Depending on what type of dog you have at home, you may already be painfully aware that having your dog professionally groomed on a regular basis is costly. Whether you have a dog that needs to be fully clipped or one who just needs a touch up now and then, there are a dizzying array of electric clippers on the market. If you feel you are ready to give DIY a try, we’ll help you sort through the most trusted brands and find the clippers that are best suited to your needs.
Considerations in finding the best Dog Clippers
Don’t Use Human Hair Clippers to Clip Your Dog!
Human hair clippers are not designed to get through your dog’s coat. Pet clippers have more teeth per blade, and a different blade design to keep from pulling your dog’s hair. They have different motors to better accommodate overheating, and different blade choices to cut through a variety of coat types.
Clipper Options – the best dog Grooming clippers
Clippers come in two options: single-speed or 2-speed (variable-speed).
Single-speed is generally considered best for a beginner as it doesn’t heat up as quickly. If you burn your dog with a hot blade in the process of grooming him, it’s an experience he won’t soon forget, and you may find yourself going into battle the next time you try to get him to cooperate. Single-speed clippers are often lighter and easier to handle for long stretches.
The 2-Speed option allows you to switch to a higher speed to work through tough mats and thick fur. If you have a skittish dog, the higher speed also produces more vibration which can equate to more noise. The lower speed allows you to work on tender areas such as face and feet while creating less heat and vibration. Keep in mind that the 2-speed clippers heat up faster than the single-speed.
Corded vs. Cordless
Dogs with thick, coarse fur, like a Poodle or a Bouvier de Flandres, will need more robust trimmers. For these types of coats, you may want to consider a corded trimmer, as these are usually more powerful. With a corded trimmer, you don’t have to worry about battery-life and the clipper dying on you mid-trim. (Talk about a bad hair day!) The drawback to the corded trimmer is that they can be harder to maneuver and reach all of those hard-to-reach places.
Breeds like Golden Retrievers and Spaniels have finer coats, and might not require a clipper with a very powerful motor to get the job done in one sitting. A cordless clipper might do the trick, and they are much lighter and easier to maneuver. The key to the cordless trimmer is battery-life. Ni-Cad batteries are older technology, and though they are cheaper, they have a very short battery life and very long charging times. Modern Lithium batteries, on the other hand, can run for 2 hours, and have quick charging times. You also don’t have to worry about tripping over a cord or needing to be right next to an outlet.
Some clippers are much louder than others, and this becomes a major consideration when your dog is sensitive to new noises or noise in general.
When buying clippers, you may want to find out if the blades are specific to that brand and will only fit those clippers, or if they come with interchangeable snap-on blades, meaning they will fit a variety of brands. If you buy a set of clippers that comes with blades specific to that manufacturer and decide you don’t like those particular clippers and want to try something else, you’re going to have to start from scratch. If you purchase a set with interchangeable blades, at least you can carry those blades over to your next purchase.
Blades come in a variety of lengths, each with a different number so that different coat lengths and styles can be created. The higher the number, the closer or finer the cut. The lower the number, the longer the cut.
Clipper blades are also manufactured with different materials such as stainless steel, ceramic, or a combination of the two. Ceramic helps the blades stay cooler for a longer period of time. Blades can be infused with carbon to give them a harder edge and a cleaner cut, or have a chrome finish which makes them more rust resistant.
Fine Tooth vs. Skip Tooth Blades
Fine Tooth blades work best on a fine, soft coat. These work great for dogs whose coats are regularly clipped or brushed, but are not a good choice for a dog who is matted or has a very thick undercoat near the skin.
Skip Tooth blades feed the hair into the cutting blade more effectively, and are great for plowing easily through knots, mats, and thick, coarse fur. You can use a skip tooth blade for a finished cut, but it will the leave your dog’s coat with more of a layered look.
Snap-on Guide Combs
Snap-on Guide Combs are plastic combs that you attach to your clippers to provide an even cut. If you snap-on a half-inch guide comb, you get a half inch cut. Easy-peasy. Some guide combs come with clippers, and some you can buy separately. Whatever the case, the guide comb must fit perfectly to snap on easily and stay on. They also come in handy in keeping a hot blade away from direct contact with your dog’s skin, but fur must be free of mats or tangles to use guide combs successfully.
Clipper blades heat up the longer you use them, and you have two choices to address this issue. You can either have extra blades on hand to swap out during the trim, or you can use a coolant/lubricant/cleaner spray, such as Wahl Blade Ice or Oster Kool-Lube.
Always make sure your clippers are in working order and that your blades are sharp before grooming your dog. As the blades dull, they won’t cut through the fur as effectively and will need to be replaced.
The Best Dog Grooming Clippers
Budget Pick – Wahl Professional Animal Deluxe U-Clip Pet Clipper and Grooming Kit
- 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 Tzus, Spaniels, Maltese, and other medium-duty pet fur clipping, trimming, and grooming of paws, face, ears, touch-ups, and light-body clipping.
- Powerful speeds up to 7, 200 strokes per minute make clipping quick and easy; this clipper provides substantial power and speed without producing additional heat or noise.
- This 16-piece kit offers a standard adjustable #30-15-10 blade (Wahl #1037-400) and includes all the tools needed to clip, trim, and groom your pet.
- Measures 6. 5 by 2 inches and weighs 1 pound. Backed by Wahl's two-year limited and a 30-day satisfaction . The Clipper and blade are made in the USA of domestic and imported parts.
These corded (8-foot cord), adjustable-blade clippers come in a 16-piece kit. They are a powerful, but quiet, medium-duty clipper and are best for fine to medium coats, including Labradors, Cavaliers, Shih Tzus, Spaniels, and Maltese. The standard adjustable blade gives you three setting for length (#30, #15, and #10), so you’re not having to switch out the blades to achieve the desired length. The kit also comes with a “How To” DVD, 7 snap-on guide combs, stainless steel scissors, a finishing comb, apron, red blade guard, cleaning brush, blade oil, and instruction book. This highly-rated kit is an economical choice for your entry into DIY grooming.
Wahl Professional Animal Bravura Lithium Clipper
- Combines the power and durability of lithium ion battery innovation with Wahl's adjustable 5-in-1 blade to give groomers, animal professionals, and pet owners everything needed in a lightweight cordless clipper
- The 5-in-1 blade adjusts between sizes #9, 10, 15, 30, and 40, offering a convenient variety of cutting lengths
- The rechargeable lithium ion battery has a 90-minute cordless run time of cool running, low vibration, and quiet operation. The clipper will operate at full power until the battery is completely depleted; recharge the battery in 60 minutes or simply plug in the cord and continue to clip your pet
- Ideal for the feet, face, and all finish work on all dog breeds, light body clipping on small- and medium-sized dogs, and cat grooming
- The Bravura can also be used for trimming horse's bridle path, ears, muzzle, and fetlocks as well as trimming show cuts for goats, pigs, and cattle
This quiet, lightweight, cordless, lithium ion clipper is one of the top-rated cordless clippers on the market. It has a 5-in-1 adjustable blade (#9, #10, #15, #30, and #40 – adjusts from (0.7mm – 3mm), and a 90 minute run time. The clippers operate at full-strength until the battery is completely depleted, and you can either recharge it for 60 minutes or plug in the cord and continue to clip. This set also comes with 6 snap-on guide combs, cleaning brush, blade oil, instruction book, charge stand, and charger, and soft storage case. Though this is a more expensive clipper, it will pay for itself quickly without constant trips to the groomer.
Professional Pick – Andis UltraEdge ProClip AGC2 Super 2-Speed Detachable Blade Clipper
- Cool and quiet running;Frequency : 60 Hz
- Perfect for all coats and breeds.
- Detachable blade design for ease of changing and cleaning.
- Super two-speed rotary motor for performance that pros demand.
- 14' heavy-duty cord for ease of movement around animals and equipment.
These quiet, corded (14-foot cord), super-duty, 2-speed clippers can be used on any coat or breed, and are a top choice of professionals. With two speeds, you get both low and high speed so you can power through long lengths of the body and then slow it down for more delicate areas like the face. This clipper comes with one #10 UltraEdge detachable blade and works with all UltraEdge, CeramicEdge, and ShowEdge blades, as well as Oster A5 blades. Please note you will have to buy extra blades or guide combs separately for these clippers. These rate 4.3 out of 5 stars with over 1000 reviews, but reviewers agree that the blade heats up, so don’t forget the Andis Cool Care Plus 5-in-1 Spray for Clipper Blades.
Andis EasyClip Pro-Animal 11-Piece Detachable Blade Clipper Kit
- Powerful rotary motor clipper kit for grooming dogs with heavy coats.
- Detachable blades are easy to change and clean.
- Break-resistant housing and 12' heavy-duty cord.
- Built to withstand years of use.
Just like the Andis ProClip AGC2, this powerful, corded (12-foot cord), the rotary motor clipper is good for grooming dogs with heavy coats. It comes with 6 snap-on guide combs (⅛”, ¼”, ⅜”, ½”, ⅝”, ¾”), “How To” DVD, blade oil, scissors, and soft carry case.
If you like this kit but are looking for something slightly less expensive, check out the Andis EasyClip Pro-Animal 7 Piece Kit. It comes with 4 snap-on guide combs (⅛”, ¼”, ⅜”, ½”), blade oil, and hard carry case.
Bousnic Cordless 2-Speed Clipper Kit
- COMPLETE SET OF DOG GROOMING KIT: Why spend a fortune on a pet salon when you can groom your pet’s hair at home? This dog clippers includes everything you need to trim your dog’s or cat’s hair – an dog grooming clippers, 4 combs with different lengths, a cleaning brush, stainless steel scissors and comb, an oil bottle, a USB cable.
- DO YOU HAVE AN ANXIOUS PET? Many pets get stressed and uneasy by the sound and the vibration of pet grooming clippers. However, the Bousnic skin-friendly pet clippers is whisper-quiet and has a very low vibration, so your pet won’t get scared and you’ll be able to trim its coat with ease and much faster!
- PRECISION CUT AND CORDLESS DESIGN: It doesn’t matter if your dog has straight or short hair – these dog hair clippers with the 2 speed levels and the ultra-sharp stainless steel and ceramic blades are going to groom its fur and create a flawless result! Our cordless dog hair trimmer also has an ergonomic design that allows to groom even the hardest-to-reach areas.
- POWERFUL RECHARGEABLE BATTERY: Our pet clippers for dogs and cats have a built-in 2200mAh Li-ion battery that you can easily charge it with the USB cable. Once the dog trimmer are fully charged, the digital battery indicator will let you know that the device is ready for use!
This low-noise, 4-in-1 adjustable blade, cordless clipper comes with 4 snap-on guide combs, a USB charging cord, stainless steel scissors, stainless steel comb, cleaning brush, blade oil, and user guide. It has 2 speeds, and the lithium-ion battery has a 2 hour run time with an indicator on the front of the unit showing you how much battery life is left. The USB cord allows you to easily charge the clipper with your phone adapter, power bank, or laptop. Best of all, this highly-rated clipper comes with a lifetime warranty and is very affordable.
Grooming is an essential part of every dog’s life. It has a host of benefits, including healthier skin and coat and prevention of infections, inflammation, and skin irritation. If you’re ready to take over the reigns from your groomer and save yourself some cash, whether it be a DIY touch-up or a full body shave, these options will get you there.