Thread Number: 37201  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
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Post# 397153   8/23/2018 at 13:49 (680 days old) by JustJunque (Western MA)        

Hey all,

With all of us being fans of vacuums and related products, it seemed like a natural fit.
Does anyone own, or has anyone used a Flowbee?
I tried an archive search, but I mainly found references to the turquoise hose from the pet version being a good replacement for a vintage vacuum.

I've been mildly intrigued by them since they were introduced, but never knew anyone who owned one.
Now that the woman who had cut my hair for about the last 30 years has retired, I'm seriously considering getting one and cutting my own hair at home.
Now, they even offer their own American-made mini vacuum to use with it.


Post# 397179 , Reply# 1   8/23/2018 at 20:23 (680 days old) by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

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There is one in my garage space, hooked to the shop vac, the almost son uses it

Post# 397197 , Reply# 2   8/24/2018 at 07:31 (680 days old) by JustJunque (Western MA)        
Thanks David!

So, if he "uses" it, as opposed to, he tried it once and hated it, I'm guessing it works pretty well for him.
Would you say the results look okay?


Post# 397201 , Reply# 3   8/24/2018 at 08:52 (680 days old) by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

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He bought it years ago, 3 kids, so yeah he uses it. Now just for himself. If his wife does it and not him it looks pretty good

Post# 397215 , Reply# 4   8/24/2018 at 19:35 (679 days old) by huskyvacs (Midwest)        

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I've heard of it and been meaning to get the VHS tape for it (I collect VHS tapes as well as vacuums). I've only ever heard about it in jest and as the butt of a joke whenever I have heard about it. I would be curious to try it but a bit nervous lol

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Post# 397216 , Reply# 5   8/24/2018 at 20:29 (679 days old) by JustJunque (Western MA)        

You usually hear people making jokes about it.
But then I've read reviews by people who actually own it, and they all seem to rave about it.
They say the only people who joke about it are people who have never tried it!
I think I'm too OCD to find a new person and salon after going to the same one for so long, and my hair is getting ridiculously long.
This just might be the time for me to try it!


Post# 397224 , Reply# 6   8/25/2018 at 03:53 (679 days old) by huskyvacs (Midwest)        

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I have that problem too. Hairdressers never seem to stick around. I go to chain-store haircut shops and I had one woman that was reliable and she stayed there about 6 years, moved and I followed her to the other location, then she moved back to the one near me, and then she left altogether. So I've just been stuck with whoever is there on the day I need to go in, and usually they are all terrible, no experience.

I have a basic hairstyle that is very 1950's, and I only like to at least keep it above my ears and neck, so it shouldn't be hard to cut.

Maybe I should look for one of these, but I'd probably have to take it apart and boil it before using, just to make sure its all sanitary. I bought electric dog shavers at a yard sale before and I haven't even used them yet because they are just packed solid with hair. It's so gross.

Post# 397229 , Reply# 7   8/25/2018 at 07:12 (679 days old) by JustJunque (Western MA)        
Used vs new

I looked at used ones on eBay, but I thought the same thing.
First of all...ewww? I don't know who or what it's been used for.
Second, it could have missing parts, or be on its last legs.
If I go for it, I'm just going to pay a little more and buy it brand new, directly from the company.
Honestly, I was a little surprised when I found out that they still make them!
And in the USA!


Post# 397239 , Reply# 8   8/25/2018 at 08:39 (679 days old) by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

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This one is worn out, but still working. It is noisy! He would buy new, but some reason felt they weren't the same anymore. My mom was a hairdresser, so I have never " gone to get mine done", bought clippers myself when she was no longer able.Not a lot of hair, so it's pretty easy .

Post# 397661 , Reply# 9   9/2/2018 at 19:27 (670 days old) by Josh1998 (Colorado )        
What exactly is a flowbee?

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What is this thing exactly? The clippers I use at work have a vacuum hose attached to suck up the cut hair. Is it like that or does the suction of the vacuum actually power the clippers?

Post# 397663 , Reply# 10   9/2/2018 at 21:30 (670 days old) by JustJunque (Western MA)        
Hey Josh

The vacuum doesn't power the clippers. They plug in.
The vacuum draws the hair up into the clippers, and takes away the clippings.
I bought one, so...fingers crossed!


Post# 397674 , Reply# 11   9/3/2018 at 06:57 (670 days old) by Josh1998 (Colorado )        

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I did a google search for flowbee. Wow. That thing looks like a hair tragedy waiting to happen. I can maybe see doing a clipper cut or really short all one length cut with this thing but I don't see doing any kind of actual cut with it. Cutting hair is about layering and blending. If anyone actually uses this thing please post a picture of the finished cut. The fact it sucks up the cut hair seems cool but it's not practical for serious hair cutting. We have a hair collection system at work. A hose attached to the clippers that ties into a central vacuum system. It seems like a cool idea but I hate the stupid thing. It really slows you down. The clippers cut through the hair faster than the vacuum sucks it up. If you're clipping through long hair it collects at the hose intake and you have to slow down to let it suck it all up. I also can't believe the prices for this thing. The ones I saw on ebay are 80 to 100 bucks.

Post# 397677 , Reply# 12   9/3/2018 at 08:52 (670 days old) by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

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It does have different blade guards to shape the hair, tapers, sides ect. Not something I want to use no. Loud too, the hose limits movements and makes it heavy too

Post# 397679 , Reply# 13   9/3/2018 at 09:29 (669 days old) by kirbylux77 (Orillia, Ontario, Canada)        

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Same here. When I started going bald in my mid 20's, I still went to a haircutter. But by the time I was 35, when most of the hair on top was gone, I bought my own Wahl hair clipper set from Walmart & now I do it myself at home. Just have to be careful it's all even & not too long on one side. Even my landlady said one time that, to her, she couldn't tell that I cut it myself. I guess that's the one good thing about going bald, one less thing I have to spend money on LOL.


Post# 398049 , Reply# 14   9/10/2018 at 15:15 (662 days old) by BCpowerNozzle (Vancouver, BC Canada)        

I've had my Flowbee for 10 years now. I lurk here only sometimes and signed up just to reply to this thread and add my experiences with it. It has been a very good tool. One of the most accurate things I've seen said about it is it doesn't give great haircuts, it just makes you look like you don't need a haircut. So for me it's just good enough. But my wife still insists I go to a stylist if we're going to a wedding or having portraits taken.

The wedge spacer is probably the most important attachment for me. I use it on the sides of my head to give a taper fade. It's one of the things you can do to steer away from a blocky looking haircut. Electric clippers do the same albeit at much shorter length. But when the Flowbee does it, it doesn't have that buzzed appearance that electric clippers give. It's more like getting cut by scissors.

I use the lowest height on and around the hairline: back of neck, sideburns. Months of using the Flowbee will result in scraggly looking hairlines as it is not able to really define a crisp line and it cannot go low to the skin like electric clippers. So periodically I have to touch up my hairline with electric clippers so the base of my neck doesn't look scruffy. Flowbee will sometimes miss a few strands of hair over the ear, I still need electric clippers to touch up that.

Earlier models were made of all metal. Mine is plastic bodied but with metal only in the blades. The only problems I have had with it was the power cord fatigued and breaking right at the wall wort. I was able to crack open the wall wort and reconnect the cord, stabilized it with zip ties.
Also, it needs a few drops of 'proprietary' lube which I had to reorder once in the 10 years I've had it. Still trying to figure out a good substitute for the lube. Sewing machine oil?

I say don't be so quick to diss the Flowbee. It does require some skill to do it. There's a few tricks to be learned and it's actually harder than you think to screw up a guys short length hairdo with a Flowbee. The worst that can happen is you'll end up with a flat looking haircut because you haven't figured out how to use the spacers yet.
A word of caution. There is one spacer attachment called 'the foot'. Its job is to hold your skin of your head down so that it does not get sucked up into the blades. Always be sure to attach the foot so that your scalp doesn't get sucked into the machine.

My Flowbee paid for itself after 4 haircuts. And interestingly my physical appearance in the last decade of photos had changed into a more uniform look ever since I got the Flowbee. Before I used to hold out for as long as possible between haircuts to save money. So I used to have to live through several weeks of a mop looking head. Now I can quickly touch up my hair before work in the morning and not even need to shower afterwards because all the clippings get sucked into the vacuum. There is some cleanup of if I bring out the electric clippers to fix the hairline, though. I'd do that when I'm not in a hurry.

I do not work for Flowbee. I'm just an introverted user that doesn't want to make hair appointments and leave home if I don't have to. The Flowbee has been a great enabler.

Post# 398057 , Reply# 15   9/10/2018 at 20:56 (662 days old) by JustJunque (Western MA)        

Welcome, and thanks for sharing your experience with the Flowbee!
I haven't tried mine yet.
I had SERIOUS mop head going on, and my wife took the electric clippers to it.
The instructions for the Flowbee stressed not to take more than 1/2 inch of hair off at a time.
So, I thought since I needed to take so much off, to save time, we'd use the clippers this time, and maybe the Flowbee would be good for "maintenance" cuts.

Now that you went ahead and signed up, hopefully you'll be inspired to jump in some vacuum discussions too!


Post# 398130 , Reply# 16   9/12/2018 at 14:18 (660 days old) by Ultralux88 (Denver, Colorado)        
I got one back 16 or so years ago...

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And we used it so much it wore out earlier this year... We got a brand new one! 

Post# 398131 , Reply# 17   9/12/2018 at 14:19 (660 days old) by Ultralux88 (Denver, Colorado)        
"long hair it collects at the hose intake"

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You need a more powerful vacuum!

Post# 398137 , Reply# 18   9/12/2018 at 16:17 (660 days old) by JustJunque (Western MA)        

Just out of curiosity; did you buy the complete system with their own mini vacuum?
I did, although I haven't tried it yet.
I figured, it gave me an excuse to buy another vacuum!
Even though it's not a vacuum in the traditional sense.


Post# 399766 , Reply# 19   10/19/2018 at 16:27 (623 days old) by Ultralux88 (Denver, Colorado)        

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No, I use the thing on my central vac!

Post# 401931 , Reply# 20   12/4/2018 at 16:32 (577 days old) by ridgidwd0670 (se wood co ohio)        

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there are folks who make their own version of 'diy flowbee' using regular electric hair clippers & makeshift nozzle/hose connector

so i saw a Y. T. vid about someone converting their ordinary clippers into vacuum clippers & decided to do the same

i own a wahl corded color pro clippers & cut off the top of a gallon plastic milk jug

then i tape the top of milk jug onto clippers near the blades (be sure to throw out the jug cap)

i then connect the clippers into shop vac hose (ridgid 6000rv 6 gal vac)

Post# 402035 , Reply# 21   12/5/2018 at 20:56 (576 days old) by ridgidwd0670 (se wood co ohio)        

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Here's my 'homemade' flowbee

Costs less than the real deal; but you'll need to find or make your own connector for vac hose

It saves me $$ & time; now my kids & I no longer go to barber shop😀

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Post# 402130 , Reply# 22   12/7/2018 at 14:29 (574 days old) by JustJunque (Western MA)        

That's some ingenuity right there!
Good job!


Post# 402158 , Reply# 23   12/8/2018 at 01:37 (574 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

I would think pet groomers you see on YouTube would like these "flobee" conversion for the electric clippers.You see them or the assistant sweeping huge mounds of hair off the groomer tables.

Post# 403191 , Reply# 24   12/27/2018 at 21:25 (554 days old) by Ultralux88 (Denver, Colorado)        

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You can buy this kind of nozzle as well.

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