Fast Feed guards suck: Here’s a fix (+ceramic blade)
Do you know why so many people mod their Oster Fast Feed clippers?
Because it’s relatively easy to do and it doubles the output and cutting efficiency you get. In this article I’ll cover two usual upgrades:
- Switching from Oster’s plastic guards to these Andis nano guards
- Swapping out the stock blade for this ceramic cutter
Don’t get me wrong – Oster Fast Feed is in my top 3 favorite adjustable clippers. We’re talking about a lightweight machine that copes with anything from bulk cuts to tight fades.
But the guards are mediocre to say the least. Oster didn’t follow what Wahl did when they introduced some stainless steel combs for their adjustable clippers.
As a result, you’re forced to stick to the stock plastic guards. If you fetch a new Fast Feed, you get the 1/4″, 3/8″ and 1/2″ lengths included, as well as a blending comb.
Why do these suck?
Let me see, because they:
Are prone to sliding off your blade.
Are flimsy – the plastic’s just not rigid enough for heavier use.
Even if they don’t fall off, they move around a lot.
For light home use, they might be ok. Here’s the set – it includes all combs from #0 to #8 (1/16″ to 1″), without #5.
If you’re a barber, however, please don’t inflict this inconvenience on you and your clients. Grab a set of these purple Andis guards:
The difference will be night and day, as you can see from the reviews. Actually, just ask any barber around you and you’ll get the same positive feedback.
Wait, do Andis magnetic guards really fit Oster Fast Feed?
Absolutely. As I mentioned, this is one of the most common upgrades any Fast Feed owner does.
There’s one important thing to look out for, however:
Get the double Nano magnetic guards, not the single ones.
Only the double ones will fit the Fast Feed properly. Oh boy, how do they fit though. The top 3 reasons why they steamroll over flimsy stock guards:
- The magnetic mechanism makes sure they stay put on your blade. Even with extreme haircuts, there’s no slippage.
- Faster cuts – you don’t need to adjust/tinker around like you’d do with the plastic ones.
- They’re simply more durable and will last you for a long, long time.
The one I linked above is the small set. It includes sizes from #0 to #4 (1/16″ to 1/2″). You can complement them with the large 4-comb purple set:
This one goes from #5 to #8, or 5/8″ to 1″ respectively.
Obviously, it’s up to you – you can decide to stick to the usual Fast Feed clipper attachments. I wouldn’t – much as I prefer Wahl’s stainless steel combs over the plastic stock ones. I’m not alone either, you can see others who think the same way.
Putting an Oster Fast Feed ceramic blade & zero gapping
So, the stock Oster Fast Feed blade goes to your typical adjustable clipper positions. On closed, they’re #000 or 1/50″ (0.5mm). When opened, they’re #1 or 3/32″ (2.4mm).
For some people that’s not enough. They want to zero gap it so you can have sharper lines and closer cuts.
The perfect way to zero gap Fast Feeds is with this Andis ceramic cutter.
It being made of ceramic means your blade won’t heat up as much as the stock steel blade. Additionally, it will cut through thick hair better – a weakness of the Fast Feeds.
Some people complain from the ceramic blade pulling hair or the clipper running louder. This shouldn’t happen after a proper installation.
Here’s my favorite video on that – it shows you how to swap out the stock blade in less than two minutes:
Is it necessary to zero gap my Fast Feed?
No, not really. Especially if you’re a home user or a barber who’s making his baby steps in the art of haircuts. Especially for home buzzcuts, you can seriously nick your skin badly.
The ceramic blade mod isn’t hard, but it does require for you to have worked with a clipper at least for a short while.
Unfamiliar with zero gapping, blade sizes or lengths and all that jazz? Check out my guide on Oster blade sizes. While it’s for the Oster 76 Classic clipper, these sizes hold true for all the brand’s clippers.
Also, even a ceramic blade won’t achieve the smoothest shave or finishes. A pity, as this detail is a part of any barber’s daily life. You’d need a shaver for that – you can head to my post on Andis vs Wahl shavers. Unfortunately, Oster don’t manufacture any – it would’ve been interesting to see how would they compete!