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.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Wrong Blade

I used to do this once in a while when I was new to grooming.

I would pick up my clippers and forget to check the blade.
I would start to clip only to realize that I had the wrong blade on my clipper.

Oh, that feeling when your stomach drops to your feet as you look at the hole in the hair.
If only you could rewind the last five minutes of your life.

Just imagine...the dog you are clipping is supposed to get clipped with a #4F blade.
You pick up your clipper, you place it on the dogs back, taking your first swipe down the back.
You clip about an inch of the dogs back, just enough to realize, too late, that you have a #10 blade on your clipper.


You stand there and stare at that hole in the hair.
You stare at it, trying to will it away.
You stand there cussing at yourself.


I only needed this to happen a few times, to drill it into my head, to make sure that I always check the blade before I start to clip.

Yes, sorry to say that it took a few times messing up to teach me.
Slow learner I guess. :(

Thankfully I almost always was able to use thinning shears and or scissors to fix the hole by blending all around it.
All but that one Poodle mix.
Nothing helps fix a hole in the hair of a creme colored poodle mix that was supposed to get a #4F blade on the back...not the #15 blade.

Could it be any more embarrassing then to go up to an owner and try to explain that you started clipping their dog with the wrong blade?
That customer was very nice and understanding, but I was still embarrassed.

That was a long, long time ago.
It is very second nature for me to check the blade on my clipper before I start clipping.
I don't even really think about it anymore.
I haven't put a hole in a dogs coat in a long time.

Well.....until the other day.

I had a regular in.
A Pekingese.
He comes in every 8 weeks.
His Mom likes him very short.
He gets a #4F blade on the body, the head blend the ears, scissor the legs, and trim the tail.
Simple right?

So, I picked up my clipper and stared to clip. 

The only problem was, I didn't just clip a small hole.

I clipped the top of the head and part way down the neck before I though; 'boy, this #4F is cutting nice and smooth."
At the exact time this thought is going thought my head, my little voice is screaming at me; 'you're using the wrong blade stupid!'

Too late, I looked at the blade.


Not like it was a teeny, tiny number you can't read in the corner!

Of course, after all of these years, I can tell what number blade it is just by looking at the teeth, even if it didn't have a gigantic number printed on it.

Thankfully, a #5F blade is not that much different from a #4F blade.

I was able to continue with the #4F blade without having to do very much blending.

I couldn't believe that I did that!

I always check the blade.


What makes it worse, is that I clipped more than just a small spot before I registered what I done.

Good grief.

Every once and a while, something will happen to shake you up, and make you remember that you must always stay alert to what you are doing while grooming.

When you get too comfortable, you can make mistakes.
Thankfully, this one was a minor mistake.

Happy Grooming, MFF


  1. oh, just a 5f, that's not too bad at all... I did something waaay worse a few years ago. I used to use the metal wahl guardcombs with a #30 underneath, and I was clipping my wheaton (getting 1" on the back pattern) stopped to get a chunk of hair off the clippers, and you guessed it, shaved a big ol' stripe down the dogs back. Oh the shame.

  2. I'm still in school and have done it a couple times, now I only have the blade I'm using out.

  3. That wasn't bad at all! I went from using a 40 on the pads, to using it right down the back! years ago..but I did it!

  4. LOL!! I am so glad I'm not the only person that has done this. I am new to the grooming world and am trying so hard to be good at it. So to stop doing this I always take my blade off when I am don using it. That way I can never just pick up my clippers and get going. It has helped a lot, and the shop owner is much happier for it too.

    1. Hi Brent,
      Something so simple and so clever. I never thought of that! I always try to set my 5in1 blade back to the #15 setting so that I don't accidentally shave a belly with the #40 setting. Unfortunately, I don't always remember.
      Lisa, Mff