Clipper Blade Care
At the end of the day, gather all the blades that have been used and use a dryer to blow all the hair from them. Take a pipe cleaner or similar and slide it under the cutter, side to side, and get the hair from under it. Clean the blades with a high quality blade wash like H-42 and put a few drops of oil on the teeth of the blades. This practice alone will prolong the life of your blades significantly.
About Spray Coolants
Spray coolants all contain about the same thing, Trichloroethane (brake cleaner), glycol, CO2 and water, and very little lubricant. These products do exactly what they were manufactured to do and that is cool the blade. There is not enough lube in spray coolants to use them as a base for blade care. Here is the correct way to use them.
- Turn your clipper OFF
- Point the clipper down toward the floor
- Spray the BACK of the blade only with one short burst.
- Immediately turn the clipper over and oil the cutter teeth with clipper oil. DO NOT SPRAY THE FRONT OF THE BLADE. The solvent will take away your lubrication causing more heat and making you spray it more often. Spraying the cutter teeth may cause the coolant to get inside your clipper where it will melt your carbon brushes and short out your switch and possibly the armature. It will also weaken the plastic of the blade drives.
- Turn the clipper back on and continue grooming.
Spraying the teeth of the cutter causes the reddish build up on the blades. When the build up gets thick enough it will cause the blade to drag. Sometimes it will seize the blade parts together and cause damage to your clipper when you start it up with the seized blade on.
About Build Up
Build up comes from a lot of places, mostly the melting of pet dander, and sometimes moisture from the coat you can’t get totally dry. If this build up is ignored it will cause the cutter to lift up from the comb part of the blade and the blade will start to drag. Build up will also cause the cutter part to slide very hard back and forth, when this happens many groomers spray it with spray coolants that are mostly solvent and water. The solvent breaks down the build up for a few minutes and gives you that happy feeling of it actually cleaning and lubricating the blade. Spray coolants don’t clean and they don’t lubricate. They are a quick fix to keep you going.
About Blade Wash
H-42 is one of the best blade washes on the market. It was specifically designed to clean the build up off clipper blades. With the clipper running dip the blade into a shallow dish of H-42 just deep enough to cover the blade for a few seconds. When you take it out let it drip off with the clipper upright (blade facing down). If you turn it so that the blade is higher than the clippers the wash can run into the clipper and damage it. Alternatively, turn off the clippers and wipe with a soft cloth or paper towel. H-42 not only cleans this build up off, but will lubricate the blade as well. Get the H-42, it is worth it.
How much oil should you use? With today’s new clippers having higher speeds that produce more heat, oiling often, is even more important. If the blade gets dry it will cause more friction and more heat. So, the more you keep a good amount of oil on your blades, the less chance of over heating the blade causing the cutting surfaces to dull quickly. Heat can be controlled by changing blades, as well.
About Blade Rust
What causes blades to rust? Plating loss leads to rust. Rough dog hair, leaving your blades wet and corrosive build up, caused by spray coolants and dog dander, will contribute to plating loss. When the plating is worn or chipped, rust can then be a factor.
Can rusty blades be salvaged? Yes but if the cutting surfaces and teeth are rusted and pitted the blade is unusable.