Why You’re Here
You’re looking for the finest clippers available for shaving your head.
I’ll spare you the suspense — I think that you’re looking for the OSTER Classic 76. They’re the best clippers that I’ve ever used and, if you’re serious about finding the right tool for a job, I don’t think you need to look any further!
Where My Story Starts (a.k.a., “Being Your Own Barber”)
I asked my barber to shave my head bald the day before I moved to New York City. It was a bit of a lark, really — not intended to be an enduring sea-change in my personal style. That was over ten years — and many hair clippers — ago.
For the uninitiated, here’s what the travel brochure to Baldsville doesn’t mention before you buy your ticket: Once you start shaving your head, it’s difficult to stop. You’ll unconsciously recalibrate your idea of what “long hair” is and even one week’s growth makes you feel like you are turning into a hippie.
Looking For The Perfect Clippers
Fully embracing my
neurosis new hairstyle, I began to reconsider the cost of going to a barber once a week for a haircut. Instead, I decided to become my own barber — and so I needed some hair clippers.
“I’ll get something cheap”, I thought.
I picked a $10 pair of clippers off the shelf at the drugstore and, for a time, I was okay with that. At some point, I realized that the cheap clippers weren’t really shaving my head as much as making a large buzzing sound while painfully plucking out my hair.
So I began to spend more money in an attempt to find something better. The succeeding batch of clippers got heavier and more costly but, in the end, I always ended up feeling dissatisfied.
Could This Be It?
On the hunt for yet another pair of replacement clippers, I read some reviews on Amazon for the OSTER Classic 76 Hair Clipper. “Whoa!”, I thought, “People love this thing….but it’s kind of expensive!” Tired of replacing the cheap ones regularly, I took a chance that the extra money I spent would be worth it this time.
When the box with the Oster arrived a few days later, examining its contents made me feel like I had stepped into a time machine… and, in a way, I had: The Oster’s design seemed out of the 1950′s and the package included not only oil for the blades, but a tube of grease for the internal workings.
Clearly, this wasn’t designed to be a disposable device. Compared to those cheap $10 clippers, the Oster 76 is a little intimidating. You’re going from a flimsy piece of plastic to a heavy-duty professional tool that makes you feel like you’re doing dumbbell curls while cutting your hair.
Turn it on and you don’t get the angry mosquito sound that the cheap clippers give you. It is the sound of a lumbering giant slowly waking… that one you hear in the movies when some great, fearsome machine is powering up. “Whoosh!”
Call In The Five-O
If you thought a “zero blade” was as close of a shave as you could get, prepare to enter a brave new world. After reading one reviewer’s mention of it, I decided to also buy a “five zeros” blade. Normally used for fades, these blades are so fine that even beams of light cannot escape them! To be more accurate, the “five zeros” blades cut hair to about 1/125″ (0.2 mm). Nice and short.
Since originally posting this review, I have found this — A YouTube Clip of the “five zeros” blades on an Oster 76 in action!:
I am the King of Siam!
“Is this thing going to take my whole scalp off?”, I wondered while taking the first swipe.
The scalp remained — but the hair practically jumped off my head.
I laughed out loud. Like Yul Friggin’ Brenner.
When I was done, I stepped back and looked up at the mirror to examine the finished product. Perfect! I think I even saw the ghost of Telly Savalas hovering above me, smiling and proud that I had gone back in time to find a tool for the job that was appropriate for use by real men.1
Perhaps it’s hard to believe how much fun it was to drive this enormous mobile home/R.V. of hair-cutting equipment across my head but, after years of using clippers that didn’t do the job, it really was.
The Oster Classic 76 is not a tool from our era: It is a tool from another, better time.
It may well be the Stradivarius of electric hair clippers.
Am I being a little too hyperbolic about all of this?2
I’d like to think that, many years from now, future people will unearth one of these beasts (and I assure you with the way these things are manufactured, they will be part of a future archaeological find) and ask themselves “What kind of people could have made a tool as wonderful as this one? How did they do this?”
And maybe if they listen hard enough, they’ll hear the sound of my happy laughter bridging the chasm between their time and ours.