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Hello, I am getting a labradoodle in 4 weeks. I am going to try and learn how to groom her on my own. I want to know if anyone has opinions on the best affordable dog clippers for labradoodles. I want to do full body grooming and not just touch ups. I have seen that Wahl is a great brand, but I don’t know which ones to get. I have seen the more expensive professional ones by Wahl and the clippers made for home use. Any suggestions on clippers by Wahl or other good brands that are good and somewhat affordable?
 

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Labradoodles can have a whole range of different coat types, depending on how much poodle and how much lab they inherit. But the good news is you don't really need different clippers for different dog breeds.

I've been happy with my Andis UltraEdge 2-speed. I wouldn't call it inexpensive exactly, but mine has lasted about eight years, and I'm only just recently considering replacing it (and a large part of that is the fact that I brought it with me when I moved overseas so now I have to hook it up to a transformer to use it). IMO a good clipper is one of those things worth going a little higher quality if possible, because a good one will last and pay for itself very quickly, sometimes in only 2-3 grooms depending on what your local groomers would charge for a clip, haha.

It's worked very well for my two curly boys, easy to clean and change the blades, and gets through thick (but regularly combed/brushed) hair quite nicely. My two complaints are that it's a little heavy for me when I have to use it for a longer groom, and the cord can be awkward sometimes, but I've yet to find a smaller and/or cordless clipper that can do the job half as well. I do now have a smaller, cordless clipper for more delicate or awkward spots, like feet or sanitary (butt and genital) trims, but it's not great for large areas of super thick or long hair. The UltraEdge was my sole clipper for many years and did just fine.

Some random points:

Definitely buy an animal clipper. The human ones are cheaper and therefore tempting, but they are not up to the job.

Take care of the blades, they'll last way longer. That means oiling after every use and storing things carefully. A good cooling spray isn't a bad idea either, because it means not taking as many breaks because your clipper blade is too hot to be comfortable on your dog's skin.

A nice set of metal snap-on combs is a great, lower-cost way to get a range of lengths to work with. Metal tends to be easier to use and more effective than plastic comb guards. I started with this set: WAHL Stainless Steel Attachment Combs Kit for 5 in 1 Blades | Chewy (Free Shipping) but I'm sure there's others out there too. I do prefer using actual blades of the lengths I use the most, but these allowed me to buy them one at a time, when I had the money budgeted and knew which lengths I liked best.

Keep up with combing and brushing between clips, right down to the skin. A dog with a matted (actual felted hair) or impacted (really dense, packed together hair) is going to be harder to clip, even with quality clippers, and be harder on your machine and blades. Even professional groomers will often just have to give up on these coats and trim the dog super short all over, because the other option is to try to comb or brush out all the hair beforehand, and if it's bad enough that can be really painful and stressful to the dog. Better to never let it get that bad in the first place.

Also, try to use the clippers on clean, dry hair only. We don't have a dryer, so we'll often bathe and thoroughly comb out our boys the day before, then trim the day after, though sometimes if we plan well enough we can bathe in the morning and have them dry in time for an afternoon clip. This will also help your clippers and blades last longer and perform better.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Labradoodles can have a whole range of different coat types, depending on how much poodle and how much lab they inherit. But the good news is you don't really need different clippers for different dog breeds.

I've been happy with my Andis UltraEdge 2-speed. I wouldn't call it inexpensive exactly, but mine has lasted about eight years, and I'm only just recently considering replacing it (and a large part of that is the fact that I brought it with me when I moved overseas so now I have to hook it up to a transformer to use it). IMO a good clipper is one of those things worth going a little higher quality if possible, because a good one will last and pay for itself very quickly, sometimes in only 2-3 grooms depending on what your local groomers would charge for a clip, haha.

It's worked very well for my two curly boys, easy to clean and change the blades, and gets through thick (but regularly combed/brushed) hair quite nicely. My two complaints are that it's a little heavy for me when I have to use it for a longer groom, and the cord can be awkward sometimes, but I've yet to find a smaller and/or cordless clipper that can do the job half as well. I do now have a smaller, cordless clipper for more delicate or awkward spots, like feet or sanitary (butt and genital) trims, but it's not great for large areas of super thick or long hair. The UltraEdge was my sole clipper for many years and did just fine.

Some random points:

Definitely buy an animal clipper. The human ones are cheaper and therefore tempting, but they are not up to the job.

Take care of the blades, they'll last way longer. That means oiling after every use and storing things carefully. A good cooling spray isn't a bad idea either, because it means not taking as many breaks because your clipper blade is too hot to be comfortable on your dog's skin.

A nice set of metal snap-on combs is a great, lower-cost way to get a range of lengths to work with. Metal tends to be easier to use and more effective than plastic comb guards. I started with this set: WAHL Stainless Steel Attachment Combs Kit for 5 in 1 Blades | Chewy (Free Shipping) but I'm sure there's others out there too. I do prefer using actual blades of the lengths I use the most, but these allowed me to buy them one at a time, when I had the money budgeted and knew which lengths I liked best.

Keep up with combing and brushing between clips, right down to the skin. A dog with a matted (actual felted hair) or impacted (really dense, packed together hair) is going to be harder to clip, even with quality clippers, and be harder on your machine and blades. Even professional groomers will often just have to give up on these coats and trim the dog super short all over, because the other option is to try to comb or brush out all the hair beforehand, and if it's bad enough that can be really painful and stressful to the dog. Better to never let it get that bad in the first place.

Also, try to use the clippers on clean, dry hair only. We don't have a dryer, so we'll often bathe and thoroughly comb out our boys the day before, then trim the day after, though sometimes if we plan well enough we can bathe in the morning and have them dry in time for an afternoon clip. This will also help your clippers and blades last longer and perform better.
Thank you so much for the reply. Your comment is super helpful and I really appreciate it. You have me convinced and I will be going with the Andis UltraEdge 2 speed like you said. I would much rather buy something that will last a long time than have to replace them.
 

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I'm sure there's other great clippers out there too, that one just happened to be the first one I bought so I never needed to try any others, haha. I hope you have as good an experience with it as I have! There's a lot of videos about how to safely groom and how to introduce a puppy to the sound and feel of clippers and other grooming equipment. I mostly taught myself through YouTube and trial and error, haha. Luckily my dogs don't care if they look a little funny and lopsided from time to time.
 

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Whatever brand you get, make sure it's a professional grade A5 clipper. All A5 clippers have interchangeable blades, and it doesn't matter what brand of clipper and blade combo you use, they will work together. Two speed clippers are nice, but pricier. Some brands off the top of my head are Oster, Andis, and Wahl. You will also need blades, possibly clip-on combs, and maintenance supplies like blade oil and lubricating/cooling spray. As a testament to good clippers lasting a long time, I fished my Oster A5 clipper out of a trash pile. It's so old that it doesn't have a zip code in the address, and it still runs.

You will also need a forced air dryer. I have an older Metro two speed model ($30 thrift store special) that does well on my GSD, but there are several other brands out there.

When shopping though websites like Pet Edge, expect to pay in the neighborhood of $200 to $400 for the clippers, and roughly $25 to $30 apiece for the blades. The dryer can cost up to $500 or more, depending on the brand. If you are looking at retail sites like Petsmart or Petco, expect to pay considerably more.
 

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I don't clipper, I strip hair, but something I wish I had years ago for my other pups is a stripping knife. I use the Mars stripping knives. I actually don't use the knives to strip hair, just my fingers, but I use them to card. Which means basically just comb the jacket with the knife. Hold blade as flat to skin as possible and comb through. It gets all the dull dead hair out like magic and doesn't cut the wire coat. I card almost everyday.

And my pup loves it!

But I also recommend a good comb and brush, keep up with it. I wish I knew this a long time ago because it really helps keep the coat knot free (free of tangles). I also card the furnishings, but scissor them to cut. It keeps their coat free of tangles and the jacket hair lies flatter.

If your pup has thicker poodle hair, a wide tooth knife is probably best.
I use the knife on the furnishings intermittently, and also a comb with rotating teeth so it doesn't pull as much. But a quick brush is a daily thing. I usually comb his furnishings quickly before we go out for a walk, he is much more tolerant if he gets his walk after.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Whatever brand you get, make sure it's a professional grade A5 clipper. All A5 clippers have interchangeable blades, and it doesn't matter what brand of clipper and blade combo you use, they will work together. Two speed clippers are nice, but pricier. Some brands off the top of my head are Oster, Andis, and Wahl. You will also need blades, possibly clip-on combs, and maintenance supplies like blade oil and lubricating/cooling spray. As a testament to good clippers lasting a long time, I fished my Oster A5 clipper out of a trash pile. It's so old that it doesn't have a zip code in the address, and it still runs.

You will also need a forced air dryer. I have an older Metro two speed model ($30 thrift store special) that does well on my GSD, but there are several other brands out there.

When shopping though websites like Pet Edge, expect to pay in the neighborhood of $200 to $400 for the clippers, and roughly $25 to $30 apiece for the blades. The dryer can cost up to $500 or more, depending on the brand. If you are looking at retail sites like Petsmart or Petco, expect to pay considerably more.
Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I don't clipper, I strip hair, but something I wish I had years ago for my other pups is a stripping knife. I use the Mars stripping knives. I actually don't use the knives to strip hair, just my fingers, but I use them to card. Which means basically just comb the jacket with the knife. Hold blade as flat to skin as possible and comb through. It gets all the dull dead hair out like magic and doesn't cut the wire coat. I card almost everyday.

And my pup loves it!

But I also recommend a good comb and brush, keep up with it. I wish I knew this a long time ago because it really helps keep the coat knot free (free of tangles). I also card the furnishings, but scissor them to cut. It keeps their coat free of tangles and the jacket hair lies flatter.

If your pup has thicker poodle hair, a wide tooth knife is probably best.
I use the knife on the furnishings intermittently, and also a comb with rotating teeth so it doesn't pull as much. But a quick brush is a daily thing. I usually comb his furnishings quickly before we go out for a walk, he is much more tolerant if he gets his walk after.
Thank you!
 
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