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  • Newbie question

    So I'm finally ordering a Wahl and I have some questions. Is their coolant a necessity, or can I get by without it? I'm buying convenience items later and roughing it for now. I'd buy the $15 spray can and there was no pic or mention of size: does anybody know how long that would last? I hope it's months or years and not weeks!

    And for disinfectant for my tools, the website I'm buying from has barbicide, a small bottle for about $7, or some small spray bottle for $5 that doesnt' look like it'll last more than a month. So I thought I'd get the barbicide, but does it last a while? I keep it in a container with a lid and through it out after it gets dirty right? You couldn't bleach them or clean with rubbing alcohol could you? (Blades, shears, combs etc) I'm planning on upgrading my stuff soon so what do you guys think? Comparing barbicide to one that's dilutable, do you guys think I should just skip it and pay for an expensive one?

    And how do the blades work for a KM2? I know it comes with a 10-blade. Is a competition series or something else? And can I order competition series to go with it? The 7F's and the other sizes will fit on it right?

    Thanks alot for helping again!! Much needed and appreciated

  • #2
    The KM-2 is an A-5 clipper, that means if you buy any A-5 blades they should be interchangable. Like I use a Laube, but it too uses A-5 blades so I can buy/use Andis, Wahl, Buttercut or Laube blades. Also, coolant is not necessary and if possible try to avoid using it. It's better to keep your blades clean and well oiled. They'll stay sharper longer and less of that spray well get into the housing of your clipper and clog it up. If the blade gest hot while clipping try to have a spare to interchange or take the blade off and place it one a piece of tile (helps it cool faster). Always have more than one of each blade size so you can switch out a hot blade or if one breaks/chips you're not out of luck.

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    • #3
      Really!!!

      Wow, I thought coolant was pretty much used day-in day-out just like the cleaner. Ok, I'll get an extra 10blade for sure. so any size blade will go on a clipper right? Like I can put on a 7F? At the course I'm taking it seems like every single cut she teaches you use a 7F and cut against the grain. I realize I'm going to have to learn other ways because there are many ways to cut hair, not just one-that's why they make so many different blades!! (little frustrated with the course!) Anyway, since the KM2 goes from ....let me think, I believe it goes from a 40 to a 10? so will owning only 10blades, and 7's, 7F's, 5's, 5F's etc do me? Like, I won't ever need to buy actual 30 blades or 15 blades right?

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      • #4
        OK where are you going to class? A 7F reverse should hardly EVER be used. Its like using a ten and most of us would not use it as a body blade for most dogs. An A5 clipper uses all of the detachable A5blades, not just Wahl but ANdis, Oster, Buttercut, and many many other brands out there. If it is an adjustable trimmer, like the Arco or Bravura then ONLY the adjustable blade for that clipper will work on it.

        You need at least 2 (I like to have more than that) of each size to be able to groom effectively. That is 40, 30, 15, 10, 9, 8.5, 7F, 5F, 4F, 3 and 5/8 PLUS snap on combs (to use with the 40 or 30s). If you are using a ten or a 7F backwards you are ONLY doing shavedowns.

        As for bleach NO NO NO. It will ruin blades and shears. It can cause pitting and rusting in a very rapid manner. DO NOT use coolant sprays. Swap off blades when warm. Use blad oil not coolant so that the blade actually gets lubed and completely cooled. These sprays are dangerous to YOU as well as ineffective for both cooling and lubing.

        Alcohol oin a spray bottle CAN be used to sanitize blades, but they must be cleaned and oiled as well.

        This is not an inexpensive career. Equipment costs money and consumables, like sprays, cleaners and shampoos, run out. No way around it. There is NO WAY to get into this for less than a thousand dollars for basic startup equipment unless you get used things. My basic kit is over $4000 when you add in my shears....not counting tables, dryers, etc.
        <a href="http://www.groomwise.typepad.com/grooming_smarter" target="_blank">My Blog</a> The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. –Mark Twain

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        • #5
          I don't own any blades that are not "F". It is far too easy to nick a dog with the skiptooth blades.

          You WILL need 30 and 15's to get into the pads on the bottom of the feet and (more importantly), to go under snap-on comb attachments. Some groomers have one blade "permanently" attached to each snap-on-comb, so they can quickly groom the pet without stopping to switch blades and put on a comb attachment.

          ANY blades will fit on the KM2 - they don't have to be competition series. Check your different suppliers for sales - sometimes you can get a buy 1, get 1 free sale. Or they'll throw in free shipping.

          Spray coolant has known carcinogens in it, so I avoid it at all costs. Never have used it, never will. I just switch out the warm blades onto a ceramic tile to cool. Invest in some clipper oil and learn how to clean your blades and they'll last a long time.

          Comment


          • #6
            I agree with not using coolant. We used it at school and I hated it. I kept my blades well-oiled and ended up using it a lot less than everyone else. In fact, the only time I really needed it was for going through thick mats, since I only had one of each blade size. In addition to being a health hazard, it gunks up your blades and stinks really bad. It's strong enough to strip off nail polish!. In the words of Marea Tully, "Just change the flippin' blade!"

            I wouldn't recommend using barbicide to clean your blades, as it's a water base, unless you plan to give them a good blast with an HV. Make sure you get all of it off or you will be dealing with rust! I've taking a liking to the h-42 dip for when they get a little messy. Just dip the teeth in and wipe 'em clean. Heck, I still use the "newbie's way" (a friend's choice of words here) of cleaning if my blades get hairy enough: shampoo and water in a bowl, let them sit for a few minutes, rinse thoroughly, and HV the h-e-double-hockey-sticks outta them, followed by a good oiling!

            Also, check out the Wahl SS attachment combs. You will fall in love, like so many of us have before

            Comment


            • #7
              Ok guys, thanks alot for all the answers! I will definitely get the H-42, wahl combs, and a nice tile for my blades! Yeah, there is alot my course didn't cover that it probably should've. My teacher doesn't know alot about what's out there for supplies and tools, so this website is a Godsend. The supportive and understanding attitudes are helpful. I know I'll be great at this career and I'll pick up more and more tips and techniques on my own, but still it's nice for opinions before I actually waste good money and time trying things out.

              Particentral, thanks for your advice too, and your explanation on the clippers. But it just so happens that this isn't all that expensive of a career. It CAN be, but it doesn't have to be. Take it from me. I'd be interested in knowing what you got for your $6000. How much were your shears worth? What kind of tools and equipment did you get? I'd be willing to bet that there was alot of convenience items on there, alot of things to make life a little easier. Because I'd be willing to put up with $30 shears for the next couple months and reinvest my profits on expanding the value of my business. I've been poor all my life. I'm on welfare and I'll have everything bought by next week. And it will have taken me 3 months total. I'm not buying Chris Christensen quality products right off the bat. I don't even own a dishwasher. I am a just a simple woman who knows how to tough it out and deal with what problems come. I work hard and still maintain a good attitude. I might make a very profitable career out of this, and I'll be quite proud to say that I built it from the ground up. There are alot of people on this website trying you that you CAN'T do this without tons of money. Well I'm making it work, and there are tons of others who are, and it's so openly frowned upon by certain people on this board. Why? Many of us happen to be in the perfect place in our lives where we can make this work. The people in my neighborhood aren't raising show dogs. If I gave them two choices for hair length, long or short, they'd probably be happy with that. I'm not running a salon...Yet. But I will have several brushes and combs of all kinds, de-shedding and de-matting tools, shears, thinners, everything. I'm just good at making my money go a long way and I pride myself on that. Just let us do our thing and talk about money if we want to.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by my.cats.name.is.psycho View Post

                Particentral, thanks for your advice too, and your explanation on the clippers. But it just so happens that this isn't all that expensive of a career. It CAN be, but it doesn't have to be. Take it from me. I'd be interested in knowing what you got for your $6000. How much were your shears worth? What kind of tools and equipment did you get? I'd be willing to bet that there was alot of convenience items on there, alot of things to make life a little easier. Because I'd be willing to put up with $30 shears for the next couple months and reinvest my profits on expanding the value of my business. I've been poor all my life. I'm on welfare and I'll have everything bought by next week. And it will have taken me 3 months total. I'm not buying Chris Christensen quality products right off the bat. I don't even own a dishwasher. I am a just a simple woman who knows how to tough it out and deal with what problems come. I work hard and still maintain a good attitude. I might make a very profitable career out of this, and I'll be quite proud to say that I built it from the ground up. There are alot of people on this website trying you that you CAN'T do this without tons of money. Well I'm making it work, and there are tons of others who are, and it's so openly frowned upon by certain people on this board. Why? Many of us happen to be in the perfect place in our lives where we can make this work. The people in my neighborhood aren't raising show dogs. If I gave them two choices for hair length, long or short, they'd probably be happy with that. I'm not running a salon...Yet. But I will have several brushes and combs of all kinds, de-shedding and de-matting tools, shears, thinners, everything. I'm just good at making my money go a long way and I pride myself on that. Just let us do our thing and talk about money if we want to.
                I'm def not Parti so I'm not speaking for her, but I do have a personal answer because I buy the best equipment I can afford. I don't look down on those that can't because we all have different incomes, but I'm going to try to explain why a lot of us push to buy the $$$ items.

                For me, ASIDE from the added benefits of saving my back, hands, wrists, and body with better equipment, if we were to be practical about this, more expensive equipment works better and usually saves you more money in the end. I sharpen my equipment about once every year and a half to two years. Considering how often I see my coworkers sharpen their cheap stuff, my scissors pay for themselves before they need to be sharpened the very first time. The ease of movement I get from my good scissors saves me a lot of time, which allows me to do more dogs, and allows me to make more money. Better products allow me to help prevent matting, and if a dog comes in matted or needing a deshed I have product that speeds that up too. I am tall and I have a special table that raises higher than a usual one so I don't kill my back, thus allowing me to work longer. These are just a few small examples of how better equip saves you AND makes you money.

                As it is very popular to say around here, groom SMARTER, not harder! Why would you want to willingly make this already taxing profession even harder on yourself? I understand you can't get the best stuff immediately, and most of us start out small and work our way up, but I find it hard to understand why you wouldn't want to help yourself EVENTUALLY, because it really is investing in yourself and your clients.

                Also...I realize you aren't going to be doing show dogs but don't you want to turn out the best work you possibly can? Often that is what sets aside a great groomer from your run of the mill groomer. This is your chance to set yourself apart from your competition! Again, growing your business. None of my clients are show dogs anymore, but they don't need to be. My customers can see the difference immediately. They may not know how to articulate it, but trust me, they can tell and it keeps 'em coming back. Again, it's investing in yourself and making yourself more money!

                I hope that made sense. I don't think anyone is looking down on you. If I seem a little strong, its because I see so many groomers cut down before they are ready to go and it's often because their stubborn selves refuse to make it easier on them! We need to look out for ourselves and keep ourselves from injury as much as possible!
                There are 3 different kinds of people in this world: Dog people, cat people, and rational people who don't have a problem liking two things at the same time.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Mycat,

                  I started my business on a VERY limited budget and totally understand your situation. YAY for you trying to get on your feet and off welfare So many in your place wouldn't have the drive to do what you are doing in finding a CAREER that will sustain them, but live off the system that is supporting them.

                  Buy your basic's and build as you go, but buy the best you can afford at the time. I say this with a deep understanding of your pocketbook as I've BTDT. Here's what I had when I first started as for blades.
                  2 - 10's
                  2 - 7's
                  1- 30
                  1- 4
                  1- 5
                  1- 15

                  I've purchased blades since and have found that I love the Buttercut blades. They are even less expensive than the Oster, Andis, Wahl, etc and seem to hold their edge very well.

                  I also already had my Wahl combs, so that helped a lot and my Laube Speed Feed trimmers.

                  While your training might not be ideal, at least you recognize that and are seeking more information. Best wishes in your new career!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I started my shop out on $7000 but knowing what I know NOW I would have spent more.

                    I was talking abou tmy BASIC grooming it that I carry around when I gave that quote.
                    My clippers are $400 each. I have two in case one breaks.
                    3 blades of every size, two for using and swapping out when hot and one in case one needs to go off for sharpening. $600
                    My shears, well, they average $200-300 each with a couple of exceptions and I have 12 pair. I COULD NOT do the quality of work I do without them. so thats $2400
                    Combs, well, mine is $85 and would NOT use another one.
                    Brushes, I have 6, and they are expensive. About $45 each, some more.
                    Then my table that I carry around was $250
                    My tack bag was $150
                    My stripping knives (used for more than stripping) are $45 each and there are 8 of them.
                    Finishing brushes, and mits $250
                    Dryer, $500
                    and then the misc stuff. this is stuff I COULD NOT work without.

                    NONE of that includes my electric table, cage banks, bathing systems, vac system, cage drying systems.....computers......to me those things I listed are BASICS.

                    I agree you have to look out for your body which is why I spend $400 on a clipper that doesnt affect my hands or . I spend m ore on shears that work better, smoother with less hand strain and that fit my hand to a T. I paid the price for cheaper equipment early in my career and will NOT do it again.
                    <a href="http://www.groomwise.typepad.com/grooming_smarter" target="_blank">My Blog</a> The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. –Mark Twain

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It does sound like this place is a godsend if your teacher is teaching everything in a 7 reverse. heck until this board I had no idea people did that! I do it sometimes if I get a breed that doesn't usually get clipped just to make it smoother but not with a 7 maybe a 5 or 4.


                      I will agree with you tho that you can get started cheaply if you are not opening a big salon with multiple groomers. I work at home in a salon in my basement. I did not invest in a bathing system I got a tub with a chip in it at home depot for 50 bucks, built my own stand for it, and it looks very good in my opinion.

                      I bought a shop vac, pretty inexpensive. You can get a good set of clippers for under 200. 12 pairs of shears arent necessary for a beginner. But $30 dollar shears I didnt even know existed. Get thinners/blenders! You're gonna need a lot more blades than you think. At least two sets. And sharpening can be a big expense so make sure you take the best care of them.

                      I bought used equipment as far as cage banks and dryers from a salon I used to work at. If you look hard enough I'm sure you can find a similar deal.

                      You don't need luxury shampoos and conditioners yet. Double k products I find are very cost effective and work great. (I just bought some better stuff to try.....but like you, I started off easy and inexpensively...i've been in it for over a year on my own now and now that i'm making more money I am excitedly entering the fabulous world of AWESOME products)

                      Things add up...what gets me is that one blade can cost 40 dollars or more!!! So definitely take advantage of deals found online. Hopefully you are able to shop online.

                      Learn to make your own bows.

                      Buy fabric on sale for bandanas if you do that.

                      Blade wash and oil will do and will last you forever.

                      My fave brush cost me $20 (maybe a bit more).. Miracle Coat's slicker brush is incredible it has lasted me 3 years of everyday use. I have not had the luxury of trying a les poochs brush. Ignorance is bliss here!!!!

                      Get the wahl snap on combs, they're a beautiful thing

                      Got towels at a garage sale (ew who'd buy those except a dog groomer???)

                      Cologne cost me under 10 dollars each and still have lots of each (just got in some blueberry clove today tho. more expensive but i heard good things here so I spoiled myself)

                      Combs, get a good greyhound, that's the only comb I have....is that weird???? LOL

                      Get the best muzzles you can afford. Getting hurt is not an option. I don't work with a Groomer's Helper but they're a hit in the grooming world.


                      i'm sure i'm forgetting stuff here that are necessities..... but I know where you are coming from and I know it can be done relatively inexpensively. Hey within a year you can afford better things, the things that will make you love your job even more. Having said that.......make sure you do have quality things. quality doesn't have to mean loads of $. You'll want your clients to have faith in you so make sure you have the proper equipment.


                      I know I didnt answer any of your initial questions....I was just intrigued by the starting up cost discussion and wanted to share my thoughts. I didnt break the bank when I started up. I had only enough money saved to let me survive 2 months into starting my own business and a credit card. By the third month it was do or die!! It was scary so anywhere I could save some money responsibly was at the forefront of my mind!!!!!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by OntheBRINKofDisaster View Post

                        I find it hard to understand why you wouldn't want to help yourself EVENTUALLY, because it really is investing in yourself and your clients.

                        Also...I realize you aren't going to be doing show dogs but don't you want to turn out the best work you possibly can? Often that is what sets aside a great groomer from your run of the mill groomer. This is your chance to set yourself apart from your competition!

                        I see so many groomers cut down before they are ready to go and it's often because their stubborn selves refuse to make it easier on them!
                        I addressed all of that, I believe I did anyway. I do plan on building my business. I plan on investing in more tools and building it and one day looking back and being proud at what I have built from the ground up, as I mentioned.

                        And of course I want to do the best work I possibly can, and I realize that better tools mean better groomings. But I live in the top 2 poorest neighbourhoods in CANADA. I live in the harlem of the US. If Canada had a neighborhood called the projects, this would be it. Most of these people have never even seen a professional grooming job, which is sad, because their dogs could probably benefit from my services alot. Do I need a $6000 tool kit to help these dogs and make a little extra coin for myself? And to learn the business? No. I've been on this site for a few months now. I've researched my butt off and taken all the advice I could find and found a way to do this for myself. And it's not a career for me right now. I'm just going to be doing this part-time to earn extra money until I can get out of debt, get a car, and move to a nice neighborhood by my kid's school. By then I will have the money, experience, skill and knowledge to take on alot more. So you see-I've got this figured out. I know what I'm doing. I've got a 5 year plan.

                        And my goal has never been to be a run-of-the-mill groomer. When I set out to learn something I want to be the best. Where did anyone get these ideas that I just wanted to settle for some mediocre life? If I wanted that I would've never considered this profession.
                        Last edited by my.cats.name.is.psycho; 03-24-10, 11:20 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Particentral View Post
                          I started my shop out on $7000 but knowing what I know NOW I would have spent more.

                          I was talking abou tmy BASIC grooming it that I carry around when I gave that quote.
                          My clippers are $400 each. I have two in case one breaks.
                          3 blades of every size, two for using and swapping out when hot and one in case one needs to go off for sharpening. $600
                          My shears, well, they average $200-300 each with a couple of exceptions and I have 12 pair. I COULD NOT do the quality of work I do without them. so thats $2400
                          Combs, well, mine is $85 and would NOT use another one.
                          Brushes, I have 6, and they are expensive. About $45 each, some more.
                          Then my table that I carry around was $250
                          My tack bag was $150
                          My stripping knives (used for more than stripping) are $45 each and there are 8 of them.
                          Finishing brushes, and mits $250
                          Dryer, $500
                          and then the misc stuff. this is stuff I COULD NOT work without.

                          NONE of that includes my electric table, cage banks, bathing systems, vac system, cage drying systems.....computers......to me those things I listed are BASICS.

                          I agree you have to look out for your body which is why I spend $400 on a clipper that doesnt affect my hands or . I spend m ore on shears that work better, smoother with less hand strain and that fit my hand to a T. I paid the price for cheaper equipment early in my career and will NOT do it again.
                          First of all, "knowing what you know now, you would've spent more?????" It must be nice to have all those thousands of dollars at your disposal. Why didn't you know more? Didn't you do your research? Cause I've done tons and I know exactly what I'm doing with my money. I know for a fact that I'm doing the best I can with what I have.

                          Second of all, think about the fact that North America is the richest most greediest and spoiled country in the world. Most of the human beings on this planet, who are exactly like us, will never see a computer or a tv. Hardly any of us (yes I said us) on this planet actually know how to read. Alot of US, and our children, spend our days walking in garbage up to our wastes, looking for anything edible. Occasionally they may be lucky enough to own a pencil or a pen. And if there weren't so many rich greedy spoiled people here because we actually acted like a unified planet, there would be plenty of food and clothes and medical supplies to go around. So I refuse to be someone who thinks I "DESERVE" the best money can buy. We don't deserve to spoil ourselves the way we do. That is just the media brainwashing people. I'm no more special or deserving than anyone else. Money, when used correctly, should be a form of survival. Not something to waste and splurge just cause we can't give ourselves the fulfillment we need in our lives. Alot of people think that your worth as a person is equivalent to your worth as a consumer, by your credit rating, and how much you're willing to spend. I'm not out to change the world or anything, I'm just not going to let people jump to conclusions about me or make assumptions about my financial situation. I've been judged, stereotyped, and fought prejudice all my life and it happens over money, it's not just a racial or a gender issue. Cause I'm white and still I know what it's like to have people being prejudiced against me. So I'll say it again, if someone is trying to talk about money or treat money with the respect it deserves, treating money like it DOESN'T grow on trees, then LET THEM. Don't start saying things you know nothing about because it's an insult.

                          3rd: If you paid $400 for clippers I'd almost worry you got ripped off. I've never once seen clippers for that much and I've shopped around ALOT. I've seen some clippers for 115 at one store and 160 at another, and I've seen clipper KITS for maybe close to 400, not that the price would've caught my attention enough to make me want to look at it. Anyway, I think my KM2's will do me well for right now, and you might not agree but I'm sure almost everyone else will.

                          4th: You say these are products you 'couldn't' work without. I say you 'would'n't' work without might be a better choice of words. If you were skilled you could. Suppose you were at my house and someone came in saying they'd just rescued a dog who was covered in matts and they desperately wanted to get him groomed as soon as possible, and I was sick in bed, would you say, "no, I'm incapable of working with those tools", or would you say, "sure, I'll help the poor little guy out?" I'm sure you'd work on him. And in the process you might actually realize that maybe having 12 sets of $300 shears isn't necessary for every single new groomer out there.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            And btw, thank you to all the people who wrote with tips and advice. I will definitely take all that help into consideration when I continue to do my shopping. There were some really good tips on here!

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