The 10 Best Dog Clippers
This wiki has been updated 33 times since it was first published in June of 2015. Simplify the laborious grooming process for your small or large breed canine by using one of these dog clippers to maintain its coat. Good for pet owners and professional groomers, our list of kits offers a mix of corded and battery-operated devices with powerful motors, adjustable blades, and guide combs that make easy work of cutting through hair and fur of any length or thickness. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
July 09, 2020:
While I stand by many of the same sentiments I provided last year, I will add that I've always considered grooming an art form. If you've ever observed a dog washer bathe and cut your pet's hair on a grooming table or have seen those grooming competitions on television, you know how much work is involved. Some breeds have coats that lend themselves well to sculpting. For that reason, having a good pair of clippers is necessary for efficiency.
Newly added this year is the Oneisall Shaver Set, which includes both a fixed steel blade and moving ceramic blade, six guide combs in various sizes, and a pair of scissors for making precise cuts in all those hard-to-reach places. Like the Dream Reach Pet Shaver, its quiet operation makes it a good option for pups who tend to get nervous on the grooming table. At least one of my dogs has a "sixth sense" on the days he's scheduled to go in for a trim, meaning he tends to act up. The weird thing is that although he gets super nervous right before he goes, he has a great time at the salon once he arrives, so I'm thinking the cause of his anxiety is attributed more to the anticipation of being separated from his family for a couple of hours and not because he's afraid of the grooming implements.
Great for long-haired breeds, we've added the Pet Union Professional. This one provides a lifetime replacement guarantee and it also comes with a nail trimmer.
Finally, the drop-in rechargeable battery packs and soft storage case accompanying the Wahl Arco make it a convenient option for mobile grooming businesses with a clientele of small to medium-sized breeds.
April 25, 2019:
Blades, versatility, and power are all things you need to keep in mind when investing in a sturdy pair of dog clippers. At the same time, it's also important to realize that pets have individual personalities that respond differently to certain pieces of salon equipment. Additionally, coat types vary depending on the type and size of the breed. This is why having an array of different designs, sizes, and functions are important for these devices.
For example, I added both the Wahl Bravura and Motion models due to their 5-in-1 blade design, constant speed control, and long runtimes, making both of them ideal for extended grooming sessions and gliding easily through coats of varying thicknesses. Also included the Andis ProClip Excel due to its high-torque magnetic rotary motor, which provides enough strength and power to handle canines suffering from extremely matted fur. Now, I don't personally have dogs who shed, but I can tell you that even dogs with hair instead of fur can mat just as easily (e.g. the standard poodle). Poodles are also really prone to knotting close to the base of the coat, so a pair of clippers like the Andis can help to take those out. While the speed of the Oster Volt might (at first) seem like a negative, it really isn't, when you consider that slow precision matters when perfecting a dog's coat for the show ring. Granted, show coats have a greater focus on visual appeal and artistic creativity of the groomer than on simply keeping them clean, but a slower speed will come in handy when working on a pup for a long time so that its blade doesn't overheat. Unlike many of the other items on the list, the Dream Reach Pet Shaver is equipped with a pear wood handle, which is useful for helping to alleviate the stress related to rough vibrations and loud noises. The design also makes it quite elegant looking. Maintained the Furzone 614 for its multi-vented design and ability to run cool during long grooming sessions. The Wahl Motion has a removable scissor grip handle and a handy LED battery level indicator. Also added the Andis UltraEdge for its convenient 14-foot power cord and locking switch that prevents accidental shutoff. I also added the Wahl Arco for its portable design for use by mobile groomers. Finally, added the Enjoy Pet Shaver, as this device is gentle on a dog's skin, while its internal battery can deliver several hours of continuous use.
Groom For Good Founded in February 2018, Groom for Good is a nonprofit organization with 50 volunteer groomers who travel to both domestic and international animal shelters to improve the quality of life for the dogs while they await adoption. Through donations, volunteers can deliver emergency grooming services that include shaving of severely matted coats, administering flea baths and treatments for chronic skin conditions, and performing nail trims. groomforgood.org
National Dog Groomers Association of America First established in 1969, the National Dog Groomers Association of America (NDGAA) is a membership association engaged in the grooming and care of dogs in an effort to promote excellence in professional standards. Through a combination of tiered membership, educational workshops, certification testing, seminars, and competitions, the association helps promote and establish common industry standards and open lines of communication. The association also offers members the ability to have their grooming skills evaluated and certified. nationaldoggroomers.com
A Buzz Cut For Fido
Before you go using your own clippers on your dog, you should know that the problem with using human hair clippers on a dog is twofold.
Dogs and humans suffer from the constant presence of dog hair. For the dogs, the suffering is contained mostly to the hottest half of the year, which is only exacerbated by the strange fact that dogs don't really sweat. Instead, they release body heat through panting and drooling, which I also tried to do one summer to a very alienating effect.
Another of our furry friends' natural responses to the heat is the delicate art of shedding. Ask any dog owner and they'll agree that there is an art to it. Somehow, our brilliant little buddies manage to get their hair through every crevice, into every drawer and onto every article of clothing. If that isn't an art, I don't know what is.
Fortunately, these dog clippers present a solution to both the problem of the overheated dog and that of the hairballs on your favorite shirt. They work in a very similar fashion to the clippers you might find at your local barber shop, albeit with a few specific alterations to maximize their friendliness toward man's best friend.
Any set of hair clippers operates by sliding two rows of sharpened teeth past one another. The principal is similar to that of a pair of scissors, but rather than crossing one another at an angle, these little teeth remain in constant parallel to each other as they pass like ships in the night. The motion is also self-sharpening, so maintenance is next to nil.
Before you go using your own clippers on your dog, you should know that the problem with using human hair clippers on a dog is twofold. Firstly, hair clippers for people might not have what it takes to handle the thicker manes of some hairier breeds, which could clog and break your personal clippers in a matter of minutes. Secondly, the sounds and intensity of vibrations produced by human clippers stand a good chance of spooking even the least gun-shy animals, and cutting a dog's hair is hard enough when they just stand there. Get one of these guys moving, and you won't get any cutting done.
Becoming The Barber
I've cut my own hair for a long time, going so far as to painstakingly use a double-mirror method to cut a straight line along the bottom of my neckline. It wasn't easy work, but I got pretty good at it after a while. Still, I didn't dare call myself a barber.
I've cut my own hair for a long time, going so far as to painstakingly use a double-mirror method to cut a straight line along the bottom of my neckline.
If you want to achieve anything more flattering than a military shave for your dog, it'd be wise to do a little research into cutting techniques for your breed and whatever ways other stylists have discovered to keep the animal still and cooperative. For the novice like you or me, there can't be too much information, so a set of clippers that comes with a manual and guide book, or better yet, a DVD tutorial, ought to shimmy right up toward the top of your list.
It is possible, however, that you already have some experience in grooming your pup. Perhaps you've done it all his life, or even for the lives of several dogs through the years. For people with your level of experience, you're probably better off keeping it simple and getting a set of clippers that looks like it'd feel comfortable in your hand and that can handle your breed's hair.
That last point is worth emphasizing. Even among these stronger clippers, not every model can handle every dog's hair follicle; some are just too thick and coarse. Double check that your breed or mix is on a list of dogs whose hair won't cause a problem for the kit to which you're most attracted.
It's Grooming Time
It's tough to put an exact date on the popularization of dog grooming. Short-haired breeds in ancient Egypt seem to have been pets to the aristocracy, but their images in hieroglyphics don't appear to need very much in the way of grooming.
It's tough to put an exact date on the popularization of dog grooming.
We do know that in 17th century France, in the court of Louis XV, the poodle was the official dog in the royal court, and that these years marked the first recorded evidence of dog grooming parlors. A few rare European texts through the next couple of centuries mention dog grooming on occasion, but the animals didn't see that much care until they became the pets of a middle class comfortable enough to afford their grooming, a class that wouldn't develop in the United States until after the second world war.
The first electric hair clippers cut their way into history just before this, when Frank Wahl left home to serve in the Spanish-American War and his nephew Leo took over the business. He toiled away for several years until he finally patented his first set of clippers in 1919.
These days, you can't throw a stone in an affluent neighborhood and not hit a dog grooming salon with a pun for its name: Doggie Styles, Fairy Tails, Oh For Pet's Sake, Wizard of Paws, and Asbury Bark (located in Asbury Park, NJ) are just some examples. All of these grooming salons have one thing in common: they're absurdly expensive, and you can save yourself a ton of bones by doing the grooming yourself.