How To Choose Dog Grooming Clippers

June 8, 2022 // 14 minute read

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Apart from bathing and brushing your dog, dog grooming sometimes involves trimming or clipping your dog’s coat. This is especially for heavy-coated dog breeds, that have long hair, or medium-length hair. This article will answer how to choose dog grooming clippers.

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For doing this job, you must choose the right dog grooming clipper for your dog. This ensures your dog’s safety, and you’ll also make them more comfortable. At the same time, the cut on your dog’s coat is clean and neat. 

However, there is no denying that choosing the perfect grooming clippers can be challenging, especially for those that don’t have any experience. This is why we decided to help you by creating this guide on how to choose the perfect dog grooming clipper for your furry friend. 

small dog getting haircut at the groomer
Photo by Gustavo Fring on Pexels.com

How To Choose Dog Grooming Clippers: Things to Consider

When buying dog grooming clippers, you can’t just pick up the first clipper you see from the shop. There are some things you need to put into consideration first, and these are the following: 

Level of Grooming

The very first thing you should put into consideration is the level of grooming you need to do. Is this something you’d occasionally do or something that you’d do more frequently? 

For example: 

Perhaps you’d prefer to take your dog to a professional groomer for a more expert touch. However, you would also need to clip or trim your dog’s hair for a few touch-ups while they’re not scheduled for the next visit yet. If this is the case, a lighter and inexpensive clipper will do. 

But, if you take your dog to dog shows regularly and don’t want to spend more money for a professional groomer, you’d rather learn to clip and trim your dog’s hair at home. If this is the case, investing in a quality brand of professional dog clippers with additional accessories will be worth it. 

So, try to think about how frequently you’d need to clip and trim your dog’s hair to ensure that you don’t waste money.

Dog’s Hair Type

Another thing you should consider is your dog’s coat and hair type. Is your dog’s hair long or short? Is your dog heavy-coated or not? Are the hair strands thick? By asking yourself these questions, you would be able to determine the type of clipper you need, the power you need, and if you also need extra accessories. 

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For example: 

Dog breeds with thick, coarse hair would naturally need a powerful hair trimmer. And since the coats require more work and grooming may take longer, corded clippers can be considered, so there would be no worries of the battery running out. 

Dogs with thin or short fur will only need a basic set of clippers as there is not much power required. These are also less expensive than the professional ones, but there’s no need to spend that much money on basic grooming. 

If you have different types of dog breeds, naturally, you would need to buy different types of dog clippers, too. This way, you’ll be able to accommodate the various skin and coat types your dogs have.

How To Choose Dog Grooming Clippers For Your Pet

Finally, but also the most important, always put your pet’s condition in mind. Grooming is something that most dogs don’t enjoy. It can be very stressful for them. However, not grooming them will only cause discomfort in the long run, which is why you need to make grooming as comfortable as possible. 

If your dog is easily scared and moves around a lot, cordless clippers are recommended, so you have the flexibility. There’s also no trouble with your dog tangling on the cord. 

If your dog gets stressed with the noise, opt for a dry low noise level for a dog clipper. One that probably doesn’t vibrate so that your dog won’t even notice you’re grooming them. 

How To Choose The Perfect Dog Grooming Clippers

Size and Weight

The very first thing to think about when choosing a dog clipper is the size and weight. Make sure that you select a clipper that’s not too heavy but not too light, either. Also, the clipper must fit comfortably in your hand. 

The heavier the dog clippers, the more likely it will cause you fatigue. Light dog clippers, on the other hand, will reduce this and make dog grooming easier. But choosing a very light clipper may be hard to control, plus, vibrations might be easily felt by your dog. 

The best way to determine if the dog clipper’s size and weight are right for you is to test it. Try holding the clipper like a pen with the blade pointing downward. If you feel comfortable holding it in that position, then you might have found the perfect clippers for you. 

However, it doesn’t stop there as there are other things you need to check. 

dog being groomed at home
Photo by Yaroslav Shuraev on Pexels.com

Speed and Power

The next thing that you should look at when deciding how to choose dog grooming clippers is the speed and power of the dog clipper. You should choose one that can cut even the most coarse and matted dog coats smoothly. 

Naturally, the more powerful and faster the dog clipper, the better and smoother its function. However, the consequence of this is that it can be too noisy, and the vibrations can be strongly felt. This is something that you should also think about, but we’ll discuss that later below. 

You can also choose between a single-speed hair trimmer and a variable-speed hair trimmer when it comes to speed. This will determine how smoothly your clipper can get through your dog’s coat. 

If you’re a beginner, a single-speed trimmer is highly recommended for you. But if you want more control and flexibility, you can opt for a clipper with variable speeds. It also gives a cleaner and neater final look. 

Blade Material

The next thing that you should consider is the blade material of the dog clipper. If you want a smooth and neat clip on your dog’s hair, you should ensure that the clippers and blades are nice and sharp. This will also save you more time as there is less possibility of jamming. 

The next thing to consider is the material used for the blade. There are usually two types: steel vs ceramic. 

  • Stainless Steel Blades are usually selected over ordinary steel, so they don’t become rusty for a long time. It also tends to be cheaper, more durable, and easier to maintain. 
  • Ceramic Blades, on the other hand, are corrosion-free. They are much more expensive and are mostly used by grooming experts. These blades don’t conduct heat, which is ideal for longer grooming sessions, but they can break easily. 

Other than the material of the blade, you can also choose between three blade types: 

  • Finishing Blade that provides a smooth clip. This blade is the most suitable for giving your dog a finishing touch. 
  • Skip-Tooth Blade is something more suitable for creating rough cuts, removing mats, and blending. However, experts best use this blade as dogs’ skin can get caught between the gaps, which can be dangerous.
  • Wide Blade is best used for grooming a much larger dog. However, you would also need to buy a clipper specifically for this blade type as it doesn’t normally fit a standard clipper. 

Lastly, you should also consider the blade’s sizes and cuts. Blades are usually marked with a number depending on the cut’s closeness to the skin – the higher the number, the shorter the cut; the lower the number, the longer the cut. 

Choosing the blade number would usually depend on the coat length you wish to achieve for your dog. Here are some standard blade numbers and when they’re used: 

  • Blade #10 – Sanitary Preparation
  • Blade #5 and #7 – Removal of Mats
  • Blade #15 – Dog Pads
  • Blade #7 – Neater look on your dog’s body

Some clippers already come with several blade sizes, which is ideal for dog owners with multiple dogs. This way, you can adjust the blade size as much as you want, depending on the cut you’re giving your dog. 

Related article: Noise impacts from professional dog grooming forced-air dryers

Vibrations, Heat, and Noise Level

We’ve already mentioned that you need to consider your pet when choosing a clipper, which means you need to pick a clipper that they are most comfortable too. For this, you need to consider the vibrations, heat, and noise levels. 

When you choose dog grooming clippers, keep in mind that a powerful clipper would vibrate a lot, heat up faster, and can be very noisy. It might make the job smoother and easier, but what good would it do if your dog is stressed out the whole grooming session? 

However, if you choose the right dog clipper that may not be too powerful but still does the job and is quiet, your dog would surely appreciate it. Plus, it would make grooming sessions more enjoyable and therapeutic. 

Cord vs Cordless

Cordless clippers will make it easier for you to move around your dog, especially in reaching hard areas. These clippers are not that powerful which can be perfect for a practicing beginner who has a light-coated dog. The only problem is that it can cause inconvenience in case the battery runs out. Plus, they can be on the pricier side. 

Corded clippers are usually used by professional groomers who are comfortable with a powerful tool and know how to get around a dog without being bothered by that cord. 

It’s also the clipper to choose if you have a large dog and can’t risk the batteries running out while in the middle of the grooming session. If you have a dog with a thick or very coarse coat, this is what we recommend you use, too, as this is more powerful than the cordless ones. 

Safety and Quality

Something that you shouldn’t overlook is the safety and quality of the clipper you buy. Of course, you’d want something that would last for the long term, so you should buy something that already has a name when it comes to dog grooming clippers. 

Try to do your research, ask friends, ask for advice from your vet, or ask for tips from a professional groomer. They’ll be able to tell you the most high-quality dog grooming clippers available on the market. 

Cost

Of course, professional-quality clippers may come with an expensive price tag. However, if it can ensure that it will last longer, then you’d be saving more money. If this is something that you would do regularly, then investing in something of good quality should be fine. 

But if you’re on a budget and you think you’ll only be doing some touch-ups, then buying something expensive may not be a great idea. There are lots of good-quality products out there that would fit what you need and won’t break the bank. 

Dog Grooming Clipper Accessories 

The question of “How to choose dog grooming clippers?” becomes important when you consider the different accessories you may need to buy. If you want to have everything in just one purchase, look for clippers that already have the needed accessories. Some clippers already come with some set of blades, clipper oil, and a comb. But if your clipper doesn’t come with this, here are a few more necessary things that you would need for your dog clipper. 

  • Clipper Oil: A clipper is best used to lubricate your clipping blades so they can function at the right speed. This will also make the cut smoother, and the clipper will stay cool for a longer period. 
  • Coolant: Another thing that you should buy is a coolant. Some clippers easily heat up, causing the blades to heat up quickly too, which can burn your dog’s skin. To prevent this, you can simply spray a coolant to turn the temperature of the blade down. Make sure to touch the blades first before continuing the grooming session to ensure that it’s cool enough for your dog. 
  • Blade Wash: As the name implies, this is used to clean up the blade after use and to disinfect it, too. Pour a small amount of the wash into the bowl, turn on your clipper with the blade still attached, and dip the blade into the solution to clean it up. Wipe off the solution with a soft cloth after. 
  • Clipper Combs: If you’re a beginner groomer, then using clipper combs is necessary. This will help provide a bit of space between your clipper blade and your dog, so you don’t accidentally bruise your dog’s skin. Like the clipper blade, the clipper combs also vary in size and are usually numbered depending on the amount of hair left on the dog after grooming. They can also be made from several materials, including plastic, stainless steel, or chrome. 
small dog on blue and white striped couch
Photo by Dominic Buccilli on Pexels.com

Dog Clipping Tips

Find a Quiet and Comfortable Spot

Most dogs don’t like being groomed, so it’s your job to ensure that he stays comfortable at all times. Choosing a quiet dog clipper is the best way to do this. You should also pick a spot with lesser distractions, so he doesn’t move around, and you would accidentally nip the skin. 

Don’t Pull The Hair

Pulling your dog’s hair is painful for your dog. This may also cause discomfort, and their trust will lessen, making them move around too much. It’s best always to keep the blades sharp, so it moves smoothly and easily. 

Don’t Rush

Treat clipping as a great bonding moment between you and your dog. Don’t push yourself to do everything fast as this will likely cause accidents, and you might end up hurting your dog. Plus, you’ll only end up stressing your dog out. 

Clip in the Right Direction

Always clip with the growth of your dog’s hair for a more smooth and natural look. This might be hard to familiarize at first as a dog’s hair can grow in various directions in different body parts. This is why it’s necessary not to rush on things, so you do everything right. 

Start Early

It’s always recommended to start grooming your dog at an early age. This way, as he grows older, they get used to the grooming process; the more comfortable they get, the easier it will be for both of you. 

By the time your pet reaches maturity, you already have that strong understanding of how your dog wants to be groomed. You can then avoid all the mistakes and prevent possible injuries. 

Conclusion

Some people just opt not to groom their dog because it’s hard. But you should keep in mind that not grooming your dog will mean that you’ll make them suffer from allergies, parasites, bacterial infections, dry skin, and more. This is very painful and uncomfortable so as dog owners, you must find ways to groom your dog easily. 

Fast, smooth, and easy dog grooming always starts with the right accessories. This is why it’s essential to know how to choose the right dog grooming clippers. Just follow the tips we shared above, and you’ll be able to find the perfect dog grooming clipper for you. 

If you’re a beginner, we strongly recommend taking your dog to a professional groomer first so you can get some expert pointers before trying it on your own. We also have some reviews of the best dog grooming clippers on our page that you can check out.

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