I am here to put an end to the Wahl 9818 vs 9864 debate, for good. Since both models share a plethora of similarities, people often struggle deciding which one would suit their needs the most. I know this for a fact because I’ve been there, done that.
These two models belong to Wahl’s popular Lithium Ion series. This particular line-up is known for its forever-lasting battery life and advanced features. Both these models are crafted to deliver a neat and quick head-to-toe grooming.
Wahl 9864 was launched as an upgraded version of model 9818. While model 9864 should be the go-to choice for people who seek precision, the latter makes for a better travel-friendly, everyday clipper.
However, this does not mean the 9818 doesn’t cut as good as 9864. To be completely honest, the differences are really subtle and it took me some serious effort to compartmentalize them.
I will get to that part soon but before that, let me share a concise review of both products to help you understand the products better.
Table Of Contents
Wahl 9818 vs 9864 Comparison Table
|Features||Wahl 9818||Wahl 9864|
|Foil Shaver Head||No||Yes|
|Battery||4 Hours||6 Hours|
Wahl Stainless Steel Lithium Ion 9864 is an all-in-one multigrooming kit in the truest sense of the term. With its wide assortment of 4 grooming heads and 12 comb guides, I can’t think of any styling purpose it cannot fulfill. Before I get down to a detailed review, here’s a quick overview of its key features
What Wahl 9864 Has to Offer
- Rubberized body for easy handling and firm grip.
- The body has a nice amount of heft to it, allowing a great balance.
- Self-cleaning blades for fuss-free maintenance.
- Not water-proof, suitable for dry shaving only.
- The blade is easily removable for rinsing.
- 1 hour of full charge provides 6 hours of runtime.
- A 1-minute fast charge function gives 5 minutes of battery backup.
- Battery level and charging status indicator.
- 4 shaving heads: T-blade, dual foil shaver, nose & ear hair trimmer along with a precision detail trimmer.
- 12 comb guides ranging from 1/8” to 1”.
- Blade oil and a small cleaning brush are also included in the package.
- Suitable for all skin types.
- All the accessories come in a handy storage pouch.
- Worldwide voltage compatibility.
What Makes 9864 Stand Out?
I will start with 4 assorted shaving heads that come with this unit. The T-blade head is my personal favorite for its incredible sharpness and ability to smoothly cut whatever you throw at it.
You can use it for shaving your head or trimming your stubble. I would use this attachment if I am in the mood for a heavy stubble on the chin area paired with low fade. You can use it without the guards to clear up the junk in your “nether region” without risking any a bloodbath or razor burns.
The dual foil shaver would be my go-to accessory for a classic clean-cut shave. As the name suggests, it is a quintessential foil shaver capable of cutting extremely close to the skin. It comes real handy when you have a lot of thick and coarse body hair to deal with.
I’m in my 50s now which means clipping nose and ear hair is an annoying ritual I must follow to avoid my wife’s death stare. The dedicated and well-functioning nose+ear hair trimmer attachment included in this kit does exactly what it’s designed to do. It is narrow enough for a quick and pain-free touchup around the trickiest spots of your face.
If you take your grooming very seriously, you will love the precision detail trimmer specifically designed for a barber-style final touch. You can use it for outlining your beard neckline, shaping your sideburns, mustache and creating intricate beard styles.
With 12 comb guides (2 mm to 24 mm), you can materialize almost every stubble, beard and hairstyle you fancy, all by yourself. While I find adjustable length settings more convenient, I am ready to compromise with convenience for salon-level precision.
The rubberized body of the groomer is a bit on the bulkier side, which I actually prefer over those lightweight, plastic-made stuff. The heft provides an excellent balance which both speeds up the shaving process and minimizes the risk of nicking.
Finally, the Wahl Lithium Ion series is hailed for its impeccable battery life. 9864, once fully charged, can last you for an entire month. No need to freak out if the battery is dead while you are getting late for your flight. The 1-minute quick charge feature will pack enough torque for an instant yet effective touch-up.
Some users are apparently facing a rather odd issue with this model. The device would sometimes refuse to turn off. I think it’s a product-specific issue which most probably occurs when the voltage level goes below or above the specified range. Just avoid shaving on low battery and your issue is resolved! Thank me later.
Another minor drawback is the big gap of length between two corresponding attachments. While there are enough comb guides for short and long beard/hairstyles, I can’t say the same for medium-length beard.
What Makes Wahl 9818 a Worthy Competitor?
The original Wahl 9818 was launched years before the more advanced and spec-rich 9864 came into existence. I loved the motor of this new and improved version of 9818. It packs more punch, hence ensures a better trimming experience than the older model. Let me quickly list down the main specs of this model before delving into more details.
What 9818 Has to Offer
- 4 grooming shaving heads viz. a T-blade, a rotary nose/ear/eyebrow trimmer, a detailed trimmer, and a detailed shaver.
- 12 T-blade hair length attachments, ranging from ⅛” to 1”.
- Not waterproof and thus, not meant for washing with water.
- The kit includes a compact cleaning brush and blade oil.
- High carbon steel round blades for seamless contouring and cutting.
- Houses a quiet but mighty motor.
- 4-hours of battery after 1 hour of full charge.
- 1-minute turbo charge allows 3 minutes of runtime.
- A tiny red color plug protector that prevents the machine from accidentally turning on when stored inside a bag.
- Supports worldwide voltage.
- The package includes a zippered storage bag for all the accessories.
What Makes Wahl 9818 Special?
With its high-performance, premium-grade carbon stainless steel blades, Wahl 9818 easily outclasses most trimmer in this price bracket. The self-sharpening blades can zap the thickest and coarsest beard without troubling the skin underneath. Having said that, if you have a very long and dense beard, I’d suggest pre-trimming with a scissor to avoid pulling.
Moving on, 9818 comes with a plethora of attachments to cater to your special grooming needs. With its 12 comb attachments, you can actuate different hair lengths in different areas of your face.
There is a T-blade to take care of your bulk shaving requirements. You can use it with or without the guards to clean up the uglies from your underarms, chest, back, hand and legs. It has a wide head which makes it ideal for head shaving as well.
The detailed shaver and detailed trimmer heads are primarily designed for outlining,shaping, detailing and touching up the hair around the delicate corners. These two micro-attachments are best suited for maintaining a tight and suave 5 o’clock shadow look.
The detailed trimmer, especially, does a great job around the nose and on the neck. But for a secure and effortless shaving below the belt, I’d advise using the detailed shaver.
You will also find a rotary trimmer that easily cleans up the junk from ear and nose. It also does a fairly good job of preventing your eyebrows from looking like a pair of caterpillars.
All the shaving heads and comb guides seamlessly snap in and out of the base and deliver a neat and flawless trim with each attempt. For a long and thick beard, you might want to shave first with the grain and then against the grain to get a close shave.
Since the kit lacks a foil shaver, getting a classic clean shave might be a tad difficult to achieve with this one. Outlining, shaping and maintaining a light/heavy stubble look are its key focus areas.
With its 4 hours of battery life and a life-saving 1-minute quick charging function, you can go almost an entire month without charging this device. To prevent the battery from draining while you’re traveling, it comes with a plug protector too. This novelty feature alone makes this machine a worthy travel companion.
The variable-length attachments are made from cheap plastic and are likely not to survive heavy abuse. Good thing is, there are 12 comb guides in the kit. You won’t possibly need most of them in your entire lifetime, anyway. So I won’t break a deal over this.
Wahl 9818 vs 9864: The Similarities
People frequently get confused between 9818 and 9864 mainly because of the sheer number of similarities they share.
Both models boast of solid stainless steel, slightly curved body with a texturized grip that extends to the bottom of the handle. The trimmers have a nice amount of heft to it which speaks volume of the products’ durability.
There’s an LED battery level indicator on these two models to help you keep tabs on the battery status. Appearance-wise, I could hardly point out any difference.
I’d also like to highlight that these two trimmers are crafted to be travel-friendly as well. They support dual voltage, meaning you can use them in Europe and Australia as well without a voltage converter.
Also, don’t forget that none of these trimmers is waterproof, which means you can only use them for dry shaving. For cleaning, you will have to pop off the head and remove the blade. Rinse the blade under running tap water, dry it completely and dab a few drops of blade oil once a month. That’ll do the trick.
You shouldn’t wash the blade while it’s attached to the trimmer. Doing so can drastically affect the blade by causing rust and void the warranty along the way, too.
The updated versions of these two flagship multi groomers come with the same number and sizes of comb guide attachments. You will get 12 T-blade comb guides, ranging from ⅛” to 1” with both kits.
These two almost identical-looking swanky trimmers are chiefly designed for whole body grooming with professional-level precision and minimal effort. You can shave every shavable part of your body and also adjust the length of your hair with these trimmers. All the ladies reading this, good news! Both trimmers are very much capable of keeping your lady parts soft, smooth and hair-free without hurting your skin.
Lastly, let’s not leave the flawless customer service of Wahl out of the equation. I have been a loyal patron of Wahl for years and not once I’ve been disappointed. Their responses are quick and helpful on any given day. Plus, the replacement parts are very easily available too.
The bottom line being, the post-purchase customer support of Wahl is top-notch. Period.
Wahl 9818 vs 9864: What Are the Differences Apart from the Price?
Now, this is the part most of you came here for, isn’t it? Tell you what, I don’t know how many hours I had to spend finding legit differences between these two models.
The older version of 9818 used to share quite a few dissimilarities with model 9864. But not anymore. Wahl has gone the extra mile in the recent times to bridge the gap. However, there are still 4 key differences that should help you make the right decision:
Model 9818 Kit Lacks a Foil Shaver
Wahl 9864 Stainless Steel Clipper kit includes a dual foil shaver head, ideal for a smooth and ultra-close shave. The thin metal foil guard acts as a protective barrier around the skin which minimizes cuts and post-razor skin issues like razor bumps and burns.
This also helps the blade underneath seamlessly move back and forth on your skin contours, resulting in hair-free, baby smooth skin.
The 9818 doesn’t have a foil shaver head. But then again, it costs less, so it kind of makes sense too.
6-Hour vs 4-Hour Battery Life
The Lithium Ion technology employed in these two machines outshines every other hair clipper in this price range at present, including the Philips Norelco series. Model no. 9864 houses a premium Li-Ion 2.0+ battery while the more affordable 9818 operates on a smaller Lithium Ion+ battery.
Lithium Ion 2.0+ is bigger and costlier, hence packing more fuel. It ensures a remarkable 6-hour long battery life after one hour of charge. In case you are in a rush, a mere 60-seconds of charging will give you 5 minutes of battery juice, enough for a quick shave.
Compared to this, you will be getting 4 hours worth battery backup with 9818 after a full charge and 3 minutes of fuel for 1-minute of fast charging.
While the extra 2 hours won’t matter much to those who don’t travel a lot, it is an important consideration for backpackers and travel freaks like me.
9864 Has a Bigger and Wider Trimmer Head
If you take a close look at the shaving head, you will notice that the blade opening of 9864 is much bigger than that of 9818. This means that Wahl 9864 is capable of capturing and cutting more hair with each pass. I would blindly spend a few extra dollars to cut short my daily morning shaving time.
Wahl 9818 Has a Plug Protector
Isn’t it quite embarrassing when your trimmer gets accidentally switched on and starts vibrating in your travel bag in a public place? You won’t believe how many times it has happened to me. It seriously pisses me off as it quickly drains all the juice out of the battery, leaving the trimmer useless exactly when I need it the most. To troubleshoot this issue, Wahl 9818 comes with a small plug protector that fits right into the charging port. I wish Wahl decides to introduce this feature in 9864 too.
So that was my humble attempt to settle the Wahl 9818 vs 9864 debate once and for all. It won’t be easy to choose one above the other, given they both are two extremely versatile and high-functioning multigrooming tools.
I’d also confidently recommend 9818 to shaving rookies and anyone who doesn’t want to with multiple comb attachments for a clean-cut shave. However, if you are a hairy dude who likes to try different beard styles and have an entire jungle to deforest, 9864 is your safest bet, without a second thought.