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How to Choose a Blade Size to Cut Dog Hair

By J. Johnson | Updated September 26, 2017

dog image by Bobi from Fotolia.com

Some types of dogs need monthly grooming and regular haircuts. If you rely on a professional groomer for this service, you might find yourself paying out a lot of money each month. One option is to cut your dog's hair yourself, but before you can do that, you need to choose the right blade size for your dog's fur. Once you do that, you'll be ready to give him a free haircut or trim.

Familiarize yourself with how dog clipper blades are sized. Different sizes cut hair to different lengths. For example, a size 10 blade will cut hair to approximately 1/16 of an inch long. A blade that cuts hair this short is generally used on the stomach and genital areas.

The direction in which you choose to clip your dog's hair will impact the blade size you choose. For example, a size 3 blade will leave half an inch of hair if you cut against the hair's growth. If you cut with the hair's growth, a size 3 blade will leave twice as much hair behind, or one inch.

Decide which type of blade is appropriate for your dog. Understand that different sizes and different types may be used on different areas. A skip-tooth blade is usually used to blend short and long hair and to cut coarse fur. Finishing/full-cut blades are used to completely shave the fur. Wide/T-blades are typically used to cut hair on very large dogs or to remove a lot of hair quickly. To shave down to the skin, you'll need a surgical blade, which is used mostly by veterinarians.

Decide approximately how long you want your dog's fur to be in different areas. For example, if you want to leave only 3/8 of an inch of hair on your dog's stomach, use a finishing/full-cut size 4 blade. If you want to leave one inch of hair on his entire body, use a wide/T-blade in size 3 and cut in the direction of the hair's growth.

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J. Johnson has been completing freelance writing work since September 2009. Her work includes writing website content and small client projects. Johnson holds a degree in English from North Carolina State University.

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