I have used most of my blades in reverse while grooming.
~The #30 in reverse on poodle feet.
~The # 15 and #10 in reverse on poodle faces.
~The # 7F in reverse on Cocker and Springer faces and heads to get a nice smooth #10 blade looking finish.
~The #7F in reverse also on Schnauzer heads to get a nice smooth #10 to #15 blade looking finish.
~The #7F in reverse again on poodle faces, where the owner wants a shaved face, but the skin can't handle being shaved with a #10 or #15 blade.
~The #5F in reverse on Schnauzer heads that have very thin hair, where I want a nice smooth finish, but I don't want to make the top of the head look bald.
Remember that using a blade in reverse will make the blade cut shorter, usually the next blade length down.
I rarely ever use my blades against the grain on the dogs body.
I personally don't see any reason to use them against the grain on the body, or legs, because I can just go to a shorter blade if I need to.
Now, I could see using, lets say, a #4F blade against the grain if your #5F blade was not working, your #5F against the grain if your #7F wasn't working.
Personally, I would only do this if I really needed to.
I use attachment clip combs a lot...everyday actually.
I have always clipped with them, going with the grain, then I scissor to finish.
I absolutely love my Wahl Stainless Steel Attachment Combs.
They slide onto my 5-in-1 blade on my Wahl Bravura and Chromado cordless clippers.
(**Note: I am not a spokesmen for Wahl. I just love these clippers and Comb Attachments so much that I highly recommend them)
I have a pile of other clip combs, from plastic to stainless steel, that I have tried over the years.
I hated all of them.
They would either pop off of the blade as you were trying to cut.
Especially if they got caught on the tiniest snag.
They would clog up with hair and stop cutting.
The 'other' stainless steel combs would also pop off the blade, or brake the teeth on your #30 or #40 blade.
Or raddle something fierce.
The Wahl stainless steel combs slide onto the blade.
I have yet to have one pop off.
They rarely clog with hair.
Okay...I got side tracked...sorry about that. :)
Using clip combs in reverse.
Believe it of not, I have never used my clip combs in reverse.
I have read about other groomers using them in reverse on the forums.
Most groomers seem to recommend them when another groomer is complaining about getting lines when they clip.
I have been meaning to try it out for a while now, but I always forget about it till I am almost finished the dog.Then I think; 'oh, I could have tried the clip comb in reverse on this dog...oh well.'
I finally remembered to test it out on a couple of different coat types.
And, of course, I took pictures to share with other groomers who may not have tried this yet.
I tried to go into testing this without any particular expectations other than maybe getting a smoother finish.
**NOTE: For best results when using clip combs, the dogs coat must be clean and totally mat free.
If you your comb does not smoothly glide through the coat, the clip comb will not glide through the coat.
One of the dogs that I tried was Lhasa/Poo with soft, slightly wavy hair.
First, I clipped one side with the growth of the coat with a 13mm comb attachment.
The clip was as it always is, a little rough, but I always go over all of my dogs with scissors.
How rough the combs leave the cut determines how much scissoring I have to do.
It is usually not that much scissoring to get a smooth finish.
I decided to take the comb, in reverse, over the coat that I had already clipped with the growth of the coat.
The clip comb, used in reverse, took the coat shorter, to about a little longer than a #4F length.
The #4F is what this dog normally gets on the body.
I didn't really see much of a smoother cut.
It actually seemed a little more choppy in some places.
I was still able to scissor finish quickly.
As you can see, I didn't have to scissor a lot of coat off to smooth things out.
My next test...a Cock-a-poo.
This coat was thicker, more dense and wavier than the last coat.
First, I used the clip comb with the grain on one side of the dog.
A fairly smooth cut that will not need much scissoring.
This is the leg clipped with the grain with the clip comb.
Fairly smooth there too.
Now the other side, clipping with the clip comb in reverse.
*Note: I didn't like how it seemed to pull the hair.
It did okay, but I didn't think that it was as smooth as the other side.
This is the other leg clipped only in reverse with the clip comb.
I could see that there was going to be more scissoring on this side.
I decided to run the clip comb back over this side, with the growth of the hair.
It made a much smoother cut.
I went back over the leg too.
This coat scissored up nice and quickly.
As you can see by the hair on the table, I did not have a lot to scissor.
One more coat type.
A St. Poodle with a very thick, curly coat.
This was using the clip comb normally.
Then I clipped the coat in reverse.
I found no difference.
Most likely because most Poodle coats are so curly that they don't have a growth direction on their coat.
So no matter whether you clip forward, or in reverse, you will get the same result.
I actually used the clip comb in both directions on this coat and had very little to scissor after clipping.
I did find something new.
I think that I will use the clip combs both forward and reverse on most Poodle coats, but I will most likely continue to clip with the growth of the hair when using my clip combs on most other breeds.
As I always say...every dog/coat type is different.
So, I will clip in whatever direction will do the best to get the look that I want to achieve.
I would love to hear about any other tips that other groomers have found when using clip combs.
I like trying new things. :)
Happy Grooming, MFF