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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.

You can use our blade length guide below to help narrow down your options: 

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. As ST blades have alternating teeth which allow more hair into the blade at once, there is a higher risk of accidentally cutting the skin. 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

A5 blades

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.

TIP: All our A5 blades and clippers can be identified with the A5 badge on the product image 

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. 

Grooming essential for all clipper and trimmer blades. For use on all brands of blades, and grooming scissors. Always oil before you clip, after applying coolant, and after cleaning. Only store an oiled blade. Lubricates, reduces blade and clipper wear and tear, protects from rust.

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 15 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

The Andis Cool Care Plus blade spray is a 5 in 1 formula that serves as a lubricant, disinfectant, coolant, cleaner and rust preventive with a country-fresh scent. Designed to enhance clipping action, reduce friction and help to preserve your blades. Special SureGrip™ sculpted can is easy to hold and the high pressure nozzle sprays hair out of blade teeth with ease.

Wahl Blade Ice Spray is designed for all brand clippers and trimmers with detachable blades. Cools clipper blades instantly. A coolant, lubricant and cleaner in one. To Use: Spray on blades occasionally during use when blades heat up, or to prevent friction and heat. Helps extend the life of your blades. Note: Will lightly lubricate your blade but does not replace the need for blade oil, especially before use, after cleaning, and before storing any blade. Always wipe off excess before continuing to clip.

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. 

The new dip tub version of the best selling Andis Blade Care. Cools, disinfects, cleans, lubricates and helps prevent rust, all in one handy quick-dip jar that effortlessly rinses away hair and product build-up in seconds.

Wahl Clini-Clip is a ready-to-use disinfectant and cleaner for clipper blades. Designed to effectively disinfect hard, non-porous surfaces such as metal and plastic. It kills bacterial, fungicidal, virucidal and tuberculocidal organisms to keep your clients protected. It will also help to maintain the sharpness of your clipper blades, reducing friction and heat caused by under-lubricated blades. Formulated to be pH neutral, perfume free and alcohol free.

For a more detailed explanation, check out our Blade Maintenance Guide, or 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. 

This unassuming little folding storage case is actually one of our best selling products! It's a soft folding case - the best alternative to a bulky hard case for storing your blades safely. Holds nine blades each with their own see-through pocket. Padded canvas with secure velcro-closure. Completely portable. Folds flat for storage. Easy!

The Shernbao 22 Blade Storage Case is a great way to keep your clipper blades safe and organized. By providing a dedicated storage space for each blade, these cases help to prevent damage and make it easier to find the blade you need. Whether you're a professional groomer or a pet owner who grooms at home, keeping your blades safe and easily accessible is important. The 22-slot case offers six slots for wide blades, as well as 16 slots for other A5 or 5-in-one style blades. The premium quality hardback zippered case finished in an aesthetic carbon fiber material with a handle making it easy to move around.