I was drinking with a buddy of mine last weekend. During our drinking session he mentioned he was looking to save some money by cutting his own hair. As a barber I get these questions a lot. My buddy was stumped, not knowing what clippers to choose to get started. I had mentioned the Elite Pros
and Fast Feeds
were both solid options for the price range he was looking at, but he still wasn’t sure what was best for him. After doing the research I figured I may as well just do a proper comparison here on my site and send him a link.
Simply, the Wahl Elite Pro and Oster Fast Feeds, are both good sets of clippers, with the Fast Feeds being a cut above in many respects. If cost is your primary concern the Elite Pros are likely going to be the best choice, as they're more affordable. If you want something a little higher quality the Fast Feeds are the better set of clippers – they're more durable and will give you a better cut.
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Oster Fast Feed Accessories[/caption]
Price and value is really the area Wahl most strongly wins out with the Elite Pros. The Elite Pros comes with a full beginner barbering kit. This includes a full complement of guide combs and a carry pouch; a cleaning brush, cord wrap, blade oil, blade guard, styling shears, styling comb, and an apron. While the apron is a little small, it covers the most important areas and gets the job done. On top of all that, it also comes with a solid carrying case that works perfectly for storage and transport. This kit covers the basics anyone would need to get started cutting hair.
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Elite Pro Accessories[/caption]
Put simply, the Wahl kit is exactly what you need for simple home cuts. The Fast Feeds, by comparison, come with the three most common guide combs, a blade guard, blade oil, and a cleaning brush. If budget and getting started quickly are your priorities, get the Elite Pros
– if you can afford a few accessories, cut frequently, and want something to last the Fast Feeds
are your better bet. Generally, Fast Feeds work out to be about 25% more expensive than the Elite Pros, so that’s something to consider if you’re on a budget.
Design and use are, maybe expectedly, where the Fast Feeds crush the Elite Pros. While they’re both solid clippers, when comparing them side by side it’s evident the Fast Feeds
are in another league. They’re clippers I use myself, are trusted by barbers everywhere and can stand up to hours of daily use. The Elite Pros simply weren’t designed or built for that.
This better design of the Fast Feeds is most obvious when you compare them in-hand. The Fast Feeds are light at one pound, while the Elite Pros come in at about two and a half pounds. One and a half pounds may not seem huge, but it adds up quick if you’re doing anything more than a quick cut every now and again. Even if you’re cutting your hair, it can get a bit awkward with angles sometimes, making that weight difference appreciable quickly.
Beyond weight, the Fast Feeds also feel better in the hand from a materials perspective, with grooves in the back that make it easier to hold. I’m also pretty confident they use some higher grade of plastic too. Both work remarkably well though; however, the Fast Feeds
still edge out the Elite Pros by a reasonable margin.
Both offer solid power cables of about the same length that are workable in most environments (and if length is an issue, one of these
might come in handy).
Looks are mostly subjective and really shouldn’t be a high priority when choosing clippers, but for me, I prefer the look of the Fast Feeds. They’re more professional-looking in my eyes, as opposed to the Elite Pros which look a little cheaper and less refined to me. That said, the Elite Pros
fit together well with guards that lock firmly in place – something you don’t normally find in clippers this cheap.
Performance: Motor and Blade
While neither pull at your hair like bargain-basement clippers, the Fast Feeds do offer a slightly smoother cut. This is largely due to the higher performance motor and sharper blades of the Fast Feeds.
If your goal is to get the closest cuts possible the Elite Pros can surprisingly do the better job – while the Fast Feeds are strong in almost every other category of performance and design they simply can’t offer cuts quite as close. That said, it’s not hugely important as the Fast Feeds can get very close cuts too – just not as close.
If you have thicker hair the Fast Feeds
should be your choice though, as they perform quite a bit better – again it comes back to the motor.
Noise and heat
Noise is an interesting one as it isn’t always simply the decibel level that matters to people. It’s often the kind of hum and how the sound changes throughout the cut. Both are similarly quiet with the slight edge being given to the Fast Feeds. Neither hum or noise bothers me but your mileage may vary. I wouldn’t worry with either clipper.
Both also get expectedly warm throughout a cut but nothing outside of what you would expect for clippers, and nothing compared to some cheaper pairs, or pairs that use metal casings. The Fast Feeds probably perform slightly better in this department, but once again, there’s not much between them.
All in all, they’re both good sets of clippers, with the Fast Feeds even inching into the great category. If you’re budget conscious and want to be up and running quickly the Elite Pros
are likely going to be the option for you. If you want something a little higher quality and aren’t afraid to spend a little more money the Fast Feeds
really are the superior sets of clippers – they’ll last you longer and give you better cuts. That said, they’re both great for different sets of people.
Got a question I didn’t answer? Want to share your opinion on your clippers? Leave me a comment down below. I’m also looking for new topic ideas for new blog posts. If you want me to cover anything men’s grooming, barbering, or style related let me know!