Basic Information, Clippers, How To

Trimming Up Those Feet!

beforefoot0913-002Nothing is more satisfying than taking what I like to call “grinch” feet, and turning them into polished feet.  To accomplish this task, you need to shave the pads and trim the excess hair.  The tools I use are a pair of detachable blade clippers, such as the Andis AG+ 2-Speed Clipper, which I have done a review on, a #10 or #40 blade, in the pictures and clips below I am using a Wahl Ultimate Competition Series #40 blade, a slicker brush, and a pair of scissors, shown are Value Groom 6.5″ Curved Ball Tip Shears.  Now, some people will also use thinners, or solely use thinners.  That is personal preference; I like normal ball tip shears because they are shorter, and quicker for me, and I can still achieve a natural look.  Also, having a form of Cool Lube, a spray that helps cool off blades, is recommended.  When you are new at shaving pads, it will take you a while to do, and you need a coolant to help cool off your blades.Showcased below will be a video on how to shave pads and trim feet.

afterfoot0913-002As in the Nails, a Daunting Task… or is it? post, I explained about how to hold the leg and foot in a more natural manner that is comfortable for the dog.  You want to make sure you are not overextending the leg, and you don’t want the leg pulled straight back, you want around a 45 degree angle, close to the body.  Now, after I finish trimming or grinding the nails is when I will trim feet.  The reason for this, is because when you try trimming around the foot with longer nails, you are not going to be able to get a good looking foot, and you will keep catching your scissors on the nails, which can damage your scissors.

shavedpad0913-001Now we are going to discuss the first part, which is shaving the pads.  Whenever I have trained bathers on this task, I always have them start out with a #10 blade, so if you are just starting out with this, that is what I recommend.  For the bathers I have trained, if they decide to pursue dog grooming, they will then be trained to work with a #40 blade for the feet.  I have had some groomers stick with a #30 blade, and that is totally fine as well.  Whatever blade you end up being comfortable with using that can still remove a good amount of hair works.  Also, make sure your coolant is nearby, because like I said, if you are just starting out with this, your blade is going to get hot, and a towel to catch the excess of coolant and to wipe down the blade.  You want to be consistently checking your blade to make sure it is not hot.  I check the blade on my wrist or my cheek.  To use the coolant, I have my towel underneath, hold my clippers down, and with the clippers running, I spray the coolant, until the blade gets cold.  I then wipe the excess product off on the towel to dry off my blade.  How I like to start with shaving the pad is beginning near the two nails in the center.  I want to get the bulk of the hair off first, and lying the blade flush with the pad, I will shave from the nails to the very top of the main pad.  I use this same technique following the line of the hair with the two outside nails.  Next is shaving in between the main pad, and the four pads connecting to the nails.  You want to scoop out the hair, NEVER dig.  When you dig into the pad and foot, you will cut the skin there.  You want to use a scooping method and follow the main pad.  It is angled like a V, so you want the edge of the blade to hit the bottom corner of the V on the pad, and you want to angle the blade so where it lines up straight following the V shave.  I have a picture showcasing what I am trying to explain.  You then lightly scoop out the hair.  If you are not understanding what I mean by this, the video below showcases that.  You do that for both sides, and you are good to go!  It will take some time to perfect shaving the pads, so please do not feel discouraged.  It is nerve racking for first timers, and dogs will tend to be a little more wiggly because they can sense your nerves.  Don’t worry about perfection when you are first starting out.  Pay attention to the holding and technique, and you will improve on getting more hair out, the more you practice shaving pads.

beforefoot0913-001If you were scared about shaving pads, I know you are going to be nervous about trimming feet.  It is another daunting task, involving a really sharp object, a pair of scissors.  This is something else that I recommend you taking really slow, because it is scary trying this out.  I use a pair of ball tip curved scissors to complete this task.  The first thing I do is lift and bend the paw, and brush all of the hair around the back of the pad down, where I want the hair overlapping the back of the pad.  With the curved part of my scissors, I will trim straight across the back of the pad.  Now, pay attention to the placement of your scissors.  You want to make sure that when you trim, you are not going to be catching any part of skin or pad, you just want the hair.  I will brush down the hair one more time, then repeat trimming the hair across.  I’ll set the foot down for a second and start working on trimming the hair on the foot.  With your slicker brush, you want to brush up the hair on the foot, meaning you want to brush the opposite way the hair is laying.  You want the hair to stick up.  On the same aspect of how you want to pay attention to the placement of your scissors behind the pad, you want to do the same here and pay attention to the tip of your shears.  Using my curved shears, I follow the curve of the foot, and trim following the roundness of the foot.  When it comes to the sides of the foot, you want to do the same thing, follow the natural curve of the foot and trim, being mindful of the placement of your scissors.  My philosophy when you are just starting out, trim less, then as you get more comfortable and confident, you’ll be able to trim closer.  One other thing I like to do, after I have done a base trim of the foot, is to take my fingers in between the toes and pull up more hair, and trim the excess.  Your brush cannot get everything, so using this technique I’m able to clean up more hair.  Instead of scissors, others will use thinners or blender to trim up the hair in between the toes and of the foot for more of a natural appearance.  If you need a better understanding, the video is down below on shaving pads and trimming feet.

afterfoot0913-001Hopefully I was able to explain and showcase this process easy enough for you to understand.  Any questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to leave them in the comment section below.  I’m going to say this, because I have to say this, perform these tasks at your own risk, I am not held liable or responsible for anything that may occur at your own hands.  Till next time!

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Andis, Clippers, Review

Review: Andis UltraEdge Super 2-Speed Clippers

23275-ultraedge-agc-super-2-speed-detachable-blade-clipper-blue-agc2-angle
Image from Andis.com, https://small-animal.andis.com/product/ultraedge®-agc®-super-2-speed-blue/?item-no=23275

Today is all about the Andis UltraEdge Super 2-Speed Clipper.  Just like the previous clipper review, I have had my pair for several years now, which allows me to go into further detail than other clippers I am going to be reviewing in the future.  I will discuss some of the claims of this clipper, the specs, maintenance, and overall opinion, whether I would recommend or not.

Just like with the Andis 2-Speed AG+ Clippers, I will be referencing PetEdge.com, RyansPet.com, and Andis.com for product information, because I no longer have the box that went with my clippers.  The Andis UltraEdge, also known as the Andis Super 2-Speed AGC or AGC2, is a two speed clipper, with the first speed at around 3,400spms (strokes per minute) and the second speed at about 4,000spms.  Comparing it to the Andis 2-Speed AG+ Clipper, it is faster.  The claims are that the clipper is quiet and the rotary motor stays cool.  It weighs 1.10lb and has a 14 foot cord, the same as the Andis 2-Speed AG+ Clipper, but the body is just over 7 inches in length.  This clipper comes in a variety of colors, blue being the standard, as well as fuchsia, blaze orange, lime green, purple, and red.  The silver and pink editions of this clipper are unfortunately discontinued.

I have owned this pair of clippers for about 3 years.  I use to have a pair a long time ago, when I first started grooming, but unfortunately they were stolen.  However, that should show a little insight to the fact that I gladly repurchased this clipper.  This clipper has a more round casing, making it very easy to hold as you would a pencil.  It sits comfortably in the crevice between my forefinger and thumb.  The casing has not heated up while working for me, and switching out the blades are simple.  The lever can sometimes get stuck, so I just use a pair of tweezers to flip the hinge.

andisultraedge0811-001The maintenance with this clipper has been low and simple for me.  I have yet to replace the cord and have had no issues with the switch because it sits more on the underside of the clipper when holding it.  I’ve noticed with the switch itself it is much more sturdy compared to the Andis 2-Speed AG+ Clipper.  Same with the Andis 2-Speed AG+ Clipper, I tend to use these about 4 days a week, grooming anywhere from 4-6 dogs a day.  Now, obviously I do not use both clippers at the same time, but I do switch them out, using the UltraEdge for one month, then going with the AG+ clipper the next.  If using this clipper in a high volume environment, I recommend replacing the blade drive every month.  It is the same blade drive model used on the Andis 2-Speed AG+ Clipper, the Andis Blade Drive 4×4.  If you want a more in depth tutorial on how to change out your blade drive for this clipper, I have a video posted on YouTube.  Click here to be taken to the video, it is much MUCH easier to change than the Andis 2-Speed AG+ Clipper.

One problem that will most likely arise in the future, is the cord going out.  Like I previously stated, my cord has not acted up yet, but replacing the cord is not very costly.  The replacement cord is called the Andis Cord for AGC/AGP, and it is around $12 on RyansPet.com.  They are not very expensive to replace with a sharpener, especially if you bring the part yourself.  I’ve spent around $20 with my sharpening guy to get a new cord from him and have him replace it.

A slight downfall that I have noticed with this clipper, and I mean slight, is that it tends to heat up the blades a little quicker than the Andis 2-Speed AG+ Clipper, however that is due to the fact that it is a bit more powerful and faster.  It is not an issue for me when working.  The only other thing, is that hair tends to get stuck in the crevice between the blade and the casing.  There is a foam pad on the interior of the drive cap near the blade, which hair gets sucked into, sticking to the foam pad and working its way towards the blade drive.  So, if using this clipper at high volume, you want to be cleaning out that hair weekly to make sure hair doesn’t get caught underneath the blade drive.

andisultraedge0811-002Overall I would recommend this clipper, it is not crazy expensive in price, if you know where to buy, and my pair has lasted over 3 years (knock on wood) without any hiccups.  However, reading up on other reviews, this clipper lands from 3 1/2 stars to 4 stars out of 5.  I’ve noticed in some of the reviews mentioning of the blades heating up super quick, as well as the clipper not lasting long.  Other reviews I’ve read, people swear by this clipper.  So, as I have said in the welcome post, always do your own research before purchasing a product.  Always get multiple opinions before settling for a pair.

Also, disclaimer:  This post is not sponsored.  I bought this pair of clippers myself, over 3 years ago.  None of the links are affiliate links, I provide them solely for ease and your benefit.  Any questions, comments, concerns, or any recommendations, please leave them in the comment section below, and I will get back to you as soon as I can!  Till next time!

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Places Where to Purchase (price not including tax, shipping, or handling)

Amazon: $151.95

Andis: $299.88

Chewy: $154.95

PetCo: $154.89

PetSmart: $179.77

Pet Edge: $154.95

Ryan’s Pet Supplies: $154.95

Sources:

“Andis Super 2-Speed Ultraedge Special Edition Clipper W/ #10 Blade – Blue/ Se.” Ryan’s Pet Supplies. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 July 2017. <http://store.ryanspet.com/AND23275>.

“PetEdge.com – Andis UltraEdge 2-Speed Clipper with #10 Blade – Clippers & Blades.” PetEdge. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 July 2017. <https://www.petedge.com/zpetedgemain/catalog/productDetail.jsf?wec-appid=PEDM_WEBSHOP_TR&page=C35456610F7C42BFA1CA25328F1F0BBB&closeLiveSearchOverlay=TRUE&itemKey=005056A633791ED2B5863B3A4316EFB3&menuLinkSelected=none&wec-locale=en_US>.

“ProClip AG 2-Speed+ Detachable Blade Clipper.” Andis. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 July 2017. <https://small-animal.andis.com/product/ultraedge&reg;-agc&reg;-super-2-speed-blue/?item-no=23275>.

Andis, Clippers, How To, Maintenance

Maintenance: Andis 2-Speed AG+ Blade Drive Replacement

baseclipperHere is going to be a step by step visual guide on how to replace the blade drive of an Andis 2-Speed AG+ Clipper.  Replace the blade drive at your own risk, I am not responsible for anything happening to your clippers if you decide to replace the blade drive on your own.  I replace my own blade drive often, because I do know how to do it.  Once you get the hang of it, it is a simple process, however, it does take a few steps, due to the fact you need to remove a total of 8 screws, and essentially remove the front casing.  You need to be really careful removing the casing, and replacing it, because of the wires of the cord.  Worse case scenario, you can always have your sharpening guy replace the blade drive for you, however with this technique, all you need to pay for will be the blade drive.  A blade drive runs anywhere from $5-$12 depending on where you purchase it.  The cheapest I have found was Ryan’s Pet Supplies.

bladedriveHere is what the blade drive you need to replace the old one with looks like.  When searching for it, type in “Andis Blade Drive 4×4.”  I have been able to find it on Ryan’s Pet Supplies, Pet Edge, as well as Amazon.  Sometimes your sharpener will carry extra blade drives, if you would like to purchase one from them and then replace it on your own.

First, you want to make sure you remove any blade that is attached to your clippers.  Then, take some sort of brush, I use a spare toothbrush, and brush out all of the excess hair that is trapped around the lever.  Now, you need a screw driver with two different heads or two different screw drives, one to fit the main screws on the casing and the lever, and one that fits with the screws attaching the blade drive.  The bigger screw head will take off the outside casing screws, as well as the two screws holding the lever.  Remove all and set aside.  Very gently, remove the back part of the casing.  It will be a little stubborn at first, but I find slightly wiggling the casing, then gently lifting works.  Word of advice, keep some of your fingers on the switch, because it will come loose when removing the casing.  DO NOT fully pull off the casing.  As seen in the picture below, I twist it gently to the side, because the cord is attached to the casing and the motor, and you do not want to mess up the wiring.  Next, it is time to remove the screws to the blade drive.  This is where you will need the smaller screw driver, or smaller screw head to unscrew.  Set aside screws.

bladedriveremovedThis is what you are looking at once the blade drive is removed from the clippers.  As you can hopefully see in the picture on the side, there is a lot of hair stuck in the crevices, and this is after I cleaned a lot of it off.  I then take my brush to remove as much excess hair as possible.  If you groom as much as I do, I highly recommend replacing your blade drive every month, not just to keep your blades working well, but to clean out all of the excess hair.  Hair build up can cause damage to the motor, and that is a pretty penny to fix.  Now, it is time to put the new blade drive on.  Line it up with the holes, press, and attach with the small screws.  Next, gently put the casing back on the clippers, being mindful of the switch and the cords.  Screw in the four screws for the casing.  Last, you need the flat silver piece that was under the lever, place back on the top of the clippers where the lever lies, then top with the lever, with the whole of the lever going over the new blade drive.  Screw into place.  Then viola!  You just replaced your blade drive!  Like I said, it is a slight process, but once you get the hang of it, it takes no more than 5 minutes.  Hopefully this was easy to understand and follow, I know it can be a little intimidating at first, but hey, I think giving a moving, breathing, living animal a haircut, is much more intimidating than this.  In the future, I do hope to upload a video of the step by step process as well, but hopefully this was informative enough for right now.  If you have any questions, comments, or tips to make it even easier to understand, feel free to leave them below!

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Andis, Clippers, Review

Review: Andis 2-Speed AG+ Clipper

finishedclipperToday I am going to be talking about the Andis 2-Speed AG+ Clipper.  I have had my pair for several years now, which allows me to go into further detail than other clippers I am going to be reviewing in the future.  I will discuss some of the claims of this clipper, the specs, maintenance, and overall opinion, whether I would recommend or not.

Researching several websites, RyansPet.com, PetEdge.com, as well as Andis.com, the general consensus is that it is powerful, lightweight, and quiet.  It is a 2-Speed clipper, with the first speed at 2700spms (strokes per minute) and the second speed at 3400spms.  Referencing to PetEdge.com, because Andis.com did not have this information, the clipper weighs 1.10 pounds, is about 6 3/4″ in length, and the cord itself is about 14 feet.  Brand new, the clipper comes standard with a #10 blade, Andis of course, an extra blade drive, a tube of blade oil, as well as a one year limited warranty.  If you want further information on the specs, all the sources will be linked below.

After having my pair for several years, I would say the maintenance on this clipper is fairly low.  I use mine about 4 to 5 days a week, grooming anywhere from 4 to 6 dogs a day.  Since I work with high volume, it is recommended I change my blade drive every month.  With that being said, changing out the blade drive on this clipper is a process.  You unfortunately have to take off the entire casing, then remove the lever pieces in order to get to the blade drive.  There are a total of 8 screws that you will be removing in order to switch out the drive.  After this review, click here to go to the page detailing on how to change it out.

bladedriveremovedThe other things I have had to replace/fix is the cord and the switch.  The cord is stationary on the clippers, meaning it does not swivel or pivot at the base.  Unfortunately, this can cause serious bending towards the base of the cord, causing strain.  The problem that I have had, is the clipper will go in and out of operation.  However, in about the 5 years I have had my pair, I had to replace the cord once, and that was about 6 months ago.  Researching the costs of the cord, I found it generally ran around $12, and was able to find on sites such as Ryans, Pet Edge, and Amazon.  Look for “Andis Cord for AGC/AGP.”  I have known people that have been able to replace it themselves, on that I always trust my sharpener, which that cost varies from sharpener to sharpener.  The switch is the second part to cause trouble.  I am left-handed, so where my thumb rests when I hold my pair lands directly on the switch.  Personally, I enjoy the placement of the switch, because it is easy to turn on and off.  However, that placement can also be a downfall.  I have had problems where the switch starts acting up, where second speed is stuck at first speed.  I have still be able to use my clippers at one speed, it is still operating around 2700spms, but it is not ideal.  This, just like the clipper cord, is an easy fix.  I have had to get my switch fixed once by my sharpener, and didn’t cost me more than $20.

Now that I have talked about some of the slight issues with this clipper, I will talk about some of the positive in my opinion.  The casing is not round like most clippers, but square and the casing is slightly textured, making the clipper easier to hold in my opinion.  The lever is a push lever to lift the blades on and off, and I haven’t had any issues with that.  Lastly, the price, I feel, cannot be beat.  Researching some clippers on the Pet Edge and Ryan’s Pets magazines, this is the best priced clipper for the power.  The lowest I found was around $124, and if you are just starting out with grooming, and do not have a lot of money to invest, I feel this is truly the best clipper to invest in.  Currently I have this clipper as well as the Andis UltraEdge, and I still use it interchangeably with the other clipper.  The price, longevity, and the low cost of maintenance, is well worth looking into.  Reading other reviews from various sites, this clipper overall is rated around 4 stars out of 5.

If you are interested in further information about this clipper, or interested in purchasing, I will list several sites I have found it on, along with the corresponding prices (at the time of post).

Also, disclaimer:  This post is not sponsored.  I bought this pair of clippers myself, over 5 years ago.  None of the links are affiliate links, I provide them solely for ease and your benefit.  Any questions, comments, concerns, or any recommendations, please leave them in the comment section below, and I will get back to you as soon as I can!  Thanks for stopping by, and I hope this review was helpful.

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Places Where to Purchase (price not including tax, shipping, or handling)
Ryan’s Pet Supplies: $123.97
Pet Edge: $123.95
Amazon: $110.04
Andis: $272.50
PetSmart: $140.04
Petco: Didn’t offer this exact pair
Chewy.com: $110.04

Sources:

“Andis 2-Speed AG Clipper W/ #10 Blade.” Ryan’s Pet Supplies. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 July 2017. <http://store.ryanspet.com/AND12485>.

“PetEdge.com – Andis AG Plus 2-Speed Clipper with #10 Blade – Clippers & Blades.” PetEdge. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 July 2017. <https://www.petedge.com/zpetedgemain/catalog/productDetail.jsf?wec-appid=PEDM_WEBSHOP_TR&page=C35456610F7C42BFA1CA25328F1F0BBB&closeLiveSearchOverlay=TRUE&itemKey=005056A633791ED2B5863B3A43134FB3&menuLinkSelected=none&wec-locale=en_US>.

“ProClip AG 2-Speed+ Detachable Blade Clipper.” Andis. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 July 2017. <https://small-animal.andis.com/product/proclip®-ag-2-speed-detachable-blade-clipper/?item-no=22215>.