Andis Profoil (Plus), Wahl Finale & Shaver Shaper: A Review
You can’t really expect clippers or even T-blade trimmers to achieve that ultimate smooth finish. If you want flawless necklines, a clean bald head or perfect skin fades…You need a shaver.
Let’s talk about Andis’ and Wahl’s barber-grade foil shavers. These would be my favorite Andis Profoil (and the newer Profoil Plus) vs the 5 Star Finale and the classic Shaver Shaper.
At home, I shave my head and clean myself up with an Andis Profoil. When I hit my barbershop, my guy uses a Wahl Finale (prices here). Here they are, the beauties:
The Finale is considerably smoother and vibrates less. However, it’s more expensive and my barber mentions that the foils are more delicate. For 2 years, I haven’t had an issue with my Profoil’s shaving blades.
But you know what? Recently, I tried out this Andis’ Profoil Lithium Plus. If my current one breaks, I’ll get the new #17200 shaver.
Why is the Profoil Lithium Plus better than the standard Andis Profoil?
Three reasons: longer battery life (+20 minutes more), better ergonomics (smaller body, rubberized sides) and a LED battery indicator.
I’ll do a full review of all these – and why I think the Wahl Shaver Shaper is old news. Here are my recommendations first:
Andis vs Wahl shavers:
The battery matters
At their core, all of these foil shavers were meant to be used cordless. Especially if you’re a barber or stylist. You won’t orbit around your client with a charging station now, will you?
Battery life is a must here.
Wahl’s #8164 Finale wins the race with its 90 minutes of cordless performance. Both Andis Profoil shavers clock in at around 80 minutes. Shaver Shaper finishes last with a charge of just 60 minutes.
Generally, you can expect all of these to stick to these benchmarks. Maaybe you can get 5 minutes or so less, but nothing too drastic.
The Shaver Shaper is the only one that runs on the older NiCad battery tech. Environmentally, this sucks – Lithium-Ion batteries are safer for our planet. NiCad also suffers from the “memory effect” which limits the actual charge capacity.
Note on global use: Speaking of charges, an important thing for international use. Only Andis Profoil Lithium can be used worldwide, as these tools are 50/60HZ and 100/240V.
Wahl’s barber foil shavers only stick to 60HZ/120V. Keep that in mind!
Profoil, Shaver Shaper, Finale:
Which shaves the smoothest?
That would definitely be the Wahl Finale.
It was made as a step above the #8061 Shaver Shaper, but it also outshines the Profoil Lithium.
As I mentioned, a big advantage here is the reduced vibration due to the improved cutter design. Here’s my head shaved with a #8164 Finale, six hours after the cut:
A small amount of stubble has already grown, but freshly shaved it was as close to the skin as possible without using a razor.
Now, there’s a small tradeoff. Wahl mention that the new design also protects the foil head better than the Shaver Shaper. The latter is notorious for flimsy foils, and yes, the Finale is better.
However, Andis #17150 Profoil – and especially the new #17200 Lithium Plus have more durable foils. I’m saying again, 2 years without any issues. I’ve also seen a lot more people complain about Wahl foils, to be honest.
In any case, all of these shavers have hypoallergenic foils. On most skin types, they should deliver bump-free styling. For extra sensitive skin (like bald fades on the tricky African-American type hair) go for the Finale.
A reminder that these were meant to be used as finishing shavers. If you use them on longer hair, the cutters will jam and you might ruin them. For optimal results, use them on hair that’s 1/32″ (0.8mm) or shorter.
If you need an additional Wahl Finale example, check this guy. He does an insane test:
Andis & Wahl finishing tools:
What about ergonomics?
The final factor is how well will these foil shavers fit in your hand. This is especially important for barbers – you guys and girl will be working a lot with them.
The winner here would be the new Andis Profoil.
Andis’ Lithium shavers are twice lighter than Wahl’s counterparts: 0.2 lbs versus 0.36 lbs. As I mentioned, the Profoil Plus TS-2 is more ergonomic – coated with soft-grip texture.
It’s also a little bit smaller at 4.6″, compared to the previous 4.75″. This might be an improvement for Andis, but Wahl’s barber shavers have always been more compact at 4.6″ anyways.
What matters is that Profoil Plus’ ergonomics are also supplemented by a significantly quieter operation. That’s true – my older tool can feel a bit loud sometimes.
Well, there you have it – a thorough comparison on these four foil shavers for barbers or stylists.
Do you think I was undeservedly cruel to the 5 Star Shaver Shaper?
Maybe, but this finishing tool has run past its time. Four or five years ago, it’d be your best buddy for necklines, stray hairs, bald fades and similar finishes.
Both Wahl and Andis have moved on with better foil shaving products, however. Similar to what they’ve done with their adjustable clipper lines. Battery-wise, performance-wise and just all around, the #8061 shaver is old news.
Get the Finale if you want the smoothest action and you can afford it. Get the Profoil (or better, the Plus) if you want sturdier cutters and a more affordable price tag.
In case you’re a barber starting out, I’ve also prepared a complete guide to blade sizes for Oster clippers. I know you have a detachable in your toolbox 😉