Dog Clippers will come in handy at a time (especially in the hot summer months) when your dog needs some type of grooming, such as the trim around the ears or paws, that you can do in the comfort and privacy of your home. It is easy to use and trust me, once you get the hang of it, you will realize how easy and fun it is to groom your furry friend at home.
If you are looking for the best dog clippers for grooming your dog, then you have come to the right place. In this article, you will learn how to use dog clippers to groom your dog, different types of features that you need to look for when choosing the best dog grooming clippers, and a list of the 5 best clippers for dogs that we recommend.
**Below, you’ll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
Why Should You Groom Dog Yourself?
There are a few reasons why you want to groom your dog at home. One of those reasons is professional dog grooming can be expensive and time-consuming. Professional dog grooming can cost you as much as $30 to $90 per session just for standard grooming.
The truth, it is only necessary to bring your dog to professional grooming service every six to eight weeks for full body groom. The rest of the time, your dog only needs what I call “minor grooming” – it means a little bit trim here and there.
Minor grooming is the type of grooming that you can do in 10 to 15 minutes and necessary for maintenance purpose. A little bit of trim is essential to maintain his looks, to keep him healthy, or simply to help keep him cool during hot summer months.
Not only you can save a lot of money but you can also tighten the bond between you and your dog when you groom your dog at home.
After using clippers for quite a while, then you can learn to do full body grooming and style your own dog. Your dog will feel much better, safer and secure when you take the responsibility to groom him by yourself.
How to Groom Your Dog Using Dog Clippers
Take a look at the video below for a quick intro on how to groom your dog using dog grooming clippers:
Brush Your Dog First Before Clipping
To groom your dog at home you need the right tools: you will need a brush, comb, and dog clippers.
Bathing and brushing your dog before grooming your dog with dog clippers help to get rid of tangles and clumps of hair. Take a look at our dog brush reviews to learn how to brush your dog and find out the best dog brush that fits your dog’s needs.
In this section, I will give you a brief guideline on how to brush and comb your dog (more detailed explanation can be found here):
Regular brushing and combing will help keep the skin clean and healthy, but how often you should brush your dog depends on the breed.
Long-haired dogs such as Collies and German Shepherd need weekly brushing. For short-coated dogs such as Greyhounds, don’t need frequent brushing, once every couple of weeks is enough.
A pin brush is a good choice for long-haired dogs, its bent wire bristles work well for fluff drying and removing loose hairs from the dog’s coat painlessly.
If you have short-coated dogs, it’s best to use a stiff bristle brush or a soft slicker brush. A stiff bristle brush or a soft slicker brush can be used to remove dead hair. If you prefer, you can also use a rubber brush or hound gloves. Follow up the brushing session with a soft bristle brush, which is useful to loosen dirt and dead skin and helps to distribute the coat’s natural oil.
For a short, wiry breeds, such as most Terriers, it’s best to use a slicker brush. Use a slicker brush to get rid of tangles then followed by a metal comb.
How to Use Dog Clippers
Here are some tips for getting your dog used to the Clippers:
- Start clipping your dog as soon as you bring your puppy home. Getting an older dog used to the clippers will be much harder. It’s best to start clipping your puppy early to accept them.
- Get a set of professional dog clippers. A set of professional dog clippers will allow you to trim and style your own dog.
- Choose the quietest dog clippers available. The Loud noise would scare or even distress your dog.
- Check your breed’s club official website. Some breed clubs provide free tips and guidance on how to trim and style your dog. You can find the official list of American Kennel Club dog breeds at AKC website.
- Talk to a professional groomer or breeder. A professional groomer can give you some clues about how your dog’s coat should be clipped.
- Know your dog’s coat. Each breed is different, it helps to read a book about your dog’s breed standard or talk to a professional groomer to learn more about how your dog’s coat should look.
- Make sure your clipper blades are sharp. Check the blades before using the clippers, dull blades pull hair more than necessary and creating a painful experience that will make your dog less inclined to get clipped again.
- Choose the right blade. Different blades work best with a different type of coats and create different style effects, therefore you should choose the right blade for the specific type of coat that your dog has to get the best look. If you are not sure what you’re doing, use snap-on pet clipper combs. These snap-on guide combs are created to help you make a uniform trim.
- Start slowly. Be gentle when you use the clipper, don’t trim your dog hastily, or else the blades will leave lines/marks in the dog’s coat and you might end up getting your dog’s angry stare.
- Keep the Clippers from getting too hot. Frequently turn the clippers off and touch them regularly to test the temperature as hot Clippers can actually burn your dog. That’s why I always recommend keeping a couple of bottles of coolant or lubricant at your disposal. When you feel the Clippers become too warm, spray the blades with the coolant to cool them off. Make sure to wipe off any excess lubricant to avoid spoil your dog’s nice clean coat.
- Aside from using coolant, you can also choose other options such as:
- switch to another clipper (assuming you have a spare).
- switch the hot blades to the cooler ones and let the hot ones cool down.
- place the hot blade on a metal surface such as cookie or baking sheet to cool it off quickly.
Get Ready for Your First Clip
Now, it’s about the time to make your first clip. Before turning on the clippers, you need to clean and free your dog from tangles and mats. Follow these steps to free your dog from tangles and mats:
1. Use a slicker brush to find mats and tangles around your dog’s body. Mats and tangles are often found under the ears, below the neck, under the belly, and along the back legs.
2. Apply conditioner & detangler to areas of the coat where mats and tangles are formed.
3. Pull and ease the hair apart using your fingers to cut through the mat. You can also use a mat splitting tool to cut through the mats and tangles faster. Be sure to cut in the direction of hair growth. Cutting against the direction of the hair growth may be faster but it will come at the cost of damaged hair follicles and ingrown hairs.
4. The last step is to brush your dog once again with the slicker brush. Brush a few hairs at a time and in the direction of the hair growth. Add more conditioner & detangler if necessary to help you loosen the tangled hair.
The next step is to start trimming with the Clippers. Before turning on the clippers, you need to learn how to grip the dog clippers. You need to practice holding the Clippers and choose a hand position that feels comfortable and gives you full control.
The best way to find out how to use your clippers is to start on the outer coat first, in an inconspicuous area, the area where your dog already has been trimmed but the fur has begun to grow back a little untidy.
By starting with an inconspicuous area you can learn the amount of hair that the clipper and blade really take off. You can adjust the amount of hair that you removed by switching to a more appropriate blade. Make sure you are adept at using the Clippers before moving on into the deep fur.
What to Look For in Dog Clippers
There are many different features to look for before choosing the best dog clippers. Let’s take a look at some features that you should keep your eyes on:
Rotary Speed per Minute or RPM
Rotary speed per minute is one of the most important features that you should look for. Put it in simple words, RPM means how fast your clippers can operate. RPM is important because high-speed clippers will allow you to easily cut through mats, difficult knots, and coarse fur.
This is especially important if you groom a dog with a thick coat and lots of mats, you need to have a pair of high-speed clippers.
When it comes to the speed, most dog clippers can be divided into two categories: single-speed dog clipper and variable-speed dog clipper.
Single-speed dog clipper is the best option to choose if you are a new user. Why? Because single-speed dog clipper doesn’t heat up as fast as the variable-speed. The single-speed option will allow you to groom your dog at your own pace.
The second option is the variable-speed dog clipper. The variable-speed dog clipper is the best option if you are an advanced user. The variable-speed clipper has an option that at least has 3-5 different speed options, the different speed options will allow you to switch from a base speed to a higher speed quickly as you work your clipper through the tough mats, difficult knots, and coarse fur. It is designed to give you versatile control and the perfect finished look.
Corded vs Cordless
Cordless Dog Clipper
Most people will naturally choose cordless dog clippers over the corded ones. Even though the cordless dog clipper may seem more convenient at first glance but you should not be quick to decide as both options come with their own benefits and drawbacks.
The cordless dog clipper is easier to use compared with the corded dog clipper and not forget to mention, the cordless dog clipper is easy to carry and move around. The cordless dog clipper does a great job to reach those hard-to-reach spots. It is useful for beginners who just need to do a maintenance grooming and not full body grooming
The downside, the battery can run out very quickly, especially if you run your clipper through a very thick or coarse coat. When the battery has run out, you will have to either replace or recharge it.
In 2017, some brands have made an improvement over how long their battery can last compared to others. When you look for cordless dog clipper, you should choose dog clipper that has a lithium type of battery. Lithium battery can last for 2 to 3 hours, and can quickly be recharged.
Another thing to look for is the customized blade length. This varies from brand to brand, but usually, cordless dog clippers come with 5 different cutting lengths (#9, #10, #15, #30, #40) that you can switch. Your choice is only limited to those 5 cutting lengths, and this is a big disadvantage for advanced users that need a wide range of cutting length for different haircuts styles.
Corded Dog Clipper
Corded dog clippers are ideal for advanced users who want to do a heavy-duty grooming job. Unlike the cordless counterparts, with corded dog clippers you won’t have to deal with the problem of run out battery, they offer more power as the battery won’t run out quickly and therefore can be used to cut through a very thick or coarse coat easily.
Another thing that you would like from the corded dog clipper is the advantage of being able to customize with any blade length. If you are an experienced groomer or having dog grooming business, this is a huge advantage as you may need a wide range of cutting length to do different styles of cuts.
However, with an extra 2″ of cord that sticks out at the bottom of the corded dog clippers, you might find it a little bit difficult to maneuver and harder to get all the hard-to-reach spots when you groom your dog.
To sum it up, use cordless dog clippers to groom a dog that has a soft coat, or to reach those hard-to-reach spots, or to provide the perfect finished look. As for the corded counterparts, use them to groom a dog that has a thick or coarse coat, or to provide different styles of cuts.
Clipper blades are another thing that you must pay attention to. Choosing the right blades will make your grooming task a lot easier. I’ll explain a bit about the different types of clipper blades available:
Steel vs Ceramic
So far, clipper blades are only made from either stainless steel or ceramic material. When you are faced with the two options, ceramic blades are a better choice as they are sharper and more durable. Sharp blades help you cut your dog’s fur easier and keep your dog from getting hurt in the process. And durable blades are cheaper in the long run as you won’t need to replace them often.
Fine Tooth Blade vs Skip Tooth Blade
Previously you have learned different types of blades according to the materials that form the blades, now you will learn different types of blades according to the uses.
Skip tooth blade is used to cut through thicker coats and mats while fine tooth blade is used to create a smoother finished look and best used on a dog that has a fine or soft coat.
It is recommended that you have both types of blades, use the skip tooth blade to do the main cutting and the fine tooth blade to finish cut.
Clipper Blade Edgings
When you look for dog clipper blades, you may notice they come with different types of edgings. Generally, there are three types of edgings designed to give you different results.
1. Ultra Edge Blades are composed of carbon-infused steel which gives a harder cutting surface and makes the blades more durable.
2. Ceramic Edge Blades are composed of high-grade ceramic which makes the blades sharper for a lot longer than other different composed materials blades. The ceramic traits also help to make the blades remain cooler during the cutting process, thus more comfortable for the dog.
3. Show Edge Blades are used mostly for show dogs as the blades are designed to create the smoothest finish possible on dog’s coat without leaving any trace from the blade in the dog’s hair.
Interchangeable and Proprietary Blades
Some brands use interchangeable blades to drive their product price lower and some brands use proprietary blades that only fit their clippers. If you do some research, you will see that some of the best dog clippers available today tend to come with their own proprietary blades.
Clipper blades come in a variety of number. The manufacturers generally numbering their dog clipper blades with a hash symbol before the number, for example, #4F. The numbers are available from #3 to #50. and indicate a different the length of cut
One thing that you need to remember, the lower the number the longer the cut and higher the number the closer the cut to the skin. For example, blade #3 means the blade will leave on average 13 mm of the coat.
For a general clipping purpose, we often use a range of numbers that give a medium cut. The very high blade numbers such as #40 and #50 are often used for surgical purposes.
Dog Clipper Blades Maintenance
Dog clipper maintenance is important to keep your dog clippers work properly. When you do not properly maintain the dog clipper, they will start to pull on the hair, cut unevenly, or even cutting or tearing the dog’s skin.
You can read the instruction on how to maintain your dog clippers from the booklet that comes with your clipper or you can also read this article from Wikihow that provides excellent tips on dog clippers maintenance.
Basically, what you need to do is to keep the blades clean. Clean blades will require less sharpening and the less sharpening you do the longer the blades’ lifespan, though all the blades will eventually need to get sharpened.
Always clean the blades after you clip, I would recommend using something like Oster Blade Wash Cleaner 18 Oz. to clean accumulated hair and provides lubrication for clipper blades.
Aside from getting cleaned regularly, you will also need to keep the blade from getting overheat. When you feel the blades getting too hot, spray the blades immediately with a coolant such as Oster Kool Lube. This will help the blades to cool down before hurting your dog.
You see, the key to maintain dog clipper blades is quite simple: make sure the blades are free from dirt and well oiled.
The Clipper’s Size & Weight
The Clipper’s size and weight can have a huge effect on the groomer’s arm. Put it in simple words, you should choose a lightweight pair of dog clippers over a heavy pair. The lightweight pair of dog clippers put less strain on the groomer’s arm, as a result, you will be able to easily maneuver them around your dog.
The good news is in 2017 all brands have taken into consideration the Clipper’s size and weight issue in mind and have created dog clippers with an ergonomic design so you can clip your dog for a long time without getting sloppy and causing an accident.
Some dogs can be quite nervous and terrified when they hear a loud noise, therefore, it is best to choose dog clippers that have a quiet motor.
In 2017, more and more brands have taken into account this factor and have created quieter dog clippers. So, while this feature is probably already taken into account, you should still do your own homework by checking the motor noise before purchasing any dog clipper.
Finally, you should look for clippers that have a wide range of accessories available, such as a cleaning brush, and combs. Big manufacturers usually make a wide range of accessories that are compatible with their clippers. This is important as incompatible accessories could break the Clippers.
The Best 5 Dog Clippers
1. Andis UltraEdge AGC 2 – Best Heavy Duty Dog Clippers
- Cool and quiet running , Volts - 120 V
- Perfect for all coats and breeds.
Andis UltraEdge AGC2 is the best heavy-duty dog clippers that feature 2-speed modes: low and high. The low mode runs at 3400 strokes per minute while the high mode runs at 4000 strokes per minute. With such speed, you can easily cut your grooming time down from 3-4 hours to 30 minutes per session.
The high-speed mode is really useful especially if you have a dog that has a thick and/or coarse coat, curly, mat hair, or wavy hair such as Labrador, Golden Retriever, or Portuguese Water Dog.
Andis AGC2 is corded dog clipper with 14′ heavy duty cord that ensures you won’t have any problem to maneuver and move around as you clip your dog.
And as you may expect from the product name, Andis UltraEdge AGC2 comes with an UltraEdge#10 Blade which is made using an exclusive hardening process that gives a harder cutting surface and makes the blades more durable.
However, you are not limited to Andis’ UltraEdge line only as other lines such as Andis’ Ceramic Edge, and ShowEdge blades will also fit. The detachable blades feature makes it easier to change and replace the blades depending on your needs.
The clipper also features a superior rotating motor that ensures a quiet motor noise so you don’t have to worry your dog will bark or feel terrify when you clip your dog.
As for the maintenance aspect, the cool-running smart design makes the clipper runs incredibly cool, so you won’t have to clean or repair the fans or air vents.
The downside, this clipper can heat up rather quickly, after 15 minutes of running. I would recommend you to prepare coolant or lubricant to spray the blades when you feel the clipper is getting overheated.
2. Wahl Motion Lithium Ion Clipper – Best Cordless Dog Clippers
- The Motion Animal Clipper from Wahl Professional Animal is ideal for clipping and trimming dogs, cats, horses, cattle, and livestock
- The clipper offers Constant Speed Control which provides constant torque to power through tough spots
Wahl Motion Lithium Ion Clipper is the best cordless dog clipper that I have tried so far. This clipper is best used for small-to-medium sized dogs to reach those tight, hard-to-reach places, like face, ears, and paws.
You may recall from the previous paragraphs when it comes to buying cordless dog clipper, one feature that you should pay attention to is the battery.
And Wahl has powered this clipper with a lithium battery that provides more power, torque, and charge cycles. The clipper can last up to 90 minutes without recharging and a quick recharge time of only 60 minutes!
One thing that really catches my attention is the design. Without a doubt, this clipper is one of the best-looking clippers available today (if not the best). The new slim design combined with an exceptional lightweight has won the heart of many dog groomers.
Compared with other cordless dog clippers, this clipper is quite powerful boasting a power as high as 5,500 strokes per minute and yet it is amazingly quiet and has no vibration.
The clipper comes with the famous Wahl’s ‘5 in 1’ Pro Blade set with 5 adjustable sizes #9, #10, #15, #30 and #40. You can change the blades easily, as easy as flipping the lever.
Another thing that worth to mention is the removable scissor grip handle. The removable scissor grip handle is designed to give ultimate control and better handling which helps to reduce dropped and broken clippers and blades.
Not forget to mention that you will get the 30 days satisfaction guarantee and 1-year limited manufacturer’s warranty.
So to recap here is what you will find inside the kit content: the Wahl motion clipper, 5 in 1’ Pro Blade Set, 6 Attachment Guide Combs, Removable Scissor Grip Handle, Charge Stand and Charger, Soft Storage Case, Cleaning Brush, Blade Oil, and Instruction Book.
3. Andis Power Groom – Best Professional Dog Clippers
- This powerful cool-running clipper provides touch-button speed control matched to the coat thickness.
- Interchangeable blades lock in place, detach in seconds and clean easily.
If you are looking for a professional dog clipper, look no further than Andis Power Groom.
The dog clipper features 5-speed settings from 2,500 to 5,000 strokes per minute that promise better control and lessen blade heat compared with other similar dog clippers. Truly, with that speed of range, you have a reliable dog clipper that can handle any grooming job on any dog breed – from a single to double coated dogs, including matted coats.
The detachable blade offers a convenient way to change and clean the blades and compatible with all UltraEdge, CeramicEdge, and ShowEdge blades. The clipper comes with the famous Andis’#10 UltraEdge Blade as an add-on.
In spite of the record-breaking speed at 5,000 strokes per minute, the clipper runs fairly quiet as some groomers described “mildly noisy” even at the highest speed setting.
Speaking about the maneuverability, Andis has provided two different features that promise ease-of-use: 360-degree tangle-free swivel cord and AGR+ battery pack. The 360-degree tangle free swivel cord allows you to move 360-degree when you clip your dog, and when you need an even more free movement to clip those hard-to-reach spots, you can work freely with an AGR+ battery pack (sold separately).
The break-resistant housing protects the clipper against cracks or damage due to an accidental drop.
How about the downsides?
The first issue that is brought to my attention is the heat generated. When you set the clipper at the highest speed setting, the clipper could get heat up quickly.
Some people turn their Andis dog clippers off and wait for them to cool, others try to reduce the heat blade with coolant or lubricant, while others change the basic blade a CeramicEdge blade that can reduce the heat generated.
I would recommend to always prepare for coolant or lubricant regardless of which dog clippers that you have, it is one of the foolproof ways to reduce overheating. As for the initial#10 blades, you should swap it out for better options. Sure, you need to pay more money to get the better blades, but trust me, it is worth the money.
4. Oster Golden A5 Single Speed – Best Single-Speed Dog Clippers
- Heavy-duty electric grooming clippers offer enough power and torque to handle thick, matted coats
- Powerful, universal rotary motor delivers over 2,100 strokes per minute
Oster Golden A5 Single Speed Animal Grooming Clipper is designed for people who prefer a simple and straightforward dog clipper but with great quality.
At 2,100 strokes per minute, some users might feel this clipper is slower than other heavy-duty dog clippers but don’t be deterred as slower speed means less heat and less noise. To deal with slower speed, Oster has packed enough torque power to clip even the toughest coat.
The clipper comes with #10 Cryogen X blade and compatible with all Oster Cryogen X Blades which is one of the best clippers blades today as the Oster Cryogen X Blades are machined and cryogenically treated to enhance the hardening process for extended durability and long-lasting performance.
Overall, this clipper is great clipper for handling everything from general purpose grooming to precision clipping.
5. Wahl Professional Animal Deluxe U-Clip Pet Grooming Kit – Best Cheap Dog Clippers
- The Deluxe U-Clip pet clipper and grooming kit is ideal to clip, trim, and groom fine to medium animal hair and fur for dogs, cats, and other pets.
- Ideal for Yorkies, Cavaliers, Shih Tzu's, Spaniels, Maltese, and other medium-duty pet fur clipping, trimming, and grooming of paws, face, ears, touch-ups, and light-body clipping.
Wahl Professional Animal Deluxe U-Clip Pet Grooming Kit for starters who have easy-to-groom dogs.
The kit includes Wahl dog clippers, durable storage case, styling apron, stainless steel scissors, pet styling comb, 7 attachment guide combs, and instructional grooming and styling DVD. Basically, everything that you need to groom your dog at home.
The downsides, the poor adjustable steel blades are not last long and the motor is very noisy and makes rough vibrations that could scare your dog.
But again, this clipper is for people who just start to learn home clipping.