Best Dog Clippers For Thick Coats | A Professional Review
OUR #1 PICK
The best value for money
Andis UltraEdge AGC2
Although it is lacking some extras, such as a carry case and extra combs or blades, the price makes sense for those that want to try out home grooming with quality gear. Andis is well known in the dog grooming industry and a top pick for many professional groomers. This set comes with a #10 blade, considered the most common blade for all around body work.
Professional grooming services are a costly part of life with any of the long-haired dog breeds that
require regular haircuts. For many owners of such breeds, home trims are not only a big money saver, but they also save the time of going back and forth from the groomer.
If you happen to have a fuzzy friend with a very thick and luxurious coat, you do need to be careful before spending your money on clippers. Many of the options on the market might be fine for trimming the fur of a Silky Terrier but will fail miserably to make a dent in the thick hair of a Bearded Collie.
If you are looking for the best dog grooming clippers for thick coats, then read on.
Not only does this article cover the top 5 professional grade trimmers, we will also make sure you have all of the information you need about home grooming to get started.
After the reviews of the best dog clippers for thick hair, read on to see our important checklist of other items you will need before a home grooming session. In addition, we cover some important pointers to help you have a successful trimming session even if your pooch has very thick fur.
Qualities to Look for in Dog Clippers for Thick Coats
Strokes Per Minute (SPM)
The number of strokes per minute is the standard way to measure how fast the blades are moving on clippers. Higher power clippers generally move more quickly through dog fur, and they can be ideal for dogs with thick hair.
However, there is a tradeoff. The faster the clippers, the quicker they will heat up to temperatures that are easily hot enough to severely burn your dog. And, if you are inexperienced, slower clippers may give you more sense of control to move at your own pace.
We have included several multiple speed clippers which gives you some options. If you are new to
trimming, we recommend getting a set with at least two speeds so you can grow into your new home grooming gear.
Before you buy any trimmers for your canine, check to see what size blade comes with the set, and order the right size if need be so that you will have what you need for the trim.
#10 (1/16”) is a fairly standard blade that will almost always come in a dog clipper kit. However, this is really more for sensitive areas such as the face and it is far to short for doing a complete body trim.
#5 (1/4”) and #7 (1/8”) blade lengths are the go-to options for getting a nice neat whole-body trim, even for dogs with thick fur and/or matting. Be sure to order a few blades in one of these sizes in the skip tooth blade style to get through even a very thick coat easily.
As an alternative, those that like to leave a little more hair behind may be interested in using
attachment combs which are used with very short blades (such as #30). They come in various lengths which preset the length of the final cut.
However, the combs work by brushing through your dog’s hair as you go. If you are dealing with very thick or matted hair, this is going to likely be more trouble than the home groomer is willing to deal with.
Blade Type: Ceramic or Steel?
The choice is yours. Ceramic blades tend to stay cooler and sharper a little longer than their steel counterparts. They are also a bit pricier so it may not be worth the marginal gains, particularly if you are clipping your dog for the first time.
Please DO NOT Shave Double Coated and/or Short Hair Breeds
Did you know?
There are basically two main kinds of dog fur. The first belongs to those dog breeds often described as “hypoallergenic” such as Poodles, Bichon Frise, or Schnauzers. There are also mixes, such as Labradoodles that also have this first type of hair which keeps growing indefinitely. These are also sometimes called “long haired breeds.”
Think of this more as hair than fur!
Like human hair, it just keeps growing until it is cut. These dogs need to be trimmed periodically or the hair just keeps growing and it won’t be long until your pup has dreadlocks. Eventually the fur will develop into mats which can trap heat, moisture and bacteria on the skin, leading to a painful situation for your dog.
The other type of fur is that which grows to a specific length, then stops growing. Each hair will eventually fall out. The hair can be short, medium, or even longish. But the key is that this type of dog’s hair will stop growing on its own once it gets to a certain length. This is by far the more common type of coat on a dog and SHOULD NOT be shaved.
In many cases, such dogs actually have a “double coat” which includes a downy undercoat that appears in the cold winter months and sheds every spring. Examples include Labradors, German Shepherds, Huskies, and Golden Retrievers.
Unless you have a dog who’s hair continues to grow unless it is cut, you SHOULD NOT cut their hair, especially with clippers, unless directed by a veterinarian for health reasons.
It is a myth that trimming such dogs will keep them cooler in the summer time, and it can actually expose them more to dangerous UV rays and sunburn. In addition, the fur on these dogs often does not grow back properly – for life. The smooth top coat sometimes does not come back at all!
Check out our guide on the overall best dog clippers for all coat and breed types here.
Best Dog Clippers
Best Dog Clippers for Thick Coats | Summary
Andis UltraEdge AGC2
Andis ProClip Excel 5-Speed
Oster A5 Two Speed
Wahl Professional Animal Motion Lithium Ion Cordless Clipper
Best All-Around – Our Top Pick
Andis UltraEdge AGC2
If you are new to using trimmers and have a thick coated dog, then we recommend these as an excellent starter set that brings quality and value to the table. This is a good choice in a basic trimmer that you can rely on to get the job done.
Although it is lacking some extras, such as a carry case and extra combs or blades, the price makes sense for those that want to try out home grooming with quality gear.
Andis is well known in the dog grooming industry and a top pick for many professional groomers. This set comes with a #10 blade, considered the most common blade for all around body work.
These clippers are designed to be relatively quiet and low vibration, a good choice for those with skittish canines. And, it has two speeds to choose from which allows you to slow down for more difficult areas while making quick work of the thicker and easier spots such as the back and rump.
Plus, if you are a beginner to clipping your dog, you can start with the slower speed because it won’t heat up so quickly, allowing you to take your time as you get the hang of trimming.
Best 5 Speed Dog Trimmers
Andis ProClip Excel 5-Speed
For those that plan to do fancy cuts on their dog, there is real value to be had in a 5-speed trimmer such as this high-end set of dog clippers for thick hair, also by Andis. Start off on the slower speed to take off the worst of your pup’s thick coat, then transition to the higher speeds for a tight and professional looking finish.
This set is a bit on the pricey end of things, however, it comes with several features that make the higher price worthwhile. The starter blade that comes with this set is ceramic, which many pros prefer because it keeps its edge longer and takes longer to get too hot.
You will notice they are also ergonomically designed with a soft grip handle that really does make a difference, particularly for those taking the time to trim a larger pooch.
These clippers come in at 12.8 ounces, which is even lighter than the slightly less expensive AGC2 model featured as our top pick. It might not sound like much, but even a few ounces really adds up to extra time before your arm gets sore, especially on tough jobs. In addition, when run at top speed, you get a full additional 10% of power over the AGC2.
While these might be too much clipper for the beginner, if you are looking to upgrade your trimmers, this is a solid choice.
Best Heavy-Duty Dog Clippers for Thick Coats
Oster A5 Two Speed
Oster is another brand that is well known and trusted by professional groomers. This two-speed model works at 3,000 SPM for a quieter trim near delicate areas, and 4,000 SPM for powering through tough fur. These heavy-duty dog clippers will work well for matted hair as well as thick fur.
One of the things this brand is known for is being heavy duty, both in terms of being able to take the occasional drop on the floor, as well as having a long-lasting commercial grade motor. Keep in mind that thick hair is very hard on clippers. If you have already burned through a pair, this may be the right choice for you and your furry companion.
Made in the USA with a full 1-year warranty, this is a product you can buy with confidence. Plus, since this is a well-established brand, finding the blades and combs you need is not going to be a problem for the life of the product.
This set comes with blade oil, clipper grease and blade brushes…all the gear you need to keep it running in top condition. It can be a little bit clunky and heavy in the hand, and it may not be the best choice for tight work on fancier cuts, but it is a great choice for barreling through the first cut on very dense fur.
Best Cordless Trimmers for Thick Coats and Small Dogs
Wahl Professional Animal Motion Lithium Ion Cordless Clipper
In most cases a cordless trimmer is not the right choice for a canine with thick hair. However, lithium ion battery technology has made it possible to support this 5,500 SPM motor for up to 90 minutes of run time.
This may not be enough for a large dog, however, it is perfect for the fluffy haired Bichon Frise or Toy Poodle, making it our choice for the best small dog clippers for thick coats.
Wahl clippers use a special blade technology as well. Using just one blade, you can adjust between sizes #9, #10, #15, #30, and #40. In addition, this set of clippers comes with 5 guide combs. If you are looking to play around with some fancy dog cuts, this is a good starter set for out-of-the-box versatility.
This unit comes in under 10 ounces which makes it extremely lightweight, adding to its ability to provide precision control, even in the hands of a novice. If you have a pocket pooch with thick and dense fur, this is an excellent choice for the home groomer.
Best Bargain Dog Clippers for Thick Coats
If you are new to home grooming, then you may not want to spend much money on your first set of clippers. Still, if your pooch has thick hair, it is likely that going too cheap is just a waste of money.
If budget is a top priority, the Andis AGC is a back to basics kind of product that is an excellent starter option. It still gives you the benefit of going with a trusted name, without asking you to pay for extra features.
These are a less powerful set than our other picks, coming in at 2,700 SPM. This slower speed can make it slow going when dealing with thick fur, on the other hand, it is less likely for beginners to let the clippers get too hot and burn their dogs.
This set of clippers does come with a few extra combs so that you can try your hand at some fancier cuts. Plus, it comes with a hard carrying case which will help you keep all your grooming gear in one place.
Additional Products for Clipping a Thick Hair Dog at Home
If you are new to grooming your dog at home, check over this list to be sure you will have everything you need to get started once your clippers arrive.
Dematting Comb: If your dog has any mats then this tool is a must have. The comb is designed to gently and safely get under the mat, then cut only on the mat side as you pull away from the coat, shredding the mat as you go.
Comb Set: Using combs with your trimmer allows you to get precise lengths as you move through the coat. This set is for Andis clippers, but you can find them for any reputable brand of clippers that you have. If you plan on doing any fancy styles, or want to leave behind more than say 1/8” of fur, then you will need combs for the job.
Safety Rounded Tip Scissors: In many cases with thick dog fur, you will find that it is much easier to take off the bulk of their fur with scissors then tighten up the trim with clippers. These round tips make sure you won’t hurt your dog during this first step of the clipping process. If you are new to trimming your dog at home, use these instead of the electric trimmers to do delicate areas around the face.
Styptic Powder: It is very common to accidentally nip your dog during a trim, especially if you lack experience. Just put a little of this powder on any cuts and it will quickly stop the bleeding.
Grooming Shears: In many cases with thick dog fur, you will find that it is much easier to take off the bulk of their fur with scissors then tighten up the trim with clippers. These super sharp shears will make quick work of the job.
Blade Coolant: It won’t take long with your thick furred dog for the blades to get hot enough to burn your pooch. This coolant not only cools off the blades, it can also blow out any hairs stuck between the blades so they will run smoothly. This product is safe for use with Andis trimmers, be sure you find a product designed specifically for your brand of trimmers.
Detangling Spray: This dog friendly spray is very handy if you have a dog with curly hair that tends to get tangled between trims. It can make a big difference in terms of getting those knots out before a nice trim.
Replacement Blades: The fact is that one large dog with very matted fur can be enough to dull a set of blades. The instant you notice that it is harder to push the blades through the fur, it is time to change. Get a few replacement blades to have on hand so that you can finish any trim job that you start.
Pro Tip: It can be expensive to replace blades when they get dull. Did you know that you can save your blades and get them sharpened? The folks that provide this service tend to service a wide area, traveling in between towns.
Do a little searching for “clipper blade sharpening” and your geographical area to find out more about how to get your blades sharpened, a much less expensive option. Or, if your vet also offers grooming services, ask them for the contact information for the blade sharpening service they use.
How to Trim a Dog with Thick Fur
In addition to helping you find the right products, we here at Wiley Pup want to make sure you have the information you need to be successful with trimming your canine companion from home, even if she has thick fur.
Keep Up with Daily or Weekly Grooming
The more regular brushing that you do with your pup, the easier you will make the job when it comes time for a trim. Tangles and mats that form in long haired breeds when their coat is neglected make trimming much more difficult and painful for your pooch.
Get the Mats Out
Address any problem areas before you start trying to trim head to tail. Be very careful under mats since they can sometimes be attached to the tender skin underneath and may be very painful for your dog. You may want to work on mats carefully with a special dematting comb before trying to get under them with clippers, particularly if you are inexperienced.
Brush, Wash, Dry Completely Before Trimming
One of the most important things you can do to make the trim job more manageable is to take the time to get the fur clean, dry and tangle free before you get started with the clippers. This goes a very long way to preserving the sharpness of your blades, a critical factor in trimming thick coated breeds.
Trim with Scissors First (For Extra Tough Jobs)
If you have let things go way to long before a trim, then it may make the job easier if you start by taking the worst of the hair off with special grooming scissors. This can reduce the wear and tear on your clippers, as well as making it much easier to get an even trim.
Reward Your Pal Often
One of the best tips for making sure a tough trim job goes well is to praise and reward your furry friend during their haircut, especially when they are being patient and still. Keep a cup of small, pea sized bits of cooked chicken or other treat close at hand and try to reward every few minutes when your pooch is behaving well.
Stop Often and Check Blades
The blades on dog clippers can get very hot, especially when working through thick fur. Make sure to stop every few minutes and touch the blades (while off) to the inside of your arm. If it is uncomfortably hot for you, then you can assume it will be for your canine.
As soon as you notice that it gets harder to run the clippers through the fur, it is time to take the blade off and be sure that it is free of debris and running smoothly. If you put it back on and this doesn’t fix the problem, it is probably time to change to a new or recently sharpened blade.
Conclusion: Finding the Best Dog Clippers for Thick Fur
We hope you found this article helpful in terms of finding the right tools for keeping your fuzzy buddy’s fur nice and neat, without paying high prices every few months at the groomer.
We would love to hear from our readers, especially if you have some other tips that might help our readers with trimming their thick haired canines. Please feel free to leave a comment below and share your expertise when it comes to the best dog clippers for thick coats!
- Rebecca Wallwork (03 April 2018) How to Pick the Right Shampoo for Your Dog’s Coat: Retrieved from https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/how-to-pick-the-right-shampoo-for-your-dogs-coat/
- Alissa Wolf (25 June 2019) Puppy’s First Grooming: Retrieved from https://www.thebalancecareers.com/puppy-s-first-grooming-2660524
Sharon Elber (M.S. in Science & Technology) - Professional Dog Trainer
Sharon is a professional dog trainer with over 10 years experience. She is also a professional writer that received her M.S. in Science & Technology Studies from Virginia Tech.
For more info on Sharon click here