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Are Dog Clippers The Same As Human Clippers

A pet lover passionate about educating readers about animal health and care. Love reading studies and recent research.
Published on
Tuesday 11 October 2022
Last updated on
Tuesday 9 May 2023
Are Dog Clippers The Same As Human Clippers
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We all know that professional grooming can be a huge burden for our wallets; thus, it is normal for pet owners to think about using their clippers to maintain their pet’s astonishing appearance. But is it the same, and is it okay to use it on them? 

Keep reading this article as we guide you on the difference between dog clippers and human clippers and if it is safe and wise to use them on our dogs.

Are Dog Clippers Similar to Human Clippers? 

Hair clippers are used to cut or trim various lengths of hair. Regarding physical appearances, dog clippers and human clippers look identical – but differ in mechanical designs and specific functions

Human clippers are designed to be compatible with human hair, which is thinner than a dog’s thick coat. Thus, it might not be that effective when you use it to cut a dog’s fur, especially if your dog has double coats. 

Moreover, dog clippers have specific features that make trimming hassle-free and more comfortable for both dogs and groomers. For example, since most dogs are sensitive to loud noises and not fond of grooming, dog clippers are quieter, lighter, and more gentle. 

Lastly, using the appropriate tool in grooming your dog is safer. Since the blades of a human clipper are more powerful, your dog’s hair might not be able to handle it properly. Now, to broaden your understanding of both clippers’ key differences, we prepared a guide for you.

Differences Between Dog Clippers and Human Clippers 

Before you decide whether to use your occasional hair clippers to trim your dog, consider the following differences. Knowing these differences will help you assess whether human clippers fit your dog’s use. 

Types of Blade

In human clippers, there are thinner and sharper blades and thinner gaps. This feature is due to human hair being lighter than a dog’s. 

Meanwhile, dog clippers come with wide gaps between every tooth – this gap ensures a smoother cutting without getting any fur stuck in the blade. Blades with wide gaps are also called skip-tooth blades. To keep the blades clean and sharp, regularly oil them.


A dog clipper can last longer than a human clipper with less aggressive motors. This feature is helpful since dog grooming takes longer than humans cutting their hair. Aside from this, since the dog clipper’s engine is gentle, it decreases the chances of skin damage and injuries. 

Furthermore, a human clipper’s motor is not compatible for prolonged use. Since it is more powerful, it is also more prone to overheating.  


Dog clippers have a wide variety of speed options, with the fastest setting reaching 5000 strokes per minute. It is necessary to cut long, thick strands of pet hair rapidly. You may slow down when working on the more delicate parts of the body. Human cutters often do not provide such speed since even the messiest human hair does not require a pace of 5000 to 6000 strokes per minute.

Cut Size

Clippers for human hair provide a short-length cut that is extremely near the scalp. This feature will not cause problems for humans, but it can pose dangers when used in dogs. Bukowski and Aiello (2011)  said that dogs have sensitive and delicate skins and can be easily bruised and cut. 


Dog clippers are usually lower than 60db. This feature is applied to ensure that dogs will not feel scared or uncomfortable during grooming. Human clippers, having a more powerful motor, tend to be louder and vibrate more. 

Moreover, a quieter clipper is crucial since, in the study by Salonen et al. (2020), a large percentage of the dogs they surveyed portrayed signs of noise sensitivity or fear of loud noises. 

Grooming Combs

Another key difference between dog clippers and human clippers is the grooming combs that often come in kits when you purchase a clipper. Each set of combs is based on the needs of the user. A standard dog grooming kit has a variety of comb sizes ranging from 1/16 to 2 inches. Compared to human clipper kits, the comb sizes often don’t give cuts longer than 1 inch.

Cord or Cordless 

Human clippers often come with a cord – which is not a major problem for humans. However, in the case of dog grooming, corded clippers might make the job more difficult because some dogs do not sit well during grooming sessions at home or even at the vet’s. 

On the other hand, most dog clippers are cordless, allowing the groomers to do their jobs freely despite the dog’s casual movements. Plus, if a dog clipper has a cord, it is longer than corded human clippers.

Can You Use Human Clippers On Dogs?

Even though you can technically use human clippers on dogs, it is not advisable. As previously mentioned, dog clippers have specific features that make them more comfortable and tolerable for dogs that human clippers don’t have. To further understand why here are the following points why you shouldn’t use human clippers on dogs: 

  • The noise coming from human clippers can stress your dog
  • You might have some difficulties using ordinary clippers on their thick double coats.
  • It is more dangerous and makes your dog prone to injuries, especially to small and toy breeds 
  • The batteries or motor used in human clippers are incompatible with prolonged usage. 
  • Human clippers can also make the job more difficult, causing stress on your dog and your part. 

In addition, even though your dog has a fine and single coat, using a human clipper can still be dangerous because they are still prone to loud noise anxieties and injuries. However, if you come to a point where you have no choice but to use a human clipper, ensure to remember these instructions: 

  • Be gentle as possible. 
  • Immediately stop if you notice that your dog is showing any signs of panic or distress,
  • Take a lot of breaks to avoid overheating

Understandably, people will often look for a more affordable option. However, it is not applicable in this situation. Due to the differences between dog clippers and human clippers, every pet owner should invest in high-quality clippers for their dogs. Using dog clippers will not only make your dog safer, but it will make your job hassle-free. 

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