Hair today, Gone tomorrow
November 27, 2011 7:01 PM   Subscribe

Men of Metafilter: you cut your own hair with clippers because it's that short and there's no need to pay someone else to do it. What clippers do you use?

Mr. Leezie is going really short these days on the hair and has expressed a desire for a good quality clipper set to use in lieu of going to the barber what seems like every week. I'm a little overwhelmed by the options on Amazon, so can you give me a recommendation for what you use?
posted by Leezie to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (36 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
The hairdressers in my life use Wahl or Oster clippers exclusively.
posted by xingcat at 7:09 PM on November 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

I picked up one of these a while back and use it about every other week on my head and face with a #1 guard. The only thing I'd do different is take a look at something that's cordless. Otherwise it works great.
posted by jquinby at 7:10 PM on November 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

I bought an oster classic 76 based on the advice from a previous question here (I can't easily search for it on my phone, sorry). It is a million times better than the crappy disposable plastic clippers I used to own; if it broke or went missing I would buy another immediately. So my advice is to spend a bit more and buy a better grade of clipper, because it is both cheaper over the long run and much more satisfying to use.
posted by Forktine at 7:16 PM on November 27, 2011

Been very happy with my heavy, corded, black and white Wahls. Had them for 6 or 8 years and they could certainly use to be sharpened but they still cut well.
posted by ftm at 7:20 PM on November 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

I have what is I think an older version of the clippers jquinby linked to (or maybe just a black one). For a while I did the same length, but I've recently been getting a little fancy - sides and back at 1/4 inch, and top at 3/4. It's tricky to do by myself, but I've gotten mostly compliments, and I think they're legitimate.

But, for one size, it's quick and easy.

I also have these, which are kind of great and kind of crappy. They work okay don't hold a charge particularly well and don't turn on when they're plugged in. So you have to plug them in, wait for them to charge at least a little, unplug them, cut your hair, and repeat until your hair is cut. Definitely a hassle. But they're ROUNDED! How cool is that?!?!
posted by papayaninja at 7:23 PM on November 27, 2011

Oh, also, the detail trimmer on the Wahl works really well, and the one on the Remington kinda sucks. I guess the short version is not to get the Remington one, haha!
posted by papayaninja at 7:24 PM on November 27, 2011

I have a Peanut that I really like due to its small size.
posted by Jacob G at 7:27 PM on November 27, 2011

Mr. Shoes uses Wahl clippers on himself as well as the two little Mr. Shoes. We've had them for at least 5 years and they're still going strong. I am enlisted for the detail work like around their ears and along the necklines.
posted by TooFewShoes at 7:28 PM on November 27, 2011

Did that for years, used a Wahl I bought in the early 90s, which still works great. Go for Wahl; buy the most expensive model you can afford; keep it well-oiled.
posted by neroli at 7:32 PM on November 27, 2011

I use a Wahl, bought about 4-5 years ago, and I am bad at maintaining it but it still works well.
posted by AzraelBrown at 7:48 PM on November 27, 2011

1+ papayaninja
posted by mojohand at 7:48 PM on November 27, 2011

Wahl or nothing. Spend at least $50 and get a pro model. Mine is nearly twenty years old and only requires oiling. I keep a one inch paintbrush in the dopp kit and brush the hair out of it when I'm done.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 7:53 PM on November 27, 2011

After owning several models, this one is my favorite. It's cordless, washable, and the length can be set by simply turning the dial (no attachments!). When it's turned on, the dial is locked in place so you can't accidentally change the length mid cut. I've used it for about two years and haven't had any problems.
posted by Dr. ShadowMask at 8:04 PM on November 27, 2011

I use a cheap Wahl one from a big-box store.

I look forward to the day it breaks (it's the third set of clippers I've owned--if past experience is a guide, the little motor will eventually burn out), because the next one I buy will be an Oster 76.
posted by box at 8:06 PM on November 27, 2011

I used a Conair for a couple of years and, frankly, regretted it. The combs break easily, and the machining on the cutters is sketchy. Pay the extra money and get Wahl.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 8:10 PM on November 27, 2011

Wahl Balder, I use it guardless for a near-shaved cut every few days.
posted by kcm at 8:29 PM on November 27, 2011

I use a cheap-ish set (Kambrook I think) and regret that decision every time I use it. According to a hairdresser friend, Wahl is the way to go and it's cleaper to spend good money now than less money every couple of years. I don't know how people do their own hair, though - I have to get someone else to do it.
posted by dg at 8:42 PM on November 27, 2011

As the opposite of dg, my cheap kambrook or equivalent clippers work perfectly well. They're $25 and I throw them out when they get blunt every several years.

Why on earth would anyone want 'prestige' clippers? It not like you get to discuss which brand of clippers you use down at the club.
posted by wilful at 9:12 PM on November 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

I bought the cheapest Wahl I could find. I, too, look forward to the day it breaks. Almost 25 years later, I think I might be getting tired of using the same old clippers. Certainly paid for itself many times over. Maybe I'll stop oiling it and use it as an excuse to get a newer, fancier one. Though it may take a while. It's been known to go a pretty long while without oil, and still perform.
posted by 2N2222 at 10:15 PM on November 27, 2011

I use these - supposedly ceramic clippers don't require the blades to be oiled and last much longer. They seem to be doing pretty well for me so far...
posted by fearnothing at 10:37 PM on November 27, 2011

Whatever was cheap ish and cordless. While the corded ones are a little better I disliked needing to keep an extension cord on them so I could stand in the tub. You can spend your money as you please but I question the real justification for professional quality, designed to hold up to repeated daily uses, in order to do 10m every two weeks.

I think it's far more valuable to learn how to clean and oil what you do buy. Treated that way my cheap purchases have lasted close to a decade. If the batteries didn't eventually stop holding a good charge they'd probably last forever,
posted by phearlez at 11:29 PM on November 27, 2011

On a similar line, is there a way to check how close it shaves? At a certain point a zero isn't descriptive enough. I have one new clippers I got and it is like a millimeter or two thicker in terms of the blade, but I can feel that my hair doesn't get cut as close. Which of these cuts the absolute closest?
posted by Elminster24 at 12:27 AM on November 28, 2011

Some of us women of metafilter use clippers too! I've got a cheap set of Wahl corded clippers, and have been very pleased at how well they work. Only about six months old though, so no data on how well they'll last.
posted by Coobeastie at 12:33 AM on November 28, 2011

My hairdressers sold me the same model of Wahl clippers that they use. Indestructible. I prefer mains power as it's more powerful, the battery won't wear out, and it's not going to give out on you half-way through a cut.
posted by cogat at 12:35 AM on November 28, 2011

As others have said, buy a professional model of Wahl or Oster. Nonprofessional clippers are not worth buying unless you're only going to use them once.
posted by beerbajay at 1:05 AM on November 28, 2011

Best answer: i just bought a new set of clippers for the husband's hair!

i did a bit of research and a lot of what i found mimicked what i found at consumer search . i assumed i'd be getting a wahl model until i read all the reviews (some amateur, some professional) of the oster models. if i were shaving a bunch of heads every day, i'd get the oster 76 linked up thread. but, since it's a shave with a pretty long guard every month or two, i ended up getting the fast feed and a set of oster combs. it feels so much more substantial than the conair ones.

as to why someone would buy more expensive clippers - because they work better. some people's needs are met just fine by the $30 clippers, but some people (thicker hair, needing more precision, curls, etc) need a better product. it has nothing to do with name brand recognition. the top brands are the top brands because their product is superior.

Elminster24 - i know on the mid-tier and higher models you can buy different blades. for instance the oster 76 come with two different size blades. the oster fast feed will take different sized blades that you can buy separately.
posted by nadawi at 1:08 AM on November 28, 2011

Yep, the Oster 76 might be overkill (it doesn't use plastic guides but requires separate blades to change the length of the cut).

Oster's Fastfeed model (which I use and recommend above similar Wahl's) should be perfect.

In fact, I just recommended one to my friend who can't get over its superior amazing-ness compared to the department-store specials he used previously.
posted by rumbles at 2:15 AM on November 28, 2011

Well, speaking for myself I bought the cheapest pair I could find at the time (circa twenty bucks), and they are still chugging along more than okay after +5 years with I think maybe three oils in that time. I couldn't be happier with them.

I mean, for me, it's just shaving my head; neither complicated nor worth stressing about. When these one get too crap, I'll probs just buy another $20 set. I'm sure the ones the hairdressers use are fabulous - but they'd have to be, they get used dozens of times every day. I probably haven't used mine a hundred times yet, so the extra expense isn't necessary.
posted by smoke at 2:24 AM on November 28, 2011

Oster 76 for me. I like the interchangeable metal blades a lot more than the plastic guides.
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 2:40 AM on November 28, 2011

Until I figured out that I really am much happier if I just let my hair keep growing, I used to use an Oster pet clipper every six months (we have an Angora goat that needs shearing twice per year, and I'd do mine after bringing the goat back from the shearer's as a gesture of solidarity). Built for poodle hair, which is much thicker than person hair, this thing would just zip through mine as if it wasn't even there.
posted by flabdablet at 4:38 AM on November 28, 2011 [2 favorites]

I use a Wahl set that is very similar to this. I've had it for at least 5 years now, without any trouble. No cutting out, no pulling of stray hairs, etc. I use them once a week, so they've seen a fair bit of use.

However, next time, I'd go for a set that had the following features: battery operated (I shave in the bath to catch the hair and I'm leery of cables+water), washable (so much easier!) and preferably with a sliding guard so I don't have to keep track of 6 different ones (generally I forget the one I need, and have to drip hair around while trying to find it).
posted by Solomon at 7:39 AM on November 28, 2011

I have an Oster 76. I bought it after I went through 3 sets of clippers that combined were the same price. 76 might be an overkill for a home user but I enjoy the quality and (so far) the durability. I hope that with proper maintenance this thing will last a while.
posted by aeighty at 8:51 AM on November 28, 2011

I've been cutting my own hair for years....

One of the things you need to consider include where you plan to do the cutting. If you plant to do it in your bathroom and you live in the UK you need cordless unless you want to run an extension cord in (UK bathrooms have no standard outlets by code - just a shaver outlet if you are lucky).

If you have an outlet - go corded. Nothing is worse than the hair pulling of a low charge hair cut or being trapped at home because your trimmer only made it halfway through a haircut.
posted by srboisvert at 9:13 AM on November 28, 2011

I bought one of these to replace some cheap Wahl clippers that weren't getting the job done.

Pros: will probably work forever. Lots of blade choices. Works faster. Doesn't make those weird ka-chunk-buzz-humm-crunk-crunk-humm noises. Unlike the clippers with the plastic guards, it gets most of the hair on the first pass. What I hated about the plastic guards was that they were imprecise about actually lifting and guiding the hair into the blades. The blades say what length they are in mm. Unlike the cheaper ones with fixed blades, you can buy a finer blade. With the fixed blade, you can only go as short as it was built. If you have to buy more than one set of cheap clippers, the price starts to even out.

Cons: somewhat expensive. Gets warm. Have to buy different blades for different lengths. The plastic switch in the bottom cracked off. I'll probably replace it with a metal one, or put a switch inline with the cord.
posted by gjc at 9:49 AM on November 28, 2011

Andis. Andis. Andis. I have cut my own hair for 15 years. I personally think Wahl and Oster are shit compared to Andis., Whatever you buy make sure you clean them everytime and spray them with clipper spray.
posted by jasondigitized at 8:05 PM on November 28, 2011

If you decide to go for the Oster 76, note that you can save a few bucks with this nifty desert-camo model.
posted by box at 9:15 PM on November 28, 2011

« Older I need a drink   |   SLC to Grand Canyon, Doable? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.