How to tell if clipper blades are sharp?

Lucy_Ally

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Without putting them on the horse! Spring is being a little sensitive to clip and I want to ensure I go in to clip her with the best possible blades - to give myself the best chance! I bought a 2nd hand set of clippers with 2 sets of blades, I was told they were sharp - but is there anyway to tell by looking at them? Or any test you can do that doesn't involve a horse! I will send them off to be shrpened but was hoping to clip her this weekend.
 

Haniki

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Take the blades out of the clippers and very carefully run your finger along the top blade (which is the cutter) on the side of the teeth . You should be able to feel how sharp they are.
 

Toby_Zaphod

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If you have any doubt as to how sharp the blades are then send them away for sharpening. You say you have a sensitive horse so I would certainly want to know my blades were in the best condition possible. Additionally after sharpening keep a note of how many clips they have done & you will be able to know which are sharp & which need sharpening.
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SillyMare

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OK, sorry to piggy-back post but I have a related question.

How many clips should I be able to do before my blades are due for sharpening?

This is the first year I have had my own clippers - so far have done 2x blanket-clips on my TB and about to trace-clip my (very wooly) half-bred.
 

Toby_Zaphod

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You could probably get another 2/3 clips out of them but make sure your horse is clean. Nothing blunts clipper lades like a dirty coat. As stated before, it's a good idea to get a second set of blades to have in reserve should the ones you are using go blunt.
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TheEngineer

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I would go with "Toby's" post, ref 2 to 3 clips. Many people often ask me how many clips they will get from a set of sharpened blades and I know people who have not got one complete clip finished, to someone who clipped 20 horses!! with one set of blades. It all depends on the cleanliness of coat, the oil you use and the amount of tension you apply! Too much tension will blunt blades quickly, or a patch of grease or dusty coat, or the wrong oil.

It is wise to have your blades sharpened, if you are not sure, ensuring you have them done by someone reputable! The other thing you can do to test your blades is get some rabbit fur pieces, which I use for testing or fur offcuts. (probably just easier to get them sharpened!)

Ian (The Engineer)
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KatB

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I did 4 full clips a blanket and a trace before I sent mine off to be sharpened and they were still clipping no probs at all. 2 of the full clips had light coats, 2 had "native pony" coats, the trace had a light coat as did the blanket clip. Except the 2 native pony coats, they didt have to contend with the "bum grease" that normally finishes them off! So in total prob did about the equivilant of 5 full clips on "normal" coats!!
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