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16 best hair clippers for a professional buzz cut at home

If you've had enough of your unruly locks, give one of these corded and cordless hair clippers a try

Lee Kynaston
Monday 10 June 2024 13:13 BST
All-round functionality and value for money were crucial in our selection process
All-round functionality and value for money were crucial in our selection process (iStock/The Independent )
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There are plenty of reasons to invest in a set of hair clippers. Have them in your grooming armoury and you’ll never have unsightly neck hair, and with only basic skills and a little practice, you’ll also be able to maintain your existing cut for longer – extending the time between barber visits and saving time and money in the process. What’s more, they allow you to change your style at will.

With the average man’s haircut costing around £15, a hair clipper is likely to pay for itself in just three or four cuts and, if looked after properly, will last for years, making it a pretty sound investment. And, as many men discovered out of necessity during the pandemic, cutting your own hair isn’t nearly as tricky as you might imagine. Before buying, though, it’s important to find the right clipper for you.

Mains-powered “corded” clippers – the ones used by pros – are a good choice if you’re going to be doing a lot of cutting and are looking for longevity (there are no batteries to wear down). Cordless ones, meanwhile, are good if convenience and manoeuvrability are key – look for Lithium-Ion batteries, which tend to be longer-lasting. If achieving graduated fades is important, opt for clippers with taper levers or digital adjusters that allow you to change cutting lengths in minute increments.

There are plenty of online tutorials to help hone your trimming skills but in terms of basics, celebrity hairdresser Luke Benson recommends cutting hair when it’s dry, combing it through to eliminate tangles and starting on a longer length setting, working your way down, to reduce the risk of mistakes.

“Place your fingers alongside where you need to shave up to as a guide, follow your head shape and gently flick the blades outwards as you’re cutting, going down a grade at the lower parts,” he says. “Then use the trimmer without the guard to tidy up the areas around the ears and finish off by blending any facial hair into the sideburns – again flicking out from the head.”

Who knows, after giving a home cut a go, you may even decide to become a barber yourself. The hipster beard, banter and tattoos you’ll have to sort out yourself but the tools of the trade we can help you with. Here are 16 of the very best hair clippers around.

How we tested hair clippers

When trimming our hair, we looked at how easy the clippers were to use, battery life, design, noise and vibration and, of course, its performance in achieving the desired results. All-round value for money and functionality was crucial too.

The best hair clippers for 2024 are:

  • Best hair clippers overall – Wahl colour pro lithium ion: £79.99, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best budget hair clippers – Braun HC5010 hair clipper: £34.99, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best hair clipper for travel – Philips oneblade 360 blade QP2834/20: £49.99, Boots.com
  • Best hair clipper for battery life – Remington T-Series hair and beard trimmer MB7050: £44.85, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best hair clippers for buzz cuts – Remington quickcut hair clipper: £39.99, Amazon.co.uk

Wahl colour pro lithium ion

WAHL Colour Pro Lithium copy.jpg
  • Best: Overall
  • Battery life: 2hrs
  • Charge time: 3hrs
  • Corded/cordless: Cordless
  • Grade lengths: 3mm-25mm
  • Additional accessories: Ear taper combs; haircutting cape; soft storage pouch; scissors; barber comb; blade oil; cleaning brush; instruction booklet
  • Why we love it
    • Impressive battery life
    • Stylish design

As fun to look at as it is to use, Wahl’s cordless colour key clipper is robust, features a taper lever for precision cuts and comes with tapered ear guards to make it easy to trim around your lugholes. In a clever touch, all the comb guards are individually coloured to prevent you from accidentally using the wrong length guard (the shortest is sensibly coloured red) while each is clearly labelled with grade numbers to make choosing a length super easy – you can choose from 0.8mm to 25mm.

The Lithium-Ion battery provides 120 minutes cordless use on a three-hour charge, offers a 15-minute chick charge and is designed to lose virtually no power during storage. It’s a little noisier than the others here and you certainly feel it vibrate in the hand but its overall performance is superb. It even comes with a handy barber-style haircutting cape too!

Read the full Wahl colour pro lithium ion review

  1. £79 from Amazon.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Braun HC5010 hair clipper

BRAUN HC5010.jpeg
  • Best: For beginners on a budget
  • Battery life: 40mins
  • Charge time: 8hrs
  • Corded/cordless: Cordless
  • Grade lengths: 3mm – 24mm
  • Additional accessories: Shaver oil
  • Why we love it
    • Entry level
    • No-frills design
  • Take note
    • Long charging time

As you might expect from the hair clipper with the lowest RRP here this no-frills model from Braun eschews fancy functionality, add-ons and accessories in favour of does-what-it-say-on-the-tin simplicity, which is its strongest suit.

It’s cordless and washable like many of the other clippers here but has fewer length settings (just nine ranging from 3-24mm) but that’s fine if you’re not after pinpoint precision fades. A great entry point clipper for beginners and those on a budget though we’re not sure the comb guard would survive a dropping. It provides 40 minutes of cordless action but be warned – for that you need to charge it for a full eight hours.

  1. £34 from Amazon.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Remington the ultimate series RX7 head shaver

best hair clippers
  • Best: Head shaver
  • Battery life: 60 mins use on a 4hr charge
  • Cutting length: 0.2mm
  • Special features: USB charging, turbo speed function, waterproof
  • Accessories: Travel pouch, blade protector, cleaning brush
  • Why we love it
    • Closer shave
    • Better for facial hair
    • No snagging

If you’re a guy who likes a totally smooth pate, Remington’s new ultimate series RX7 rotary head shaver – an improved version of the popular RX5 – is the boy for your bonce.

This model has blades that flex more than its predecessor, allowing them better contact with the skin and hence a closer shave (it cuts to a barely perceptible 0.2mm). It also features a turbo speed function which makes shaving faster and more efficient when ploughing through thicker growth. Five blades mean you need to pass over the scalp less to get the job done and a pop-up trimmer allows for detailing, though this is for facial hair rather than head hair.

It takes minutes to get the job done, we didn’t experience any snagging as we shaved and its compact, palm-sized handle design means it’s easy to manoeuvre over the scalp and much more comfortable in the hand than a traditional hair clipper is. It’s certainly easier on the scalp than razors or clippers with their guards removed.

  1. £78 from Argos.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Philips oneblade 360 blade QP2834/20

best hair clippers
  • Best: For travel
  • Battery life: 60 mins use on a 1hr charge
  • Corded/cordless: Cordless
  • Cutting lengths: 0-5mm
  • Special features: USB charging
  • Accessories: Protective cap; charging cable
  • Why we love it
    • Can shave in any direction
    • Compact design
  • Take note
    • ave to replace the stainless steel blades every four months

The Philips OneBlade is one of those grooming tools that you don’t think can be bettered until it is. Genuinely groundbreaking, it’s an electric hybrid styler, with a two-sided blade allows you to shave in any direction and this upgraded model features a blade that moves in all directions, allowing you to reach difficult bits with fewer passes.

Though primarily designed for beards and body hair, you can also use it to cut the hair on your head too as long as you’re going for something super short (its maximum 5mm cutting length is just shy of a standard No 2 crop). A small gripe is that you have to replace the stainless steel blades every four months or so, with a replacement blade costing around £16 (Boots.com) but other than that we loved it.

If you’re a guy who likes his hair as closely cropped as his beard – or shave your head completely – this is a perfect compact device. Since it’s not much bigger than a fat cigar, it’s great for travel or for gym bags too.

  1. £49 from Boots.com
Prices may vary
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Wahl bald and buzz cut DIY hair clipper

best hair clippers
  • Best: Bald and buzz cut clipper
  • Battery life: 120 minutes cordless run time from only a 3-hour charge
  • Corded/cordless: Cordless
  • Cutting lengths: 0.2mm – 13mm
  • Special features: Left/right ear taper combs; dual foil shaver head
  • Accessories: Cleaning brush; scissors; blade oil; barber comb; soft storage case
  • Why we love it
    • Combines for buzz cuts and complete shaving
    • Useful haircutting accessories

This handy buzz cut clipper cleverly combines options for short buzz cuts and, thanks to a special foil shaver head, for complete head shaving too. It can also be used cordless or corded (you can just plug it in and cut if you’ve forgotten to charge it), though the battery charge indicator warns you when you’ve less than 10 per cent battery power left).

We found the foil shaver attachment took a while to get the job done – you do need a few repeat passes to get a completely smooth pate – but couldn’t fault its ability to power through hair for an all-over crop and the shortest guard delivers perfect Jason Statham-style scalp stubble. It’s not washable and you do need to oil the blades, but as with many Wahl clippers, you get loads of useful haircutting accessories and, because the company builds things to last, an impressive five-year guarantee.

  1. £44 from Currys.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Panasonic ER-CKN1 multishape modular personal care system

best hair clippers
  • Best: Premium multifunction clipper
  • Battery life: 50 mins use on a 1hr charge
  • Corded/cordless: Cordless
  • Cutting lengths: 1mm – 20mm
  • Special features: Interchangeable heads
  • Accessories: Protective cap, travel pouch
  • Why we love it
    • Robust design
    • Adjustable attachments
    • Built to last

It took Panasonic forever to come up with a multifunction grooming tool to compete with ones offered by its rivals but when you hold it’s modular personal care system you can see why: a lot of care and attention has gone into it. Unlike other kits around you start with the hair and beard trimmer and buy different heads depending on your needs – as well as a nose and ear hair head, for example, there’s a foil shaver head and even an electric toothbrush one.

Sleek and minimalist, with a matte back finish, it’s beautifully designed and feels robust and solid in the hand. The two separate hair styling guards (one for short cuts and one for longer ones) offer lengths from 0.5mm (with the guards removed) to 20mm. Best of all you can adjust the lengths in tiny 0.5mm increments via a little dial, so it’s great for graduated fades. What’s more, the blades are specially angled to cope with curly hair as well as the straight stuff.

It’s not the cheapest hair clipper on the market, for sure, but it’s definitely one of the most stylish and feels like it’s been built to last.

  1. £78 from Amazon.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Remington T-Series hair and beard trimmer MB7050

best hair clippers
  • Best: For battery life
  • Battery life: 5hrs use on a 4-hour charge
  • Corded/cordless: Cordless
  • Cutting lengths: 1.5 – 25mm
  • Special features: Quick charge option; 100 per cent waterproof
  • Accessories: Cleaning brush; travel pouch
  • Why we love it
    • Can be washed under a tap
    • Impressive battery life (five hours)
    • Easy to grip
  • Take note
    • Dial-controlled length guard feels toy-lik

Remington’s award-winning answer to Braun and Panasonic’s multifunctional offerings differs in part thanks to its design, with gold-coloured blades and accessory detailing marking it out from the other styling kits on the market. Otherwise, it does pretty much the same things, except this one focuses on the face and hair, with a foil shaver attachment included so you can shave too.

The pros of this model are the fact it can be washed under a tap after use (it’s 100 per cent waterproof and can also be taken into the shower) and that it has an impressive five-hour battery life, along with a five minute quick charge option for a quick hair trim. Of course, it also cuts hair well, with minimum noise and vibration and the main unit feels solid and is easy to grip. If it has one con its that it’s let down slightly by the pasticy, toy-like feel of the dial-controlled length guard for shorter styles.

  1. £44 from Amazon.co.uk
Prices may vary
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BaByliss men super-X metal series cordless hair clipper

BaByliss men super x metal clipper.jpg
  • Best: Style-conscious techies
  • Battery life: 3hrs
  • Charge time: 3hrs
  • Corded/cordless: Cordless
  • Grade lengths: 0.8mm-25mm
  • Additional accessories: Ear taper guides, blade oil, storage pouch, information booklet
  • Why we love it
    • Sleek design
    • Handy USB charging stand

Brand new for 2021 this premium hair clipper for men from BaByliss Men is the coolest-looking of all the trimmers we reviewed. It’s sleek, elegant and a dream to use, while super-sharp Japanese blades allow for cuts from 0.8mm-25mm. Comb guards, left and right ear taper guides and a five-position taper control for graduated fades are also included, meaning you can cut with confidence.

In a cool touch, there’s a pulsating blue battery charge indicator down the side which gives it a space-age feel, while a handy USB charging stand marks it out from the other clippers here.

Read the full BaByliss men super-X metal series cordless hair clipper review

  1. £89 from Amazon.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Barbarossa Brothers electric head and body hair clippers

Barbarossa Brothers electric head and body hair clippers (1).png
  • Best: For close crops
  • Battery life: 2hrs
  • Charge time: 2hrs
  • Corded/cordless: Cordless
  • Grade lengths: 1mm – 3mm
  • Additional accessories: Cleaning brush, blade guard
  • Why we love it
    • Designed for beard, head and body
    • Best for those wanting super short cuts

Leeds-based shaving company Barbarossa Brothers might be better known for its superb shaving equipment, but its commitment to quality and style is just as evident in this multi-purpose clipper. Designed for beard, head and body it features just three length guards (from 1mm to 3mm) so it’s strictly for those wanting super short crops (think Jason Statham), neat stubbly beards or trimmed back body hair but we loved how this low-noise clipper performed.

We loved how it looked even more though. Taking its design cues from top-end safety razors, its knurled handle not only looks great but provides great grip too. Not much fatter than a fancy cigar, it’s fantastically compact and portable too. Style and substance in one sleek tool.

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Philips series 5000 HC5632 hair clipper

Philips Series HC5632 hair clipper.jpg
  • Best: Washable clippers
  • Battery life: 2hrs
  • Charge time: 1hr
  • Corded/cordless: Cordless
  • Grade lengths: 0.5mm-28mm
  • Additional accessories: Cleaning brush, beard comb, two hair combs (long and short), storage pouch, barber kit
  • Why we love it
    • Fast cut
    • Beard comb attachment

Lightweight but solid, Philips’ cordless hair clipper offers an impressive one hour and 30 minutes cutting from a single one hour charge, has self-sharpening blades and 28 separate length settings. It also features special “trim-n-flow” technology (yes, the brand actually went there and used “n” in the description) to channel hair clippings away from the blades, which minimises the risk of clogging. This helped it deliver a slightly faster cut because there wasn’t so much stopping to remove clipped hairs.

There’s a no-frills air to it, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and it comes with a beard comb attachment which is a bonus. It’s 100 per cent washable too, which is handy hygiene-wise should other members of the family be brave enough to sample your barbering skills.

Read the full Philips series 5000 HC5632 hair clipper review

  1. £45 from Amazon.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Wahl elite pro haircutting kit

Wahl elite pro haircutting kit.jpg
  • Best: For regular users
  • Battery life: N/A
  • Charge time: N/A
  • Corded/cordless: Corded
  • Grade lengths: 0.8mm – 25mm
  • Additional accessories: Travel pouch, cleaning brush, scissors, oil, cape, barber’s comb, blade guard
  • Why we love it
    • Built to last
    • Mains powered for constant use

Wahl has long been the go-to brand for industry pros and these chunky clippers are the nearest you’ll find to the ones used in barbershops. Several things elevate this model above its rivals: it’s weighty, robust and built to last (the motor has a lifetime guarantee) and because it’s mains-powered the power is constant – handy if you’ve thick hair to power through and need consistency. What’s more, the guard combs are nice and strong so are unlikely to break or snap.

As well as 10 separate guards, providing lengths from 0.8-25mm, it features a taper lever on the side which was great for creating a smooth fade. It doesn’t look quite as flashy as its rivals but don’t judge a clipper by its looks: judge it by the looks it gives. It comes with a raft of accessories and a carry case too.

  1. £54 from Amazon.co.uk
Prices may vary
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BaByliss 7785U Japanese steel hair clippers

BaByliss MEN Japanese Steel Clipper.jpg
  • Best: For quick charging
  • Battery life: 2hrs 40mins
  • Charge time: 3hr
  • Corded/cordless: Cordless
  • Grade lengths: 0.6mm – 28mm
  • Additional accessories: Cleaning brush, oil, hard case
  • Why we love it
    • Offers 45 different lengths
    • Very quiet
    • Impressive battery life

Beautifully designed, this stylish, state-of-the-art digital clipper comes with eight comb guards, which, combined with an adjustable taper, offer a whopping 45 different lengths (from 0.6-28mm). You’re also able to lock the cutting length which is a big plus as it means you can’t accidentally slip into another grade whilst cutting (something which can happen with some clippers).

As well as being one of the quietest clippers tested, the digital display shows you exactly how much battery power you have left. And impressive that battery is too: a three-hour charge gives a full 2hrs 40mins cutting, while a 20-minute “quick charge” will provide 20 minutes cutting time. A carry case to keep everything together is the icing on the cake.

  1. £71 from Amazon.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Remington power-X X5 hair clipper

Remington power-x x5 hair clipper.png
  • Best: For fades
  • Battery life: 75 mins
  • Charge time: 2hrs
  • Corded/cordless: Cordless
  • Grade lengths: 0.5mm – 35mm
  • Additional accessories: Cleaning brush, blade oil
  • Why we love it
    • Powerful
    • Offers a huge amount of cutting lengths

Solid and reliable, Remington’s X5 clipper doesn’t just stand out because of its turquoise and black colourway, but because of its performance too. Featuring turbo boosted self-sharpening blades to mow through the thickest of hair, it’s certainly powerful and great in the hand (the adjustable length dial is cleverly protected from accidental movement) and it offers a huge amount of cutting lengths.

Worthy of note is the special micro fade comb that offers a whopping 50 length setting in tiny 0.1mm increments, ensuring superb results, even for the fussiest fade fanatics. It’s powered by USB charging but unlike many other shavers the cable comes with a three-pin plug too. A five-year guarantee (extended to six years if you register the products online) sealed the deal for us.

  1. £44 from Amazon.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Panasonic beard/hair/body trimmer

PANASONIC-GB80 face body beard trimmer.jpg
  • Best: Multi-function cutting
  • Battery life: 1hr
  • Charge time: 40mins
  • Corded/cordless: Cordless
  • Grade lengths: 0.5mm – 20 mm
  • Additional accessories: Travel case, cleaning brush, oil
  • Why we love it
    • Three-in-one trimmer design
    • Washable

We were initially suspicious of a clipper that promised to cut head hair as efficiently as the stuff that sprouts on the face and body – but this three-in-one trimmer ploughs through hair wherever it pops up with equal tenacity. It’s washable (an essential feature if you’re switching from scalp to scrotum in a single session), cuts from 0.5-20mm and features a precision trimmer for edging. The overall design, grip and finish means it both looks and feels much more expensive than it is. Perfect for men who can’t see hair without taking a trimmer to it.

  1. £41 from Amazon.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Remington quickcut hair clipper

REMINGTON QuickCut Hair Clipper.jpeg
  • Best: For buzz cuts
  • Battery life: 40mins
  • Charge time: 4hrs
  • Corded/cordless: Cordless
  • Grade lengths: 1.5mm – 15mm
  • Additional accessories: Travel pouch, cleaning brush
  • Why we love it
    • Curved design to follow shape of your hair
    • Best for those wanting single length

This novel, washable palm-sized clipper doesn’t look like conventional clippers and doesn’t cut like them. Not only are the blades curved to follow the shape of your bonce, but the blades are also over 50 per cent bigger than those on other clippers. The upside of this is that it offers a super quick cut; the downside, however, is that it lacks the accuracy smaller blade surfaces allow. What’s more, its guide combs only offer cutting lengths of 1.5mm-15mm and feels a little fragile.

It certainly feels odd in the hand at first, though you quickly get used to it, and its shape actually makes it easier to use on the back of the head and around the nape. Although you can grade and taper, this clipper is probably best for those wanting single length, all-over buzz cuts.

  1. £39 from Amazon.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Braun all-in-one trimmer 7 MGK 7220

Braun all-in-one trimmer 7 MGK 7220.png
  • Best: Multifunctional styling kit
  • Battery life: 100 mins
  • Charge time: 1hr
  • Corded/cordless: Cordless
  • Grade lengths: 0.5mm – 21mm
  • Additional accessories: Pouch, charging stand, Gillette Fusion razor
  • Why we love it
    • Interchangeable heads
    • Gillette Fusion razor thrown in too

If you’re looking for a grooming gadget that does much, much more than just cutting your hair then this 10-in-1 styling kit from Braun is the daddy. Because of the narrowness of the blades, it’ll take you a little longer to get the job done but it still provides a perfectly serviceable haircut, while interchangeable heads allow you to trim your beard, shave, remove body hair and tackle errant ear and nose hair too. There’s a Gillette Fusion razor thrown in too so you can achieve a super-smooth shave as well.

Sure, it’s not the best hair trimmer we tested, but haircutting isn’t its only focus. It is, however, one of the most useful, multi-functional tools we’ve come across. Perfect if you’re only interested in the occasional DIY haircut and have a multitude of other grooming needs to attend to.

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Hair clippers FAQs

Which hair clippers do barbers use?

Wahl is a popular brand among hairdressers and barbers when it comes to hair clippers but, in the end, it’s all about what fits your personal needs best. Hair clippers will come with guards that slip over the blades, allowing you to adjust the cutting length to suit your style.

If you’ve had your hair clippered at a barbers you’ll have noticed that the clippers they use often have little taper levers on the side. These levers allow you to adjust the cutting length incrementally, enabling you to alter the cutting length without switching guards. Finally, a T-blade trimmer (one with blades shaped like the letter T when the guards are removed) will help you with the finishing touches around the ears and neck.

How much should I spend on hair clippers?

How much you spend on our hair clippers will probably depend on how important a piece of grooming kit you consider them to be. If you cut your own hair all the time it’s obviously worth investing in something built to last (Wahl ones tend to have the longest warrantees if you’re looking for something you’ll use for years).

What length is a number 2 haircut?

One of the most popular cutting lengths, a number 2 leaves hair 6mm (1/4 inch) long. A No1 is 3mm (1/8 inch) while a 0 (called 0.5 on some clippers) is a mere 1.5mm (1/16 inch) in length. The attachment combs on clippers are generally marked by grade to make choose the correct cutting easier.

How often should I clean hair clippers?

Cleaning your clippers is important, firstly to prevent any build-up, which may be harmful to the device, but also as it’s the hygienic thing to do. And like any precision-engineered tool, they need taking care of if they’re to perform at their best.

To get the most out of yours, clean them after every use with the brush provided (or rinse them, if they’re waterproof) and finish off by oiling the blades if the instructions state they require oiling. “Not only will oiling keep your blades running cooler, they’ll also stay sharper for longer and the clippers will run quieter,” says Simon Shaw, global artistic director at Wahl, who suggests oiling them on their very first use too.

The verdict: Hair clippers

For overall value-for-money, performance and reliability, we couldn’t fault Wahl’s colour pro lithium ion hair clipper. Built to last, easy to use and bundled with a host of useful accessories, it’s perfect for beginners or experienced users alike.

A fraction of a grade behind was BaByliss Men’s Japanese steel digital hair clipper, which looks great and delivers superb, precision results, while the company’s equally stylish Super-X metal series cordless hair clipper is the one to watch, fusing both style and substance in a grooming tool that looks as sharp as the cuts it delivers. For shorter styles (and head shaving) Wahl bald and buzz cut DIY hair clipper was the biz.

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