Wahl Magic Clip vs 5 Star Senior: A Surprise
I’ve had quite a few people ask me about the difference between Wahl’s 5 Star Magic Clip and the Senior. The brand’s two most iconic clippers are so similar, yet so different.
This isn’t a matter of which is better; rather of what cuts and ergonomics you want to see in your main clipper.
My post will be a bit longer because I plan to cover both:
The corded versions of Wahl Magic Clip vs 5 Star Senior (check prices here)
The Cordless Senior vs the Cordless Magic Clip
Here are the cordless versions of these absolute powerhouses. Resting a bit before the next haircut:
I’ll be honest with you.
As far as cordless goes, I’d pick the Magic Clip. With corded clippers, the 5 Star Senior has been my preference for a long time.
The King of Wahl corded clippers. Powerful, born for precise fades and with ultra tough aluminum bottom casing.
Wahl Magic Clip vs 5 Star Senior:
Battle of the corded clippers
Let’s start with the corded version. Both of them are a part of Wahl’s barber-grade 5 star Series.
Here’s the thing – a lot of people seem to think that they feature a different blade. Not really. Both clippers share the same #2191 blade.
Summed up in short, this is Wahl’s special fading blade. It features zero overlap, which means you can tinker around with it for maximum closeness. Contrary to standard Wahl blades, this one goes all the way to #0000.
Here’s how it looks on my 5 Star Senior:
In other words, skin or bald fades are a piece of cake. Rest easy, these are pretty great for bulk cuts too. However, the precision in fading/tapering is where they shine.
The differences come elsewhere.
First, the motor. The 5 Star Senior comes with a V9000 motor, regardless of where it’s sold. The corded Magic Clip (check it here) also has a V9000 motor…but only in the US.
The Magic Clips sold in Europe or Asia come with Wahl’s older, less powerful V5000 motor. Less power means less efficiency, especially when the motor has to help mow through thicker hair.
Take note if you’ll be dealing with a lot of African-American black hair.
Second difference – the body. The 5 Star Magic Clip has an all-plastic body, while the Seniors’ bottom part is made of metal. This adds additional weight and stability for some; for others, it’ll be too tiring on their hands.
The metal casing also makes the Senior more durable in case you drop it, for example.
The last difference comes with the bonus attachments. The Magic Clip comes with Wahl’s full line of 8 guards (1/8″ to 1″). With the Senior, however, usually you’ll get only 3 guides (1/16” – 3/16”).
Wahl Cordless Senior vs Cordless 5 Star Magic Clip:
No wires attached
Unlike the corded versions, here those two feature two slightly different blades.
The cordless Senior sticks to the #2191 precision fading/zero overlap blade.
The Clip, however, moves to what Wahl call the ‘stagger-tooth’ blade with crunch technology. To be more precise, this is the #2161 blade that focuses on soft fades and achieves smooth blending while you do cuts.
This one is especially great for black men’s hair or just curly, thick hair types in general. It doesn’t cut as close as the #0000 beast on the Seniors. Thus, true skin fades would be a bit tougher, but still doable.
Why do I prefer the beautiful Magic Clip?
A few good reasons:
Ridiculously lightweight at 10 ounces, 25% lighter than the Senior.
90 minutes of Li-Ion runtime – 20 minutes more than the Senior.
Better price – not only cheaper, but once again you get a full set of 8 combs.
Pretty great, if you ask me.
All in all, if you’ll be extra busy, the cordless Clips are a great main clipper. Better ergonomics, less hand fatigue, and a longer battery charge.
From the barbers I’ve spoken with, most point out that even with the cordless Senior out on the market, they still stick to the Clip.
Here’s a quick showcase video of this rotary motor beauty:
Quite a few people still go for the cordless Seniors.
One of the reasons is that here you still get the aluminum bottom housing. Depending on your cutting style, this will give you a more weighted, balanced feel.
Also, the cordless Senior swaps the easy-to-cause-heatup electromagnetic motor for a rotary one. Cooler, more silent power that pairs with the stylish and durable metal bottom matters a lot to some barbers.
There’s one more perk. While the cordless Senior again doesn’t come with the full set of 8 Wahl combs, the 3 guards in the kit aren’t the plastic ones. They’re the premium stainless steel guides you can see here:
Ultimately, the choice is yours. I much prefer the Cordless Magic Clip, unlike the corded versions where I’m keen on the 5 Star Senior.
Ask yourself: do you prefer a more weighted feel? What is your budget? What kind of haircuts do you plan to focus on with this clipper? Will it be your main cutter or a supplementary machine?
Also, keep in mind that in this post I was talking only about the #8545 Senior. For the ‘standard’ version, be sure to check my article on all types of Senior clippers out there.
Similarly, if you want a cheaper Wahl clipper made for some tight, proper fades – check my article on the Legend. I also write a few words on how it compares to both the Magic Clip and the Senior.
Last but not least, let’s not forget about trimmers. You’ll need something for some precise work on hairlines, necklines, or around trickier areas like the ears or mustache. I have a Wahl Detailer, but you can check my thoughts on several of the brand’s trimmers.
Best of luck and feel free to ask me anything in the comments below!