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In 1911, Leo J. Wahl discovered the electromagnetic motor. He realized that he could use this kind of motor to make a medical massager for his uncle, J. Frank Wahl. As a student, Leo designed the massager and Frank began manufacturing them in a small plant in Sterling, Illinois.

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Leo began selling this invention to barbershops. He recognized a need for improving barber tools by using this type of motor. In 1919 he took over the business and founded Wahl Clipper Corporation. Since then, our company has been the leader in the hair grooming industry.

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Today, we are still a family owned company that is passionate about continuously designing quality products for our customers. We are the brand used by professionals, where our tools remain the most innovative and best in the industry. Our services set the global standard for integrity, value and efficiency and we are proud of our history.

Our History
Our corporation has been the leader in professional and home grooming category since 1919, with the invention of the first practical electric hair clipper. Today, we have over 4,000 employees worldwide. We are proud to carry forward the tradition of innovation and superior customer service.
  1. 1911
    wahl timeline 1911
    Leo J. Wahl used an electromagnetic motor to make a medical massager for his uncle, J. Frank Wahl. After selling them to barbershops, he realized he could improve barber tools using this type of motor. Leo took over his uncle’s business and began experimenting with a new electric hair clipper.
  2. 1919
    wahl timeline 1919
    In 1919, Leo J. Wahl got patents on his newly developed electromagnetic hair clipper and began manufacturing at the Wahl Manufacturing Company. The clipper was the first one of its kind with a practical drive motor in hand, rather than connected to a separate motor through a flexible shaft.
  3. 1920
    wahl timeline 1920
    By the end of 1920, his factory had manufactured and sold thousands of clippers to barbers all over the United States. He concentrated on working directly with barbers to improve efficiency and convenience with his hair clippers.
  4. 1921
    wahl timeline 1921
    After receiving a patent on his new hair clipper, on February 2, Leo J. Wahl purchased 100% of the Wahl Manufacturing Company stock and renamed and incorporated the business as the Wahl Clipper Corporation. Growth was rapid, financed from manufacturing earnings and patent royalties.
  5. 1935
    wahl timeline 1935
    Wahl created the Silent Giant, a big hair clipper that was much quieter than previous models without sacrificing quality for a good haircut. This change made conversation in the barbershop much easier.
  6. 1940
    wahl timeline 1940
    The company installed plastic molding presses, allowing the company to produce almost every component at the Wahl plant. As a result, the professional barbers and beauticians product line expanded and Wahl produced the Silent Dryer, with production approaching 2,000 per day.
  7. 1946
    wahl timeline 1946
    Founded in 1946, Moser Elektrogerate GmbH, an international manufacturer, headquartered in Unterkirnach, Germany, eventually became recognized as a leading global manufacturer of products similar to Wahl, including hair clippers, massagers, shavers and pet trimmers. Wahl acquired the company in 1996
  8. 1950
    wahl timeline 1950
    Wahl recognized a worldwide demand for barber clippers and began an export effort by building products in voltages and frequencies required for international use. In the early 1950s, Wahl opened a manufacturing facility in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.
  9. 1957
    wahl timeline 1957
    Leo J. Wahl passed away on May 20, 1957. In his lifetime, he applied for over 100 patents on his various inventions. The company completed its move from 407 E. Third Street to a new, spacious plant on North Locust Street, in Sterling, Illinois, where the company resides today.
  10. 1960
    wahl timeline 1960
    The company developed and produced a unique and innovative flexible-blade electric razor.
  11. 1965
    wahl timeline 1965
    The company pioneered another advancement in the industry with the Vac Clipper. These clippers feature a vacuum that picks up hair as it cuts. Trade show crowds were impressed when they witnessed a man get a full haircut without any hair touching his suit.
  12. 1966
    wahl timeline 1966
    Wahl begins manufacturing its first universal-type rotary motor clippers. Within a year, the company converted the clippers to the permanent-magnet type and incorporated it into a powerful new animal clipper.
  13. 1967
    wahl timeline 1967
    The company created the first cordless and rechargeable battery-operated hair trimmer and marketed it to professionals.
  14. 1970
    wahl timeline 1970
    Wahl Introduced a new variable-speed, rare-earth, permanent-magnet motor clipper.
  15. 1971
    wahl timeline 1971
    The company used its rechargeable battery technology and invented and produced the world's first successful cordless and rechargeable soldering iron, which also created a new Electronics Division in the company. Within two weeks, this tool captured 90% of the United States market.
  16. 1975
    wahl timeline 1975
    The company began manufacturing a full line of foot and back massagers that used the efficient electromagnetic motor to feature controlled vibration and heat.
  17. 1977
    wahl timeline 1977
    Wahl introduced the hygienic, battery-operated nose and brow trimmer as another new product.
  18. 1984
    wahl timeline 1984
    The company developed the Groomsman, the world's first battery-operated facial hair trimmer. This product created a new and exciting consumer category. New products and sales growth also created a series of building expansions, starting with the purchase of a 17,500 sq. ft. school building.
  19. 1987
    wahl timeline 1987
    Created the ZeeCurl, a flat-barrel curling iron for stylists to create Z-shaped curls for texture and body to all types of hair. Committed to international business by opening Wahl Europe, Ltd. as a wholly owned sales, service, and distribution center. The consumer version would follow in 1988.
  20. 1989
    wahl timeline 1989
    New products included: a rechargeable wand massager, a magnifying extension mirror, the Sterling line of professional hair clippers, electronic drill tools, a specially designed shaver for black men, the "Stubble Device" to keep facial hair cut one to three days long, and a bikini line shaver.
  21. 1990
    wahl timeline 1990
    The Groomsman Beard and Mustache Trimmers personal care line expands into a range of battery and rechargeable products. Wahl purchased tooling and technology for a world-class Austrian shaver, which joined Wahl's men's and Lady Wahl shaver lines.
  22. 1991
    wahl timeline 1991
    Wahl used its new DynaFlex Cutting System to mass produce three new electric shaver models. The International Division accelerated growth with foreign trade shows, increasing sales to almost 20% of domestic sales. The company received the coveted Presidential "E" Award for excellence in exporting.
  23. 1992
    wahl timeline 1992
    By 1992, the company had added over a total of 150,000 square feet to the building. The debut of The Peanut, a small, lightweight trimmer that weighed only four ounces. The Peanut turned out to be one of the most popular products Wahl ever created.
  24. 1993
    wahl timeline 1993
    First time marketing the Custom Shave System, which allowed users a choice of three foil heads for varying degrees of close shaving and comfort. Brought to market many new corded and cordless haircutting and trimming products for professionals and consumers as shorter hairstyles continued worldwide.
  25. 1994
    wahl timeline 1994
    Received the Presidential "E Star" Award.
  26. 1996
    wahl timeline 1996
    Converted to a computerized inventory control system at the Sterling plant and continued expanding the plant by adding over 130,000 sq. ft., a 40% increase in capacity. Wahl acquired Moser, a German professional hair clippers manufacturer, to merge into a global personal care organization.
  27. 1997
    wahl timeline 1997
    Gregory S. Wahl became president of Wahl Clipper, USA, succeeding his father, John F. (Jack) Wahl. He reiterated the company's drive toward globalization and its commitment to serving all consumer and professional customers worldwide in the 21st Century.
  28. 1999
    wahl timeline 1999
    Wahl Clipper Corporation led the industry worldwide in the manufacturing of consumer personal care appliances and products for the professional beauty and barber salon trade.
  29. 2001
    wahl timeline 2001
    Wahl Clipper introduces the remarkable Trim N Vac, which was the first beard and mustache trimmer that collected the trimmings using a patented vacuum system. "Neat Beard - Clean Sink"
  30. 2002
    wahl timeline 2002
    Wahl developed the Aero Clipper for NASA astronauts. These clippers were designed to handle temperatures ranging from -58ºF to -122ºF while sucking up hairs as they are clipped.
  31. 2004
    wahl timeline 2004
    Wahl’s Aero Clipper was certified for flight and used by NASA astronauts. It was the only product of its kind approved by NASA for use on the International Space Station.
  32. 2009
    wahl timeline 2009
    Wahl Clipper Corporation celebrated its 90th anniversary. The company diversified to bring quality and innovation to the professional beauty and barber salon trade, personal consumer care and animal grooming categories. The company introduced the first lithium-ion powered trimmer.
  33. 2010
    wahl timeline 2010
    The company continued as the international industry leader in the manufacturing of products for the professional beauty and barber salon trade, personal consumer care and animal grooming. Wahl products were available in 165 countries around the world.
  34. 2011
    wahl timeline 2011
    Though the company introduced the first lithium-ion powered trimmer in 2009, 2011 marked the beginning of the era of Lithium Ion at Wahl. This type of battery more effectively charges and keeps the charge longer than ordinary batteries. They guarantee much more power than their predecessors had.
  35. 2016
    wahl timeline 2016
    With a 40,000-square-foot corporate headquarters building, Wahl firmly cemented in Sterling for generations to come.
  36. 2017
    wahl timeline 2017
    The continued commitment of the Wahl family and the growing number of fourth generation family members working together for the future advancement of the company.
  37. 2019
    wahl timeline 2019
    Wahl celebrates 100 years of creating innovative products and services. The company continues as the leader in the industry.

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"My husband's barber uses this brand and swears by it. In fact, most of the barber's in his shop prefer the Wahl."

- Jan M

"The cut leaves no scratching or pulling just perfection"

- Elias

"I cut my hair once a week and charge this maybe once every three months. Best clipper I’ve purchased"

- Christopher K