If there’s one man in the business that knows his stuff as far as clippers are concerned then it’s Harry Pirate; he loves getting into the technical details of different tools as much as I do – and that’s why I wanted to bring you Harry’s knowledge for this review of our three favourite corded clippers.
The importance of getting the right clippers for your needs can’t be overstated: without great clippers, even the best barbers struggle to make great cuts. That’s why professionals like Harry, who runs the Pirates Barber Shop in Bromley, spend so much time investigating what different products can do… and it’s why I’ve decided to use this space to pull together reviews of three top corded tools, so that you can be sure you have power and precision behind your cuts.
We’ve split our line-up into three categories, looking at our favourite trimmer, mid-range clipper and bulk-busting heavy duty clipper, so if there’s a gap in your collection then hopefully we’ll be able to give you some pointers on choosing the right clipper to bring into your collection.
Clipper Pick #1: The Andis T Outliner
No surprises here: the Andis T Outliner has a wonderful reputation to match its incredible performance. Harry isn’t shy about admitting that he has fallen in love with Andis tools recently, getting to grips with their guard system and really enjoying the quality of the tools that they put out. Even among this crowd of great tools though, the T Outliner stands out as something special:
“Every barber around the world knows how amazing this trimmer is; that’s why everyone uses it. The power, the cut, the ergonomics, the toughness… everything about it is 10 out of 10. I’ve used the Wahl detailers, I’ve used the Andis Superliners and they’re fine but these to me are brilliant.
I know a lot of people cut the top off, they skeletonise it, and that’s because they do run a little bit hot. But you just can’t rival the quality of these lines: If you want crisp lines, get a T Outliner. The great thing about these is that you don’t need the converter anymore – obviously, the converter is great because it allows you to explore different clippers and raise your game – but now these come with the convenience an English plug, and they’re just as powerful: it’s the same clipper, the same motor.”
There are a few other factors that make this tool stand out, too:
- A bigger surface area with the blade means that it takes fewer strokes to get the cut you want.
- The rocker switch is well positioned so that you can’t accidently hit it while you’re cutting, and as a barber who has to be thinking about regular, daily use this is something that makes a big difference to Harry. When you’re looking for a clipper that will be used in a busy barbershop, these little details are essential.
- The T Outliner also has a good weight to it: a nice, solid build without being so big that it becomes awkward or cumbersome.
One final thing to note is the fact that you can also get a Blackout model, which is very similar but with a few key differences that make Harry describe it as “the upgrade model”. These do still need a converter, and come out of the box already zero gapped, with a flat blade that gets a much closer finish but is also a lot less forgiving.
Harry Pirate’s Score Out of 10: “I’ve not used a better corded clipper. I’m going to have to give it a 10. I’m going to have to!”
Clipper Pick #2: Wahl Legends
The Wahl Legends are great corded clippers with a magnetic motor. Wahl’s motors are strong and reliable – not to mention powerful – which means that they make for a great all-round, everyday clipper.
Another thing that has really won Harry over is Wahl’s blade system: “The Wahl blade technology is second to none – they’ve got the crunch blade, the stagger blade, the surgical blade, the bevelled blade – they’ve got around 5 different blades. I prefer this to a lot of the other similar clippers that are available from other brands; I love the ergonomics and it definitely looks good too – which is important for making a good impression.”
With the Wahl Legends, you’ll be benefiting from the crunch blade, which gives sumptuous texture as you cut and really sets it apart from other mid-range clippers, letting it do a lot of the hard work for you.
Harry Pirate’s Score Out of 10: “As an umbrella rating I’d give this 7/10 – and that covers the super taper, the magic clip corded and the other similar models from Wahl too, you can’t go wrong with any of them.”
Before moving onto the final category, I’m also going to sneak in a quick honourable mention, a great all-rounder that Harry was keen to highlight and awarded an impressive 8/10. This is the BaByliss Pro Super: “a lot of people don’t know it but it has been gaining credibility over the past year or so. It’s completely metal, no plastic casing, and well-built – great switch placement. It uses a pivot motor rather than the magnetic motor. This means that there’s no loss of power, and although I know it’s considered that a rotary motor is the most powerful, I always find this pivot to be particularly powerful. They say that this is the highest speed motor on the market, and whether that’s true or not it’s an absolute beast. A lot of top barbers have turned onto this and love it.”
Clipper Pick #3: Oster ‘97
This is the real bulk-buster, and Harry wastes no time before he starts gushing about everything from the build quality to the power behind it:
“It’s a lightsabre, just look at it! I feel like Luke Skywalker when I hold it. It’s sick. This is a UK plug, you don’t need a converter, and it will stick to your hand – you’re never going to drop it. The power is unrivalled: there’s a rotary motor and also a detachable blade so you can use Andis and Wahl blades as well as Oster blades. I love these clippers. This is the tool for cutting a lot of hair down, and I wouldn’t use anything else!”
Harry also tells me that he’s even seen the Oster ’97 hanging up in vets’ clinics, because it’s so powerful that it can take down the thick dog hair. If that doesn’t tell you everything you need to know about the power behind these tools then I don’t know what will!
Harry Pirate’s Score Out of 10: “As a rotary, corded clipper these get 9/10; the only thing I don’t like about it is that it’s got a couple of funky little ergonomic design features that I don’t really like.”
I hope that these reviews help you find better clippers for your own barbering career: just remember, barbering tools are very personal so it pays to experiment and find what works for you. Harry’s YouTube channel is an excellent resource, where he gives his fair and honest opinions about everything he loves and everything he’s not so keen on. And remember, Harry Pirate doesn’t work as an ambassador for any of these brands, so you can trust his thoughts to be impartial.
There are also clipper reviews and advice for getting the most out of your tools on my channel YouTube channel at Barbers.tv, as well as on my Instagram and Facebook pages – just look for Larry the Barber Man. Drop by and let me know which barbering tools you couldn’t live without!
If any of these clippers have piqued your interest then you can find them at my store – just use the links below and feel free to drop me a message if you have any questions. I’d also like to invite you to come and join me on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook, where there are plenty more views, reviews and interviews to watch and read.