The 8 Best Dog Clippers
8. Oster Outlaw
- one-year manufacturer's warranty
- includes a 10-piece comb guide set
- clippers feel very heavy
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
7. FURminator Comfort Pro
- good for detailing inside the legs
- tends to push down really fine hair
- small size doesn't cut a large swath
|Rating||3.9 / 5.0|
6. YaYa CP-8000
- can trim and recharge simultaneously
- 70 minutes of cordless operation
- doesn't include blade oil
|Rating||4.3 / 5.0|
5. Wahl Arco SE
- glides through coats quickly
- perfect for the face and feet
- small blade isn't ideal for big dogs
|Rating||4.2 / 5.0|
4. Oster A5
- comes with grooming shears
- includes an instructional dvd
- may get hot with extended use
|Rating||4.1 / 5.0|
3. Wahl 9791 KM10
- designed to reduce wrist fatigue
- feels well balanced in the hand
- has two manual speed settings
|Rating||4.7 / 5.0|
2. PepPet Professional CP-9600
- one-and-a-half hours per charge
- good for professional or home use
- low vibrations won't startle dogs
|Rating||4.9 / 5.0|
1. Andis AGC2 ProClip
- runs cool and quiet
- shatterproof housing
- chrome blades resist rust
|Rating||5.0 / 5.0|
A Buzz Cut For Fido
Dogs and humans alike suffer from the constant presence of dog hair. For the dogs, the suffering is contained mostly to the hotter 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 instead of crossing one another at an angle, these little teeth remain in constant parallel to one another 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.
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.
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.