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.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Back to My Original Cordless

My very first Cordless clipper was a Wahl Arco Clipper.

I LOVED that clipper.
I used it for many years.
I told other groomers about it.

It came with two rechargeable batteries.
Each battery ran for 45 minutes before it needed to be recharged.
You charged one battery while you were using the other.
It ran so quietly that it was great for faces and feet and puppies.
It also came with a charger/clipper stand, and a 5 position blade.

Oh, and it is very light weight.
That was a big plus for my poor over worked wrists.

The only con that the clipper had was that the #9 blade setting always clogged up and did not cut, but the #10, #15, #30, and #40 blade setting worked great.

Then one year, at Groom Expo, I found the Wahl Chromado.

I liked that it ran for 90 minutes before needing a charge, and I also liked that it had lights on the front that showed the battery level.

So I bought one.

My daughter bought one.

I eventually stopped using my Arco.
I have been using the Chromado for a few years now.
I still like the clipper, but...

I have decided to go back to the Arco.


Because my Chromado's have let me down.

We have 4 in the shop.

Two old ones and two new ones.
My daughters newest one is working fine.
Her old one is used as a spare when her new one is charging. (or I am using it)
My old one is a spare for me.

My newest one?

It died!


I am not happy.

I have only had it a little over a year.
I started noticing that it did not seem to be holding the charge as long as it should have been at first.
I always use it till it is totally dead before I recharge.
It got to the point where I could not even get two feet shaved before it lost it's charge, and this was after a full charge.

Then it died.

I have also noticed that the two older ones are also not holding their charge as long.

I am sad because I really like this clipper.

I thought about trying the Wahl Bravura.
I have heard a lot of groomers say that they really like this cordless clipper, but like the Chromado, it recharges by placing the whole clipper in  the charger.
If it stops charging you lose the whole clipper.
With a the Arco, if a battery stops charging, it is a lot cheaper to buy a replacement battery.

So I decided to go back to my old faithful, the Arco.
It does not have the same torque that the Chromado and Bravura have, but I really don't see that much of a difference.
I also really like the fact that it only takes seconds to switch out the battery and I can keep on clipping.

I don't like the comb attachments that come with the Arco clipper.
They detach to easily.

But, I got a surprise when I went to order the Wahl Arco Clipper.
Wahl has a new 5-in-1 Stainless Steel Comb Set.
If you buy a Wahl Arco Clipper now, you get the Comb Set for free. (a $37 value)

*Note: I am not a spokes person for Wahl. I just like their clipper. They don't even know that I am taking about them. :)

I have the Wahl Stainless Steel Attachment Guide Combs, but I don't use them very much.
I use them with a #30 blade but have found that the hair gets clogged a lot, and sometimes the comb rattles on the blade, scaring the dog.
You can not use them with a #40 blade because they will break the teeth on the 40 blade.
I ruined a couple of 40's trying to use those combs.
They are also a pain to get off and on the blade to clean out the clogged hair.

 I saw the new 5 in 1 Stainless Steel combs at Groom Expo and noticed that they slide on like the plastic combs that come with the Chromado, and I like those combs.

The combs slide down onto the blade really nice and snug.

No popping off of the blade there.  :)

I stayed after work Saturday to groom one of my girls.
She was really overgrown and needed it.

I have bathed her several times with the intention of grooming her at the end of the day.

Then the end of the day comes...
...I don't feel like giving her a haircut.

I decided that MY dog was getting a haircut for the holiday.

I also decided to try out my new clip combs on her.

I like her full and fuzzy for the winter.

Sound like my customers don't I?

Anyway, I started with the longest comb.

It did not take much off.

So I moved on to the next comb.

I liked that length.

The comb glided sooo nicely through the hair.

The hair never got glogged.

I like using these combs on the #40 setting.

It left about an inch of hair on her back.

I used full pressure on her back, and almost full pressure on her legs.

I skimmed the bottom of her legs.

That's the great thing about using the #40 blade setting, you even get hair off when skimming with a clip comb.

I have to say that the fuzzy, overgrown look suits her personality.

But, sadly she gets too dirty too fast.

I have been letting her ears grow out, but it does not suit her.

She is such a tomboy.

I used the clip comb to clip the outside of her ears. 

I skimmed the inside of her ears with the #10 blade.

 I got her done in a little over an hour, so I didn't have to stay after too long.

I really like using these Steel combs on my Arco clipper.

I have a feeling I will be using these a lot.

Only two more Standards to go.

I don't think that I have ever had them all groomed up nice at the same time.

If I ever do, I will have to take a nice picture of the three of them together, because it may never happen again.

When does a groomer ever feel like grooming their own dog?

Let's put it another way.

When does a groomer ever have the energy and time to groom their own dog?

Happy Grooming, MFF


  1. your comment makes me laugh because my boss has 3 standards & they never got groomed. Us three other girls finally started putting them down every 5 weeks on OUR days and she pays us to groom them haha

  2. I love your blog! I read the whole thing over the past few weeks. The pictures are the best! You are so kind to these dogs. I just got a shitzu terrier cross. He looks like a westie. When you come across one could you do a story on grooming a westie? I need to have him groomed soon and want to learn more about him. I'd bring him to you but I live in NJ. He also has red tear stains and Im giving him Angel Eyes. Any insight would be wonderful.

  3. Hi Kali,
    lol. I have done the bosses dogs at past places that I worked. One boss owned the largest Shepard you ever saw. They would bring that dog in without asking if I had time and tell me to bathe him. That dog would watch everything that I did. We had a mutual understanding...I would not hurt him, and in return, he would not eat me. :/ Oh, and they NEVER paid me to bathe him.
    I am too possessive about my own dogs. I like doing their groomings. I just wish that I had more energy at the end of the day to get them all done at one time. :)
    Lisa, MFF

  4. Hi Holly,
    Thanks. I am so glad that you enjoy the blog.
    A Shih-tzu/Terrier that looks like a Westie. Hmmm, I bet he is adorable.
    I will have to look through my Westie pictures to see what I have on Westies. I don't do the puffy Westie heads that they do in shows. My customers would look at me and say 'what did you do to my dogs head?' Customers don't want all of that hairspray and powders in their dogs head when they brought it to you to be cleaned. :)
    I wish that I could see him. I could give you an idea of what I would do if I groomed him. If you would like to send a picture to my email, I would like to see him.


    Will this be his first grooming?

    I have a few customers that use 'Angel Eyes'. Unfortunately, I have not noticed much difference in the staining. I have heard really good things about a product called 'Angels'Glow'. I have not used it myself. My daughter is thinking about trying it for her two Bichons. Here is the link if you would like to read about it.


    Thanks again for reading my blog. :)
    Lisa, MFF

  5. Hi Lisa!! I also have the Arco but have a major issue in using it. If the dog has just a tiny bit of curl to its coat, all is well. Straight-haired dogs wind up with what my boss calls "corduroy cuts". They are stripey and lines show everywhere. I also find that the blades get jammed really easy when using a comb. If I slide the switch from #40 to #9 fast a few times it will clear the jam but it is frustrating to say the least. Do you have the same issues? How do you cope?

    And my dogs have the same problem, I so don't want to do more grooming at home! I do, but I have to really nag at myself. My cocker stays short in the winter because of the snow, but my pom x loses her beautiful pants and most of her tummy. She loves the snow so much but get insane snowballs. The newest one, a geriatric shih tzu, will be staying in about a #5 year round as she's not active outside (or in, for that matter!) and snowballs aren't really an issue. I have been know to schedule my girls for quiet days, but its also because I don't want to own dogs that no other groomer can do. I expect them to behave as well for everyone as they do for me. It's practice to make sure that continues!

    Love the pics of your girl!


  6. Hi Bev,
    I have found, with the cordless clipper blades, that I need to keep several blades for different things.
    What I mean is; I have two 5 in 1 blades. A brand new one that I only use with clip combs and only on the 40 setting. My next 5 in 1 blade is for clipping faces, bellies, feet, and everything else.
    I have found that as long as you keep the teeth cleaned out well, and only use that blade with clip combs, on clean, dry hair, my blade almost never jams on any type hair and lasts a long time.
    When the clip comb blade does start to jam continually I will get a new one and move that blade down to my everything blade.
    I hope that that makes sense. I have found that when the 5in 1 blades get dirty with hair under the cutting blade, that the blade tends to jam. I use a paper clip, opened up straight, to push the hair out from under the cutting blade.
    My main issue with the 5 in 1 blade is that they almost never cut on the #9 setting, and only cut 50% of the time on the #10 setting, and that is only on certain types of hair.
    I use the cordless on a chocolate Cocker, whose owner insists on the back being clipped as short as possible. I won't go any lower than the #15 blade. I use the cordless on that Cocker and it has never left any lines unless hair gets clogged in the teeth. If you keep the teeth cleaned out, the blade should not be leaving tracks unless the blade is going dull.
    If you clip a lot of dogs before the bath, I would keep a before the bath blade and an after the bath blade, because that before the bath blade will become dull so much faster than the clean dog blade.
    I have also found that some groomers clip so fast that they get lines with the blade. With some types of hair I have found that if I start to get lines, if I slow down, and take the blade over the body at a slower pace, there will be no lines.
    Sorry, I feel like I am rambling, and not making any sense. :/ I am going to stop now. :)
    Lisa, MFF

  7. Ahh the whal cordless battle. If only they could make the chromado with a battery pack. I honestly can't understnad why they have 3 clippers and they all seem like they should fucntion the same but they really don't.
    I started with the arco moved on to the bravera and now after using a coworkers am getting the chromado. Unfortunatly it seem like any of them have a lifespan of about 2yrs. It it could just be me but I feel like when the arco first came out back in 06? it worked much better Ordered it sat from groomers mall. they have free shipping when you buy most clippers right now!

    Now im rambling!

    I really like your idea about having two blades. I wanted to try out the 5in1 clip comb so maybe I will order another blade too.

    1. 2 years =520 working days. New clippers $125.00 =24 cents a day. Plus four blades a year @19.95. That comes to a grand total of $284.46 for two years or 520 working days. Cost for all per day is One Dollar eighty two cents{$1.82.80} per day. Pretty darn cheap tool.

      Skip Calvert

  8. That makes perfect sense, Lisa. I have noticed that I have to adjust my speed to the hair, which is very different from using a regular corded clipper. I never cut before the bath anymore, but will sometimes do a wet shave on a clean coat. Very rarely now do I get a dog so matted that I have to use my Arco to get underneath but it has happened.
    I think one of my fellow groomers dropped a blade at one point as one day it just didn't cut right anymore. :( Well, it is time to order a new one anyway, so I'll try your method of the new one only for combs. You can't beat it for quiet!
    That's not true; the Mini Arco does have it beat there but the little combs that comes with are so short that it isn't always enough to use for an entire groom. But it's perfect for clipping those little Yorkies and those tiny ones that get hysterical at the AGC coming towards them. I can't blame them; if something as big as me was coming towards my head to cut the hair I'd be freaking out, too!

  9. Hi Danielle,
    I was thinking the same thing..why 3 different cordless clippers? It's not just you. It seem like whenever I find something that I really like they eventually change it and ruin it. I hate when I see something I like using say 'New & Improved'. It usually means that they have ruined it.
    I really think that you will like the clip combs for the 5 in 1 blades. I have been using them for over a week now and love them.
    Lisa, MFF

  10. Hi Bev,
    I have a blade sharpener guy that claims he can sharpen and fix those 5 in 1 blades when they hit the floor. I haven't had a chance to take him up on it yet, but I will soon. I hope that he can do what he claims. I have thrown a few of those blades away only because they fell on the floor and would no longer cut, or broke that darn little piece on the back of the blade that holds it on the clipper.
    Lisa, MFF

  11. I am a sharpener in Canada and have found a franchise business called Battery Expert. They can replace batteries in your Wahl clippers/trimmers for $25.00-$40.00. The batteries they put in are of better quality than the originals. This can make a Chromado clipper into the best tool you ever owned.
    Look for a battery business to help you out with your dead tools.