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Focus on the Different Types of Dog Hair Clippers

Breeding Business is passionate about all sorts of domesticated pets. They have written dozens of articles across the web.
Published on
Thursday 1 March 2018
Last updated on
Tuesday 9 May 2023
Different Types of Dog Hair Clippers
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Do you want to buy dog clippers but confused with all the reviews? Here is a summary of the different types of dog clippers so you can get the best value for money. Single-speed, variable-speed, corded, cordless, low-vibration, quiet, there are so many dog hair clippers out there!

With millions of dogs in the world, pet grooming accessories are plentiful, but it can indeed become a little complicated to know which dog clippers to buy. If you only have one dog at home, you won’t need all the bells and whistles of professional dog clippers. Unless you have a dog with a very complicated coat… then you need high-quality clippers!

Did I just confuse you further? Oops… it was purposefully done so you can understand how complicated it can get to pick the right dog hair trimmers. There are six main categories and none of these is better than the other, it’s a matter of personal preferences. Each of these categories has cheap items and very expensive products. Below $50, dog clippers are considered cheap and over $150, dog clippers are considered professional-grade.

We recently published our top tips when using dog clippers, check the article out!

1. Corded Dog Clippers

Corded dog clippers have an electrical cord and need a ready source of power to plug into. Corded dog trimmers are popular with both amateur and professional groomers. These corded clippers range in price from inexpensive to top-of-the-line. A consumer can find a corded dog clipper with any feature that is desired. Fast rotation speeds (or high rotations per minute), quiet and low vibration, and professional quality all can be found in corded models. The biggest brands (Andis, Oster, and Wahl) manufacture both corded and cordless clippers.

The cord makes it easy to groom more than one dog in succession and such models are generally favored by professional groomers. There is no need to stop grooming in order to wait for a battery to recharge. The constant source of power gets the job done without the new to buy extra batteries to rotate. In general, the corded clippers may be lighter than the ones that come with internal batteries that need to be recharged, but, again, this varies greatly from model to model.

Corded clippers do not impede grooming, but the presence of the cord itself can cause problems for some dogs and in some isolated situations, for the groomer as well. As a groomer grooms the dog, a cord can touch the dog at random times and in various places. The contact of the cord may increase the dog’s anxiety at being groomed and may make him move. Movement by the dog during grooming can make it difficult can interfere when doing tricky grooming that must be precisely done in order to get the proper look. Corded clippers can’t be used everywhere they may be needed. At a dog show, there may be no wall to plug into for that missed few hairs or a spruced up look before its time to enter the ring. Outdoor shows and exhibitions may make the corded dog clippers just another useless item brought along.

One of the best corded clippers on the market is the Andis EasyClip Pro-Animal 5-Speed, it is made for the professional groomers and is an expensive purchase at $200. It is recommended on several websites as being the best dog clipper on the market. A less expensive corded version is the Andis Easy Clip Versa Pet Grooming Kit For Home Use. This model is inexpensive, lightweight, and comes with interchangeable blades.

2. Cordless Dog Clippers

Cordless dog clippers operate on a rechargeable battery and they are used by amateur and professional groomers. The type of batteries in the cordless dog clipper may range from an ordinary rechargeable battery to the longer lasting lithium battery. Cordless clippers like corded ones can have any of the features a groomer could want and all three of the big manufacturers have their models of cordless clippers too.

Cordless dog clippers can travel to places like dog shows where the location of a useable power source may be iffy. They can be used as a backup plan when traveling to certain parts of the world where the plugin may not be possible without additional attachments. Cordless dog clippers make a few necessary cuts here and there before a show possible. Cordless models, also, aren’t encumbered by a long cord trailing behind every move made while grooming. They may be less noticeable by the dog because there is no cord moving around at random times as the appliance is operated. For both individual dogs and individual humans, the absence of a cord may make for a better grooming experience. Groomers enjoy the freedom of movement they get without a cord, especially for precision work on the dog’s face, paws, and around the genitals.

The problem with cordless dog clippers is that batteries rarely last long enough. It is frustrating for a groomer to run out of battery during a grooming. For a professional groomer that can mean getting out of a groove of grooming where the dog is calm and having to seek out an additional appliance. In the interim, the dog may notice the lull in the action and think the grooming time is over. A groomer must then not only resume an interrupted job but also take valuable time in getting that furry client resettled.

A home groomer with only one clipper will have to wait at least forty-five minutes to an hour to get the battery decently recharged. The more expensive models with a lithium battery do better with the length of battery charge and recharge speed, but they are much more expensive. Recharging a dead battery may delay grooming for almost an hour. Batteries, also, cannot be recharged indefinitely. Most dog clippers just need to be replaced after the battery ceases to hold a charge, generally after a year or two.

A good cordless dog clipper is the Wahl Professional Animal Bravura Lithium Clipper, it will give a groomer 90 minutes of runtime. This dog clipper is not necessarily headed to the waste bin when it finally has been charged to last. Its battery can be replaced by Wahl certified technicians.

Cord & Cordless Clippers

There are a few models of dog clippers on the market that offer both cord and cordless options. These hair trimmers may one day end the debate of which dog clipper, cord or cordless, is the one to buy.

This type of clipper may be plugged into a wall when it is the easiest and best thing to do. It can, also, be a cordless clipper when maneuvering without a cord will make for the quickest, easiest, and best-looking cut. These models of clippers eliminate the problem of running out of juice before the grooming job or jobs are completed. The Wahl company makes a couple of models of dog clippers that have the cord/cordless feature.

The biggest drawback so far to this hybrid clipper is the lack of choices among manufacturers and models. They are not the norm for dog grooming clippers. The reviews are not all in as to how these cord/cordless stack up against their cord or cordless counterparts. A quick scan of the limited number of reviewers indicates a slightly higher degree of dissatisfaction among buyers (1-star ratings run at about 10% of the respondents). This may be an opportunity for other manufacturers to seize some of the markets.

Dog clippers and grooming tools matter.
Dog clippers and grooming tools matter.

3. Single-Speed Dog Clippers

Dog clippers with a single speed have a blade that rotates at only one speed. There is no making the blade move any faster, or slower than what it was designed to do. Single-speed dog clippers are preferred for people who have a breed or regularly groom breeds with coats that require a quick shear for the summer heat. Most of the single speed dog clippers will have cords rather than be cordless. However, most other features like high rotation speed, and replaceable blades can be found in them too.

The benefit of a single-speed dog clipper is that the motor and blades do not heat up as much as a variable-speed motor will do. Heat can be an uncomfortable feature for both the groomer and the dog. Another benefit is the cost of the dog clipper itself. Single-speed dog hair clippers, in general, are less expensive than their multi or variable-speed counterparts. They are great for things like the end of the winter quick shears on some breeds and can be paired with another inexpensive trimmer to do the finishing work. The axiom for many purchasers of these kinds of products is the simple logic that if a machine has more parts it also has more parts that can break or be defective.

A skilled professional groomer can use a single-speed clipper on a dog with trickier cuts, but an amateur who attempts a tricky cut with a single-speed clipper is very likely to make a mistake. The single-speed model is more inexpensive than the multi-speed and is a good choice for most amateurs who just want to do a quick job shortening a coat. Unfortunately, it can’t get the grooming job done on some of the breeds in which grooming may be the difference between a show championship or just an outing with a nod.

Oster makes a good inexpensive single speed dog clipper with the Oster Golden A5 Single Speed; it even has an internal fan that keeps the motor cooled. This corded dog clipper costs about $100.

4. Variable-Speed Dog Clippers

These are popular among both professionals and amateurs who have a larger budget. Such clippers have a setting for different cutting speeds. There are many two-speed dog clippers on the market but the most popular models generally boast five-speed. More than five is a little like razor blades, if you know what I mean.

The slower speeds allow the groomer to take more care in areas that require some trickier grooming like getting the best tuft on the tail of a poodle. Lower speed cuts through the finer coat and more speed tackle the thick ones. Variable-speed clippers allow a professional groomer to use one tool for different breeds of dogs and different types of work (bulk, sensitive areas, detail work, etc).

The drawback to variable speed dog clippers is that the additional motor gears make the dog clipper heat up in the hand. How hot these clippers can get, of course, ranges greatly among models and manufacturers. The second thing that comes along having a fancier motor with more gears is that it will be heavier than its simpler one-speed version. This extra weight may seem negligible for a single cut, but to do several cuts over a period of time may start hurting fingers, hands, and wrists.

Andis makes both a two-speed and five-speed dog clipper that ranks high on consumer lists for good grooming accessories. The Andis 2-Speed Ultra-Edge and Andis 22340 ProClip is at the top of good variable speed dog clippers. The Andis Excel Pro 5-Speed is top-notch for getting a good look at a dog for many professional groomers worldwide.

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

5. Quiet & Low Vibration Dog Clippers

Some dog clippers are marketed as being quiet and low vibration. This means that the sound of the clipper’s operation is made quiet and with less of a vibration that is felt by the dog and by the person using the clippers. Dog clippers can be quieted by lowering the rotation speeds per minute of the motor or by a design that muffles the sound in some way.

This kind of clippers is made for nervous dogs that startle easily. There are some dogs that are sensitive to a grooming situation. Quiet, as well as low-vibration dog clippers, cut down on the extraneous stresses of noise and vibration which results in a much lower heat emission while being operated. Professional dog groomers can get better results and do a quicker job if the dog at least is cooperative with the grooming. Loud noises can really bother dogs. The sound of a clipper half an inch from a dog’s ear would sound like a truck or even a jackhammer to a human. A dog that is not often groomed may panic at the sound of the clippers. There are restraints that can prevent most movement by a dog but that is not what anyone wants to do. A virtually silent dog clipper gets the grooming accomplished without the dog being stressed by loud noise and vibration. In addition, low vibration helps the groomer. A groomer’s hands may tire more quickly if a force needs to be applied to prevent the vibration from causing a miscut.

The problem with these types of dog clippers is there can be a trade-off with power and in price. A quiet motor may have fewer rotations per minute in the blades. This results in difficulty in getting large matts cut or in some breeds like Sheepdogs that have just massive fur to cut. In cheaper dog clippers the trade-off in power is pretty obvious. However, in our three top manufacturers, the design of the dog clipper keeps the SPMs/RPMs competitive with the more noisy counterparts. The Wahl BravMini+ delivers quiet cutting with a decent cutting power of 5,350 strokes per minute.

6. Professional Dog Clippers

Professional groomers can utilize an arsenal of grooming tools, some of which aren’t even sold publicly. Many dog clippers of all kinds with many features are marketed as professional dog clippers and the fact is many professional groomers use them. A groomer will use clippers daily for years, for several hours each day. Professional grade grooming hair clippers mean ones that have high rotation speeds, variable speed with quiet and cooling elements added, and ceramic blades for long-lasting sharpness and precision cutting. Features of this category include such things as longer warranties and a larger variety of blades.

Clippers in this category will be found in one of three main manufacturers: Andis, Wahl or Oster. These manufacturers are lauded on all websites for their quality and professional-grade products They are built to take on the toughest most matted hair, shave a skittish poodle or style a princess Pomeranian for its big show appearance. Their upside is that these are well-designed ergonomic grooming tools built with the best materials and technology available.

Professional grooming clippers are set apart by their cost. They typically are more expensive than the average dog clipper that will wear out after a number of cuts. The average cost for a professional dog clipper approaches or is over $200. They are more than an average home groomer will probably need and use. The Andis AGR+ Vet Pak is sold for just over $200 online and it comes on top of the heap for professional dog clippers. We even have written a full review focusing on it.

One comment on “Focus on the Different Types of Dog Hair Clippers”

  1. Helene Godbout

    I’ve been grooming for 40 years now. As soon I touched an Andis, this was the clipper that used all the time. Perfect, robust and efficient. I even Told my students and customers to buy one! The best!

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