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  • Sharpening question

    I was looking into being a part time sharpener. Do groomers usually appreciate someone sharpening on site or just picking up the blades and returning them? Does the typical shop need many things sharpened in one visit? I don't even know if this is a worthwhile business to invest around $2000 in equipment. I'm wondering if I could recoup my investment? Any thoughts?

  • #2
    hy hubby

    Is a full time sharpener and your going to need ALOT MORE then 2000.oo dollars!!!!!!!! And as a groomer of 20 plus yrs anyone who you may sharpen for is going to want to know that this just isnt a part time thing.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by dogandi View Post
      Is a full time sharpener and your going to need ALOT MORE then 2000.oo dollars!!!!!!!! And as a groomer of 20 plus yrs anyone who you may sharpen for is going to want to know that this just isnt a part time thing.
      Can you elaborate as to why it is so much more money? I was told by a friend of mine that all I need is a twice as sharp for scissors and a honing wheel for blades? I don't see why I can't just sharpen on weekends. Its nice that your husband has a full time business.

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      • #4
        My husbands clipper blade machine was 5500 and Im not saying you cant just sharpen on weekends by any means. Do your home work theres alot more out there then just bying a twice as sharp and a honing wheel. Like who are you going to pay to teach you how to use the machines, business insurance, van insurance, extra parts for blade and scissor repairs clippers for testing blades.All the sanitation products that will be used. Practice scissors because you dont want to screw up groomers scissors and then have to pay to replace them, if your not a groomer (sounds like your not) we pay a lot of money for our stuff, so we want to know that you know what your doing and talking about, and that youve got the goods and the stuff to back it up. Maybe find a sharpener willing to let you do a ride along so you can get a idea of whats needed.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by dogandi View Post
          My husbands clipper blade machine was 5500 and Im not saying you cant just sharpen on weekends by any means. Do your home work theres alot more out there then just bying a twice as sharp and a honing wheel. Like who are you going to pay to teach you how to use the machines, business insurance, van insurance, extra parts for blade and scissor repairs clippers for testing blades.All the sanitation products that will be used. Practice scissors because you dont want to screw up groomers scissors and then have to pay to replace them, if your not a groomer (sounds like your not) we pay a lot of money for our stuff, so we want to know that you know what your doing and talking about, and that youve got the goods and the stuff to back it up. Maybe find a sharpener willing to let you do a ride along so you can get a idea of whats needed.
          $5500? He must do an insane business to recoup his money at $6 a blade or whatever the going rate is in your area? I was just going by what a friend told me. He said I needed a much cheaper machine to sharpen the clipper blades. I'm assuming your husband has a nebraska blades machine? I thought about calling to ask why its so high, but maybe it includes training with it? I've done my research and I believe a friend of mine is going to help me. I have no artistic talent whatsoever or else I might try my hand at grooming. I believe I'd fail miserably.

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          • #6
            Tenspeed -if youd really rather try to be a groomer ..you shoudl do it.Im not incredably "artistic" as far as a lot of things go But have a deep love of animals aNd really enjoy working with them.I couldnt ever be happy being a layer or nurse or anything like that I dont have that kind of passion for people.And to answer you question,I cant speak for everyone but if I had the choice Id rather have my blades sharpened on site because I dont have doubles of everything yet.but Id would also like to know that I can trust my sharpener knows what he is doing with my expensive tools,we have anywhere from 20.00-40.00 or more invested in each blade. And dont even get me started on our shears,they can range from $50.00-$200.00 or more per pair.so ,if I gave you 5 blades and 5 pair of shears to sharpen you could very well have close to $1000.00 worth of my eqipment to sharpen.I would want to know you had some experiance under your belt so My stuff is safe.

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            • #7
              I'm sure I can get the appropriate training to do some sharpening. One manufacturer offers training sometimes in my city. I was just trying to figure out if it is worth the expense in equipment and time to learn the trade? It seems like there are some very experienced people out there that are up in age and will be soon replaced if there is someone like me willing to put in the time to learn. I'm not sure what to make of this industry. Telling me its too difficult, too expensive, or I'm not capable makes me more interested though.

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              • #8
                Tenspeed, is your friend someone who sharpens pet grooming equipment? There's a difference between equipment used on animals and those used on humans. Even the things that look the same may need a totally different approach when they're to be used on animals.

                We have several board members who not only sharpen, but do a bang up job of it. If you read through this forum you'll pick out who they are. Send 'em a private message and they can answer all your questions.

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                • #9
                  A good sharpener is so much appreciated in our salon. I am okay with sending my blades off to a sharpener if there is close to a 2 or 3 day turn around. It is also nice to have the blades sharpened on site. When the girls in our salon send out blades for sharpening, we each send out at least 5-6 along with a couple pairs of scissors to be honed. Having a hard time finding a sharpener in our area.

                  Christy

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by tenspeed View Post
                    I was looking into being a part time sharpener. Do groomers usually appreciate someone sharpening on site or just picking up the blades and returning them? Does the typical shop need many things sharpened in one visit? I don't even know if this is a worthwhile business to invest around $2000 in equipment. I'm wondering if I could recoup my investment? Any thoughts?
                    sorry, it got so off topic I had to quote to remember how to reply.

                    I am a groomer, and I can tell you I dont care if I have to drop them off or if they are picked up. Price never mattered either, I needed my blades, period. I worked for a high volume salon in a big city and when a sharpener would come in, at least 3 of the 5 groomers needed SOMETHING sharpened. I would typically do 3 blades at a time. I too am looking into blade sharpening because it is such a need where I am grooming. ExtremeKut claims that it is practical to assume that you have 30 customers with 5 blades a month, charging 6$ a blade you could make $900/month. Purchasing a $2000+ machine you could reasonably expect to make back your money (at this rate) in about 2-3 months. Ok, here is where it gets good. Doing 150 blades at 3 minutes per blade will take you 450minutes divided by hours means you would only have worked 7.5 hours/mos to make that $900. Do more and there is your profit.
                    Yes there are $5000 machines and less expensive than $2200, but that is the meduim for sure. I hope what others meant about being more expensive than that is all of the supplies you will need to keep clean cuts and keep everything running efficiently, preventative maintenance, etc. Not only will these things need to be purchased with your machine, they will be an on going expense.
                    As far as 'learning' most of the machines I have seen DO come with not only written manuals, but videos including everything on how the machines works, to how to start your own sharpening business. That is INCLUDED in the price as well as a lot of the supplies you need like oil, honing powder, plate lubricant/cleaner, test string, test fur etc. and this is all I know from researching for the last couple of days, but it seems like the stuff you wanted to know.

                    Hope it was a little more helpful and informative than what Ive read so far. Some of that stuff was just plain offensive. As you can see I am a reasonably sound individual and I am looking into the trade myself. It has not taken me long to learn what I have. Great minds think alike honey, I bet you have what it takes to take the 'road less traveled'. Props for coming here, this is THE one stop shop for any and ALL pet grooming information.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Jane512 View Post
                      Hope it was a little more helpful and informative than what Ive read so far. Some of that stuff was just plain offensive.
                      Yikes! That was the only offensive thing I read.

                      He needs to know the reality of the situation. Buying a clipper and brush doesn't make you a groomer, just like buying the equipment won't make you a sharpener.

                      Every groomer that I know is extremely picky about who they will trust their equipment to. ferretlov was being conservative in the prices. Most of my scissors are in the $200 to $350 range and I will only use Laube blades and some of them cost me over $60. Groomers talk to each other. There is a sharpener that I will NEVER use again because he did a poor job on my equipment. I have also told every soul I know to not use this sharpener.

                      From what I understand sharpening is a real skill. Learning it may be the easy part. Trying to "break in" might be a lot more difficult.

                      That's being realistic not offensive.
                      "The most affectionate creature in the world is a wet dog." -Ambrose Bierce

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by tenspeed View Post
                        I was looking into being a part time sharpener. Do groomers usually appreciate someone sharpening on site or just picking up the blades and returning them? Does the typical shop need many things sharpened in one visit? I don't even know if this is a worthwhile business to invest around $2000 in equipment. I'm wondering if I could recoup my investment? Any thoughts?

                        And if you noticed completely off topic. It wasnt helpful in relation to this question at ALL. No one asked for your oppinion about how well this person work turns out. They wanted to know specific things:

                        1. Do groomers usually appreciate someone sharpening on site or just picking up the blades and returning them?

                        2.Does the typical shop need many things sharpened in one visit?

                        3.I don't even know if this is a worthwhile business to invest around $2000 in equipment.

                        4. I'm wondering if I could recoup my investment?

                        5.Any thoughts? (any reasonable person would assume 'any thoughts' pertains to the above mentioned questions)

                        They did not ask for:
                        1. how much a husband spent on his machine
                        2. how long they have been grooming for
                        3. thier oppinion on how the rest of us will feel
                        4. how to run thier business
                        5. how much we pay for our junk
                        6. whether or not they should be a groomer too
                        7. whether or not they will choose to train themselves
                        8. whether or not someone is looking for a sharpener (but at least this person gave pertinent information along with thier oppinion)

                        You can OBVIOUSLY see the person who started this thread trying to be polite and turn unwarranted critisism into productive energy.

                        AND I cant BELIEVE you dont think its rude to make assumptions about someones work ethic and/or ability to teach themselves how to do quality work.

                        Sometimes it astounds me how high horse we groomers can be. We deserve a lot of recognition for the work we do, but this website is supposed to promote building eachother up as a whole, not tearing peoples enthusiasm apart.

                        However it all boils down to, answer the question, answer it right or sit back and wait for someone who knows more about it and learn something new.

                        and THAT is being realistic

                        Tenspeed, right now is the best time to get into business services. Supplies are cheaper than ever, because people are trying to unload in this economy and everyone expects people to only be able to pay fair prices for them. BUT customers and clients are of the belief that business service people will be asking for MORE money these days in order to make up for loss of business, but the thing is, grooming is a recession resistant field, and we are doing as well or better than ever. We have money. It looks to be worth the risk, jumping into blade sharpening, feet first, eyes closed, nose pinched. I have a feeling with bare minimum knowledge we will do just fine working ourselves up the ladder by our bootstraps.

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                        • #13
                          Sharpening business

                          I groom at the 'home base' for a sharpening/repair and grooming supply company. They get mail business from around the country and internationally. They also do what we refer to as 'grooming runs'. They have repurposed vans and whatnot (one vehicle was an ambulance before they got it) into mobile sharpening stations. They then make calls to grooming shops throughout the state and travel along these runs. They won't agree to stop unless the shop has $75 worth of sharpening for them which is easy enough for them to get together.
                          You may have to start with 'runs' that encompass a greater area to start but if you are in a state without a good semi-local sharpener you can easily make a go of it once you know for certain what you are doing. And remember word will spread along the shops so leave plenty of business cards in your wake.

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                          • #14
                            Jane, sometimes the questions people ask are not the questions they really need to have answered. There are lots of things that a person considering getting into the sharpening profession need to know besides the questions that were posed.

                            The vast majority of the people on this site are groomers, not sharpeners. Do we know if investing in certain equipment is a wise decision, and if they'll be able to recoup their investment? Good Lord NO!

                            Do we know what other groomers around the country prefer in regards to having someone come to their shop as opposed to sending equipment out for service? NO! All we know is what we as individuals prefer.

                            Do we know how much work any other shop but our own would have if/when the sharpener drops by? Of course not! It can vary from month to month. Sometimes you get your scissors sharpened, then need to have it done again 3 days later because you dropped them. At other times sharpening can last 6 months to a year, or longer, depending how well one cares for their blades and how much work one has in a given time period.

                            I think any reasonable person would think the question "Any thoughts?" means just that. It's an open invitation for people to share what they do know, even if it's how much their husband spent on equipment.

                            Personally, I can't believe disrespectful and rude YOU have been. Whether you like the answers or not, everyone here was trying to help. You said you're a groomer, not a sharpener. So you really can't speak with any authority on that subject. Not like someone who's husband is a sharpener, so she at least knows how big the initial investment is, and some of the pitfalls people are likely to encounter.

                            There are honing wheels on the market that CANNOT be used to sharpen clipper blades. We've heard from several people over the years who purchased them with the intent of saving some $$$ sharpening their own blades, only to find out they'd ruined their blades and are going to pay a lot more than they thought they could save to replace them.

                            Sharpening is like grooming. You can't just by the equipement and be a sharpener, just like you can't buy all the grooming equipment in the world and know how to groom. There's some skill involved, as well as a large monitary investment and a good deal of time needs to be spent to gain the necessary experience.

                            By the way, I don't buy junk.

                            The above is my OPINION (that's the correct spelling). I normally don't correct people's spelling errors, but in your case, seeing as you felt it necessary to try to take us all to task, I'm making an exception.

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                            • #15
                              I don't have many answers for you, but can add a few things. Costs are going to vary depending on what part of the country you were in. I was paying $2.50 a blade when I lived in Ohio and then moved to NY and it was $5 seven years ago. With that $2.50 I also had free name etching, and not some free hand engraver, it looked like I had taken my blades to Things Remembered and had it all done. I did LOVE that, especially working in a multiple grooming salon.
                              There are a lot of sharpeners out there, but NOT a lot of really good ones from my experience. It really seems to take a special knack. I don't understand all the ins and outs, but I have tried SO many sharperners over the 15 years I've been grooming and have only found 2 fabulous ones (have never tried the ones on this board though). Here we have one sharpener that charges $15 per shear, then another that charges $7. I also believe you need to sharpen a convex blade differently than a beveled edge. Some shears have a corrugated edge and it ticked me off to pieces when I had a sharpener corrugate all my shears! I think if you can find hands on training it could be wonderful. If you have the knack, and do a fabulous job, well, you'll be in high demand. A great sharpener is worth their weight in gold. I wouldn't want to just have a video or manual to read to do this though.
                              I know the one sharpener I use charges more for beautician shears because they require a different kind of edge according to him. He charges $20 a shear for them. So if you can learn to sharpen both grooming shears/blades and barbers shears/blades you will expland your target customer base.
                              I actually prefer to have my stuff sharpened on site while I wait. i don't mind paying more for it either. I tend to wait too long before I call the sharpener and want them back ASAP, so having him come right to the shop was always great. Now being mobile, I find out when he's going to be at the shop I used to work at and wait there or send them with my employee when she goes to dog shows as she has found a GREAT sharpener. My equipment has never been sharpened so well. Takes a lot to make me go "WOW" when I put on a freshly sharpened blade, because I expect them to work. This mans work WOWS me!
                              What a caterpillar considers the end of his world, we call a butterfly.

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