Grooming is an essential part of giving your dog the love and care they need. Clippers are the ideal tool for shaving or trimming your pooch’s fur, and we’ve compiled a list of the best ones for a wide number of customer needs.
If you’re in a hurry, here’s a quick rundown of our top picks. You can read more in-depth about each model further below.
Guide to Buying Dog Clippers
When on the lookout for a set of clippers for your overly furry friend, there are a few things you need to think about. For instance, not all clippers are suitable for all dogs and vice versa. You may also have budget considerations. These concerns, and more, should be taken into account before you make a purchase.
Naturally, you may have a specific budget and may need to familiarize yourself with the price ranges for different kinds of clippers. We recommend lower-priced clippers for beginners and premium offerings for established groomers. You can always start with an economy model and move up to a premium model if you find yourself grooming your dog frequently.
Your Dog’s Fur
Your pet’s coat should also influence your decision. Dogs with long and thick coats will usually require more powerful clippers than shorthaired dogs. Using weak clippers on a longhaired dog may take way too long, which could stress out both you and the animal.
For dogs with thick coats of fur, we recommend that you go for rotary motor clippers with different blade attachments for styling. Rotary motor-driven clippers are typically on the premium end of the spectrum.
For breeds with medium-length fur, you should consider pivot motor machines. These clippers are quite powerful yet efficient, moreso than standard entry-level clippers.
Shorthaired dogs do not require many haircuts, so a standard set of electromagnetic clippers should do the trick. There’s no need for overly powerful clippers in this case. In fact, clippers for humans might just do the trick for maintaining a shorthaired dog’s coats.
Typically, clipper blades are classified via a number system. The higher a blade’s number, the greater the quantities of hair it will cut and vice versa. Guide combs and plastic guards also use this numbering system (lower number = less hair) — just like clippers for humans.
We recommend that you read up on the best grooming tips for your specific breed to get you started in the right direction.
Size of the Dog
Your dog’s size is another major consideration.
Getting appropriately sized clippers is important for getting the grooming process over and done with as quickly as possible. Using small clippers on big dogs may take forever, which may be annoying for you and the animal.
If you have (or plan on working on) large dog breeds, we highly recommend that you explore the possibility of wide clipper blades. Also referred to as T-blades, these will help you make fewer passes over the dog’s body than if you were to use small blades.
You should also anticipate the frequency of your clipping sessions. A simple set of clippers will do the trick if all you need is to spruce up your pup once in a while. If you have several dogs, or if you operate your own dog grooming service, you might need to get more complex machines and any necessary accessories.
Portability and Ergonomics
If you and your dog travel frequently, or if you are a mobile dog groomer, you may opt for battery-powered clippers. Cordless clippers are also a good choice if you would rather groom your dog outside or in a place where they are most comfortable.
Of course, battery life is the primary concern with such devices. Most cordless clippers use rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, although you may still find cheaper models that use replaceable alkaline batteries. Our recommendation is a set of clippers that can get at least 90 minutes of runtime.
If you have a more fixed grooming station and are not too keen on the downtime that comes with having to recharge batteries, you can opt for corded clippers. However, cords may result in tangling, especially when dealing with unruly dogs.
Ergonomics is also important for both you and the dogs. The clippers must be comfortable enough for you to handle for an extended period. Ensure the grip, weight, and balance feels right for you. Using the wrong clippers could result in elbow and wrist pain.
You should also ensure that the blades do not get too hot to avoid irritation to the dog. You might also encounter overheating issues if you are using weak clippers on a longhaired dog.
Some dogs are also jittery and easily spooked. This is especially true for puppies or rescue animals that are not used to grooming. To help minimize an animal’s stress, you might want to go for a quieter set of clippers. Dogs have much more sensitive hearing than humans,, so some may have trouble relaxing with overly buzzy clippers.
When it comes to clippers, you can opt for machines with single speeds or variable speeds.
Single-speed clippers operate at one speed throughout and they are ideal for coats that don’t require a lot of intricacies. Most lower-end clippers have single-speed motors.
Variable speed clippers allow operators to increase or decrease speed. This is beneficial for styling and detangling dogs with complex coats that require a bit of versatility. As you’ve probably guessed, variable speed is typically a premium feature reserved for some of the top clippers.
Accessories such as plastic guards are essential for longhaired dogs. The same goes for blades, which are not always “one-size-fits-all”. Accessories are almost non-negotiable for professional groomers, who may encounter dog breeds of all kinds.
Other accessories include scissors, blade lubricants, brushes, and anti-bacterial/viral sprays.
Plastic guards are the most common blade attachment. These tools are made to prevent you from cutting too much hair in a particular spot. We highly recommend that beginners make use of as many guards as possible to help them with styling and minimizing accidental “patches”.
When it comes to the blades themselves, you typically have a choice between stainless steel and ceramic. These materials are both resistant to corrosion but blades made from ceramic have been found to keep their sharpness for longer. If your budget allows, you can also go for chrome or silver blades that have an inherent resistance to fungi and other parasites.
You also have three classes of blades:
- T-blades: for covering as much of a dog’s body as possible. T-blades are also useful for removing as much hair as possible. If you want to give your pooch a clean shave, this is the best way to do it.
- Skip-tooth blades: for a dog’s pre-bath trim. These blades are used for shaping and styling certain areas, as well as for detangling matted fur. These must ONLY be used on dry fur to avoid hurting your dog.
- Finishing blades: are for routine maintenance before a dog’s fur grows excessively. Finishing blades can also be used after your dog has had his or her bath.
How Your Groomer Does It
If you currently take your dog to the groomer’s, you might want to do your best to imitate how they tend to your pet. After all, who better to learn from than a professional?
Not only must you pay attention to the clippers they use, but you must also observe the blades and guards they use for specific body parts and styles. Also observe brushing, use of scissors, depth of cut, as well as how they keep the dog relaxed. While you’re not going to be able to completely learn their technique in one sitting, you can certainly pick up a lot of the fundamentals that will help you groom your dog yourself.
Our Picks for Best Dog Clippers
Now that we’ve identified the important considerations of what to look for, it’s time to run down our list of the best dog clippers.
Wahl Professional Animal Motion – Best Overall
- Included components: Clipper, 5-in-1 Fine Blade Set, Soft Storage Case, Charge Stand and Charger, 6 Attachment Guide Combs, Cleaning Brush, Blade Oil,...
German efficiency is one of those stereotypes that rings true way more often than not.
Wahl Professional is no exception, and its Chromado trimmer is the latest in a line of top-tier pet care tools designed to keep your dog looking at his best!
Powered by a lithium-ion battery, the Chromado clippers make use of an adjustable 5 in 1 blade (German steel, of course) that allows versatile trimming and cutting to give your dog a fresh and stylish look every time.
The quick-change cutting system allows you to change between fine, coarse, Pro, and Diamond blade options. You also get a #45 non-adjustable blade to deal with large swathes of hair. Wahl’s excellent motor drives the blades to a powerful 5,300 strokes per minute.
While the blade options are a clear standout, the battery technology is also noteworthy. The lithium-ion battery is good for a 90-minute runtime, which should be more than enough time to take care of most small to medium-sized dogs, at least. Experienced groomers will be able to trim larger dogs in this window with no problems.
The Chromado also has a good charging time. It will take 60 minutes for the battery to go from completely flat to full. The machine’s on/off switch also doubles as an LED battery capacity display, which is pretty cool. When the battery is 50-100% charged, the button is green. It will turn orange if the battery level falls below 50% and red if it falls below 25%.
Wahl Professional Animal Chromado clippers also cater to operators. The curved design and removable scissor-grip handle allow for easy maneuverability and precision trimming. The superior grip, combined with the 10.2 oz. weight will reduce the likelihood of strain, especially for elderly or physically impaired operators.
Your dog will also appreciate the quiet motor, which runs smoothly and consistently. The Chromado clippers are also a very cool customer, and neither you nor your dog will experience any major discomfort during grooming.
The clippers come with a host of accessories too. In addition to the charging dock, you get several attachment guide combs (one inch, three-quarter inch, half-inch, third-inch, and one-eighth-inch), blade oil, a cleaning brush, and, of course, an instruction booklet. You also get a neat storage case for travel.
Wahl Professional Animal Chromado clippers come with a solid one-year warranty but, with proper cleaning and storage, you can expect them to last much longer than that.
While this trimmer is our number one pick, there are some things some operators may find annoying.
The battery life, though decent, might not be enough for some. This is especially true for beginner groomers with large hairy dogs, or even people with multiple dogs. An additional battery would have been most welcome.
Another thing is the Chromado’s tendency to jam when dealing with extremely thick fur. Although this is rare, it is still a disappointing occurrence for a premium set of clippers.
That said, these clippers are an awesome choice for dogs. Whether it be full-body clipping or precision trimming, your pooch is in good hands with Wahl. Heck, even cats, horses, pigs, and goats can enjoy the benefits of this engineering marvel.
The Wahl Professional Animal Chromado trimmer ticks as many boxes as any other out there today: power, versatility, portability, affordability, design, ergonomics, animal comfort, and more. If you’re looking for the number one solution to your dog’s bad hair day, this is it.
Oster Pro Trimmer – Best Budget Choice
- No.1 Brand with veterinarians
- Precision T-blade for sensitive areas
- Whisper quiet operation for nervous pets
If bang for your buck is what you’re after, look no further than the awesomely affordable Oster Pro Trimmer. This is a good choice for novice groomers who want to boost their skills. They can also serve as a decent backup if you cannot access your main pair of clippers.
The super-silent Oster Pro features a lightweight design (weighing 9.6 ounces) that is both stylish and ergonomic. The trimmer uses a replaceable steel blade that is tug-free and surprisingly efficient. This T-blade is ideal for removing large quantities of hair from broad areas like the back and sides, although experienced groomers can also manage some detailing too.
The Oster Pro is a corded trimmer, meaning an endless runtime that can help you cater to multiple dogs. The cord also features a finger ring loop for a better grip while carrying out precision cuts.
While you can use the Oster Pro for your dog’s face, paws, or underbelly, you must be aware of this trimmer’s biggest drawback…overheating.
Unfortunately, this is one area where the budget compromise rears its head. To avoid hurting your pet, you should check the temperature of the blades every 10 minutes or so. You will have to make use of frequent “cool down” breaks, which may make the chore take much longer than it needs to.
The lack of accessories is understandable but still disappointing. You do not get any guide combs, lubricant, or even a cleaning brush. However, we cannot complain too much given the ridiculously low price.
Andis Endurance – Most Durable
- Constant speed technology delivers power and torque for the toughest grooming jobs
- Perfect for grooming all hair types including dog, cat, horse and livestock
- 2-Speeds - 3, 000 and 3, 800 strokes per minute
While cheap trimmers will save you a few extra bucks, you cannot expect them to last. Generally speaking, dog clippers are the kind of thing you should buy once in a very long while and we’ve identified a machine that just might stand the test of time.
Introducing the Andis Endurance, a premium-grade trimmer that is more than worthy of the name.
The Endurance is a corded trimmer that uses detachable blade technology to give you as much versatility as you need to take care of various dog breeds. The clippers are perfect for both private users and commercial dog groomers.
Powered by a brushless motor, the 2-speed trimmer is capable of up to 3,800 strokes per minute. The motor is super-smooth and consistent, and it rarely hits a snag when confronted with thick coats. The Endurance is also a good choice for dogs that are easily spooked because it is very quiet when in use.
The machine comes with a #10 steel Ultra Edge blade as standard, although you can easily swap this out for any Andis replacement blade without using any tools. This allows you to do full bodywork on top of trimming ears, legs, tails, paw pads.
A wide range of T-blades, skip tooths, and finisher blades mean you can switch between cutting swathes of hair and precision trimming at a moment’s notice.
Andis’ engineers have spent nearly four decades perfecting the running temperature of their clippers and blades. The American manufacturer’s hard work is certainly paying off, as overheating is something you will hardly ever deal with. If you decide to opt for Andis’ Ceramic Edge blades, the risk of overheating will be even lower.
Like the Oster Pro we talked about earlier, the Endurance is a corded trimmer that gives you a limitless runtime. The 17-inch cord is manageable but the lack of portability is somewhat disappointing. Unlike with the Oster Pro, though, you will not be taking many cool-down breaks if at all.
For the operator, Andis has incorporated a simple, yet ergonomic design to allow a balanced grip. The feel in the hand is superb and the trimmer never feels awkward at any angle on any dog. The trimmer weighs about 5 ounces, which is very manageable for most people.
Of course, there are a few downsides. The price is certainly one of them, as the Endurance certainly lives up to its “premium” tag. Expect to pay a premium for this machine, a price that hints at its professional-use DNA.
What makes the pricing issue even worse is the lack of included accessories. Additional blades must be purchased and they are not exactly cheap either. You also have to purchase your own lubricant and cleaning agents, which is disappointing.
However, once fully equipped, the Andis Endurance is perhaps the most efficient dog trimmer out there today.
Wahl Professional Animal KM10- Premium Choice
- The KM10 Pet Clipper Kit is ideal for body clipping and trimming all animal coats including dogs, cats, horses, and livestock.
- This clipper offers enhanced performance with an extended motor life and quiet operation.
- Operating at two powerful speeds of 3, 000 and 3, 700 strokes per minute, the Constant Speed Control feature automatically delivers more power and...
Another excellent trimmer from our German friends at Wahl.
To be honest, the KM10 is a contender for the “best overall” pick we gave to the Chromado. This trimmer only misses out due to the steep price required to get your hands on one. However, it is certainly one to go for if money is no object.
The KM10 boasts a 2-speed brushless motor that allows it to operate at 3,000 and 3,700 strokes per minute. When the trimmer encounters a problematic area, its Constant Speed Control feature will instantly provide the needed jolt of power. All of this happens at almost whisper level. In fact, the KM10 is among the quietest animal trimmers on the market today!
You can tackle poodles, terriers, wolfhounds, and more with total confidence thanks to this machine’s unrivaled cutting prowess. The trimmer comes with a #10 Ultimate Competition Series Blade that is made from military-grade steel. No corrosion, no overheating, no compromise. Blade replacement is also a breeze.
The KM10 feels great thanks to its grippy matte surface and its contoured frame does an excellent job of balancing out its 12.6 ounces. Another trimmer that is better experienced than described. Almost anyone can carry out precision work with the KM10.
While both corded and cordless trimmers have their drawbacks, Wahl has achieved a best-of-both-worlds scenario by incorporating a 14-foot power cord to help you cater to the largest dog breeds. The unlimited run time of a corded trimmer is exactly what most amateur groomers need.
Unfortunately, much like the Andis Endurance, you do not get any accessories, which is disappointing for a trimmer on the north side of $200. The long power cord is a great help but it is simply no substitute for the portability of a cordless trimmer.
How often should a dog be trimmed?
As often as the specific breed requires. Different breeds grow their fur at different rates, so you must learn the relevant grooming schedules.
Double-coated breeds like the Siberian Husky and Chow Chow may be trimmed once every week or on a fortnightly basis.
For most other breeds, 6-8 weeks is a reasonable time between trims. Of course, you will have to gauge by sight and observe your dog’s comfort level.
The time of the year is another factor that may influence trim regularity. Summertime may warrant more frequent haircuts for your canine friend. This is especially true for long-haired dogs. In winter, you might want to reduce the frequency.
How do you maintain dog clippers?
When it comes to dog clippers, maintenance is the key to longevity.
Ensure the clippers are clean and dry after each session. Remove all hair and dirt from between the blades and follow your instruction manual’s directions for applying cleaning agents.
Lubrication is also a vital part of maintenance. We recommend that you use the recommended oils to lubricate your blades once every 1-2 months.
Dog clippers are important tools for owners and professional groomers. They are the easiest and safest way to cut a dog’s hair efficiently. Products like the Wahl Chromado make grooming your dog an enjoyable experience.