avatar

Best 3 Corded Professional Hair Clipper Review With, Harry Pirate

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.

 

Featured Clippers:

http://shop.larrythebarberman.com/products.php?product=Andis-T%252dOutliner-T%252dBlade-Trimmer-%28UK-Plug%29

http://shop.larrythebarberman.com/products.php?product=OSTER-97-HEAVY-DUTY-CLIPPER-240-volts

http://shop.larrythebarberman.com/products.php?product=Wahl-Legends-5-Star-Series-Hair-Clipper-With-Preminum-Guides-%28240v%29

 

Please follow and like us:
avatar

A Must See Barber Interview, With Danny Amorim A.K.A Success Addict

When I met Danny Amorim at the International Beauty Show in New York, I was overwhelmed by his electrifying energy. Danny is the kind of man that speaks, and everyone in the room takes note; his wisdom and charisma are the perfect match to motivate anyone feeling a little slack. In fact, Danny’s resume is packed with job titles such as owner of multiple barber shops, international educator, Gibs Grooming ambassador, and, of course, motivational speaker. So when I sat down with Danny for our interview, I took notes; who wouldn’t when they’re in the company of someone so successful?

 

But more importantly, I wanted to know how Danny built his empire, and how his journey in this industry began. When I asked Danny how he got into this business, he said, “Picked up my first pair of clippers at 14-years-old… The craft just turned into something I loved.”

 

When Danny graduated from high school, he knew that college wasn’t the right path for him, so he went to work at a barbershop. “I took it seriously, and I built a strong clientele,” Danny said.

 

There’s no doubt that Danny took the job seriously, and I loved hearing his story about how he opened his first shop. “I asked the owner of the shop how much it would cost for me to have my own landline in his shop. He looked at me like I had three heads,” Danny said. “I wanted my own line because I was tired of the customer service his clients or his barbers were giving to my clients. I had my own shop in his shop at 20-years-old.”

 

I find it motivating – and humorous – that Danny was able to open up a shop within a shop, but it shows that Danny was always going above and beyond for his clients, even during the beginning of his career.

 

It’s that same work-ethic that allowed Danny to open up his own shop, Klippers Barber Shop, within a year of obtaining his own landline (for all of you Gen Y kids, that’s a home phone). Today, that same phone number still works at his original shop, but Danny has gone on to open up three more barber salons.

 

Barber battles and the value of networking

 

“Right now, our craft in our industry has risen at an all-time high,” Danny said. He’s seen the rise of the barber industry, and how the profession is becoming more valued.

 

“It’s become cool to be a barber now. When I was a kid, I never had that barber I looked up to, that I want to be him when I grew up,” Danny said. “I walked into a barber shop, they’re charging seven dollars, and everyone’s smoking cigarettes in there – that wasn’t something I really wanted to do all of my life.”

 

Now that the industry is booming, Danny knows young kids (his son, included) that want to be a barber when they grow up. One of the reasons that the barber industry is seeing more of a “cool factor” is because of barber battles. When barber battles were just beginning to become popular, Danny was one of the competitors.

 

“I started competing in barber battles back in 2002, 2003 – when they were way smaller scale than here. They would happen maybe, once a year if you were lucky. Now barber battles are popping up every corner you can think of. If you go on social media, sometimes there’s two, three barber battles going on the same weekend,” Danny said. “It’s become a little saturated, you could say. When I used to go, It was more than winning those trophies. I remember going to these battles, and meeting and networking with people. I am where I am today because of my network.”

 

Personally, I think Danny is right. While it’s great to win trophies and new titles (who doesn’t like a resume booster?) – it’s more important to build up a strong network with people in your industry. You never know when an opportunity is going to arise, and knowing the right person can open many doors.

 

Motivational words for those trying to make it

On that positive note, I’d like to note that Danny is, in my opinion, one of the best motivational speakers in the business. Danny isn’t going to tell you what you want to hear, but he will say what you need to hear; and really, that’s the kind of inspiration that we all need.

 

“My speeches will touch you way more, and change your mindset way more, and make you want to grab a pair of clippers,” Danny said. The man knows that he’s good, and he wants you to know that you can succeed as well. But he’s going to be honest with his intended audience.

 

“Some guys, they have the gift. But they don’t have the responsibility, the reliability, customer service, or respect for this industry. They act like people owe them something – no, you owe them something. They’re paying for a service,” Danny said, serving up some realness.

 

I’ve gotta say – Danny is absolutely right. It’s not enough to cut hair well; you’ve got to make your clients want to come back, and to feel comfortable recommending you to their friends. This industry is about the people, and you’ve always got to treat others with respect.

 

While Danny was upbeat and positive during our interview, I was still dying to know what he dislikes about the barber industry. He told me, “What I can say hating is.. the unprofessionalism,” Danny said. “Certain people go to a certain barbershop, and feel like we all run our business like that. No, they run their business like that. I run my business as a business; he runs his business as a playground. There’s a difference there. It’s customer service.”

 

I can understand where Danny is coming from since he wants everyone who visits one of his shops to be comfortable – from the alternative-looking kid to a suburban mom. There’s an atmosphere that he likes to create where everyone is welcome. He even said, “I don’t care if you’re purple, yellow, or green – I want to cut your hair and service you.”

 

But before I let Danny go, I needed to ask what he would tell a barber that is down on their luck. He said, “Just hang in there. We all have rough days… Whatever you do, just go hard at it.” While the advice is simple, it’s also something that we all need to hear occasionally. You don’t become successful without a struggle, so just keep hanging in there. And don’t forget to work hard for what you want.

 

I’ll leave you with those final motivational words. All that’s left to say is thank you to Danny for the interview, and thank you all for reading – come find me on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.

Please follow and like us:
avatar

Danny Robinson started his barbering career with few opportunities – but that’s never kept him down.  He now owns two successful Oldham shops – Danny and Co Barbers – and also holds the Men’s Hairdressing Federation Young Fed title while on the road as European Artistic Ambassador for the Oster clipper company.

Any one of these achievements would land Danny on my list of incredible barbers, but his multi-faceted successes – and his fight to break into the industry – make him a compelling figure I knew I had to meet.

Humble Origins lead to TV

As I always like to start at the beginning, and Danny told me his beginnings were humble indeed.

“I’m from a single-parent background,” Danny says. “My Mum brought me up on her own when she was just 15.”

If you think Danny’s face might be a bit familiar, there is a reason.  The acting bug found him in his humble abode – and bit hard!

“Throughout school, barbering was never something I wanted to do,” he told me. “Instead I went to Manchester and studied at a performing arts school, landed a TV agent and went on to get loads of TV credits on shows like Shameless and Spooks.”

But the lure of the bright lights didn’t last.

“I started to fall out of love with it. It’s a very fickle industry – you can quickly move to the bottom of the pile and find you’re just waiting by the phone for auditions for scrap roles,” he said.

“It was my Mum who pushed me into getting a fall-back job, and she always noticed that I’d enjoyed messing around with my hair, so she suggested barbering.”

Initial foray into Women’s Hair

Danny started working with women’s hair, but it wasn’t the right fit.  “Women were scared to death of someone across from them in a La Coste tracksuit with a pair of scissors!” he laughs.

“The salon pushed me towards the men’s side and I enjoyed it; I found I had things in common with the clients, so it progressed quickly.”

From there Danny began a 5-year journey to find his identity in the industry. “I went from shop to shop, eventually breaking away from Manchester City Centre as you couldn’t make much money in a salaried role,” he told me.   “I worked on a self-employed ‘rent-a-chair’ basis at a local shop in Oldham and stayed there for 5 years learning my trade there. My old boss showed me the ropes, and taught me the business side.”

Breaking into Business

Having steady work at a job he enjoyed might be enough for most people, but not Danny.

“I’ve always had to stand on my own two feet,” he said. “ I think I’ve got a little bit of a reputation in the industry -I say what I think and I don’t hold anything back.  That’s because of my background; I’ve had to learn to fight, to stand out.

“In the end I thought ‘Look, I’ve been working in the same shop for 5 years, lining the owner’s pockets, pretty much running the shop when he’s not there.’ A lot of the clients were coming in for me, and so I realized I could do it myself.”

Gas Explosion Creates an Opportunity

Danny’s search for his own place was made attainable by…a gas explosion.  “(The explosion was ) nearby, blowing up a lot of buildings in the area,” he related to me. “This shop was quite rundown, so I bought it cheap. Renting my chair cost more than running the shop!”

“From there I guess you could say the rest is history: it just rocketed off.”

Danny is always shifting his sights to the next level, and once he had his own shop and excellent barber skills, he began looking at the bigger industry picture, entering competitions and following big names on social media.

A career-defining victory soon came his way: being named one of Men’s Hairdressing Federation’s ‘Young Feds’.  How did it happen?  Danny acting training paid off: he focused on image and presentation.

“I’d figured out that iPhone could only get you so far, so I started putting up pictures using a high-end camera. This meant that, three years ago, my work just popped out because… it looked so professional. Especially at competitions, it got me noticed very quickly. Now it’s the norm, but it wasn’t then.”

Danny’s savvy self-marketing got him the final of the Simon Shaw Search for a Star contest, where he was noticed by Joe Sloan from the Men’s Hairdressing Federation. They eventually met at the Shaw Salon International Competition, which is where I also met Danny for the first time.

“I completely reworked (model) Abdul’s hair (at the competition), doing a completely different look on a different stand, completely mixed it up. Adam and Joe Sloan loved it, like ‘Wow, this is unreal!”’

Once again, Danny’s performance training paid off. “Because I come from an acting background, I could get a crowd going around me. Adam and Joe saw this…and asked me to come down and replicate the cut on camera.”

Two weeks later, Adam and Joe Sloan called to tell Danny one of their four Young Fed winners had to drop out, and they had chosen to award him the position.

He also named the cut he’d created at the International Competition “The Bombay Pompadour,” and it completely blew up on social media.  Danny was on his way.

With doors opening, Danny was soon cutting hair for celebrities such as Craig David, Tinie Tempah, Stomzy, Matt Bellamy from Muse and the international Drum & Bass DJ Wilkinson.

And great things just kept happening.

Stepping Up to the Oster Ambassadorship

Every barber covets the chance to serve as a brand ambassador, and Danny recently became the  European Artistic Ambassador for Oster clippers. He says he fell in love with Oster’s clippers – specifically the Oster ’97 – at an American Crew course:

“American Crew are known for using nothing but Oster ’97 clippers, so I bought a pair and absolutely loved them, thought it was one of the greatest machines I’d ever held,” he recalls.

“I worked them to death, but I didn’t know you had to change the carbon fibre brushes and thought they’d broke!  So, I sent them back over to the distributor,”

Danny met Oster’s Maria Stafford and began sending her pictures of his work and accomplishments, noting he could help Oster in the underserved UK market.

They met again at Pro Hair.

“I did a haircut with a pair of Pro Powers and she asked me to jump on their stand and do a cut,” he said.  Danny began doing shows free of charge “because I believe in the products, and helping Oster bring brand awareness to the UK.”

Oster soon brought Danny on as paid rep.  He loves the products, saying of the Oster ’97  (or ’76 in America):  “The key word is clean – you get clean, clean cuts. It’s your all-in-one clipper, and every barbershop should have one.”

This wouldn’t be a proper Larry the Barber Man interview if I didn’t end by sharing Danny’s advice, and his success lends extra weight to his wise words:

“Always develop yourself – don’t just look at Instagram. A lot of it is smoke and mirrors. Stop looking up to American barbers and look at the great talent we have here in this country.

“Think outside the box. Look at my photography work  –  it’s different to everyone else’s.  Be creative, and be you – every top barber is the best at being themselves, so you need to be you”.

I hope you put these words into practice in your career, and remember:  there is always support, advice and inspiration for barbers at my YouTube channel Barbers.TV, or my @LarrytheBarberMan Instagram profile.

Please follow and like us:
avatar

Kevin Vorley’s Of K Barbers Emporium, Barbering Story

I recently sat with Master craftsman, Kevin Voley, founder of K Barbers Emporium in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex to discuss the success of his brand and how he and his team developed what has become known in the industry as the ‘K Way’ of doing business.

 

Kevin, also a UK ambassador for Andis, is known internationally as an educator/consultant who is able to train people of all abilities, sharing his 25 years’ experience of barbering and his extensive knowledge of the tools, techniques, and methods that not only work but have helped to shape the industry.

 

Starting his working career as a plumber, Kevin saw the opportunity to go into hairdressing during the 90s recession. He had been plumbing for 5 to 6 years before economic pressures meant that he was doing a 3-day week and he felt it time to consider going in another direction.

 

Kevin worked as an apprentice/assistant to Calum Jade in Blackfriars, put himself through night school, and discovered his love for cutting, which he describes as his forte. Inspired, he went on to ‘volunteer’ with Roger Wigmore (inventor of Denman Pro Edge comb), while he finished his hairdressing units – eventually working with Wigmore for over a decade.

 

“It’s been a very very interesting career,” says Kevin, explaining that he never looked back, “amazing actually.”

 

Putting in the effort

 

One of the most important aspects of Kevin’s approach to both business and life is education or self-development and he says that he learned what he did through volunteering and putting the work in. “I think the most important thing for me is the will and desire to self-develop and improve and progress and adapt all the time,” he says,  “That’s what this industry does.”

 

Kevin has been witness to more than 20 years of industry highs and lows and what he describes as the recent massive surge in barbering. Dividing his interests among education, helping people and developing his business has given him a unique perspective and says Kevin, “the developmental part of barbering” is now “incredibly progressive.” He advises that one of the most important things that barbers can do is discover how they learn because individual learning styles have a big impact on personal development.

 

K Barbers Emporium’s Client Focus

 

Having worked for other people, Kevin says that he brought his observations to the development of his shop. K Barbers Emporium is one month shy of being 10 years old and while many shops revolve around the personality of the barber, Kevin says that he wanted to ensure that his business followed in the footsteps of the industry, by being centred around the needs of clients. Describing his perspective as coming from a “left-field angle,” Kevin created a 3-part system that forms part of what has become known as the ‘K Way’ or the way that K Barbers Emporium does business. The 3 focusses are:

 

*Quality – which Kevin says has to produced every single time.

*Consistency – or how to get the same results again and again and again and

*Continuity – an area that Kevin says he takes responsibility for and is about ensuring that everyone in his team is “singing from the same hymn sheet.”

 

Kevin admits that it is a challenge to take barbers from diverse backgrounds and train them to be effective behind a chair at K Barbers Emporium, but he says it is an incredibly rewarding journey. This is because everyone wins, he explains, especially the clients. Services match the clientele and barbers at K’s can handle everything from a baby’s first haircut to meeting the exacting standards of retired barbers. “All the barbers have the quality and armour in their toolkit to approach any haircut and nail it!”

 

K’s has a huge client base, he says, who appreciate the “care, attention, and service quality” they receive, as well as, the little things, like how staff at the shop help them with their coat and say goodbye at the end of the experience. It is the small things Kevin believes that barbers already have control over, that can help the barbering industry to move forward.

 

 

More about the ‘K Way’

 

The way that Kevin and his team approach the business of barbering has earned them a number of awards including one from the British Barbers Association and another from their local newspaper, Echo. Kevin himself has been honoured with the title of Master Craftsman in Barbering.  The fact that most of the awards earned have been for business is one of the things that Kevin is proudest of. K Barbers Emporium has sometimes competed for awards with big businesses in everything from retail to manufacturing and plumbing, and “outgunned” them all. “As a business, I think we have the perfect business model,” Kevin says by way of explanation, “and I am always refining and polishing [it].” Part of that model is the ‘K Way,’ that interestingly was borrowed from the way that other people described the experience of the shop’s service. “We knicked it,” says Kevin, who went on to define what it is as a reproducible system.

 

For me the word SYSTEM is an acronym for “Save Yourself Significant Time, Energy and Money,” and the truth of this becomes apparent in what Kevin has developed.

 

The ‘K Way’ may have 3 legs (quality, consistency, and continuity) but its foundation is structure, says Kevin. “For me, structure starts at the foundations,” he says, “and K Barbers Emporium has an absolute concrete foundation.” According to Kevin, he and his team have put in an incredible amount of time into the development of their structure, which has led to the ability to build their foundation even higher. Many barber shops fail in structure and struggle with discipline in the areas of barbering, themselves and even clients, says Kevin, who also has a consultancy arm to his business that offers other barbering shops the value of his expertise in this area.

 

While structure is the main thing, it is supported by technique and design. “Techniques are extremely important,” says Kevin, explaining that they are what go into the structure of a haircut, while design is about “understanding the geometry and shape of the cut.”  Returning to his commitment to education and qualifications, Kevin says that this is why qualifications matter. They teach discipline he says and provide the basics.

 

 

The Evolution of the Barbering Industry

 

Developing his business alongside his role in the educational team for the Andis clipper company, Kevin says that he has noted the shift from show work’s focus primarily on hairdressing to sharing an equal footing with barbering. He says that barbers are now holding their own and perfecting their skillsets. The strength of the UK team, which includes the likes of MK and Kieron Price, and the opportunity to connect with professionals on stages in places like Florida and New York, has been part of his professional development, says Kevin. He encourages that every barber shop should have a team as diverse as the Andis team.  “Andis has taught me a lot,” he says, “… again it’s win-win. Our knowledge and experience help Andis in developing their tools and increases sales for them. We get exposure and education, and we learn from each other.” Kevin underscores the importance of not only the opportunity to share skills with other masters but also how indispensable it is that all of the barbers have equal respect for each other. This is one area in which Kevin feels that the industry can develop, explaining later that it isn’t uncommon to hear people talk about an absence of “barber love.” Social media has offered barbers who may not be at the same level of their career as Kevin, the opportunity to connect with barbers across the world, share their work and see what others are doing. This makes you want to up your game, says Kevin, and to learn more. However, not everyone uses social media in a supportive way and he says, barbers should use it to show love and respect for their international counterparts rather than be negative.

 

“Learning from each other,” he says, “is key to development.”

 

“Work Hard, Aim High, Be Nice and Stay Humble”

 

My interview with Kevin really highlighted the depth of the knowledge that he had to share and it was incredible that we covered as much as we did in only 30 minutes.

 

One area in which Kevin definitely excels is in brand development and K Barbers Emporium is synonymous not only with quality haircuts, but also professional training, coaching and consultancy, and even its own line of professional products. Only K products are used in the shop and according to Kevin, their sales make up 10-15% of the business bottom line. The most important aspect of K’s product development, however, is that it is used as a business calling card, reflecting the importance of taking a “left field angle’ to all aspects of business including marketing.

 

Apart from his own systems that Kevin so generously shares, he advises that those interested in opening their own barbering business discover their strengths and build their business around it. He suggests deciding on a market and learning everything there is to know about it before taking an unconventional approach to capturing it. Surrounding yourself with other barbers who support your vision is critical, says Kevin, who shares the motto he lives by – “Work Hard, Aim High, Be Nice and Stay Humble.”

 

Please follow and like us: