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Guide: How to use comb attachments

When using comb attachments (also called guide combs, blade guards, clipper guards or snap on combs), there are a few tips & tricks to get the best results, and to avoid damaging your comb or blade. If your comb attachment is catching, grabbing or getting clogged during use, this guide will help you fix that also.

Ensure a secure fit

Make sure the comb attachment is securely fitted on your blade. Watch the video tutorials linked below if it's your first time using them. The way they fit on varies between combs. Some are magnetic, some spring-loaded, others clip on or slide, or use a mix of attachment methods. If they are not securely on your blade, you risk the comb coming loose or off during use, which can gouge a hole in the coat, can damage the comb, or cause the comb teeth to hit the blade teeth, and damage or break your blade. Using comb attachments on a tangled or knotted coat is also more likely to make the comb come loose during use. 

Watch the videos here showing how to correctly attach the different types of comb attachments

Remove dead hair first

To get a smoother more even result, you need a snag-free coat. That means no knots, tangles or mats. Dead hair that's stuck in the coat is a common cause of a comb attachment getting stuck or clogged, and getting uneven results, so remove dead hair first. Use a deshedding rake for fast, easy dead coat removal, or brush and comb it all out before you clip. Once dead hair's been removed, and the coat is free of tangles and knots, the comb attachment should go through the coat with ease and leave a smoother, more even finish.

TIP: To check if a coat is ready for clipping, use a standard grooming comb (also called a greyhound comb), and check it goes through the coat without snagging.

Use conditioner

Only clip a freshly washed, 100% dry coat. Don't skip conditioner unless you have to. Conditioner (or a coat conditioning spray, or leave-in treatment), smooths the coat after shampoo use, reducing tangles and knots. This also helps blades and comb attachments glide through the coat more easily (shampoo used by itself can make the coat rougher and more likely to tangle). If you don't want to use conditioner, use a more moisturising, mild shampoo that strips less natural oils from the coat. Stronger shampoo intended for dirty or oily coats is the most likely to leave the coat more prone to knots and tangles. 

Use the right blade

Some brands vary, but for most comb attachments, you have the option of using them with a 10, 15 or 30 blade (always check the product description to confirm though). Using a comb attachment with the wrong size blade means the attachment either won't fit on, or if it does, it risks the blade teeth hitting the comb attachment teeth, which is more likely to damage or break your very fine blade teeth, rather than the comb attachment. 

Don't force it

Never force a comb attachment through the coat. That can cause comb teeth to bend, or the comb to come loose, shift, slide or pop off during use. Avoid putting pressure on the comb attachment during use. If it won't go through the coat easily, remove dead coat, tangles and knots first. Avoid use on coats that have not been washed, dried and combed. Avoid using comb attachments on knotted or tangled coats. If a grooming comb can't go through the coat without snagging, a comb attachment usually won't either.

For very thick or curly coats, stainless steel comb attachments are recommended as they fit on the blade more securely than plastic comb attachments tend to (different comb attachments do have different fittings, so the more difficult the coat, the more secure fitting you want, ideally on all 4 sides of the blade, not just the base).

Check the teeth

Check comb attachment teeth regularly. A bent tooth on a comb attachment should be adjusted straight before use. Never use a comb attachment with a bent tooth as that can hit the teeth of the blade, causing the blade teeth to chip or break. If this happens, it's not covered by the comb attachment or blade warranty, so take care and always check your tools before every use. Take care only to use comb attachments on the correct sized blade also.

Oil the comb attachment

Over time, the spring or hinge that secures the comb attachment on your blade can get tight. If you find that happening, give it a drop or two of oil and it should get them moving freely again.