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I've had an Andis AG2 clipper for at least 15 years, - a real workhorse! I basically have 2 questions:

1) Is there some way to tell the UltraEdge blades from the Ceramic blades? They look alike from what I can tell.

2) I have two large toy poodles that I keep in a plush puppy cut. Torso is cut to 3/4 inch in winter, 1/2 - 5/8 inch in summer. My black boy has curly, somewhat soft fur, of average thickness. It it easy to cut. -- My white boy has very thick fur, softer than the black one, more wavy than curly. His fur is always harder to cut, but some blades are cutting him better than others. For example, an older blade might cut him better than a newer blade (both are lubricated). I'm wondering if it's because one blade is Ultraedge and the other Ceramic? (don't know which blade is which.) Or something else?

Has anyone else run into this? Both types of blades claim that they "stay sharper longer". - Does one of them stay sharper longer? How often do y'all need to get a new blade?

Thanks!
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Firstly, you did an awesome job grooming your white boy, he is super cute. I love that cut on him.

About the blades.

How to tell them apart?

My Ultra-Edge blades are labeled Ultra-Edge. If I remember correctly the Ceramic blades should be labeled Ceramic Edge or something like that. I only have Ultra-Edge blades right now because of personal preference.

As for the dullness issue.

First depending upon where you get the blade you have around a 1 in 5 chance of getting a dull blade. Even if it is only somewhat dull. I have found that Ultra-Edge blades tend to stay sharp longer than the Ceramic Edge blades. I personally would try to bring all your dull blades that are not cutting really well to a blade sharpener. That should fix some of the problem of not cutting the fur well. One thing to remember about blades is that lets say you have a #4 blade and you use it once a month and then you have a #10 blade that you use every other week. The #10 will most likely get dull faster than the #4 because it is getting used more often.

Which is better?

Ceramic Edge Blades.

They stay cooler longer. So, you can use them longer than an Ultra-Edge blade without them getting hot.

The two downsides too them that I have found personally are. They break much easier when dropped than Ultra-Edge blades, and that they do not stay sharp as long as Ultra-Edge blades do.


Ultra-Edge Blades.

They tend to stay sharp longer than the Ceramic Edge Blades, and they do not break as easily when dropped.

The downside to them is that they do get hotter noticeably faster than Ceramic Edge Blades.


Those are the pros and cons to both. It just depends upon personal preference. I personally use Ultra-Edge blades, but I would not be sad if I had to use Ceramic Edge Blades.

I hope this helps and is useful.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks so much for your wonderful and thoughtful reply! It prompted me to investigate things a bit more.

Telling the type of blades apart -- I looked at a bunch of my blades, and none of them say Ceramic Edge or UltraEdge. I realized that there is one difference between them, though. On the back of the blade, there is a second row of teeth. Some blades had a row of whitish teeth, some had a row of (I guess) stainless steel teeth. A bit of research, and I realize that this whitish thing is the ceramic cutter blade. This is the difference between the two -- a ceramic cutter vs. a stainless steel cutter (UltraEdge).

I think this "cutter" is what actually does the real cutting. A bit more research and I find out that this cutter can be very easily replaced! One does not necessarily need to buy a whole new blade, you can buy a new cutter on Amazon for about $8.50 and that should apparently improve things greatly. -- You can also put a ceramic cutter on what was sold as an UltraEdge blade. I ordered one and can let you know how it does! There are some steel cutters sold, but most are ceramic.

What's interesting also is that the brand new blade that wouldn't cut my pup is UltraEdge. The old blade that did cut him (not perfectly, but it cut) is a Ceramic Edge. I had also tried an in-between old blade that's an UltraEdge, and it didn't cut him.

The new ceramic cutter will arrive tomorrow, but I don't really have a dog to clip right now. However, I'd bet that I could neaten up my white guy a bit. There are no sharpening places close by, but a friend of mine might be able to do some. I have accumulated so many blades over the years!

Thanks again! Vicki
 

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Glad you figured it out. I don;t like the ceramic blades because I have white dogs, and I hate not being able to see the "sticky-outie" hairs when I am trimming their face and toes. Apparently its just a personal thing because I have not heard anyone else complain about the visual factor. Or... have they improved on the ceramic blade in recent years, and the part you would see hair on, is no longer white?
 

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The ceramic cutter is white. I don't clip anything super short - even feet I leave with some length of fur - so I don't have the visual issue.

The ceramic cutter arrived! I tried it out on the new 3/4" blade that wouldn't cut. It still wouldn't cut. The ceramic cutter works well on other older 3/4" blades I have. So I think the "new" blade must be a used one with really dull guide blades. So I'm throwing that "new" blade in the trash.

My fault for buying it on ebay (the ebay seller is "clippercenter") -- I thought it would be safe since his ratings were good. I ordered it right after the previous grooming and didn't need to use it until just recently. The seller was within his rights not to let me return it since the return period was (just) passed, ... I acknowledged this when I contacted him with a return request, and told him about the problem. He didn't reply, just refused my request.

It's super easy to replace the cutter, BTW! You just slide in the new cutter as you slide the old one out. Five seconds. Below is a photo of the ceramic cutter.
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