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Can You Use Human Clippers On A Shih Tzu?

Dog clippers and human clippers may seem similar as they both have blades, motors, and cords. But can you use human clippers on your Shih Tzu? For some simple jobs, they might be ok but it is generally not recommended as dog skin and hair is different from human skin and hair – and this is especially true for a Shih Tzu’s double coat.

 

So can you use human clippers to groom your furry friend? In this article, we’ll explore the key differences between dog clippers and human clippers, and why it matters for your pet’s comfort and safety.

What Are The Differences Between Human & Dog Clippers?

Motor

 

When it comes to grooming, both human clippers and dog clippers are powered by motors that drive their blades to cut hair. However, the type of motor used in each type of clipper can differ significantly due to the different demands of each task.

 

Dog clippers are designed to cut through dense, matted fur, which requires a powerful and durable motor. These motors are typically more heavy-duty and have more torque than those found in human clippers.

 

They are also designed to operate at slower speeds, which helps prevent overheating and ensures the safety of your dog.

 

On the other hand, human clippers are designed to cut through fine, straight hair, which requires a different type of motor. These motors are typically smaller and lighter than those found in dog clippers, and they operate at much faster speeds.

wahl pro series dog clippers

This allows human clippers to cut hair more quickly and efficiently, but also makes them less suitable for thicker hair or fur, and this is especially true for a Shih Tzu’s double coat.

 

In addition to these differences in power and speed, there are also variations in the design and construction of the motors themselves. Dog clippers often use rotary motors, which are more powerful and efficient than the magnetic motors commonly found in human clippers.

 

These motors use an internal rotating mechanism to generate power, which reduces the need for multiple moving parts and improves reliability.

 

Human clippers, on the other hand, usually use magnetic motors, which rely on a series of magnets and coils to create the magnetic field that drives the blade. While these motors are less powerful than rotary motors, they are also lighter, quieter, and easier to maintain.

 

In conclusion, the type of motor used in a clipper can have a significant impact on its performance and suitability for a given task. Dog clippers require powerful and durable motors that can handle thick, matted fur, while human clippers require smaller, faster motors that can cut through fine, straight hair.

 

By choosing the right type of clipper motor for the job, you can ensure a more efficient, effective, and safe grooming experience.

The Speed

 

The cutting speed of clippers can vary depending on the type of motor and the design of the blade. In general, the cutting speed of human clippers is faster than that of dog clippers due to the different demands of each task.

 

Human clippers are designed to cut through fine, straight hair quickly and efficiently. They are typically powered by smaller, lighter motors that can operate at very high speeds, which allows them to cut hair at a faster rate.

 

Human clippers may have cutting speeds of up to 7,000 strokes per minute, depending on the brand and model.

 

In contrast, dog clippers are designed to cut through thick, matted fur that requires more power and precision. The motors used in dog clippers are often heavier and more powerful than those found in human clippers. However, they also tend to operate at slower speeds to ensure the safety of the animal being groomed.

 

The typical cutting speed of dog clippers ranges from 1,000 to 3,000 strokes per minute, with some high-end models offering speeds up to 5,000 strokes per minute.

 

It is worth noting that the cutting speed of clippers is not the only factor that determines their effectiveness in cutting hair or fur. The design and quality of the blade can also play a significant role in how well a clipper performs.

 

A high-quality blade with sharp edges and good alignment can make cutting more efficient and effective, regardless of the cutting speed.

 

In conclusion, human clippers are generally designed to operate at faster speeds than dog clippers due to the difference in the hair or fur being cut.

The Blade

 

The blades used in human clippers and dog clippers differ in their size, design, and material. This is because the hair of humans and animals varies greatly in texture, thickness, and density, which requires different types of blades to achieve the desired cut.

 

Human clippers generally have blades that are smaller and narrower than those found in dog clippers. The blades may have between 20 and 40 teeth, depending on the brand and model. These blades are designed to cut through fine, straight hair efficiently, and may be made of stainless steel or ceramic materials for durability and long-lasting sharpness.

 

In contrast, the blades found in dog clippers are generally larger and wider than those in human clippers. They may have between 13 and 25 teeth and are often made of tougher materials like carbon or titanium to handle the thicker and denser hair found on animals. Additionally, the blades in dog clippers often have wider tooth spacing to prevent hair from getting caught or tangled during the grooming process.

Another key difference between the blades used in human and dog clippers is the type of cut they produce. Human clipper blades typically produce a smoother, more precise cut, while dog clipper blades may create a coarser or more textured cut. This is because the hair on dogs often grows in different directions and requires a different approach to achieve a well-groomed look.

 

It is worth noting that some high-end clippers designed for both human and animal grooming may have interchangeable blades. This allows for greater versatility in grooming different hair types without having to purchase separate clippers for each task.

 

Understanding the differences between the blades in each type of clipper can help ensure a more effective and safe grooming experience for both humans and animals.

Grooming Guards

 

Grooming guards, also known as comb attachments or guide combs, are accessories used with clippers to achieve different cutting lengths. While there are similarities between grooming guards for human clippers and dog clippers, there are also significant differences in their design and use.

 

Human grooming guards are typically smaller and narrower than those used with dog clippers. They come in a range of sizes, with the most common being 1/8 inch to 1 inch, and are often color-coded for ease of use.

 

The guards are designed to snap on and off easily and work with the clipper blades to create a consistent length across the hair being cut. The guards are usually made of plastic or metal and can be adjusted to different cutting lengths to achieve the desired look.

In contrast, grooming guards for dog clippers are generally larger and wider than those used with human clippers. They are designed to clip the fur to a specific length without cutting it too short or causing any skin irritation.

 

The guards often have teeth or prongs that comb through the fur to help evenly distribute it while clipping. They can also come in a range of sizes, but typically start at around 1/8 inch and go up to 1 inch or larger.

 

Another key difference between human and dog grooming guards is the material they are made of. Human grooming guards are usually made of plastic or metal, while dog grooming guards may be made of plastic, metal, or a combination of the two. Additionally, some grooming guards for dogs are coated with materials like ceramic or diamond to help reduce friction and prolong the life of the blades.

 

It is worth noting that some grooming guards may be interchangeable between human and dog clippers. However, it is important to ensure that the guard is compatible with the clipper being used and that the teeth of the guard are the appropriate size and spacing for the type of hair being cut.

Length Of Cord

 

The length of the cord is an important factor to consider when using clippers, as it can affect how easy and comfortable it is to maneuver the device during grooming sessions.

 

Human clippers typically come with a longer cord than dog clippers. This is because human clippers are designed to be used on a variety of hair types, including thick and curly hair, which may require the user to move around more to ensure an even cut.

 

The longer cord allows for greater freedom of movement and makes it easier to navigate around the head and body.

In contrast, dog clippers usually have a shorter cord. This is because dogs are usually groomed in a stationary position, such as on a grooming table or mat, and do not require the same level of movement as human hair cutting.

 

The shorter cord also makes it easier to control the clipper and prevents tangling or tripping hazards.

 

It is worth noting that some dog clippers may have a detachable cord, which can be helpful for storage or transportation. This feature is less common in human clippers, which are more likely to have a fixed cord.

Noise And Vibration

 

Noise and vibration are important factors to consider when selecting clippers for human or dog grooming. Both human clippers and dog clippers produce noise and vibration, but there are some differences in the levels of noise and vibration that each type of clipper produces.

 

Human clippers are generally designed to operate more quietly and with less vibration than dog clippers. This is because human hair is typically thinner and softer than pet fur, and therefore requires less power and force to cut.

 

Human clippers are also typically used for longer periods of time than dog clippers, which means that they need to be comfortable to hold and operate for extended periods of time.

In contrast, dog clippers are designed to operate with more power and force, and as a result, they tend to be noisier and produce more vibration than human clippers. This is because dog fur is typically thicker and coarser than human hair, and requires more power and force to cut through.

 

However, some dog clippers are designed to minimize noise and vibration by incorporating features such as quiet motors or shock absorbers.

wahl pro series dog clippers 9590

Safety Features

 

Safety is a crucial aspect to consider when choosing clippers for human or pet grooming. Both human clippers and dog clippers come with different safety features, which help to protect the user and the pet from potential injuries during the grooming process.

 

Human clippers generally come with more safety features compared to dog clippers. This is because human hair is relatively easy to cut, and human clippers are designed to work with thinner and softer hair. Most human clippers come with features such as a blade guard, which helps to protect the skin from accidental nicks and cuts.

 

Additionally, some human clippers come with features such as a safety switch that prevents accidental power-on, and some also have an automatic shut-off feature that prevents overheating.

 

In contrast, dog clippers have fewer safety features compared to human clippers, and this is due to the fact that pet fur is generally thicker and coarser than human hair, making it more difficult to cut. Most dog clippers come with blades that are designed to cut through pet fur, but they may not have a blade guard, which makes it easier to accidentally cut the skin.

However, some dog clippers come with features such as rounded blade tips or a blade guard that helps to prevent accidental cuts.

 

Another safety consideration when using clippers is the risk of electric shock. Human clippers are typically designed with double insulation, which helps to prevent electrical shocks. In contrast, some dog clippers may only have single insulation, which means they may not be as safe to use as human clippers.

 

It is important to always choose a clipper that has a safety certification from a reputable organization, and to use it according to the manufacturer’s instructions to minimize the risk of injury.

What Are The Benefits Of Using Dog Clippers On Your Shih Tzu

Using dog clippers for grooming a dog rather than human clippers can offer several benefits for both the pet and the owner.

 

Dog clippers are specifically designed to handle pet fur, which is typically coarser and thicker than human hair. Using human clippers on your Shih Tzu can result in a suboptimal grooming experience, as they may not be able to handle the thickness of the fur. This can result in a longer grooming time and a less even cut.

 

Also, dog clippers come with specific blade types that are designed to cut through different types of pet fur. Different dog breeds have different coat types, and using the wrong blade on the wrong coat type can result in an uneven or patchy cut.

 

Dog clippers come with a variety of blade types to choose from, including blades for curly or thick fur, which means that the owner can choose the appropriate blade for their dog’s coat type.

Another benefit of using dog clippers is that they tend to have a higher RPM (revolutions per minute) than human clippers. This means that dog clippers can cut through pet fur more quickly, reducing the amount of time it takes to groom the pet.

 

This can be especially beneficial for pet owners with dogs that have thick or long fur, as it can take a long time to groom them with human clippers.

 

Using dog clippers for grooming can also help to reduce the risk of injury to your dog. Dog clippers are designed with safety features that help to prevent accidental nicks and cuts, such as rounded blade tips and blade guards.

 

This can be especially important for dog owners who are new to grooming, as they may not have the same level of experience as a professional groomer.

 

Finally, using dog clippers can offer cost savings over time. While dog clippers may be more expensive upfront, they are a long-term investment that can last for years. This means that dog owners do not need to continuously replace human clippers, which may not hold up as well when used for pet grooming.

 

In summary, using dog clippers for grooming your shih Tzu can offer several benefits, including a more efficient grooming experience, a more even cut, reduced risk of injury, and cost savings over time.

 

It is important to choose a dog clipper with the appropriate blade type for the dog’s coat, and to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure a safe and effective grooming experience.

The Best Clippers For A Shih Tzu

For an in-depth look into the best clippers for grooming your Shih Tzu then please check out our article: The Best Clippers For A Shih Tzu.

 

Below is a short review of a pair of clippers we like to recommend for beginners but you can find several more reviews in the article linked above.

Oneisall – Cordless Dog Clippers

oneisall dog clippers

The Oneisall Dog Clippers gets our best choice award for an entry-level pair of dog clippers. While there are more expensive clippers with better specs, we have chosen these clippers as they are a great entry-level choice at a reasonable price.

 

If you continue to groom your Shih Tzu regularly yourself, you can then make the choice if you would like to invest in a more expensive pair.

 

If you are planning to train to be a professional groomer you might want to go for the more expensive ones from the beginning. Everyone has a different budget so you can decide how much you would like to invest.

oneisall dog clippers

These clippers are cordless and come with a built-in rechargeable battery. Cordless clippers are a great choice as you don’t have to worry about finding a power socket or getting tangled up in the cord. However, they can also be used while charging so you’ll never have to wait for them to charge if you are in a rush.

 

The sharp stainless steel blade provides an excellent cutting performance and can be removed to be cleaned. Another great feature is it’s low vibration and ultra-quiet design – producing only 50 db when in use.

oneisall dog clippers

The clippers also come with 6 guard combs (3mm, 6mm, 9mm, 12mm, 15mm, 18mm). With this variety of guard sizes, you’ll be able to style your Shih Tzu however you choose. Also included is a pair of scissors and a metal comb.

 

These clippers are a favorite amongst dog owners and this is reflected in the 4.5 out 5 star rating on Amazon with over 73,000 reviews.

Pros

What Are The Negatives Of Using Human Clippers To Groom Your Shih Tzu?

While it is possible to use human clippers to groom your Shih Tzu, there are several potential negatives associated with this approach.

 

Firstly, human clippers are not designed to handle the thickness and coarseness of a dog’s fur, and this is especially true of a Shih Tzu’s double coat. As a result, using human clippers on a dog can result in a suboptimal grooming experience, including uneven or patchy cuts, longer grooming times, and discomfort for your dog.

 

Secondly, using human clippers on your dog can increase the risk of injury to both the dog and the groomer. Human clippers are not designed with the safety features that are typically found in dog clippers, such as rounded blade tips and blade guards. As a result, there is a greater risk of accidentally nicking or cutting your dog’s skin during grooming, which can be painful and potentially dangerous if left untreated.

Additionally, using human clippers on a dog can be more time-consuming and tiring for the groomer. Human clippers tend to have lower RPM (revolutions per minute) than dog clippers, which means that they may take longer to cut through pet fur. This can be especially problematic for pet owners with dogs that have thick or long fur, as it can take a long time to groom them with human clippers.

 

Finally, using human clippers for dog grooming may not be cost-effective in the long run. Human clippers are not designed to handle the thickness and coarseness of pet fur, which means that they may wear down or break more quickly when used for pet grooming.

 

This can result in the need to replace human clippers more frequently, which can be costly over time.

 

In summary, using human clippers to groom a dog can result in a suboptimal grooming experience, an increased risk of injury, a longer and more tiring grooming process, and potentially higher costs over time. It is generally recommended to use dog clippers for pet grooming, as they are specifically designed to handle pet fur and come with safety features that help to reduce the risk of injury.

What Are The Differences Between Human And Dog Hair?

There are several differences between dog hair and human hair that can impact the way they are cared for and groomed.

 

Firstly, the texture of dog hair is typically coarser and thicker than human hair. This is because dog hair is designed to serve a protective function, keeping the animal warm and providing insulation. As a result, dog hair tends to be more resistant to breakage and less prone to split ends than human hair.

 

Secondly, the growth patterns of dog hair and human hair differ. While human hair grows continuously, dog hair grows to a certain length and then enters a resting phase, after which it falls out and is replaced by new hair.

This means that dogs go through a shedding process in which old hair is replaced by new growth. In contrast, human hair does not shed in the same way, and the growth rate tends to be slower than dog hair.

 

Another key difference between dog hair and human hair is the type of follicles they grow from. Dog hair grows from follicles that are oriented perpendicular to the skin, while human hair grows from follicles that are oriented at an angle. This can impact the way in which the hair is cut and groomed, as the orientation of the follicles can impact the direction in which the hair falls.

 

Finally, the chemical composition of dog hair and human hair differs. While both types of hair contain a protein called keratin, dog hair also contains a substance called lanolin, which provides an extra layer of protection and helps to repel water.

 

This means that dog hair may require specialized grooming products that are different from those used for human hair.

Difference Between Human And Dog Skin

 

There are several key differences between dog skin and human skin, both in terms of their structure and function.

 

Firstly, the thickness of dog skin differs from that of human skin. Generally, dog skin is thicker than human skin, with an epidermal layer that is around three times thicker than that of humans. This thicker skin provides additional protection against injury, particularly in areas of the body that are exposed to potential hazards.

Secondly, the composition of the skin varies between dogs and humans. The primary structural protein in human skin is collagen, which provides strength and elasticity. In contrast, dog skin is rich in a protein called keratin, which is responsible for the hardness and strength of nails, claws, and hair. Additionally, dog skin has a higher concentration of sebaceous glands, which produce oils that help to moisturize and protect the skin.

 

Another key difference between dog and human skin is in the distribution of hair follicles. In humans, hair follicles are found all over the body, while in dogs, they are concentrated in specific areas such as the back, tail, and legs. This means that dogs are more likely to experience hair loss and bald patches in these areas.

 

Finally, dog skin is more prone to certain types of skin conditions than human skin, such as allergies, hot spots, and manage. This is due in part to the fact that dogs are exposed to a wider range of environmental and dietary factors that can impact their skin health.

Further Reading

If you would like to dig deeper into all areas of caring for your Shih Tzu we recommend you check out the books bellow.

shih tzu complete guide book cover

Using interviews with 17 top Shih Tzu breeders, author and experienced Shih Tzu owner Molly Weinfurter has created an in-depth look at what it takes to successfully live with, raise, and train a Shih Tzu.

 

This book has a 4.5 out of 5 rating on Amazon with over 220 reviews.

Summary

In conclusion, using dog clippers instead of human clippers can make a significant difference in your Shih Tzu’s grooming experience and results.

 

Dog clippers are specifically designed to handle the unique needs and challenges of your Shih Tzu’s coat, while providing comfort, efficiency, and safety.

 

By choosing the right dog clippers for your dog’ you can achieve a professional-looking and happy dog.

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