3 all around, shape up the front and the back
March 23, 2012 3:03 PM   Subscribe

What are the highest quality electric barber razors?

I'm looking for standard issue equipment for a professional barber (andis, oster, wahl, says preliminary research). I want to buy two razors, one for the shape up work around the ears/forehead/neck and another for everything else.

Price and maintenance don't matter as long as they can provide great cuts for years.

I'm also a little confused about the clipper blade sizes. This chart seems to have typical blade sizes but what exactly am I looking for if I want the haircut described in the title of this post? Are clipper blade sizes universal or manufacturer specific? What exactly am I getting when I ask for a "3 all around."

I know that giving myself a professional style haircut is harder than it sounds but I can't afford $15 for a crew cut anymore. Tips and tricks are welcome.
posted by laptolain to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (6 answers total)
Get a Wahl that plugs in. You'll know you have the real thing when you hold it in your hands and flip the switch on. Kinda heavy and built to last. Comes with some guides but not a whole lot of accessory attachments.

I used to have some plastic rechargable thing and it was garbage. The motor started losing torque considerably after the first couple minutes (after about a year of normal use), and it became just worthless waiting for it to charge up enough to cut some more.
posted by tremspeed at 3:14 PM on March 23, 2012

Best answer: Basically, the LARGER the attachment/guard, the LESS hair it is taking off. Each attachment/guard should have a length on it, like 3/4". That is actually how long your hair WILL BE after using that guard, not how much it is taking off! So, not using a guard at all will pretty much take you bald or "5 o'clock shadow", and #1 guard, you'll be shaved real close, but you may still have hair and #2, will make it close, but not bald, and so on.

I highly recommend the Wahl Peanut for clean-up around the ears, neckline and facial hair. You can get a rechargeable one at sallys.com (sallybeauty.com) for about $65.00. You may find it cheaper elsewhere. I bought one a few years ago for my SO and it was the same amount. He LOVES it, it stays charged a long time and it keeps its power. (Also, I'm a former stylist). You can find the Peanut in the stores, but I really wanted the rechargeable/cordless so I had to order.

About the big clippers you're asking about and all over buzz cutting - you COULD use the Peanut for double duty. It comes with the regular sized attachments/guards that you'll find with the larger clippers. I've cut SO's hair several times using the peanut and it works just fine. I actually would say that the peanut works better than SEVERAL of the expensive AND cheaper brands that I've used.

Also, be very, very careful with the clippers. Once you drop them, they rarely work the same and they get all wonky and crooked. Keep the hairs brushed off and keep the blades oiled often.

For tips on cutting your own hair...
Go straight up, starting at your neck, keeping the clippers flat against your head - don't be shy and trust the guard - this basically allows the clipper to cut your hair at the right lenght at the right points of your head (this is really hard to explain - hope this makes sense!). Doing this will ensure the correct and consistent length around your head. Guards are generally universal, so start with that with your new clippers.

Ok, so go as high up as the curvature of your neck and sides will allow using the #3 - in other words, do NOT curve around your head with the clippers, just shoot straight up from your nape and sides. Where the clipper stops cutting your hair, that indicates where you stop with #3 and you will blend your hair with the next guard up (#4). And either you go with a 4 on the top or switch to a 5, if you can. It will take a couple of times to get the hang of it, but it can be done.

Hope this helps!
posted by foxhat10 at 4:13 PM on March 23, 2012 [2 favorites]

Forgot to add, I don't think the Wahl Peanut goes above a guard 4. Double check that if you decide to get that clipper but you need longer guards.
posted by foxhat10 at 4:15 PM on March 23, 2012

I've used the $25 Wahl's you can buy at WalMart for years and they work fine...until you drop them. However, I just learned from foxhat10 that I've been doing it wrong for 20 years. Sigh...
posted by COD at 6:36 AM on March 24, 2012

COD- i'm sure you haven't been doing it wrong! i probably should clarify, it sounds like the OP wants to clip the sides and back and likely have the top cut...? that's actually what my description is for. If you like to buzz your entire head the same length, then obviously, you'd indiscriminately go all around.
posted by foxhat10 at 1:47 PM on March 25, 2012

I was due for a trim and just did it your way this evening. I like it!
posted by COD at 5:57 PM on March 25, 2012

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