The Independent’s journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission.

Wahl colour pro lithium ion review: We put one of the brand’s bestselling clippers through its paces

Could this grooming gadget give us a barber-worthy trim for a fraction of the price?

Lee Kynaston
Wednesday 08 September 2021 11:31
<p>We road-tested it not just on straight-forward, all over grade 1 buzzcuts, but on DIY fades and longer hair too </p>

We road-tested it not just on straight-forward, all over grade 1 buzzcuts, but on DIY fades and longer hair too

For many people, Wahl is the first brand of hair clippers they come into contact with – partly because the brand is often the choice of professional hairdressers and barbers.

Originally created by American Leo J. Wahl back in 1911 and patented in 1919, Wahl clippers soon became the go-to grooming tool for barbers across the States and then across the world.

Known for its products reliability and durability this is still one of the best clipper brands out there but is the eye-catching, family-friendly colour pro lithium ion clipper (£74.99, Wahl.co.uk) worth investing in?

How we tested

To find out we put the clipper through its paces over several weeks – road-testing it not just on straight-forward, all over grade 1 and 2 buzzcuts, but on longer hair and on DIY fades, which enabled us to try out a selection of guard lengths.

Appearance, battery performance and how it felt in the hand were important considerations too.

Read more:

Wahl colour pro lithium ion: £74.99, Wahl.co.uk

  • Charge Time: 180 mins
  • Quick Chard: 15 mins
  • Battery type: Lithium Ion
  • Cutting lengths: 0.8-22mm
  • Weight: 280g
  • Warranty: 5 years
  • Spares available: Guard Set, Charger, Clipper blades
  • Rating: 8/10

Design

Echoing the design of classic Wahl’s professional clippers, the colour pro lithium ion clipper is lighter than the corded versions, feels comfortable in the hand and there’s a thumb grip underneath to help with stability.

The “colour” bit in the name immediately makes sense once you discover that the length guards, of which there are eight (along with two tapered ear guards), are all individually colour coded. This simple design feature is more useful than you might think because, in our experience, the biggest risk when executing a DIY haircut at home is accidentally using the wrong length guard – a simple mistake that can lead to many an unplanned undercut or embarrassing bald patch.

Colour coding the guards (the shortest guard comes in warning red) certainly limits the risk – especially if you buy the clipper for family use and each member uses a different length.

The addition of a taper lever elevates it above many other similar clippers as it allows minute adjustments to cutting length. In reality, this probably won’t make much difference to the causal user but if you’re particularly finickity about your fades it’s a useful feature.

Performance

As you might expect from Wahl, the colour pro powers through hair of pretty much any length, getting the job done with a minimal number of passes and is easy to handle however you hold it (its best to grip it nearer the blade when doing the back of your own hair for example).

Read more: 8 best hair clippers for a professional buzz cut at home

You certainly hear and feel the powerful motor working and while, in truth, we’ve used quieter clippers and ones that vibrate less in the hand, you soon get used to this.

A secure clip-on mechanism ensures guards don’t slip off during cutting while tapered left and right ear guards make cutting around your lugholes a cinch – though we didn’t need to use them.

The guards themselves offer a decent length selection too – from 3mm (No1) to 25mm (No8) – though bear in mind the taper control actually makes that many more.

Other things in its favour is the fact that it’s cordless (meaning you can move it around your head without getting caught up in wires) and the Lithium-Ion battery which delivers excellent cutting time. We charged the battery for the full five hours on first use as instructed and it was still going strong four cuts later, but then it’s designed to provide a full two hours cutting time on a three-hour charge.

A 15 minute “quick charge”, meanwhile, gives you 12 minutes of cutting time, which is handy if you’re always forgetting to charge things.

Read more: Is the Sensica sensilight pro IPL device the cordless solution to permanent hair removal?

There was no snagging while cutting, though we did oil the carbon steel blades thoroughly between cuts as you’re meant to (the clippers come with a handy instruction card that shows you exactly where to apply the oil).

If we’ve one small criticism, other than it being a bit on the noisy side, it’s that you have to push down quite hard on the on/off button and you have to push in the exact middle of the button to get it to stop, but that really is a minor niggle.

The verdict: Wahl colour pro lithium ion

The Wahl colour pro lithium ion might not be the most stylish clipper on the market – for us, that’s a toss-up between BabylissMen’s super-X metal hair clipper (£119.99, Argos.co.uk) and Panasonic’s beard/hair/body trimmer (£38.19, Amazon.co.uk) – or the most hi-tech, but it is one of the best value-for-money ones we’ve tried. And its simplicity makes it one of the most family-friendly.

It might not feel as sturdy as some other Wahl clippers on the market but its overall performance is excellent.

A raft of accessories, it comes with scissors, comb, cleaning brush, soft storage case, blade oil, cleaning brush and a cape to catch the trimmed hair, meanwhile, means you pretty much have everything you need to be your own barber. Only things missing are the obligatory beard and tattoos.

Wahl colour pro lithium ion

Voucher codes

For the latest discounts on beauty and try the links below:

Ready to turn your beauty routine up a notch? Try one of our best derma rollers to rejuvenate skin and boost hair growth at home

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in