If posting clipper blades to me PLEASE wrap them individually either in bubble wrap or paper towel. The postage system is very rough and if blades are not wrapped considerable damage can be done, resulting in the blades being damaged beyond repair. Also stuff the packaging so there is little room as possible for the blades to bounce around.
The most common animal clipper blade used by professional groomers is the A5 style clipper blade. They snap on and off the hand unit, as opposed to being directly screwed on. What is interesting is that most people have no idea that they are A5 style, so when they search for a sharpener they use a vast variety of search terms. These searches include Animal clipper blade sharpening, clipper blade sharpening, Andis clipper blade sharpening, Wahl clipper blade sharpening and Oster clipper blade sharpening. There are other brands such as Buttercut, Shear Magic and Heiniger, but they not commonly searched.
When looked after by the groomer, these blades can have a reasonably long service life. If cared for properly they can be sharpened 10-11 times, before being worn out and unable to be sharpened ever again.
Here at A Sharp Blade I have 2 Animal Clipper blade sharpening machines. I have "The Shop Machine" which has automated arms that hold the clipper blades on the wheel. I also have a manual clipper blade machine which has 2 plates. One plate has the correct taper for A5 and the second plate has a custom taper for horse and sheep blades.
To correctly sharpen a clipper blade they need to be pulled apart. They are then washed and dried. This is to keep any contaminates away from the clipper blade wheel. For standard A5 blades 240 grit is used. The blades are sharpened in sets as The Shop Machine has a bracket that holds the comb backwards so both the comb and the cutter can be sharpened at the same time. The lugs on the socket are re-tensioned. This is so that the blade does not rattle or vibrate when on the clipper hand unit. Tension is added to the spring where needed. The ideal tension is 2 and half to 3 and a half pounds. Too loose or too tight and the blade will not cut. Too tight and the blade will wear faster.
When a piece of metal is held against a spinning piece of metal the small piece will become magnetic. Therefore the comb and the cutter are now magnetic and will stick to each other. To prevent this the comb and the cutter need to be demagnetized BEFORE being assembled. While sharpening creates a new clean and sharp surface, at a microscopic level there are metal “fines” that will stick up. If you fail to demagnetize the comb and cutter will be magnetically attracted to each other and the metal fines will dig into the opposite surface and dull the blade quicker. Demagnetizing makes the metal fines lie down and the surfaces will glide over each other if the user applies oil regularly.
When assembled the socket is then re-tensioned to the comb, which makes the blades slid on and
attach to the blade socket. The blade is oiled and then tested. The testing is on Fake fur or fluff.
The clipper blade is now ready to go back to the client.
Adjustable Clipper blades or Barber clipper blades
Adjustable clipper unit can be easily identified by the lever on the side of the unit that moves the lower comb blade forward or back. The shortest cut possible where the comb and cutter teeth are the closest together. The longest cut possible is where the teeth are furthest apart. The clipper blade is screwed directly onto the hand unit.
Please drop off the entire hand unit and clipper blade. These clipper blades are also washed and dried. They are sharpened on half speed with 320 grit. These blades have less metal and need a less aggressive grit and slower speed.
As per the A5 clipper blades, they need demagnetizing too. They are then assembled onto the
clipper unit, oil and tested for cut.
Some mini trimmers can be sharpened and some cannot. There is a wide variety of brands and styles. Shear Magic Mini trimmers can be sharpened. It is best if you can please send a photo of your mini trimmer to see if it can be sharpened.
Caring for your clipper blades
My sharpening is only a part of the clipper blade cutting. Some sharpeners say that 50% is the blade and 50% is the hand unit. However, there is also the care of the blade during and after use that makes a difference to how long the blade will cut for.
The 2 essential items a groomer needs to look after their clipper blades DURING grooming is a ceramic tile and clipper blade OIL.
Ideally when grooming a dog, say on a #7 blade, you should have two #7 to groom that dog with. When the blade gets hot, take it off the hand unit and place it on the ceramic tile. The ceramic tile will draw the heat out of the blade. To continue grooming while the blade cools put the other #7 on the hand unit and continue grooming until that blade is hot. When swapping the hot blades over remember to oil the blade and run the blade on the hand unit to spread the oil. Oil is vital to extend the serviceable and usable life of the clipper blade.
At the end of the grooming day all clipper blades should be dried with the blow dryer. This dries them and also helps to remove hair and debris. Clipper blades should NOT be stored wet. Water on the clipper blades will cause rust to the cutting surface and shorten the usable life in between sharpening, and in severe cases will shorten the life of the blade as the blade will need to spend more time on the wheel to remove the rust pits, which is shortening the life of the clipper blade.
When the blade is dry oil should be applied to the blade. Run a light line across the teeth, a drop on
the nylon guide and a drop on the rear rails. Then put the clipper blade on the unit and run for 15
seconds. This will coat the blade in oil and prevent corrosion and the blade will be ready to use the
next grooming day.
The condition of the clipper hand unit directly effects the cutting ability of the clipper blade. In the sharpening world it is suggested that if the groomer is clipping 6-8 dogs a day 5 days a week then the Blade drive should be changed monthly. Freshly sharpened blades will highlight issues with a worn blade drive. The blade drive is plastic and becomes worn at the sides. Take the clipper blade off your hand unit and look at the blade drive. Are the edges crisp and clean? Or are the edges sheared off at the sides with no defined edge? If so then the blade drive is worn and needs to be changed. The blade drive needs to be considered a consumable part of the clipper blade and budgeted for accordingly.
Trained in the USA.
If you have any questions about my clipper blade sharpening service you can contact me via:
Ph: 0402 469 976
Clipper blades are NOT able to be self-sharpened. There is a $10 surcharge per blade for blades that have been damaged by attempting to self-sharpen. This is on top of the regular sharpening price as blades that have been damaged by attempting to self-sharpen are 3-4 times the amount of work. The surcharge also applies to rusty or otherwise damaged blades that require a lot more extra work. The surcharge applies even the blades do not cut.
A $10 surcharge will apply to any and all clipper blades that have have had ANYTHING other than CLIPPER OIL applied or used as a lubricant.
This includes, but not limited to:
- Singer Sewing machine oil – your clippers are NOT a sewing machine
- Diesel – is a fuel, not a lubricant
- Kerosene – Just NO
- Mineral turpentine
- Methylated spirits, or
- Excessively Rusty
No liability will be accepted for ANY blade that has had anything applied that isn’t Branded Clipper Oil.
Andis RACD blades
See photos: are NOT magnetic and do not stick to the magnets on my machine. I am unable to sharpen RACD blades. These are different to the Andis A5 style. The A5 style are magnetic and designed to be resharpened. A5 have no black plastic.
Regular A5 style and Mini trimmer blades
A5 Wide blades, T10, T84
Adjustable clippers with lever
Horse or Sheep or cow Blades
Wahl 5 in 1 Adjustable blades
$30 Travel fee + sharpening
mobile service only
no drop ins