How to sharpen dog clippers

Dog owners need to have a variety of grooming accessories on hand to keep their pet healthy and clean. Dog clippers (also known as dog shears) are used to trim and manage a dog's fur. Proper trimming with dog clippers ensures that the animal is free of matted hair, and it also makes regular grooming easier. Occasionally, dog clippers may need to be sharpened. Learning how to do it will keep your pet looking his best.

Lightly tap the dog clippers to shake out excess hair. Run the clippers under a heavy stream of water to rinse out the inner gears and clean out any fur that has collected over time. If you're using electric dog clippers, use a brush (such as an old toothbrush) to clean the blades. The difficulty in grooming your dog may arise because the shears need to be cleaned, not sharpened. Most home users should never need to have to sharpen their dog clippers unless the shears are used heavily, such as at an animal shelter or in a professional dog-grooming shop.

Contact a local dog-grooming salon. Get a reference for a professional clipper-sharpening service. Dog clippers need to be professionally serviced. You cannot sharpen dog clippers at home using traditional methods of blade sharpening (e.g. a knife sharpener). After dog clippers are sharpened, they also need to be adjusted and re-tightened to ensure that they will work efficiently.

Send the dog clippers to the professional sharpening service if you are using manual, scissor-like shears. If you use electric dog clippers, see Step 4 for how to sharpen them. Before choosing a dog-clipper sharpener for manual dog shears, get cost quotes from several service providers to determine which is the cheapest. Be sure to factor in the time it will take (some sharpeners can provide same-day service, while others may take weeks) and the cost of shipping if you are using an out-of-town sharpening service.

Call the original manufacturer of the dog clippers if you own electric clippers. Electric clippers often require blade replacements, which are available from the manufacturer or from a local parts supplier. Get a cost estimate. Also, consider simply ordering the new replacement part and replacing the dog-clipper blades yourself, rather than sending the entire dog clipper to the manufacturer for servicing.

Keep the dog-clipper blades sharp by never grooming a dirty dog or a dog with large amounts of dust or grime in his fur. The little pieces of debris can quickly dull the blades on your dog clipper.

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About the Author

Joshua Duvauchelle is a certified personal trainer and health journalist, relationships expert and gardening specialist. His articles and advice have appeared in dozens of magazines, including exercise workouts in Shape, relationship guides for Alive and lifestyle tips for Lifehacker. In his spare time, he enjoys yoga and urban patio gardening.