What Are Dog Clipper Attachments?

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Snap-on combs reduce the amount of scissoring needed when grooming this Bishon Frise.
Snap-on combs reduce the amount of scissoring needed when grooming this Bishon Frise. (Image: Apple Tree House/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Dog groomers use a variety of clipper blades to achieve professional results when they groom your dog. Professional dog grooming clippers have attachment blades that snap on and off easily, enabling the groomer to change the blades quickly. Snap-on combs attach to the clipper blades, enabling the groomer to achieve a longer cut than blades alone are capable of. Attachments enhance the efficiency of the dog clippers.

Skip Tooth Blades

Skip tooth blades have alternating long and short teeth along the blade edge. They work best for rough cutting before the bath, blending different coat lengths, trimming coarse-coated breeds and shaving dogs with matted coats. Use size 3 for a 1/2-inch coat length, 4 for a 3/8-inch length, 5 for a 1/4-inch length and 7 for a 1/8-inch length. Do not use skip tooth blades when grooming cats.

Finishing Blades

Finishing blades, or F blades, give a nice smooth cut. They are perfect for the final cut, after your dog has been bathed and dried. Finishing blades are available in four sizes: 7F for a 1/8-inch coat length, 5F for a 1/4-inch length, 4F for a 3/8-inch length and 3F for a 1/2-inch length. Finishing blades will not cut through a matted coat; use for clean, well-brushed dogs.

Wide/T Blades and Specialty Blades

Wide and T blades have a wider cutting surface than regular blades. They're perfect for stripping large breed dogs. The wide 10 leaves a 3/32-inch length and T-84 leaves a 3/16-inch length. The 5/8 and 7/8 are specialty blades that have narrow cutting surfaces. The size number indicates the cutting width. They achieve a very close cut, and are used for setting show patterns on poodles.

Surgical Blades

Surgical blades shave down to the dog's skin. They're used by veterinarians before surgery, and by professional dog groomers for some poodle show trims. A size15 blade leaves a 3/64-inch length, and is used for poodle faces, feet and tails. Size 30 leaves 1/50-inch, size 40 leaves 1/100-inch and size 50 leaves 1/125 inch. Don't use surgical blades on dogs with sensitive skin.

Snap-On Combs

Snap-on combs are available in plastic or stainless steel varieties. Attached to your clipper blades, they leave a longer coat than you can accomplish with blades alone. Several sizes of snap-on combs will produce a coat length from 5/8-inch up to 1 1/2 inches, significantly reducing the time spent scissoring a long trim. For best results, attach them to surgical blades. Snap-on combs are for clean and completely mat-free dogs.

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