Over the last few years cordless clippers have become more and more popular due to better battery life and improved design.
As a professional barber, there are a few key features that we need. First and foremost, for any busy barber shop, we need a powerful motor. It also needs to comfortable to use and come with the right accessories and attachments. And finally to get precise crisp lines, we need a quality blade
Two important features of a cordless clippers battery are the battery life and its charge time. Now when cordless clippers first became available, the biggest disappointment was that I couldn’t get the same power output as with a corded clipper. But recently, cordless clippers have dramatically improved in this area, making them a real alternative to their corded counterparts.
Although corded clippers will always be the go to tool in a barber’s toolbox, the sheer convenience of the cordless has a lot of barbers buying into the movement.
These clippers need to have the power, be precise, be lightweight, but not too light. They also need to be study enough to resist the handling they will get in a busy barbershop.
How important is the BRAND?
There are many cheap Chinese imported cordless clippers on the market. But one piece of advice is to stick to the well known brands. If you’ve been involved in the barbering industry for some time you’ll know the names like Wahl, Andis, Oster. These three companies produce enough clippers to meet ever demand. They use quality parts and are manufactured to be durable and used by professionals.
The Clipper Blade
Another essential part of the clipper is the blade. This is where the quality used in their manufacture is crucial. A cheap blade will dull very quickly, which can lead to tugging and pulling of the hair, which can be very frustrating and painful for the client. The blade needs to be high quality and should be able to cut extremely close. You also need to the capacity to zero gap the blade so you can get the closest cut possible.
What follows is my choice of cordless clipper. I use each one of these daily in my busy barbershop. You may prefer another clipper. If you have any suggestions, contact me through the Facebook group and I’ll add it to the list…….
Wahl 5 Star Senior Cordless Clipper Review.
This clipper is an American barbers’ classic. It is one of Wahl’s oldest models and until recently, it was exclusive to the US market, prompting some people to sell special transformers so they it could be used in the UK. Now it is available here and in Europe. Not only that they have developed the Super Premium 5 Star version, especially for us…..but it’s cordless too.
Wahl Cordless Senior Motor
One of the major features, which appealed to the American barbers, was the power generated by the motor. And owning two of them myself, I can tell you that the Wahl Cordless Senior has all that power too. It features the most powerful motor fitted to any cordless clipper manufactured by the company. This helps to generate enough power and blade speed to cope with even the thickest hair.
The quality lithium battery (without memory effect) gives around 70 minutes run time and I found it takes around the same time to fully charge up. The reason I’ve bought two of these is so I can continue to use one while the other charges up. You don’t need to worry too much about this though, as you can just plug the cable in and carry on cutting. The cable is a good quality as well, not like some of the very thin and fragile cables, such as the one that came with the early Wahl Detailers
Wahl Senior Cordless Blade
That lithium battery powers a thin flat bottomed profile blade. This type of blade helps you achieve a really close cut and gets those skin fades extremely tight. It can also be zero gapped and this can then be varied with the thumb taper lever, giving you plenty of control and flexibility with your clipper work.
Wahl Senior Cordless Casing
The casing sticks to the classic look of the Wahl senior. I find these cordless clippers really comfortable to use and with the bottom housing of the clipper body manufactured from sturdy aluminium, the weight is much more like the corded clipper version, than say, the lighter Wahl Cordless Magic Clip.
Wahl Senior Cordless Accessories
The Wahl 5-Star Cordless Senior comes with a charger, 10 of the Wahl super tough Premium guides, which are 70% stronger than the standard ones. These comprise of 1-8 plus the 1 ½ and the ½ attachments. Also in the box is the blade guard, the comb oil and a brush.
Wahl Senior Cordless Specs.
- Battery Charging Time: 70-120 min.
- Battery Operating Time: 70 min.
- Blade: High precision chrome plated blade.
- Cutting length: 0.8 – 2.5 mm.
- Cutting Width: 46 mm.
- Cord Length: 2.4 meters
- Main Operation Time: Continuous
- Mains Voltage: 100-240v
- Weight: 365g
- Operation: DC Motor 6,500rpm
Wahl Senior Cordless Verdict.
This is probably the best all round cordless clipper I own at present. The first time you pick it up you can tell the quality of this product. The weight is comparable with the corded clippers I use in my shop.
For a cordless clipper the power is unbelievable. If the power from the Magic Clip impresses you, as it did me, then this clipper goes to another level.
The bottom line if you are looking for a good quality, all-round clipper then you won’t go far wrong with this one. As I’ve said I own two of them but if your budget won’t stretch that far the cable is of good enough quality to run them straight from that.
Wahl Magic Clip Cordless Clipper Review
The Wahl Magic Clip Cordless Clipper is great for producing blends and fades, with almost any hair type. A favourite with professional barbers and many YouTubers. These clippers are great for fading and blending, due to the zero overlap blades that come as standard.
The Wahl Magic Clip Cordless Motor
One thing about working in a busy barber shop, is that your clippers need a strong motor that will not over-heat due to the demands placed on them. These clippers are fitted with a rotary motor which runs much cooler than an electromagnetic one. This is achieved as the blades only move back and forth. This premium motor will cope with all types of hair and comes with the quality associated with all Wahl products.
The Wahl Magic Clip Battery
One of the most common problems with many cordless clippers on the market is the battery life. Many cheaper alternatives offer great run times, but tend to die out after only a few cuts. No such problems with the Wahl Magic Clip. Unlike a lot of cordless models out there that will give you 40-60 minutes cutting time, the Magic Clip gives you an impressive 90 minutes run time, due to its powerful ‘state of the art’ lithium Ion battery.
Not only that but I’ve found the charge time to relatively short. Even a couple of hours charge seems enough to carry out a quite heavy work load. Even if it does die on you the cable is of suitable quality that you can comfortably run them straight from the mains.
I own two of these, so I tend to use one while the other is charging, so running down on power has never been an issue for me. (not since I bought the second pair anyway)
The Wahl Magic Clip Cordless Blade
The over-lap blades fitted to the Magic Clip are the staggered tooth type. These feed the hair faster and thus improve blending. Because of this unique ‘crunch blade’ you will get a much blunter cut, which results in a much smoother finish to the haircut. Add this to the over-lap blade and the effect is much tighter and precise fading.
Wahl Cordless Magic Clip Casing
The casing is although lighter than the Wahl Senior Cordless, still uses the quality materials that we’ve come to expect from a brand leader such as Wahl.
I’ve used these for quite a while and have never noticed any warmth coming from the body. This, as explained before, is due to the type of motor used.
These clippers are very lightweight and their sleek design makes them very easy to use for a long period of time.
One word of warning, as with any clipper, the blades can get a little warm, especially when fading. I always test the heat on my inner forearm. If it’s too warm for my arm, it’s definitely too hot for the clients neck.
- Runtime: 90 minutes
- Charge Time: 120 minutes
- Cutting Length: 0.8 – 2.5mm
- Comb Attachments: 0.5,1.5,1-4,6&8
- Warranty: One Year
Wahl Magic Clip Verdict
I’ve own two of these for a while now and they have served me well. No issues with battery life or their performance. Although I now use my Wahl Senior Cordless for the majority of my clipper work, I sometime use the Magic Clip for finishing off my fades, as I find the blade runs slightly slower so you can be more precise with any problem areas. Also great for some kids who get a little frightened by the sound of a clipper. Although not silent, they are quieter than most.
Wahl Cordless Super Taper Review
These were the first cordless clippers I purchased. The super taper was the standard issue clipper when I started barbering many years ago. This cordless version has everything I loved about the model, but with the added extra bonus of being flexible, due to the lack of a mains cable.
Powerful, sturdy and reliable these cordless clippers can be used on or off the cable and the lithium battery you get consistent cutting power which can last up to 90 minutes with a full charge. This full charge takes around 120 minutes.
The body of the clipper is slightly slimmer than its mains powered counterpart, but this and the slight weight difference is never an issue.
As with all the Wahl clippers on the market, they are considered the workhorse of many barber shops. Super reliable and so well made, they don’t compromise on quality. These Cordless Super Tapers are no different.
And with an RPM of 5,500 this clipper always gives you a solid and precise cut. All Super Taper attachment combs are compatible and the model comes with Wahl’s manufacturer’s warranty.
Wahl Cordless Super Taper Verdict
As these were my first cordless clipper, they hold a special place in my set up. They came with the standard Wahl blade although, I believe, you can fit a fade blade if you wish.
I don’t think there’s a lot to choose between these and the Magic Clip, but that final decision may come down to price.
Andis Supra ZR Clipper Review.
Andis have put plenty of thought into this clipper. It comes with a removable battery, so when you run out of power, you pop it off the clipper and clip on the spare one. No downtime!!
What’s more impressive is that it has a whopping 2 hour run time after a 120 minute charge. This lithium Ion battery then runs a powerful rotary motor that copes with pretty much any job that walks through the door. It also comes with 5 speed settings, from 1800 to 3800 strokes per minute, so you can adjust this accordingly.
It comes with a detachable #000 (0.5 mm) Ceramic Edge Blade. These are designed to stay cool and also remain sharp for longer than your standard metal blades. Changing the blades is straightforward and can be changed with any blade from the Andis UltraEdge or CeramicEdge ranges.
Why Use Detachable Blades?
When you use an adjustable clipper, you can only alter the difference by a few millimetres. Anymore and you need to use the comb attachments. With detachable blades you will be working with a strong, sturdy and effective blade for any length. You will have at your disposal a huge variety of lengths available from skin right up to around an inch. With a comb attachment you generally have to go over the same spot more than once, but with a detachable it gets it first time.
At around a pound in weight it is quite light when you consider the power it gives you. And although it is long at over 8 inches, its slim design body compensates for the size.
It is made from a tough polymer and has a well designed and effective switch. It comes with one #000 blade, which leaves the hair at around 0.5mm long. One of the best things about this clipper is the stand. Sturdy, strong and stable it works extremely well.
The Ceramic Blades- A Game Changer?
One of the best things about the Andis Supra ZR is the ceramic blades. Available Here. Helping you to achieve precision with their unique ability to stay cooler and stay sharper much longer than their metal counterparts. The blade that comes with the clipper, the #000 is unsurprisingly a ceramic one. You have to take extra care with these as they can be very fragile. They can stay razor sharp for ages, but drop them and you’ll be getting your wallet out. If you do have other detachable blades, even Oster ones, they will fit this machine.
5 Speed. Why?
For all of your bulk cutting, to cut through the thickest hair, you would want the 3800 RPM setting. And going down to the 1800 RPM slowest speed, you would use this with more detailed, closer work. This setting is ideal with things like balding, where you want less blade friction. The torque you get from these clippers is incredible. For a busy barber shop this will pay dividends in the long run.
Andis Supra ZR Verdict.
Only had these for a short while, but I have to say I’m impressed and they are the best looking clipper on my station. Not the cheapest clippers I’ve ever bought, in fact they are the most expensive, but at this time, money well spent. And the charging stand is sturdy and great quality.
The power of these is incredible and for clipper over comb they are my go to clipper. They are quiet and powerful and get the job done quicker, as they seem to get all the hair on the first pass. And although I don’t own any of the detachable blades, this is something I will explore in the future.