This blog post was inspired by a recent question I read on a Facebook grooming page. A new groomer was asking if it was necessary for her to buy a trimmer as well as a full sized clipper. If she needed to ask this question, others might wonder, too. The short answer, YES. Yes, buy the trimmers. You won't regret it.
The long answer is this. I was first introduced to a trimmer about 23 years ago. A grooming tool distributor sent me one as a thank you for writing an article for them. It was cute, but I didn't know what to do with it, and it ended up in a box in my closet for a while. One day I got it out and took it for a spin. I've never looked back. When I say "trimmer," I am referring to the small, lightweight, cordless tools with an adjustable blade. With the flick of a little lever, the blade can be adjusted to varying lengths, clipping as close as a #30 blade or as long as a #10. Depending on which model and brand, there are varying lengths in between.
My first trimmer had been used as a demonstration model, and came to me with no packaging or instructions. I didn't realize that I was clipping very close when the lever was on one side, and still remember that I caused an irritation on a little dog I groomed. After that I did some more research, and learned better how to utilize this nifty tool.
Having used many brands over the years, this is my current favorite, the Aesculap Akkurata. You can find it at The Groomers Mall, Cherrybrook and other retailers. I like it because it holds up to hours and hours of use, tends to be forgiving if a dog kicks it out of my hand and it hits the floor, and the blades are nicely crafted and hold an edge a long time. Many people use and love Wahl brand. The Bravura is very popular.
There are other brands and models. I suggest you buy the kind that has the adjustable blade, as they are more versatile.
Here is why I love using a trimmer.
- They are lightweight, nimble, easy to hold and use.
- Many (both of these shown above, for example) can be used with comb attachments.
- The blades adjust with the flip of a lever to various lengths.
- The are quiet. Excellent for use on puppies, cats, and sound-sensitive animals.
- Trimmers vibrate very little, making them comfortable to clip with.
- They stay cool even with prolonged use. (Don't forget to oil the blades, though!)
- The batteries last a long time.
- They are great for trimming small areas, such as eye corners, ears, paw pads, sanitary areas.
- Shaving poodle feet is a breeze when you use a trimmer.
Perhaps the only down side is that blades never seem to last as long as I hope they will. And, the blades are not really designed to be sharpened, though some people find they can get them sharpened a time or two before they are done for good. It can feel wrong to throw dull blades away! Still and all, it's worth it to use trimmers, even if you have to buy more blades that you wish you had to. I always keep a spare on hand, because I just don't like to be without a working trimmer.
Though trimmers are said to have been designed to just to do minor work on pets, many groomers use them for full body clipping. In conjunction with with attachment combs, a lovely, velvety finish can be achieved on many coat types using this versatile tool.
If you don't currently use a trimmer, just say YES and give one a whirl. You won't regret it.