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Essential Guide for Clipper Blades
If your a professional dog groomer, a grooming student or a pet owner that wants to clip their own dog, the range of clipper blades and lengths can be quite daunting. In this helpful guide we give you all the information about clipper blades, the cutting lengths, how a blade is put together, how to look after your blades and what to do when they go blunt.

 
The Anatomy of a Clipper Blade
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The Clipper Blade is made up of several components.

- Sole Plate
- Top Cutter
- Blade Guide
- Spring
- Socket
- Screws




 
How a Clipper Blade Works
All clipper blades are made up of the above components.The bottom larger plate is called the Sole Plate and that feeds the hair into the blade. The Top Cutter, which is the smaller blade, cuts the hair at the point where they both meet. Depending on how fast your clipper runs will impact on how fast the top cutter moves from side to side, cutting the hair. 
Size Guide for Breed

This chart will help you find the right sized pet grooming clipper blades to use for each breed.

 

BLADES

3 = 1/2" (Skip) 3F = 1/2" (Finish)

4 = 3/8" Skip) 4F = 3/8" (Finish)

5 = 1/4" (Skip) 5F = 1/4" (Finish)

7 = 1/8" (Skip) 7F = 1/8" (Finish)

9 = 5/64"

10 = 1/16"

15 = 3/64"

30 = 1/50"

 

GENERAL CLIPS

Sanitary & Sterile: 10 or

Feet & Pads: 15

Inside Ears & Tummy: 10

Teddy Bear (¾" long all over): 4

BREEDS

 

· Airedale Terrier

· Body & Tail - 7F, 5F, 4F, 3F

· Head & Neck - 7F

· Legs, Chest, Beard, & Eyebrows - 30 with ¾" or 1" Comb

· Ears, Cheeks, & Throat - 7F or 10

· American Cocker Spaniel

· Body, Sides, & Back Only - 7F, 5F, 4F

· Sides of Neck - 7F

· Face, Ears, & Throat - 10

· Bearded Collie

· Matted Coat - 7F

· Puppy Trim at 2" - 30 with 1¼" Comb

· Bedlington Terrier

· Body - 4 or 3

· Head, Ears, & Tail - 10 or 15

· Bichon Frise

· Matted Coat - 7F

· Show Trim at 1" - 30 & 1" Comb

· Pet Trim - 4 or 3

· Head - 30 with ¾", 1" or 1¼" Comb

· Bouvier Des Flandres

· Body - 3, 30 with ¾" or 1" Comb

· Legs - Scissors, 30 with 1" or 1¼" Comb

· Matted Coat - 7F

· Head - 4F

· Face - Scissors

· Ears - 10 or 15

· Briard Terrier

· Matted Coat - 7F

· Puppy Trim at 2" - 30 & 1¼" Comb

· Short Trim - 4F

· Face, Legs, & Undercarriage - Scissors

· Cairn Terrier

· Matted Coat - 7F

· Natural Look 2" - 30 & ¾" Comb

· Pet Trim, Shorter on Back - 4

· Head, Face, Legs, & Underbody - Scissors

· Ears - 10

· Chow Chow

· Matted Coat - 7F

· Natural Coat - Scissors

· Body - 7

· Puppy Trim - 30 with 1" Comb

· Short Trim - 3, 3F, 4, 4F

· Cocker Spaniel

· Body, Sides, & Back - 4F, 5F, 7F

· Neck - 9

· Face, Ears, & Throat - 10, 15

· Collie

· Body - 7F

· For More Length on Body - 4 or 3

· Short Trim - 3, 3F, 4, 4F

· Puppy Trim - 30 with 1" Comb

· Natural Coat - Scissors

· Dandie Dinmont

· Body, Sides, & Back Only - 5 or 4

· Head, Tail, Legs, & Under Belly - Scissors

· Legs & Undercarriage - Scissors

· Ears - 10 or 15

English Cocker Spaniel

· Body, Sides, & Back Only - 7F, 5F, 4F

· Front of Forearms - 7F

· Head, Neck, and Ears - 15

· English Setter

· Body, Sides, & Back Only - 7F, 5F, 4F

· Head, Neck, & Ears - 10

· Tail, Legs, Underbody - Scissors

· English Springer Spaniel

· Body, Sides, & Back Only - 7F, 5F, 4F

· Head, Neck, & Ears - 10

· Golden Retriever

· Matted Coat - 7F

· Body - 7F or 5F

· Legs, Tail, & Underbody - Scissors

· Great Pyrenees

· Matted Coat - 7F

· Puppy Trim - 30 with 1" Comb

· Long Body Trim - 4 or 3

· Irish Setter

· Body, Sides, & Back - 7F, 5F, 4F

· Head, Neck, & Ears - 7 or 10

· Tail, Legs, & Underbody - Scissors

· Irish Terrier

· Body, Sides, & Back - 7F, 5F, 5

· Head, Neck, & Ears - 10

· Tail, Legs, & Underbody - Scissors

· Keeshond

· Matted Coat - 7F

· Natural Coat - Scissors

· Short Trim, Back & Sides - 4

· Head, Neck, & Ears - 10 or 9

· Body, Sides, & Tail - 30 with 1" Comb

· Kerry Blue Terrier

· Body & Tail - 4F or 3F

· Face - 10

· Ears, Cheeks, & Throat - 10

· Legs - 30 with ¾" or 1" Comb

· Lakeland Terrier

· Body & Tail - 7F, 5F, 4F, 3F

· Head, Neck, & Ears - 10

· Legs, Chest, Beard, & Eyebrows - 30 with ¾" or 1" Comb

· Lhasa Apso

· Matted Coat - 7F

· Puppy Trim - 30 with 1" Comb

· Short Trim - 3F or 4F

· Head, Face, Tail, & Underbody - Scissors

· Maltese

· Matted Coat - 7F

· Puppy Trim - 30 with 1" Comb

· Short Trim - 4

· Head - 4F, 3F, 30 with ¾" or 1" Comb

· Face & Tail - Scissors

· Newfoundland

· Matted Coat - 7F

· Natural Coat - Scissors

· Short Coat - 4 or 3

· Old English Sheepdog

· Matted Coat - 7F

· Short Coat - 3, 3F, 4, 4F

· Puppy Trim - 30 with 1¼" Comb

· Head & Face - Scissors

· Pekingese

· Matted Coat - 7F

· Short Coat - 4 or 4F

· Poodles - Kennel Trim

· Matted Coat - 7F

· Face, Feet, & Base of Tail - 10 or 15

· Body & Legs - 5, 4, 3

· Top Knot & Tailpiece - Scissors

· Poodles - Lamb Trim

· Face, Feet, & Base of Tail - 10 or 15

· Body - 5, 4, 3

· Legs - 30 with ¾" or 1" Comb

· Top Knot & Tailpiece - Scissors

· Poodles - Summer Trim - Bikini Trim

· Face, Feet, & Base of Tail - 10 or 15

· Body & Legs - 7F or 5F

· Pom-poms, Top Knot & Tail Pom - Scissors

· Stomach - 10

Skip Toothed Blades
Skip toothed blades are noticeable because of their teeth. They have one long, one short tooth that expands the whole of the blade, and feeds the coarse hair into the blade. Mainly used before bathing to take off the rough coat.
Finishing / Full Cut Blades
The teeth on this blade are all the same length and are designed to create a smooth finish or full shave downs.
Wide/T-Blades
The width of this blade is 1" wider than a standard clipper blade. They are designed to be used on larger breeds, so they take coat off faster.
Surgical Blades
Surgical blades are mainly used by vets to shave for pr-operation, however you can use them on a hairless breed.
The Cut
Cutting with the grain will leave one clipper blade length longer. Clipping against the grain with clip one clipper length shorter.
Problems with Clipper Blades

Rattling Blades

Over a period of time where your blade lever drives the clipper blade at very high speed, the ears on the blade can spread and cause rattling. The ears are the two pieces of metal that protrudes upwards and are the locating points when attached to the clipper. Take a pair of pliers and gently pinch the ears together to stop rattling.

The tension is too tight

If the top cutter on the clipper blade won't move, then the tension could be too tight. How to check for correct blade tension is by moving the top cutter with your thumb. If the cutter does not budge or it is very difficult to move, then the tension is too tight. If however the top cutter moves very freely then the blade tension spring is under tension and can cause the same symptom as over tension.

The blade is not sharpened correctly

Clipper blades do not have flat surfaces when you look at them, the teeth are slightly angled differently to the back rail to enable the teeth to cut along the front. If corrective sharpening is not undertaken by a professional engineer, you will experience dragging and snagging within the coat.

Poor maintenance

Not finding time to look after your equipment can cost you more in servicing and sharpening long term. Cleaning and oiling your blades daily will save you pounds in replacements and help you run a more efficient business.

For further advice on How to Tell when your Clipper Blade is Blunt
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Do you have any questions about clipper blades? Want to know more which one to use on your dog or breed? Drop us an email and we will back to you soon.
Email to paula@clipit-grooming.com