Pros / The Wahl Elite Pro has durable, upgraded accessories, including steel attachment clips on its guard combs.
Cons / It is the heaviest clipper we tested, potentially leading to more hand and wrist fatigue than you’d feel with a lighter device.
Verdict / The Wahl Elite Pro is built with premium-grade materials and has a powerful motor with a limited lifetime warranty. Durable by design, it delivers solid haircutting performance.
The Wahl Elite Pro comes out of the box in a plastic case that seems made to protect precious cargo. The case looks like a heavy-duty toolbox and houses an impressive 21-piece kit that comes with a host of accessories. These include guard combs, a styling cape, a cord wrap, a cleaning brush and blade oil. The hair clipper is weighty and hardy, and its accessories feature multiple enhancements, including high-quality scissors with a blade sheath and upgraded styling combs.
The clipper’s heavy-duty motor is promoted as Wahl’s best, as are its self-sharpening, precision-ground blades. Eleven attachments include a blade guard and 10 guard combs that are the sturdiest and best looking we tested. In fact, the Elite Pro’s combs have clips made of steel that Wahl says are 70 percent stronger than its standard comb fasteners. Accommodating cutting lengths of 1/16 inch to 1 inch, the guard combs look professional and can be changed out easily. Unlike others we tested, none of them came out of the box warped, and we didn’t accidentally break any during attachment, removal or use.
To help keep them organized, the guard combs come with a handy drawstring bag. Unfortunately, neither the bag’s quality nor the quality of the accompanying styling cape compare with what’s in the rest of the kit. The cape feels much like a cheap plastic tablecloth, and it came out of the box with an unsewn gap in its hem reinforcement. We exchanged it during testing with a much better cape that came with the Conair Chopper 2-in-1 Custom Styler.
Its disappointing comb bag and styling cape aside, the Wahl Elite Pro is otherwise impressive. Its motor runs quietly and delivers substantial haircutting power, and its blades glide through hair without pulling. We also appreciated its taper lever. Only half of the clippers we tested have adjustable blades, and we noticed a definite difference. Adjustable blades are important for better blending and fading.
Another notable feature of the Elite Pro is its substantial 8-foot cord. This clipper is the only product in our lineup to include a cord wrap, and it’s a small but nice finishing touch. The Elite Pro also has one of the best warranties we found. The clipper’s motor is backed by a limited lifetime warranty, and its blades are guaranteed for five years.
Considering that it’s the heaviest clipper we tested, the Wahl Elite Pro’s weight of 19 3/8 ounces got mixed reviews. When we introduced it in our lab, some of our testers thought its weight made it feel bulky and awkward, but it was surprisingly agile as it cut hair. Because professional clippers are generally much heftier than models designed for home use, its weight didn’t bother our licensed hairstylist at all.
The Elite Pro comes with many more accessories than the comparably-sized Oster Fast Feed, and it fit more comfortably in our hands. While it did feel a bit wide for detailing sideburns and necklines, its overall performance was great. It was in very close competition for our number one pick, but the Wahl Comfort Grip Pro – a smaller clipper with a more ergonomic design – ultimately earned our top ranking.