When to sharpen clipper blades for the smoothest body clip


This seemingly easy question to answer is a bit more complicated.  You may not be able to sharpen clipper blades at all, or once, or more.  It depends on the teeth.


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How do you know when to sharpen your blades?


  • Typically, you will need to sharpen your clipper blades when they start to tug or pull at your horse.


  • You may also see lines, uneven hair, gouges, and major clogging of the teeth.  


Things to try before you sharpen those blades


  • Tugging and poor cutting ability are signs that your clipper blades are due for a sharpening. BUT – this also means your horse could be dirty, or your blades need more clipper oil. 


  • In some cases, poor clipping means your clipper body needs to be serviced by the manufacturer. It can also be a sign that you did not properly prep your horse for clipping, and the blades are catching on dirt and dust. Or, it’s a combination of both.


  • Usually, adding more clipper oil solved everything.  Usually.


  • There’s also the possibility that your blades were brand spanking new and used for 5 seconds or longer and you put them away without cleaning and oiling. Bad! Or they were damp when you put them away and then rust happened…


lister star blades up close


How often can your blades be touched up?


  • You should also know that clipper blades can only be shortened so many times before they run out of blade to sharpen. The higher quality of workmanship when sharpening is one factor.


  • Another factor is the amount of steel in the blade. Blades like the 40, 30, and 15 cut very close, so there is not as much steel to sharpen. You might only be able to sharpen these blades twice. For blades like the 10 and 10W, you can likely get two or three sharpenings.


  • Some clipper blades, like the 5-in-1 style for trimmers, can’t be sharpened well, if at all.  These very convenient blades can remain in service with diligent care from you.  



clipper blade number 10 and green trimmers




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Wahl Professional Animal Bravura Lithium Clipper – this includes the 5 in 1 blade that goes from a #9 to a #40. Perfect for designs!

Wahl Professional Animal ARCO with 5 in 1 blade


The Chromado, also available in black.


Wahl’s Creativa horse trimmer is also availabe in pink.



The KM10’s are the gold standard for horse body clippers.


The Pro Ion, this is a body clipper that uses 30-15-10 blade system.

The Lister Stars – the best shear-style clippers for horses!


Blades for body clippers, the detachable style.


The 10 Wide blade for body clippers, the detachable style.

A 5 in 1 replacement blade.

Lister Star blades, fine cut.


Liste Star Blades, Medium


30-15-10’s adjustable blade.



Clipper Blade Coolant- You still need to use oil

Clipper Oil – please use this every five minutes as you are clipping. 


Professional Animal Stainless Steel Attachment Guide Combs for Wahl’s Bravura, Arco, Chromado, Figura, and Motion Pet Clippers (3379) – these combs match the 5 in 1 blades.

Professional Animal Stainless Steel Attachment Guide Combs for Detachable Blade Clippers (3390-100) – for detachable blades.


Thank you!




sharpen you horse's clipper blades