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Author Topic: Oster A5 Clippers -- Which Blades Are Best?  (Read 12236 times)
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bichondad
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« on: March 27, 2015, 04:44:28 PM »

OK, so I sprung for a nice 2 speed Oster A5 clipper (this model designed for horses and came with a wider #10 blade). I  bought a regular sized #10 blade for dogs, so I can more comfortably groom Milo myself.  I'm not really happy with what our groomer has done the last couple of visits.  Does not know how to cut bichons in any way except in a poodle cut.  In the past I used a Wahl that just doesn't have enough power to zip through his coat, with a #4 attachment.   My q's:  (1) I want to take Milo shorter for the summer as per some advice I received on BCA. Any suggestions about which blades and which attachments should give me the best body coat for summer, and for general clean up work in pads, etc.?  (2)  I keep struggling with the length of Milo's leathers and the sides of his face.  I have watched numerous videos and read all sorts of books, but am having a hard time understanding.  I think I need to grow out his face some more (I cut it short in the past - mistake). What should I be doing to promote that lion head look?  Should I invest in long scissors while I'm at it? (3)  Not sure about grooming around his eyes and on his muzzle.  Should I be taking his eye hair short (where he tears)?  Should I be clipping the top of his muzzle short, or let it grow out? I realize that these questions all go to preference, and we all keep our fluffs the way we like them, but we really like the feel of a longer coat and the look of the lion mane.  For us (along with the personality) it is part of the reason to own a bichon.   Bichons Rule TIA, George
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susie l
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« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2015, 06:53:43 PM »

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Freedom (Sandie)
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« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2015, 10:07:05 PM »

I have a 2 speed Andis clipper and I LOVE it!  Like yours, it takes the professional A5 blades, which are interchangeable across brands.  I do have to add: I do not know what you mean that you have the wide horse clipper but you put the narrow dog blade on it. ?????  Maybe if you can give some links to pics, that will help me.

I use 2 blades:  a #10 for foot pads, sanitary, and #30 for the rest.  I have the complete set of Wahl combs, and use the #1, 2 and 4.  Here is a link to the comb set:
https://www.petedge.com/zpetedgemain/catalog/productDetail.jsf?area=&sort=RA&wec-appid=PEDM_WEBSHOP_TR&page=72A214C22827430A9795247F1BF064D6&itemKey=005056A633791ED2B5915A250C840FB3&show=12&view=grid&simpleSearchString=wahl+comb&wec-locale=en_US
This comb set, even though it is Wahl, will fit any A5 clipper, so this is something you can get and use with your clipper.  NOTE:  You only use the combs on a #30 blade!!!!  DO NOT put the combs on any other blade.

For shows / confirmation, there are 2 head styles:  the bell shape - flat under the chin - was the standard used  in the 1970's and 1980's.  Today, they use the circle which requires blending in the ears.  I think this is the lion mane you are referring to.

I do not use either of those.  I have 4 dogs, 7 cats, and plenty of things to keep me busy, without having to wipe 4 dog beards after each meal and every time they lap water.  I also keep the snout short -- I prefer to see their eyes and facial expressions.  Part of this is that, I have rescues, and they do not always act the way a dog kept as a pet all its life acts.  Part of this is cleanliness with all I have going on here. 

For scissors, keep in mind that these are called "shears."  So if you search for scissors, you may not find many, lol.  The better brand names: Millers Forge, Geib, and Dubl Duck.    Things like Chris Christiansen are very pricey and not enough better to justify the up charge.  I will provide links for each, keep in mind these are to show you what the shears look like, I am not suggesting this is the best price.  The place I always used for grooming supplies (Pet Edge) is downsizing and currently doesn't have much stock.  (Phooey!)

You will want a short straight, round tip pair to work around the eyes, for ears, nose and throat.  Here is a link:
http://www.showdogstore.com/dublduck-earandnosescissorballtip4inchstraight.aspx

You will want a longer straight pair, about 7 inches, for other parts of the body.  Something like this:
http://www.showdogstore.com/dublduck-75wonderedgeshearstraight.aspx
Notice these have the finger rest, you want to be sure to get that!

Most of us wait a bit, until we have done the grooming a few times, before investing in a pair of curved shears.  You will use these on the head and legs.
https://www.petedge.com/zpetedgemain/catalog/productDetail.jsf?wec-appid=PEDM_WEBSHOP_TR&itemKey=005056A633791ED2B586429949F7EFB3

There are many other shears out there -- they are used for other breeds with various coats.  You do not need thinning shears for this breed.

Finally, do you have a comb?  Poodle comb and / or greyhound comb (I have both). 
Poodle comb:  https://www.petedge.com/zpetedgemain/catalog/productDetail.jsf?area=&sort=RA&wec-appid=PEDM_WEBSHOP_TR&page=72A214C22827430A9795247F1BF064D6&itemKey=005056A633791ED2B5864B5340D1EFB3&show=12&view=grid&simpleSearchString=comb&wec-locale=en_US

Greyhound comb: https://www.petedge.com/zpetedgemain/catalog/productDetail.jsf?area=&sort=RA&wec-appid=PEDM_WEBSHOP_TR&page=72A214C22827430A9795247F1BF064D6&itemKey=005056A633791ED2B586411AA5854FB3&show=12&view=grid&simpleSearchString=comb&wec-locale=en_US&filter=Brand%3DAttribSelect%253DBrand%253D%2527Geib%2527

Now for this one, notice there are 3 options.  You want the medium / coarse.  You will never use a 'fine' comb on this bichon coat!  And the face finishing comb is for other breeds.

Now that Pet Edge is downsizing, I will need to find another source for all my supplies!









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Bichons Frise': Tasha, Willy, Riley, Belle, Frankie
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Freedom (Sandie)
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« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2015, 10:16:03 PM »

So you've bought the clippers, and some accessories.  Not sure if you already know this (you mentioned you have watched several vids).  You never want to use the clippers on the coat until AFTER you have bathed the dog.  Dirt on the coat is the fastest way to dull your blade.

Milo has had his bath and is soaking wet.  You want to get him dry, right down to the skin, and straighten the hair, before you start with the trimming.  I used my own hair dryer for about 4 years (until I had 5 dogs) before I invested in a proper high velocity air dryer.  This type of dryer has no heating element.  The air does warm as it flows over the motor, but that is it.  I should have invested in that sooner (maybe about 3 dogs).  But for one dog, you can use a human's hair dryer.  Just be cautious that you do not burn him.  You will use a slicker brush to get the hair to straighten as it dries.  The clippers will not cut evenly on a curly coat, so you want it straight.

Hope all this helps! 
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Bichons Frise': Tasha, Willy, Riley, Belle, Frankie
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bichondad
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« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2015, 11:36:50 PM »

Wow ... thanks for all the great feedback.  OK -- need to digest and will report back on my progress. 
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« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2015, 02:12:25 PM »

OK just reading through all the posts and some very good information has been passed on. I thaught I should say that oiling your blades every 15 minutes of continuous use is also essential to keeping them cool and to maintain the cutting performance as long as possible.
 It's also worth mentioning that the drive lever or blade drive assembly on your clippers should be replaced every 2-3 months for a busy groomer. This will help prevent the occurrence of track marks or commonly known as 'tram lines' which can appear when grooming. I have put a link to a help page.

http://www.angliaclipperservices.com/Clipping_Problems

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Freedom (Sandie)
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« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2015, 07:03:30 PM »

Hmm interesting.  I oil once, when I have finished all 4 fluffs and I am putting everything away till next spa day. 

I need to take a look at the link.

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Bichons Frise': Tasha, Willy, Riley, Belle, Frankie
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« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2015, 02:48:15 AM »

Absolutely it's more important to oil after clipping as well as cleaning with a brush otherwise the acids in the cut fur will attack the sharp surface and one day you will go to use your blades just to find they won't cut a thing.
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bichondad
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« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2015, 09:47:45 PM »

Late follow up on this thread.  Decided that I simply am an incompetent groomer for Milo -- and found an absolutely stunning groomer that does only Bichons.  She is a 100 mile drive each way (crazy -- I know!!) but I am committed to using her.  Am attaching a recent pic after Milo's last groom a few days ago -- and I am very pleased.  Milo IS NOT a show dog -- but I so much like the way his full coat is coming along.  The groomer let me watch her work on him and it convinced me to leave well enough alone, especially if, as and when we get Milo his brother/sister.  Anyways -- having a great summer with the brood and Milo is just dandy as he inches towards his 2d birthday in about 2 weeks.   Clap  Cheers!  George
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Freedom (Sandie)
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« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2015, 12:55:25 PM »

That is a great photo, nice look for Milo.

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Bichons Frise': Tasha, Willy, Riley, Belle, Frankie
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bKay, Bullett & Coco
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« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2015, 05:55:29 PM »

He looks like a stuffed toy!  Just perfect in my opinion.   I just can't manage the Bichon cut.  Too many parts needing to be cleaned all the time so they don't stain or gather more debris.  I love the look tho. K
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bichondad
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« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2015, 07:03:06 PM »

Thanks Kay.  We love him no matter what -- but it sure has been fun grooming him so far.  Not sure if I will feel the same way if we get a second fluff -- demanding twice the effort.   wink2
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