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Skip Tooth or F and guide combs

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  • Skip Tooth or F and guide combs

    I have been grooming for about a year. I learned from an online school and have never worked with another groomer so everything I've learned was from books or what I've read on here. I live in a small town and work as the only groomer by myself at a local animal shelter.

    I have always used skip tooth blades. I've never used F blades. But it seems lately a lot of my cuts are coming out choppy or with line. I use guide combs a lot. However I use a #10 blade with it. I don't own a 30 or 40. Is this why I am getting lines with my snap ons?

    Also I can never seem to get the hair even when I use any blade other than 10 or sometimes 7. The only other blades I have are a 5 and a 4. And I could never seems to get the hair to look even when using these. Right at the moment my 4 and 5 blades aren't working (I recently had them sharpened and they worked once or twice but now they drag through the hair.) I've triedto mess with the setter cutback on them but get frustrated after awhile. So I'm using my guide combs a lot right now

    I do use my 7 in reverse. After seing pple talk about that on here, I gave it a try and love it.

    I did see something else in a previous post about the track lines could be caused by the drive assembly needing to be replaced. I didn't think of that and I have a new pair of clippers I've only used once that I might bring out again to see if that is the problem.

    Any input would be greatly appreciated

  • #2
    Hi there. Yes, it is a good idea to have F blades. I don't use skip tooth blades personally, but I can definitely see the benefits (a lot of people on here use them and love them), but I think that are certain dogs that would benefit from one or the other. For example, a lot of terriers look better with a skip tooth, but if I was doing a shihtzu I would probably want a finish blade. Anyway, I would definitely invest in some.

    Also, I think that you mentioned using a ten under a snap on. I would definitely recommend getting a thirty. A 40 works ok, but they tend to not fit as well, and sometimes the teeth break. You will notice that it goes through with a 30 a lot neater and smoother. Sometimes if I am roughing in a slightly matted dog I might use a ten under a snap on, but for finish work I recommend a 30.

    Also, you mentioned using your 7 in reverse. You can do that with all of your blades, and even comb attachments. If you are getting lines with say a seven you can take a 3 or 4 back and get rid of the lines.

    Good luck
    Scratch a dog and you'll find a permanent job. ~Franklin P. Jones


    • #3
      Same as what rapuzzled said with the #30/#40 blade, though I don't own a #30, and I only use a #40 under the blade, I hear the #30 is best. I learned with a #15 under the combs, but the #40 has done so much better so that is what I have stuck with (until I finally get a #30, lol).

      IF your skip tooth blades are making lines, I am wondering if you're following the grain of the hair. That used to be a big problem I had until I got a clipper vac and shaved everything in reverse...but I don't think that you're supposed to use a skip tooth in reverse, lol. If you really follow the grain of the hair closely, it waves all over the place, but it helps if you follow it. Don't go straight down the ribs of the dog, go at an angle following (again) the grain of the hair.

      As far as your #4 & #5's not working, do you keep them oiled? Also like you said the blade drive, which is generally VERY easy to change, could cause that problem. I hope you find the answers you're looking for because if your #10 blade gives out, you're up a creek without a poodle!

      Tammy in Utah
      Groomers Helper Affiliate


      • #4
        misaligned cutter?

        Hi, like the other gals have said, I pretty much agree.

        But you said you are trying to re-set the cutter!! OMG, you never, never mess with that part of the blade! Your sharpener has set it to a specific value to the other blade! You start taking it apart and messing with it, well, you might as well send it back and have him re-set it. My DH has done blades at Ryan's for 7 years...they hate when groomers try and mess with the cutter, it usually really messes up the baldes! You oil them regular, change out your lever regular. Most of the time, it's not the blade that is having an issue, it's the clipper.

        Your Link and lever (Oster) or your blade drive (Andis) must be changed out on a regular basis, if not you get track line, and the blade just doesn't cut. Sounds like you need a change of lever or blade drive. (do this...hold your clippers, with your and finger, see if you can wiggle or move the lever/blade drive side to side...if you can without much resistance...YOU do need a change out!) Plastic parts usually go bad before your metal blades! Not always, a dirty coat can kill a good cutting blade for sure.
        But I suspect it's the drive. Now, since you've messed with the may have to send them back in for alignment.


        • #5
          Also, something that crossed my mind earlier, but I failed to mention is that it sounds like you only have one of each blade with the exception of maybe the #10 blade.

          You need AT LEAST two of each blade, preferably 3, but two at the minimum in case one is out of commission.

          I have about five #10s, three 7F's, three 5F's, two 4fs, two #3 blades, and one 5/8" blade. I saved my tips and bought what blades I needed, I also had refinanced my car soon after I started grooming and bought several blades with that one month's car payment I didn't have to pay, lol. It saved me for the time being.

          Hope this solves your problem! Nothing makes grooming more miserable than bad tools.

          Tammy in Utah
          Groomers Helper Affiliate


          • #6
            I very rarely use skip-tooths anymore. They WILL leave lines, and it's also alot easier to cut a dog with them. Invest in some Fs, keep your clippers serviced, and you'll probably find your dogs look much better. :-)