Product Information

What is Clipp-Aid? A Great New Product For Groomers.

Groomers all over the world are asking questions about the new product Clipp-Aid?  Does Clipp-Aid bring dull blades back to life?  Is it harmless when exposed to humans and pets?  With all the chemicals groomers use, is Clipp-Aid safe to use in my salon?  The answer to all these questions is “Yes”.  In this article, I’ll share with you the breadth and thoroughness of my testing of Clipp-Aid over the last few months.  My conclusion is that Clipp-Aid really is a fabulous new product for groomers!

Several months ago, there was a flurry of comments about Clipp-Aid on Facebook and groomer forums.  In response, Clipp-Aid contacted me to try out their product in my shop to get a groomers perspective on the product.  As an Organic Chemist, Blade Sharpener, and Pet Groomer for over 30 years, I was astounded by the results this small bag of crystals did at sharpening a blade well enough that I could continue grooming more dogs after using Clipp-Aid on my dull blades.  It is something groomers need in their kit in case of emergencies.

Clipp-Aid is intended to bring a dull blade back to life again and can be used repeatedly as needed.  Yet, at some point, I would suggest getting your blades professionally sharpened and adjusted by your local sharpener since using Clipp-Aid is not a substitute for professional sharpening.

One thing I noticed when I got the product is the instructions say to "Place the cutting point of the blade into the crystals" then "Move the blade through the crystals for 45 to 60 seconds".  This tells me that you may not be using the product correctly, and you could get discouraged at the results.  Don’t be discouraged!  Clipp-Aid is now aware of this and have revised the instructions that now accompany the sale of its products.  I fold the bag to make sure the depth of the crystals is sufficient to cover the cutter teeth during the sharpening process.

Clippaid1  FOLDED    Clippaid2   CUT OPEN

First off, you have to have the correct bag for the size blade you are going to sharpen.  Thirty years ago, groomers used salt to get by with their dull blades.  At that time, you had to push the blade into the salt (covering the cutter teeth) and let it sharpen until its looks like the salt is pulverized, then pick it out and push it into another part of the salt.  The problem was that it took the whole container of salt to sharpen one blade.  This was because as soon as you put the blade into the salt, the salt instantly pulverized.  This resulted is a slight sharpen before large amounts of salt became useless. That's why we had to keep putting it in, and taking it out to get an edge back on the blade so we could do only a few more dogs.  This was very tedious and far less effective as using Clipp-Aid. 

I believe that Clipp-Aid is a form of concrete that has been crushed and sifted down to the correct size needed to sharpen dull blades.  With Clipp-Aid, you do push the blade into the crystals (covering the cutter teeth), yet the crystals are designed not to pulverize so fast in contrast to salt.  As a result, the dull blades are brought back to life in about one to two minutes with a small amount of Clipp-Aid crystals.  For me, I was able to sharpen two blades twice using a single bag of Clipp-Aid.

Clipp-Aid is 100% safe to use in your salons.  It is an inert compound that doesn't react with anything.  I mixed it with every liquid in my shop looking for a reaction and got nothing. I even put it on a bad scrape that bled when a dog scratched me, and it didn't even burn like many medical products would. It was nice to see the product was completely safe and non-reactive.

Anyway, that's Clipp-Aid in a nutshell. It is very important to use this product correctly in order to get the best results.  Getting the cutter deep enough in the crystals, and bringing it in and out of the crystals is the key to using it properly.  Also, it is a good idea to have a dog standing by so that you can test the sharpness of your blade while using Clipp-Aid.  Check out the 4 simple steps below that I would recommend to every groomer using Clipp-Aid.

Have a great day grooming, and read those labels. 


Jeff’s Instructions For Using Clipp-Aid

  1. Get a dog to test your sharpness on. Its best to do it with a dog present so you can test for sharpness as you are running your blade in the crystals. If it isn't sharp on the first try, you run it again in the crystals and try it on the dog again.
  2. Get the bag and tip it on its side and get all the crystals to one side of the bag. You need the "depth" of the crystals. Now fold the bag in half, turn it right side up, and cut the top open.
  3. Get your clipper with the blade on it. Open the top of the package, and slide the folded part of the bag so the opening is large enough to get your blade into it. Hold the bag with one hand, and your clipper in the other.
  4. Make sure your blade is clean of hair or oil. Turn the clipper ON and stick the blade into the crystals making sure the cutter teeth are below the surface of the crystals. Hold it there 5 seconds, pull it out of the crystals slightly and stick it back in. Do this 5 times. (5 seconds - 5 times ). You should see the crystals turning lighter in color. You can slightly shake the bag to mix up the crystals getting more good stuff to the surface.

Conversion between Pet Grooming and Beauty/Barber blades

Have you ever had a blade dull out and you didn’t have another in the same size available? The sharpening hasn’t came back yet and purchasing a blade from a catalogue takes too much time. You start reverse cuts with other blades to accomplish the same cut, and it works but its still not the same as the right blade. There is help available in a place you would never think of and it may be only a ten minute drive from your shop....The Beauty/Barber supply store. The blades at the beauty supply store are actually the same blade your using except they have a different numbering system to their blades. They fit all the pet grooming clippers as well.

Pet Grooming Size             Barber/Beauty Size

#10                                            #0

#15                                           #0A

#30                                           #000 (Cuts like a 40)

#40                                           #0000 (Cuts like a 50)

#50                                          #00000 (For Bald Heads)

#9                                            #1A

#8 ½                                        #1

#7F                                          #1 ½

#5F                                          #2

#4F                                         #3 ½

There are no “Skip-tooth” blades with the Barber/Beauty blades, and your steel guard combs may not fit, but they should. Try them on first at the store to make sure. Their blades look just like ours except the numbers are different on the back. The barber/beauty blades have saved the groomers in our shop alot of frustration during shave down season.

Read Those Labels, anf have a great day grooming


New diamond carbide nail grinding wheel makes cardboard wheels obsolete.

Wheels 2

Introducing the last nail grinding wheel you will buy for a while.

 This is a diamond impregnated carbide wheel that replaces the paper wheels your putting on your Dremmel to grind nails. It fits on the mandrel your currently using on your Dremmel, and they don’t break apart. This wheel is washable, and you can grind nails right in the tub to keep the dust down when the nails are softer. You can use it on dogs, cats, horses, any reptile, and even birds. One unique thing about this wheel is, if the nail has rough edges after clipping, this wheel wont splinter the nail like the paper wheels do sometimes. It leaves a very smooth finish without the vibration the paper wheels are known to do that scares the animal. There is no sand to come off in your face, and they won't bust apart on big dog nails. This is the perfect wheel if your grinding cat nails. When the paws are went or covered with snow, thats not a problem. This wheel will grind nails with the pads wet or dry because water actually helps the grinding. Since they are metal, they can get warm doing big dogs. To cool, just turn the Dremmel off and stick the wheel right in a glass of water, try that with paper wheels.

Its not as expensive as you might think when you compare the wheels you use now and the time they break apart when your doing a nail. This wheel has been going over a year in our shop, and we clean it regularly. Just hold the wheel under a small stream of water in the sink and scrub with a toothbrush.

I've sold hundreds of these wheels on Facebook, my website, and while sharpening my customers all along the Gulf Coast. No one will ever use a paper wheel again, this product is that good! You can buy these wheels in a couple places. The Barter Page (pet grooming) on Facebook, my sales website, and several mobile sharpeners have them as well

The going price for this wheel is $20, and that includes the mandrel. Its always good to have an extra mandrel, I've bent a few from having the Dremmel kicked out of my hand. If you add up all the wheels you use in a year you would be shocked, close to $100 in most cases. And when your out of them, they are hard to find because other groomers in the area are looking for them as well. You can have a wheel that won't wear out, bust apart, or throw sand in your eyes anymore.

For information, you can go to my product sales website

Have a great day grooming, and most of all, read those labels and product manuals.


New things about the Wahl 5-N-1 blade


A customer sent me her Bravura and several blades and complained the clipper was burning up and vibrating during her last groom. On inspection of these items I discovered there was nothing wrong with the clipper, but the blades had been melting while on the clipper.

The cutter notches on both blades sent were melted and rounded out terribly.  I called and told her the clipper was fine (she was relieved), but I also fould out she cleaned the blades in soap and water. Washing them this way is fine, but most soaps will totally clean the blades of any oil and grease.

In the clipper head of your Wahl trimmer there is a round white cam with a silver post sticking out from it. This post sticks in the cutter notch, and as it spins it moves the cutter back and forth on the blade to make it cut. This silver post doesn't spin, its not on a bearing, it just pushes on the inside of that cutter notch and can create alot of friction if its not lubricated. This is what happened to these blades, the friction was so great from not greasing the cutter notch after washing that  the revolving post melted the insides of both cutter notches. Below is a picture of both cutter notches, look closely at the inside of the notches and you'll see how they are melted out.

5n1 cutter1


I received a different looking 5-N-1 blade recently. It had super fine teeth and had only one setting. The customer complained the blade never cut when brand new, and I could see by the tooth spacing it wouldn't go through the coat on many breeds. I called my factory rep and he said they did manufacture these blades for vets and they were for surgery.

I have a couple pictures of this blade below. You can see its not the blade you want to use in regular pet grooming. The first picture compares this vet blade to the fine blade that is commonly used. The second picture shows it has no adjustment lever, it has one setting.



I didn't do anything to this blade but test it. It went through my fine test hair but I had to go super slow, and it took the hair down past NOTHING LEFT! This is actually what a vet wants prior to surgery and this blade will do it no problem. If you happen to acquire one of these blades somehow, good luck, its not going to be what your used to using.

Not a long post this time but I wanted to share what can happen if you forget to grease the cutter notch. It can cause friction and hurt the cutter notch, or make you clipper run hot and vibrate. This information is also for sharpeners as well as groomers. Sharpeners can run across these problems from their customers, and now they have answers.

We have a lubrication guide for the 5-N-1 blade on our website, and we return a copy to customers who send us 5-N-1 blades for refurbishing. We refurbish these blades with new parts for $10 each, see the website for more details.

Have agreat day grooming, and please read those labels


Having trouble with cords shorting out all the time?

There seems to be alot of groomers with cord problems recently. Many think the cords are made of junk, but really they are not. All the twisting and pulling on the cords during a groom can break the wires on the cord right where the cord enters the clipper body. Then as you move the clipper around during a groom its starts to short out momentarily which can drive you insane. There is an "Old School" trick you can use that saved our cords from breaking and shorting out. In fact, once we did this little trick we never had a cord problem again unless a dog bit through it.

If your clipper has stiff a "hanger" on the back like Andis or Wahl your in luck. Swivel hangers like on LAube and Oster clippers aren't rigid enough to do this trick properly, but it can be done. All it takes is a zip-tie! You zip-tie your cord to your clipper hanger to prevent the cord from bending or twisting at the clipper and it won't break. Thats where the break in the cord is usually at....right where the cord enters the clipper. So when you prevent it from bending in the thick part of the cord where it goes in the clipper, and force it to bend where the cord is flexible, it won't break. We did this to all our Andis clippers a few years back and haven't had a cord problem since. Below is a picture of an Andis clipper, and a Wahl clipper with the cords "zip-tied" to the hanger.

Clipper hangers

Now your thinking "If I zip-tie the cord to my hanger, I won't be able to hang my clipper up anymore" Don't worry you still can. We use a "key ring" from the hardware store that cost less than a dollar. We thread it though the hanger like you would a key and it gives us a better hanger to hang the clipper up with. Below is a picture of a 1 1/2 inch key ring.

Key ring

Just attach this key ring on the hanger, either side of the cord that is zip-tied to it, and your good to go. Hope this helps with your breaking cords all the time.

Have a great day grooming and read those labels!

Cordless Clipper Battery Charging (Do's and Don'ts)

When we buy a new cordless clipper, most forget to read the fine print in the instruction manual, or forget to read the manual altogether. We look at the convenience of things we get for our shops and cordless clippers are at the top of the list. 

Even though the manual says you can leave the handset in the charging stand all the time, or the batteries never obtain a memory and can’t be over charged, don’t believe it!

We summerized what we’ve learned with external batteries, internal batteries, and charging techniques that saved us from experiencing dead batteries and burned up handsets over the years. Take caution over convenience and you’ll be OK. 

No matter what the manufacturer states, or what kind of battery you have, there is a chance you will have trouble with it if you over-cook the battery with charging. You will get a longer battery life and running time of your clipper by a simple technique change, It involves a little more work, but its worth it to have your clipper running when you need it.

This new technique can be applied to cordless trimmers, as well as A5 cordless clippers.


When you get your new cordless clipper chances are the batteries will have a charge in them. How much we don’t know, but I think the first initial charge of a battery is important to the life of the battery. So I ran the charge out of the battery by running the clipper until it was completely dead. You won’t hurt a thing by running your clipper without a blade on it. My clipper ran about 10 minutes and the motor slowly came to a stop. If you have external batteries, do this for each battery. Dont rely on a button on your charging stand that says it will deplete the charge in the battery. It most likely doesn’t drain it like running the clipper would. 

Now put the battery or clipper in the charging stand (or hook up the power cord) and start the intitial charging. This first charge is very important, only charge the battery(s) until the indicator says its fully charged, then stop charging the battery. Even though the manual says the charger will automatically stop charging when its fully charged, dont believe that. Take the battery completely out of the charger, you know that stops the charging. If charging continues, it can over-cook the battery causing cell damage and it may not hold a charge very long. With your batteries all charged up, your ready to start grooming. 

Running Your Clipper

You use your clipper now as you would any clipper. Lets say you’ve been running it for a while and your done with the job your using it for, What do you do now? You want to put it back on the charger like the manual says you can do, should you? I wouldn’t. Replacing the handset or battery back in the charger after short runs where the battery doesn’t have the charge depleted is what causes “memory” in your battery. That battery was designed to let that clipper run for a long time, but you can teach the battery that it only needs to run for short periods of time. I’m assuming the battery cells adjust themselves to run for short periods because they start to act that way.  This is why you think the batteries aren’t holding a charge very long or are bad. Once they get trained this way (memory), there is no training them to hold a charge longer, at least in my experience. 

Here is what I started to do with my cordless trimmer when I first got it. It has an internal battery, a charging stand, and a power cord that attaches to it so it can run on house current. In the five years I’ve used it before writing this article, I’ve have had no problems with battery life, charging, or any hot handset problems.  

•  I set up the intial charging like I stated above. I ran the clipper until the battery was dead then charged it until it was fully charged and stopped the charging process.
•  I ran the clipper for several grooms and never put it back in the charger. I wanted to run the clipper until there was no charge left in the battery. This actually took a long time to complete, I was surprised how long.
•  When the charge was gone and the clipper stopped during a groom, I hooked up the power cord and finished the job. If your using external batteries, change the battery and finish the job, then charge the dead battery. Keep the fresh battery in the clipper and use it until the charge is completely gone before changing that one.
•  I left the power cord hooked up to the clipper until it was completely charged, then disconnected it. I never leave the power cord hooked up, or the handset in the charging base when I’m not using it. I only charge the battery when there is no charge left in it, then only charge it long enought to get it fully charged again.

If you change what your doing now, and do what Im doing, you may not have battery problems anymore.

Have a great day grooming, and read those labels!


Why is there a space between the blades of my shears?

On some shears there is suppose to be a noticable space, this is called the "Set". On beveled edge shears, it enables the shear to "Slice" the hair. Without it the hair may fold. As you open and close a beveled edge shear, you can look down through this space and see the blades only touch in one place along the blade as the shear blades open and close. This gives the beveled edge shear that powerfull slicing ability which is what most groomers want. The beveled edge is the work horse of the grooming industry, you use this edge to rough in dirty dogs or general grooming. It costs less to sharpen shears with this edge. Below is a picture of the space between the blades of a beveled edge shear. Note the small angle on the cutting edge?

Bevelled gap

The next type of shear to talk about is the Convex Shear. These shears still have a space or "set", but its very very small. It would be difficult to get a piece of paper to slide between the blades.

The convex shear cuts hair completely different than the beveled edge shear, it chops rather than slices. Why? Because the convex shear edge is a razor rather than a slicing bevel. The edge is so sharp it doesnt have time to slice, so it takes all the hair off with one wack. You shouldn't feel hair cut with a convex edge its that sharp, when you do, and it starts to push the hair, its time for resharpening. Groomers get the best finish using convex shears, and you use them on clean combed out dogs only. Any dirt or knots in the coat can cause the convex shear to dull or pit the edge, then they fold.

One note about convex shears, just because they have the convex edge doesn't mean its good. Today many manufacturers are putting the convex edge on low grade cheaper shears, to me the metal isnt hard enough to hold this edge over time. Example, if you buy a shear for $50 and it has a convex edge, chances are that edge will round out in two weeks because the metal of the shear isn't top quality. A top quality shear you'll spend some good money on and the metal is good enough to hold this edge for months. I recommend that if you having trouble keeping a convex edge cutting on your $60 shears, why not have the sharpener put a small beveled edge on it next time. That edge will cut for months on these cheaper shears. Replacing a convex edge on a shear can range from $10 to $25 becuase they are honed to sharpeness rather than ground to an edge.

Below is a view of the space between the blades of a convex shear, there is barely a space. The only space it needs is for the blades to pass each other without binding, they need to be close together. If you loosen the tension of a convex shear or thinner too much, the blades will grab each other about an inch from the pivot screw. If this happens, dont keep using it, it needs to be honed again.

Convex gap

I posted this information for groomers, as well as new sharpeners, so you know the characteristics of both styles of shears. Some folks buy shears and really don't know any more about them except they cut hair. There is a big difference, beveled edge shears are for general grooming, convex are mainly for finish work. Sharpeners sometimes get calls from very mad groomers after they get thier shears back from sharpening and say "When I got my shears back from you there was a space between the blades, it wasn't there when I sent them to you". Yes ,it was there when you sent them, you just didn't know why. So now everyone knows the space between the blades of a beveled edge shear is supposed to be there and why its important to the way it cuts.

I hope this helped you in some way make decisions on shear purchases and what you'll be using them for in your shop. Another question I get asked is "Whats a good lubricant for shears"? In my opinion, you don't have to get special lube for them, you can use something you may already have.....blade wash! Good blade wash has several good uses for shears. First, its a lube, most good blade washes have liquid silicon in them, so does spray coolants. Secondly, they have a solvent in them. This solvent can break down the pet dander and small hair that accumulates around the pivot screw in your shear that can tighten the tension over time. When a shear slows down try the blade wash before loosening the pivot screw. When you loosen the screw it changes the way the shear cuts. To apply blade wash to your shear pivot do this. Get a Q-tip and stick it in the blade wash to moisten. Point the tips of your shears up and open them enough to have one blade straight out to one side. Now take the Q-tip and press it against the blade still pointing up so the blade wash drips down into the pivot. Open and close the shear rapidly and you should feel it naturally loosen up for you. If you open them wide again you may see some dark stuff moving out of your pivot area, this is the stuff that collected there and tightened your tension.

Have a great day grooming, and please read those labels :)



Why do switches on clippers go bad and/or burn up?

Switches have been upgraded from a simple toggle switch, to switches that regulate voltages and have circuit boards that are fragile.

Look at the old Oster switch of yester year, it was simple. The voltage came in at 115 volts AC, and you turned the clipper on with a simple toggle switch. The clipper came on and you were grooming.

Oster switch

 The Oster switch above was simple, you could leave it plugged in all the time with no worries of voltage surges. We used to hook boosters upto our Oster clippers and make them run faster, some of you remember these days. And if the clipper didn't run hot enough to burn the palm of your hand, you thought it wasn't running good and needed repair. Those were the days!

The Changes in the clippers today!

Today, its a whole new ballgame. Clippers don't run on normal house current anymore, most run on DC voltage and its converted right in the clipper with circuit boards on the switch.

Andis switches

As you can see by this collection of Andis switches, they consist mainly of circuit boards and wires. They take normal house current and convert it to DC voltage so the motor runs with more torque and more efficiently. All brands of clippers have circuit boards now so you can't get away from them. They can last forever, but fail if certain criteria are met. Let's look at this criteria.

Why clipper switches with circuit boards fail?

1. Dropping the clipper.

No matter what clipper you have you can crack a circuit board by dropping it on the floor. The boards are actually fragile, and can do wierd things when cracked. They can let the clipper run good until you shut if off, then it wont come on. If you break a certian capacitor off the board (Andis), you will only have the low speed. The high speed is controlled electronically with this capacitor. Some of you think its a battery when you hear something rattling around inside the clipper.

2. Voltage spikes or irregularities.

All switches have an incoming voltage range they operate successfully in, the norm is about 112 volts to 125 volts AC. Above or below this voltage range can burn up components on the switch circuit board. Here is a big example: Your clipper is plugged into the same line your dryers are plugged into. Not the same recepticle, but the same line hooked up to the same circuit breaker in your electric box. When you turn a dryer on, it uses about 20 amps to start the motor, then drops back to its operating amps of about 10-15 amps. Bigger the dryer, the more amps it takes to start. The problem is when the dryer amprage falls back from 20 amps at startup, to 10 amps running, it throws a little spike in the electricity. This spike can be 120 volts AC,  or 130 volts AC (we don't know). This little spike is what blows resistors on your switches circuit board. The resistors can take alot of punishment, but one day they won't and thats when it blows. Your clipper will probably run until you shut it off. This doesn't happen all the time, but it can.

Low voltage is just as bad on switches. A customer of mine who is a mobile groomer had problems with switches failing monthly. Her unit ran off a generator, and she had a large dryer plus an air conditioner running all the time. When she used her clipper, she said it ran slower than when she used it in the house. This is another bad thing. The circuit board has resistors that can blow if the voltage is on the low side 105 volts to 112volts AC. The switch trys to compensate the DC voltage its trying to put out that runs the clipper, and it just fails. I suggested a Universal Power Supply (UPS) so she could plug just her clipper into it. The UPS system has batteries inside that raise the voltage to 115 volts AC when its low, and cuts off the peaks when the voltage gets above 122 volts AC coming into the unit. She never had a problem with switches after that.

3. Lightning, plus surges and brownouts from your electric company.

We all know lightning can burn up about anything when it strikes, but it can also produce small surges that the electric company can't ground out before it reaches your clipper. In my shop one night we had a storm with lightning, and when we came in the next day a clipper smelled like it was burning when we turned it on. A surge had come into the shops electric line and went through the switch of the clipper and melted some windings in the armature. How that happed I can't figure out without blowing the switch in the process, but it did. I replaced the aramature and the problem was fixed, and the switch is still working good. Leaving clippers plugged into the wall overnight can have problems the next day from spikes or brownouts in the line. Even though the clipper is turned off, voltage can jump that brass slide switch and do harm to the components of that switch. We use a power strip now with a surge protector on it ($13.00 at home depot). The surge protector will blow if something comes in the line, and this disconnects any power to the recepticles of the power strip. Its worth looking into.

My suggestions to help keep your clippers running.

A. Get and use a power strip with a surge protector.If you don't know, or your not sure the status of the electrical outlets, and what circuit breaker is controlling what, get one. Corporate grooming salons have problems because they build the store first, then put the salon in a corner where they have room left. The electric circuits are already laid down and won't be changed. So if the outlets in the grooming salon are on the same circuits as the dryers in the back, you may have problems. Even in your own shop, if the clipper is changing speeds when you turn a dryer on, it can help and so could a UPS. And when you go home just turn the strip off to keep surges from the electric company doing any damage if you shut the strip off. I'd even put your shop refrigerator on a strip because the compressor can fry if a surge comes in.

B. If your mobile, get a UPS system. All generators have different voltage outputs, don't assume its perfect 115 volts AC. In my mobile sharpening unit I have a small volt meter on both the incoming voltage from the generator, and one on the output voltage of the UPS. And there is a BIG difference!! My blade machine takes 15 amps to start, and with my air running it will make the UPS beep. When this happened I got a larger generator so it wouldn't drop power so bad. As a mobile groomer you may have the same problems. If you turn your air on, then your dryer, maybe a clipper vac, and your UPS keeps beeping, your generator isn't large enough. Your UPS is telling you the voltage is too low and it will compensate until the batteries it go dead.

**** While Im on the subject of generators for mobile groomers I'll give you an example that happened to a local mobile groomer who had these problems. It's a guy, and when he got his unit it came with a generator in the back. The unit came with a Handy Vac, a HV dryer, and the unit had a Coleman top mouted air conditioner. He did get a UPS because he did his invoicing with a laptop computer, and that was a very smart move. When he turned the HV on, or the Vac system on with the air running the UPS would beep one time. This is normal I told him, mine did it as well. Thenhe bought an 850 Double K dryer so he could get faster and do more dogs per day. When he turned that thing on the UPS system started to beep and kept on beeping until he either turned the vac or the air off. I don't know the size of the onboard generator but it needed to be replaced if he kept the 850 in line. His unit was a trailer and he pulled it with a truck.

The very next time I was there sharpening we talked about generators and I told him about my problem and new generator that was in the back of my truck. He wanted to test my generator because he seen what I had running inside so we did. When I shut down, he ran a cord over to my generator, and he started all his equipment in his trailer. He was shutting down things and started them back up and his UPS never made a sound!!!!  So he went to Lowes and bought the Troy-Built 7000 XP which has 15,000 watts of cranking power. He set it in the back of his truck like I did and everything has been fine. The generator cost about $850, so not a bad deal and Lowes are everywhere. I think with an "all-in-one" unit your limited on generator space, so you have to contact your dealer for a more powerfull powersource. Enough on generators *****

C. Try not to drop your clipper.The hardest thing to do is NOT set your clippers on your table under a dog, I know this too well! The most innocent dog can accidently kick your clipper and you have a 50/50 chance of it working properly when you pick it up off the floor. Its a lifestyle change to remember to not do that, and here is what I did because I had room. I set up a little stand next to the table that held the blades I was using, oil, scissors, and a small bowl of bladewash. The first week I had to think every time I set the clipper down to actually put it on that stand. It took about a month to curb my habit, but now if I work in the shop the first thing I do is locate that stand. I don't groom without it, and its my suggestion to you if you can try that. It costs money to fix clippers and scissors, so a little prevention can really help.

Thats my take on the subject of clipper failure. I know it was long, but again my audience is not only groomers, but sharpeners as well. I get alot of phone calls about this subject and most are from sharpeners who really don't know why clippers do what they do, they just fix them. So if this information can help their clients as well as groomers who read this, its a win/win all around. NOTE: The voltages I described in the text came from several different places in my research. They all listed different voltages for the same components so I just took an approximate. They may be a little off, but my intent was the meaning behind them and the points I was trying to get across, so excuse me on that.

I hope you all have great days grooming, and read those labels

Stay away from Small Flat Rate Boxes when shipping equipment.

 Small FRB

The Small Flat Rate Box was not intended to jam as many blades and shears inside and ship like the TV commercial says "If it fits-It Ships". WRONG. Let me say from experience that your not saving any money what so ever if equipment gets damaged or lost. We have received 24 blades and two pair of shears in a very over packed SFRB, and they were upset that I wasn't going to ship back to them that way. It's insane trying to save a couple bucks by risking all your equipment.

When you pack blades into any box you have to have the proper "packing" to make sure blades are safe. They can't bang into each other, or they can't bang against a pair of shears during shipment either. The SFRB is small enough where the postal worker is going to throw it into a bin rather than placing it there. If your SFRB is filled and heavy with all that metal, it may burst open when it hits the back of the bin because of the lack of proper packing. The SFRB is constructed of very thin cardboard, its not as thick as the bigger boxes. This alone will invite cracks and splits if its overpacked and dropped or thrown. Remember this, if your box bursts open during shipment, it will probably just get swept up and forgotten. It will not be forwarded in that condition.

To head off any disappointment, pack your equipment properly in a shipping box thats the appropriate size to hold the amount of stuff your sending properly packed. So its not a flat rate box, if you jam everything you can into a SFRB to save a couple dollars, you stand to loose alot more than just the savings on the shipping. Breaking one tooth on a blade during shipment will cost you $20 to replace that blade, you didn't save anything. Getting the right box, or even a blade box to secure those blades will save you money in the long run.

Here is a blade box filled with blades. They are safe and will not have broken teeth when the box is dropped or thrown.

 If you insist on using a SFRB, use this as a guide. Use a SFRB when you have 6 blades or less, wrap them real good in bubble wrap and they may be good. Fill in any spaces with packing media so you hear nothing moving when you shake the box. A couple small pair of 6 inch shears is good as well (8" shears are too long). Wrap them in bubble wrap and make sure they are small enough not to poke out the sides. They see that, the box will go no further. Fill in any spaces with packing media as well.

 The SFRB is a very needed mode of shipping for something small, without costing alot of money. Please don't missuse the SFRB by over packing it, it's just not worth it. Use the right size box. Below is the proper box containing blades in a blade box and shears wrapped in bubble wrap. The weight difference between putting this much stuff in a SFRB and the one used below was one pound, and the difference in the shipping costs was $2.70. Isn't it worth $2.70 to make sure nothing gets broke in the mail???


I hope these examples will help you feel not so scared to ship equipment for sharpening.

Have a blessed day and read those labels



New Andis hinge frustrates some groomers getting blades on clipper.

What has changed on the hinge?

The Hinge that fits the AGC, AGR, Ultra Edge, or any model using the hinge/latch combination, you could notice problems getting blades to lock on. The latch is that little black steel thing you press to unlock the blade from the Andis clipper, the hook is on the end of it and it hooks onto your blade socket. To get a blade to lock on the clipper, the latch MUST hook the front part of the blade socket. If not, you can pull the blade away from the clipper which will cause it to rattle, drag, stop cutting, etc. Most groomers are used to the blades automatically locking on the clipper once the hinge is snapped shut. Sometimes, with the new hinge type, this may not happen without changing your technique a little.

Andis Hinges

(Figure #1 in picture)

This is the original Andis AGC hinge we all know and are accustom to using. When you open the hinge lip the latch hook is in the "UP" position. This enables the latch hook to lock on to the front of the blade socket automatically when the hinge is closed with the blade on it.

(Figure #2 in picture)

This is the new style of Andis AGC hinge, it is different in one way. Notice the latch hook is in the "DOWN" position when the hinge lip is open, this could cause problems in locking the blade on when you close the hinge.

The Problem

When the latch hook is always  down when the hinge is open, that hook on the end will hit the sock of your blade near the middle someplace. When it hits there it will never grab on to the front of the socket like its suppose to, it will just hit the socket body.



The picture right above shows the problem when the latch is "Down" when the hinge is open, it doesn't lock on automatically most times. It just hits the socket body as shown when you close the hinge and this can cause another problem. If you try to force the blade to lock on, that latch hook can bend the socket forward. If this happens that blade may never lock on any clipper properly because the front of the socket is now too low. (see picture below).


To fix a socket that is bent down on the front is very easy. Just get a pair of pliers and squeeze the back of the socket until it comes down level again. (see picture below)


Another problem that can happen by forcing the blade to lock on is the actual breaking of the hook off the end of the latch. (see picture below). If this happens no blade will lock on your clipper and your blades will rattle, corn row, pop off, and just stop cutting all together.


The solution is simple

If the hinge on your Andis clipper gets replaced by one of these newly engineered ones, you may have to change your technique of putting blades on your clipper.  If they don't automatically lock on when you close your hinge you may have this new hinge type. To prevent any of the problems I described above, you may have to put your blades on using this technique:

1. Put blade on your open hinge

2. Push up on the latch button and hold

3. Close your hinge with the blade

4. Release the latch button, the latch should hook the socket of your blade.

This technique is used by most Laube users every time they put a blade on their Laube clipper. The latch is always in the "Down" position on a Laube hinge, and they have to use the four step method above to lock that blade tight against the clipper body so it won't rattle going 10,000 strokes per minute.

I've tried to explain the problems my customers have been having with the new Andis hinge. Maybe they are going to change back, but until then we may have to change what we do to get the blade to lock on. Hopefully, the pictures helped you understand what causes the problem so you can deal with it better. Now, if your blades have worn or rounded socket fronts, then the latch hook might just pop on by its self and the blade will lock on. If not, your going to have to push on the latch when putting the blade on, and again when you take it off your clipper.

Have Fun, Be Safe, and Read Those Labels :)