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Question on tools

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  • Question on tools

    I got to see the kit that I could order from the petsomething school I will be starting at in June and I don't like the clippers or the shears. The clippers are big heavy bulky things compared to the ones the groomer in the store I bathe at use. The shears are paw brothers, and just don't fit my hand quite right. I have the money to buy all this stuff myself and would rather have equipment I like.

    Is there anywhere in the Chicago/Milwaukee/NW Indiana area where I can actually see/hold a pair of shears before I buy them? I will need them well before the All American show so I was hoping someone knew another place and time to get them!

    I also wouldn't mind if ya'll gave me some suggestions for clippers and shears. The clippers I would be willing to spend up to $200 on, and the shears (straight, curved, and thinners) I would be willing to spend up to $100 each ($300ish for all three). If I can handle them and know that they are the "right pair" I might go higher for the shears.

    I would rather have the right stuff from the get-go instead of buying equipment I hate and then having to replace it all, but I am really worried I might spend more money and not like them any better. HELP!

  • #2
    When I went to Petsomething academy I chose to buy all of my own tools. the other girls in my salon weren't happy with any of the items in their kit aside from the shears (Oster super steels) and just ended up repllacing everything. I ended up asking each groomer what they liked and why, and handling their tools to get a feel for them.

    For shears I ended up ordering Heritage stilettos. I love them, though I will eventually be replacing them for something better. I've dropped my shears a lot, which I knew I would do, so I wasn't willing to spend a ton of money on shears in the beginning.

    What are the groomers in your salon using? Have you had a chance to handle their shears and decide if you like them or not? The Paw Brothers shears seem to be very popular in my salon, I like my stilettos better though.


    • #3
      If you buy the three piece set of 5 Stars from Kenchii you will thank them every day! (Can I interject that I gave my poodle boy a German trim today and really put my new Bumblebees to the test for the first time? I've used 'em quite a bit but I decided to use them almost exclusively on my boy and WOW even my husband noticed the difference.)

      I have two different sets of scissors though...a lesser quality kind for roughing in and doing feet (you need a separate pair for this, if you hit a nail you can put a burr in your scissors and that's a sad time for nice new ones) and really nice ones for my finishing work.

      For clippers, I cannot get enough of the new Andis Excel. LOVE IT! I don't own it (yet) but I borrow a coworkers all the time.
      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.


      • #4
        You're doing the right thing. Spend a little more now and get the good stuff. Get quality clippers, blades, shears (I like Geib - They have some excellent starter shears you can always use as back up when you upgrade) from the get-go. Some of those school kits are a waste of money which is a darn shame. I know there are lots of old threads on starter tools for groomers. Maybe you could search around. Good luck and have fun!


        • #5
          I LOVE Kenchii shears, but I have to say, the 5 stars have to be my least favorite that I have tried out, and I think I've tried most of their line. But everyone is going to be different and have their own personal favorites. Most people I know that have tried the 5 star have loved them. My favorite is the Prodigy and I love my Oscillot. I've tried the bumblebee, matrix, prodigy, scorpions, flippers, pink poodle, butterfly, T series, shinobi, Lotus, and Bliss. A friend of mine helps a distributor sell them LOL so I got to play with all of them that he had.
          There is a show in the Chicago area every year isn't there? I don't know when that is but would be a great time to do some hands on shopping. And many sharpeners also sell shears and you can try them out that way too. Always an option.
          What a caterpillar considers the end of his world, we call a butterfly.


          • #6
            Thank you all for your input, both here and in PM.

            There are only three groomers in the shop, one is a paw bros girl, the second is a roseline junkie, and the third and I are like ships passing in the night with schedules that rarely line up. Between them I have gotten to handle a few brands and the third had a pair of kenchii scorpions that I quite liked the feel of. So I am thinking that I will probably get the three piece set of those and then get some cheaper ones for abusing on feet and dirty hair.

            All three groomers use andis AGC super 2 speeds so I haven't had much to compare there, but I am going to venture out to Midwest Grooming Supply and take a look there. I am sorta thinking of going with the super 2-speed, the excel 5-speed, or the wahl switchblade since those seem to be well liked.

            I am hoping to have enough saved to be able to get some doubles of different blades, and will ask the groomers which lengths they use the most if I cannot afford a double of all of them.


            • #7
              I would double up on #7F, #5F, #4F, and a #3F.

              I have a Wahl Chromado (similar types with an adjustable #9-#40 blade include Geib Excello, Laube Speed Feed, Wahl Arco, and Wahl Bravura) that I use exclusively on every single face, foot, sanitary, and poodle pattern so I've never needed to get two of those because that clipper never heats up.

              Skip tooth blades are cool too, but I don't use them enough (personally, I use 'em mostly just to set terrier patterns) to recommend doubling up on them. My other blade is a 5/8" HT but since I got my wahl SS I hardly use it anymore, I'll just use a #0 or #1.
              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.


              • #8
                When I went to petsomething's grooming school about 8-9 years ago I got the grooming kit. I'm sure it still comes with pretty much the same stuff. I actually still use my paw brothers shears that came in the kit. The paw bro shears are my fav shears to use for everyday pet grooming. They are durable, they put a decent finish on the dog, and they hold their edge pretty well. I have better high end shears that I use for hand scissor work, or for when I groom show dogs.
                As far as clippers...I think you should go with the Andis excel. I don't think there is one bad review on this forum. They are a little more, but from what everyone has said they are well worth it.


                • #9
                  Consider any of the Andis clippers. This company has been around a long time and many groomers like the various models they have. I use two differnt models but have owned many of them.

                  For shears I think you will find most on this site will recommend either Geib or Kenchii. Both have sets available in varied prices. If you have a smaller hand the Geib Entree' is nice. But the 5-Stars are good too. You might want to contact Lisa Leady (Dogpaw) on this site. She is a rep for Kenchii and could be very helpful in finding you a nice set of shears at a $$ you can live with as you are just starting out. Plus, she lives in the north suburbs of Chicago. ( I hope it is OK to offer this!) It really is best if you can feel the shears in your hand before investing in them. You don't need the top of the line to start your career, leave that as a goal for somewhere down the line!

                  good luck,


                  • #10
                    Thank you all again, another question or two if you don't mind...

                    All the groomers at my store use andis ultra edge blades but I was wondering if there are ones that are better that I should at least consider? I know a lot of you use wahl competition series, buttercut, and laube, I am thinking that I might just order the andis for the main set, then order a different kind for my duplicate blades, so I can compare.

                    I will probably order the kenchiis through Lisa Leady because her prices are the same, and I would rather order through someone local and have them profit from it too. Any recommendations for my "beat-up-able" shears? There are some round tip 6" straight and curved shears by heritage for around $30ish each that might work.

                    I am really leaning toward the excel 5-speeds, but I want to see a pair first if at all possible. I HATE buying things I can't see, it always feels like a huge gamble. How is andis customer service?

                    Thank goodness I have a month+ to figure this out.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by sarahliz View Post
                      Thank you all again, another question or two if you don't mind...

                      All the groomers at my store use andis ultra edge blades but I was wondering if there are ones that are better that I should at least consider? I know a lot of you use wahl competition series, buttercut, and laube, I am thinking that I might just order the andis for the main set, then order a different kind for my duplicate blades, so I can compare.
                      I started out with Andis ultra edge blades, and in my opinion they get hot fast! I've since bought a couple Oster cryogen blades from the store in an emergency (broken blade situation) that I like and they stay cooler for longer periods of time. My personal favorites are my Wahl competition blades. We have a sharpener that comes to our store on Mondays and Thursdays (with 7 of us there's a lot of business for him) and he sells the Wahl blades so it's convenient.

                      I have the Andis ultra edge clipper and I like it, but I recently got to handle another groomer's Laubes and loved how light it felt. Many years ago I had a pair of Laubes for clipping horses, but passed on them when I went to academy because I remembered it heating up quickly.


                      • #12
                        Check out C-Mon's scissors. I use those and really like them. They are more affordable than some of the other brands and IMHO, just as good. Plus they stand behind their products and offer free lifetime sharpening. I love Andes clippers, have used the AGC super 2 speeds for years and just got 1 of the new 5 speed clippers. I like the new 5 speed clipper, but the on/off switch could have been placed better and top speed will heat up the blade really fast. I usually stay around 3rd speed, havent found much need for the 5th speed.. but they are incredably light weight and I LOVE that part.


                        • #13
                          The Petsmart starter kits vary a lot lately. In my area they have been getting the Oster Power groom for a clipper. You would be better off buying your own equipment. For your first shears I always recommend a bevel edge shear. If you are like every other student you will be dropping and nicking them a lot, it happens to everyone. Each time they get nicked your shears will need resharpened to cut properly. Convex shears like the Kenchii 5 star will cost you significantly more to have resharpened.


                          • #14
                            I actually just started working at PetSmart, worked at PetCo for 6 months, but I was told what came in the kits through the great grooming supply place here and didnt like it, so I went ahead and bought my own. I got the Oster Super Steels ($100ish each)with swivel which I love, I put a couple of the finger cushion rings in each one, like doubled them up and they fit excellent. I also bought the Andis Super AGR+ ($200ish) which I havent got to use yet, but its cordless and I can't wait to use it! Its a little heavier than I wanted but I know it will last a long time as everyone I know with Andis clippers love them. I planned for what I wanted long before I got them. I've been doing some grooming for friends and family and am not too worried about dropping my tools, but I still haven't gotten everything I want. I really want to get some Kenchii 5 stars with swivel , and potentially a corded clipper thats lighter weight, though the one I got can have a cord pack as well.


                            • #15
                              My clipper is an Andis Power Groom. It is fairly light weight and I think it is slightly less than 200. I don't know enough about shears to make any recommendations there, but there are some deals where you can get 3 pairs for one price. That may be a good way to start. You will drop you scissors a lot at first, so it is best not to spend too much to begin with. Happy shopping!