Product Review: Wahl Pilot Clipper.

With several clippers on the market and several more popping up, it’s easy for up-and-coming barbers to get confused as to which one is “best.” In reality, just like pomade, there is no one “best” clipper. There are some you might take a liking to more-so than the others, but ultimately there are no “best” when it comes to clippers. Unfortunately, it’s not at all difficult to compile a list of ‘bad’ clippers. And of course, I do my best to help educate everyone so they don’t have to have a stockpile of ‘bad’ products!

Now, this is my very first clipper review. I do intend on reviewing the more popular clippers, but this one has stood out enough to warrant getting my ass to start reviewing clippers So, time to get on with the show!

Wahl is one of the top companies that makes clippers. There’s no doubt about it. Whether you’ve bought a set of at-home clippers, professional grade clippers or trimmers, or shavers, Wahl is a name most households know. From my personal experience, they’ve offered amazing customer service while certain other brands have not, which keeps me interested in buying their products.

While several of their clippers are nearly identical from the internals machine works to the exterior casing, it’s not hard to buy severalĀ of (essentially) the same clipper… and you won’t exactly have any remorse doing so, either! So, when I saw that they had a clipper that stood out from the rest, I told Santa what I wanted and the day following Christmas I had one! For barbers, nothing is more exciting than a new pair of clippers! Well, maybe other than a new client…

Introducing: The Wahl Pilot Clipper.

Just by looking at it, it looks like any other Wahl clipper, with a top casing similar to the Seniors. But, unlike the Seniors, the body is completely made of plastic, so you don’t have the hefty weight. But, that’s not the only thing cutting the weight…

The size!

Aside from just the plastic housing, being 1.25 times smaller than the normal Wahl Senior shaves the weight off the Pilot is considerably lighter, and it fits right in your palm. Get it? Palm Pilot? I think I might be the only barber who got that reference…

This thing definitely feels as light as (if not lighter than some) some trimmers. For you heavy handed barbers, you might need to take it easy with these guys, as the lighter body might have you smackin’ some dudes up-side the head! Shit, if you’re heavy handed and already smackin’ dudes with metal clippers, it ain’t like it’ll be that much worse! Haha. While I don’t mind the weight of metal clippers, it is nice to have something lighter in the hand.

I have some decent sized hands, so they surprisingly fit well in my palm. But, it does leave a sensitive area opened for overly-easy access…

Unlike other Wahl clippers, the power switch is a toggle switch on the bottom of the clipper. For some, this isn’t an issue. But for me and my average man-hands, I often find myself flicking the switch more than I’d like to. One thing I liked about the switch on the Seniors was that it wasn’t like a hair-trigger and actually took some effort to knock the switch to on. With these, the slightest will flip it on. So be aware of that when you take this into consideration.

Blade wise, they come with the standard taper blade found on the grey Seniors and not the surgical blade seen on the 5 Star Seniors or Sterling Reflection Seniors (same thing as the 5 Stars.)

The underbelly of the clipper has a nice little contour to sit a bit more firmly in the palm. Not a bad addition, but not the most necessary in my opinion… But, of course, this is aimed more-so towards stylists with smaller hands…

The notches for the lever are a nice touch to Wahl Clippers. While most barbers are already used to the trigger play with the lever, it is a nice and helpful addition. Nice move, Wahl! But… there’s one problem…

Unlike another brand that has the notches, the notches on the Pilot don’t line directly with the adjustable lever, which may leave some people confused as to where the lever should be…

All the way closed the lever is not aligned to any notch, same goes for all the way opened. But, now there’s 4 notches rather than the typical middle and the in-between notches… So, is this supposed to mean more blending?

Now: The big issue… the motor…

I’ve found rotary motored clippers to give me the most problems. They snag on all types of hair and that isn’t helpful when trying to win over a new client. Trust me, if they get one tugged hair too many they’ll just say ‘FUCK IT!’ and find a new chair to sit in. Not fun. So, does this mean the Wahl Pilot suffers the same fate as other rotary motor clippers?

And the answer is…

Yes… Yes it does… Right off the bat, I found this clipper snagging hair like no other. Of couse, just as right above the clipper blades read, I always keep my blades oiled after every cut. Oiling the blade a bit more after each cut did help to an extent, but even so, all it took was one patch of hair too thick till this clipper got a snaggin’ again. DAMMIT!

I know what you’re thinking: “What type of hair was it?” Simple… The first head of hair it snagged on was thick and the second was fine hair, and it snagged on everything in-between. I found it to even snag on fine blonde hair! NOTHING SNAGS ON FINE BLONDE HAIR!

I do enjoy the way rotary motor clippers cut clipper over comb, but without the guard and straight to the meat – can’t do it. I don’t want to risk losing a client because a clippers performance isn’t up to par. So, this clipper won’t be used for anything under a 0 clip… I had high hopes for this thing too!

If you’re a cosmetologist who doesn’t cut anything below a 1 or a 0 guard, you should be fine with this clipper. But if you dare go down to the meat, I’d highly suggest finding something a bit more powerful, or invest in a few bottles of oil! Because that’s the only thing that will save your clients hair from being snagged, and that’s only if you’re lucky! I did find myself oiling this thing up a good 2-3 times per cut, when I usually only have to oil after a cut or even after every other cut!

But, hopefully someone else will have better results than mine…

Overall: While I do dig the smaller size of the clipper and the lighter weight, I think it needs that magnetic motor to really set things off. Had it had more power so it wouldn’t snag on any hair, I’d probably be able to look past the Like-A-Virgin toggle switch or the extra notch. But the fact that it snags that easily, even after a generous amount of oil, it’s hard for me to recommend this clipper over any other Wahl Clipper. I’ll definitely be keeping this thing around and using it for parts of the haircut after skin and for clipper-over-comb, but aside from that, I’ll be sticking with both pairs of Seniors to do the detail work. Damn shame, too! Especially since a Wahl rep told me the power would be in-between the v5000 and the v9000! Definitely feels a lot weaker than the v5000, that’s for sure!

So, don’t look to switch away from your Seniors, Magic Clips of Super Tapers for the Wahl Pilot. While it’s a fun addition to a clipper arsenal, it’s not the most necessary. I really wanted to love this clipper due to the smaller size and lighter weight, but I can’t look past performance over aesthetic. Performance comes first and foremost when it comes to barbering, at least when it comes to the tools you use.

Well, I hope y’all dug my first clipper review! I’ll definitely be reviewing more since I have better experience with em nowadays. So, stay tuned!

Until the next time, folks…

Pomp Hard!

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