For new pet parents, it’s more likely that you have human hair clippers at home rather than a full grooming set, especially if you typically pay for your dog to visit a professional.
Can you cut dog hair with human clippers, though?
It can be rather tempting to use your regular clippers, as they appear to be identical to the ones you would buy for your dog.
Even though they look the same, they don’t work the same, which is why it’s better that you opt for a particular pair of clippers for your pet’s fur instead of using your own.
The Differences Between Dog and Human Clippers
There’s no doubt about it; if you were to put human clippers beside dog ones, you wouldn’t be able to tell much of a difference apart from branding.
However, there is a reason as to why manufacturers created two different versions, and it’s not all based on profit.
Below are some of the most important differences between the two models that you will need to know as a pet parent.
1. Sound and Vibration
As a human, we are quite aware of what clippers are and their purpose, which means that there’s no need to worry about what they look like or sound like.
Most clients, apart from children, aren’t likely to be frightened by the sound of clippers, unlike your dogs, who might not understand what the tools are used for.
Dog clippers are built with exceptionally quiet motors that don’t trigger anxiety or their fight or flight response.
Also, you will find that pet clippers have very minimal vibrations so that when you make a pass over their coat, it feels more like a petting motion than a cutting motion.
If you were to turn on human hair clippers near a rather skittish pet, they would be in a lot of emotional turmoil simply because they are so loud.
You’ll want to make sure your pets have the quietest time being groomed; otherwise, it will make the task substantially more difficult in the future.
This is particularly crucial for professional groomers as well, as their main job is to take phenomenal care of your pet once they are dropped off.
Pet parents would be outraged if their dogs were shaken up from simple grooming, which is why it is always best to opt for animal clippers that are much quieter and comfortable.
2. Weight and Design
There are a lot of steps to be taken when it comes to grooming a dog or a cat, especially as they have plenty of hard-to-reach areas.
Compared to working on a human head, you’re going to be moving your arm frequently and also trying to get into crevices and sensitive areas.
With that said, you’ll want a grooming tool that is lightweight, ergonomic, and comfortable to hold for at least a couple of hours.
Pet grooming tools are designed to be substantially more lightweight than the ones used on humans, and they will also have special ergonomic features to reduce fatigue and discomfort.
This also relates to how comfortable pets will be while being groomed, as you will want to work with them, rather than force them into uncomfortable positions to trim away excess hair.
Human hair clippers, on the other hand, are likely to be more substantial, as you have full access to all of the areas that need to be groomed.
3. Contoured Blades
The human head has a few contours, but the body of a dog has far more, which is where the design of the clippers comes into play.
You will typically find that some clippers have individual blades that are shaped with an “R” contour, making it easier for the blades to get closer to the skin with a lessened likelihood of nicks, cuts, and scrapes.
As a human, we can tell our barbers when they are getting too close to the skin, but dogs won’t be able to communicate discomfort in the same way.
Even if you don’t intend on getting close to your dog’s skin and want to trim their coat using a blade guard, you will want to rely on pet clippers; these ensure you won’t pull their coat or get their hair snagged with every pass.
Specific clippers will help to make sure that you gently glide over contours and can get into delicate areas without the likelihood of cutting your client.
4. Blade Sharpness
When you purchase a new pair of clippers, you can guarantee that the manufacturer will make them as sharp as possible.
However, pet clippers are bound to be substantially sharper than human clippers because some pet hair can be much thicker and denser than human hair.
If you were to try to use dull blades on a pet’s coat, you’d get a lot of clogging, as well as snagging, when you would go over specific spots.
There’s nothing worse than pulling your pet’s hair while grooming, as it will scare them and make them less likely to cooperate the next time around.
Even though the blades in human hair clippers look similar, they aren’t going to be as sharp as you need them to be, which means that you’ll be spending a lot more time grooming your pet than expected.
Also, you will need to take even more care to ensure you get rid of every single tangle in their coat before using your human clippers, which will add even more time.
5. Blade Teeth
Another feature of pet clippers that will differ from the clippers you have at home is how the teeth are made and dispersed.
It’s important to remember that dogs have substantially thicker fur that covers their entire body, compared to the lightweight nature of human hair.
With that said, the teeth on the blades not only need to be thicker but also need to be spread further apart so that they can work through dense patches of hair with ease.
You may also find pet clippers come with blades made of unique materials, such as high-carbon steel, which offers optimal thickness and sharpness.
Higher-end pet clippers may also come with different blades that are fully interchangeable, depending on the thickness of the pet’s fur.
The more spaced out the teeth are, the easier the clippers will glide through your pet’s hair.
6. Clipper Maintenance
Whether you are a hairstylist or if you are a pet groomer, you will need to maintain your tools in terms of cleanliness and ensuring they last as long as possible.
However, pet parents are going to need to take a couple of extra steps to make sure their clippers maintain their strength over the coming months.
Dog hair tends to clog even the most high-quality clippers, which can lead to plenty of issues down the road.
Human hair, on the other hand, is much more natural to remove and is typically shorter and thinner.
This means that human clippers surely aren’t designed to handle the thick and burly nature of most dog’s coats.
When it comes to maintaining pet clippers, you will need to remove the blades after every grooming session, thoroughly clean them and the clippers, and ensure that the blades are oiled.
How to Choose the Best Dog Clippers
Now that you are aware of all of the differences between human and dog hair clippers, it’s easy to see why you wouldn’t want to use your regular tools on your pet.
If you want to start grooming your animals at home, knowing what to look for in a high-quality set of clippers will make the task even more straightforward.
Grooming a dog is going to take a lot of time, especially if you have to stop frequently to soothe them or to rearrange how they are sitting.
You will want to decide between a corded or cordless pair of clippers, as cordless models rely on a rechargeable battery compared to an endless source of power.
However, corded clippers may be less convenient, especially if you have to navigate around the body of a large dog.
Some groomers prefer one design, while others prefer another; it’s all up to personal preference.
2. Blade Material
The stronger the material of your blades, the longer they will last and the sharper they will be.
Some of the top-selling materials you’re bound to see will include carbon steel, stainless steel, and ceramic; these are hardened alloys that are sure to last over years of use.
You may also want to consider opting for a pair of clippers that have self-sharpening blades so that they won’t need to be replaced as often.
3. Blade Teeth
As earlier mentioned, pet clippers will have wide-set teeth compared to human clippers, but the number of teeth is essential, as well.
If you have access to a 34-tooth pair of clippers, trimming your dog’s coat will be much more gentle and faster than with a 25-tooth pair.
Some of the highest quality brands will have between 34 and 42 teeth, allowing you to cut through even the most robust coats like butter.
4. Motor Power
Similar to a car, the motor in your clippers will determine their power and how quickly they will cut through thick hair.
On average, most clippers will have a 12V motor, which is strong enough for thin to medium thickness.
You may want to consider a pair that is slightly more powerful if you own a dog with curly or thick hair.
It’s also important to note that the power of your motor will affect how long the battery lasts on a single charge; more powerful clippers will drain the battery quickly.
As an alternative, you can find a pair of clippers that can be used both cordless and corded so that you won’t have to worry about draining the battery.
Can You Cut Dog Hair With Human Clippers? Final Thoughts
So, can you cut dog hair with human clippers? Although it would be convenient, the answer is no.
Using human-grade clippers could compromise your pet’s skin and also make grooming a far less comfortable experience.
You should invest in a set of clippers that are specifically for the texture of your dog’s fur.