By Nicole Kallish, Andis Global Education Manager
When you’re in the market for new clippers and accessories, how do you know what’s right for you? I start by asking myself, “Well, what’s my goal”? For me, I need to be able to get through thick coats as I always get matted dogs on my table. I love grooming big dogs and I need a clipper and blade or attachment that can meet those needs day in and day out without breaking the bank.
I’m happy to report that I’ve discovered a great solution for me: a brushless motor clipper like the Andis Endurance® and a 10 or 30 blade with a stainless-steel attachment comb. Why a brushless motor? A brushless motor in a clipper has a very long lifespan with little maintenance. The Endurance clipper has more power and torque than a standard rotary motor clipper and its constant speed technology prevents it from getting bogged down, even in the heaviest of coats. It’s also quiet and light enough to use on single coats.
To achieve a nice, fluffy finish on a coat, I like to pair my Endurance clipper with attachment combs. All attachment combs are not created equal, however, and I prefer a stainless-steel version to get the best finish on an animal. After listening to feedback from pro groomers, Andis recently upgraded its Universal Stainless-Steel Comb set and I couldn’t be happier with the results. They glide through a properly prepared coat with ease and the tooth geometry makes it super easy to attach to a blade. It features a spring-loaded design to keep the comb on the blade securely and is color-coded for quick identification in all the standard lengths. They also come in a handy clear case, making them easy to transport for groomers on the go, such as house call, mobile and competition groomers. The attachment combs can be used with a 10 or 30 blade underneath. I think the 30 gives me a slightly better finish, but both are excellent.
For those of you who don’t have much experience with attachment combs, you might wonder why you should use them. They are used for a few reasons with the top one being that you can leave a longer coat on an animal than with blades. Yes, I know there are longer length blades, but they are also heavier and it’s usually a little more work to get a good finish. Longer blades have their place and I like to have them in my toolkit, but attachment combs give me the most versatility when it comes to lengths and finish.
Another reason attachment combs are used is that you can achieve a short cut when using the shortest combs (red and purple) and still leave some texture on the coat. This makes them perfect for wire-coated breeds that get clipped instead of hand stripped. For example, if I were to use a #7 blade to set the pattern on a Miniature Schnauzer, it will be slick and smooth. The attachment comb will leave just enough hair to make the coat more natural-looking. It’s also easier to blend your lines with an attachment comb, creating a seamless pattern. Going from the shorter back coat and into the longer coat of the legs, the skirt or underline on these trims should not show a distinct line. No hula skirts, please!
Choose your equipment and tools thoughtfully—you want the best that you can afford and remember that these are the tools we use every day to make a living. We need them to work hard for us! That is working smarter and not harder. Happy clipping!