Hair Clipper Reviews

Editor's note:
Wahl, Oster and Philips Norelco are going to be your best bet for reliable, easy to use hair clippers, but ToiletTree is tops for trimming nose and ear hair. We review everything from pricey kids with loads of accessories, to basic, professional-grade clippers that will give you quite the buzz (cut).
 
Wahl Color Pro Haircut Kit
Specs that Matter
Weight - 1.96 lbs.Combs included - 11Power type - Electric, corded
Best Reviewed
Best hair clippers
Wahl Color Pro Haircut Kit

If you're feeling a bit nervous about trying to cut your family's hair for the first time, the Wahl Color Pro Haircut Kit should be a no-brainer. This 20-piece kit offers easy, step-by-step instructions for getting started, and the color coded combs men that you'll never accidentally buzz when you meant to fade. The adjustable taper control offers a professional-looking finish and all parts store in the included case.

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Wahl Color Pro Complete Hair Cutting Kit #79300-400T
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Wahl Professional Peanut Clipper/Trimmer
Specs that Matter
Weight - 4 oz. Combs included - 4Power type - Electric, corded
Best Reviewed
Best portable hair clippers
Wahl Professional Peanut Clipper/Trimmer

No portable hair clipper gets the kind of love we see for the Wahl Professional Peanut. Although it's a great choice for travel, plenty of home barbers prefer its smaller size, either because they have smaller hands, or because they feel it's a better fit for giving haircuts to small children. The Peanut includes four combs, which some use for shaving or beard trimming, and works well even on thicker hair.

Oster Classic 76
Specs that Matter
Weight - 2 lbs.Combs included - 2Power type - Electric, corded
Best Reviewed
Best professional hair clippers
Oster Classic 76

Often described as "old school" by admiring users, the Oster Classic 76 professional hair clipper's powerful universal motor cuts through tough, thick, or wet hair with ease. Its detachable blades and durable housing stand up to the demands of a busy salon or barbershop -- or to a family that does a lot of grooming. It includes two blades, but 12 other sizes are available for purchase.

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Oster Classic 76 Universal Motor Clipper with Detachable 000 & 1 Size Blades
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Philips Norelco QC5580/40 Hair Clipper Pro
Specs that Matter
Weight - 15 oz.Combs included - 2 + balderPower type - Cordless/corded
Runner Up
Cordless hair clippers
Philips Norelco QC5580/40 Hair Clipper Pro

Most professional and home barbers agree: You can't beat the power of a corded electric clipper. Or, at least, you couldn't until now. The Philips Norelco QC5580/40 Hair Clipper Pro gets raves for its powerful motor, light weight and solid feel. It has about a 60 minute run time between charges. The rotating head makes it simple to get to even hard-to-reach spots, and it has a good variety of length options.

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Philips Norelco QC5580/40 Do-It-Yourself Hair Clipper Pro
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ToiletTree Professional Heavy Duty Nose Hair Trimmer
Specs that Matter
Weight - 3.52 oz.Combs included - N/APower type - Cordless, battery
Best Reviewed
Best nose and ear trimmer
ToiletTree Professional Heavy Duty Nose Hair Trimmer

The ToiletTree Professional Heavy Duty Nose Hair Trimmer is beloved by thousands of happy owners who say it's extremely easy and comfortable to use. The octagonal blade is sharp enough to truly cut, not pull, your delicate hairs. This ToiletTree trimmer comes with a lifetime replacement warranty, but most say you'll never need it because the sturdy steel casing is so durable that it lasts for years.

Home haircuts save both time and money

It might be intimidating to think about cutting someone's hair -- or your own -- if you're not a professional, but, in reality, it's not as difficult as you might think. While some super stylish hairdos may not lend themselves to a session with a hair clipper, many other styles really don't need much more than a fairly steady hand and a good guide. And your best guide will be a good hair clipper. Learning how to use one can save you quite a bit of money, as well as time driving to the barbershop or salon, waiting your turn, and paying for the gas to get you there.

Unlike electric shavers and razors, which we cover in separate reports, hair clippers don't shave -- they trim, using paired, toothed blades that vibrate back and forth; the teeth act like many tiny scissors, all lined up side by side to give you a quick, efficient haircut. Comb attachments and adjustable or interchangeable blades help cut hair at different lengths; some clippers can cut hair from about an inch long to as short as half a millimeter. We also evaluate trimmers specifically for nose and ear hair.

Types of Hair Clippers
Corded Hair Clippers

This is the most powerful and versatile type of hair clipper you can buy. Most include a variety of combs (and more are often available as an optional purchase), cleaning supplies, and a bag or case for storage. The best also either include a clear instruction manual with tips for specific cutting tasks, or have a website with that information -- often in video form. Corded hair clippers run the gamut of sizes, prices and power, and include cheap, portable and professional models.

Cordless Hair Clippers

Many home barbers love cordless hair clippers because they aren't tethered to a cord. That's great for moms who want to cut the kids' hair in the backyard, or for people who don't want to have to step around a cord when cutting hard-to-reach areas of their body. Of course, it takes time to charge them -- as much as an hour -- and they have a limited runtime, whereas corded models run as long as you need them to.

Nose and Ear Trimmers

Nose and ear trimmers are shaped to insert in your nostrils and ear canals, but designed so that the blade never comes in contact with your skin. These are a much safer choice than trying to use scissors for keeping unruly hairs under control. Some hair clippers come with nose trimmer attachments, but if you only need the trimmer, there's no need to invest in a clipper as well.

Finding The Best Hair Clippers
Our Sources1. TheSweethome.com
The Best Beard Trimmer2. Groom+Style.com
Top 5 Best Ear and Nose Hair Trimmers for Men3. Amazon.com
Clippers & TrimmersSee All

Hair clippers don't draw many expert reviews, although we did find a couple this year. TheSweethome.com evaluates beard trimmers, which we cover in a separate report, but they also include hair trimmers as well. Groom+Style.com offers their take on nose and hair trimmers, and includes some popular models. However, the bulk of our input comes from thousands of user reviews posted to retail websites like Amazon.com, Walmart.com, BestBuy.com, SallyBeauty.com, Walgreens.com and Target.com.

The best home hair clippers

If you have multiple heads to keep trimmed and like to see at a glance which blade is which, reviewers say the Wahl Color Pro Haircut Kit (Est. $22) is going to be your best bet. It's a multi-cut clipper set with combs that are color coded so you can figure out what length each comb cuts without having to memorize fade sizes. Users love this feature, and many say they make separate notes to keep with the clipper reminding them which comb they used last on which family member. The Wahl comes with a storage case for all of its attachments, which include 11 guide combs, scissors, two styling combs, blade guards, a cleaning brush and blade oil.

The Wahl Color Pro is also very simple to use, reviewers say, with an easy-to-follow instruction book included. If you need more guidance, the Wahl website features a series of helpful videos to walk you through every step of the process. The combs are also reported as easy to change. Many say this hair clipper kit is particularly well-suited for cutting children's hair, because it's very gentle and not too noisy. There are a few who say it vibrates too much, but those complaints are definitely in the minority. In fact, we saw quite a few comments from pet owners who say they use it to help them groom their dogs or cats and it doesn't faze the critters in the least when it's running.

Although the Wahl Color Pro is not a heavy-duty, professional grade clipper, owners say it feels very sturdy in the hand and is light enough to not cause fatigue. Of course, there are outliers who say it is too heavy but, again, these are in the minority. Many have come back to update their reviews after months or years to say their clipper is still going strong; we saw a few people mention that they bought a second clipper to keep at a second home.

It costs a bit more, but the Wahl Chrome Pro (Est. $40) also includes a cordless Mini-Clipper and as many clip-and-trim accessories as anyone could ever want for their personal grooming needs. That includes 12 guide combs as well as a cleaning brush, scissors, medium comb, barber comb, two hair clips, a blade guard, blade oil and a charger. It even comes with a cape, and everything stores in the soft-sided case.

Most of the accessories that come with the Wahl Chrome Pro get kudos for their performance on hair, but many reviewers say there are just too many, more than they'll need in a lifetime. Others note that the cape is nothing but a piece of super thin plastic, more like a garbage bag than an actual stylist's cape, and that it tore after one or two uses. The cordless trimmer also gets pretty "meh" feedback, with quite a few reviewers saying it's very loud, but not very powerful.

Still, if you want a sturdy, durable pair of clippers that can power through even thick or wet hair, users say the Wahl Chrome Pro is a great choice. It's also super easy to use, even for first time home barbers, with simple-to-follow instructions. Owners say this hair clipper feels extremely sturdy in their hand, and they like that professional heft. Even if you don't need the accessories, or only use one or two, this is a great, heavy-duty choice, most agree.

While many clippers are targeted toward a variety of hair styles, those who shave their heads because they like the bald look have nothing but praise for the Wahl Professional Series Balding Clipper (Est. $50). It's a heavy-duty, corded clipper that comes with just two cutting guides, both intended for a close (head) shave. Users say it does the job smoothly and evenly, without any snagging, pulling or cutting of anything but hair. It does not shave as close as a razor; rather, users note, it shaves to a level that you would get from a razor cut after 24 to 48 hours after shaving (depending upon your hair growth rate), which is what most bald-hear wearers desire. It even works well on coarse, thick or curly hair. For the price, most agree, you can't find a better balding clipper.

The Peanut gives you a portable buzz

If you want something smaller than either the Color Pro or the Chrome Pro, no other clipper gets as much love from reviewers as the Wahl Professional Peanut Clipper/Trimmer (Est. $40). This small, corded trimmer measures just 4 inches long and weighs only 4 ounces, making it perfect for travel, or for those who have smaller hands and just prefer something lighter and easier to hold.

Owners, especially those who cut a lot of children's hair, say the Peanut is quiet, doesn't produce much vibration, and is easy to move and maneuver. However, a somewhat smaller cutting blade also means you have to make more passes. Size notwithstanding, this petite Peanut can mow through thick hair easily. It includes four guide combs -- plenty, users say, for almost any basic haircut.

Professional-grade clippers bring the barbershop to your home

Power, precision and speed are the most important qualities for a professional-grade hair clipper and the Oster Classic 76 (Est. $110) has all those qualities in spades, reviewers say. Its powerful motor cuts through even thick, curly or wet hair without flagging, and does it all with no pulling, tugging or nicking. The Oster comes with just two guide combs -- sizes 000 and 1 -- but there is a vast selection of optional blades available if that's not enough. While the prices of individual blades vary, users say they often purchase the Oster Professional 10 Universal Comb Set (Est. $20) when they buy the clippers. The basic hair clipper kit also includes a blade guard, lubricating oil, clipper grease and a cleaning brush.

The Oster Classic 76 is a popular tool not just for the home barber, but in professional salons as well. Plenty of stylists review the Classic 76 on sites such as Amazon.com, saying that it's as smooth and tough as anything out there. However, all that power comes with some downsides: The Oster Classic can get away from a beginner, it's on the noisy side, and it's relatively large and heavy compared to basic, home-use hair clippers.

Even taking those hitches into account, however, you can't beat the Oster 76's combination of power, speed and durability -- with some men saying theirs are still going strong after decades of use.

If you'd prefer a lighter-weight model that's easier to handle but still boasts the same Oster quality, the Oster Fast Feed Clipper (Est. $60) is a worthy alternative. It's smaller and lighter, which makes it easier to maneuver; and, although its pivot motor can still cut through thick (dry) hair, it's not as likely to get away from you as the Classic 76.

Aside from a plastic blade-adjust lever that some note feels flimsy, users say the Oster Fast Feed feels well made. The Fast Feed's blades adjust between 1/50 inch and 3/32 inch; it also comes with four guide combs: No. 1 to No. 4, or 1/8 inch to 1/2 inch. Additional guide combs are available for purchase separately.

If you'd like a wider range of accessories, but still like a heavy-duty, professional grade hair clipper, we suggest taking a look at the Wahl Elite Pro High Performance Haircut Kit (Est. $50). This 17-piece clipper kit boasts a powerful motor and a sturdy-feeling, well-balanced body that makes it easy to keep it on track. The kit includes 10 guide combs, two styling combs, a cleaning brush and oil, and a blade guard as well as a storage case to keep everything organized.

Users say the Wahl Elite has the heft of a professional hair clipper, and yet does the job with no tugging or uneven spots. It's particularly popular with those who have very thick or curly hair. Quite a few barbers review this Wahl, saying it works as well in their shop as much pricier hair clippers and lasts for a long time. A few note that the hair clipper is loud, but most say it's no noisier than any other type of trimmer.

Cordless hair clippers give you the freedom to trim hair anywhere

While few professionals are big fans of cordless hair clippers, the Philips Norelco QC5580/40 Hair Clipper Pro (Est. $50) might change some minds. It's powerful lithium-ion battery gives you 60 minutes of run time, and most say that's plenty of time to do all their grooming. It can also be used corded, though. Those who use this hair clipper for a wide range of body grooming tasks say they appreciate that they don't have to wrangle a cord to get to where they need to trim. Parents love that they can line the kids up outside and cut away, without having to worry about getting hair clippings all over the house.

The Philips Norelco QC5580/40 kit comes with a good variety of accessories, including two guide combs, both of which can be adjusted for different lengths with the integrated, lock-in settings. You can even use the clipper without a comb for a very close, balding cut -- something that reviewers say it does extremely well. All pieces fit into the included travel case.

It's more expensive, and doesn't get near as many reviews overall as the Philips Norelco, but those who do offer feedback on the Wahl Sterling 4 Hair Trimmer (Est. $100) rave about this cordless hair clipper. It boasts a longer, 75 minute run time, and users say it feels lightweight and comfortable to use, while performing like a heavy duty unit. Plenty of barbers say they've traded in their corded units for this model, and are happy that they did. Of course, in a busy barber shop you need to either invest in several of these or use it plugged in, so that negates some of the convenience of a cordless clipper.

Still, the kit that comes with the Sterling has pretty much everything you might need, say users, including eight guide combs, cleaning and maintenance necessities, and four color insert chips to personalize its look -- a plus if you need to mark yours in a salon-type setting.

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Wahl Color Pro Complete Hair Cutting Kit #79300-400T
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Wahl Deluxe Chrome Pro 25 pc #79524-5201
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Wahl Professional Peanut Classic Clipper/Trimmer #8685, White - Great for Barbers and Stylists - Powerful Rotary Motor
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Oster Classic 76 Universal Motor Clipper with Detachable 000 & 1 Size Blades
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Oster Professional 10 Comb Set Specially Designed to Fit Oster Clippers.
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OSTER Fast Feed Adjustable Pivot Motor Clipper 76023-510
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Wahl Elite Pro High Performance Haircut Kit #79602
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Philips Norelco QC5580/40 Do-It-Yourself Hair Clipper Pro
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Wahl Professional Cord/Cordless Sterling 4 Clipper 8481, Ideal for Professional Stylists and Barbers, Rotary Motor, Black
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