Oster Model 10
Classic Detachable Blade 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. It’s hardcore and it’s expensive, but should you care?

Model T

Looking at the Model 10, you’d be forgiven for thinking that it runs off steam power. When Oster decided to name this the “classic” they weren’t kidding. I doubt this would look out of place in an Old West barber shop.

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.

Universal Power

The design of the Model 10 employs a universal motor where you swap the actual blades rather than combs. This particular combo comes with the size 000 and 001 blades that are rated at 0.5 mm and 2.4 mm respectively.

There are a lot of advantages to this approach. The motor in the Model 10 is a heavy-duty unit that’s meant to last many years. It has a break-resistant housing that should deal with the daily rough and tumble of commercial use. Since this is designed to swap blades as easily other clippers switch combs, it means that you can easily replace the component most likely to wear out first. In fact, you’ll be swapping out blades during the haircut and treating them like semi-disposable items. It also makes them much easier to keep clean and it means you can share one set of blades among multiple people who are cutting hair, which is a commercial consideration as well.

Yes, price is a factor here. The blades are obviously expensive, but this is much more precise and efficient than using different combs. You are also spreading the blade wear over multiple blades, which should make all of them last longer. It also means that you can have blades that are more suited for certain kinds of cut.

Overall, the point of all this is that you have way more control and flexibility over the haircuts you can do.

Putting It Into Practice

The practical considerations are also very apparent. This is a corded clipper, which is to be expected since no battery-powered clipper today can put out this much juice or stand up to the hours of use the Model 10 is designed to take. So having a cord is basically inevitable. What Oster did is to make the cord 10 feet long, which means you can easily move around someone seated in a chair without worrying about reach.

Word On The Street

While the Model 10 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.

On the negative front there are a couple of issues that may be deal breakers for some people.

To understand some of the issues you have to be aware that Oster makes another clipper known as the 76 which uses the same blades as the Model 10. The problem is that the 76 is a big, heavy professional clipper. The Model 10 is actually a smaller, lighter machine that performs about the same, which makes it popular. The downside of this is that squeezing that performance into a much smaller housing causes heat to build up quickly.

This can be a problem in a commercial setting where you are serving one customer after another. For home users this is obviously not nearly as much of an issue and it’s from there that I’m viewing it.

Some people are complaining about something a bit more worrying, however. They say there may be build-quality issues, the operative word being “may”. It seems that Oster opted for plastic screws in places and people feel that a clipper that costs almost two hundred dollars should not do that. There is no actual evidence that this causes any issues, however, and it may be a concession to the smaller and lighter character of this clipper.

Pay Your Money, Make Your Choice

Should you buy the Model 10? That largely depends on your attitude towards the price. It’s almost two 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.