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What is the difference between a thinner, blender and chunker?

Thinners is a term used to describe 3 different types of scissors: Traditional thinners, blenders & chunkers. This help article explains the differences, and helps you decide which one's right for your needs...

Single blade thinners, also called Blenders, have one solid blade and one notched blade. They are popular for blending different lengths of hair together and for smoothing track lines and uneven areas after clipping. Blenders are the most popular type of thinner. 

Double blade Thinners have two notched blades. They are preferred for thicker coats to more quickly thin the hair. A smaller range and not as popular as Blenders and Chunkers.

The last type of thinner are Chunkers. They have one notched blade with large 'fish tail' or 'T' shaped teeth, and one solid blade. Chunkers give a very natural texture and subtle blending for finishing work.

Which length thinner should I get?

Help choosing the right length of thinner

What does the number of teeth mean?

Thinners come in a range of both lengths and teeth count, usually between 20 to 40 or more teeth. Help understanding teeth count and what to get

IMPORTANT note for beginners using thinners 

Using thinners requires correct technique. The wrong technique can cause the notched teeth to hit or catch. If you find the teeth of brand new thinners, blenders or chunkers seem to hit or catch as you cut, stop and check your technique before you accidentally damage the teeth. Don't keep using a thinner if the teeth are catching or hitting. Check your technique first before continuing.

This usually happens due to applying pressure incorrectly (to one side or the other), often with your thumb, causing the teeth to touch. Search on YouTube for how to hold dog grooming scissors and watch some tutorials. Seeking professional advice or training will help also. 

The differences between blenders, thinners & chunkers in detail:

In general, true thinners 'thin' thick hair with a cut made close to the skin. Another technique is to use thinners near the hair ends for a more natural look. Blenders are mostly used for finishing a groom, blending away and softening straight lines. Used approximately ¼” or ½” from the hair tips. Chunkers are used to finish or texturise a cut, ideal for going over any scissor work to remove scissor marks.

BUT some manufacturers use the word 'thinners' to describe all thinning scissors (thinners, blenders and chunkers), or it may describe true thinners, which have teeth on both sides. Having teeth on both sides makes them better for bulk thinning and removing hair closer to the skin. They take less hair off per cut than thinners with teeth on one side. Popular for thicker coats in particular.

All thinning scissors will 'blend' or sculpt of course - that's what they're for - but Blenders is the correct description for thinners with teeth on one side and a solid blade on the other. A lot more hair is removed per cut, saving you a lot of time. They are often used for blending shorter hair into longer hair rather than for bulk thinning (look for double blade thinners for bulk thinning). Used over a comb they give a smooth yet still textured result and a consistent length. They're also popular for blending away harsh scissor lines or clipper blade tracking lines.

Although blenders - ie: thinners with teeth on one side - tend to be the most popular type of thinner sold, each type of thinning scissor has a different purpose and creates a different finish for different coats, cuts and areas of the body - so there isn't a 'one size fits all' thinner.

Chunkers describe thinners which have larger teeth shaped like a T teeth or a mermaid tail (also called fishtails or texturisers). They're very popular for going over clipper and scissor work to remove scissor marks and track lines and often preferred for double coats and for coats like the Sheltie and Rough Coat Collie. They give a much softer result and very natural finish.