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Our Rating: 9/10
The Oster Classic 76 is an ‘old school’ hair clipper that delivers a cut that is still second to none.
Oster has largely kept its original design, whilst continually adapting and improving on its functionality.
I just love its classic look and understated workmanship.
Through my research, testing, and feedback, including from those in the hair industry, (for the money) I have yet to find a clipper that delivers a better cut.
The Oster Classic 76 is a totally reliable clipper that can be used all day, every day on all hair types.
The motor is a ‘heavy-duty’ powerhouse and the quality cutting blades are as good as they come.
- Iconic, stylish look
- Strong, powerful motor (the latest model now features a new cooler running motor)
- Durable, precise, long-lasting blades
- 13 individual blade sizes available
- A professional clipper, used by industry professionals from a reputable company
- More expensive than similar corded models
- Slightly heavier and fairly loud
- Only available as a corded model
Despite my love for the Oster Classic 76, there are other clippers on the market that might be more suitable for you, depending on your budget and personal needs, and I will discuss the pros and cons of the ’76’ in this review.
In This Guide..
What to Consider When Buying the Oster Classic 76
I’ve used various hair clippers myself for several years and there are certain features that you should be aware of before you buy one.
If you just go and buy the first hair clipper you see based on price alone, you’re destined for trouble and a frustrating experience, particularly if you are going to be using the clipper on a regular basis.
So stick with me as I explain each of these points in relation to the Oster Classic 76:
As with any clipper, trimmer, or shaver, do not be tempted into buying a cheap model from a store like Wal-Mart, or a cheap Chinese model, and expect it to produce the results you want.
Trust me, I’ve been there, done that, and immediately regretted it.
For the price of 2 or 3 cheap clippers, that produce sub-standard results, you could buy a top-quality clipper that will give you a professional finish and will last you for many years.
Made in the USA, Oster has manufactured hair clippers since the 1920s. They are one of the industry’s original and leading hair clipper brands.
The Oster Classic 76 is their flagship model – and for good reason; its iconic design has virtually remained unchanged to this day.
The only difference between then and now is the ongoing improvements made to the motor, casing, and blades.
As soon as you take the Oster Classic 76 out of the box, you know you’ve got yourself a serious clipper. It looks and feels like it should – a professional hair clipper.
The casing is made from a strong, valox material (a lightweight, super-strength plastic resin used in modern cars to keep weight down and give greater impact protection).
This valox material makes the clipper housing virtually unbreakable.
Despite the power generated from the motor, and unlike similar competing brands, the clipper will never heat up enough to burn your hand or scalp during prolonged use.
This is a really great feature, as many similar models do tend to get quite hot and can burn the skin if you’re not careful.
One of the major differences between a cheap clipper and a quality one is most definitely in the motor.
The Classic 76 has a powerful, single-speed, universal motor, which means it is able to run at higher speeds with more power than other clipper motors.
Universal means it can run on AC or DC current.
I’m no electrician, but here’s what MetMotors says about the meaning of a Universal motor:
“DC motors have the advantage of: higher starting torque, quick starting and stopping, reversing, variable speeds with voltage input and they are easier and cheaper to control than AC”
This extra power and speed mean it can easily cut through thick or wet hair, which is essential for professional barbers and hairstylists.
The downside to all this power is that it makes the clipper heavier and noisier than similar models.
It’s not a deal-breaker for most, but a consideration if you’re looking for a small, quiet machine.
I actually love the sound!
It has an unmistakable, reassuring hum. 🙂
Mains Supplied for Maximum Power
If you want a hair clipper to deliver maximum power at all times, then one that is permanently connected to the mains will give you this certainty.
The OC 76 is a mains supplied clipper.
It also has a thick, 9ft, heavy-duty cord, and as such doesn’t get tangled up during cuts.
Size and Weight
For those of you who like to know specific dimensions:
Size: 2 x 2 x 7.7 inches
Weight: 1.6 pounds.
It is one of the biggest clippers on the market and heavier than most models. (I find the weight actually gives it more stability)
However, if you have small, delicate wrists, or get pain in your wrist joints, you might struggle to handle the Oster Classic 76 if it’s for prolonged use.
If you prefer a lighter hair clipper, I recommend the excellent Wahl Peanut.
What Is In The Box?
As well as 2 blades, the Oster 76 comes boxed with the basics you need, including:
- Blade guard
- Blade oil
- Clipper grease
- Cleaning brush
- Operating instructions
- 12-month Warranty
Oster Cutting Blades
According to the manufacturer’s website, all Oster blades are cryogenically treated to -300 degrees Fahrenheit, “so molecules are aligned in a perfect structure”.
This process increases the blades’ strength and hardness, keeping their edge sharp during long periods of use.
A sharp blade enables easier and more efficient cutting, so you won’t find yourself constantly going over the same area.
It also means you won’t need to buy a new blade for at least a few years!
The Oster Classic 76 uses an interchangeable blade system, which means you can quickly and easily change the blade to a different size when you need to.
No need for a screwdriver or any type of tool that other clippers need. The new blade simply snaps into place and the sturdy mechanism keeps it firmly secured.
It has 13 blade sizes (ranging from 1/2 to 1/125-inch) for various hair lengths and styles.
When bought new, it comes supplied with 2 of the most popular sized blades – size 000 (0.5mm) and size 1 (2.4mm).
This is different from a lot of clippers on the market which use just 1 blade and a set of comb guides/guards to get the required length.
You can buy a set of comb guides that clip over your Oster 76 blade (and if you’re just starting out with your first clipper, it may be worth starting this way)..
Here’s a great video demonstrating a hair cut using the different blade sizes on the Oster Classic 76:
Unfortuantely Oster don’t sell a storage or travel case for your 76′.
Here’s one that’s compatible that works really well.
Pros and Cons
- Iconic, stylish look.
- Strong, powerful motor (the latest model now features a new cooler running motor).
- Durable, accurate, and long-lasting blades.
- 13 individual blade sizes available.
- A professional clipper, used by industry professionals from a reputable company, yet easy enough for a novice to learn who wants a real quality, clipping experience.
- More expensive than similar models.
- Bigger, heavier, and fairly loud. (Although being bigger and heavier, might actually be an advantage!)
- Only the corded model available.
Who Is The Oster Classic 76 Suitable For?
- Barbers and hair stylists – it is designed for professional, continual use
- Home users who want the best corded clippers in the business
- Anyone who needs to cut thick, coarse hair
- Anyone who prefers the ‘Made in the USA’ product.
The amount of customers who have reviewed the Oster 76 gives you a clear indication as to how well they perform.
If a product doesn’t perform as it should, you soon hear about it.
This is the ‘Daddy’ of professional hair clippers and you will find hundreds of glowing reviews and testimonies on the internet written by industry professionals and novice users alike.
Alternative Hair Clippers To Consider
The OC 76 is a unique and instantly recognizable hair clipper that still leads the way.
That’s not to say it’s for everyone, and with technology and competition improving all the time, there are a couple of alternatives you could consider:
Andis Master 01557 Adjustable Blade Professional Hair Clipper
Wahl 5-Star Series Senior Clipper
Q. I’m not a professional, will I be able to use these clippers at home?
A. Like many of the top-end clippers, the Oster Classic 76 is marketed as a professional-use hair clipper. That doesn’t mean a novice can’t use them at home. If you take your time, read our article “how to cut hair with clippers” and watch some videos on You Tube, you’ll have no problem using them.
Q. Can I use the Oster Classic 76 to cut my beard?
A. Sure you can, although it depends how long your beard is. You’ll need a set of guards that match the length of your beard.
Q. I have a nearly bald head shave. Is this better than the Wahl Balding Clipper?
A. Yes it is a better machine.The Oster 76 will shave your head like a hot knife through warm butter. However, the Balding Clipper is still an excellent choice clipper for shaving your head. The 76′ comes supplied with a 000 blade, but you can purchase a separate size 00000 blade (0.2mm) for a very close shave.
Q. Can I use these clippers outside the US? I want to use them in the UK which has a 220v system?
A. No, The Oster Classic 76 is designed for a 120v system used in the US and Canada. Unless you have an expensive and reliable step-down voltage transformer you won’t be able to use them in the UK or Europe.
Q. Is this the latest model?
A. Yes. Even though there have been some refinements over the years, there is only 1 model of the Oster Classic 76.
Q. How quickly do the clippers heat up?
A. Like any hair clipper the blade and body will heat up after about 15 minutes of use. However the Classic 76 is made from a strong valox material which prevents heat transfer. As long as you cool the blade with some clipper spray now and again, you can use these bad boys all day long.
Oster Classic 76 Maintenance
If you want these clippers to last many years, you need to look after them and maintain them.
A little time spent on maintenance will ensure consistent, quality cuts.
Here’s a great video of a professional barber demonstrating some basic maintenance of the Oster 76..
Oster Classic 76 Limited Editions
For those of you who want a collector’s item, there are some really cool limited editions.
They may actually be worth more money in a few years’ time!
|Combo New Oster Classic 76 Limited Edition Hair Clipper (Made in USA) Very Hard to find Model Free (10 Piece Universal oster Comb Set)||Buy Now|
|Oster Limited Edition Classic 76 with 2 blades & 10 Piece Professional Comb Set, burgundy and black||Buy Now|
|Oster Professional Limited Edition 2-Speed Gold Classic 76 Clipper with gold plated #000 blade, Blade Brush||Buy Now|
|Oster 76 Mustache Professional Hair Clipper Limited Edition + 10 PC Comb Set||Buy Now|
|Oster 76 Classic LIMITED EDITION Blue Velvet Wet or Dry Hair Clipper Salon Made In USA Clipper.||Buy Now|
When you own an Oster Classic 76, you’re buying into the Oster brand and what it stands for.
This is not a crappy, plastic product, with flashing gimmicks and other novelty extras. It is a proper clipper, designed to perform and deliver exactly as you would want.
It is totally reliable and will last many years if looked after.
They are used by professional barbers, yet easy enough to handle so that anyone could pick them up and be proficient with them in no time.
Whether it’s a full head shave, a crew cut, or simply a tidy-up, you’ll be more than delighted with your Oster Classic 76!