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  • Clipper speed set too fast....

    So amongst my learning I've been enlightened to the knowledge that for finishing work with clippers that you should use a slower speed. During my apprenticeship I never was really taught why clippers had variable speeds and the purpose. I never really asked either. What a wonderful new technique I learned! I feel rather foolish as I have been grooming for some time now and I feel like a newbie all over again for not knowing this tidbit of information. The blades stay cooler longer and you get a much smoother finish with less back brushing! So now to make myself look even more foolish, how many others do this technique where the higher speeds are used to remove the bulk and lower settings for finishing?
    It's not what you look at that matters; it's what you see.
    Henry David Thoreau

  • #2
    I may be wrong and confused now, but I was under the impression that moving the clipper across the dog at a slower speed is what makes for a smoother finish.
    I know that if your hand is moving too fast for the blade speed, you get choppy lines across the coat. If you tend to move your clipper fast, the clipper's speed needs to be higher to avoid these lines.
    I don't understand how a low setting on the clipper speed would be a smoother cut, if the speed in which you pull the clipper across the coat isn't a factor?
    I feel very confused now... :/

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    • #3
      Originally posted by kaida714 View Post
      I may be wrong and confused now, but I was under the impression that moving the clipper across the dog at a slower speed is what makes for a smoother finish.
      I know that if your hand is moving too fast for the blade speed, you get choppy lines across the coat. If you tend to move your clipper fast, the clipper's speed needs to be higher to avoid these lines.
      I don't understand how a low setting on the clipper speed would be a smoother cut, if the speed in which you pull the clipper across the coat isn't a factor?
      I feel very confused now... :/
      Sorry, didn't mean to confuse anyone. Yes, you are correct in which the speed you are moving the clipper through the coat should be in comparison to the speed of the blade movement. For me I almost always used the clipper at the highest setting and went as quickly as I could over the coat causing my clipper work to look choppy and me needing to do a lot of going over it to smooth it out. SO NOW that I better understand lowering the speed of the clipper and matching my strokes to the clipper speed, my clipper work is better and I don't need to go over it as much.
      It's not what you look at that matters; it's what you see.
      Henry David Thoreau

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      • #4
        I would probably do it the other way around. Use lower speed for roughing in a matted dog to prevent heat and higher speed for finish. And just learn to slow your hand depending on coat type

        Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk

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        • #5
          Hm.. I am going to have to try this to figure it out. But I can't help but wonder if the reason the clip is smoother is just because you are paying more attention to things like the angle of the blade when you force yourself to slow down? I am only confused at what actually makes the lower clipper speed provide a smoother finish. The logic of it doesn't make sense to me, because I went from a 2 speed to a 5 speed clipper to compensate for my hand moving faster as I got more confident. The 5 speed worked better for me because I was getting lines working at my new normal pace. (Also proved perfect to lower the speed for nervous dogs and sensitive areas). But anyway I would like to know more the science or logical reason for this theory. But I will definitely play around with the idea to see what it does for me.

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          • #6
            Jeff? Can you help answer the rationale behind these theories ?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by kaida714 View Post
              Hm.. I am going to have to try this to figure it out. But I can't help but wonder if the reason the clip is smoother is just because you are paying more attention to things like the angle of the blade when you force yourself to slow down? I am only confused at what actually makes the lower clipper speed provide a smoother finish. The logic of it doesn't make sense to me, because I went from a 2 speed to a 5 speed clipper to compensate for my hand moving faster as I got more confident. The 5 speed worked better for me because I was getting lines working at my new normal pace. (Also proved perfect to lower the speed for nervous dogs and sensitive areas). But anyway I would like to know more the science or logical reason for this theory. But I will definitely play around with the idea to see what it does for me.
              You have some very good points Kaida. Perhaps you are correct and it's a matter of perception. Because I am paying more attention to my clipper work I am perceiving that using the lower speed is what is helping when in reality it's because I am being more attentive to what i am doing. I went back and reviewed my study guide. It states, and I quote," Switching to a low speed once the heavy duty work is completed reduces stress and overheating of the blades." After doing this I realized my clipper work seemed to be smoother with less lines. It also mentions as you said that a lower speed is great for delicate areas when the blade needs to remain cool or quieter.

              And it would be AWESOME to read what Jeff thinks about clipper speed Chewie! :0)
              It's not what you look at that matters; it's what you see.
              Henry David Thoreau

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              • #8
                I think I get in a groove and my hand can't slow down on body clipping enough to lower my clipper speed and still be efficient. I found myself today making a point to lower the speed and try this but was getting lines from my hand moving too fast for the blade. I ended up spending more time going back over these lines than if I had just done it at a faster speed.

                But this is just my experience, everyone is different. This could definitely be a great idea or tip to force someone to pay more attention to their clipper work though. I am glad an idea like this has opened your world to what you can do to be better than you were. If we try to, we can all be better than we were yesterday! I am curious to see if once you get more comfortable if the speed kicks back up with the same awesome results..

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                • #9
                  Personally, I think the multi speed clippers is an advertising ploy to sell more clippers. You advertise 5-speed, and some groomers have got to have it...ie: old clippers on the shelf, new clippers in your hand. I HAVE a 5-speed, and only use the on/off/high speed for the last 3 years.....no choppy effect on any breed. I suggest you look at your technique, your speed and how you are holding the clippers vs blaming clipper speed.

                  Happy grooming for almost 30 yrs

                  Dolly's Barking Bubbles, LLC

                  www.dollysbarkingbubbles.com

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Dolly View Post
                    Personally, I think the multi speed clippers is an advertising ploy to sell more clippers. You advertise 5-speed, and some groomers have got to have it...ie: old clippers on the shelf, new clippers in your hand. I HAVE a 5-speed, and only use the on/off/high speed for the last 3 years.....no choppy effect on any breed. I suggest you look at your technique, your speed and how you are holding the clippers vs blaming clipper speed.

                    Happy grooming for almost 30 yrs

                    Dolly's Barking Bubbles, LLC

                    www.dollysbarkingbubbles.com
                    Not blaming clipper speed as the main and only culprit. I have also been trying other techniques like using coat handler with my clipper work and paying more attention to the angle of the cutting blade. Also making sure I am following the coat growth because I know I have become lax doing that over the years and would just take the clippers straight down the sides of dogs. Clipper speed is just a small portion of a bigger picture. It seems though that not many other groomers really adjust the speed of the clippers, just the speed in which they are moving them over the coat to get results.

                    Kaida, you are right that doing this has slowed me down a bit. It's like learning to ride a bike all over again. Once I get use to everything again though my speed should pick back up.
                    It's not what you look at that matters; it's what you see.
                    Henry David Thoreau

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                    • #11
                      So I have been trying my clippers at different speeds with different coats and discussed with my mentor with ISCC and have come to a conclusion. Kaida was right in that it's not the clipper speed that is making my clipper work better, but the fact that I am being more attentive to what I am doing and percieved it as the slower clipper speed. So now I'm back to using the higher setting but being more aware of more clipper strokes with the same results I was getting on the slower speed. Sometimes we just need to slow down a bit I guess to reassess and then get back at it.
                      It's not what you look at that matters; it's what you see.
                      Henry David Thoreau

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                      • #12
                        Interesting thread. I noticed that I move the clipper to fast as well. The last time I groomed this same dog (Havanese) I had a lot of clipper marks. Today I slowed down and voila! Now reading this thread, I know I need to slow down all the time.

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                        • #13
                          Slowing down and -really- paying attention to what you are doing is a great way to find where we could improve on something. :-)

                          I love my 5 speed clippers, and while I am not constantly switching speeds, I do change whenever necessary. I generally go down to speed 1 or 2 for nervous dogs, puppies, and really sensitive feet, eyes and sanitary areas. Setting 3 or 4 for generally sensitive areas (face, feet, sani) and for body work when I need my blades to stay cool and I move slower (usually for matting or older dogs that need the slower pace), and 4 or 5 is where I usually keep my clippers for general clipper work.
                          Everyone does things differently, but I figured I would list where my clipper speeds usually fall if anyone should wonder. I took the time today to make a mental note of when I change speed and this is what has worked for me.

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                          • #14
                            I do Higher Speed Slower Pass = Smoother Cut. Slow speeds are good for sensitive areas / sensitive dogs and matts and faces

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