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87 of 90 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 2009
For me, getting a haircut has always been a bit of a hassle--taking time off work, driving half-way across the city to the barber shop, getting into the shop only to find that half a dozen other people are ahead of me, hoping that the available barber doesn't leave me looking any more ridiculous than I already naturally look, etc. When the owner of my regular barbershop recently passed away and his shop closed as a result, I was all of a sudden in the market for a new barber. I was a little surprised at how difficult it is to find an old-fashioned, no-nonsense barber. It seems that the vast majority of men's haircutting joints these days are "stylist" operations. They want to fluff, puff, gel and otherwise pamper your hair, with the end result being that you wind up looking like an androgynous rock star, all for a hefty price. Not my style--I'm a conservative guy and I want to look that way when I get out of the barber chair.

After not having much luck finding an old-time barber, and doing a little online research, I decided to give the Wahl self-cut clipper a try. My biggest complaint about barbers is that when I tell them I want my hair cut "short," they almost never cut it short enough to suit me. I'm not sure whether they are afraid that they will cut it too short, or whether the name of the game is to get me back into the shop as soon as possible. In any event, I figured that this self-cut trimmer would at least solve that problem in that I would be in control of my hair length.

The kit in question includes an ergonomic, L-shaped trimmer with a unique four-position rotating head, the latter of which allows the user to easily reach every part of the head. It has a comfortable padded handle and is powered by rechargeable nickel-cadmium batteries, so there is no inconvenient cord in the way. A red light-emitting diode on the handle illuminates when the unit is charging. According to the instruction manual, the trimmer can be left plugged into the wall outlet without danger of overcharging, so it will always be ready for use (although Wahl recommends that the unit be periodically charged and discharged to prolong the life of the nickel-cadmium batteries). The trimmer can be operated on batteries or, if the batteries are discharged or low, using the included charger/adapter. Also included are: ten clipper guides (which attach to the trimmer's cutting blade and which regulate the length of the cut), ranging in size from 1/8" to 1", including left and right ear taper attachments; a pair of scissors; a blade cleaning brush; blade oil; a styling comb; a nice cloth storage case, and, needless to say, operating instructions.

Wahl divides the head into three cutting zones: the lower part of the head (running from the bottom of the hair line to the top of the ear); the middle part of the head (running from the top of the ear to the top of the head); and the top of the head (hereafter referred to as low, middle and top). You start cutting the lower zone first, using the largest (#8, 1") guide. If that guide doesn't cut your hair short enough, you then go over the same area using the next smallest guide (#7, 7/8"). You keep doing this until you find a guide that cuts the hair to the desired length. Once this has been established, you simply increment the guide length by one size for the middle and top zones. For example, I found that the #4 (1/2"), #5 (5/8") and #6 (3/4") guides for the low, middle and top zones, respectively, produced just the right length of haircut for me. It is VERY important that you start with large guides and work your way down to the size that produces the desired result, taking off a little at a time. Starting with a guide that is too small will result in hair that may be too short for your taste (or even an unintentional scalp job!). Once you establish which guides produce the best haircut for you, you can use those guides thereafter with no need for further experimentation. Wahl has a free online instructional video on its Web site ([...] so you can see the product in action.

My experience? While I was initially worried about doing a scalp job on myself (if this happened I figured I could give myself a buzz cut and tell everyone that I was a Marine), I was very pleasantly surprised with the haircut that this self-cut trimmer produced and I'm now a believer. In my opinion it resulted in a haircut that is at least as good as one that I would have received in a barbershop. Not only is my hair cut to the length that I want, it looks neat, tight and conservative--just the way I like it. I also have the added satisfaction of saving a bundle on haircuts. Where I live, a basic haircut can easily set you back $20 (more for so-called "stylists"). At that rate, and if you get your hair cut at least once a month or so, it doesn't take long to recoup the cost of the trimmer. When I told my male co-workers about this trimmer, they looked at my hair and then asked me where they could buy one (several have), so I guess that the haircut can't be too bad. I'm also now cutting hair for the male members of my family using this trimmer--they get just as good a haircut as they would get from a barber and they save $20 or so in the process. I'm very happy with this product and definitely recommend it.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on July 8, 2009
If you want short hair, this is a no-brainer! I gave it four stars instead of five in a nod to the guy who said it's poorly made. Yes, it is indeed mostly plastic. But what isn't these days? The cutting assembly is metal and it works great. As long as you're careful not to drop it on the floor it should be fine.

I had to laugh about his complaint about the mirror: "Put a sandwich baggie over a glass mirror and that'll give you an idea of the quality." That sounded fishy. When I got mine I looked closely and--sure enough--the mirror was covered with a piece of protective plastic that he apparently missed. I pealed it off and it was clear as any mirror can be. Still, it's too small to be of much use.

Anyway, I blew off his review and bought mine because I identified with "Do it yourself & save a bundle." I've always hated going to the barber and could never get them to cut it as short as I wanted. I bought this kit, tried it out on my 17 year old son with good results (luckily, or he'd have killed me!), and then started shearing away on myself.

I've had many compliments about my haircut and not one person who could tell I did it myself. Maybe a barber would be able to tell, but if nobody else can, who cares? Touch it up every couple of weeks and I'm good to go. I've saved the purchase price with just the first haircut on my son and myself. I love it and I'm laughing all the way to the bank!
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on February 14, 2009
This is my second Wahl hair trimmer. There is nothing wrong with the old one, but I liked the idea of cutting my own hair with something that would give me control. This new Wahl with the ninety degree curve allows me to have a better chance of trimming my neck hair, which is a great selling point.

It is very light and easy to control, cuts really quick and clean. The pivoting head is really great...but has one heckuva flaw for me. The cutting blade-head is not adjustable (like my older model), and cuts my hair way TOO short. The smallest guide comb is the #1 (1/8th), which cuts my hair to a point where I have to trim it weekly. I have found other models at the Wahl site that include the 1/16th guide comb... why doesnt this one? Yea, its a minor gripe, but a legitimate one as far as I'm concerned. I have written to Wahl about this, and will update my review, should things change.

UPDATE: I contacted Wahl and told tham about my situation. They sold me a #.5 blade for $3.00 (delivered). I would change this to 5 stars, but I cant seem to find how to change the star rating.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on February 28, 2010
LOL @ the reviewer who complained the mirror was blurry. As noted by another reviewer the mirror is covered in protective plastic, and once you peel this away it reveals nothing other than a normal mirror like any other you've ever seen.

Anyway, I purchased this product and used it a few times throughout a month before deciding to return this item. While it's nice to not have a cord, what's not nice is this hair clipper is far less powerful than your typical corded Wahl clipper. After having charged the cheap included rechargeable NICAD battery for a full day, this hair clipper ran out of juice while attempting to cut my hair and I even have male pattern baldness, so there's not much hair to cut to begin with!

Even if I used this clipper when hooked up to the power supply, the clipper seemed to have about 40 percent less power than a corded model. If Wahl would make a cordless model with a lithium battery and has the same power as their corded models, I'd consider getting another cordless model but for now I've bought the Wahl Chrome Pro Deluxe model and it's been way better. While going back to having a cord is a slight inconvenience, it's well worth it for the extra power!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on May 7, 2010
2009 was a year, as for many, of belt tightening. Two adjustments of note I personally made were those concerning cable TV and haircuts. The first I took care of by canceling cable service and surprisingly I really don't miss it. The second, which brings me here, was deciding to cut my own hair. After some research online I settled on the Wahl Self Cut Kit. Overall I feel it was a good decision, but with a few issues I would be remiss in not mentioning.

The shaver works very well. The head rotates and can be locked in position allowing it too be used with either hand. This is good as it makes it easy to cut all areas of your head with relative ease. Eight combs of varying lengths are included along with 2 angled combs for cutting around the ears. The shaver can also be used without the combs for sideburns and shaving the neck below the back hairline. The Wahl Self Cut works extremely well for a simple cut such as mine (#4 comb, ear combs, and bare shaving) and I have saved good money by using it. I can get 2 complete haircuts with a full charge, but the razor can also be used with the cord if it becomes necessary.

Along with the pros, however, there are a couple of cons. The shaver is all plastic with rubber encased areas on the top and bottom of the handle. All parts seem to fit very well and it feels solid, but the quality of the plastic used is a little troubling to me. I believe if it was dropped on a hard surface (bathroom tile for example) it could possibly shatter. More importantly I am disappointed in Wahl's decision to use a Ni-Cad battery instead of Ni-MH. I find it nearly inexcusable in 2008 (year of manufacture) to be using such an outdated technology in this new product. Ni-cads take many hours to charge and cannot be left plugged to the charger when fully charged. It also prevents the ability to "top off" the charge just before use, as Ni-cads are prone to developing a "memory" and can permanently lose their ability to hold a full charge if you plug it in before it is depleted. Finally, the deluxe kit is filled with accessories that are too small to be useful (mirror) or just plain useless (comb) to add any real value. The leatherette bag is the only accessory I find to be a good addition.

All in all I can recommend the Wahl Self Cut Kit for those who, like me, are sporting a short and simple cut. I cannot dismiss the convenience and affordability of having a haircut whenever I want or need. Even with its shortcomings I feel it is a good buy and can pay for itself very quickly, as long as I don't drop it.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2009
Having recently found myself in the ranks of the unwillingly retired I decided to try this product out to save a few bucks over the cost of a salon haircut. I watched the On-Line video and figured I could do it. I was right. It took me about 10 mins to give myself my first "Do-It-Yourself" haircut and it really does look pretty good. I needed a little help trimming up the back, which is something I'm sure will get better with practice, but other than that I considered my first attempt a success. In my opinion, this kit does what it's supposed to do, and it's definitely worth the price.
However, be advised that everything that other reviewers have said about the quality of the kit's accessories is absolutely true. Don't plan on using the mirror or the comb, and I'm not sure how long the storage case will last. When I went to unzip the storage case that holds the kit, the zipper tab popped in half, not a very good "welcome to Wahl" moment. When I went to remove the protective film from the mirror, the mirror lifted up out of it's handle. The mirror was being held in place by three very tiny pieces of really flimsy double stick tape that had less holding power than the protective film. But it was no great loss as the mirror itself is only about 2.75" in diameter, smaller than the display on many smart phones. And the comb, well I never realized that anyone could make a comb that cheap and flimsy. The mirror, post super gluing, went to my 5 year old grand-daughter, who was thrilled with it but would rather it had been a little bigger, and pink. The comb went into the trash. I'm holding onto the storage bag for now, we'll see. I suppose Wahl figured a comb and a mirror should be mandatory items to include in a DIY haircut kit, especially since a mirror is needed to to do the back of your head. But I can't help but wonder which is worse, not including them at all or throwing in items that are too cheaply made to be capable of performing their intended tasks. Either way you end up supplying your own needs. I suppose I should admit that the mirror did supply a few chuckles as I tried to visualize the events at the engineering meeting at the Chinese factory that assembled the mirror, when they were trying to figure out the best place to put the double stick tape to hold the mirror to the handle. And then there is the one little Chinese guy in the back who is thinking to himself "That isn't going to work".
But I didn't buy the kit for the mirror or the comb or the storage bag. I bought it so I could give myself a decent haircut. And at that, it does quite well.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2009
I researched all the available products so I could cut my own hair. A lot of them expecteded you to buzz off all your hair. I wasn't looking for that. When I used this product, I made (1) little mistake above my right ear. Not a real big deal. Doing the back can be tricky with the mirror. A little practice and learning from your mistakes (hair does grow back so you can try again). I even got some compliments from my often critical friends at work. Bottom line is, you want to "do it yourself" this model will do the job.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 2009
For a balding man with a crew cut this is all you need. I'm done in less than the time it takes me to drive to the barber shop. If I had more hair or a more complicated cut, it might be a different review, but for a simple cut, this is the clipper to buy.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2010
I have cut my own hair since the early nineties. Its an easy cut where all I have to do is use an #7 guide and run it all over my head... front to back, back to front and side to side. I have used the electric but wanted to be safer by using a battery operated unit while in the shower stall (not wet!)
With this unit, it does a decent job... but the power is on the low side. I seem to have to go over and over my head to make sure I get all the hairs cut. It is safer, but I find I have to use it a couple days in a row to get it all even.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 4, 2010
Purchased this on a recommendation from a friend and was not disappointed. I live by myself and got tired of wasting money on hair cuts. This does the job well and works quite well on my thick hair (on the sides at least, thanks genetics). It is also fairly easy to use for a single person, just be sure to get a better mirror, the one included is junk.

I'll close with a piece of poetry I've always loved, lol:

Babies haven't any hair.
Old men's heads are just as bare.
Between the cradle and the grave
Lies a haircut and a shave.
-Anon

Truer words were never spoken.
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