Best Dog Clippers | The Top Rated Hair Trimmers
Did you know?
Grooming at home can both save money and give you and your dog another activity to do together that can be fun and rewarding.
The up-front investment of clippers will pay for themselves with just a few missed trips to the groomers!
If you get the wrong gear, you may find yourself frustrated and back to the groomer’s in no time.
Although there is definitely a bit of a learning curve to making the most of your trimmers, the most basic cuts will not take you long to master.
You may even decide that primping your pup is so much fun that you want to try your hand at some of the more complex and fancy looks.
If you have started looking for the best hair clippers, you probably already know there is a huge variety available.
The reason there are so many dog trimmers on the market is that each is optimized for certain uses as well as the experience of the person on the other end of the blade.
For example, some clippers are better for thick fur while others are optimized for delicate finishing work on the face and paws.
Some trimmers are better for beginners while others work better for pros due to their high power and potential to burn the dog if not used properly.
To help you find the best grooming clippers for dogs that works best for you, we have found the best in the following 5 categories:
- Professional Grade – If you are looking for the top of the line in power, durability and efficiency, this is the right choice for you!
- Budget – Looking to get a quality set of clippers for around $50? Check out this pick.
- Beginners – If you are new to grooming at home, you want a quality trimmer with plenty of blades and extras to get you started off right!
- Thick Hair – If you have a dog with thick fur, you need to find the trimmers that can handle the job. We have done the research and found the best clippers for heavy coats.
- Finishing Work (also top Cordless pick) – If you plan to get fancy and trim on the face or feet, then you should probably invest in trimmers that are designed for that purpose so you have superior control and less risk of burning sensitive areas. Don’t worry, we found the best grooming clippers for dogs for finishing work too!
In addition to our top picks, we wanted to provide you with some helpful information. You can jump to those sections by clicking the links below:
What Features Matter When Shopping for the Top of the Line Dog Clippers?
Before we jump into our review, we wanted to make sure you have some information to make the best choice for you and your dog before spending your hard-earned money on a pair of trimmers.
Here are the major factors to consider:
- Ceramic verses Steel Blades – Ceramic blades are more expensive and more fragile, however, they tend to run much cooler and maintain their cutting edge a little longer. The clippers featured in our guides can use either as long as you make sure the size is compatible with the brand.
- Weight – It may sound trivial, but every ounce counts when it comes to quality clippers. There is always a bit of a tradeoff – more power comes at the cost of more weight. You will find weights between 8 Oz and slightly over a pound. Weight is a major issue if you have weak wrists, multiple dogs, or large dogs that require long grooming sessions.
- Corded or Cordless – Again, a bit of a tradeoff here. For those that need to be grooming for a long period of time, few cordless models will hold a charge long enough. However, if you have a medium or small dog, the higher end cordless models may be plenty strong enough for your typical home trim. If you do go with a corded model, make sure the cord is at least 12’ long or you will be frustrated with the reduced maneuverability during a trim.
- Noise and Vibration – The final factor to be concerned about is the amount of noise and vibration, both of which can be unpleasant for both you and your canine companion. The models that we have chosen are all well rated on this characteristic. Be careful with cheaper knock offs which can be extremely loud.
When NOT to Use Clippers
The only dogs that you should ever use clippers on are long-growth hair dogs.
These are dog’s whose hair will continue to grow indefinitely if they are not trimmed. For example, Poodles, Portuguese Water Dogs, Bichon Frise, Schnauzers and so forth.
If your dog is one of the vast majority of breeds with fur that grows to a certain length and then stops such as German Shepherds, Labradors, Huskies, Pomeranians or Golden Retrievers you should NOT shave them – EVER. (Unless for a medical procedure done by your veterinarian.)
It is a myth that thick coated breeds should be shaved down in the summer to help them avoid the heat. This not only destroys their coat, in many cases forever, it also exposes them to being sunburned badly since they no longer have vital UV protection provided by their top coat.
These dogs NEED their top coat to stay cool, not the other way around.
Double coated breeds such as German Shepherds and Huskies will shed the majority of their thick undercoat in the spring. This is normal.
Instead of taking clippers to them, brush daily outside in the spring with a special undercoat rake designed for the job.
If your dog is a double coated breed, and you are living in a hot climate, then bring them into a climate-controlled environment during the heat of the day and make sure they have plenty of shade options, even on milder days.
Here we go with our top picks!
Best Dog Clippers
Best Rated Professional Dog Clippers
Andis UltraEdge AGC2 2-Speed Detachable Blade Clipper
This is our choice for the best rated professional dog clippers.
If you have some experience and know for sure you will be grooming from home, then this is worth every penny of the upfront investment.
This is quality gear, and the choice of many dog grooming professionals.
This model has two speeds, 3,400 and 4400 spm, perfect for both delicate trimming and heavy duty main body work.
It fits the Andis UltraEdge® carbon steel blades and has an innovated cool-running design to cut down on the potential to burn your dog by accident.
In terms of maneuverability, there is a full 14’ cord to easily move around your dog during a trim. It is a little heavy, coming in at over a pound.
This is part of the price of having such a powerful and durable construction. This is not unusual for professional grade clippers.
Best Rated For Budget
Wahl Professional Animal PRO ION Home Pet Grooming Kit
If you are looking for a solid choice in inexpensive dog clippers, this is a good choice for you.
Coming in under $50, this is about as low in price as you want to go without worrying about poor quality. This model is cordless, using a Pro Ion Lithium battery so the power capacity won’t fade over time.
You may want to go with a more powerful model if you have a dog with thick fur. This model just won’t have the power to get through the full coat of a Labradoodle, for example.
But for your little Bichon Frise?
It will go through their hair like butter. Or, use it as your second pair of dog clippers to make quick work of trimming delicate areas.
Although this is not our top pick for beginners, it does come with a fairly complete selection of extras to get you stared with grooming your dog from home.
The blade adjusts from #30-15-10, which gives you lots of length options. It also comes with 7 combs, so you are ready to practice just about any cut.
You can count on Wahl, long a leader in making trimmers for pets and people.
You have a full 30 days to return for a full refund, and a 1-year manufacturer guarantee to buy with confidence.
Best Rated For Beginners
Andis EasyClip Pro-Animal 11-Piece Detachable Blade Clipper Kit
Why did we choose this model as our top dog clipper for beginners?
Well, for one thing, it comes with a wide assortment of combs, so you can try different lengths for your trim. They go from 1/16” to 1” in length.
In addition, it comes with two #10 blades, one is ceramic and the other is stainless steel. Since each has a slightly different action, you can decide which you like better before buying replacements.
The 3,700 spm speed is just right for beginners.
Faster speeds can heat up trimmers very quickly, potentially burning your dog. Stick with this model until you get some practice.
When you are ready for an upgrade, check out our Professional Grade Pick.
It also comes with a case, blade brush, blade oil, stainless steel shears and a helpful DVD giving pointers on how best to use these clippers for a trim – just about everything you need to get started with home trimming.
Consider picking up some Andis Cool Care Plus with your purchase if you go with this model. It will help you keep the clipper blades cool during your next trim.
Best Rated For Thick Coats
Oster A5 Two Speed Grooming Clipper
In order to make quick work of thick fur, you will want to make sure you have enough top speed power.
This model features a top speed at 4,000 spm but also gives you the control to go to lower speeds to prevent the clippers from getting hot and burning your dog – great for longer use applications.
In addition, when using dog trimmers on thick hair, you will need to stop often and clean the blades or they will get very hot. This unit comes with a blade brush for just that purpose.
And, be sure you buy some additional blade lube. Keeping your blades lubed is key to prevent overheating.
You probably will want to buy some additional blades to go with this unit.
If you are buying dog clippers for thick fur, you will want to start with some larger combs first, then use a smaller comb or blade to finish your trim work.
Here are the technical specs for why we love this choice as the best clippers for thick coats:
Best Rated For Finishing Work & Cordless
Wahl Motion Lithium Ion Clipper
If you are looking to do some fancy grooming at home, or plan on trimming the delicate areas of the face and feet, they you should think about investing in a set of dog clippers for finishing.
Finishing clippers are narrower than those used on the main body areas. They are more light weight for superior control and usually very quiet compared to clippers used for larger areas of the body.
The model is also cordless for even more precision.
Another standout feature of these trimmers is the Wahl Pro Blade which allows you to adjust blade length without changing out the blade.
Select between 9, 10, 15 30 and 40 to quickly get that perfect trim for fancy cuts.
In addition, Constant Speed Control automatically chooses the right speed for the job, up to a full 5500 spm.
The lithium ion battery is another plus of this model. It charges completely in 60 minutes and will run at full power for 90 minutes per charge. In a pinch, you can even use these dog trimmers for finishing while the unit is plugged in.
Here are the full specs so you can decide for yourself:
Recommended Accessories for Grooming Your Dog at Home
How to Cut Dog Hair at Home
Expect a little trial and error as you work through grooming your dog at home for the first several times.
To get started on the right track, here are some general tips for success:
- Dull blades pull hair out rather than cut it. This is very uncomfortable for your dog and can even make them phobic of future trims. Be sure to order fresh blades at the first sign yours are getting dull.
- To keep your blades sharp, you should wash and blow dry your dog before each trim. The dirt that gets trapped in your canine’s fur does more work to wear out your blades than anything else.
- Buy quality gear. No matter what the job, and grooming is no exception, cheap gear will make things frustrating and harder. If you want to ensure success, be sure to buy the top rated dog clippers, such as the models reviewed here.
- Take lots of care around the eyes of your furry friend. In fact, stick with using Safety Rounded Tip Scissors until you have plenty of practice under your belt with your trimmers. One wrong move near the eyes can cause a tragic injury in a split second.
- Clippers get hot. Even the best gear will eventually get hot enough that contact with the skin can burn. As you get to know your gear, check it regularly to make sure that it is not heating up past your dog’s comfort levels.
- Reward your dog often during grooming sessions. It is important that your canine companion can associate their trim with some good stuff, like high value food rewards cut into tiny pieces and plenty of soothing praise. Make sure to choose moments to reward when your furry friend is being calm, still, and compliant.
- Don’t ignore signs that your dog is in pain. There is a difference between fussing and trying to tell you that they are in pain. If your dog yelps, check the heat of the clippers and look for a cut at the last place you were trimming. Finally, skin under areas that have been matted with fur can be extremely sensitive. You may want to work those areas gently with a comb and some high-quality hair scissors.
- Always trim with the grain of your dog’s hair growth for the most even look on the final trim.
More Resources for Grooming Your Dog at Home
It doesn’t do much good to describe how to trim your dog’s hair.
Rather, we thought it would be helpful to find some exceptional videos that offer lots of great instruction on how to best use your dog clippers.