For each and every sharpening system, there is
something that bugs you just enough to be
classified as a PIA. On the Ez-Vex the method of
setting the angle for convex shears just seems to
me an afterthought. Hunting around for the correct ...
angle on a scratch test is a REAL PIA. I've
thought of kludging a rack and pinion system or
some such to make it more percise and easier to
adjust, but it is really the fine adjustments I
am concerned with although coarse adjustments
stick in the back of my mind.
So, if you use Mike's method of increasing the
angle until you are just a little back of the
cutting edge and then want to drop down a degree
or two to get on the edge, you'll be fiddling
with the knob and lifting the arm set up and
down. This works, but to me is a PIA.
My method is to place PTFE washers where the
clamp pin goes into the top arm. You could
probably use some other material, but Teflon
washers is what I had at the moment in ¼"
inside diameter and ½" outside diameter. I
had some in .031 thickness and .062 thickness
which in some combination seem to always do the
trick. Once you get used to manipulating the
washers, it is easy to add washers to increase
the angle and remove washers to decrease the
I also like to add a thin washer when buffing,
it raises the angle about 1¼° which pulls the
wheel back off the edge just a little so that
when I get a little heavy handed on the leather
I don't round off the edge.
If for some reason you can't source these
things, they are on my facebook page store at:
https://www.artsrunningwithscissors.com for $10
for 5 thick and 5 thin PTFE US made washers
including postage and taxes.
Amazing giveaway! Win this full set of Shapton glass stones, strops, Poly diamond emulsions and a Jende Hapstone sharpening system. Along with a full set of ben...ch strops and a Jende Damascus boning knife as well as a vintage straight razor to play with your new toys on. All you have to do is 1. Like our page 2. Share this post on your page 3. Comment. That's it. The winner will be randomly picked on 3/15 a retail value of $2310.00 USD #shapening #jendeindustries #chefsroll #rollwithus #Chef #straightrazor #knife
I've had a few PMs saying that I left out barber clippers. Clippers are so much a part of a barber's work that he will select what he wants and feels confident with. Some recommendations for those starting out:
Oster 76 of any variety and blades for whatever you do
Andis Master Clippers (recommended) and guard combs
Wahl Senior Clippers and guard combs...
Andis GTX T-outliner (recommended)
With the right blades, you could get by with just the Oster 76 and a T-Outliner if on a budget, but adding other clippers will increase speed and versatility; but it is nice to know you can get by with a 76, some blades, a comb and a straight razor.
If you are the stylist/cosmetologist who occasionally does men's hair then this is your section, and the selections are pretty easy and relatively inexpensive. Spend your money on good scissors and shears, they are your bread and butter.
The stylist only needs a clipper and a trimmer. Nothing exotic but the clipper should be capable of cutting wet hair, because lets face it, we've got to keep the shampoo person busy and that is a great place to stack customers. So you eith...er go with a full power rotary clipper like the Andis Excel or the Oster 76. This is a lot of money to tie up in a clipper and don't forget blades. Instead, I recommend:
Andis Pivot Motor Combo for Usually Around $50
Oster Fast Feed Combo for about $120.
Both are professional quality, the Oster more so.
You can get the Andis first, then get the Oster later and make the Andis your backups. If you use clippers, you NEED a backup or you can spend all day blunt cutting men's hair with shears. You are going to get $20 for a man's haircut and he'll tip you $5. That means you will pocket $15, $10 after taxes. So you need clippers to get things done fast.
Both of the clipper sets above have pivot motors on the clippers and can power through even wet hair. Trimmers have traditionally had magnetic motors but pivot motor types like the Andis above will work too.
What is the difference between a stylist and a barber? From my standpoint (and I service both), the barbers spend their tool money on clippers and the stylists spends their tool money on shears.
If you are a serious small animal groomer then the choice is really easier than most other styling disciplines. Four companies manufacture clippers I can recommend, because they are built well AND I can get parts for them. The winners are Andis, Oster, Laube, and Wahl. Which one you choose is really a matter of preference, none of them stand out as having everything, but all preform very well.
Andis AGC and SMC models (and there are quite a few) are really the overwhelming... choice of those using Andis clippers. If you are shopping, then look at everything with a detachable locking blade.
Oster models A5 and A6 and the turbo versions are the mainstays of the Oster models. The A5s are uber reliable and can take a beating and the A6s are a newer design both inside and outside.
Kim Laube clippers are a different breed, they run quite fast. Even their lower priced models run faster than most anything else. They are a little noisy and might not take being dropped all that well, but they do have a 5 year warranty direct from Laube.
Wahl clippers really have the KM-10. These are good clippers, although, not quite a fast as any of the others. But they are smooth and quiet, and that means a lot. If you've managed to slow your life down a notch, get these.
It really doesn't matter which clipper you get if you don't clean, oil, and change out blades. Cleaning and oiling (between animals and when you change blades), and realizing when you need a new blade is necessary to maintenance of a little joy in your life. If you go through two or three spring coats (sometimes one), changing blades and putting the old one in the sharpening box will lighten your load, and make the cut go faster.
Clipper maintenance, repair, and blade sharpening are just a cost of the grooming business, and not one that economy rewards.
Continuing with what do I recommend. I don't sell clippers, the best deals (and the worst) are on eBay and Amazon, By them there.
Oster A-5 or Andis SMC, there are two and sometimes 5 speed versions of clippers in addition to one speed; 5 speeds means you have to decide which to use and eventually you just use the fastest anyway. Two speed ditto. One speed NO PROBLEM. You need two clippers so you still have something when one pair is out for repair. Ad...ditionally, about 8 #40 blades and 2 #50. If you are on my route, I will lend you a clipper while I am fixing yours.
For large animal vets:
Get an inverter (2000W) installed in your car or truck and carry a long 12 ga extension cord. There is also the cordless lithium ion option like the Andis Pulse ZR or the Oster Lithium+Ion Pro 3000i which can be quite convenient. The jury is still out on these things, but they are looking better and better.
Another option is the Oster Clipmaster which is for large animals, and can be used as a primary or backup clipper. You can get surgical blades for this clipper too.
After a busy couple of weeks, we can get back to this.
It is easy to ask the guy who has had them all apart which is best. It wouldn't be the first time I've been asked by a new beauty technician, barber, vet, or groomer what to buy. Clippers can be more of a personal or artistic preference than a decision made by hard rules and logic. Any clipper will work, how well and for how long is where we have to make choices, and Oh Boy, are there choices, a gazillion of them.
In following posts, I will cover each discipline and the clippers we see the most. This doesn't mean the ones that are broken the most as by far we do mostly replace parts that are designed to wear, we call it a "tune up". Heavily used clippers should pay us a visit every 4 to 6 months, the less you use them, the longer they last.
There are three kinds of motors used in most clippers.
The Magnetic motor is used probably the most of any motor, these motors are in a few high end clippers, but mostly in medium priced to very low priced clippers. Basically this motor is a big electro- magnetic coil that actuates an arm that moves the cutter. It is powered on one stroke and returns when the coil demagnetizes. The arm can be spring loaded for the return trip, but often the arm is thick enough to return ...on it's own. These motors are limited by the line current to around 3600 spm (strokes per minute), although through a couple of tricks with the motor design can produce 7200 spm; of course it costs more to do that. Examples of magnetic motor clippers:
Wahl Senior and most other Wahl Clippers
Andis Master, Fade Master, T-Outliner, GTX, and SuperLiner
Oster No mag motor clippers I can think of, sure there is something.
The pivot motor clipper is a magnetic motor designed to power each direction of the actuator arm. This gives it around twice the power of the magnetic motor, but at times only half the speed. I know barbers that use this kind of clipper for their main clipper as it will do wet hair, dry hair, thin hair, or thick hair. Other barbers have both types. Examples of pivot motor clippers are:
Andis: Speed Master, T-Finisher
Oster: Fast Feed, Speed Liner
The universal motor is a rotary design much like most of the electric motors we are familiar with. These motors generally power clippers in the 3500 to 10,000 spm range. These motors are powerful and fast, in both instances more powerful and as fast or faster than the magnetic or pivot motors. The smaller you make these motors, the faster they will go, not necessarily with the power of the bigger motors. The Wahl Hero trimmer is an example, small, fast, noisy, but does one helluva job, and it's inexpensive ($36), when it burns out, throw it away and get a new one. You are less likely to do that with an A5, you send it to me, I fix and return it. Examples of universal motor clippers are:
Oster 76 (97 in Britain), 10, A5, A6 and others
Andis Excel, BG Series, SMC, AGC and others
Wahl: KM-5, KM-10, Hero, Detailer
So, pretty much only your universal (rotary) motor clippers are going to be able to run from battery, the rest of your stuff is going to still be plugged into the wall. There are a few (very few) trimmers with rotary motors that could (but haven't as of yet) run on battery. But when doing line-ups and trims, you want something lightweight, and THAT is the other downside of batteries, they are relatively heavy if you want them to run for a while between charges.
For animal gr...ooming and vet prep, this is a different story. Sometimes it is just impossible for a cord and a four legged beastie to mix well. In this situation, the battery trumps the cord and ultimate performance is not the necessity. You just need enough juice to do the job and the cost of a few extra battery packs ultimately is a small price to pay.
In summary, for Barbers, buy the cord. For stylists who don't use their clippers a lot then cordless may be is the way to go, but I try to recommend corded as costs are much cheaper and availability of different styles of clippers is greater. Stylists who do a lot of men's hair are in the same category (clipper wise) as Barbers. Groomers and vets are really in need of the cordless clippers, large animal vets and grooms more than anyone else. There are some "lawnmower" grade clippers that only come corded, but there is a line of cord/cordless clippers that would make most of them happy.
For those new to the profession, learning to work around a cord is really a must have skill. It takes a while to learn, and until then the loss of clipper to operator contact (you dropped them) in inevitable. Please don't buy a $300-$400 set of clippers for your first machine. It seems that when clippers hit the floor, they always land on a fragile spot and usually outside of your mat. If possible, have a backup set, even if you've been cutting for years (if you have, you do).
Cord, Cordless, or something that can use both battery packs or a cord.
This has been the question for a decade or more. For most of this time, there wasn't really any question; corded was the answer. There were so many things adding-up in the negative column that you used a cord for everything you needed to work, and you kind of played with the cordless stuff.
As is most always the case, things have gotten better. Battery technology has really advanced, and fires are rare... (not being facetious). The ability to go to a cord really hasn't made the leap yet as the designs are more the security blanket than the practical solution. One company, Laube has the best solution we have seen with an available "battery pack" that has a cord on it, not really a battery, but a power supply that snaps in like a regular battery.
Another problem is that many clippers, well actually ALL Magnetic motor and pivot motor clippers have to have AC power to function. While it can be done, batteries can provide DC power which doesn't convert to AC very well for small applications, almost always at a cost disadvantage.
To keep things short, I will break these posts and add to them daily. Clippers are a loooong subject and tedious in one long post. So I will break them up.
There are really four brands of clippers for cutting hair. These are:
Kim Laube (pronounced Lobby)
Oster (pronounced with Short O, Long O, and Oyster)...
Andis (sometimes pronounced like the Mountains in Peru)
Wahl (pronounced Wall)
We can repair anything we can get parts for, and the four brands above have superior parts availability.
Which clippers to use, that is the question. We get this from new barbers/stylists/groomers and even seasoned pros all the time. I think the veterans have their likes that go back a ways. Newer practitioners tend to be confused by the huge menu of clippers from a single manufacturer. Multiply that by 4 or 5 top line clipper companies and you have the ultimate recipe for indecision. So, a lot of folks ask us, and that makes sense as we've seen the insides of most of them, they all break or need some kind of service eventually.
I guess everyone who knows me will have been advised to OIL YOUR BLADES. If you oil after sanitizing (after the ten minute wait for the sanitizer to work) you will get longer life between sharpenings. Even if sanitizers say they have lube in them, they really don't. You must oil after sanitizing.
So what kind of oil do we use; some high tech mystery oil? Nope, I wouldn't want some of that stuff anywhere near my, or my customers skin. The premier clipper oil is just miner...al oil with a little fragrance in it. Really, that's all it is. Now, Baby Oil (Johnson & Johnson or just Johnson's) is just Mineral Oil with a little fragrance in it. Sometimes you might see a little preservative (not Johnson's) in it, but the real Baby Oil is just Mineral Oil and a little fragrance. So, you can use Baby Oil. You should try to keep it in a anti-UV container as it will oxidize (goes light brown) over time with any light source. Still works after it oxidizes, but I wouldn't use it on a baby. So oil for your clipper blades is right at the food store or pharmacy.
Now one problem with the bottles the stuff comes in (including H-42, an old standby), is that they dispense too much of the stuff. Even being careful, it is easy to flood the clipper blade with oil, and while it won't hurt the blade, your oil manufacturer thanks you. Best get a little oiler bottle with a 25 gauge needle that will dispense small drops. We get them from Amazon six at a time, but we can sell you one with a blade order (only Amazon can do shipping deals like Amazon does).
You need three drops along the cutting edge, and a drop on each side in the back channel the upper blade rides in. The above bottles are perfect for this.