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Buying clippers... confused!

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I want to learn how to groom Desmond myself (and hopefully advance to working as a groomer), but I am totally lost as to what clippers to start on. I look at all of the different options and I'm a bit overwhelmed, really... All of the different brands, speeds, types, etc.. I don't know what most of it means. What is the advantage of a 2-speed vs 1-speed anyway?

Can you give me any pointers as to what clippers to buy for a beginning, at home groomer? I want one that I can use for both his f/f/t and his body to try different styles. There is a nice looking one at my local pet store, but it looks like the blade was ceramic and I'm not sure what to think of that. I hear it keeps the blade cooler but is more prone to breaking.
http://www.tscpets.com/10379-pid.html?productid=10379-pid&channelid=NEXTA Everything else seems good though. I also am a bit of a cheapskate so the ones above around $140 are pretty much out of my budget.

They would get a lot of use, as I would want to keep him looking very well maintained (weekly touch ups of his face, feet and tail).
(another thing, that is kind of related: I am thinking about getting an instructional grooming DVD. Any recommendations?)
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First if you want to save money you can always check groomers.net on their "swap and shop" board. When I first started grooming I bought all my stuff used..and most of those items I still have. I have my first shears and even my first pair of clippers.

I bought the Andis AGC 2 speed but you could be just fine with the 1 speed, especially if you're just starting out.


Those seem in your price range and would be a good start. I have a pair as a backup. The clippers also come with a #10 blade, at least those that I linked do.. If you're just starting then a 10 will be perfect for face, feet and tail. It might not be as short as when you go to the groomer to have it done (for instance I use a 40 blade) but using something like that requires practice and someone showing you how to hold it properly at an angle that will not hurt your dog. 30/40/50 are surgical blades and should really only be used by groomers or people experienced. You might read on a forum that using a 40 blade on a face is the right thing to do but stick with the 10, it might grow back faster..but just until you get used to it.

How do you like your poodle groomed? What type of style you like will depend on what blades you need.

I keep a #3, #30 and #10 around for most everything... a #3 is the longest actual blade without jumping to snap on combs. The snap on combs would be used to keep the coat longer than a blade allows and you snap these on to a 10 or 30 blade (or a 40 blade if you use the plastic combs) but I suggest the stainless steel ones..they work better and go through coat much easier and can be found through pet edge or petsmart.com for about $40 i believe for the set or you can get the cheaper plastic combs at petsmart for $20 and that would be a decent set to start with.

You would probably eventually want a pair of straight and curved scissors which i suggest buying used. I bought my curved and straights together for $150 from someone at groomers.net and brand new they are about 250 a piece!! I got a really good deal on them but i had to send them off to be sharpened before i could use them. Other than that they've worked perfect.

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the awesome info, Aidan! I did end up purchasing the Andis AGC 1-speed clippers. It came with a few plastic attachment combs, but I think I'm going to upgrade to the stainless steel ones when I can. The clippers should be coming in the mail in a few days. :)

As for shears, I think I'm going to start out with a slightly cheaper pair... xD I know that the more expensive ones are much nicer, but we just can't afford to put another $100 down on shears. I think I'm going to start out with a slightly cheaper pair from PetEdge or something. Once I am able to, I'll get some decent ones.
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