Wahl Sterling Mag vs Beret review: The same?

by | Grooming, Hair clippers, Lifestyle

Wahl’s #8779 Mag trimmer has always been a classic. It doesn’t only look elegant – it delivers surprising power and accuracy. All of this wrapped in a lightweight, quiet operation (kids and anxious customers will love it).

It’s a winner, for sure.

True, like its #8841 Beret brother, it doesn’t hit those lineups as skin-close as the Wahl Detailers I’ve been using recently:

Wahl Sterling Mag #8779 Review: Not as close as the Detailer, but makes up for it with cooler, more quiet cordless action.

However, it’s long-lasting cordless operation and cool-running motor make up for it. In fact, for 95% of your lineup or edging, as well as beard trimming needs – the mighty Mag would be a perfect solution.

I’ll be honest with you. It’s easier to work with than both the cordless Detailer and Andis’ famous Slimline Pro Li trimmer.

The pain point of the Sterling Mag?

It was, and still is a bit expensive (check latest prices) if you compare it to most other barber trimmers. And in the world of a barber who has to buy so much tools, this matters. A lot.

Enter the improved Wahl #8841 Beret. Priced extremely attractively, it looks just like the Mag trimmer – only in different colors.

Is there any non-cosmetic difference between them, then?

I know, it sounds weird, but there is absolutely nothing else that makes those two Wahl trimmers different than the color pattern. Given the fact that the Beret is a few bucks cheaper, I’d recommend to grab it over the Mag.

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Wahl Beret
  • Cheaper than Mag, yet overall the same.
  • Quiet, cool operation compared to other trimmers.
  • Lightweight body with outstanding ergonomics.
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Wahl Sterling Mag
  • Same as Beret - awesome edging, lineups, beard trims.
  • Sterling line elegance - chrome-looking plastic with black grips.
  • Quiet, cool, ergonomic - all-in-1.
Check Price on Amazon

That is, if you’re not a collector of the Wahl Sterling with its duo of chrome-looks plastic and stylish black.

Some people don’t seem to believe these are the same, so let’s hop into a full-on comparison between the #8779 Sterling Mag vs #8841 Beret trimmer.

Body specifications:
Ergonomic & stylish

There are many cordless trimmers, and some of them are quite heavy. Working with them in a busy barbershop can prove to be a literal pain. You risk getting some nasty carpal tunnel syndrome if you’re not carfeul.

The Mag/Beret duo spares you such worries. At a modest 5.5″ and only 4oz, this elegant trimmer scores A+ in terms of ergonomics.

Easy to maneuver, lightweight, designed with a shape that will mold into any stylist’s palm like a glove. You can thank the middle part of the trimmer (black in Mag, brown with the Beret) for that.

Both models share the same blade – this is Wahl’s #2111 snap on blade. While not as close as the Detailers, it shaves any hair to 1/64″.

Wahl Sterling Mag vs Beret: They actually use the same blade (#2111 snap on).

I’d like to highlight the snap on part. This is a next level detachable blade compared to, say, what Oster uses for their detachables. The #2111 is significantly easier to pop off, which saves you a lot of time. It also minimizes the risk of messing up the springs that pop the blade.

This little guy is one versatile blade, I’ll tell you that. You can safely use it for:

  • Necklines

  • Edging and crisp lineups

  • Light beard grooming (not that great with bulk cutting there)

  • Trimmer over comb action

All in all, it cuts quite close. Not the closest, but that near the ultra skin fade/bald fade action you can get with professional Wahl trimmers.

Power & operation:
The battery and motor

A 2 hour charge!

Praise the Lithium-Ion batteries, and praise Wahl for bumping the battery life to 2 whole hours. With some of their other clippers or trimmers, it’s 90 minutes (which is still great anyways).

Both the Sterling Mag and the Beret have the same runtime. Additionally, both of them can be used corded should you find yourself in an emergency situation.

What’s even more outstanding is that all this beautiful trimmer action runs on one of the quietest rotary motors out there. In a world of rattling hair trimmers that vibrate like hell, the Mag and Beret come to deliver peace and serenity.

Not to mention that they run cool – any barber trimmer that doesn’t heat up after a few cuts is a worthy sidekick to have in your tool arsenal.

Wahl Sterling Mag vs Beret Trimmer: The same, but here are a few more details...

Note that these run on 120V/60hz, which spells trouble for international use.

I mentioned this before, but the Sterling Mag/Beret are both great choices as hair trimmers for kids. The difference between these and an Andis T Outliner when there’s an anxious child in your barber chair is like night and day. Seriously.

Wahl Sterling Mag vs Beret review:
Same accessories too?

You probably guessed already, but – yes, you do.

In both cases, aside from the cordless hair trimmer itself, you’ll get:

  • 4 combs (1/8″ to 1/2″)

  • An extra styling comb

  • Cleaning brush & oil

  • The automatic recharge stand that unlocks their cordless potential

  • Red blade guard

Especially in the case of the Beret – which is cheaper, this is a crazy amount of stuff to receive. A lot of barber trimmers don’t even come with a single guard in the package!

The comb reveal the #8779 Wahl Mag trimmer and the #8841 Beret’s weaknesses, however. You can only go up to 1/2″ with these, as there’s no length support beyond the largest of the 4 combs.

Is this an ultra important factor?

I wouldn’t say so, as generally you want to use these for extra close trimming, lineups and proper edging. You don’t need to go to, say, 1″ or something.

Any downsides?

As I mentioned, with the Sterling Mag that would be the price. I’m still surprised by how it costs a few bucks more than the Beret, which is literally the same hair trimming tool.

That said, I can’t argue that the chrome-black pattern of the Mags is ultra stylish. There’s a reason the Sterling line makes a common appearance in many barbers’ arsenal of hair tools…and why Wahl also have added a Sterling Senior to the brand’s most popular clipper.

The Beret is as much of a flawless bargain as you can get, seriously. The previous Beret was awful – heavy, noisy, an all-around disaster in my opinion. Wahl did a very nice overhaul that shoots it into a must-have for any stylist. Still, you need something extra close, I’ve written about a few other T-blade trimmers from Wahl you can pick from.

From beginners to experienced barbers, any barbershop will only benefit from having one of these neat trimmers around.

Founder of ToolingFun. Couldn't even change a lightbulb in my teenage years. Discovered the joy of DIY projects during my 2nd year in college. All about tinkering around, trying fun tools and projects, and giving my opinion on industry brands!