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Clipping frustrations

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  • Clipping frustrations

    I was going to buy a new pair of Lister star clippers as I am fed up with how many clipper blades I buy, I am not sure if its my clippers or something I am doing wrong. I currently have the wahl KM 10 and had the oster A6 previous to that. I can't trace clip (blanket clip) one horse without my clippers quitting. The just stop cutting the hair. Sometimes if I take the blades off and really try to clean them, or lubricate them they cut two more swipes then quit. I continue the process of taking off and cleaning/lubricating. It get's especially bad on top of the bum. I usually have two new blades when I start a clip job, but seems ridiculous to have to buy a new set of blades for every trace clip??
    My horse doesn't get bathed before clipping as I don't have warm water. That is probably half the battle, but not really something I can change.
    Does anyone know what I am talking about? Have an input on the lister's? Will they cut through anything? Worth the money?

  • #2
    I have a fjord, so dense coats are my reality. I have lister stars and Andis AGR+ with both batteries and the battery pass through... also an old pair of Oster A5s but I never even bothred with those). The Andis with brand spanking new T84 blades AND the battery replacer cannot clip that coat. Not even a little. They just hold out a white flag and surrender once we get past the legs and face. The lister stars just power on through the same coat and they are about 13 years old.

    But filthy skin/coat is going to play hell on your blades regardless of the clipper. Maybe you can improve the odds with massive grooming/hot toweling/blanketing for 3-4 days before you clip (plus a ton of show sheen). I don't have hot water either, but I do have a bucket heater, I just fill up a wash bucket and drop it in when I am tacking up. It's super hot by the time I'm done riding/driving and I have plenty of hot water to mix with cold to do any warm toweling or even a bath followed by very warm water rinse and throw on the wool cooler (but I'm talking about 40 degree weather, not real winter). If I need a lot of water I just half fill a clean muck bucket for the bucket heater.

    If you do go for Listers, you need to buy a pair of medium blades and budget that into your expenses. They come standard with fine, which is INSANELY close, way finer than a 15 blade IME. As a friend said when she used the fine blade (I warned her) that her horse was now prepped for colic surgery ... or really ANY surgery any where on her body.
    Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.


    • #3
      Co-sign DMK’s thoughts above re: hot toweling and show sheen. A vacuum would be helpful as well - you don’t mention whether you use one.

      I wouldn’t expect the small clippers you listed to body clip most horses, clean or not. Just not powerful enough. Listers are heavy duty and I always found them pretty user friendly - just make sure to regularly brush off the air filter and definitely take the time to understand the proper blade tensioning before starting. Even with Listers, if you’re clipping a dirty yak, take care to clean/oil often (not waiting for them to get hot) and slow way down on each pass.


      • #4
        I've had Lister Stars, and really liked them - clipped most horses and ponies with them - but any clipping is easier with a clean coat. Do a really good grooming each day for the three or so days beforehand. Use a rubber curry comb or similar to bring the dirt to the surface and then body brush and curry comb as if your life depends on it. If it's full on winter weather, you should end up in shirt sleeves because of the effort you are putting in. If your horse is taller than around 14 hh, stand on a chair to do it's rump.
        I have an old, heavy, clunky set of Sunbeam clippers. I bought them cheap at an auction because there were about 15 sets of brand new blades in the bag with them. I figured that I could sell the blades to fund a new set of clippers. Then I used them. They may be heavy, but they're so powerful and slice through anything, that they are much faster to clip with than my Listers - and so, now I mostly just use them.


        • #5
          Wet clipping doesn't work for me at all, but a very clean horse with Show Sheen on the horse helps my blades keep sharp. I have an Oster Variable Speed and an Andis and switch back and forth. I've already clipped three times since September. I have a draft cross who has a thick coat, and last time she was damp and the clippers kept getting caught. Keeping the clippers clean, taking them apart and getting hair out, plus keeping them oiled is important. Was surprised that Andis has lots of good clipping videos on YouTube but Oster has none that I could find.
          I have tried getting dull clipper blades sharpened but it hasn't worked for me so far. I always have a spare pair of blades because it seems that when you are half way through is when your blades go dull very suddenly. "Grooming Resource" website has good tips on clipping.


          • #6
            I like wet clipping but I wouldn't recommend it for cold temps, the horse has to be very wet and I typically hose off, do one side, hose off do the other side and maybe a few quick sprays in between. That's a long time for a horse to be wet to the skin in the cold! So I did a wet clip on labor day and right before Thanksgiving ( because in GA those were both hot days), but a dry clip about 4 days ago since winter is here...ish. and clipping 3x in winter... Sigh... Fjord.
            Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.


            • #7
              Not being able to bathe is going to be killer, especially for smaller clippers. I clip with Wahl KH-10s now for body clips but thats on clean horses with fine to normal coats. When I was clipping as a business I used the Andis HP Progress clippers for horses that either were not bathed or had thick coats/cushings. They worked well on those horses for cutting the hair. If the horse is dirty underneath you will get a lot of dandruff and lines as a result. But I didn't have a problem with the blades quitting on rough horses with the HP Progess.

              As far as buying new blades, try posting on Nextdoor or other forums asking where you can get blades sharpened. There is usually somewhere obscure in most towns because most barbers with get their blades sharpened. This cuts down on cost immensely. I think I was paying about $6 per blade for sharpening and they were good as new afterwards. Most places would also do a good lube and tune on my clipper motors as well at the end of the season.


              • #8
                As part of your pre-clipping grooming, I'd also recommend using the SleakEZ tool. It does a great job of lifting out dead skin/dandruff as well as dirt. Bonus, my normally "don't touch me" mare actually enjoys it!


                • #9
                  I agree that the clippers you mention are too small to do a good job. Also, I doubt your problem is your blades. I've had that happen when a pair of clippers need some sort of a repair or new part, and when I put the blades on another pair of clippers they work fine. I can usually get through 2 full clips with a single pair of blades.

                  I hate my Lister Stars. HATE THEM. They are heavy, loud, and just obnoxious overall. Also, they sometimes quit cutting too. But to your point, the blades do last longer than clip-on blades.

                  I love my Groomer's Edge/Double K belt-mount clippers. A lot stronger than little handhelds, but the handheld part is still light and quiet.

                  Flying F Sport Horses
                  Horses in the NW


                  • #10
                    I hate Lister Stars for the same reason. After using them a few times, I couldn't reconcile my experience with all the great reviews I had read.


                    • #11
                      I have a love hate relationship with them. I love the fact that they power through any job, are lighter than clipmasters and do not abuse my right hand (with it's many major surgery issues). I hate the "oil every 10 minutes" but recognize that is a feature of the clipper motor, this is what I read about them: "[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=2][FONT=Arial][SIZE=2]The Star clipper is different to most clippers in that it maintains a virtually constant speed irrespective of load. Normally during clipping a clipper will slow down when lubrication is required. The Star however, does not slow down appreciably ‑ therefore regular oiling with Lister R15 oil is essential to prevent the temperature of the blades rising. In other words, if the blades get hot you are not oiling them often enough or in the right places.[/SIZE][/FONT][/SIZE][/FONT]"

                      That does seem to be the case, but it is a pain and I'm quite sure my version of 10 minutes is probably a lot more like 15... or 20... or an entire half body of a pony. And dear god are they loud. So loud. And there is something about them that just doesn't clip as clean as clipmasters. Or blow hair in my face, to be fair.

                      On the other hand, I plowed right on through my fjord's coat when he was a full on unbathed shaggy yak... I kid you not, he had dreadlocks on his belly. This was when I first got him and he unschooled in the civilized ways of life... like bathing. But he had just come 700 miles south and he smelled ... ripe ... when it got warm. So I sacrificed a pair of blades (close to the end of their life anyway), gave him some dormosedan and went to town. As clip jobs went, it was by no means the worst one I have ever seen. I used the rest of the dormosedan after 2 weeks bathing lessons and clipped him again just to touch up, but he really didn't need it.

                      I'd probably be up for trying something different when these things bite the bullet but that doesn't seem to be happening any time soon.
                      Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.