Dog clipper purchasing advice: how to choose the right product

  • What You Need to Know
  • Dog clippers can be battery or mains operated.
  • Depending on the hair length and thickness, a different motor power is recommended.
  • To ensure stress-free clipping for the dog, the device should be as quiet as possible.
  • Compared to a visit to the dog salon, you save money and effort with a dog clipper.
dog clipper comparison

A dog salon at home

The dog is often called man’s best friend. Unlike human friends, however, dog owners must take care of their four-legged friend in a manner appropriate to the species. This includes grooming and, if necessary, trimming or even shearing the coat. Many dog owners prefer to have this done by professionals in a dog salon. However, a visit to the salon can be expensive and time-consuming. Depending on the size of the dog, such a visit can cost 20 to 80 euros. If your dog is large, two salon visits will cost you about as much as a very high quality dog clipper.

Especially if you have a fearful or shy dog, the process can be very energy draining for both animal and groomer. Such a dog may be more likely to have its hair clipped by its master. With a few treats and a calm atmosphere, the activity can even strengthen your bond with the dog. So in the long run, dog clippers will save you effort, money and give you quality time with your best friend.

Dogs are not people

All hair is not created equal. It is true that dog clippers and razors for humans look very similar. However, the latter should never be used for dog clipping. This will not benefit your razor or your dog’s coat.

Why is clipping important?

Dog owners shear their dogs for a variety of reasons. For some, it’s about aesthetics. They simply think their dogs are prettier freshly styled. Especially for dogs competing in beauty contests, a smart haircut is essential.

Some dogs need to be clipped for health reasons. Long fur can quickly become matted. Ticks and other parasites settle there. Matted fur can also lead to skin problems.

dog clipper vet shears dogs

Sometimes a shearing also serves to regulate the temperature. Dogs do not sweat through their skin and therefore cannot cool themselves in summer. However, in some breeds, the coat serves as sun protection. Whether you refresh or harm your dog with a summer shearing depends on the breed of dog or the type of coat.

Not for every breed of dog

Not all dogs need or are allowed to be clipped. For example, dogs with very short coats rarely need clipping or trimming. The main beneficiaries are dogs with long coats, but which do not shed themselves. In dogs with an undercoat, this must not be removed under any circumstances. This damages the structure of the coat. Dog breeds with undercoat include golden retrievers, huskies and collies. Instead, simply brush out the hair to help thin it out. This allows the wind to blow between the long hairs. This will cool the dog down without getting sunburn.

It is best to find out about species-appropriate grooming online, from a breeder or vet. After all, you don’t need to buy dog clippers if your dog is not allowed to be clipped.

Coat types and performance

Dog clippers sometimes differ greatly in terms of their performance. The numerous coat types of dogs ensure that a blanket recommendation regarding the motor power is not useful. Nevertheless, it is possible to give a rough recommendation for the different lengths and thicknesses. A dog with a short coat does not need powerful dog clippers. Long and thick fur, on the other hand, requires a lot of juice. Don’t think that you can cover all your power needs with the most powerful machine. It is true that you can clipper almost any dog coat with a 30-watt machine. However, such a machine generates much more noise, heat and vibration than a weaker model, which can lead to unpleasant shearing.

Short10 watts
Long and thin15 to 20 watts
Long and thickAt least 30 watts
The table describes the appropriate motor power for the respective coat length and thickness.

Adjustable power

With some models, you don’t have to make a commitment regarding the power, as it is adjustable. So if you are unsure which power is right for you, or simply need different powers, an adjustable dog clipper can save you buying another one. On the other hand, adjustable dog clippers are heavier, more expensive and not as robust, as they have more complicated equipment. Also, depending on the model, they can be a little harder to handle.

Pro points

  • Flexible
  • No other dog clippers needed


  • Expensive
  • Heavy
  • Not very robust
  • Possibly bulky

Other buying criteria

In addition to the motor power, the scope of delivery of the dog clippers is also decisive for the purchase decision. A device without different comb attachments and accessories for grooming will most likely turn out to be neither flexible in use nor durable. Features such as the noise level of the machine are very important for the comfort of the dog during clipping.

Battery or corded?

Dog clippers can be battery or mains powered. Some models even offer both. The type of power supply is mainly decisive for the user or the dog owner or groomer. It does not make much difference to the dog.

Battery-powered devices

Battery-powered devices can be used flexibly. Since they are not connected to a cable, they can be used anywhere. For example, you can shear your dog in the garden or on the balcony without having to stay near a power socket. The absence of a cord also makes it easier to shear hard-to-reach areas of the dog’s body. However, you must always pay attention to the battery charge level. If the battery is short or used for a long time, the shearing process may need to be interrupted to recharge the device. The running and charging time of rechargeable batteries varies quite a bit from model to model. Last but not least, battery-powered dog clippers are often not as powerful as mains-powered models.

Pro points

  • Can be used flexibly anywhere
  • Practical for hard-to-reach areas


  • Limited operating time
  • Battery level must be taken into account
  • Possibly long charging times
  • Weaker performance

Mains-powered models
Mains-powered models usually have a higher performance. You can use them continuously without having to consider battery life. However, such models are somewhat more limited in their usability. They can only be used near a power socket, as most cables are no more than four or five metres long. However, you can get around this problem with an extension. Furthermore, the cable can get in the way when you are using it, making it difficult to clip some parts of the dog’s body. For example, the dog could get tangled in the cable or even start to nibble on it. If the cable becomes defective as a result, you will no longer be able to use the machine.

Pro points

  • More power
  • No charging pause required


  • Socket required
  • Obstructions during shearing due to cableUnusable if the cable is defective


A dog clipper must not only be effective, but also ensure pleasant clipping for your four-legged friend. After all, the dog must not be afraid of it or even hurt itself in the process. The most important feature of a clipper for the dog’s comfort is its volume. Dogs have very good hearing and therefore perceive sounds much more intensively than humans. In addition, the device is often used near the ears. How sensitive your dog is to this depends on his personality. Some dogs are not bothered by loud humming noises, while others are very skittish. Most manufacturers therefore specify the noise level. A volume below 60 decibels is recommended, which is about the same as a normal conversation volume. If no specifications are available, you can use the motor power as a guide. As a rule, the more powerful the engine, the louder it is. Therefore, it is important not to go straight for the most powerful dog clipper.

The strength of the vibration is also important for the comfort of the dog. This also depends on the motor power and should be kept as low as possible. Too much vibration could frighten or even hurt the dog when clipping sensitive areas.

Last but not least, you should pay attention to the temperature of the blades. After a long period of use, the blades can become very hot. This is extremely unpleasant for the dog and can even lead to a burn in extreme cases. Ceramic blades do not heat up as quickly and are more suitable than metal blades in this respect.

Shaving head and attachments

In order to be able to shear in different lengths, you need not only different comb attachments but also an adjustable shearing head. Most models have this. The cutting length is usually adjustable between 0.8 and 2.0 millimetres.

For clipping longer fur, you need additional comb attachments. In most cases, the cutting length of the attachments for dog clippers is between 1 and 12 millimetres. In some cases, however, this can reach up to 25 millimetres. The number of comb attachments included depends on the scope of delivery. Often the clippers come with four attachments for 3, 6, 9 and 12 millimetres.

dog clipper dog paw gets sheared


For safety and hygiene reasons, the blades of dog clippers must be rust-resistant. For this reason, stainless steel, titanium and ceramic are mainly used in their manufacture. Ceramic has the advantage that it heats up more slowly. Titanium is lighter than stainless steel. However, all three materials are corrosion-resistant and durable.

To maintain the blades effectively, they must also be removable. This allows them to be thoroughly cleaned and oiled after each use, keeping them sharp and frictionless for a long time. Dull blades can result in hair being pulled out instead of cut off, which can be very painful for the dog.

Weight and width

The weight of the machine often goes hand in hand with the width of the clipper head and is mainly a consideration for the user. If you have a large dog or you are clipping several dogs in a row, you should go for a light machine, as a heavy machine can be very tiring in the long run. A mains-powered model without adjustable power level is usually lighter than a battery-powered model with different power levels. A dog clipper can weigh from about 200 to 700 grams. Most models weigh 500 to 600 grams.

A wide clipping head ensures a shorter clipping time, as a larger area can be clipped with one movement. However, a wide shaving head is not always an advantage. Some areas of the body, such as the dog’s face, require fine work, which is made more difficult by a wide shearing surface. The same applies to the paws. Some suppliers even make models that are exclusively for the face and paws.

Useful accessories

When you buy a dog clipper, a number of accessories are usually included. Especially with regard to maintenance, a cleaning brush and oil for the blades are indispensable. With these, you can clean your machine properly after the first use, so that you can use it for a long time.

With battery-operated models, a spare battery can be an advantage. Simply exchange the empty battery with the full one and recharge the former during shearing. This way you do not have to interrupt the clipping process for a long time when the battery is empty.

Last but not least, dog clippers often come with accessories for styling and finishing work. For this, dog clippers and a comb are very helpful. With the scissors you can work in detail and style your dog as you wish. A comb ensures before and after clipping that the coat of your four-legged friend does not become matted.

How to shear your dog

There are a few things to keep in mind when shearing your dog. Not only is a certain amount of preparation and follow-up required. The correct shearing direction and length are also important.

dog clipper comping


The dog’s coat must be clean and dry. So wash the dog before you start shearing and let the coat dry. It must then be carefully brushed out. Matted fur can make the process difficult and cause the animal pain during shearing. Last but not least, give the dog some time to get used to the clippers. So first let him sniff it in peace. Then switch it on and simply hold it near the dog so that it becomes familiar with the sound.

dog clipper shearing


Probably the most important tip in the shearing process is to always shear in the direction of the coat’s growth. As a rule, the entire body is sheared at the same length. Which length is best for your dog depends on the breed and your aesthetic requirements. Find out about this in advance online or from the breeder. Tail, legs and face need special treatment. These parts of the body are usually clipped with a longer attachment. This looks more natural on most breeds.

dog clipper bathing


After you have shorn your dog extensively and, if necessary, the finishing touches have been done with the scissors, you only need to carry out the final steps. In order to get rid of all remaining superfluous hair, you should once again shower the dog under lukewarm water. Then comb the coat completely to remove any remaining hair. Last but not least, remove the shaving head, clean and oil it.

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