Review of the Babyliss Pro FX880

Babyliss Pro FX880 Pivot Motor Clipper
Babyliss Pro FX880 Pivot Motor Clipper.

Not much has changed in the barbering business since Leo Wahl invented the first electric hair clipper back in 1921, so I don't often get excited when new clippers hit the market, until recently.  A few days ago, I was wandering around the floor at a trade show in Orlando and stumbled across a really great new clipper (which is aimed a professionals, but would be a fine investment for the home user as well).  Following is my review of  the BaByliss Pro FX880 Pivot Motor Clipper, which will be included on my list of recommendations for best haircutting tools.

The look of the Babyliss Pro FX880 is what caught my attention in the first place.   The  all-metal clipper looks like someone snatched the plates off of a dumbbell from the gym and put a clipper head and cord on it.  Very rugged looking (but the clipper is surprisingly lightweight).  The blade is adjustable and offers a 5-position taper lever (which actually has little clicks as you adjust).    

The clipper uses a pivot motor (as opposed to magnetic) and the company claims it has double the torque (vs. standard magnatic clippers) and double the speed (vs. standard pivot motors).  I can't scientifically verify those claims, but I will say this is probably the fastest and most powerful adjustable blade clippers I have ever used.

There are a few things I don't like about the clipper's design, but they are minor.  The power switch is a plastic rocker switch that feels a bit cheap compared to the rest of the unit.  I've had to have a ton of these types of switches replaced on other clippers over the years, so I am skeptical (a metal switch would be a welcome change).   I'm also accustomed to using Speed-O-Guide clipper combs (which I have loved for over 20 years) and they don't fit well (most "universal" combs I have on hand don't play along with the FX880 either).  That said, the clipper does come with 8 combs and they do fit and work well, so I'll get used to them.    Finally, the clipper is a bit fat, making reaching the adjustment lever a little difficult for those with small hands.

The Babyliss Pro FX880 will mow through some hair quickly.  As someone who currently holds the Guinness World Record for shaving the most heads in an hour, I know something about haircutting speed.   When I unboxed the clipper, I was fortunate enough to have a client who wanted a buzzcut.  I explained to him that I would give him a free haircut if he would let me buzz his head as fast as I could (which is FAST).  I snapped on a number two comb and went to work.  Less than a minute later, his four inches of hair was laying on the floor and the clipper never bogged down and it didn't miss a hair.  That was impressive.  

I've been using the clipper now for several days on all types of hair (wet and dry) and it has yet to stumble.  It cuts clean and fast and runs cool (even after a long period of extended use).  It is also lightweight compared to my other favorite adjustable clipper (the Andis Improved Master) and extremely quiet.  These two facts threw me off a bit at first and I didn't think something so light and quiet could be as powerful as it is, so I was pleasantly surprised.

I've only been using this clipper for a few days, so I can't speak (at this point) to the longevity of the clipper, but in the time I have been using the Babyliss Pro FX880 I am extremely impressed.   This clipper retails for around $150, so there are certainly cheaper clippers on the market,  but I think purchasing quality tools is worth the investment.  I suspect this clipper will probably hold up well with extended use.  

Bottom Line
The first day I used this clipper, nearly everyone else in the shop swarmed around and got their hands on it and put it to the test -- nearly all of them loved (and have ordered) one.  I've never seen my team so excited over a product.  Based on my experience, I can highly recommend the Babyliss Pro FX880 for both professional barbers and stylists or those who buzz their hair at home and are looking for a great clipper.  Good stuff. 

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