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Not Quite "All In One", but What It Does Well, It Does Very Well
on October 23, 2008
(3.5 stars) The Wahl Lithium Ion All-In-One Trimmer definitely delivers on its promise of power. You feel it the instant you turn it on - that is one powerful motor inside its small, lightweight case. This provides a lot of cutting torque for comfortable, clean trimming of beards, mustaches and body hair. However, the power comes with downsides in terms of vibration and noise as well. And while the set is packaged with numerous attachments, not all of them are very useful. Finally, the included organizer tray is a cheap-looking and doesn't hold all of these attachments very well.
If you plan on using it purely for beard/mustache, body hair, and the occasional touch-up of sideburns and neckline between trips to the barber, then this trimmer is probably a 4.5 star performer. It's powerful enough to handle the thickest beard and won't get clogged up by any amount of body hair (a blade comb and small bottle of oil are included for ongoing maintenance). This power comes at a cost in vibration and noise, and some may find it uncomfortable to use for long periods of time.
The attachment for eyebrows, nose and ear hair is useless for different reasons. For eyebrows, it has no comb attachment and its built-in guide is much too short unless you simply want to totally eradicate your eyebrows from your face. I found a suitable workaround for eyebrows by using the main blade with the shortest guide attachment and then carefully (CAREFULLY) gliding over my brows. The results ended up being very nice, but you're just one sleepy morning away from a disaster. For nose and ears, the vibration is simply too much to bear. Plus, the attachment isn't shaped at all for this function - it's simply a narrower version of the main blade. This means that (1) there's no easy way to work around the curves of your nostrils or ears and (2) the cutting surface is still the tip of the blade instead of the sides, so you'll be working the trimmer at all sorts of odd angles to get any results at all. I recommend a good nose/ear trimmer that's designed exclusively for that purpose instead.
The surprise was the dual foil shaver head. I expected this to be a total throw-away, but it delivered a very close and surprisingly comfortable shave. It suffers in the ergonomics because its handle is shaped like a trimmer instead of an electric shaver (it feels like you're shaving with a small flashlight), but that's a small downside. Will I throw away my electric shaver now? No, but I would give some thought to throwing this in my overnight bag for travel due to its small size and additional versatility.
Switching blade heads between the main, the wider, the ear/nose/eyebrow, and the shaver feels clunky. The instructions are vague on this point (as they are with almost all aspects of using the trimmer) and I eventually figured it out by trial and error. Still, it often feels like I'm forcing the parts whenever switching blades, which is disappointing given the otherwise sold build of the trimmer.
Battery life is excellent and you can even run it on a quick charge after only a few minutes of being plugged in. The included power adapter is nicely compact, which is becoming rarer for many countertop electronics. The trimmer unfortunately doesn't have any sort of battery gauge, but the quick-charge feature minimizes that limitation.
The included tray seems to be too small to neatly hold all of the attachments that come with the set. Plus, it's very cheap-looking. I ended up storing everything in a carrying pouch that I had from an old electric shaver. All told, the entire kit could fit in anything roughly the size of a sandwich bag.
* Powerful motor for clean, effortless maintenance of bears, mustaches and body hair
* Long battery life
* A surprisingly good foil shaver attachment that could get some use while traveling
* Vibration and noise from the motor makes prolonged use uncomfortable
* Not as useful as a nose, ear or eyebrow trimmer
* Accessory quality isn't always up to par with the trimmer itself
While the Wahl Lithium Ion All-In-One Trimmer is a magnificent trimmer - small and lightweight but massively powerful. However, its "all-in-one" claim is made based on attachments that often fall short of the mark. Honestly, there probably is no true "all-in-one" solution, so fault them with overreaching marketing instead of bad design. Grab one of these for the big jobs and a good dedicated ear/nose/brow trimmer for the small ones and you'll be all set.