As seen in:
OSTER
Classic 76, Universal Motor
Babyliss
Pro X2 Ferrari Cordless
Philips Norelco
Do-It-Yourself
Andis
Promotor Combo Kit
Wahl
Color Pro Complete Kit
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Good

Powerful, durable, and well-respected among professionals. Great for buzz and military-style cuts.

Lightweight. Great for delicate trim and edge work. Rechargeable battery can last three hours.

Versatile styling tool. Face-shaving attachment converts to cordless razor. 180-degree swivel head.

Set includes two pro-grade trimmer and clipper units and a 27-piece accessory package.

Lightweight and ergonomically designed.

Bad

Somewhat bulky and awkward; could be more challenging for users with smaller hands.

More expensive than some competitors.

Rechargeable battery only lasts about 60 minutes. Blade guards are not exceptionally durable.

Corded model; requires a cooling period.

Model includes a cord, which detracts somewhat from mobility.

Bottom Line

Professional-grade, "gold standard" clippers. The best available.

Great for creating fades and advanced styles, this comprehensive set is ideal for beginning stylists.

Primarily designed for amateurs, this is an affordable alternative to pricey clippers.

A comprehensive, professional-grade set that can be used at home. Price is reasonable.

A complete set of at-home haircut tools for an exceptionally low price. The best deal on the market.

How we decide
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Products received from manufacturers
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Models Considered
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Hours Spent
5
Experts Interviewed
231
Consumers Consulted

Best Hair Clippers

Today's consumers are looking for ways to save money and time. Do-it-yourself haircuts have become a part of that trend. While professional hairstylists and barbers are still in high demand for their specialized styling skills, some people are satisfied with running a hair clipper with a blade guard through their hair every few weeks to maintain a basic look. Some parents also find that DIY haircuts are much easier on the pocketbook than multiple trips to the barbershop. We examined dozens of professional and consumer-level hair clippers. Here are the top five contenders:

Products we Considered

OSTER
Classic 76, Universal Motor
Babyliss
Pro X2 Ferrari Cordless
Philips Norelco
Do-It-Yourself
Andis
Promotor Combo Kit
Wahl
Color Pro Complete Kit

Considerations

Construction and Design

Some hairstylists prefer the power and sturdiness of traditional corded hair clippers. Others seek out the convenience and versatility of cordless models. Each design has its pros and cons, and in this section, we discuss those features. We also examine the construction of each top contender, since professional-grade hair clippers are expected to provide years of reliable service and easy maintenance.

Versatility

All of our top hair clipper contenders are capable of turning Cousin It back into Cousin Tommy, but different models have different capacities. Some have no problem removing head hair in bulk, but they're too large for delicate trim work. Others are small enough for precise edging and fades, but they overheat or clog during extended haircut sessions. Easy blade changing is a plus in our book, as is the ability to accommodate after-market accessories like blade guards. We especially appreciate hair clippers that both professionals and home users could use with success.

Additional Accessories

By itself, a standard hair clipper is a bit limited on the hair-maintenance battlefield. However, a hair clipper with several blade sizes and a range of blade guards is a good thing. In this section, we note any additional features or accessories included in the original hair clipper package. Whenever possible, we also mention useful accessories that can be obtained separately.

Price

Professional-grade hair clippers can easily cost hundreds of dollars, but they are designed to deliver years of service and have strict design tolerances. Most do-it-yourself hairstylists can achieve solid results with equipment that is far less expensive. Nevertheless, some budget-priced hair clippers pose problems for users. In this section, we discuss pricing as it pertains to quality and performance.

Considerations

Construction and Design

OSTER Classic 76 Universal Motor Clipper

The Oster Classic 76 is considered by many to be the "gold standard" of affordable, professional-grade hair clippers. Part of the reason for this lies in its construction. The clipper's housing is made of thick, durable plastic that is nearly the equivalent of vintage Bakelite. The one-speed electric motor is exceptionally powerful and can generate significant noise at times. The housing's grooved design definitely improves the Classic 76's ergonomics, but users with smaller hands may still find it to be a bit challenging during multiple haircuts. Because of its additional power and bulk, there is a learning curve with this model, but overall, stylists tend to be pleased with the final results.

Babyliss FX811 Pro X2 Ferrari Cordless Clipper

One of the first things people notice about the BaByliss FX811 Pro X2 cordless clipper is its ergonomic design. Its main housing is constructed from a lightweight but sturdy plastic. Unlike the heavy Oster Classic 76, stylists with smaller hands can easily perform delicate trim and edge work without experiencing much fatigue. Powered by one lithium ion battery, the BaByliss FX811 can run for an estimated three hours in cordless mode. It can also be attached to an AC/DC adapter for additional power. This hair clipper model is ideal for creating fades and other advanced hairstyles.

Philips Norelco QC5580/40 Do-It-Yourself Hair Clipper Pro

The Philips Norelco QC5580/40 DIY Pro is designed for non-professional use, although a professional hairstylist might find some of its features useful. The unit is powered by a rechargeable battery, but the estimated operation time per charge is only around 60 minutes. In general, that length of time would be suitable for casual home stylists but not for professionals who intend to work all day. Fortunately, the Philips Norelco QC5580/40 can also be powered through an AC adapter. We especially like the clipper's 180-degree swivel head (it takes the guesswork out of angled cuts) and its 14-position blade attachment. Conveniently, the stainless steel blades can be removed and washed in ordinary water for fast maintenance.

Andis Promotor and Clipper and Trimmer Combo Kit

The Andis Promotor Clipper and Trimmer combo kit arrives with two separate corded units: a powerful clipper that can cut wet or dry hair and a trimmer for more precise edging and fading work. Both use a slimline design for easy handling. The housing is made of a plastic that is not quite as damage-resistant as our high-end contenders. Both the trimmer and clipper are corded, which could potentially serve as a distraction for users. The pivot motors are marketed as four times more powerful than standard electromagnetic motors, but our research did turn up a few complaints about the motor overheating after just minutes of use. As such, we recommend a cooling period between sessions. The internal parts do not require routine lubrication, but the blades should to be treated with oil regularly. We appreciate the Andis Promotor's trimmer and clipper combo approach, as many common hairstyles require both.

Wahl 79300-400 Color Pro 20 Piece Complete Haircutting Kit

Every design element of the lightweight Wahl 79300-400 Color Pro hair clipper is intended to take the fear out of hair styling. Its streamlined plastic housing is contoured for maximum comfort in the user's hand. Its comb attachments are color-coded with a corresponding size chart printed directly on the housing. A brush and lubricating oil are included in a convenient storage bag. The cutting blades are made of high-carbon steel and are designed to be self-sharpening. Even when working without guards or combs, users can modify the blade's trimming length by adjusting a simple switch. No internal clipper grease is required, but the blades should be brushed out and oiled between sessions. The Wahl 79300-400 Color Pro does use a corded motor, but corded motors tend to produce more cutting power – especially when dealing with wet hair.

With its color-coded combs, streamlined design, and self-sharpening blades, the Wahl 79300-400 Color Pro Kit is designed to take the fear out of styling.
Considerations

Versatility

OSTER Classic 76 Universal Motor Clipper

One of the most popular applications for a powerhouse hair clipper like the Oster Classic 76 is the military-style haircut. These cuts are often performed one after another in professional barbershops. The Classic 76 includes two blades – size 000 and size 1 – that easily achieve both buzz cuts and "high and tight" regulation cuts. However, some people prefer even shorter cuts which would require a 0000 or 00000 blade (not included). Fade styles can only be accomplished with the use of blade guards and larger blades (also not included). These additional items would need to be purchased separately, and considering the high base price of the Oster Classic 76, this could mean a significant investment. The Classic 76 may be too bulky and awkward to be the only tool a hairstylist would ever need, but for its intended purpose, it does a great job.

With five blade settings and eight combs/blade guards, the BaByliss FX811 Pro X2 Ferrari virtually defines "versatility.” Instead of having to stop work to physically exchange one set of blades for another, a stylist can simply switch between five trim settings (0.8, 1.1, 1.4, 1.7, and 2.0 mm) with the flick of a thumb. Combined with a set of combs sized from 1 to 8, there are few styling chores the BaByliss FX811 Ferrari cannot accomplish straight out of the box.

The Philip Norelco QC5580/40 DIY Pro's 180-degree swivel head, face-shaving attachment, detachable combs, and 14-position cutting blade all contribute to the model's overall versatility. It is indeed possible for a user to cut his or her own hair without the need for special training, especially if the hairstyle is a straightforward buzz cut or military-style "high and tight.” Men who prefer the bald look can also use a special balding attachment and #0 blade setting to get a near-perfect result every time. The face-shaving attachment converts the hair clipper into a decent (though not exceptional) cordless electric razor. We believe most home users with basic styling needs would find everything they require in this package.

Andis Promotor and Clipper and Trimmer Combo Kit

Other hair clippers may have trimmer attachments – or no fine trimming capabilities at all – but the Andis Promotor Clipper and Trimmer combo kit includes a dedicated trimmer unit. The package also includes a 27-piece attachment set which only adds to the clipper/trimmer's capabilities. The Andis hair clipper is a versatile and affordable alternative to heavier and more limited professional clippers such as the Oster Classic 76. The combs and other styling attachments can handle subtle gradations in cutting length, allowing experienced users to create modern styles that other hair clippers could not duplicate without additional attachments.

The Wahl 79300-400 Color Pro Kit contains just about every attachment a beginning hairstylist could want, including left and right fading combs. (Other hair clippers often include the eight standard comb sizes but not the correctly angled faders for working around the ears.) The blade itself is adjustable, so those who seek a military buzz cut or a completely bald head can get the same results as they would from a 0 blade. The lightness of its housing makes the Wahl ideal for close trim work on beards, moustaches, and other areas of the body that require careful attention. Once the haircut recipient determines his or her preferred comb length, repeat or maintenance haircuts are simply a matter of attaching the right color-coded comb guard and running the clippers through the "lawn.”

The Wahl 79300-400 Color Pro Kit contains just about every attachment a beginning hairstylist could want, including left and right fading combs.
Denise
Expert Consultant
Denise
Health Care Professional

Denise has a background in healthcare and physical therapy. She also has the unique experience of raising three boys. Through the years, she has coached her sons and many of their friends through their share of childhood health problems and accidents. When not helping others recover from their injuries, you may find Denise working in her garden or reading.

Considerations

Additional Accessories

OSTER Classic 76 Universal Motor Clipper

The Oster Classic 76 does not arrive with many styling accessories (such as numbered blade guards or combs), but all of these items can be purchased separately. It does come with two high-quality metal blades in two popular sizes – 000 and 1. The original package also includes one blade guard, lubricating oil, a cleaning brush, and clipper grease. The blades are easily detachable – no screwdriver necessary. Professional stylists may want to invest in additional blades in various sizes, but amateur users could definitely achieve passable results through the use of inexpensive plastic blade guards and a line/edge trimmer.

Babyliss FX811 Pro X2 Ferrari Cordless Clipper

Some hair clippers do not include a decent set of accessories, making it necessary for consumers to spend extra money on attachments. This is not the case with the BaByliss FX811 Pro X2 Ferrari. The original package includes a complete set of combs/blade guards in the most common sizes (1-8). Instead of using interchangeable clipper blades, the BaByliss FX811 Pro has one set of adjustable blades that can be cleaned and lubricated in place between sessions.

Philips Norelco QC5580/40 Do-It-Yourself Hair Clipper Pro

Some users may be disappointed when they don't see a complete set of blade guards and other attachments included in the Philips Norelco QC5580/40's original box. However, the few accessories this set contains are more than generous. A balding attachment allows users to trim hair right down to the scalp. The face shaver attachment helps finish the look by removing excess neck, chin, and cheek beard growth. The enclosed blade guards may not be as durable as those found on other models, but they can be replaced easily.

Andis Promotor and Clipper and Trimmer Combo Kit

The Andis Promotor Clipper and Trimmer combo kit is tops when it comes to additional accessories and attachments. The original package arrives with an instructional DVD that takes most of the fear out of styling at home. While other hair clippers arrive with a few basic combs and blades, the Andis Clipper and Trimmer kit arrives with a 27-piece accessory package. This package includes eight clipper combs: 1/16-inch, 1/8-inch, 3/8-inch, 5/8-inch, 7/8-inch blending comb, and several tapers. Also included are four rounded safety clipper combs, four trimmer combs, stainless steel shears, and even a barber's cape! The Andis Promoter truly is a hair clipping (and trimming) contender that is ready to go right out of the box.

Wahl 79300-400 Color Pro 20 Piece Complete Haircutting Kit

The Wahl 79300-400 Color Pro hair clipper is sold as part of a complete 20-piece haircutting kit. For those who are new to the idea of DIY hair styling, the clipper set arrives with a full-color instructional booklet that walks users through several common haircuts. We find this to be a very useful guide, since it can be read at the user's own pace several times before attempting to put theory into practice. The accessory kit also includes a blade guard, 11 colored guide combs, barber comb, styling comb, and scissors. Some of these accessories may not be as good as those bought separately, but at least they are available for use the same day the box arrives.

The durable Oster Classic 76 is an economical choice for parents who give their children money-saving "summer cuts" every year.
Considerations

Price

OSTER Classic 76 Universal Motor Clipper

At $105, the Oster Classic 76 hair clipper is clearly one of the more expensive contenders on our shortlist. However, it is considered the “Cadillac of clippers” for a reason. Many professional barbers and hairstylists still use the first Oster Classic 76 (or its earlier equivalent) they ever purchased. This model may be too much of an investment for amateur hairstylists, but it has proven itself to be a staple for those with styling career plans. The Classic 76 is also good for parents who routinely give their children money-saving "summer cuts" every year.

Babyliss FX811 Pro X2 Ferrari Cordless Clipper

With a retail price of $135, the BaByliss FX811 Pro X2 Ferrari hair clipper is still in the rarefied air of high-end styling tools, but potential buyers should consider how much money and time they'd save by not having to order additional accessories. The Oster Classic 76 may have a more durable housing and a more powerful motor, for instance, but professionals might still need to invest in other blade sizes and combs before setting up shop. All of those items arrive in the same box as the BaByliss FX811 Pro X2. The initial price of the BaByLiss hair clipper may be intimidating for casual home stylists, but new professional barbers and hairstylists should consider it money well spent.

Philips Norelco QC5580/40 Do-It-Yourself Hair Clipper Pro

The Philips Norelco QC5580/40 DIY Pro's moderate price of $141 makes it an affordable alternative to the high-end hair clippers used by professional barbers and stylists. The model's 180-degree swivel head is a unique feature that is especially useful for DIY users who find themselves working at awkward angles. The comprehensive, 14-position trimmer attachment is a money-saver for those who need certain blade guards and combs to achieve a basic style. With this user-friendly DIY tool, parents can save significant cash by cutting their children's hair at home, and adults can perform their own maintenance trims between professional hair appointments.

Andis Promotor and Clipper and Trimmer Combo Kit

At an astonishingly low retail price of $38, the Andis Promotor Clipper and Trimmer combo kit provides two professional-grade clipper and trimmer units and a 27-piece accessory package. Acquiring all of those combs and blades separately would cost more than double the retail price of the entire model. While some users might be disappointed that the Andis Promotor is not a cordless model, the manufacturer claims that the amount of power generated by the pivot motor would drain most rechargeable batteries within minutes. As with other corded hair clipper models, the motor generates a significant amount of heat. However, the cooling period is still shorter than the recharging time for many cordless clippers sold at the same price.

Wahl 79300-400 Color Pro 20 Piece Complete Haircutting Kit

What more can we say about the Wahl's incredibly affordable retail price of $15? For roughly the same price as a cordless beard and moustache trimmer – or a set of basic clipping shears – a person could own an entire hair-cutting kit. This includes a clipper unit designed by Wahl, a prominent brand in the world of personal shavers and grooming aids. Clipper blades for higher-end models can cost upwards of $15 by themselves. The Wahl 79300-400 Color Pro features an adjustable blade that will never require sharpening, and the proper oil for maintenance is included with the kit. Parents who cut their children's hair just once would easily recoup the cost of a Wahl clipping kit. Many people prefer basic hairstyles which require maintenance cuts every few weeks. Having the ability to run a hair clipper with the correct color-coded comb over your scalp – instead of running to the barber shop once a month – adds up to savings in the long run.

The highly revered Oster Classic 76 Universal Motor Clipper is considered the "Cadillac of clippers" by professional stylists.

Best of the Best

The trend in modern hair styling is to go smaller, lighter, cordless, and ergonomically correct. The Oster Classic 76 continues to buck that trend. Some may see it as a throwback to the days of industrial buzz cuts and "high and tights" delivered by small-town barbers, but the Classic 76 is much more than that. With its powerful one-speed universal motor, the durable Classic 76 delivers on its promise of complete hair removal on the first pass. The Oster Classic 76 is considered to be the Cadillac of professional-grade hair clippers, and for that reason, we deem it to be the Best of the Best.


Other hair clipper contenders may include more attachments and accessories, but if you go with the Oster, those items can all be purchased separately over time. This tool should be seen as a long-term investment that can only improve with time. When other hair clippers have become too damaged for words – their motors have burned out, their rechargeable batteries no longer hold a charge – the Oster Classic 76 will still be cutting hair like the professional model it is. Consumers and professionals who are willing to make the initial investment will enjoy a long and happy relationship with this time-proven workhorse!
Best of the Best
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The Oster Classic 76 is a time-proven workhorse. Consumers and professionals who are willing to make the initial investment will enjoy a long, happy relationship with their Oster clippers.

Best Bang for your Buck

Professional haircuts and maintenance trims can be very expensive these days. As such, many people are looking for ways to trim their budget as well as their hair! The Wahl 79300-400 costs only a little more than two average haircuts at a salon. What's more, it will continue to provide quality results for many years. When you factor in its 20-piece accessory kit, self-sharpening blade, and ergonomically designed housing, it's easy to see why the Wahl 79300-400 Color Pro is the Best Bang for Your Buck!


The Wahl is a corded model. While it's true that cordless hair clippers may provide a little more maneuverability than their corded counterparts, they are also at the whim of rechargeable batteries that don't always deliver full power. A corded hair clipper like the Wahl 79300-400 Color Pro has an electric motor that delivers maximum power from beginning to end. We also like the fact that different hair cutting "clients" can determine their own preferred blade comb lengths and get the same results every time. An English/Spanish instructional manual completes the picture, helping to take the fear out of basic hair clipping and styling. “At-home” barbers and beauticians appreciate this affordable hair styling alternative. It's classy, it's convenient, and it can definitely save you money.
Best Bang for your Buck
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Many people are looking for ways to trim their budget as well as their hair! The Wahl 79300-400 Color Pro costs only a little more than two average haircuts at a salon.
The team that worked on this review
  • Michael
    Michael
    Creative Lead
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Editor
  • Ann
    Ann
    Operations
  • Jimi
    Jimi
    Product Analyst
  • Ben
    Ben
    Operations