One of the most important tools on a barber’s station in recent years is the foil shaver. With skin fades becoming so popular, every barber out there is intent on getting the closest shave they can on their clients. Many customers are not comfortable with the barber using an open razor and likewise many barbers are not comfortable using one either. The foil shaver gives both the client and the barber a safe, convenient, and quick alternative.
But what should you look for in a foil shaver? Whether you are buying for the first time or just looking to upgrade your kit, I hope that this in-depth look at, what I consider to be, the TOP SIX FOIL SHAVERS on the market today, for the professional barber, will help with your decision.
How to Choose the Best Foil Shaver.
When it comes to choosing a foil shaver for your barbering, there are some features you will need to take into consideration. How close they cut, the cost of the product, how easy are they to use and how they look.
In the list below, you will see what we at Barber Banter consider to be the TOP SIX FOIL SHAVERS FOR BARBERS. Then below that, we give our analysis of them based on quality, power to weight ratio and many other things.
When this 5 Star Finale was released it was marketed as ‘The Ultimate finishing tool’ and it’s easy to see why with its compact, classic design. Lightweight and easy to control it is the definitive tool for finishing, fading, blending and cleaning up hair lines.
The Wahl 5 Star Finale is an upgraded version of the famous Shaver Shaper. The purple Shaver Shaper had been a regular addition to barbershops for over a decade, but with a lack of power and a terrible battery, it was showing its age and lots of barbers were turning their attention to Andis. So Wahl set about redesigning the components that needed an upgrade while keeping the classic look of the Shaver Shaper. The shape was the only thing they didn’t change. The colour was changed from purple to black while the inners had a complete overhaul.
The Wahl 5 Star Finale is just over 4 ½ inches high and weighs in at a lightweight 5.8 oz. This makes it easy to use and it not only looks good, it works well too. Mounted on the front of the unit, is a big rubbery on off slider switch. Exactly where a switch should be, so you can operate it easily with your thumb.
And when you turn this machine on you will notice the power of the rotary motor. In fact, if you are used to the Andis Foils, you may notice that this vibrates more than most.
The quality of the shave that comes from the ultra thin twin gold foils, is as you’d expect, amazing. From this machine you will get a super smooth finish and bump free shaving. And due to its compact size you’ll find it easy to manipulate around any curve or bend.
The power from the lithium Ion battery is incredible. On a full charge you will get around 90 minutes run time, so this unit will run all day.
• Rotary Motor
• Unit weight 5.8oz
• Unit Length 4.6ins
• Battery Lithium Ion 90+ minute run time
• Accessories are foil guard, wall plug charger, automatic recharge stand.
- Great for sensitive skin
- Good power to weight ratio
- Slip free grip so unit remains secure when in use.
- Great for finishing blends and fades
- Comes with the quality you expect from a brand like Wahl
- Foils, although great for sensitive skin, can be a little fragile.
- Seem to vibrate a little more than other cordless shavers on the market.
- A little bit outdated now.
For a small machine the Wahl 5 Star Finale shaver kicks out some power. Although many of the newer models from both Andis and Wahl are probably a better buy, some people will love this for the retro look. The foils can be a little fragile and there are tougher foils out there, but it’s a compromise between strength and getting a more comfortable shaving experience.
Andis are one of the oldest manufactures of clippers and trimmers, starting way back in 1922. And as any barber knows they produce some amazing clippers. The Andis Pro Foil is right up there with the best. It’s compact, lightweight and can be used cordless or with the cord attached.
If you do a lot of skin n fades in your shop, then an Andis Pro Foil is a must to have at your disposal. From its familiar rectangle body shape to the iconic triangular on off switch, this foil shaver has become a favourite with barbers the world over.
The internal steel blades and the gold staggered foil heads are designed to glide easily over the most sensitive skin. Inside the body is a powerful lithium Ion battery which will give you 80 minutes run time from a full charge. Another big advantage of the staggered foils is that you can just use the higher foil to knock out those difficult annoying lines on your skin fades.
Along with the tough rotary motor, which runs at an amazing 9000 strokes per minute, this clipper cuts through all types of hair and for its power output is extremely quiet. This motor also incorporates a bump prevent technology to minimise shaving issues. It helps the machine run consistently, while spreading the blade pressure evenly over the skin.
In fact this little lightweight machine packs lot of punch and makes light work of any stubble or fades. And although Andis have released the Andis ProFoil Lithium Plus, this foil shaver is still an amazing addition to any barbers section.
- Lithium Ion battery gives maximum power
- Delivers over 1 hour run time with a single charge.
- Lightweight weighing less than 5 oz
- Powerful yet quiet rotary motor
- Gold titanium hypo allergenic foil for irritation free shaving.
- Gold Titanium Hypoallergenic Foil
- Staggered Head Shaver Blades
- Lithium-Ion Battery
- Up to 80-Minutes Run-time
- Foils can be a little fragile if mistreated
- Will not cut longer hairs
- Foils can wear out quickly if not maintained
These are the first foil shavers I purchased and I still love them today. Although now superseded by the Andis ProFoil Lithium Plus, they are still a brilliant machine. I used them constantly in my shop, someday getting through 10 to 15 skin fades and they never got hot, broke and never let me down. Slightly cheaper than their newer big brother and the main difference being cosmetic, if budget is an issue, you should go for these.
The Braun Series 9 was launched back in 2015 to replace the popular but aging Series 7 range of electric shavers. They gave the Series 9 more power, more elements and a whole new design, making this Brauns most advanced and expensive foil shaver to date. A year later though they made some design adjustments as well as an adjustment to the price. Part of this new improved range was the Braun Series 9 9290cc.
This Series 9 9290 is still a high end product with all the attributes you want from a modern foil shaver. And while there is nothing to write home about, this slick silver bodied shaver looks and feels premium. The body, although it looks like metal, is actually made from plastic, which in turn keeps the weight down. In fact it looks how you would expect a high end product from Braun to look.
The body of the unit is fairly large when you compare it to other foil shavers we use in barbershops, but having said that, it is still comfortable to operate. The head has two foils that tilt as you use it, which follow the contours of the customer’s neck or whatever area you are shaving.
The shaving head cassette is made up of 4 different elements. There are the two foils as well as something called a Hyperlift and cut trimmer, as well as a Direct & cut trimmer. The main advantage I can see from this set up is than unlike the other foil shavers I am familiar with, where the hair has to clippered right down for the foil shaver to do its job, this unit will pick up and remove the slightly longer hairs as well as the short ones.
One feature that I do like about the Braun Series 9 foil shaver is the way they have designed the head. It has a tilt mechanism built into it. Braun claims that it tilts in 10 different directions and reading the reviews online, this seems to be an impressive feature.
Although we would be using this in a barbershop setting, this tilt mechanism would come into its own when clean up below the jaw-line after a beard trim, if the client is not keen on the open blade.
Once again there is a big power button placed above an LED display which lets you know the remaining battery charge. It even gives you a countdown wjhen you get to the remaining 9 minutes. Here you will also find a head locking switch. This locks the head into place when you want the shaving head to be secure and not to tilt.
The ‘cc’ in the name refers to the automatic clean and charge station. You have two options when it comes to cleaning the Braun Series 9 9290cc. Automatic and manually. In a barber shop I can’t see the value of the automatic cleaning station as it only takes a few minutes to clean, but almost an hour to dry. Plus the extra expense of the cleaning fluid cartridges makes this impractical.
- Precision trimmer slides from the back to trim sideburns
- Lithium Ion + battery give you 20% more run time.
- 100% waterproof
- Precision head lock
- Shaves wet or dry
- Picks up the slightly longer hairs as well as the shorter ones
- Amazing quality shaving head cassette
- Excellent for sensitive skin
- Battery level indicator
- Very high price point….Very.
- Cordless use only
- Cleaning station is probably OK for home use but in a barbershop?
I’m always a little apprehensive when brand like Braun, try to break into the barbering market, although in this case I don’t think that was their plan here. I tend to think that it was the other way round and barbers discovered the benefits of having this on their stations. As you would expect from Braun it is a well balanced and well designed machine. I think that the price of the Braun Series 9 would put a lot of people off buying it as well as the inability to use it on a cord. All in all a great shaver that will shave as close as anything you can buy at the moment, only let down by the high price.
Another foil shaver that offers the ultra thin hypoallergenic gold titanium foils. Their staggered independently floating cutters give a very close, smooth and professional finish to any haircut or fade.
This Italian designed machine also has a super fast recharge time and can be used corded or cordless. It has a unique USB charging cord, which plugs into a specially designed wall socket plug and with a lithium Ion battery which powers up to full strength in as little as 30 minutes. This will then give you a run time of approximately 2 hours.
This Gamma + Absolute zero foil shaver weighs in at less than 5 oz so it will be comfortable to use in your barbershop, even on those busy periods.
At the business end you’ll find a staggered head housing two stainless steel blades. As mentioned before these are covered by the ultra thin, hypoallergenic gold titanium foils. All of this combines to give your customers a super close and irritation-free clean up.
On the back of the Gamma + Absolute shaver, you’ll find a retractable trimmer. This is ideal for getting sharp edges on sideburns or necklines. And when you turn it around to the front you’ll notice that face is dominated by the large easy to use on/off switch. This switch like the rest of the unit has been ergonomically designed for ease of use.
• 120 minute cordless operation
• Lithium ion battery
• Rapid recharging in just 30 minutes
• Staggered, independent floating foils and cutters
• Lightweight – less than 5 ounces
• Gold titanium hypo-allergenic foils
• Integrated, retractable precision trimmer
• Multi-function USB charger
• Corded or cordless operation
• Includes 2 spare cutters
- Big on/off switch which is so easy to use.
- Lightweight and great looking machine.
- Really rapid charge time.
- Two spare shavers supplied.
• Can be a little noisy.
• Italian design but manufactured in China.
• The retractable trimmer can be activated too easily during regular shaving.
I’ve never used the Gamma + Absolute zero foil shaver before, but I have to say that this is a great looking foil shaver. Never really got the idea of a retractable blade on a piece of barbering equipment, but may come in handy I guess. The rapid charge rate will appeal to some as will the weight of the thing, coming in at just under 5oz. Also like the impressive on/off switch. We use this a lot in a barbershop, so the bigger and easier to use, the better. Checking out the YouTube reviews, most of the barbers using it were impressed with how close it cut, although I thought that it sounded a little noisy.
The Babyliss Pro Titanium Foil Shaver is designed for precision fading and blending. It comes with ultra fine hypoallergenic titanium foils for an extremely close shave and a very professional finish to any haircut. This is indeed the ultimate finishing tool to have in your barbershop.
It comes with a protective cover that you can put onto the foils when not in use. And a single button at the side releases the heads to enable you to carry out maintenance such as cleaning, oiling or replacement of the foils and heads.
The power button on the Babyliss Pro Titanium Foil Shaver is located on the other side of the unit and you will notice once you switch them on, these are a powerful unit and slightly heavier than other foil shavers you may have used before. On top of the power, the stainless steel casing feels great in your hand.
A 3 hour charge time will give you around 120 minutes of run time and the powerful rotary motor will make light work of your fades and blends. In fact many barbers report that it seems easier to knock out the fade lines with this machine, probably due to the slightly heavier weight of the unit.
This Babyliss Pro Titanium Foil Shaver doesn’t have a Lithium Ion battery like most cordless foil shavers on the market today. These have a Nickel Metal Hydride battery; these tend to be a little heavier than Lithium Ion batteries, hence the extra weight. This type of battery tends to give you a higher power output, but the downside is a slightly reduced battery life over time.
The outer casing is a stylish black, which looks amazing. This can pick up smudges from your fingers but is easy to clean and make shiny and brand new again.
- Hypoallergenic, gold foils with an offset double foil system
- Powerful rotary motor
- Cordless, up to 3 hours of run time
- Auto cover shut off
- Limited 2 year warranty
- Great for working on skin fades
- Amazingly close shave
- Less chance of cutting the client than with an open razor
- Very sturdy and good quality
- Doesn’t have a charging stand
- Battery has a shorter life than its Lithium counterpart.
Too be honest with you I don’t own a pair of the Babyliss Pro Titanium Foil Shaver, but everyone I speak to who does, swears by them. I’ve always felt that for the Babyliss brand to get into a barbering industry that was dominated by Wahl and Andis was going to be very difficult. But if they keep bring product like these out, they are well on the way.
This Andis ProFoil Lithium Plus, is an upscale version to its predecessor the ever popular TS 1. It brings with it some of the feature of the TS 1 which made it so popular among barbershops worldwide. The gold-titanium, hypoallergenic foils and the two staggered heads make for an exceptional close shave and prevent irritation of even the most sensitive skin.
It is powered by a lithium Ion power pack, which runs a state of the art rotary motor. This powerful yet quiet motor runs at 9,400RPM to ensure you get maximum performance from this little machine.
The lithium battery gives you up to 80 minutes run time from a single charge. Like most cordless machines we use in barbershops, this foil shaver can also be operated from the cable, should it run down a little.
But the main advantage this ProFoil Lithium Plus has over the TS 1 is the charging base unit. On the previous model you had to push the cable in to charge the unit, but no such problems with this one. You simply place it back into the stand and it begins to charge.
Andis have also made a major change to the body of the shaver. With the TS 2 you get a soft-grip surface for a more secure and comfortable user experience. These soft-grips have become very popular on lager clippers over the last few years, so it’s good that Andis have noticed this and incorporated it into their design.
This Andis ProFoil Lithium Plus is lightweight and compact and with its soft-grip body and charging base, it would be a great addition to any barbers station.
• Lithium-ion battery provides maximum power.
• Delivers up to 80 minutes of runtime on a single charge.
• Includes premium stand-up charging stand.
• Lightweight – less than 5 ounces.
• Soft-grip for a secure comfortable feel.
• Powerful and quiet rotary motor.
• Gold titanium hypo-allergenic foil for irritation-free shaving.
- Gives a really close shave
- Very light yet powerful
- Great alternative for clients who don’t like the cut-throat razor
- Easy to obtain replacement foils
Foils can be easily dent or break if you mistreat or drop them
I used to use the TS 1’s all the time and as with these my customers always commented on how smooth they felt after I’d used them. Great for fades and just generally clean up your work. The main thing I love about the Andis ProFoil Lithium Plus is the charging base. Looks great, gives a secure place to put the unit and no more messing about with trailing wires. Never had an issue with gripping the early model, but with the new soft-grip that Andis have incorporated into this little machine, they just got even better.