GROOMING BASICS 101 ARTICLE

Blades

The following article is for general information only and not intended to serve as professional training nor replace professional training. We strongly advise professional training for every new groomer before they offer grooming services to pet owners. Based on our experience your charging fees for grooming services is legally interpreted that you are the expert in grooming, and not the pet owners you serve. Thereby you accept the risk of being responsible for the services you provide. You are responsible to interview every pet owner you serve to ensure that your services are not only aesthetic, but safe and appropriate for their pet. You are also responsible to disclose to each pet owner any and all risks your procedures may involve to their pet. Professional grooming requires professional training. Click for training opportunities. We wrote the Pet Care Services Brochure and Pet Groomer's Report & Health Alert in the book From Problems to Profits to exemplify one example of  the disclosure process for a professional groomer. Remember, every pet owner you serve is putting their faith and trust in you. Get the professional training required of a professional groomer.

Blades
Types of Blades

Many career seekers and pet owners are surprised to learn just how many different types and sizes of blades there are to choose from. Every blade has different specifications, characteristics and each produces different cuts. Blades are available from grooming suppliers.

Part of being a professional groomer to learn about blade types and models, and which to use for trim style and haircoat type.

Blades are actually the composite of two blades, the top blade which is the "comb." The comb feeds hair into the lower cutting blade. Only the cutting moves back and forth through the motor of the clipper.

Blades vary in the "cut" they provide, or the length of the hair that remains after being clipped by the blade. Cut sizes vary whether you are cutting with the grain of the coat, or against the grain of the coat. Going with the grain of the coat leaves approximately twice as much cut length as going against the grain.

Blades are attached to clippers either by easy snap-on, or having to affix or remove them using a screw driver.

Groomers use various size of blades that could be categorized as "finishing blades, skip tooth blades and wide or "T" blades.

FINISHING BLADES

Finishing blades are ideal for blending areas of longer and shorter hair.

SKIP TOOTH BLADES

Skip tooth blades feed more hair into the cutting blade which makes them ideal for pre-bathing grooming, especially for removing matted haircoats.

WIDE or "T" BLADES

As the name implies, blades are wider to more efficiently groom large dogs and removing coats quickly.

Blade care is important. Dull blades are simply ineffective. See Tool & Equipment Maintenance. You can find blade sharpeners here.


List of Blades
Blades

In general, uses for each blade can be categorized in three areas. They are Body Cutting, All Purpose Cutting and Specialty Cutting. Below you will find a list of popular blades, but there are additional ones not listed here. By clicking on breed names in this Grooming 101 section of PetGroomer.com you will find blade usage recommendations for popularly groomed breeds.

BODY CUTTING
Size Cut Description
4 3/8" / 9.5 mm Skip Tooth blade ideal for short legged dogs like Westies, Scotties, Cairn and Australian Terriers.
4F 3/8" / 9.5 mm Full Tooth finishing blade version of the Size 4.
5 1/4" / 6.4 mm Skip Tooth blade for body work leaving a shorter cut than Size 4.
5F 1/4" / 6.4 mm Full Tooth finishing blade version of the Size 5.
7 1/8" / 3.2 mm Skip Tooth blade popularly used on many breeds. Ideal for matted coats when blended.
7F 1/8" / 3.2 mm Full Tooth finishing blade version of the Size 7.
ALL PURPOSE CUTTING
Size Cut

Description

8 7/64" / 2.2 mm Head, face and neck, commonly used on some Terriers and Sporting Breeds.
8 1/2 5/64" / 2.0 mm Ideal for various uses on Terriers.
9 1/16" / 1.6 mm Smooth finish commonly used on Spaniels and Schnauzers.
T-84 3/16" Wide cutting surface for medium length. Large dogs and dense coats.
10 1/16" / 1.6 mm Underbody areas such as the stomach and genital areas. Short, popular blade.
15 3/64" / 1.2 mm Poodle feet and pads, face, as well as Terrier and Cocker faces. Close cut.
30 1/100" / .25 mm Closer than the Size 15, often used in show trimming. May be used under Snap-on Combs.
SPECIALTY CUTTING
Size Cut

Description

5/8 1/32" / 0.8 mm Only 5/8 inch wide cutting surface. Usually used for setting patterns. Very close cutting.
7/8 1/32" / 0.8 mm Only 7/8 inch wide cutting surface. Usually used for setting patterns. Very close cutting.