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The "best" hair clippers for home/DIY use? Andis vs. Wahl vs Oster

seems like everyone has a different opinion but the top dogs seem to be:

Andis Master

Wahl Senior (or 5 Star version - not sure of difference)

Oster Fast Feed

Oster Classic

i had been cutting my own hair for quite some time with a ~$50 ceramic Andis clipper i bought about 10 years ago.

then, i started getting into fades and couldn't do it myself so back to the barber i went.

now, i am sick of waiting, paying, etc. for a cut that isn't perfect every time and i'd rather get back to doing it at home.

i just bought the Andis T-Outliner Trimmer for the edges, but now i need something for the rest.

i like to keep my hair very short on the sides and only slightly longer on top (maybe a 5/8" comb).

any advice?

thanks!
 
I've been trimming my own hair for 13 years now, and have used a number of types of clippers. A few years ago, I stepped up to an Oster Classic 76, and won't consider another type. Oster makes a couple others in the same league (e.g., Model 10), but they're the same type. The best clipper, imo, is one that has a rotary motor and is fitted with interchangeable metal blades. Magnetic and pivot motor clippers, and/or ones that use an adjustable blade or plastic combs, just aren't in the same league.

That's for head trimming/clipping. For other uses (beard, body grooming, etc.), other trimmer types work fine. I still use my Andis Master (pivot motor, adjustable blade, with plastic combs) for body grooming, and it does a fine job. It can't touch the Oster 76 for accuracy or efficiency on my head, though.

For more information on motor types, see here.
 
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I've been trimming my own hair for 13 years now, and have used a number of types of clippers. A few years ago, I stepped up to an Oster Classic 76, and won't consider another type. Oster makes a couple others in the same league (e.g., Model 10), but they're the same type. The best clipper, imo, is one that has a rotary motor and is fitted with interchangeable metal blades. Magnetic and pivot motor clippers, and/or ones that use an adjustable blade or plastic combs, just aren't in the same league.

That's for head trimming/clipping. For other uses (beard, body grooming, etc.), other trimmer types work fine. I still use my Andis Master (pivot motor, adjustable blade, with plastic combs) for body grooming, and it does a fine job. It can't touch the Oster 76 for accuracy or efficiency on my head, though.

For more information on motor types, see here.
thanks and i agree, the Oster 76 looks and sounds fantastic. the only things holding me back are there are is no "fade lever" and the size/weight of it.
 
thanks and i agree, the Oster 76 looks and sounds fantastic. the only things holding me back are there are is no "fade lever" and the size/weight of it.
I don't find the size or weight to be an issue. Sure, it's not as easy to maneuver as something smaller or lighter, but that isn't to say it can't be maneuvered. I've been using it twice a week, on average, since 2009, and have never found it to be problematic. But then, I greatly value the power and accuracy of the 76, and am willing to sacrifice a bit in the ease-of-use department. Others might feel differently. The Model 10 looks like it might be a little more manageable, since it is slightly smaller in size. Like the 76, it has a rotary motor, and uses the same blades. Our resident clipper maven, Malocchio (who I imagine will be chiming in here soon), recommends it highly.

I buzz my hair very short to a uniform length on my whole head, using a five aught blade (bascially equivalent to two or three days' stubble after a shave with a razor), so fading isn't an issue for me. I can see how the 76 might be problematic if you need infinite adjustability, as opposed to just switching out blades. That said, the Oster blades come in a wide variety of cutting lengths, such that you might be able to "fade" by switching between two or more blades in sequence. At least with the fixed lengths, there's no guesswork of where to set an adjustment lever.

Here's a list of Oster blades, to give you an idea of your options. The cutting lengths are shown on the pictures of the blades themselves.
 
I have always used a cheap Oster clipper with guards. It was a lot of unneeded work. I started looking for a new set.
I decided to try the expensive dog clippers with the longest finishing blade set we have.
Man - what a difference! Went through my hair like butter!
As mentioned above - rotary motor with metal blades is the way to go.
From what I have read, dog clippers are typically much more powerful than ones sold for us, unless you step up to a nice set as above.
If you have a set of dog clippers, give them a try with a finishing blade - works really nice - my time was cut at least in half, as was my hair...
 
I bought the Oster 76 and Model 10 at the same time. Love them both, but the 76 is so much smoother and more durable. The Model 10 has a slight design flaw in my opinion. The head part is separate from the body (held by plastic screws), and it will tweak off of axis, the mechanism when you don't support it when closing a blade. Hard to explain but trust me, the 76 (or similar body) is the much better design.

I have learned to deal with the model 10 to keep it good, but one jar or bump to the head could really damage it.

The size and weight of the 76 is a non-issue. Why anyone ever brought it up in reviews is beyond me.
 
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I did buy most of the blades and combs for the clippers, and I can tell you that it is an amazing set of tools to have. They should outlast me. These clippers require a little maintenance, but what a joy to do and use. I highly recommend Osters 76's, Model 10's, and whatever blades you need. I would say get the 76 over the Model 10.
 
That's very helpful information. Thank you. It makes me feel better about having the 76.
You're quite welcome! The 76 is a one-piece body, and is completely rigid, where the Model 10 is a two-piece that has a separately screwed on cap that is the cam area. I wish it wasn't made like that. The motor is effected by pressure shifts in the housing area. Motor will sound like it's off axis and bog down a little.

There is a big difference in using the 76 after using the 10 for awhile. It feels more precision, smooth, & quieter. Less vibration.

Glad I can pass on my experience of something I have learned. Model 10 is cool to have, like a loud hot rod, and looks great. The 76 it smooth like a Cadillac. Size difference is no disadvantage either way.
 
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I don't cut my own hair but I wear a Van Dyke and really like my Andis Pivot Pro. I've had it for a long time so it's probably out of production. Suffice it to say it's a workhorse and I highly recommend it.
 
I'm searching for a decent clipper. I have/had a Andis Master, but I'm very unhappy with it.
There is a adjustment screw in the side of the body, and I couldn't get that thing to cut worth a damn unless I had it adjusted to where it was uncomfortably loud. And then after half a dozen uses it just wouldn't cut, (and yes I'd oiled it) it looked like I was trying to thin my hair rather than simply cut it. (I just buzz my entire head to the same length of about 1/8 of a inch every month or so.)

And after looking at other clippers (Oster76 & Model 10) it seems like the Andis Master isn't in the same league. I've "round filed" my Andis. But I do have a Andis trimmer that seems to do a nice job, and I have hope that my Andis combs from the Master might fit the 76 blades.
 
You're quite welcome! The 76 is a one-piece body, and is completely rigid, where the Model 10 is a two-piece that has a separately screwed on cap that is the cam area. I wish it wasn't made like that. The motor is effected by pressure shifts in the housing area. Motor will sound like it's off axis and bog down a little.

There is a big difference in using the 76 after using the 10 for awhile. It feels more precision, smooth, & quieter. Less vibration.

Glad I can pass on my experience of something I have learned. Model 10 is cool to have, like a loud hot rod, and looks great. The 76 it smooth like a Cadillac. Size difference is no disadvantage either way.
Thanks for the info, I haven't made a purchase yet, but it looks like I'll buy the 76. I've heard nothing but good things about the 76 except for weight, which won't bother me. I'd gladly buzz my head with a 5lb weight if it was fast & effective.
Maybe the two piece construction of the Model 10 won't be a issue, but considering how well reviewed the 76 is, why take a chance.
 
If you cut your own hair, I've been very happy with the Wahl Pilot. It's a 3/4 size clipper so it's very easy to manage, yet has a full power motor. Throw in the Detailer for edge work and you're good to go
 

malocchio

Contributor
My old Classic 76 is still buzzing in perfect harmony after 35 years.I have replaced the cord 3 times , brushes 3 times,and toggle switch once,these maintenance items were not expensive at all..For head shaving I use an Oster 00000 blade to take down the 2 day growth,then finish up with an Andis trimmer blade ,which is actually a 000000 size blade.The Andis trimmer blade is made to fit the 76 or the best Andis models.About the Model 10,it surely is a fine clipper,the move to use plastic screws is uncalled for,have you guys tried replacing the plastic screws with brass or stainless steel screws ?.The motor in the Model 10 should last as long as the 76 motor,it is built to the best standards.If you travel frequently overseas,the Model 97 Classic is even more heavy duty than the 76,built to take high voltages,and has a direct lube port.If I had to choose a clipper other than the Oster 97,10 or 76 it would be the Andis Excel 2-speed,although I believe this is no longer built in America,and is not quite up to the legendary stature of the 76.
 
I have wondered whether the investment in a nice Ostra trimmer would pay off. I think not. My $20 Wahl set from TJMaxx pays for itself in two shaves and the results are satsifactory. No upkeep either.
 
I have wondered whether the investment in a nice Ostra trimmer would pay off. I think not. My $20 Wahl set from TJMaxx pays for itself in two shaves and the results are satsifactory. No upkeep either.
It depends on what you're using it for, and what you expect from it. I'm repeating myself at this point, but I can say that the 76 beats the pants off of anything I used prior. I'd never willingly settle for less at this point. And while the 76 does cost significantly more than $20, the fact remains it still has paid for itself many times over in the six years I have had it. Given the frequency with which I use it, I figure I broke even in less than six weeks, compared to if I went to a place like Supercuts and paid them $14 every time I wanted a trim.
 
My old Classic 76 is still buzzing in perfect harmony after 35 years.I have replaced the cord 3 times , brushes 3 times,and toggle switch once,these maintenance items were not expensive at all.
Malocchio, how do you know when the brushes need to be replaced? (I assume the need to change the cord and switch are self-evident.) And where did you have it serviced? Did you send it to Oster, or take it to a local servicer? I'm just wondering when I'll have to start thinking about maintenance, and how to handle it when it does. So far, at six years, mine still runs like a top.
 
I have hope that my Andis combs from the Master might fit the 76 blades.
I just checked, and my Andis Master combs do fit the 76 blades, but they don't fit as flush as on the Andis itself. This is because the two screws on the back of the 76 blades stick up above the top blade, whereas they're sunk on the Andis, to allow for the comb. I haven't tried using the combs on the 76 to see how they work. IMO, the combs sort of defeat the purpose of having interchangeable blades anyway. Those blades are really precise, and don't leave stray hairs like combs often do. It might cost a bit more, but if I felt the need for variable lengths, I'd just buy the right size blades, rather than use combs - at least for use on my head. For body grooming, combs work fine. I still use my Andis for that purpose.
 
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