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  1. #1

    Question HELP: Clipper Blades Question

    Here is my first (of many) stupid questions:

    I have started building some basic groomer knowledge through:
    onlinegroomingschool and JKL.

    If I understand correctly, you should always try to cut with the grain and not against the grain. According to one of the above mentioned courses, a 7F blade will leave 1/4" while the other course says 1/8."

    Every chart that I can find online also says 1/8." Is this referring to the hair length when going against the grain (and the 1/4" is with the grain)?

    If so, then why do the charts list the length of hair for going against the grain when you should go with the grain (is it because the charts are telling you the shortest possible the blade will do?)?

    So SORRY for such a silly and stupid question - I promise I'm not too much of an idiot!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Ontario Canada
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    Default

    That is not a silly question. There's a lot to learn.

    You are correct when you talk about the clipper blade length going against the grain. All the blades reference against the grain length. That is the shortest the blade will cut.

    Going with the grain the length of hair left will vary. On a poodle-y type coat, the length with the grain will be closer to the length left when going against. On a flat coated coat (think Yorkie, etc) a 7 blade can leave the hair a LOT longer. It's trial and error with these dogs to find the blade that will leave the length you are looking for. I always start with a blade a couple of sizes up and work my way down to the desired length. You need to watch out for "cow-licks" when clipping, as you will end up going against the grain as the clippers go over the far side of the swirl.

    Now, having said that, there are groomers who clip against the grain to achieve the length/look they are after. You may want to try that, once you are comfortable with clipping with the grain.

    Keep asking those questions,
    Karen

  3. #3

    Laugh

    Thank you so much!
    Your reply is GREATLY appreciated!
    Thanks,

  4. #4

    Default

    Oh please, you're not in the slightest idiotic. We all have a beginning, we all must learn. So no need for the "silly" disclaimer. *wink. It's actually a really great question

    Cat Crazy is right on all counts. You have to play around with blade lengths with different coats types. When in doubt try a blade you think is too long with the grain and work your way down sizes. You probably should only tackle against the grain clipping after you're really comfortable with going with the grain. It's easy to catch skin in the blade with a reverse cut.

    Again, good question. I know there's been confusion with my former co-workers (they didn't bother to look it up!)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    1,116

    Default

    [QUOTE=Cat Crazy;375325]

    All the blades reference against the grain length. That is the shortest the blade will cut.

    This is not true. The blade reference is with the grain, and is as follows, (#40) 1/100" (#10) 1/16" (#7) 1/8" (#5) 1/4" (#4) 3/8", these are your most common blades.

  6. #6

    Default

    [QUOTE=LJRSnowcat;375413]
    Quote Originally Posted by Cat Crazy View Post

    All the blades reference against the grain length. That is the shortest the blade will cut.

    This is not true. The blade reference is with the grain, and is as follows, (#40) 1/100" (#10) 1/16" (#7) 1/8" (#5) 1/4" (#4) 3/8", these are your most common blades.
    Via the Pet Edge website but also on others:

    "Length of hair left when cutting against the natural grain of the coat, or on a dog breed with an off-standing coat, such as a Poodle or Bichon Frise. Cutting with the grain of the coat on most breeds leaves it one clipper blade length longer. For instance, a #7 clipper blade leaves approximately 1/8" hair when going against the grain, but will leave approximately 1/4" when going with the grain."

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Illinois
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    8,475

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    Sally is right. Blade reference charts are against the grain. The reason for that is because if you're clipping with the grain there can be a wide difference in how short the blade cuts, depending on the coat type. Curly coats feed into the cutter much differently than a flat coat such as is found on a Lab. I've seen blades skim over a 3 inch flat coat without cutting off any length at all.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
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    I do see that's what the manufacturers say.....I just don't understand, it makes no sense to me. I know that coats cut differently, I've been grooming for a 1/4 of a century, but that's why you back brush, to get the hair to the right length. Reverse clipping is not what everyone does as a normal practice( I think it would be called regular clipping then) and it's not my preferred method either. I've become very proficient at using the clippers as a sculpting tool and although I SOMETIMES do reverse clipping it's not an everyday practice, for me. It just doesn't make sense.....If I want a 3/8" cut then I would need to use a #5 blade instead of a #4 (which says 3/8") and a 10 if I want a 1/8" cut instead of a #7? I was taught many moons ago, and I know things change but, I was told that a #7 blade cut to 1/8" unless it was used in reverse and then it was the same as a #10. Not the other way around where it's longer if used with the grain. Have they changed that because of the different coat types, although that wouldn't make sense to me either? Am I so far behind in grooming techniques that these days everyone grooms in reverse, is that what's being taught in the schools? What gives with this?
    Last edited by LJRSnowcat; 12-30-09 at 08:55 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    79

    Smile blades

    HERE, HERE TO THE ABOVE. I cant be bothered to use blades in reverse - ok, sometimes I am sure its works for a particular coat, but you don't really need to. Just get used to using your 4, 5, 7, 10, 30 and 40, not forgetting your Wahl metal combs over a 10, 15 or 30. With practise you will be turning out lovely grooms with these combinations.

  10. #10

    Tears Times are a changing

    I've groomed for many many moons to! It seems nowadays groomers are forced to do reversed blade work on many dogs 5f rev on goldens 7f rev on pugs. to give the owners what they want, and now it seems the norm. I was told a couple weeks ago that the grooming school a co-worker went to, they no longer teach them to clip nails only drumel. This seems to be do to spiting nails. ok maybe thats so but I asked her if she clipped her own nails or only drumeled them. maybe I'm just getting old but I remember when people wanted their dog in a cute clip nowdays its all about take it all off!

    I miss the ole days!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Tacoma, Washington
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    276

    Smile Ditto

    Quote Originally Posted by LJRSnowcat View Post
    I do see that's what the manufacturers say........, is that what's being taught in the schools? What gives with this?
    This exactly how I was taught and what I believe!!!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Austin, TX
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    Quote Originally Posted by LJRSnowcat View Post
    I do see that's what the manufacturers say.....I just don't understand, it makes no sense to me. I know that coats cut differently, I've been grooming for a 1/4 of a century,... Am I so far behind in grooming techniques that these days everyone grooms in reverse, is that what's being taught in the schools? What gives with this?

    I too was taught the same thing. I was always told that a #7 rev is the same as a #10 with, and a #4 rev is the same as a #7 with. I really don't pay attention anymore, I now know what blade I need to use for the various coat types to achieve the look I want. The only time I ever use a rev blade is on a cat, or the occasional short haired dog shave down (pug, lab, etc etc). One of my co-workers has only been grooming a couple years, and she went just a regular grooming school. I think it was like a 8 or 12 week course. Anyway, she wants to do a reverse blade on EVERYTHING. It drives me nuts. She does it because they didn't teach her about back brushing, or proper drying techniques, and she does it so that she doesn't have to do so much scissor work when finishing the dog. She will sit there and go over a dog 10 times with a blade to make sure the dog is smooth. Me and another co-worker keep trying to show her that she can go back and scissor it for a smooth finish in half the time. She just won't listen. And she wonders why she can't do more than 3 or 4 grooms a day. Oh well...

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