Why Choosing the Right Clipper Blades Is So Important
If you are trying to make up your mind which clipper and blades to choose for dog grooming, you are probably wondering:
- Which brand is the best?
- What do the F and FC mean?
- How to determine the length?
- How to use the clipper blades?
Which brand is the Best?
The leading manufacturers of dog grooming equipment are Wahl, Moser, Oster, and Andis. Each manufacturer offers a wide range of different clippers and blades, and it can be difficult to buy the right equipment if you don’t know what you are looking for. My personal favorites are Oster and Andis. I think it is important to choose a clipper where you can easily change the blade. If you haven’t decided which clipper you want to go for, you can read my Oster and Andis clipper reviews right here.
What Do the F and FC Mean?
On some blades, you will find a number followed by “F” or “FC” – meaning “fine cut” (fx #3F). F and FC mean the same thing, the different brands just call it different things. If you are new to dog grooming, I recommend blades with “F” or “FC” on them.
The blades without F/FC have more space between the teeth. This means that a little piece of the dog’s skin can get caught, causing a painful wound. The blades without the F/FC are used for a thick and dense coat, but you need to be an experienced groomer to use them.
How to determine the length
My favorite blades are #3F, #7F, and #10. The higher the number, the more it will cut off.
Number 3F is the bestseller as it leaves the coat with a length of about 2.5 cm/1 inch. This gives a nice and short cut, which is easy to maintain, and the dog still looks like a little bear. #3F is perfect for breeds such as Shih Tzu, Havanese, and Lhasa Apso. I won’t recommend the #3F for a Maltese or Yorkshire Terrier with a thin coat, as this blade can’t pick up thin hair that lies flat. For a thin coat, you should choose attachment combs instead.
Number 7F leaves a length of approximately 1 cm. Very short, but the dog will love this length when it is hot outside.
Blade number 10 is a must have. #10 leaves the coat very short and can be used for areas requiring special attention, where you must be extra careful, such as ears, paws, genitals, and inner thighs. Blade #10 does not have F/FC on it – this can be confusing, but all blades from number 10 and up (fx #10, #30, #50) are considered “fine cuts” and the F/FC are not used for these.
How to use the clipper blades
Cut the hair with the growth of the hair. Use the preferred blade on the neck, body, and legs. You’ll notice that it is impossible to make an even cut on the legs, they will require scissoring as well. Be very careful under the chin as the skin is very thin. If the dog has mats from the collar or harness, you can use #7F or #10 to shave them off.
- Never cut a wet coat – it is not good for your blades
- Never cut a dirty coat – sand and dirt will ruin the blades
- Blade oil must be applied quite often
- If your blade suddenly stops working, it is probably because you need to apply oil.
The Oster blades below will fit all the Andis and Oster clippers described here.
Feel free to ask any questions, i’ll be happy to answer.