I need some help with clippers and clipper blades - how do I pick the right blade for the clipping job?


Body clipping!!  It’s a pain in the butt - and we love our horses so much we do it anyway, not just to make them look better, but to make them feel better also.  (Would you want to exercise in a heavy fur coat and then take hours to dry?)

Here are some general guidelines for understanding clippers and blades.  Picking the right blade will give your horse the best clip, not too short, not too long. 



You can slide the clipper blade apart (not all the way!) for cleaning. 


Clipper blades come in about a zillion different sizes, and are made for humans, dogs, cats, horses, sheep, cattle, and just about any creature that grows hair.  As a general rule, the blades are numbered.  The higher the number, the closer the cut.  

For example, a 10 blade will leave 1.8 mm of hair, a 15 blade will leave 1.5 mm of hair, and a 30 blade will leave .8 mm of hair.   Most blades you find at the tack shop will have the length left written on the blade itself in case you forget.  



Fancy close up of a clipper blade. 


I love the 10 W for body clipping.  It’s a wide head blade, so it goes a little faster and covers more real estate for full body clipping.  These are like a hot knife through butter to use when your horse is clean and your blades are sharp!



So many choices - but each blade has a different application. 


I caution you to not clip too short on the legs or other white haired areas for a few reasons.  Depending on the time of year, and your horse’s living situation, clipping the legs/face super short can expose sensitive pink skin to the sun and insects.  I would suggest trying the body clipping blade for any pink skinned areas and then going shorter if you think you can.  


As far as clippers go, I love light and cordless.  Cords can be dangerous, and if you are clumsy like me, you will need a map to get yourself untangled.  However, many corded varieties have durable and long cords so that you can work around your horse without tangling him in the cord.  For more info on how to decide between corded and cordless, feast your eyes on this article. 



Use OIL!  This preserves your blades. 


When it comes to caring for your clippers and blades, here are a few guidelines.  Use OIL!!  And use it frequently!!  Oil will help reduce the heat created.  A spray lubricant will do this also, just not as effectively.  If your use too much oil, run the clippers for half a minute and then wipe the extra oil away before touching your horse.  For more details on cleaning and storing your clippers, read this one!


What tips do you have for picking clipper blades?