Andis Promotor


Andis Promotor + Review

July 25 2010


I've always had my hair cut at home when I was younger thanks to home kit clippers that mom's around the world have come to love and us kids hated. Why pay a barber to do a simple buzz cut my mom thought. She can do it for free with this little gadget. Two hundred and forty hair cuts later and I'm still getting my hair cut at home. I pretty much took over that job in my high school years, though. I used to have a mushroom cut and then for a couple of years let my hair grow down to my shoulders and eventually cut it all down again. I wish I have pictures when I had long hair. Those were two short years. Like most guys my hair started falling off like I was on chemo. I didn't want to be one of those guys with a bald head and a pony tail. It simply had to go.

Fifteen years I've been cutting my hair. Today I'll talk about the clippers I cut my hair with. I have a lot of experience with Wahl and Conair clippers both with magnetic and rotary motors. Lately, a new breed of clippers have surfaced that uses pivot motors. It's similar to a magnetic motor but with more torque. Check out this pamphlet that gives a better explanation. I was excited to try out one of these pivot motor clippers.

One thing that is inherent with magnetic clippers is the vibration and buzzing noise they make. It's an annoying sound when it's so close to your ears. It generally takes me 30 minutes to an hour to cut my hair and that's a long time to listen to buzzing noise with hand-numbing vibrations. The pivot motor is supposed to be far superior in terms of the noise and vibrations they create. Since the armature of the clipper is moving at a slower rate than a magnetic motor it should create less noise and vibration.



I got a chance to try out the Andis Promotor + model PM-3R. It is a pivot motor clipper. The kit comes with 12 attachment combs: 2 x 1/16", 1/8", 1/4", 3/8", 1/2", 5/8", 3/4", 7/8", 1", left and right taper. There are a couple of combs, a scissor, brush and oil included. A convenient box keeps everything organized. The thing that attracted me to this clipper is how beautiful the design. The glossy red paint is gorgeous and is definitely the prettiest clipper I have ever seen. The rest of the body is in matte black paint and provides a nice grip almost like how IBM used to cover their laptops with a rubber-like coating. The gold lettering completes the color scheme. Very nice.



Right next to my Wahl you can see how much smaller the Andis is. It is shorter and skinnier. It feels slightly lighter and feels great in the hands. Maneuvering with this clipper should be a breeze. I did not like how close the blade adjustment arm is to the body. The mechanism is stiff to begin with and being so close to the body I had a hard time gripping it with my thumb and index finger. The Wahl on the other hand has it slightly sticking more to the side and provides a better grip.



I took the liberty to see what the pivot motor looks like. You can't see much. When I turned the Promotor on I was disappointed at how noisy it was. It was as noisy as my Wahl magnetic clipper. I had high hopes for the Andis Promotor to be the replacement to my Wahl, but it was not to be. The vibrations were also far more exagerated. In hind-sight this makes sense since each stroke of the pivot motor have greater torque. The vibration is hand-numbing and will prove to be unpleasant during long cutting sessions.



If you look carefully at the image above you'll notice how skinnier the blades of the Andis Promotor are compared to the Wahl. I truly believe that the smaller mass of the blades as well as the excessive pressure exerted by the tension spring resulted in excessive heat build up during operation. The blades were well oiled and within five minutes they got hot enough that you can't touch them for more than a few seconds. I am not exagerating. The Wahl on the other hand was barely warm at the same time. The heat may be an issue if you cut with bare blades against the skin otherwise the comb attachments will provide a barrier. Blade longevity is an issue. Excessive heat and friction will no doubt wear down the blades sooner than you'd like. Even though the clipper comes with a five year warranty the blades are not covered outside of normal wear and tear.

Unfortunately, the Andis Promotor had to go back. Despite its pretty looks it simply did not meet my expectations. I would not recommend this clipper based on the noise level and vibrations it made. I've read the Oster Fast Feed, another pivot motor clipper, may be a better alternative. Perhaps I'll test it sometime in the future. In the meantime I will be reviewing the Andis CCX rotary clipper in a few weeks.