When I am grooming,  I prefer to clip the face first,  then the tail and genital areas and the feet last.   If you only have one blade,  you should get a small icepack wrapped in a towel,  so that you can set the hot blade on this to cool it quickly.   Ideally, you should have two blades,  so you can rotate hot blades, and have a spare in case you need to send one out to be sharpened - you will never be without a blade this way.

If your blades are pushing the hair down,  instead of cutting the hair,  first make sure that your blade is clean and oiled.   If it still pushes hair down instead of cutting, look into having it sharpened.

As far as the clipper heating up the blades,  anytime you use a Turbo, or high speed clipper,  the faster speed is going to heat the blade faster because of the friction.   You should not have to kick in the Turbo or high speed to clip face,  feet & tail.   If you start with the face first,  and you cannot finish the face before the blade gets too hot - make sure you oil it.   That will help cut down the friction, and help the blade run cooler longer.

How do you oil a blade?

push the cutting edge over slightly (not OFF ) and put a drop of oil on the contact points - that is where the cutting part of the blade actually touches the main part of the clipper blade.


just a drop in each place (4 drops total is sufficient) This should actually be done whenever you are using your blades.

If you are working with a single blade of each size,  rotate the areas you work on,  to make sure the blade never gets too hot.   You could clip the face,  set the blade to cool while you trim nails and clean ears.   Next clip the tail and tummy - set the blade down again to cool.   Brush the topknot,  tail and legs.   Now go back and finish up clipping the feet.    One thing I've found when clipping around the toenails,  if I turn the clipper over and use it upside-down,  it helps to get the little hairs around the nails.    Also, when I am clipping the underside of the foot,  I clip up between the toes as much as I can with the foot upside down - then,  when working on the top,  there is not much more to do between the toes - I can usually take the blade and just 'scoop' between the toes in one or two strokes and I have a nice clean shaved foot.

For clipping the body (on non-show coats)  I will ONLY use the full teeth versions of the clipper blades.   If you look in a catalog,  you will see two of each size i.e.: 4 and 4F.   The standard 3, 4, 5 and 7 blades are Skip-tooth blades and I feel that the gap between the teeth can catch skin too easily,  whereas the 3F,  4F,  5F and 7F blades are Full-tooth blades without the gaps between the teeth.    It is much more difficult to catch skin in these blades - especially if you are new to grooming your own dog.


An example of the Full tooth blade and a Skip tooth blade

The size of the blades correlates to the length of hair it leaves.   The lower the number, the more hair is left.    A 5F blade will leave approximately 1/4" of hair - the 3 blade will leave about 1/2".    A 10 blade leaves 1/16" and the 40 blade most show people use only leaves 1/100" of hair - very close.    Most Vets use a 40 blade for pre-surgical prep.


I prefer to do all the close clipper work BEFORE the bath,  so that the small irritating hairs can be washed away,  and the skin soothed a bit with the bath water and conditioner.    When I am working on shorter coats,   I will also clip as much hair off before the bath,  just so there is less to wash and dry, but I will go back over the body with the same blade after the bath and blow drying to leave a velvet smooth appearance.




Grooming Basic Grooming Equipment Brushing Clipping The Face Clipping The Feet Clipping The Tail Bathing And Drying Lamb Trim ~ Pre-Bath Lamb Trim ~ Finishing Wrapping and Banding The Show Coat






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