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Blade Basic's


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Clippers have two blades!

The bottom and invariability larger of the two is generally referred to as the “comb” but can also be called the “lower plate”. The other (the smaller of the two) is called the “cutter”, also known as the “upper plate” (basic stuff – but an awful lot of folk haven’t got the hang of what blades are individually called.) The cutter is the one, which cuts and therefore moves at very considerable speeds backward and forwards across the comb, which is stationary!

Due to the tremendous speed (up to 4000 stokes per minute on some machines) blades get hot – very hot! Therefore you should oil your blades regularly to help cool them. If you don’t, a chain of incidents can fairly quickly happen – blades overheat – blade go blunt – blades refuse to cut – clipper head overheats - machine malfunctions - animal complains about getting burnt! - operator gets stressed!

Blades should always be sharpened as a pair. If you break one and are able to get a replacement (not always possible) get them both re-sharpened together. Broken teeth in a blade will result in a cut leaving a groove of hair (referred to as a “tramline”) Try to always ensure blades do not become rusty (cleaning and oiling helps!) Rust pits the metal face of the teeth making it difficult to get a really sharp edge. Always store away at the end of the season oiled and suitably wrapped

All whom clip should be aware that irrespective of either the type and make of machine used or the type of blades selected ALL blades can become blunt at a moment's notice. This is not normally connected with, nor a fault of, the clipping machine, but more likely one of several factors most common of which are (not in any order of priority!)

  • In correct tensioning by the operator
  • Incorrect or bad sharpening
  • Dirt and dust accumulated in the animals coat



  • Attempt to fit blades to the machine with it connected to the main power supply.
  • Touch the blades when moving!
  • Switch the machine on with loose or missing blades. (In the interests of safety ensure that both blades are tightly seated.)
  • Over tighten the blades in an attempt to force them to clip.
  • Immerse either the machine or cutter head in liquid (oil/diesel/lubricant) of any kind.


New or re-sharpened clipper blades should be correctly adjusted and when clipping, regularly oiled and re-tensioned to maintain efficiency

To set the blade tension, follow the instructions below:

1. With the clipper turned OFF (unplugged)

2. Loosen the tension nut anticlockwise until the blades become loose,

3. Turn the tension nut clockwise until you feel the nut coming up against resistance,

4. Plug in your clipper, and switch the clipper on,

5. Loosen the tension nut slowly until the blades are no longer under pressure and run freely, they will start to become noisy, at this point STOP!

6. Slowly tighten the tension nut until you feel resistance and hear the sound of the blades change,(also you might hear a slight change in the sound of the motor of the clipper especially on the less powerful clipper models).at this point STOP!

7. Tighten (turn clockwise) the tension nut by a MAXIMUM of ½ a turn, your clipper blades should now be set to their BASE SETTING.

8. Lubricate the blades.

9. Well Done! Your clipper blades are now ready to clip

10. If your clipper does not produce a satisfactory result, then fine tuning of the blades may be required, this should only take between ¼ of a turn (
counter clockwise if over tight or clockwise if too loose) either way of the BASE SETTING (a small adjustment may be required from time to time during the clip ).
Warning: If the clipper BASE SETTING is set too loose, then on first using the clipper, the clipper will not clip satisfactory, and the hair that is cut, will clog between the blades. Turn off the clipper, and remove the blades. Remove any hair from between the surfaces, as it will foul the guides and will not allow a satisfactory cut, and any further adjustment will not change the quality of the clip, this hair must be removed, and the blade adjustment procedure started again from point 1