What Size Dog Clipper Blade Do I Need

Understanding the capabilities of different types of clipper blades can make you a more efficient groomer. Familiarising yourself with the following terms and types of blades will help:

Clipper Blades

All clipper blades have two parts. The larger bottom blade, called the comb, feeds the hair into the top, or cutting, blade. The cutting blade is moved back and forth very quickly by the clipper motor to cut the hair.

Cut 

Length of hair left when cutting against the natural grain of the coat, or on a dog breed with an off-standing coat, such as a Poodle or Bichon Frise. Cutting with the grain of the coat on most breeds leaves it one clipper blade length longer. For instance, a #7 clipper blade leaves approximately 3.8mm hair when going against the grain, but will leave approximately 6mm when going with the grain.

Skip Tooth Clipper Blades

Perfect for blending short areas with longer lengths. Ideal for coarse-coated breeds such as Terriers. The coarse or uneven teeth on a Skip Tooth will feed the hair into the cutting blade more effectively, which allows you to clip under mats. Often used before the bath for rough-cuts, and on dogs that must be shaved completely down.

F Blades: Finishing/Full Cut Blades

The teeth on this blade are even, creating a smoother finish. Can be used before and after the bath. Used for a smoother finish or full shavedowns.

Dog clipper blade numbers and lengths of cut

Below is a list of the clipper blade numbers and the length of coat that is left on the dog after the clip

Blade #3 or #3F Cuts and leaves 13mm length of coat on the dog
Blade #4 or # 4F Cuts and leaves approximately 9.5mm length of coat on the dog
Blade #5 or #5F Cuts and leaves approximately 6mm length of coat on the dog
Blade #5/8 Toe Blade Is specifically for clipping between the toes and feet
Blade #7 or #7F Cuts and leaves approximately 3.2mm length of coat on the dog
Blade #7/8 Toe Blade Is specifically for clipping between toes and feet
Blade #8 1/2 Cuts and leaves 2.8mm length of coat on the dog
Blade #9 Cuts and leaves approximately 2mm length of coat on the dog
Blade #10 Cuts and leaves 1.6mm length of coat on the dog
Blade #15 Cuts and leaves 1.2mm length of coat on the dog
Blade #30 Cuts and leaves 0.5mm length of coat on the dog
Blade #40 & #50 Are specifically for short surgical cuts

 

Which blade do I need for my dog breed?

Read below to see the various dog breeds and recommended clipper blade sizes to achieve the results that a professional groomer would achieve.

 

Mixed breeds (smooth coat)

Matted coat #7F

Short trim #4F

Head, face and tail – scissors

 

Mixed breeds (wiry coat)

Body and tail #7F, #5F, #4F, #3F

Legs, chest, beard and eyebrows #3F

Ears  #10

Face and eyebrows – scissors

 

Airedale-terrier

Body #7 or #5

Head, neck #9 or #7F

Ears #10

Tail #5 or #4

Stomach #10

Pads #15

 

Bedlington-Terrier

Bedlington Terrier

Body #5F

Head, ears and tail #10 or #7F

Stomach #10

Pads #15

 

Bichon-Frise

Pet trim, short #4F

Matted strip down #7F or #5F

Stomach #10

Pads #15

 

Border-Collie

Body #7F

For more length on body  #4 or #3

Short trim  #3, #3F, #4, #4F

Natural coat – scissors

 

Bouvier

Body  #3,

Legs – scissors

Matted coat  #7F

Head  #4F

Face – scissors

Ears  #10 or #15

 

Cairn-Terrier

Matted coat #7F

Pet trim, shorter on back #4

Head, face, legs and underbody – Scissors

Ears #10

 

Cats

Very matted #10

Some matting #7F

 

Chow Chow

Matted coat #7F

Natural coat – scissors

Body #7

Short trim #3, #3F, #4, #4F

 

Cocker-Spaniel

Body, sides and back – 4F, 5F, 7F

Neck – 9

Face, ears and throat – 10, 15

 

Dandie Dinmont Terrier

Body, sides and back only #5 or #4

Head, tail, legs and underbelly – scissors

Legs and undercarriage – scissors

Ears – #10 or #15

 

English Cocker Spaniel

Body, sides and back only #7F, #5F, #4F

Front of forearms #7F

Head, neck, and ears #15

 

English Springer Spaniel

Body, sides and back only #7F, #5F, #4F

Head, neck and ears #10

Tail, legs and underbody – scissors

 

Golden Retriever

Matted coat #7F

Body #7F or #5F

Legs, tail and underbody – scissors

 

Gordon Setter

Body, sides and back only #7F, #5F, #4F

Head, neck and ears #10

Tail, legs and underbody – scissors

 

Great Pyrenees

Matted coat #7F

Long body trim #4 or #3

 

Irish Setter

Body, sides and back #7F, #5F, #5

Head, neck and ears #10

Tail, legs and underbody – scissors

 

Fox-Terrier-Irish-Terrier

Body, sides and back #5, #5F, #7F

Head, neck and ears #10

Tail, legs and underbody – scissors

 

Keeshond

Matted coat #7F

Natural coat – scissors

Short trim, back and sides #4

Head, neck and ears #10 or #9

 

Kerry Blue Terrier

Body and tail #4F or #3F

Face #10

Ears, cheeks and throat #10

 

Lakeland Terrier

Body and tail #7F, #5F, #4F, #3F

Head, neck and ears #10

Legs, chest, beard and eyebrows #30 with ¾” or 1″ comb

 

Lhasa Apso Maltese

Matted coat #7F

Short trim #3F or #4F

Head, face, tail and underbody – scissors

 

Maltese

Matted coat #7F

Puppy trim #30 with 1″ comb

Short trim #4

Head #4F, #3F, #30 with ¾” or 1″ comb

Face and tail – scissors

 

Newfoundland

Matted coat #7F

Natural coat – scissors

Short coat #4 or #3

 

Old English Sheepdog

Matted coat #7F

Short coat #3, #3F, #4, #4F

Head and face – scissors

 

Pekingese

Matted coat #7F

Short coat #4 or #4F

 

Poodles (kennel trim)

Matted coat #7F

Face, feet and base of tail #10 or #15

Body and legs – #5, #4, #3

Top knot and tailpiece – scissors

 

Poodles (lamb trim)

Face, feet and base of tail #10 or #15

Body #5, #4, #3

Top knot and tailpiece – scissors

 

Poodles (summer trim/ bikini trim)

Face, feet and base of tail #10 or #15

Body and legs #7F or #5F

Pom-poms, top knot and tail pom – scissors

Stomach #10

 

Portuguese Water Dog

Matted coat #7F

Short coat #3, #3F, #4, #4F

Head and tail – scissors

 

Samoyed

Matted coat #7F

Underbody #10

Feet #15

Strip down #5F or 7F

Tail – scissors

 

Schnauzer

Matted coat #7F

Throat, ears and cheeks #10

Body and tail #7, #5, #4F

Legs #3 with ¾” comb

 

Scottish Terrier/ Sealyham Terrier

Body, back and sides #5 or #4

Head, neck, cheeks, throat and ears #10

Tail #4F

 

Shetland Sheepdog

Matted coat #7F

Long trim #4 or #3

Natural coat and tail – scissors

 

Shih Tzu

Matted coat #7F

Short trim #4F or #3F

Head, tail and ears – scissors

 

Silky Terrier

Matted coat #7F

Short trim #4F

Head, underbody and tail – scissors

Ears #10

 

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

Body and tail #3

Head and ears – scissors

Shorter trim #4F

 

Welsh Terrier

Body and tail #7F or #5F

Head, cheeks, throat and ears #10

 

West Highland White Terrier

Body, back and sides #5F, #4F, #3F

Tail and underbody – scissors

Head and legs #30 with 1″ or 1¼” comb

Ear tips #10 or #15

 

Yorkshire Terrier

Matted coat #7F

Puppy trim #30 with 1″ comb

Short trim #4F or #3F

Face – scissors

Ear Tips #10