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Discussion Starter #1
I've been meaning to ask this question for awhile now. With *heather* posting her question about her blades during a shave down, I figured I shouldn't put it off any longer.

By now, I have been using my #10 blade on my Andis Ultraedge for 9 months. I do FFT (almost) every week. Recently, I got a #30 blade to use with metal combs, so the clippers get more wear.

My scissors are a pretty recent addition and still feel very sharp.

My question is how will I know when I need to sharpen the blades and/or replace the blade drive in my clippers? Last thing I want to do is 'rip' the hair out of my poor baby.

Do you take your blades/shears to a dog show to have them sharpened? How often (I know that depends on how often you use them). It would also be nice to know what you expect to pay for a sharpening.
 

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I sharpen my blades when the blade starts not cutting through the hair, but oiling and cleaning it completely allows me to keep using it until I can get it sharpened. I have friends that own three standards, and they've owned their own grooming supplies and groom them themselves every 6-8 weeks. They've owned the same supplies for.. I'm going to say 15+ years? They're ancient! But they've never had to sharpen them. I don't think your blades will need to be sharpened for years, mine are used on multiple dogs a few days a week.

I was suppose to have one of my blades sharpened today =/ my money was in my grooming drawer but the groomer on duty didn't know >(
 

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I generally send a 'set' of blades away maybe 2-3 times a year.

Last year I did an average of 25 full groom dogs a week, 50 weeks of the year = 1250 full grooms. Divided by 3 is 416.6 full grooms on a WIDE range of dogs before the blades get sharpened. This is guesstimating somewhat!

For one dog given a full groom every 6 weeks, it's only getting 8.6 grooms in any given year, yes you're doing FFT every week, but that'd only add up to maybe one more groom in the year, so we'll round it to 10 full grooms in a year on one dog. Hmm, it'd still need to live to be 41 years old to meet my 416 grooms... lol!

So yeah, to be honest with good blade care you won't need to be worrying about getting them sharpened any time soon!

Get a blade and without even attaching it to the clippers, run it through the coat. It wont' run through the coat at all, it'll 'grab' the hair and drag. That's what it'll do when it's dull too; it'll be moving but it wont' be cutting, so it'll just drag and simply won't go through the coat anymore. A good clean is often enough to carry on and at least finish, but be aware that if it starts doing that, they might need done sometime (lol, which might only mean 'this year' for you!!!)

The price to sharpen is pretty cheap. I pay $11.50+gst per blade. This is NZD, so I don't know how comparable it is though... Be aware that not all sharpeners are equal though! Some can and do ruin blades and they come back worse than before; get references, or even call up some local shops and ask who they send theirs to. Even ask hairdressers if there's no groomers!
 
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Be aware when you have your blades sharpened make sure you check each and everyone of them before the actual use. I do this to make sure they are cutting right or they are not making noise. They may need alittle more sharpening or they may need to be tightened some where. Its also best to find someone in your area that sharpens blades instead of sending them off. It will save you money in the long run and alot easier to check to see if they are working correctly. Check with your local vet clinics to see where they have their equipement sharpened. The easiest way of finding someone to sharpen. In my area the price for sharpening is $5.00. Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Awesome! Sounds like I don't have to worry about it anytime soon. I am careful to make certain everything gets cleaned and oiled properly, so I'm sure that helps.

FD...I couldn't help but laugh at the breakdown. I knew you did a ton of grooms, but I wasn't certain how many clippers and blades a professional tends to have on hand. Knowing how the blade will react when it is dull gives me some peace of mind.

According to your numbers, this blade will last me into my 80's! Yikes! "Put the clippers down, and just step away from the dog, Mam" LOL
 

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LOL BFF!!! And think about the fact that a good sharpener might get 8-10 sharpenings out of a blade before they're scrap metal too.... LOL! 25 grooms a week isn't a ton though really, until you know I only work less than 4.5 days a week doing those and that there are plenty of other dogs I do that don't get clippers on them (like the OES who gets done every single week too! lol)

Note that blades will start showing their dull-ness on softer/finer coat first, as they NEED a sharp blade to slice it off easily, the moment your blades start to dull, soft coat is just a bugger to get through, whereas it'll still motor through the coarser stuff easily.

I've got at least two of everything, and more of some! All the blades I have has been around for far longer than I have been grooming for too, my boss reckons at least a few of the blades there are 15-20 years old and still going strong. I only just sent one of those away last week and it came back too worn to sharpen again so now I need to buy another 4F blade to replace it. lol.

I do have all the sizes of blades rather than just one or two, but I don't send anything away until I have a full set really (all the sizes) so I'm still EVERY blade away...
 
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How much oil should be used? Where all do you oil? I know its on the paperwork we get, but groomers usually have better tips.:)
 
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Depends on how often I drop them:eek: Also depends on how many dogs I groom. Sometimes I have to sharpen every month, but those are the months I do 200+ haircuts. I also have some tricks I use to extend their sharpness and a little trick or two that I learned at a Jay Scruggs seminar to fix my scissors if I drop them. Oil and blade wash are my friends, never use spray lubricant like Cool Lube or Clipper Wizard. I have had some of my blades for pushing 20 years now and they are still going strong. My Monk shears are at least 15 years and almost out of blade to sharpen. They have seen ALOT of dogs.
 
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