Guide: The complete guide to blades and blade care
Blades and coat length
Coat length really comes down to your personal preference and the dogs comfort. Select a blade according to the length you want the coat. Cutting length is listed in mm's and based on clipping against the direction the coat grows. Going with the direction the coat grows is recommended unless experienced, and will leave the coat slightly longer than the blade length listed.
Find out more about which direction to clip.
Check the guide for how to choose the right blade size
Finish Cut (FC) versus Skip Tooth (ST) blades
Blades come in 2 types, FC or ST. ST stands for skip tooth. ST blades are best used for blending short areas in with longer lengths, for coarser coat breeds such as terriers, for very thick or double coats when finer tooth blades 'chew' the coat, or for the initial 'rough cut' if you want to take bulk off the coat before the bath. F or FC stand for the same thing: fine cut or finish cut. One brand might call their blade an F and another might say FC but they are referring to the same thing. The teeth on an FC blade are all the same length, so result in a smoother finish than the same blade in skip tooth (ST).
We recommend using FC blades unless experienced. Never use ST blades on cats or rabbits due to their delicate skin. Stainless Steel FC blades are recommended for cats and rabbits.
Find out the difference between ST and FC blades.
Find out more about clipping cats.
The term A5 means the blade is a universal fit, and has a standard fitting for use on all brands of A5 model clippers. A5 clippers will have the widest variety of compatible accessories, however not all clippers are A5 models, so check before you buy. A5 model clippers can fit any A5 blade by any brand, not just the same brand as the clipper.
Read more about what an A5 blade is and what clippers A5 blades fit and check the A5 model clippers list before you buy any blade.
How and when to oil a blade
Using a dry blade can significantly increase the amount of friction between the cutter blades, which leads to increased heat as a byproduct. To reduce the friction, and therefore the heat, we recommend oiling your blades often, about every 5-15 minutes when first starting out. Eventually you will learn to know when to oil your blade by the feeling and sound, however blades do need to be oiled much more frequently than you would think.
Always oil a blade before every use, during use, after applying coolant or disinfectant, after cleaning, and before storage. Oil acts as a rust preventative, and will help minimize rust formation during storage.
Watch the video showing how and where to oil a blade correctly
How to avoid blade burn and check blade heat
Blade burn can be serious. Steel blades get hot about every 5 to 20 mins. This is quite a wide range that is dependent on a number of factors, such as speed and blade care. Ceramic blades tend to stay cooler a lot longer. Read more about why blades get hot and how to reduce blade heat.
Touch the blade at least every 5-10 mins. Apply coolant if hot. If you do not have coolant, stop clipping. Swap for a cool blade (oil the new blade before use). If you don't have coolant or a second blade, put your clipper down, let the blade cool, add a drop of oil. Continue again once cool. Watch the video for how and where to oil a blade correctly
How to attach and remove an A5 blade
For all brands of detachable blade clippers (also called A5 model clippers), there will be a blade release button you press to take the blade off. You can take blades on and off with no need to unscrew or undo anything. Blades should be removed for cleaning and for storage. Read the instructions and watch the video here for how to remove and attach a blade
How to clean a blade
Take the blade off your clipper. Remove as much loose fur as possible from the blade and clipper with a clipper cleaning brush, or an old toothbrush. Push the smaller tooth set on your blade left and right to check for missed fur (take care not to push blades too far so they do not separate). Put the blade back on the clipper then spray with or immerse blade in blade cleaner while running. Run for a few seconds to loosen stuck hair. Make sure to hold the clipper with the blade pointing down, so fluid does not enter the clipper housing. After cleaning, turn the clipper off. Remove blade and wipe dry. Always oil after cleaning, and before storing.
Watch the video below to learn how to clean, disinfect and oil your blades correctly:
How to store blades
Clean the blade thoroughly then oil before storing. Store in a cool, dry place. Heat, moisture or humidity can cause a blade to rust if not protected by oil. If storing for long periods of time, make sure to use a heavy hand when oiling, and store in an air-tight container or zip-lock bag for maximum protection.