Hair Clipper Reviews - for Home Use and Professionals

A good pair of clippers can last a decade or more, so it pays to choose correctly from the start. Doing your own hair can be very rewarding and economical. Also, one day there will be no one left to cut your 80s flat top and you’ll be glad you learned to DIY.

However, in life there are winners and there are losers, that’s just the way it is. The same is true for the things people make and we buy. Even if they are all good individually, some are going to be better than others. So it is with these hair clippers as well.

BEST OVERALL:
Wahl Professional 5-Star Magic Clip

Wahl seems to play fast and loose with the term “professional”. Their Elite Pro clipper is a good product as far as home clippers go, but it really isn’t a device meant for professionals. This clipper, the Magic Clip, doesn’t have the word “professional” anywhere in the name, yet it’s specifically meant for professionals only. It makes me wonder what exactly is going on in the well-groomed heads over at Wahl.

I don’t expect professional barbers to be reading this site, of course, but it’s always interesting to look at commercial equipment that’s affordable to everyone and evaluate it as something you may want to use. So should you, the average home user, buy this product?

People, both professionals and home users, are very, very happy with this clipper. The cutting performance is essentially beyond reproach from a home user perspective. This is definitely a Pro playing in the Amateur League.

People make a special note of the noticeably stronger motor and precise cutting action. It does seem however that Wahl has cheaped out on the accessories, so you may want to replace them quickly. At this price, however, I’m willing to forgive that given that the core product is so good. You can achieve flawless blends and sharp lines with the Magic Clip, and it seems that Wahl is onto a real winner here.

I can’t see any reason why a regular home user should not buy these, and at this price (or even more) this is one of the best clippers you can buy. Which is why the Magic Clip is also my top overall pick in the hair clipper category.

BEST CORDLESS HAIR CLIPPER:
Sminiker Quiet Pro

One of the biggest and most common complaints I have heard about hair clippers is that they are simply too loud. It may not be all that bad at arm’s length, but if you are the one getting a haircut a noisy clipper can actually be quite intolerable.

This hair clipper from Sminiker claims as one of its main selling points that it is quiet. It says right in the name that this clipper is so quiet that you can use it to cut the hair of a baby. That’s a pretty bold statement, but there is definitely a place in the world for a quieter hair clipper, so let’s see what all the lack of noise is about.

The big question, of course, is whether the clipper is quiet or not. This is obviously something only people who have held it next to their ear could possible know and the good news is that these people do say the Sminiker is quiet. Being quiet can also mean that the motor is weak and the blades therefore do not cut well, but any suggestion to this effect can be dismissed easily. Users report that the Sminiker cuts hair with no issues whatsoever.

I was pretty sure that no cordless clippers were going to make it into my list of top picks, but I’m happy to have been proven wrong. It turns out that these are effective, practical, and just plain quiet clippers. The price is a little more than the average corded unit, but I think it’s definitely worth it, given how convenient it is and especially how kid-friendly these clippers are.

Although there isn’t exactly a lot of competition, these clippers get my nod as the best cordless hair clippers.

BEST HAIRCUT KIT FOR HOME USE:
Wahl Elite Pro

When you go and call your hair clipper the “Elite Pro” you are setting a certain expectation. That expectation is not “pretty good” or “value for money”. It’s the expectation that something should stand out from the crowd and be a one-in-a-million special case. So let’s see just how “elite” this hair clipper can actually be.

Well, the Elite Pro certainly has some elite features (more on that in the full review), but I think what really matters in the end is not how elite Wahl brands the product as, but how people actually experience it. And feedback from customers who have bought the Elite Pro is overwhelmingly positive.

I wouldn’t recommend it for professional use, in spite of the name, but professional stylists already know what’s good in their industry. I think the Elite Pro is a very good home clipper though. The price is low enough to tell the sensible person that maybe this isn’t really a professional clipper, but if you look at it as a very good home-grade product I can be much more sympathetic with it.

So should you buy the Elite Pro? I think the answer is yes. If you know that you are buying a good home clipper from a reputable company that looks good and performs well for home use workloads, and not something a professional stylist would be slavering over, you should be perfectly happy with your purchase.

BEST FOR PROFESSIONALS:
Oster Model 10 Grooming Clipper

The Oster Model 10 Classic is not your friendly neighborhood clipper. This is a serious piece of equipment for people who are serious about cutting hair.

Whatever your personal style preferences may be, there is no doubt that the Model 10 is beautifully made. It has a hand-crafted look that anyone can appreciate. There is also no doubt that Oster has made something here that stands out in the crowd. Most hair clippers look basically the same, but you can’t accuse the Model 10 of looking like anything else on the market.

While this hair clipper is meant for professionals, there are lots of home users who have bought it. You’d think that the lack of concessions to less-than-professional users would lead to bad experiences, but it turns out that almost anyone can appreciate the strengths of the Oster Model 10. Acclaim for the Model 10 is near universal and no one disagrees about its incredibly powerful motor. The blades perform well too, but obviously if you aren’t happy you can get another type and just swap them out.

So should you buy the Model 10? That largely depends on your attitude towards the price. It’s well over hundred bucks for this kit and then invariably you need to buy more blades if you want more than a buzzcut. If the money is not an issue then you’ll find yourself in possession of arguably the best compact clipper that you can buy today.

Remington HKVAC2000A Hair Clippers

Yes, this hair clipper really sucks. And no, that isn’t the conclusion of my review, that’s just a simple fact about the Remington HKVAC2000A. This weird and wonderful product is not only a hairclipper, it’s also a hair vacuum cleaner. This ain’t no Flowbee, this is a totally serious clipper made by the totally serious and venerable Remington.

I really like the idea of this clipper. It’s all very pretty as well and I know Remington to make quality stuff. The price is very good, there are a fair number of accessories and of course the convenience of the vacuum feature is just great. According to people who have cut hair with it, the vacuum feature actually works as advertised. Personally, I was worried that it may be a bit of a gimmick, but it turns out that’s not the case.

Obviously it’s not all roses htough. There are a few issues people have picked up with the Remington. First of all, the combination of motors and vacuum make for one loud machine; loud enough that some people said it hurt their ears. It’s not everyone though, so your mileage may vary.

Some people also say that the vacuum blows hair out of the exhaust again, but it’s not a common complaint, so I suspect this is happening when people cut hair that’s already very short, such as with daily or weekly trimming. This makes it through the system without being caught.

I think this is especially useful for people who cut their own hair, live in apartments, or for one reason or another cannot deal with the mess. If, however, you are OK with a bit of sweeping, there may be more focused products for the same money.

Andis T-Outliner Trimmer with T-Blade

The Andis T-Outliner couldn’t make it into my top five mainly because it is too specialized to recommend to everyone. You see, this is not an all-purpose hair trimmer as most of the other products I have reviewed here. The Andis is specifically designed for precise work such as cutting sharp outlines and trimming difficult skin such as necks and the lips. In a way its close-cutting blades make it more like a foil shaver, just without the foil.

It has carbon-steel blades that need to be oiled after every use and a magnetic motor that Andis says will run cool, while still providing plenty of power.

There are some drawbacks to this of course. Unless you want a fabulous bald look, you probably don’t want to trim your whole head with this, so you’ll need another trimmer as a companion.

In terms of practicality, the Andis comes with a generous eight-foot cord.

The only thing I’m not completely on-board with is the visual design of the Andis. It’s pretty basic. Practical? For sure, but it is sort of ugly to look at. That on/off switch may be very functional, but I don’t want to actually look at the thing.

The good news is that whatever money was saved on the design of the Andis clippers went into quality. People who have bought this product are very pleased with both the precision of its cuts and the quality of the actual machine as well. If you are the kind of person who likes to sport a sharp, fashionable cut and want to do it yourself, this is one clipper I can recommend.

OSTER Classic 76 Universal Motor Clipper

The model 76 is a little bit famous in its own right. It’s a professional-grade clipper that’s something of a sought-after favorite by many professional salon-dwelling hairdressers. The price is a little on the high side, but that’s the class of product we’re looking at here.

What makes the Oster clippers like this one special is the universal motor design. The motor unit and blade easily separate and you swap out entire blade heads rather than length-adjusting combs.

The motor is a really heavy-duty model that can be used to cut through the most stubborn hair. There are many blade heads to choose from, but this kit only comes with the 000 and 001 size options. This means that the initial asking price is actually far less than you’ll likely end up spending in the long run.

On the other hand, having multiple, specialized and dedicated blades ensures that you’ll get the best results.

These universal motor models from Oster are real workhorse machines. They have toughened housings, simplified designs, and purely practical considerations such as the nine-foot cable on this one that allows you to easily move around a barber’s chair, for example.

The kit includes a fair number of items, such as a a brush and blade oil, but not as much as cheaper kits have thanks to the lack of plastic combs and no scissors.

If you approach the 76 with the right kind of attitude you’ll see that it really is one of the better clippers on the market, but then why isn’t it on my top 5?

The answer is simple: Because the Model 10 exists. The Oster Model 10 has all the power, versatility, and quality of the 76, but in a package that is much smaller than others have tried before. The main tradeoff is heat, but the advantages of having a small and light version of the 76, which uses the same blade heads, incidentally, are hard to ignore.

If you’re OK with the bulk of the 76, by all means go for it. You’ll be very happy with it, I’m sure. For most people however, the Model 10 is the logical choice.

Wahl Home Barber Kit Review

This is a little sneaky, because technically this is not so much a review of a trimmer as a review of a total package as the main focus.

Wahl has always had something to offer the amateur barber on a budget and this particular offering caught my eye in a big way.

For less than fifty bucks, Wahl will not only provide you with a hair clipper, but just about anything you could possibly need in order to cut someone’s hair.

Let’s quickly looks at what’s included. There are a total of 30 individual pieces in this kit. You get the clipper, a cordless touch up trimmer, a cordless personal trimmer, a whole bunch of combs, a sectioning clip, scissors, a mirror. Look, I’m going to stop there. Let me just say that you are guaranteed not to have to buy any additional accessories, since literally everything you could need is here.

The clippers have blades made from high-carbon steel that’s self-sharpening.

When you look at the overall feeling people express about this kit, it’s clear that the product is a good one. Obviously not top-tier, but good enough. This is perfect for a cash-strapped family. Young couples with kids will get their money returned after just two haircuts.

While I can’t recommend this as a top pick, for a certain subset of people this is actually the best choice they can make.

Hang on though, what if you only had half the budget it would take to buy the Wahl, surely we are scraping the bottom of the price range? No even close.

Conair Cord/Cordless Rechargeable
Home Hair Trimmer Kit

Twenty bucks is all you’ll need to take ownership of this chrome beauty from Conair. Honestly, I’m surprised by Conair every time I look at one of their products. Every time I tell myself that there is no way something so cheap could be any good at all and every time they prove me wrong. I don’t know how the company pumps out decent kit at such low prices, but I’m not going to start complaining. Well, maybe I will if it turns out that this particular product sucks.

As I have mentioned in other places, I’m a sucker for a shiny gadget. If it’s chrome I want it, and so right from the start this trimmer had extra points in my view.

While not as extensive as the Wahl kit, this set from Conair has an incredible 22-pieces. You get 10 comb attachments, styling clips, a barber comb, a styling comb, scissors, cape, brush, oil, and a hard case among others. The kit is not as complete as the Wahl offering, but I can’t emphasize enough that it only costs half as much.

We mustn’t forget either that this is a cordless clipper. I have no idea how Conair pulled that off at this price, but somehow they did. Of course, in some of their other products that are cordless the battery packs have been more than a little rough; sometimes requiring a manual soldering by intrepid customers.

Conair claims a 60-minute runtime, which is also very good. You can also use it with a cord, which also removes any battery anxiety you may have. No unintended mohawks for you!

So why not get this over the Wahl kit above? Well, it turns out that, while it’s an OK cutter that will give you a dozen or more cuts without issue, many people find that it fails sooner than they’d expect. If you think about it, if it saves you a year’s worth of haircuts, you have received your money’s worth several times over. On the other hand, no one likes to buy something with a short shelf-life.

Still, for the person who needs to groom their hair but is very short on cash, this is almost the only option.

Philips Norelco HC7452/41 7100
Hair Clipper Review

This is probably the prettiest product I have ever seen from Philips Norelco. I’m more familiar with their electric razors, but of course the company makes all sorts of personal grooming products, so I can’t say that I’m very surprised.

There are quite a few innovative features here. The one I like the most is the fact that there are no interchangeable combs. Instead, the one comb can be adjusted to one of 23 different settings. The blades are titanium (or at least coated in the stuff) so they should be pretty good.

The Philips is cordless and the claim is for a full 120 minutes of operation. You can, however, use it corded as well. There’s a turbo button to switch cutting speeds in case you have thicker hair or are just in a hurry. Just don’t expect the battery to last as long under turbo speeds.

The bad news is that apparently this clipper does not work as well as the marketing material would suggest. People complain that the motor is rather weak and that it doesn’t cut all their hair.

There are also plenty of people who have no complaints about the cutting performance, so it may very well be something related to hair type or manufacturing quality issues. Overall, however, this is a cool clipper that incorporates most of what you need in one clipper. For that reason I actually think that this could be a good travel clipper, since you don’t need a big kit of combs in order to use it, and it is cordless.

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