What are the differences between the Oster Fast Feeds
and the Andis Masters
? It’s a question I get a lot and one I’ve got pretty good at answering. Together they’re some of the best clippers in the industry, beloved by both novices and pros alike. Whether you’re just looking at getting your first set of clippers, or you’re a seasoned veteran who wants a solid comparison, this guide covers it all extensively.
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In short, the Andis Masters are the more costly, premium-looking, more powerful clippers aimed toward professional barbers. In short: If you’re just getting started the Fast Feeds are likely the better option. Masters heat up quickly, get hotter, and make more noise than the Fast Feeds, but they can cut much thicker hair, much faster. It’s also much easier to get a closer cut with the Andis Masters.
The Andis Masters are, in my opinion, the best-designed clippers in the industry. They’re cased in a sleek aluminum and look incredibly professional. Numerous people have commented on their design the first time I’ve cut their hair, and it’s easy to understand why.
Their aluminum casing also gives it a hefty weight, especially when compared to Oster’s Fast Feed. The Andis’ come in at 1.25lbs and 6” long. In comparison, the Fast Feeds are a much lighter 1lb. That 20% might not sound like a lot but it really feels like it in your hand. It’s a weight I don’t mind, but I know a fair few that do. To me the weight just makes them feel more premium, like wearing a gold watch. I would definitely recommend trying them out first to get a feel for them if you’re coming from a lighter set of clippers (Oster Fast Feeds included).
The Osters, on the other hand, feel light, which has its own obvious benefits. Longer cuts are definitely less straining with the Fast Feeds. They’re my go-to clippers for a casual or more simple cut.
Most would agree the Fast Feeds plastic (typically Burgundy) casing doesn’t hold a candle to the metal of the Andis’. With that said the plastic is a large part of why they’re so much lighter which gives them a big win in maneuverability.
Maybe surprisingly, I wouldn’t say either is particularly more durable than the other though. The few times I’ve dropped my set of Masters the components still needed realigning same as with the Fast Feeds.
Beyond look and materials, I wanted to take a moment to comment on the feel of the clippers. Both feel good in the hand with the glossy soft-touch finish of the Andis having a lot of appeal, but in most day to day use, the size, weight and feel Oster fans so often tout is preferred. The plastic tends to just feel better in the hand over a long period.
Price and Accessories
Price is one of the biggest factors when choosing between clippers and here the Fast Feeds win out by a good margin. Depending on how much you have to spend (and the current sales) it may not be a huge difference but it’s frequently a considerable chunk of most barbers paychecks. Consistently the Fast Feeds are a good bit more affordable and tend to be the smartest “budget-not-budget” option. (i.e. They’re incredibly good quality, for an incredibly good price.)
Not only are they cheaper they also come with four guards; 1/4″, 3/8″, 1/2″, and a blending comb. I wouldn’t normally recommend using the standard Fast Feed guards for anything serious, but they’re decent enough to start and okay in a pinch. Quite honestly, they’re a little flimsy and in stark contrast to the quality of the Fast Feeds themselves. Most everyone would be best picking up a set of Andis Nano double magnetic guards as they’re killer and relatively inexpensive. Depending on your needs this might not be important, as they do the job well enough. With all that said, everyone should get good use out of the included blade guard, cleaning brush, and blade oil. These kinds of niceties really go a long way to make the Fast Feeds feel like a complete package – perfect for someone who needs a dependable pair of clippers. The Masters, on the other hand, don’t come with any extra accessories except blade oil.
Motor and Blade
Where the Andis’ really pulls ahead is with the motor and blade, being one of the best of any set of clippers in the industry. It operates with an electromagnetic motor that cuts at up to 14,000 cutting strokes a minute. The blade is fittingly tough too and can handle even the thickest and most difficult hair. The power is evident in the speed it allows you to cut, when it’s busy I can get through many more clients with the Andis purely because of how much more powerful they are. The blade also makes it really easy to get an incredibly crisp, close cut that rivals even the sharpest razors. The Andis blades are an incredibly strong, sharp steel and are renowned in the industry (someone remind me to write a post on why I love Andis blades further down the road).
On the other side of the fence the Oster’s use a pivot motor that doesn’t perform anywhere near the level of the Andis. While good (great even) it fits in a lower, more casual category because of this. For bulk cuts or a high volume shop, the Andis is simply going to be the better fit most of the time (if you can’t have both).
Oster’s blades are harder to beat, however, as their cryogenically-hardened stainless steel remains incredibly cool. The Fast Feeds take it home here.
Both blades are adjustable switching between #000 and #1 with a lever on the side. The Andis lever feels distinctly more premium but both do the job just fine. It feels like I can get a closer, tidier cut much easier with the Masters so bear that in mind.
Noise and Heat
Noise is an important category and one that Oster handily wins. If I were to guess I would say the Fast Feeds are about half as noisy. This is evidence of the more powerful motor in the Andis and is less important than it seems to most novice barbers I talk to. Neither are anywhere approaching silent so don’t get that in your head. That can’t be expected, even with manual clippers… I consider this category mostly a wash as the noise really isn’t an issue with either, especially in my shop which tends to have enough chatter and music in the background you’d never really be bothered.
The one area I wish the Andis were better is with heat, they get some of the hottest of any clippers I’ve ever used. Aluminum is a strong conductor of heat and during operation, as the motor generates heat it’s effectively sucked out by the aluminum frame. This helps with their longevity but makes longer cuts more difficult and less pleasant than it should. If you’re a professional who can get through a cut in under ten minutes, and hold them correctly this definitely becomes far less of an issue, but to any casual or self-cutter this is worth considering.
Maintenance is an area the Oster's really pulled ahead. That doesn’t make the Andis’ particularly bad by any means, but because of its design, it needs a little more care. The Oster’s on the other hand just need less done with them and are less of a fuss to deal with.
This video comparison I found online also gives a good look visually between the clippers. Hey, a second-opinion is always good too!
To sum it up, they’re both amazing sets of clippers, but they both serve different markets and needs. If budget is a concern and you’re not as experienced or interested in barbering the Fast Feeds are going to be your best bet. On the other hand, if you want something that is all kinds of professional, incredibly powerful, and will tear through all kinds of hair, the Masters are what you need. They give you the absolute best cut and are built with that in mind. Combined with their premium design and durability, they’re simply a hallmark of quality. The Fast Feeds are easier to maintain, make less noise, and heat up substantially less making them a better casual option. For any full-time barber, I really see both these sets of clippers as essential.
For more on the specifics of each set of clippers check out on Andis Master review here
, and our review on the Fast Feeds too
I hope that clears things up for you and helped you make a decision. Questions? Leave them in the comments down below or send me an email through the contact form. I’m always keen to talk barbering.