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How to tell when your blade has expired

Clipper blades can be expensive, considering the variety of different coat lengths that are available, so looking after them is critical to ensure a long prolonged life of the blade. However it is always a shock to groomers, when we tell them that blades do not live forever.

All clipper blades have a shelf life of between 15-17 sharpening sessions. Universal A5 style clipping blades (Andis, Oster, Wahl and Heiniger) have a cutting rail on the underside of the top cutter which is not visible and two rails on the sole plate.  The top cutter moves from side to side across the cutting rail of the sole plate depending on the speed of the clipper that is driving it. The rails on the top cutter also has a role to play when the hair is cut and it helps push the hair out of the blade.  These cutting rails are the points that a highly skilled engineer will only just remove a small micron of steel to produce a new cutting surface. If the rails are not sharpened at the correct angle, then snagging and dragging will be experienced when trying to clip the coat.

It is imperative you send your clipper blades and scissors to a skilled service centre, like Blades Services. We have over 15 years experience in the field of sharpening clipper blades and scissors. In our workshop we only use the state of the art lapping machines to offer precision sharpening. The differenced between us and a mobile sharpening service, is that we use big industrial machinery and the “man in the van” will use a single hobbyist machine which is operated by hand. This level of sharpening must be used with caution as when they apply the blade to the revolving stone, the front of the blade can go down onto the stone first, which can cause unbalancing and un-levelling of the blade.

If you have determined your blade has come to the end of it’s life and cannot be re sharpened, you can take the blade apart and save the following parts:
– The tension spring
– Nylon blade guide
– Blade socket
– Screws

Saving these parts will help you in the future, should you need replacement parts.

For effective cleaning and maintenance tips, please click here For Tips on How to Look after your Grooming Equipment

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