Oster, even though they are both excellent trimmers, simply because it looks better, gives you more for your money, and is easy to use without the hardcore edge Oster’s trimmer demands.

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