The Oster 76 is built to stand up to the rigors of daily use in a salon or barbershop; it's fast and powerful, and its universal motor can mow through even thick, wet hair. The 76 comes with just two blades -- No. 000 and No. 1 -- but more than a dozen other blades are available for purchase. Its only real drawbacks are that it's larger, heavier and louder than many home-use models.
Built for power. There's no disputing the Oster 76's power. "It is reliable and effective in wet or dry hair," writes Dave Alexander, About.com's expert on men's hair. His only criticism is that its air-cooled motor can sometimes blow hair in the stylist's face.
These clippers are also built to last. "It is the longest lasting I've had so far," writes one user at the Men's Hair Forum, and a YouTube reviewer says he's had his for more than two decades. The 76 is louder than low-powered clippers, but most reviewers say they don't mind the noise.
A real handful. The most common complaint about the Oster 76 is its relatively large size and weight. A professional stylist posting to Amazon.com warns that it can get away from beginners. Still, hundreds of at-home users say it works beautifully. They also like that the on/off switch is positioned on the back of the clipper, where you're unlikely to trip on it by mistake.
The 76 comes with just two detachable blades -- No. 000 and No. 1, or 1/50 inch and 3/32 inch. You can purchase up to 13 additional blades up to 1/2 inch, starting at about $20 apiece.
More than 450 users at Amazon.com rate and review the Oster 76 hair clipper, giving it a 4.6-star rating. Reviewers say the powerful motor easily produces precise cuts in even the thickest of hair. Several comment on its expense and bulk.
Review: Oster Classic 76 Professional Hair Clipper, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of May 2014
Dave Alexander, guide to men's hair at About.com, includes the Oster 76 in his list of the best haircutting tools. Alexander says that the Oster is the best detachable blade clipper on the market and a top choice among professional stylists.
Review: My Recommendations for the Best Haircutting Tools, Dave Alexander, Not Dated
Most of the posters and administrators in this forum are barbers, barbering students or experienced at cutting their own hair. Here, they discuss the merits of several clippers and agree that if you want real, long-lasting quality and power, the Oster 76 is one of the very best.
Review: Hair Clippers for Men, Any Good Ones?, Contributors to MensHairForum.com, As of May 2014
Nearly 20 reviewers comment on the Oster 76 at BestClippers.com, giving it a 5-star rating overall. They say it's a little noisy, but nowhere near as bad as other reviewers make it out to be.
Review: Oster 76076-010 Classic 76 Universal Motor Hair Clipper w/ 2 Blades, Contributors to BestClippers.com, As of May 2014
The author of this video review doesn't explain his haircutting or styling credentials but says he's had his Oster 76 for about 25 years and "it's still working pretty good." He also demonstrates the 76's noise level.
Review: Oster Clippers - Classic 76 Hair Clipper Review, "hcproreviews", March 25, 2011
Buzz-Cut.net, a special-interest blog about hair clippers, compares the Oster 76 to a Hummer in this review, saying that it has plenty of horsepower and strength to cut even the thickest hair. However, it isn't recommended for novice do-it-yourself hair stylists.
Review: Review: Oster Classic 76, Editors of Buzz-Cut.net, Not Dated