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Dog Clippers FAQs: 20+ Answers on Dog Hair Trimming!

Breeding Business is passionate about all sorts of domesticated pets. They have written dozens of articles across the web.
Published on
Wednesday 27 November 2019
Last updated on
Tuesday 9 May 2023
dog clippers faq
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To do grooming right, you need the right tools and dog clippers are essential. Besides scissors, clippers allow you to cut the coat of your dog at a precise level with more efficiency, and because you can change the type and size of the blades, you can handle any type of coat and achieve the results you desire.

Because many owners are new to grooming, and therefore to this kind of tool, below you will find over twenty questions about dog clippers that people ask the most. We have answered each one in a concise manner but with plenty of details.

Therefore, if you are new to dog clippers, then we invite you to read our guide. It will allow you to know what kind of blades to use for the coat of your dog, what the best professional dog clippers are, how to shave a double-coat dog and many other bits of dog grooming wisdom!

According to our research, these are the most popular questions asked by dog owners regarding dog clippers and grooming. And, below, you will find an answer for each.

1. Can I groom my dog using human clippers?

No, you cannot groom your dog using human clippers. You need special clippers for its fur as otherwise, it will damage the skin of your dog and create injuries and wounds that can lead to infections. In addition, using human clippers can also trigger allergies.

The skin of dogs is very sensitive, and since you need to use the clippers all over their body, you need to use a special type of clipper designer for that kind of surface. Therefore, they have key differences:

  • Blades: Dog clippers have a higher number of blades
  • Teeth: Clippers for dogs have wider teeth
  • Sharpness: Dog clippers are sharper than human clippers
  • Power: Canine clippers are far more powerful

2. Are there different blade sizes for dog grooming?

Yes, there are different blade sizes to accomplish different purposes in dog grooming. Below you will find the different sizes:

  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 7
  • 9
  • 10
  • 15
  • 30
  • 40
  • 50

There are other sizes, but these are the most common. The higher the number, the shorter the hair of your dog will be. For example, if you cut your dog with a blade size 30, then the hair of your dog will be only 0.5 mm in length.

The smaller sizes like 3, 4, 5 and 7, usually come in fine-tooth and skip-tooth design, whereas all the sizes greater than that come exclusively in skip-tooth design.

Therefore, based on what you want to accomplish and how short you want to cut the hair, you must select the appropriate size.

skip tooth and fine tooth in dog clippers
Differences between skip tooth and fine tooth in dog clippers.

3. Is there a silent dog clipper to ease my dog during his grooming?

Yes, the market makes it possible for you to buy a silent dog clipper, which is ideal for stressed or anxious dogs, like many toy breeds. According to our own research, these are the best silent dog clippers currently available:

  1. Scaredy Cut Silent Clippers (Manual)
  2. Oster Turbo A5 2-Speed (Electric)
  3. Wahl BravMini+ (Electric)
  4. Andis Professional Animal Clipper (Electric)
  5. Sminiker Low Noise Cordless (Electric)

In addition, you can use an anti-anxiety essential oil like frankincense or chamomile to make it easier to groom your dog.

4. How does dog clippers differ from human clippers?

They have key differences because the hair and the skin of dogs are different, and therefore, dog clippers have wider teeth, more blades, more power, and the blades are sharper.

Since a dog has 3 to 7 hairs growing in a pore, whereas humans have only one, it is easy to understand why dogs have different needs.

For example, professional dog clippers like the Andis Excel 5-Speed Clippers have a powerful rotary motor, which makes it excellent for cutting matted, thick and rough coats, something that would be impossible for conventional human clippers.

5. What is better, dog clippers or scissors?

They serve different purposes in dog grooming, and depending on the case, one of them will be the better choice. For example, for large areas clippers are the best option, whereas, for details and sensitive areas, scissors are better.

Furthermore, for anxious dogs that cannot stand the noise of normal clippers, scissors are a great alternative. In addition, you can attach a special comb to cut the hair of your pair similarly to a clipper.

Alternatively, you can use a silent dog clipper like the Oster Turbo A5. In conclusion, they serve different purposes and you can use them together for complete grooming.

dog grooming scissors

6. Can I shave my dog using dog clippers?

Dog clippers are specially designed to trim and shave the fur of your dog. Therefore, you can do it. However, you need to take into account that the size of the blades will determine how short the length of the hair will be.

In case you want to shave the hair of your dog very short, then you should use a high blade size number like #30 or #50. In the case of the first, it will cut the hair down to only 0.5 mm.

In conclusion, it is the easiest and most effective way to shave the coat of your dog.

7. Can I sharpen my dog clippers?

You can sharpen your dog clipper at home. Nonetheless, you will need the following items to do it safely:

  • Screwdriver
  • One spray bottle with water
  • A piece of soft cloth
  • One coarse grit stone (3000-4000 grit)
  • One fine grit stone (8000 grit)
  • Clipper oil
  • Clipper cleaning solution (e.g. Cool Care Plus)

Once you have these items, just follow these steps to sharpen your clippers:

  1. Remove the blades of the clipper
  2. Remove all the hair of the blades
  3. Use the cleaning solution like Cool Care Plus or Clippercide to clean the blades
  4. Soak the two stones in water for 10 minutes
  5. Place each one of the blades against the 3000-4000 gritstone (the edge of the blade needs to be on the stone). Slide the blade from one end to the other for 15-20 times
  6. Clean the metal residues and repeat the process but this time with the 8000 gritstone
  7. Apply clipper oil to your blades
  8. Reassemble the clipper and now you can test it

Now you know how you can sharpen your dog clipper! When you notice that the stones get dry, just spray water on them and that is all.

8. What type of dog clippers should I use at home?

It all depends on the breed of your dog, the state of its coat, and how short you would like to cut it. Personally, we recommend you to buy the most common blade sizes such as 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, 15, 30, 40 and 50. They will allow you to handle the coat of your pet just fine.

Read up our article full of tips to clip your pet’s hair at home yourself!

Best Dog Clippers for Home Use
Top 7 Best Dog Clippers for Home Use — Andis, Wahl & Oster Review!

9. What clipper blades are good for dog grooming?

All blades are good for dog grooming because it depends on what you want to accomplish. Below you will find a concise explanation of the best use for each type of blade

  • For general hair trimming and between the paws: Size 10
  • For hair trimming around the face and the ears: Size 40
  • For very short hair: Size 30 or 50
  • For a sleek and smooth look: Fine-tooth blades

Nonetheless, your choice will also vary depending on the breed and the areas you want to trim. Below you will find a full example of the Poodle (Kennel trim):

  • Face, Feet and the Base of Tail – 10-15
  • Body & Legs – 3, 4 and 5
  • Matted Coat – 7F (Preferably wet)
  • Top Knot and Tailpiece – Scissors

10. What is the leading dog trimmer in the US?

According to professional groomers, and in terms of efficiency, the Andis Excel 5-Speed Clippers is the leading choice because it allows you to cut a wide variety of coats, no matter how thick or rough.

Nonetheless, in terms of the number of sales, due to its well-rounded performance and low price, the Dog Shaver by Oneisall is very popular in the US as well.

No products found.

11. Do all dog groomers use dog clippers and trimmers?

All dog groomers use clippers and trimmers because they are essential to treat and cut the cut of a dog properly. However, you also need to know that many of them also use scissors, because all of them are tools that are necessary for special reasons.

To illustrate this properly, below you will find examples of the different grooming requirements of three breeds: Cocker Spaniel, Maltese and Portuguese water dog.

Cocker Spaniel:

  • Neck – Size 9
  • Face, Ears, and Throat – 10 and 15
  • Body, Sides, and Back – 4F, 5F and 7F


  • Head – 4F, 3F, 30 + ¾”, or alternative, use a 1-inch Comb attachment
  • Face and Tail – Scissors
  • Matted Coat – 7F
  • Puppy Trim – Size 30 + 1-inch Comb attachment
  • Short Trim – Size 4

Portuguese water dog:

  • Head and Tail – Scissors
  • Body and Legs – Size 30 + 1-inch Comb attachment
  • Matted Coat – 7F
  • Short Coat – 3, 3F, 4 and 4F

12. Can I use professional dog hair clippers at home?

You can use professional dog hair clippers at home without problems. The only detail is that they tend to be more expensive, but they will bring your pet better grooming.

These are the three amazing dog clippers amongst professional groomers:

  1. Andis Excel 5-Speed Clippers
  2. Wahl Motion Lithium-Ion
  3. Oster A5 2-Speed Professional Clippers

Also remember to equip your inventory with plenty of blade sizes and a pair of scissors to cut around problematic areas like the head, tail, and ears.

dog clippers features
List of the main features when buying dog clippers for home grooming.

13. What dog clipper blade size should I use with my furry dog?

It will depend on the kind of cut you want to achieve. If you want to cut very short the coat of a furry dog, then you should do it with high numbered blades like #30 or #50. However, you should use a #10 to cut between the pads, a #9 for the throat and a #10 for problematic areas like the face, head, and ears.

14. Can I shave my dog’s curly hair with regular clippers?

Yes, you can shave the curly hair of your dog with regular clippers. You will just need to change the blade size according to the place you want to shave. Here you have some general indications:

  • Face – Size 10
  • Body and Legs – 3F or 4F
  • Tail – Scissors
  • Ear and between paws – Size 10

It will vary depending on the breed, but it is totally doable. You only need to adjust the size of the blade.

15. What are manual dog clippers?

Manual dog clippers are dog clippers that work with manual activation. Properly said, it is a scissor blended with a comb attachment, so you can cut at the right level but without noise or vibrations, which makes it ideal for anxious dogs. Manual dog trimmers are quieter but also way slower than electrical dog clippers.

Some dog owner uses this type of dog clipper for nervous or anxious dogs, which is true for many toy breeds since they are noise-free. Nonetheless, they are also slow and they increase the chances of accidental cuts.

Here you have a list of recommended manual dog clippers:

Scaredy Cut Silent Pet Clipper
Using the Scaredy Cut Silent scissors is as easy as 1, 2, 3!

16. What is an automatic dog clipper?

As the name clearly implies, a dog clipper that works with electricity. It has several functions and allows you to change the speed and power according to your needs. It also allows you to cut the coat of any dog easily. You can change the blades easily and achieve different kinds of finishes.

In conclusion, it is far more efficient than a manual dog clipper.

17. Where can I buy the cheapest dog clipper?

With the price in mind, you can buy the cheaper dog clippers at the major online stores like Amazon and Walmart. Nonetheless, remember that they are limited in key features like speed, quality of blades and power. Furthermore, they also tend to produce a lot more vibrations and noise, which can be problematic with certain dogs.

For example, you can buy the Wahl U-Clip Pro Home Pet Grooming Kit at Amazon for less than $40 USD, which is very cheap for a clipper with a solid performance. It is a good choice to give your dog’s fur proper maintenance.

18. What is the most trusted dog clipper by professional groomers?

According to reviews by expert dog groomers, the Andis Excel 5-Speed Clippers is their most trusted choice because it offers five speeds, a powerful rotary motor, easily detachable blades and they minimize hand and arm fatigue.

Furthermore, it cuts through the rough, matted and thick coat easily. Therefore, thanks to its versatility, it is the most trusted choice by professional groomers.

19. Does using dog clippers affect the duration of grooming my dog?

Dog trimmers do not have an influence on hair growth, and therefore, it will grow at a regular rate.

The only factor that will influence it is the length of the hair. If you decided to shave it with a #30, then it would have a length of 0.5 mm, which will take much longer to grow.

20. Can I buy dog clippers even though I am not a groomer?

You can buy a dog clipper even if you are not a groomer because you can find plenty of options in the market available for all owners. No vendor will require you to show a credential that certifies you as a groomer.

Nonetheless, make sure to buy good trimmers to avoid damaging the hair or skin of your dog. Here you have six excellent recommendations:

  1. Andis Excel 5-Speed Clippers
  2. Andis Super AGR+ Vet Pak
  3. Wahl Bravura Lithium Professional
  4. Wahl Motion Lithium-Ion
  5. Oster A5 2-Speed Professional Clippers
  6. Wahl U-Clip Pro Home Pet Grooming Kit

Finally, remember to get plenty of blade sizes and a pair of scissors and a comb attachment, so that you can give your dog complete grooming.

21. Can you use dog clippers to shave a dog with a double coat?

You can use clippers to shave a double-coat dog, but you need to consider the following recommendations to avoid injuries and damage:

  • Use the clippers only for large areas
  • For sensitive areas, use shears
  • Pay attention to the areas that grow faster than others, so that you can keep the coat even

Finally, only shave your double-coat dog if it is absolutely necessary. Otherwise, keep it to basic grooming.

22. Can you use clippers on wet dog hair?

You can shave your dog when its hair is wet. In fact, it is something that many professional groomers do and they call it wet shaving. It works especially well in the following cases:

  • For matted dogs (e.g. Havanese and Poodle)
  • For pelted dogs
  • For overgrown hair
  • For dogs that shave once a year
  • When the fur is extremely dirty

Our recommendation, and according to many expert dog groomers, is to do it while the shampoo is still on. It makes the process faster and smoother for your pet.

According to Amazon, based on the number of reviews and excellent ratings, the Dog Shaver by Oneisall is the most popular dog clipper of 2021. It is affordable, offers solid performance, and is excellent for beginners. It even includes scissors and a comb. Nonetheless, it is a basic dog clipper and should not be put in front of a premium Wahl, Oster, or Andis product.

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