Trimming a dog’s hair is important not only for aesthetic reasons but also for keeping a pet healthy and safe. To implement a safe hair trimming, you must be equipped with a sharp tool. If you use dull clippers, it will not only take you long and tire eventually, but also pull your pet’s hair. Surely, thanks to proper maintenance dog clippers can work longer, yet eventually, the blades must be sharpened. In this article, we shall find out how to sharpen dog clippers.

Table of Contents:

The Things Necessary
Sharpening Clipper Blades

The Things Necessary


Before you bring your dog to trim his hair, make certain you are equipped with all the necessary things. Here are they:

  • Nail clippers: Obviously, the first thing to prepare is your dog nail clippers. You should also either take the instructions or have enough knowledge on how to remove the blades of the clippers.
  • Whetstones: To sharpen dog clippers at home you will need one whetstone with fine grit (around 8000 grit) and another one with a coarser grit in the 3000-4000 grit range. Obtain them either at a hardware store or order them online. To save on the price, you can buy a whetstone the two sides of which have different grit ranges. To sharpen ceramic blades, meanwhile, diamond coated stones are necessary.
  • Screwdriver: A screwdriver is needed as blades are mostly held with a couple of head screws.
  • A bottle of water for spraying: Sharpening stones require to be wet to work well. Hence, keep a bottle of water to spray on them at hand.
  • A piece of cloth: Keep a piece of cloth at hand to wipe off the metal particles that break off when the blades are being sharpened.
  • Cleaning solution: After sharpening the clipper blades, you will need to clean and de-rust them. This can be done with the help of a clipper cleaning solution. The modern market offers numerous solutions from different brands.
  • Clipper Oil: In the end, you will need clipper oil. It is necessary for lubricating the blades while also preventing them from rusting.

How often should dog clipper blades be sharpened?

The frequency of dog clipper blade sharpening depends on how often and intensively they are used, what type of coat you cut, and, finally, what sort of material the blades are made of. If the clipper cuts hair unevenly or pulls the hair, it is time to sharpen the blades. The procedure is not difficult, so, you can do it by yourself. All you need is a whetstone with a 4000 and 8000 grit surface.

How do self sharpening clipper blades work?

The system of self-sharpening dog clipper blades is quite straightforward. In fact, knives and blades are sharpened not only on coarse stones but also on special metals. Self-sharpening clippers feature a piece of such metal next to the blades. Once turned on, the blades move rubbing against the metal. This way they provide constant self-sharpening. The effectiveness of this system is under constant debate. If some people are sure it will work well, others still doubt it.

Sharpening Clipper Blades

Now, when you have prepared all the tools and other things necessary for sharpening your dog clipper blades, it’s time to start the process. Follow these steps and soon you will be able to trim your pet safely and easily.

The First Step: Removing the Dull Blades

Removing the Dull Blades

Before removing the dull blades, turn off and unplug the clippers. Generally, two screws are holding the blades. Find and remove them. Be cautious not to lose the screws since they are very tiny and it can be hard to find them later. Once done, watch for one big set of stationary blades and another smaller one sitting inside the exterior blades.

The Second Step: Brushing Hair Out of the Blades

If you watch closer to the nooks and crannies of the clipper blades you will see plenty of little pieces of fur. To brush them out, use the brush that comes with the tool. A paintbrush or a toothbrush will do well, too. Make sure you clean the blades from all hair, otherwise they won’t be sharpened evenly.

The Third Step: Cleaning the Blades with a Solution

What makes clipper blades difficult to use? Hair, dust, and rust that collect on the blades dull them. If yours are mildly dirty, soak a cotton ball in a special solution and scrub the blades. Severely dirty blades, in the meantime, must be soaked in a container filled with cleaning solution. Leave them there for several hours. After taking them off, gently pat and leave them to air dry. Some users prefer not to dismantle the dog clippers blades but leave them attached and submerge the clipper into the solution. After taking it out, they switch the clipper on for around twenty seconds. Surely, this is an easier and quicker method yet it can’t remove the whole rust. Besides, not all clippers can work properly after being submerged in liquid.

The Forth Step: Preparing the Whetstones

Soak the whetstones in the water for a couple of minutes. Absorbing water, the stones get lubricated and function well. After taking them out, spray water so that a thin sheen of water is left on the top.

The Fifth Step: Sharpening the Blades with a Coarse Stone

Slide the bLades Lengthwise form One End to the Other

Take the 4000-grit stone. Hold the blades flat against the stone. Hold them down either with a magnet or with your fingers. Now slide the blades lengthwise from one end of the stone to the other while providing an even pressure. Reaching the stone’s end, start again from where you did it the previous time. This action must be repeated (from ten to fifteen times) as long as you see newly exposed metal on the shiny blade tips.

If during the sharpening process you notice the stone is dry, spray some water. After the sharpening process, wipe any metal particles that might have remained on the blades. Dry them. Now repeat the same sharpening process with the second set of blades.

P.S. Remember not to press the blades on the stone too much or you will remove too much metal.

The Sixth Step: Oiling the Blades

Oiling he bLades

When oiling the clipper blades, it’s necessary to follow the directions stated on the oil bottle. Do not apply too much oil. It must just be evenly coated with a cotton ball. If you apply oil more than necessary and it drips off the blade, expect dirt, lint and other debris to stick to them.

The Seventh Step: Reassembling and Testing the Blades

After all the six steps we described above, your dog clipper blades must already be ready for assembling and using. Attach them to the tool with the screws you have removed beforehand. Switch on the equipment and try it. If you notice the blades aren’t sharp enough, sharpen dog clippers again following all the steps you have passed through. In case the tool still pulls hair after that, sharpening the blades will be useless. It is time to replace them.


Using dog clippers with dull blades is a real headache for you and true suffering for your pet. You will not only lose time and nerves but also see your dog’s hair ripped out. Showing proper maintenance is good yet not enough to have the clippers function well. To have a sharp and properly operating tool, you will need to sharpen the blades periodically. Thankfully, you can do that right at home with the use of a couple of things and following the precise and easy guide we provided in this article. Don’t ignore the importance of sharp blades, since your dog’s well being depends on his clipper, too.


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Ross Mendoza

No matter what the manufacturer said on the box, sharpen your clipper blades. An easy way to tell when your clippers need sharpened is when they pull hair or nick skin. But you need to sharpen your clippers before that happens.

Joshua Tucker

Do dog clipper blades need to be sharpened?

Jose Harris

The cutter is the most important part of a blade as it is this blade that does the cutting. It is moved back and forth by the clipper lever. On the cutter, all the teeth must be present. If they are chipped, blunt or even broken they may not work and just catch and snag or even cut the dog. There are also ceramic cutters. These are basically glass cutters. Ceramic blades should only be used on a clean and well-brushed dog. If both of these cutters are missing teeth or have broken ends, these cannot be fixed so will… Read more »

Deanna Frazier

Sharp clipper blades will ensure your clippers cut more easily, giving a better finish and neater results. If you blades are becoming blunt and not cutting so effectively there’s no need to replace them – we can sharpen them and bring your tools back to life. Whether you’re a professional dog groomer needing a bit of expert help to keep your blades in top condition, or your a dog owner who clips their own dog’s hair at home, we pride ourselves on our capacity to keep clippers cutting more safely and for longer by giving them a new lease of… Read more »

Naomi Hansen

Keeping your dog’s hair trimmed isn’t just important for aesthetic reasons, but also for their health and safety. Unfortunately, trying to groom your dog with dull clippers can be frustrating at best, and unsafe at worst. While proper maintenance can keep your clippers working for quite a while, eventually you’re going to need to sharpen the blades. Here’s how to do just that.

Jennifer S.

Hello, thank you for this article. If I need to sharpen ceramic edge blades, I understand that I need a diamond coated stone. When looking for these, it looks like the grits might be different. Which Grits would you recommend for the diamond coated stones? Thank you!

Mattie Hayes

What happens if you don’t oil your steel and ceramic clipper blades? How often should I oil?

Irene Elliott

The professionals in the grooming industry often turn to a Wahl clipper sharpening service. Through regular use, clipper blades inevitably get dull or turn. If this is left unchecked, the clippers gradually become less effective and clipping more time consuming and painful.

Vanessa Miller

Thought About Blade Replacement?

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