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Dog Grooming 101: What Are All Those Tools For?

| Published on September 25, 2015

So, you’re thinking about saving some money by grooming your dog yourself. Or maybe you just want to be able to touch your pup up between professional grooms. But then you see all the tools – just what exactly are all those tools for? Do I use clippers or scissors? A slicker brush or a pin brush?

Diane Betelak, International Grooming Consultant at Andis has supplied us with this great guide to help you sort through the grooming tools and figure out which ones you need to use.

#1 –  Scissors

  • Straights, which can be used for pretty much anything (examples of these are the Andis 7” Premium Pet Shear, the Andis 6.25” or  8” professional straight shears (these professional line shears are available for right or left-handed))
  • Curves, such as the Andis professional  8” curved shear (right and left-handed versions available)  are nice for shaping up feet. You may also use them for shaping the face a little bit. They’re perfect for anywhere you want to put a rounded edge.
  • Blunt-edge, are especially great for around the eyes because they don’t have points. An example of this would be the Andis 6.5” ball tip shear.

#2 – Blade Combs

Blade combs are little attachments that fit on top of a blade to leave extra length. A lot of at-home grooming kits only come with one blade that is a set length and not detachable. What you can do is put comb attachments over the blade to give you added length.

9 piece small comb set
9 piece small comb set

Different sizes range from fairly short length comb to make your dog’s coat short, and gradually increase in length. Knowing which to use for which length you want is mostly based on experimentation because different hair textures will come out in different ways.

8 piece chrome plated magnetic comb set
8 piece chrome plated magnetic comb set

Andis provides a variety of different combs, from snap-on stain-less steel to snap-on magnetic combs. For more details look at the Andis website and purchase them at a retailer near you.

8 piece stainless steel comb set
8 piece stainless steel comb set

#3 – Clippers

When to use clippers will depend on the look you are going for. I always recommend buying the best you can afford because it will be a higher quality product that you know will cut better and last longer. It also depends on how many dogs you plan to groom. For someone who has five or six dogs and wants to clip them regularly, I would recommend getting a top-of-the-line clipper, one from Andis’ professional grooming line, which will last forever and you can get different detachable blades to change the look.

MBG-2 EasyClip detachable blade clippers
MBG-2 EasyClip detachable blade clippers
RACA EasyClip Ultra detachable blade clippers
RACA EasyClip Ultra detachable blade clippers

For someone who is interested more in maintaining their dog’s coat in between visits to the groomer, they won’t need as a powerful of a clipper. In general MBG-2s,RACDs, RACAs and models were designed for the at-home groomer where models such as AGC2s, AGs, SMCs and RBCs were designed for professional groomers but can also be used for at-home groomers who have many dogs.

#4 – Brushes

There are so many types of brushes and it really depends on your dog’s coat type. We asked Betelek for the two types that are the handiest for the typical pet parent.

  • The Slicker Brush is one of the best brushes for consumers and can be used for pretty much anything.


  • Pin Brushes are another popular option. Often used on shedding breeds and longer-coated dogs, these brushes help pull dander out and bring oils up, leaving the coat shiny.


#5 – Combs

Combs are great for getting out tangles and keeping long hair mat-free.

We have the medium comb and 10-inch comb that can be used for the appropriate-sized dog. Our Flea Comb is also very popular, especially for pulling dead fleas out. It’s also great to clean eye matter out from around the eyes, and can be used to get tar out from feet.

standard comb

Andis’s Deshedding Tools are great for getting knots out. They are also great for dogs with lighter coats because they help pull out dead undercoats.

Deshedding tool

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