How to Size Animal Clipper Blades

Written by heather vecchioni
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How to Size Animal Clipper Blades
hairy dog (Martin Poole/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Animal clipping blades come in a variety of sizes and each leaves the hair a certain length. While each brand of clipper has its own types of blades, in general, all the sizes are the same from brand-to-brand. Knowing the different blade sizes and what they accomplish will help you decide which size blade to use when cutting your dog's hair.

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Things you need

  • Animal clipper
  • Animal clipper blades

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  1. 1

    Look at your blade and identify the number listed. The number is typically located on the bottom of the blade. This number is the size of the blade.

  2. 2

    Know that the higher the number or size, the shorter it cuts the hair. Use a number or size 15 blade to cut areas in which the hair should be completely removed, such as in between the pads. Some breed-specific haircuts require the size on other parts of the dog's body, such as the English cocker spaniel, whose standard haircut involves the use of a 15-blade on its head, neck, ears and face.

  3. 3

    Use a size 10 blade for your dog's stomach and groin area. This size blade will virtually remove all of the hair and should be used carefully. Some breed-standard haircuts use this size blade on the neck and ears, such as the Lakeland terrier. This size is also used to shave hair that is very matted.

  4. 4

    Shave your dog's hair with a size 7 blade for a close cut. This size blade leaves the hair about an eighth-of-an-inch long and is perfect for the body, back and sides of a schnauzer. In addition, size 7 blades are also used on hair that is a bit matted.

  5. 5

    Use a lower size to leave hair a bit longer. Size 4 blades are typically used for puppy cuts and leave the hair about a half-an-inch long. This blade should only be used on hair that is mat and knot free. Size 4 blades are also used on the cheeks and throat as part of the Bouvier des Flandres standard haircut.

Tips and warnings

  • Consult a groomer as to what type of haircut is the standard for your dog's breed.
  • Boots or combs can also attach to the blade to leave hair even longer.
  • Always pull your dog's skin taut when using clippers to shave the hair. The clippers can catch loose skin and cut your dog.

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