In collaboration with Wahl Animal Europe
I have clipped professional the last 10 years and has tried my fair share of professional horse clippers. Today, there is a very large selection of different brands and different clippers within each brand on the market, both in the cheap price range and in the expensive price range.
The clippers are normally divided within
- heavy duty
- medium duty
- light duty
I personally advise to invest in a more expensive clipper from the beginning than to compromise on quality and long-term durability. Price and quality are most often related when it comes to clippers. If the clipper is of a proper quality (and in a higher price range), the blades are usually too. If the blades are too cheap, you often end up having to buy new ones after just two or three clips or get them grinded quite often, which ultimately puts the price close to the (expensive) quality clipper quite fast. So, don’t compromise, even if it can be a bit of a financial down payment from the start. Another thing to mention is to pay attention to wich warranty the clipper offers. They may vaiery from 1 to 5 years.
Some prefer cordless battery-powered clippers, while others prefer corded clippers. Investing in both can be an advantage.
The advantage of the corded machines is that they are usually quite powerful with 2500 to 3000 strokes per minume, usually larger, and you do not have to worry about when the battery is running out of power. Most of the corded clippers has a weight of 750-2000 gram. The moters varies in power from 45W up to 400W. The quality clippers are often designed with permanent magnet motor, overload switch to protect the motor and easy and accurate blade tensioning.
The battery-powered ones are usually lighter with a wight of 200-1000gram, smaller, more manageable and more silent, so they are often preferred to sensitive and nervous horses. Today most of the battery-powered clippers are eighter with rotary or brushless motor and some with lithium ion battery with a 60min to 120min run time and quick charge feature if you only have on battery. Another feature some of the high-end quality cordless clippers offers is the possibility to plug in a regular power cord.
In the old days, clippers were both extremely heavy and the engines so powerful that it was a noisy affair to clip. Today, the clippers have become easier to handle and quieter. The fact that they are not so heavy means that it is actually comfortable to clip a horse and that one is no longer completely injured in the body when finished clipping two or three horses in a row.
It is very individual, which brand you prefer. The most important thing is that the machine is neither too big and unmanageable, noisy or clip with an uneven and unsatisfied finish.
I prefer a larger medium corded clipper to the body, chins and legs as they clip quickly and effortlessly through even the thickest, greasiest and dirtiest coat. However, they are often a bit too large and impractical to clip the finish and head with, which is why I also recommend to invest in a smaller, corded or cordless trimmer if you clip over 3 horses a year.
The clipping time with a light duty clipper is somewhat longer than that of a heavy or medium duty clipper, so you should also expect the blades to be changed or grinded more often.
There are many different blade lengths and widht on the market, and again it is up to the individual what is preferred. The blades cutting length and comb width varies by brand and model, but is usually in the range of 1, 1½, 2½ or 3 millimeters in cutting length and 45-75mm in width. I prefer a cutting length of 1½-2mm as it is neither too short nor too long, leaving the nicest finish. If the horse tends to be very sensitive or worn in the coat, you could choose a 2½mm blade of cut, just as the choice usually falls on a 2½millimeters blade when clipping Icelandic horse because of their dense and often greasier coat. The light duty clippers somethimes come with a 5-in-1 fine blade offering the possibility to variate the cutting length.
As mentioned in the top of this blog post this one is written in collaboration with Wahl Animal Europe with whom I have signed a partnership contract in fall 2019. I have though worked with the Danish agents for about 5 years now and started my clipping “career” with the Lister Star about 10 years ago.
Wahl/lister has always been my go-to brand when it comes to clippers. When clipping I want a clipper of highest quality that leaves a flawless finish perfect for the international show ring.
I have a varies of different Wahl/Lister clippers for different tasks:
Lister Fusion is newest edition in the Lister family and is defined as the most powerfull heavy duty clipper with a 360W rotary motor. It is boasting two speed possibilities of 2500 strokes per minutes and 2900 strokes per minutes and a db around 76. Is is designes with a slim grib and perfectly wighted for ease of use and balance in hand. It weight 1250 gram. As new feature it is designed with double fan and ventilation outlets to ensure consistent cool running during long periods of use. The clipper is recommended when clipping professional.
Lister Legend is defined as heavy duty clipper with a powerful 150W rotary motor that clips with 3.000 strokes per minutes and a db around 77. The legend is designed with the handler in mind with a weight of 1000g and dual position grip to provide a comfortable clipping experience for the user. The grip diameter is only 52mm. The clipper is recommended when clipping over 4 horses a year.
Lister Star is defined as a medium duty clipper with a 45w rotary motor that clips with 2.800 strokes per minutes and a db around 77 as well. The star is as well designed whit the handler in mind with a weight of only 750g and a slim 50mm grip diameter for easy handling and great control. The clipper is recommended when clipping around 1 or 4 horses a year.
Both the Lister Fusion, Lister Legend and Lister Star is powerful enough to maintain a constant speed to cut through a troublesome thick dense and greasy coat leaving a satisfying result. If the motor by any chance should overload the powerful clippers are fitted with an overload switch to protect the motor. They are designed with rubber reduction technology to make the clipper as minimized in vibration as possible. The ventilated head technology prevents the head and blade to overheat during long period of use e.g. when clipping one or three horses in a row and the motors is perfect suited if you clip professional during the clipping season. The intelligent tensioning blades system makes is easy to ensure correct cutting pressure. They come with blades of 1,5mm in cutting length and 75mm in comb width perfect for clip of body, chins and legs. The 75mm width of the blade makes clipping of the head a bit more impeded with a heavy or medium duty clipper, but it is possible.
I only had the Lister Star when I started clipping horses. It is a bit more complicated to clip around the horse’s eyes, near the forelock, the ears, the underside of the jaw and the tight spots. This is much easier with a light duty clipper or trimmer, so if possible, I recommend investing in a light duty or trimmer as well. The blades of the Fusion, Legend and Star are of high quality making it possible to clip between 5-8 horses depending on dense and grease of the coat before the blades need to be replaced or grinded.
The newest edition in the Wahl/Lister family is the Wahl KM Cordless clipper. The light duty clipper of only 460g with a grip diameter of only 40mm is designed with the newest technology with lithium ion battery of 120 minutes of running time and quick charge of 60 minutes. Even though the clipper is cordless it is still possible to plug in the cord and use while charging. The clipper is designed with a brushless motor and the possibility for two speed options – 3.000 or 3.700 strokes per minute. The brushless motor provides the lowest possible vibration and a noise level of only 68db making it perfect when clipping the sensitive horse. The design of the clipper head allows an extensive range of quick-release blades making this clipper suited for clip of body, legs, chins and head. The quick release blade sets are pre-tensioned which makes it the easiest clipper to use as the blades don’t require any tensioning before use. When buying the Wahl KM Cordless the clipper comes with the competition blade set with 2,3mm in cutting length and 67mm in clipping length. Personally, I would prefer to buy the competition blades #10W and #10. Both blades have a cutting length of 1,8mm. The difference of the two blades are the width of the blade. The #10W blade has a width of 67mm and the #10 a width of 50mm. The 67mm is perfect for the body, legs and chins and the 50mm is perfect for the head and overall finish around the edges. The competition blades are as well of high quality. When only using the KM cordless for the head and finish
The Wahl Adelar Pro is the most powerful trimmer among wahls collection of trimmers with a weight of 280g and an ergonomic designed grip system. It is as well designed with the newest technology with lithium ion battery and comes with two power battery packs with 75 min running time each and quick charge of 50 minutes. The quick release blade set are pre-tensioned which makes it an easy clipper to use as the blades don’t require any tensioning before use. The Adelar pro comes with a chrome-plated diamond-ground stainless steel blade with quick change system and an integrated cutting length adjustment from 0,7/1,4/1,8/2,5/3,0. This little powerful trimmer is suited for head, legs and finish around the edges. When clipping the body as well with this clipper bear in mind that the blades will need to be changes or grinded