best hair clipper poodle

Before there were Doodles there were Poodles. With three sizes in the United States (four in some other countries), Poodles are incredibly popular. They are also super intelligent dogs, outgoing, and athletic. There are lots of different ways to groom a Poodle. We have the scoop on the 9 best (professional) hair clippers and blades for Poodles.

Lots of people think of the show ring when they think of Poodles. It’s true that Poodles love to show off and prance around at dog shows with a big show cut. However, most people who keep Poodles as pets never keep their dogs in that kind of cut. It’s far too much work and not very practical. Poodles (Pudel) began as sporting water dogs in Germany or France (there’s some debate about where the breed originated). They are still active dogs today and make good retrievers. They especially enjoy water retrieving. Poodles are also good at agility, rally, obedience, dock diving, and other dog events. If you take part in any of these activities with your Poodle, or if he loves being a pet at home, he needs a more casual hair cut.

You could take your Poodle to a professional dog groomer every 6-8 weeks. Or, with a little practice, you can learn to trim and groom your Poodle at home. You will need a good set of professional hair clippers and several good clipper blades. We can show you the best hair clippers and blades for Poodles, as well as some popular and easy clips and cuts for the breed.

The Poodle Coat

One of the reasons Poodles have been so popular is because they have a coat that sheds minimally. This is true for all sizes – Standard (the largest Poodle), Miniature, and Toys (the smallest Poodle). All of these Poodles have similar coats. Some people consider them “hypoallergenic,” though no dogs are completely hypoallergenic. All dogs can produce some allergens.

Poodles have a single coat layer, unlike most breeds which are double-coated. This means that Poodles don’t have an undercoat. The undercoat is the soft, downy layer of fur that most dogs have close to their skin. The undercoat provides dogs with some insulation. Poodles don’t have this layer. Instead, they have just an outer layer of dense, curly fur all over their bodies that is naturally harsh. This curly coat doesn’t shed much. The curly coat does shed a little but the dead hair usually gets caught in the curls so it’s not noticeable in your home. There are a few other breeds that have similar coats; many of them are related to the Poodle. You need to brush our your Poodle’s coat regularly so it doesn’t tangle and mat.

The Poodle’s curly coat keeps growing. If it’s not cut, it will eventually form long cords (like dreadlocks). Corded coats are not easy to care for since bathing your dog and drying him can take several days. Corded coats also tend to pick up sticks and other things. It’s rather rare to see a corded Poodle.

You can expect a Poodle puppy to have soft, wavy hair. He won’t have an adult coat until he’s about 18 months old.

Top Poodle Clips and Cuts

There are lots of different Poodle clips and cuts. The names seem to change often but the outlines don’t change too much. Some cuts are complicated. If you would like one of the more complex clips, it’s a good idea to take your Poodle to a professional groomer. However, you can easily learn to do some of the simpler clips yourself with a good clipper and blades.

The Lion Cut or the Continental cut is usually reserved for adult dogs in the show ring. This cut usually requires a professional groomer or a Poodle expert such as a breeder or dog show handler.

The English Saddle Cut is similar to the Lion Cut but it leaves more hair on the back legs along with three pompoms. Again, this cut usually takes a professional groomer.

The Dutch Cut or Sporting Cut is one that you should be able to do at home. The Retriever Cut and Kennel Cut are similar but a little shorter, with the coat fairly short all over the body. These are all good cuts for active Poodles. With good clippers and blades you should be able to give your Poodle any of these cuts.

Many people like the Modern or European Cut. This cut is not as extreme as a show cut. The dog’s body is trimmed all over but it’s not too short. The hair on the dog’s head, ears, and tail are left fluffy.

The Puppy Cut is used for many small breeds, including the Toy and Miniature Poodle. A Standard Poodle puppy can also wear this cut. This is an easy cut and you can learn to trim your Poodle this way at home. It’s also easy to care for.

The Summer Cut gives your Poodle a short trim for hot summer months.

The Lamb Cut or a modified Lamb Cut are also popular for Poodles. This Youtube video shows a groomer giving a Poodle this trim. This is a style that you could learn to do at home.

This is only a sampling of some of the most popular Poodle cuts. Poodles seem to bring out a creative side in people. There are literally new or modified haircuts created all the time for Poodles. It does take some practice to learn to clip and groom your Poodle but there is also a lot of room for trial and error with these cuts.

The first time your Poodle gets a haircut, it can be a good idea to take him to a professional groomer. If possible, you could watch how the groomer works or ask for some tips. At the very least, your puppy or dog will have the outline of a good haircut so you will have something to go by when you get out your own clippers to use. If you got your dog from a breeder, don’t be shy about asking for some grooming advice. Most breeders are delighted to show you how to clip your Poodle or at least give you some words of wisdom. You can also attend a dog show and watch the handlers working on the Poodles in the grooming area. Even if you don’t want to keep your Poodle in a show clip, you can learn a lot from watching people groom the dogs.

Different Types of Poodle Clippers

There are four basic kinds of clippers for grooming your Poodle.

  • Corded clippers. These clippers are used by professionals and people that show dogs. These clippers have an electrical cord. They are good for people that groom a lot of dogs and need a sturdy clipper.
  • Cordless clippers. Cordless clippers are popular with some professional groomers and with some people that groom at home. They are usually lightweight and easy to hold. They usually run on batteries that last up to two hours.
  • Corded/Cordless clippers. These clippers can operate with or without a cord. Use them with a cord while the battery is charging. Use them cordless at other times.
  • Pet trimmers. Trimmers can be a good choice if you need something to trim around your dog’s paws, face, and tail. They are less expensive than clippers but they are also less powerful.

Key Components of a Top-Rated Set of Clippers for Poodles

Poodles are great dogs but one of the downsides with the breed (every breed has its pros and cons) is that they do need to be groomed often. You can take your dog to a professional groomer on a regular basis OR you can learn to groom your Poodle at home. Grooming your poodle requires good quality clippers. You can’t fool around with a Poodle’s coat. It takes good, professional quality clippers to do the job. Here are the things we look for in a top-rated set of clippers for Poodles.

  • Good clippers are not cheap but you will save money in the long run by grooming your dog yourself. Expect to spend about $100 (plus or minus) for good clippers.
  • Good clippers will be efficient and cut through your Poodle’s coat easily. They should have plenty of power. They should not have any problem cutting through your dog’s thick curls.
  • Even though they are powerful, good clippers are relatively quiet.
  • Top-rated clippers don’t heat up quickly. All clippers will get warm eventually when you use them, but good ones should not be hot after five minutes.
  • Top quality clippers should be comfortable for you to hold. Many good clippers today have an ergonomic feel to reduce hand fatigue.
  • The best clippers should also be durable. When you invest money in good clippers, they should last several years. Good companies should have parts available if you need to replace a part.

Picking the Perfect Poodle Clipper Blade Size

Most clippers have detachable blades. This means that when you buy clippers, even though they come with a nice blade (usually a #10 blade), you can use lots of different blades with those clippers so you can give cut your dog’s hair shorter or longer. The blades are easy to remove and replace with a different blade. You can purchase all kinds of blades. The blades you use will depend on the kind of cut or style you want your dog to have. The higher the blade number, such as #30, the shorter the hair will be when you cut it. The lower the number, such as #3, the longer the hair.

Here are some popular Poodle styles and the blades to use:

Poodles – Kennel Trim

  • Matted Coat – 7F
  • Face, Feet, & Base of Tail – 10 or 15
  • Body & Legs – 5, 4, 3
  • Top Knot & Tailpiece – Scissors

Poodles – Lamb Trim

  • Face, Feet, & Base of Tail – 10 or 15
  • Body – 5, 4, 3
  • Legs – 30 with ¾” or 1″ Comb
  • Top Knot & Tailpiece – Scissors

Poodles – Summer Trim – Bikini Trim

  • Face, Feet, & Base of Tail – 10 or 15
  • Body & Legs – 7F or 5F
  • Pom-poms, Top Knot & Tail Pom – Scissors
  • Stomach – 10

If you’re wondering how much hair each blade will leave after the cut, here is a list of blades:

Blades

“F” is for a “finishing” blade which is for a smooth, blended cut. Some blades also come in a skip tooth version which is a good choice for getting through a matted coat (the #3, #4, #5, and #7). There are also clip-on combs if you would like to leave your Poodle’s coat longer.

Andis and Oster both make excellent blades. They can be used interchangeably in most clippers, regardless of the manufacturer.

Overall Best Poodle Clippers

Andis ProClip AGC2 2-Speed Detachable Blade Pet Clipper, Black

Key Benefits:

  • Detachable blades and removable drive cap make cleaning easy and the locking blade hinge keeps it secure.
  • The 2-speed sealed rotary motor runs cool and has plenty of power to handle a Poodle coat.
  • Includes a 14-foot heavy-duty cord so you can easy move around.
  • Works with all UltraEdge, CeramicEdge and ShowEdge blades—plus, it’s also compatible with Oster A-5 blades.

Andis ProClip AGC2 2-Speed Detachable Blade Pet Clipper is a great choice for Poodles. With two speeds you can choose how much power to use. It stays cool even when you’re clipping a lot of coat. It also has a 14-foot heavy-duty cord so you can move around easily. This clipper is durable and perfect for anyone learning to groom. Comes with the clippers, #10 UltraEdge blade, and clipper oil.

Pros:

  • 2 speeds
  • Durable
  • Maintenance-free

Cons:

  • Andis makes a more powerful clipper in a similar style
  • Some people like cordless clippers better
  • Heavier than some other clippers
  • The blade can get hot after a while but this is true of most clippers

Oster A6 Slim 3-speed Pet Clipper, Purple

Key Benefits:

  • These clippers have extremely low vibration and noise. Great for dogs that are nervous around clippers and more pleasant for you.
  • The Oster A6 Slim 3-speed clipper is ergonomically designed, efficient, precision-tuned, and it has a heavy-duty motor that runs at over 4,000 strokes per minute.
  • Zinc Alloy technology combines a lightweight ergonomic feel with heavy-duty, long-lasting durability.
  • Angled eccentric drive system and precision calibrated motor are designed for an ultra-smooth, efficient cutting performance
  • 3 Speed Settings: 4400SPM / 3600 SPM / 3100 SPM

Runner Up Best Poodle Clippers – The Oster A6 Slim 3-speed Pet Clipper is very comfortable to use. It has an ergonomic design and it’s very lightweight so it reduces hand fatigue. If you spend a lot of time clipping your Poodle’s coat, these may be the most comfortable clippers you can buy. They also have less vibration and noise than most clippers. People report that these clippers stay very cool. And, with three speeds, you can control how much power to use. Many professional groomers love these clippers. Comes with a #10 CryogenX Blade. This is a corded clipper.

Pros:

  • Very lightweight
  • Ergonomically designed and comfortable to use
  • Lower vibration and noise
  • 3 speeds

Cons:

  • This is not a cordless clipper
  • There are clippers that weigh less if you want an even lighter clipper

Andis Pro-Animal 7-Piece Detachable Blade Pet Clipper Kit

Key Benefits:

  • The Pro features a 3700 spm blade speed and blade detachability. Includes a #10 blade.
  • The quiet and powerful unit works with all UltraEdge, CeramicEdge, and ShowEdge blades (sold separately).
  • Designed and manufactured for years of reliable use and features a break resistant housing that’s ergonomically designed to fit comfortably in your hand. It also has a 12′ heavy-duty cord.
  • Designed with a powerful rotary motor so it performs for dogs with heavy, thick coats.
  • Blades are also compatible with Oster Model A-5 and most detachable-type clippers.

Most Affordable Poodle Clippers – The Andis Pro-Animal 7-Piece Detachable Blade Pet Clipper Kit is a one-speed clipper with a rotary motor that is powerful enough to clip your Poodle’s coat. It’s also reasonably quiet. This is a single speed motor. It is durable and comes in break-resistant housing that is contoured to fit your hand. It has a detachable head so you can change blades. The kit comes with four attachment combs, a tube of blade oil, and a hard case for your clippers.

Pros:

  • Less expensive than most good quality clippers
  • Includes attachment combs and case
  • Durable and break-resistant

Cons:

  • Single speed motor
  • Not as powerful as many clippers today

5 More Top-Rated Dog Hair Clippers for Poodles

Oster A5 Turbo 2-speed Pet Clipper, Dark Blue

Key Benefits:

  • The Oster Turbo A5 2-speed heavy-duty clipper is powerful, quiet, and reliable.
  • This clipper is practically unbreakable. It’s durable and resilient even if you drop it.
  • Goes through thick coat easily, including mats.
  • Detachable blade system is very versatile.
  • Turbo-powered for higher strokes per minute at two speeds: 3000 SPM Low, 4000 SPM High
  • Compatible with all Oster A5 detachable blades (as well as other detachable blade clippers) and includes a #10 CryogenX Detachable blade.

The Oster A5 Turbo 2-speed Pet Clipper is quick and powerful. It’s a workhorse. It’s perfect for anyone doing a lot of clipping – such as a Poodle owner. Many professional dog groomers and veterinarians use this clipper. It has two speeds so you can decide how much power you need. Compatible with all of Oster’s detachable blades (as well as other detachable blades). Comes with a #10 Cryogen X detachable blade.

Pros:

  • Faster and more powerful than similar Oster clippers
  • Has two speeds
  • Quiet, durable, and reliable
  • Great for heavy duty clipping, including cutting mats

Cons:

  • This is a powerful clipper and it could be more than some owners need
  • Some people might prefer a cordless clipper – but it’s hard to find cordless clippers that can do a good job with mats.

Wahl Arco Cordless Pet Clipper Kit

Key Benefits:

  • Lightweight and cordless.
  • 5500 strokes per minute and 80 minutes of battery run-time.
  • Perfect for clipping paws, face, and finishing work.
  • Glides through the coat quickly and efficiently.
  • Adjustable 5 blades that adjust from #9 to #40 and are detachable.
  • Professional Cordless 5-in-1 Clipper Kit with 2 NiMH batteries.

Quiet and lightweight, the Wahl Arco Cordless Pet Clipper Kit is an excellent clipper for trimming your Poodle’s paws and face. You can also do finishing work over his coat after you have removed thicker coat. Use these cordless clippers anywhere. These clippers run for up to 80 minutes before you need to recharge. Comes with two NiMH battery packs, the clippers, a storage case, a charging base with an indicator light, four snap-on attachment guide combs, a cleaning brush, and blade oil. You can see how these clippers work using attachment guide combs in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkjda6tdiow.

Pros:

  • Cordless, lightweight, quiet
  • Comes with two rechargeable battery packs
  • Includes four snap-on attachment guide combs
  • Good for trimming around your dog’s face, paws, and for doing finishing work

Cons:

  • Not a good choice for dogs with heavier coats unless the heavy coat has been trimmed first
  • Only runs for 80 minutes before it has to be recharged

Oster A5 Golden Pet Clipper

Key Benefits:

  • Heavy duty clipper comes in either a single speed or 2-speed model.
  • Made to last. Powerful and virtually unbreakable so you can clip any coat.
  • Oster’s Golden A5 is suitable for everything from general grooming to precision clipping.
  • These clippers handle smoothly and the motor runs quiet and cool. Top speed on the 2-speed clipper is 2,700 SPM and 2,100 for the single speed clipper.
  • The detachable blade system is made for quick, easy blade changes and increased versatility. Compatible with Oster A5 detachable Cryogen-X blades, Elite Cryogen-X and Take Down Quick Wide blade series, along with blades made for other detachable clippers.

Oster’s Golden A5 is a great set of clippers at a reasonable price. It comes in both a one-speed and two-speed version. Both models are recommended and quite affordable. This is a popular model for Oster that’s been around for decades. Used by groomers, vets, and people that show dogs, they are heavy duty so you can groom multiple dogs easily. Also great when you need to do a lot of work on one dog’s coat. Quiet, reliable, and made to last. These are corded clippers. The kit comes with a #10 Cryogen- blade, blade guard, blade oil, grease, cleaning brush, carbon brush and spring assemblies, and operating and care manuals.

Pros:

  • Durable, heavy duty clippers
  • Quiet and reliable
  • Available in one or two-speeds

Cons:

  • Not the fastest or most powerful clippers made today
  • There are newer clipper models that could make these clippers seem old-fashioned but they are still excellent clippers – especially for someone just learning to groom their Poodle.

Wahl Bravura Lithium Ion Cordless Dog & Cat Clipper Kit

Key Benefits:

  • Provides 90 minutes of full speed run time with a quick charge of 60 minutes; can be used with a cord while charging. Runs at full speed right up until the charge runs out.
  • Versatile 5-in-1 blade technology adjusts the blade to sizes #9, #10, #15, #30 and #40.
  • The lithium ion battery has no memory effect so it charges new every time.
  • Durable, lightweight, and quiet; runs with low vibration and no maintenance.
  • Professional quality powers up to 5,500 SPM and works on dogs, cats, horses, livestock and more.

Poodle owners report that these clippers are good to use on Toy and Miniature Poodles and to trim the face and paws of larger dogs. This Wahl Bravura Lithium Ion Cordless Clipper uses a lithium ion battery that runs for 90 minutes before it needs to be recharged. It recharges quickly in just 60 minutes. The clippers also come with a cord so you can use them while the battery is recharging. These clippers are durable, quiet, and lightweight. Like other Wahl clippers, they have a 5-in-1 adjustable blade that you can set to the length you prefer to use on your Poodle.

Pros:

  • Cordless, runs for 90 minutes and recharges in 60 minutes
  • Durable, lightweight, quiet
  • Low vibration and no maintenance
  • 5-in-1 adjustable blade
  • Come with Professional Lithium Ion Cord/Cordless Animal Clipper, 5 in 1 Detachable Blade Set, (6) Attachment Guide Combs, Charge Stand & Charger, Soft Storage Case, Cleaning Brush, Blade Oil, and Instruction Book.

Cons:

  • The 5-in-1 adjustable blade doesn’t allow you to use detachable clipper blades as you can with Andis and Oster clippers. When buying blades for these clippers, make sure you purchase adjustable blades so they will work with these clippers.

Wahl KM5 Rotary 2-Speed Professional Dog & Cat Clipper Kit

Key Benefits:

  • German-engineered to deliver superior performance and a salon-quality grooming experience at home.
  • Durable, two-speed rotary motor operates at 3000 and 3500 strokes per minute for exceptional power and torque.
  • Constant Speed Control ensures consistent power delivery, even when clipping through mats or thick fur.
  • Ergonomic design weighs just 13 ounces; superior comfort and control with minimal vibration and reduced wrist fatigue.
  • 14-foot cord provides plenty of room to move while working; ideal for use on all dog and cat coat types, as well as horses and livestock.

Wahl KM5 Rotary 2-Speed Professional Clipper Kit provides precision, performance and style. These clippers also give you plenty of power and durability and they are basically maintenance-free. Perfect for all coat types. They can even handle mats. They are lightweight with an ergonomic design for superior comfort and control. These Wahl clippers have minimal vibration to reduce wrist fatigue.

Pros:

  • Lightweight with superior comfort
  • Ergonomic design makes them easy to hold and use
  • Powerful enough to groom a Poodle’s coat
  • Durable with 2 speeds
  • Includes clippers, # 10 blade, brush, and oil

Cons:

  • There are more powerful clippers available.

Our 10 Step Poodle Grooming Guide

How you groom your Poodle will depend on the specific cut or style that you prefer. We can offer you some general tips on grooming your Poodle.

  • Clipping any dog is easier if his coat is clean. This is also true for Poodles. Give your Poodle a bath and brush him out 24-48 hours before you intend to use the clippers on him. Make sure that his coat is thoroughly dry.
  • Brush your Poodle’s coat out before you use the clippers on him. You can use a good pin brush or a slicker brush. Both of these brushes are easy to find. If your Poodle has any mats you can try to work them loose or gently work them away from your dog’s skin.
  • All dogs need to stand still when someone is using the clippers on them so they aren’t accidentally cut. In addition, if your dog is moving around it’s very easy to give him a mohawk by mistake. We recommend using a grooming table when you are using clippers on your dog, especially if you will be grooming your dog at home regularly.
  • Ideally your Poodle will get used to the clippers from the time he’s a puppy so he’s not afraid of them. If he hasn’t seen them before, spend some time letting him get used to them. Let them run so he becomes accustomed to the noise. Give him some treats when you turn them on. Keep lots of treats and cookies handy while you work on your dog.
  • Make your first time trimming your dog with the clippers a short session. Reward your dog so it’s a good experience.
  • Most people will trim the area under their Poodle’s tail (the “sanitary” area), along with their feet. You may also want to trim your Poodle’s facial area, being very careful here. These are all sensitive areas so use caution.
  • Use your clippers to gently make an outline of your dog’s body. From this point you can follow the outline for the clip or cut you have in mind. There are online sites as well as books that give advice on how to do specific cuts. You will probably need some grooming scissors to help shape the look you want. You can usually leave the top knot (the hair on your dog’s head) for last.
  • Don’t worry if your first efforts at giving your Poodle a sassy style aren’t perfect. It takes some practice to learn to use clippers. Your dog’s coat will grow back and you can keep trying. You’ll learn quickly.
  • If you or your dog start to become upset during a grooming session, take a time out. Your relationship is more important than getting the hair style right.
  • Take care of your clippers and maintain them properly. Good clippers are expensive. If you take care of them they should last for years.

FAQ:

  • Can you use all clippers on all Poodles? Yes. If you have good clippers you can make adjustments to the blades you use so you can use the clippers on a Toy, Miniature, or Standard Poodle. It does take practice and skill to know which blades to use and how to use them on each dog.
  • Can you use pet trimmers on a Standard Poodle? Most people only use pet trimmers on a Standard Poodle’s face, paws, and under the tail. That’s because pet trimmers are not usually very powerful. They’re not usually powerful enough to get through a Standard Poodle’s coat. Some people use them on Toy or Miniature Poodles but only if the dogs are groomed often and their coats are not very thick.
  • What should you do if your Poodle’s coat is matted? Try to gently work the mats loose with a comb without hurting your dog. If this doesn’t work, at least try to leave some space between the mat and your dog’s skin so you can slip the clippers under the mat. Depending on your dog and the rest of his coat, you can use a #3 or #7 blade on your clippers to remove the mat. Then try to blend the patch with the rest of his coat.

Conclusion

Poodles are not easy to clip but you can learn to groom your dog at home. Don’t be afraid to practice on your dog with your clippers. As long as you are careful not to cut your dog (which is unlikely), you can learn to clipper your Poodle. (Honestly, doing your dog’s nails is more difficult than using clippers.) Start with a simple, basic style and see how it goes. There is a lot of room for creativity in grooming a Poodle. You will probably find that you enjoy it! Don’t forget the treats for your dog! Everything always goes more smoothly with treats.

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