In conjunction with buying your dog grooming clippers, you will need to consider what length of blades and combs to purchase as well. Once again, blades are generally made by the same companies who manufacture clippers. Blades come in a variety of lengths, each with a different number so that different coat lengths and styles can be created. So it also worthwhile checking that the blade you are purchasing is compatible with the brand of clipper you intend to purchase. Clippers blades are also made for a variety of purposes such as show edge, ultra edge and manufactured with different metals and coatings such as stainless steel, ceramic, with carbon and titanium coatings.
The information below explains a little more about the different types available and depending upon what your requirements are will depend upon the type you purchase.
Types of Blades
- Fine Tooth Blades vs Skip Tooth
Fine tooth blades give a finer finished look to the coat. These are best used on a fine and soft coat, for example any of the small fluffy breeds. The final clip will be very even looking and very smooth. Fine tooth blades are distinguished by the letter ‘F’ after the number, for example 4F, 7F, 3F. These blades will work beautifully for dogs whose coats are regularly clipped and/or brushed however they will not work on a dog who is matted or very thick undercoat near the skin. This is because the coat is just too thick for the blade to cut through.
A skip tooth blade helps feed the hair into the cutting blade more effectively plus it is good for a rough cut prior to washing the dog. It can certainly be used for the finished cut – it just leaves the dog’s coat with a more layered look but it still looks neat and tidy. It will probably be necessary to use a short skip tooth blade on a dog who is matted or very thick close to the skin.
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Steel vs Ceramic
Dog clipper blades are generally made from either stainless steel or a ceramic material, and incorporate elements of either titanium, silver, carbon or chrome into the mix or as a finish. Carbon-infused steel offers a harder cutting surface and claims to stay sharper for longer; chrome finishing offers more rust resistance while Oster Cryogen blades use silver, because of its antimicrobial properties, as the active ingredient to help control the growth of bacteria, mould and mildew (this is extra protection in the professional groomer setting where dogs are being clipped quite close to each other). Ice-tempering is performed on some blades to assist with rust-prevention as well as helping to keep them cooler for longer while in use as they do tend to get very hot during use.
3. Clipper Blade Edgings
Dog grooming clipper blades also come in a variety of ‘edgings’ designed for different outcomes.
UltraEdge Blades – are made of carbon-infused steel which offer harder cutting surfaces and helps extend the life of the blade.
CeramicEdge Blades – are made from high-grade ceramic. These are supposed to stay sharper for a lot longer than the steel edged blades and also are designed to resist heat so the blade remains cooler and is more comfortable for the dog.
ShowEdge Blades – these are designed to create the smoothest possible finish on the coat of the dog, leaving no tracks in the hair. These would be specifically used on dogs who are competing in the show ring.
and then there are wide blades and special blades for clipping around the paws.
As with dog grooming clippers, blades are manufactured generally a variety of companies. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes so it is important to check that these are compatible with the clipper you are purchasing. Many of the brands, however, are compatible with different types of clippers. As with the clippers, the most popular and recommended brands for clipper blades are: Oster, Andis and Wahl. If you are wondering where to purchase these blades online then we recommend that you purchase them from the following reputable companies:-
What Size Blade for What Length of Cut
Blades come in a variety of numbers which indicate the length of the cut. Clipper blades are generally labelled with a hash symbol before a number, for example Blade # 7, or Blade #4F or they may have variations of that. Each number indicates a different length of cut. The lower the number the longer the cut and the higher the number the closer the cut to the skin. For example, a Blade # 3 will leave approximately 13mm of length on the coat while Blade # 10 will leave approximately 2mm of coat. The very high numbers such as Blade # 40 or # 50 would only be used by veterinarians for surgical purposes.
Generally, for pet dog clipping, you are better off by using middle of the range that gives a medium cut. It is not necessary to have more than a couple of blades, unless you decide that you either want to clip your dog to show standards which requires different lengths of coat, e.g. a poodle or schnauzer, or perhaps you may prefer to have a shorter blade which will keep your dog short during the hot summer months and a longer blade for a longer clip during the cold winter months. You might decide to have a Blade # 10 for clipping around the anal area to keep it clear and clean and also underneath the hind leg area which sometimes can get knotted.
Below is a list of the different clipper blade numbers and lengths of cuts. Each brand of clipper blade may vary slightly in length but they all are pretty much the same.
Dog Clipper Blade Numbers and Lengths of CutBelow is a list of the clipper blade numbers and the length of coat that is left on the dog after the clip.
|Clipper Blade Number||Description of Cut|
|Blade #3 or #3F ||Cuts and leaves 1/2" or 13mm length of coat on the dog|
|Blade #4 or # 4F||Cuts and leaves approximately 3/8" or 9.5mm length of coat|
|Blade #5 or #5F||Cuts and leaves approximately 1/4" or 6mm length of coat|
|Blade #5/8 Toe Blade||Is specifically for clipping between the toes and feet|
|Blade #7 or #7F||Cuts and leaves approximately 1/8" or 3.2mm length of coat|
|Blade #7/8 Toe Blade||Is specifically for clipping between toes and feet|
|Blade #8 1/2||Cuts and leaves 7/64" or 2.8mm length of coat|
|Blade #9||Cuts and leaves approximately 5/64" or 2mm length of coat|
|Blade #10||Cuts and leaves 1/16" or 2mm length of coat|
|Blade #15||Cuts and leaves 1.2mm length of coat|
|Blade #30||Cuts and leaves 0.5mm length of coat|
|Blade #40 & #50||Are specifically for short surgical cuts|
Different brands may have slightly different blade numbers however generally the lengths will be pretty much standard as the guide above.
Recommended blade numbers for different lengths of cut for pet clipping:
Summer: Blade number to use over the body – # 7; blade number for clipping around the anal area and underneath the dog’s hind leg area – #10.
Winter: Blade number to use over the body – # 4 or #5; blade number for clipping around the anal area and underneath the dog’s hind leg area – # 10.
If you use any shorter or longer over the dog’s body you may find the cut is too close to the skin and doesn’t look that nice or it is too long and it means you have to clip the dog more often to keep it tidy.
If you are doing specific breed clipping then you will need to follow the recommendations for that particular breed and it may be necessary to purchase more dog grooming equipment.
How to Put the Blades on the Dog Grooming Clippers
It is quite easy to put the blades onto the clippers. Slide the blade onto the metal holder of the clipper. Make sure it is secure. Then line up the plastic clasp on the clipper so that it slots into the corresponding gap of the top blade. Then snap the blade and the clipper together so that it is secured firmly together. You are now ready to start clipping.
Never have your clipper motor running while you are putting a blade on or taking it off. Always make sure your clippers are switched off. Leaving the clippers running and putting the blades on or off will ruin the motor in your clippers. The blade should just slot on the end of the clip area and then snap into place. You will need to line up the space on the blade with the hook on the clippers so it snaps into place properly. If you have trouble you may just need to adjust the top slide of the blade until it lines up.
Before grooming your dog make sure that the dog grooming clippers are working properly and that the blades are sharp. If the blades are blunt you will notice that they don’t cut through the fur. This is when they will need to be sharpened.
How to Clean Dog Grooming Blades
It is important to regularly maintain the clipper blades and keep them clean. If they are not cleaned after each clip the dirt and fur remains in them and if they are used again in that condition this will cause them to go blunt quicker. Clean blades will require less sharpening and the more sharpening the less life-span they have.
Oster Blade Wash from Cherrybrook is excellent for flushing hair accumulated between blades. Removes congealed, factory applied preservative from new blades and provides lubrication for cutting blades. This product can only be shipped Domestically via ground service.
Klipper Klean from Groomers Online in the UK is a similar produce which is formulated to cool, lubricate and sterilise clipper blades quickly and conveniently. It contains alcohol to clean and a fine oil to lubricate – simply spray the Klipper Klean directly onto the blade. It can also be used to soak blades overnight.
Oster Kool-Lube from Vet Products Direct Australia is an all-in-one blade spray which cools, lubricates and cleans. Oster Kool Lube can also be purchased from Cherrybrook in the USA here.
So as you can see from the above products not only do blades need regular cleaning, they also need cooling down. The metal clipping blades can tend to heat up very quickly, especially in hot weather. If the blade gets too hot then spray the blade with coolant – this will help to cool it down before you hurt your dog. Or, alternatively, give the clippers a rest and work on another part of the dog’s body, ie trimming the dog’s nails; or even change blades if you have a spare blade of the same length.
Blade cleaning solution is best utilised by tipping a little solution into a small container. Run the clippers with the blade in place and dip the blade into the solution just enough to cover the blade area while they are running. This will get rid of any hair or dirt stuck between the two plates of metal. Wipe them down with a rag and then squirt a small amount of oil on both end edges where the two blades move against each other. By keeping the blades free of dirt and well oiled they won’t blunt so quickly. When the blades do finally go blunt you will need to get them sharpened by a professional sharpener who specialises in dog clippers, blades and scissors.
Groomers Clipper Blade Maintenance Kit is a collection of essential products developed to help with the efficient working of clipper blades. Includes Klipper Klean spray to quickly cool and cleanse clipper blades; Blade Wash for cleansing and soaking blades; Clipper Oil for lubricating all types of blade; and a blade wash caddie, which provides a convenient container to submerge up to eight clipper blades.
Groomers Clipper Blade Maintenance Kit features:
• An essential kit for maintaining clipper blades.
• Includes: Klipper Klean (500ml).
Blade Wash (500ml).
Clipper Oil (100ml).
Blade Wash Caddie.
Depending upon how often you use your dog grooming clippers and blades and how often they are cleaned will determine how many clips you get before they need to be sharpened. Sharpening must be done by a professional – it is a specialised service and like any service you can get good and bad service. If you are not sure where to find someone who will sharpen blades you might want to ask your local dog groomer where they get their equipment serviced and sharpened or any pet shop who sells clipping equipment if they know of a reputable service.
Clipper combs are attachments and work in conjunction with a short blade to produce a longer coat length. Most combs are used together with blade Nos. 10, 15, 30, 40. The blade is clipped on to the clipper and then the comb snaps on to the blade. They can also give a smooth finished look and uniform length. Beware that these comb attachments do not work on a dog with un-groomed dog hair.
The largest range of clipping combs can be found at:
Need information on other dog grooming supplies? Refer to our related pages on: