Wahl has a heritage that extends back over 100 years and is known for producing quality products that stand the test of time. The brand has certainly retained its popularity over the years, supplying hair clippers and beard trimmers, among other hair-related gadgets, to hundreds of thousands of professional stylists around the world.
More recently, Wahl has expanded into the consumer space, offering the average Joe a slice of the pro-level hair-trimming action. A recent release is its Aqua Blade device, a beard trimmer that that’s versatile in that it can be used to style long beards, short beards, close shaves or stubble, wet or dry, due to its waterproof design.
What Wahls says makes this trimmer unique, however, is that its blade can cut 60% closer than a standard trimmer blade, all without the irritation of a traditional razor blade. This means you should be able to use it in-between wet shaves (or in-between electric shaver sessions) to keep stubble at bay. But how good is it really? There’s only one way to find out. This is our Wahl Aqua Blade review.
Wahl Aqua Blade Review: Price And Availability
The Wahl Aqua Blade is available to buy now from the official Wahl website with an RRP of £89.99. A quick google, though, and you’re likely to pick them up from some online retailer for much cheaper. For example, you’ll find it for £59.99 brand new on Amazon. Check out the widgets at the top and bottom of this review to find the best price.
In the box you receive the cordless bread trimmer, 16 comb attachments (with cutting lengths 0.2-25 mm), a small styling comb, blade oil, cleaning brush, charger and a travel bag to store it all in.
Wahl Aqua Blade Review: Design And Build
The Wahl Aqua Blade sports a pretty classic design as far as beard trimmers go. There are no bells or whistles here. In fact, we were a little disappointed with the build quality of the Aqua Blade trimmer. For one, it feels cheap in most parts. The chrome detailing that runs from the top of the trimmer down the front and sweeps around the power button in the centre, for example, is metallic plastic rather than metal. With an £89.99 RRP, we’re quite surprised by the lack of attention to detail here. A mixture of different materials - especially those that would add some weight such as high-quality metals - would have really helped to give the Aqua Blade a more premium finish, we think.
This quality concern isn’t the case with the trimmer’s blade, however. Crafted from stainless steel, this precision ground blade looks and feels top-notch. In fact, Wahl is so confident in the performance of this blade that if it does not last for the life of your product, the brand will repair or replace it. Still, you’ve to prove it’s been looked after for this to happen. Keeping it clean and well oiled using the oil supplied will help, Wahl says, as this will maximise the power and battery life of the product for the best performance.
Another big positive in terms of design is the Aqua Blade’s level of waterproofing. As the name suggests, the device is fully washable so suitable for use in both dry and wet conditions. Yes, even in the shower (if you trust trimming your facial hair under the shower head, that is). This means it’s also super easy to clean as you can simply rinse the blades under the tap in-between uses.
One thing that we don’t fully understand is why Wahl has launched the Aqua Blade to the market with 16 separate guide combs as opposed to one adjustable comb that features all the different lengths in one, like most other high-quality beard trimmers you can buy today. It’s incredibly frustrating to have to remove and reattach a different comb when dealing with different lengths, for example, the shortest length on the neck and a slightly longer stubble length on the beard. This also means you have to find a space to store them and keep them all safe. Irritating to say the least.
Lastly, the Aqua Blade is rather compact in size, so perfect for taking on your travels with you. Although we must add that the carry case supplied is exceptionally low quality, thin and flimsy - akin to something you’d get from the Pound shop. Very disappointing.
Wahl Aqua Blade Review: Performance
While it boasts a design that definitely isn’t a favourite of ours, the Aqua Blade does have something going for it. Its precision blades offer a super accurate and close shave without the irritation of a traditional razor blade, which is pretty rare for a beard trimmer. We tried it on the neck - a good test area as a cutthroat razor can often lead to irritation and in-grown hairs when used here. We were impressed with the results as it left stubble very short. Obviously nowhere as close as a proper razor, though.
In terms of shaping the beard, the Aqua Blade does that well, too, producing clean lines every time. However, it’s not quite as impressive at trimming and takes multiple attempts at tidying up a beard to get the length you want. In our tests, achieving a good finish took significantly longer than with other high-quality beard trimmers.
It also tends to pull hair here and there, which is never a good thing. It makes trimming uncomfortable from time to time, but not entirely. You’ve just got to take your time with the device and be careful how you angle it, which can be frustrating in itself.
In terms of battery life, the Aqua blade’s Lithium-Ion technology means it can offer 180 minutes of cordless trimming from a full 60-minute charge, which is pretty decent by most standards. There’s also an additional one-minute rapid charge function for a quick use of 3 minutes. This is especially useful if you’re in a rush and just need a quick tidy.
Wahl Aqua Blade Review: Verdict
Despite its somewhat cheap-feeling design, the Wahl Aqua Blade is a decent beard trimmer with a good quality precision blade, which offers a rather close shave for short stubble without the irritation of a traditional razor. However, it’s let down by its lack of an adjustable-length comb, tendency to pull on longer beard lengths and relatively high RRP, which we can’t make head nor tail out of, to be frank.
Saying that, if you don’t care so much about build quality and want a compact trimmer with a great blade warranty, the Aqua Blade might be worth a pop. Just ensure you shop around to get the best deal possible. If you can manage to find it for around £50, then we’d recommend giving it a go.