Hi there! My name is Jane, and over the years I’ve personally trimmed my dogs’ fur when they become large hairy furballs. As you might imagine, I’ve had some ups and downs with equipment, and I’ve made multiple purchases over the years to find the best ones for me. As such, I fancy myself to be a bit of an expert now, but it wasn’t always this way!
One thing I had trouble with starting out was finding reliable dog clipper reviews. Each review seemed like it was written hastily, with little to no useful information that I could use. I just wished that somebody knowledgeable was around to tell me everything I’m about to tell you back when I was still looking. After trying out quite a few brands and types of dog hair clippers, I’ve narrowed them down to what I feel are the best options you should buy to fit your specific needs.
Since there are so many pairs of clippers out there, it can be overwhelming going through them one by one. This review will cover the most useful features of the only two brands you should be looking to get, Oster and Andis. My goal with this review is to make this process as painless and smooth as possible for you because I remember how frustrating this was for me too.
Andis: Arguably the Most Popular Professional Dog Clippers Available
I have used many Andis Clippers, and have noticed many groomers using them as well. Their clippers are extremely high quality, and I own a couple that have survived many tough grooming sessions and are still going strong. Keep in mind that how often you use your dog clippers should dictate how much money you should invest in a pair of quality clippers.
For those of us who decided to take matters into our own hands and groom our dogs at home, buying a good pair is essential and should be seen as an investment – after all, you will save money in the long run on grooming costs. It’s hard to go wrong with such an established brand as Andis, and they will no doubt uphold their reputation when it comes to dog clippers.
One cool thing about Andis clippers are that all of them that I have seen have detachable blades (super important for dogs with different coats), so I am not going to repeat myself saying this in each review and just mention it here. Below is a list of my personal top three, with the last one being my favorite (but that doesn’t mean the others are bad!)
Andis Two-Speed Pet Clipper
This clipper is really quiet and can handle practically any cut. As someone who has embarrassingly tried to use human hair clippers on her pets, let me just give you a word of advice: don’t, or you’re going to have a bad time. Animal hair, including hair on our cats and dogs, is much tougher than you might think, and anything less than a good pair of pet hair clippers will not get the job done. There are two speeds you can set the clipper to: 2,700 and 3,400 SPM (strokes per minute).
A #10 UltraEdge blade is included with this clipper (Andis’ stainless steel line). If you are a fast worker or you’re only doing a quick cut, this is fine. However, keep in mind that prolonged use (20+ minutes) will cause the blade to heat up slightly. If this happens to you, I suggest you turn it off and set it on a cool surface or apply cooling spray on it. A great alternative is to use a CeramicEdge blade, which is resistant to heating up.
As far as durability and usability goes, this clipper is great. It comes with a 14-feet long chord which allows for plenty of movement, and the body feels sturdy.
Overall, I feel this is a great clipper to start with and one that will last you a long time. This is perfect for use on larger breeds.
Andis PowerGroom clippers are a step up from the two-speed. Though they both weigh the same, the PowerGroom packs a bigger punch with a much higher SPM at 4,500 (though this is the only speed. This pair comes included with a #10 CeramicEdge heat resistant blade rather than a stainless steel one.
With that said, it is otherwise very similar to the two-speed. It’s not loud, but it can unfortunately heat up a bit if you have a long trimming session. If you’re worried about this affecting you, consider buying Andis’ Cool Care Plus or other such cooling sprays.
Closing remark – The PowerGroom is aptly named. This lightweight yet powerful tool can drastically simplify the hair clipping process. However, one main consideration is whether or not the increased SPM at only one speed justifies the price increase from a two-speed.
Andis AGC Two-Speed Pet Clipper (or as I like to call it, the Ultra Two-Speed)
This is my favorite clipper from Andis, and for good reason. It weighs even less than the PowerGroom and two-speed, which your wrists will thank you for.
Moreover, this pair is even quieter than the rest. When trimming my dogs, they rarely if ever flinch when I am using the AGC two-speed, which is ideal for pets that frighten easily. It also stays cool for a long time, though keeping it on forever will cause it to heat up eventually.
And to top it all off, this clipper is in the same price range as the PowerGroom.
Overall, the AGC two-speed is probably one of the best hair clipper for your dogs, especially if they are sensitive. If it is within your budget, I highly recommend this pair.
Oster: Trading Blows with Andis
Many swear that Andis is the only brand you can go with, but quite a few would say the same about Oster. So which is better? I’m slightly biased, as most of my clippers are Andis clippers, but the praise for Oster cannot be ignored. These next clippers I don’t personally own, but I went and did the research, and these are what I believe to be the best Oster clippers.
Oster Turbo Two-Speed Clipper
This clipper has not received many iterations over the last decade, perhaps because it doesn’t need any more revisions. A few of my friends have mentioned that they first used them back in college, and they worked well so they stuck with it.
This clipper comes with two speeds (hence the name) which are 3,000 and 4,000 SPM. Similar to the previously mentioned Andis clippers, this also comes with a #10 blade and prolonged used will cause it to get very warm.
Conclusion: The Oster Turbo is a reliable clipper that will serve you well.
Oster Powermax Two-Speed Clippers
Some people have encountered issues with the sturdiness of this clipper, however these cases seem rare and some leeway should be provided for outlier cases. Most reviews for the Powermax are glowing, averaging at about four out of five stars.
They have high speeds (3,700 and 4,200 SPM) and weigh just as little as the Andis PowerGroom. Unlike the older versions, this pair has since had a redesign which improved the ergonomics of it, and now it has been contoured for better and more comfortable handling. Interestingly, the Powermac and the aforementioned Turbo are similar in price.
The Best Dog Clipper Depends on How Big Your Dog Is
Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all approach to this, and different breeds need different setups.
I own a standard poodle and he needs to be clipped with a heavy duty clipper. My tool of choice is the Andis PowerGroom dog clipper to deal with his thick coat, and its worked very well other the years. With that said, most clippers actually can handle various coats, however what we’re looking for is convenience and how optimal it is. For example, it could be easier to use a smaller setup, like the AGC two-speed, if you mostly clip smaller dogs.
The biggest thing to be aware of in your setup is the size of your blades. You must pick the appropriate blade size and this depends on how long you want your dog’s hair to be – the smaller the size number, the less it will cut. As an example, the popular #10 that is frequently offered will leave your dog’s coat at 1/16”.
To trim a poodle, the ideal blade would be something like a #3/4 to a #7 (this leaves 3/4” to 1/8” of fur) on the body section, and a #10-30 (1/16” to 1/50” long) for more closely trimmed areas.
Also keep in mind that every brand of dog hair clippers use universal blades, meaning that a blade from Oster can work with Andis or any other brand, and vice versa.
Reference Size Chart
|Size||Hair Length (in Inches)||Hair Length (in Millimeters)|
|3 3/4||1/2”||13 mm|
|4 1/2||5/16”||7.9 mm|
|8 1/2||7/64”||2.8 mm|
The Harsh Truth of Home Grooming
If I’ve given off the impression that grooming your dog is easy, please forgive me. To be frank, it’s actually pretty difficult, initially. That’s the key word. However, once you have some firsthand experience, you will realize how economical and doable this whole process is.
But, as a beginner, depending on the size of your dog, you are faced with a task that will likely take several hours to complete the first time you do it. Don’t let this scare you. Embrace the challenge and develop an incredibly useful skill while you’re at it. Be prepared!
Prior to starting your first clip, here is a checklist of things you should have on hand to ensure the best clipping experience for yourself and your dog(s).
- Clippers! (Duh!)
- Clipper oil
- Ear-cleaning tools if necessary
You don’t need to overdo it the first time. Some people have actually spread the grooming process over a few days (I’m sure your dog will forgive you). Just make sure you have some time available each day to work at it if you do decide to take this approach.
Whew, you made it to the end! I’m sure that was a lot of info for you to take in, so I want to close off with just a summary of quick points so that hopefully you can retain some information.
- Ceramic blades are heat resistant, and metal blades can get quite hot over time. If heat is a concern, use ceramic instead.
- All of the clippers listed on this page are highly versatile and can work on dogs of many sizes and breeds. It’s hard to go wrong with Oster and Andis.
- Only a powerful clipper can trim through dog hair. Don’t settle for a low quality brand, you’ll only end up spending more money when it inevitably fails you and you have to spend more money on a quality clipper.
- If you’re confused about the blade sizing chart, perhaps pay a visit to a local groomer and they will no doubt be happy to assist you.
Check out this website for more information on grooming tools.