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A lot of people take their dog to a professional groomer when a haircut is in order, but if you are more of the do-it-yourself type, you can use dog clippers to groom your large breed’s hair at home.
Using the best dog clippers at home will not only save you a bit of money (it may cost you more than $80 to have a large dog groomed), it’ll give you another way to bond with your dog too. After all, why pay someone else for something that you can do yourself?.
Below, we’ll recommend five of the best dog grooming clippers for at-home grooming and explain which ones work best in different circumstances.
We’ll also explain the things you’ll need to keep in mind when making your choice, and some of the options that will be available to you.
Best Dog Clippers: Quick View
Wahl Professional Bravura Lithium
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Oster Volt Cordless
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Andis 1-Speed Detachable Blade
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PetTech Professional Dog Grooming Kit
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Types of Dog Grooming Clippers
There are a few things to think about when picking your dog’s grooming clippers. As with anything related to owning a dog, choosing the best pet grooming clipper will depend heavily on the needs and characteristics of your dog.
Corded or Cordless Dog Clippers?
Modern dog hair clippers come in both traditional, corded varieties as well as cordless versions, which needn’t be plugged into an outlet during use. Generally speaking, the pros and cons of the two options are the same as with most other products:
- Cordless pet clippers are portable and convenient to use. However, if the battery dies in the middle of a grooming session, you’ll have to wait to finish until it recharges.
- Corded pet clippers must be used within reach of an outlet, but you’ll never have to worry about them dying before you finish your dog’s trim.
Single Speeds or Variable Speeds?
Most budget dog clippers have motors that only operate at a single speed. This may be enough for dogs who have short coats, but you’ll usually want to be able to crank up the RPMs with a 2-speed motor if you are trimming a dog with a thick, long coat. Conversely, it is often helpful to turn the motor speed down when trimming areas with light fur, as this will help keep the blades cool.
As with any decision, it can often be best to have more features, but it often comes with a higher price tag and the potential for a greater degree of confusion.
Quality: Entry-Level or Professional Dog Clippers?
If you plan on using your pet clippers at home once or twice a year, and your dog has pretty short, thin hair, you can probably get by with a budget set of dog grooming clippers. They will likely wear out and break after a few years, but that’s to be expected from an entry-level product.
On the other hand, if you intend to use your clippers regularly, or your dog has an especially thick or long coat, you’ll want to select the best set of pet clippers you can find with adjustable speeds.
Professional, “groomer-quality,” dog clippers are best, but even mid-level clippers will last longer and perform better than cheap clippers will. Therefore, a professional pet clipper will come with a higher price tag, but will generally be best suited to certain breeds, and will likely last longer.
It is important to evaluate the needs of you and your dog before making an investment of this nature. The best decision will depend quite heavily on your dog’s breed.
RELATED: 5 Best Dog Clippers for Matted Hair
What Type of Grooming Blades Do You Want?
Different dog hair clippers come with blades made from different materials. Most entry-level clippers come with stainless steel blades. Steel clipper blades are adequate and affordable, but they’ll dull much more quickly than blades made from titanium or ceramic will.
You can sharpen the blades as they dull, you’ll just have to do so with steel blades more frequently than you would ceramic or titanium ones. So while you may save some money, you might also be buying into an additional headache!
Ceramic clipper blades also provide one more important benefit: They don’t heat up as metal blades do. This makes them extremely helpful for professional groomers and owners who must trim large dogs with copious amounts of hair.
Dogs might become uncomfortable if the blades get too hot, and as a dog owner, you surely want your dog comfortable through this process.
Best Dog Grooming Clipper Reviews
The following five are easily among the best dog grooming clippers on the market. Nevertheless, you’ll still need to make sure you purchase the proper clippers for your situation, so be sure to select the dog clippers that best address the specific needs of you and your pet.
Here is our buyer’s guide for helping you choose the clippers that are best for you and your dog:
The Wahl Professional Bravura Lithium Cordless Clipper is a high-quality, professional dog clipper, that is priced at a consumer-friendly level.
Its rechargeable lithium battery provides up to 90 minutes of continuous use, and the motor operates at up to 5,500 SPM (strokes or strides per minute). This is a great, professional clipper that will meet the needs of many dog owners.
- Adjusts to five different cutting lengths: #9, #10, #15, #30 and #40
- Maintains full power until the battery is completely dead
- Can be plugged in or used in cordless fashion
- Comes with 6 plastic guards, cleaning brush, blade oil, charge stand, charger, and soft storage case
Customer Reviews: Most owners were very pleased with the Wahl Bravura cordless dog grooming clipper, explaining that it not only performed well right out of the box but that it remained quite cool during use.
It isn’t silent by any means, but most owners reported that it wasn’t loud enough to scare their dog. Some owners did report that it was necessary to lubricate the blades frequently, but this is a relatively minor problem.
Bottom Line: The Wahl Bravura offers a great combination of performance and price, which makes it a great choice for dog owners who need a high-quality set of professional grooming clippers for regular use.
The cordless clipper design provides great convenience, and yet it doesn’t present some of the drawbacks some other cordless clippers do, because it can be used in conjunction with a cord if you like.
Additionally, because it is backed by the manufacturer’s 1-year warranty, you can purchase the Wahl Bravura Dog Clipper with confidence.
This is a great choice if you are looking for a broad range of features but you don’t want to totally break the bank.
The Andis UltraEdge AGC 2 is a super 2-speed, corded pet clipper, that is perfect for all breeds and coat types. It features detachable blades to make cleaning and maintenance easier, and it is designed to be quiet and cool, to help avoid startling or burning your pet during use.
- Features 14-foot-long, heavy-duty cord that makes it easy to move around your pet while giving him a trim
- Comes with Size 10 UltraEdge Blade, which you can upgrade if desired
- The 2-speed design allows you to adjust the clippers as necessary with the flick of a button
- Comes with blade brush, which will help keep the blades clean and sharp
Customer Reviews: Most owners who tried the Andis UltraEdge AGC Dog Clippers were happy with their purchase. Several mentioned that these dog clippers would end up saving them a fortune on grooming costs, and most owners loved the long power cord.
A few owners, however, noted that the blades became too hot after prolonged use, which can potentially irritate a dog.
Bottom Line: The Andis UltraEdge Clipper is a good 2-speed choice for owners that want the flexibility a variable-speed motor and removable blades provide. They appear to work very well for all types of dog coats (including dense, curly coats that are often difficult for other animal clippers to handle), and yet they are still very reasonably priced.
These are a great choice if you want a simple, quiet set of clippers that will suit the needs of almost all dog owners.
The Oster Volt is a cordless dog hair clipper that is designed to provide the convenience pet owners want, and the kind of performance that grooming professionals demand.
Unlike some other clippers that utilize high-speed motors, the Oster Volt utilizes a high-torque motor, that eliminates the need for a high-speed motor and ensures the blades will remain cool.
- Blades are removable and can be swapped out with any other Oster A5 detachable blades (including wide blades)
- Rechargeable lithium-ion battery provides up to two hours of continuous use
- Single-speed, 2,400 SPM motor allows the blades to cut through matted fur
- Detachable battery design allows you to use multiple batteries for extended use (extra batteries sold separately)
Customer Reviews: Most owners who tried the Oster Volt dog grooming clipper – including a number of professional breeders – raved about its performance.
It appears to cut through dog hair just as well as many other high-speed clippers do, and yet it stays cool during prolonged use. Additionally, most owners reported that the lithium-ion battery lasted for hours between charging sessions.
Bottom Line: The Oster Volt Cordless Pet Clipper is more expensive than many of the other pet clippers we reviewed, so it isn’t a great choice for budget-limited owners.
However, those who want a reasonably priced, professional dog clipper that stays cool during use and features a long-lasting battery will have a hard time finding a better option on the market.
This is one of the more expensive options, so it is important you do your research as to how important its extra features are to satisfy your needs.
If you have a dog with fur that is difficult to cut, or you are a professional in need of some heavy-duty pet grooming clippers, then this might be the choice for you.
The Andis 1-Speed Clipper is a rugged and dependable pet clipper that features removable blades, which you can swap out or replace as necessary.
The Andis 1-Speed Clipper is not only designed to remain cool during operation, but it does so without the need for vents and fans. This helps to make the Andis 1-Speed one of the quieter dog clippers on the market.
- Locking switch prevents the grooming clippers from turning off inadvertently while you’re trimming your pet
- Comes with a 14-foot-long, heavy-duty cord to provide freedom of movement
- Break-resistant housing ensures it’ll last for years
- Powerful motor with 2,700 SPM blade speed
Customer Reviews: Most owners found the Andis 1-Speed Detachable Blade Grooming Clipper to be a fantastic product, that made it easy to trim their pet’s hair. Most reported that it not only cuts well but remained cool and quiet during operation.
A few owners did complain that the Andis 1-Speed Clipper was slightly heavy, but this is probably an acceptable trade-off for such a reasonably priced and effective product.
Bottom Line: The Andis 1-Speed Clipper may be the best product for the average pet owner (including those with large, furry dogs), but it is probably not appropriate for professionals, who’d likely prefer a slightly higher quality blade, and the ability to choose from several different operating speeds.
Nevertheless, the Andis 1-Speed is a well-built and durable clipper, and it should be able to withstand the wear and tear most owners are likely to inflict through regular use.
This might be a great choice if you don’t have very extensive needs, and just want a simple product to cut your dog’s hair.
Most entry-level pet trimmers are poor-quality products, which will usually fall apart or stop working after a few uses. However, the PetTech Professional Dog Grooming Kit is a bit of an exception, which should outperform most other pet clippers at a similar price point.
- Low-vibration, precision motor ensures that the pet clipper remains quiet during use
- Backed by the manufacturer’s lifetime replacement guarantee
- The cordless design means that you can move around your pet with ease
- Ergonomic housing makes the PetTech Clipper comfortable to use, even during extended grooming sessions
Customer Reviews: Most owners who understood that they were buying an entry-level dog grooming kit were satisfied with the way the PetTech Professional Kit worked out, but those who expected high-end performance out of a budget-priced product were often disappointed. However, the majority of owners reported that it worked satisfactorily, and remained cool and relatively quiet during use.
Bottom Line: While the PetTech Professional Dog Grooming Kit is affordably priced and built better than most other cheap dog clippers, it will still have trouble keeping up with the other models we review here.
It’ll likely allow you to trim your dog’s fur several times before wearing out, but it may still be a good product when trying to groom their dog on a budget. Also, the lifetime warranty provided by the manufacturer should provide you with peace of mind.
Can’t I Just Use Human Hair Clippers?
Understandably, a lot of owners interested in grooming their dog at home wonder if they can just use clippers made for humans. After all, you may even have a set of human hair clippers already in a bathroom cabinet.
But unfortunately, there are three reasons you can’t:
1. Dog clippers produce less noise and vibration.
Traditional hair clippers create a lot of noise and vibration, which may cause your dog quite a bit of stress. But most high-quality hair clippers for dogs are designed to operate relatively quietly, and they don’t vibrate as much as normal clippers do.
This will lead to lower noise levels and usually keep your dog calmer while you’re giving him a haircut, which will make the entire process easier.
After all, if your dog is calm throughout the process, it will likely be a load off your mind as well.
2. Dog hair clippers remain cooler during use.
The motor inside most traditional clippers will heat up over time, eventually causing the blades to become hot to the touch. In some cases, they can even become hot enough to cause burns. Accordingly, most clippers designed for use on pets utilize designs that keep the blades cool during prolonged use.
3. Dog grooming clippers are designed specifically for your dog’s hair.
Human clippers – even high-end models — aren’t built to handle the dense, coarse hair most dogs have. If you use human clippers on your dog’s coat, it will dull the blades very quickly and leave your dog’s coat looking ragged and uneven.
It will also usually take you a lot longer to give your dog a trim with traditional clippers.
By contrast, dog clippers are configured for your dog’s thick, dense hair, and they operate at much higher speeds than traditional clippers do.
It goes without saying that our hair is different from our dog’s fur, so we quite obviously require different methods of cutting it.
ALSO READ: 5 Best Dog Nail Grinders
What Large Breeds Require Professional Dog Clippers?
It is always wise to find the best dog grooming clippers you can afford. But there are some occasions in which you simply must shop at the high end of the price range, as some dogs require higher-quality clippers than others do.
Typically, this includes dogs who are exceptionally large, as you’ll have to spend more time using the clippers to trim his entire coat, as well as dogs who have exceptionally long or dense coats.
If you see your dog’s breed on the list below, you’ll probably want to go ahead and look for the very best dog grooming clippers you can find for home use.
- Great Dane
- Italian Mastiff
- Spanish Mastiff
- Presa Canario
- English Mastiff
- Irish Wolfhound
- Scottish Deerhound
- Great Pyrenees
- Labrador Retriever
- Standard Poodle
- Saint Bernard
- German Shepherd
- Tibetan Mastiff
- Caucasian Shepherd Dog
- Anatolian Shepherd
- Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
(Note that many of these breeds aren’t traditionally trimmed on a regular basis, but you may need to because of injuries, infections or coat problems.)
SEE ALSO: 9 Tips for Husky Grooming and Coat Care
Why Aren’t My Dog Grooming Clippers Cutting My Pet’s Hair?
From time to time, even the best dog clippers will stop cutting your dog’s hair efficiently. You can tell that your dog’s clippers aren’t performing well by noting any of the following issues:
- The clippers aren’t cutting through your dog’s hair as quickly as normal. They may still be shearing off hair, but you are finding it necessary to proceed more slowly, and you may have to go back and re-clip several sections.
- The dog clippers stop cutting cleanly. If you look closely at your dog’s coat, you’ll notice that it is trimming unevenly, the hairs are cut at different lengths, and the cuts aren’t clean and precise.
- Your dog begins jumping or yelping. Dogs typically react this way when the grooming clippers pull his hair, rather than snip it cleanly.
Before you throw out the dog clippers and go buy a new pair (or, if you are lucky enough to have purchased clippers protected by a warranty, before you start filling out the paperwork), you should investigate the issue. There are a few things you can do that may help your clippers to start working well again:
- Look closely at the blades and make sure that they haven’t become dirty, rusty or bent. You can remove rust easily enough by rubbing the blades with a bit of steel wool, and most gunk can be removed with a bit of alcohol. You may be able to bend bent blades back into shape but do so carefully, as it may invalidate your warranty.
- Make sure that the blades are lubricated properly. Unlubricated blades will not slide past each other smoothly, which can drastically reduce their efficiency and ability to cut hair. Be sure to use a lubricating oil designed for hair clippers – don’t use machine oil, WD40 or any similar product, as they may irritate your dog’s skin.
- Make sure that the blades are sharp. Any cutting blade will work better when it is sharp, and this applies to hair clipper blades too. It is pretty easy to sharpen these blades (check out the video below for full instruction), you’ll just need a wet stone and a bit of elbow grease to do so. So if you haven’t sharpened your blades in a long time, this might very well be the issue.
Final Words: Summing Up the Best Dog Grooming Clippers
Many owners are intimidated by the notion of grooming their own dog at home. But if you do a bit of homework and equip yourself with the best quality set of dog grooming clippers, you’ll find that it is likely easier than you thought it would be. And because groomers typically charge much more for large dogs than for small dogs, you stand to save quite a bit of money too.
Decisions surrounding your dog will obviously always be impacted by the needs and circumstances of your dog. So it will be helpful to do your research with the aid of our buyer’s guide above, and compare the capabilities of each set of grooming clippers to what it is that your dog needs.
It may seem like a lot of work to make a decision, but you will be sure to thank yourself when you are easily trimming your dog’s hair, and saving money while doing it!
Just make sure that you either seek some advice, read a guide, or watch a tutorial so you learn how to cut your dog’s fur effectively. Before you know it, you’ll be trimming your dog’s fur like a pro.