About Me:

I am a professional Pet Groomer. I have been grooming for 28 years. This Blog is a kind of diary of my work. I wish I had started years ago, writing some of the experiences I have had while grooming. Most days are fun, some can be sad, some can be just down right crazy. If you are a pet owner and come across this blog, I hope it helps you understand how your pet is groomed. If you are a Pet Groomer, I hope you can relate to some of the stories. Maybe even learn a grooming tip or can leave a friendly grooming tip for me. There is always something to learn, no matter how long you have been grooming.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tuesday's Tip #32 Brushes, Brushes, Brushes

I have bought soooo many brushes over the years, always looking for that special brush that would be like my right arm.

These are the brushes that are in my drawer right now.

 How many of them do you think I use everyday?

Only one in this picture...

..and, one other one once and awhile.

First I'll tell you about the ones that I hate.

I don't know why I still have them.

They have been sitting in my drawer for so long, that they have started to rust.

Why do I not like them?

They are flat.
They ride over the hair.
They are too small for me.

I think that it is time that I throw them away.

I bought this brush thinking that I would like it because it was curved, and it had a lot of teeth.

I thought that all of those teeth would really cut through the hair nicely.

It turned out that there are too many teeth.

The brush gets caught up in the hair and pulls the hair too much.

The dogs seem very uncomfortable when being brushed with this brush.

So that one went into the brush grave drawer.

 Then a few years ago I decided to try the 'Paws Bothers Double Sided Flex Slicker Brush'.
Boy, was that a mouth full.

Yes, I know it is a cheap knock off of the LesPooch brush, but I thought I would give it a try.

Actually, it is not a bad brush.
It works well on small, thin coated dogs.

It is just too flexible, and bends back too much when brushing thicker coats.

I tend to forget that I have it.

I always go back to my trusty, cheap Universal Slicker Brush.

I have been using this brush since I graduated from grooming school.

I remember when they used to come in different colors.

Boy, I am getting old.

Anyway, I only like the regular size, I do not like the Grande.

I always liked this slicker because it fit really well in my hand and it curved.

I could use it on any size dog, and any type of hair.

Sadly, they don't last for very long.
I would get about 6 months use out of one before it got demoted to the bathing room, and I broke a new one in.

That was okay, because they were cheap enough to replace a couple of times a year.

Then, a few years ago, I was given a couple of new slicker brushes to try.
They had just come out on the market.

They were designed by a groomer named Kitty Dekeersgieter.

She is a 'World Champion Poodle Groomer', and had won the Cardinal Crystal Achievement Award for 'International Groomer of the Year'.

She was the one who gave me the brushes after one of my competitions at Groom Expo.

I LOVE this brush.

It has replaced the Universal Slicker that I had been using for over 20 years.

I use the regular size pin the most, on every dog.

She also designed a longer pin brush in firm and soft.

I don't use this brush as often as the shorter pin brush.

I like this brush for dogs with really long coats.

This brush is called 'Tuffer than Tangles'.

I have only been able to find them at 'Ryans Pet Supplies' and 'Cherrybrook'.

For the price, these brushes are worth trying.

My daughter and I both liked this brush so much, that we were always fighting over it till we got more.
I have been using the original one that Kitty gave me to try for three years, and it is still holding up very well, although it has recently lost a few of the pins in the corner.

Now, on to what I broke down and bought at Groom Expo this month.

First, let me just say that in 27 years of grooming, I have never spent more then 10 dollars on a slicker brush.

I had been reading rave reviews about LesPoochs Brushes.
Imagine my shock and disappointment at how much they cost.
I just could not bring myself to spend that kind of money on a slicker brush.

What made that brush so special to cost that much?

You see, I am one of those people that cannot stand to pay a ton of money for something just because it has a designer name on it.

Well, this year I broke down.
After refusing to pay 60 dollars for a slicker brush for at least 6 years, I broke down.
I have been hearing such rave reviews for the 'Mat Zapper', an extreme-dematting brush, that I finally invested in one.

I will say that I walk by that booth about six times.
I checked the brush out about three of those times and walked away.

The last day of the show I bought one.

60 dollars!

OMG I spent 60 dollars on a slicker brush!

So, am I kicking myself?

Do I like it?

Is It worth the money I spent?

Does it really make short work of mats?

The Mat Zapper.

A little red slicker brush.

With two sides.

Why two sides?

I don't see any difference in the two sides.

I didn't ask.

I wish I had.

I remember buying another tool that I was not so happy about the money that I spent on it.

Maybe I was just mad that I hadn't though about making it first.
After all, I had been holding a blade in my hand for years using it the same way as the Furminator.
I just didn't have a handle.  :/

I bought mine when it first came out.

Before they made a bunch of different ones for short hair and long hair.

I bought mine before they put them on QVC and dropped the price by about 20 dollars.

I was not happy.

Anyway, back to my 'Mat Zapper'.

Does it really make short work of mats?
Yes, it does a really good job on mats.
The mats seem to brush out more quickly, and easily.

But, IMO you must use this brush with a light touch.

I can see this brush causing brush burn if someone pressed down too hard with this brush.

I learned the hard way that I had to hold this brush differently.

As you see in the picture, I tend to put my finger on the back of the brush when I brush a dog.

It took me three time of pricking my finger with the pins to start to hold the 'Mat Zapper' differently.

The "Mat Zapper' pins are very sharp to me.

I bled my darn finger three times!

Is it worth the money I spent?

No, but I am not kicking myself.
It does do what it says it will do, but I was able to brush mats out fairly quickly with my 'Tuffer than Tangles' brush also.

The 'Zapper' will demat a little quicker.

Do I like it?

Yes and no.
Yes, I like how it  quickly it removes the mats.
No, I don't like the fact that it could potentially brush burn a dog.

For 60 dollars, this brush better last about 10 years.

I still love my 'Tuffer than Tangles' Brush the best.  :)

Happy Grooming, MFF


  1. Thank you! I've never ever heard a groomer give such an honest review of the exhaulted Matt Zapper..I have it on my wish list, but may try the Tuffer than Tangles brush first!

  2. Hi Deb,
    I am not trying to talk anyone out of buying a Mat Zapper. I do like it, I just think that it is over priced. I wish that the pet industry would help groomers out more. The distributors sell grooming tools to the general public for the same price that they sell them to us. It bothers me sometimes.
    Lisa, MFF

  3. Thanks for les pooch review! i always wonder about it, but i was gonna try the knock off first just to see if i would like the style of it. Im honestly a fan of the Millers Forge brush though. But i might start trying out different brushes myself. I have been using the same master groomer slicker brush since i have been in grooming (2 1/2 yrs) and why did i get it in the first place? Because people at the shop were raving so much about it, and everyone had one. The brush is an ordinary brush i later found out for myself. Sometimes you cant always go by what others say. Thanks again! Love reading your blog

  4. Hi Brittny,
    I am glad you like my blog. I don't think that there is just one brush for every groomer. I think, that just like scissors, the brush has to feel right to you and in your hand. Always be open to trying new things. I wish that I had been when I first started grooming. It may have helped save me some pain in my wrists.
    Lisa, MFF

  5. hey girl, if you did the group buys on petgroomer you could get it cheaper even with shipping! i have a double head: mat zapper, gold (i love this one) and green and a single head yellow. i just bought a double purple, and have bought two single greens for two client. they love the brushes also. the gold is actually really good to get tangles out, sometimes i prefer it more than the mat zapper. yes i figured out about the brush burn too, watch out for that. the green is a great universal brush for all coats. i used to use the millers forge brushes too, and sellthose to clients. but i strickly use LP brushes now. love them!

  6. I saw one of those groupbuys, but I was still up in the air about buying one of the brushes. Buying one at Groom Expo was a spur of the moment thing. :/
    I will have to think about trying another color when another groupbuy comes up. Everyone seems to like a different color.
    Lisa, MFF

  7. each different color, the metal is bent at a different angle. thats the difference.

  8. Anonymous,
    Yes, I know that on the other colored brushes the pins are at different angles on each side, but not on my matt zapper. When looking at them from the side, the pins are at the same angle on both sides. It does not bother me. Two brushes for the price of one. :)
    Lisa, MFF

  9. NEVER would I pay that for a brush, group buy or not. Give me my tuffer than tangles brush any day. I love all the improved equipment we have access to these days, much better for the hands but........ not 60. Or even 30. For a brush.

    1. Hi Anonymous,
      LOL. I felt the same way for the longest time. No brush is worth $60. I bought one anyway. Call it a moment of insanity. My daughter even looked at me like I was crazy, but I wanted to see if the Mat brush really did what other groomers were claiming. I have to say that it is amazing how fast it brushes out mats, BUT I still think that it is very over priced!
      Lisa, MFF

  10. I do not have a mat zapper Les Pooches brush, I just can't bring myself to spend the money =) but the groomer I work for has a blue Les Pooch that is very similar that she has had for 10 years and is still going strong.

    1. Hi,
      I so understand where you are coming from. It took me a long time to brake down and buy just the one. I still think that they are over priced, but at the same time I am not sorry that I bought the mat zapper (the red brush)
      It still amazes me whenever I use it to get tough mats out. I only use it for dematting so it better last me about 20 years! lol
      Lisa, MFF

  11. I use my green one on BC's and the like, the purple one on double coated breeds with the silver for a finishing touch. I have the mat zapper and will be trying it out for the very first time later today. Hope it does work well because this poor dog can't take much more tugging. Thanks for the warning about the potential for brush burn!

  12. Thanks for the info on the Tougher than Tangles; I had been looking at Les Pooch so was happy to see you liked a much less $$ alternative. I have a labradoodle and can't figure out if I should get the long soft or long firm pins. She has a curly coat and tends to mat up if we miss combing or brushing frequently. Thanks, appreciate your help!

    1. Hi Joyce,
      Personally I would invest in the long firm pins. Even though the pins are firm, it is the pressure that you use that makes the biggest difference. For a dog with a coat that is in good shape, just enough pressure to get all of the way down to the skin is all you need. The firm pins will come in handy to pick at any mats that develop in the coat.
      Lisa, MFF

  13. Wait! What do you mean youve held a blade in your hand using it like a furminator? I've never wanted to spend the money on a furminator so if I can get the same result with just a blade....? Tips pleeease! :)