Professional groomers can be very particular about their equipment—for good reason—and can be quick to make changes if they’re not happy with the shears or clippers they use. For this reason, manufacturers strive to offer cutting-edge clippers and shears that meet groomers’ top demands.
Carmen Slaven, manager of product marketing for Conair Corp., in Stamford, Conn., noted the latest trends in the category include the introduction of faster, more powerful clippers and high-end Japanese steel shears. Both are also designed to be ergonomic to help groomers avoid common repetitive-use injuries.
Danielle Gallo, senior manager of product marketing for Andis in Sturtevant, Wis., has noticed two major trend shifts in the market when it comes to electrical clippers for animal grooming.
"First, professional groomers are looking for clippers that are both lightweight and cordless," she said. "While cords provide security with a constant stream of power, they also become very difficult to work around, especially with a moving client. The shift to cordless is not completely new, but it has been fueled by the availability of additional, heavy-duty clippers that can provide the power and longevity of a corded product but with the freedom of a battery."
Lightweight products are also increasingly popular, as the stresses of grooming can physically take a toll on groomers.
"A lighter product helps reduce stress and fatigue while grooming," Gallo said.
Shannon Sarmiento, owner of Hair of the Dog Grooming in Louisa, Va., prefers to use clippers that are light with a long running time, and shears that hold their edge and are balanced. She uses Andis clippers, Wahl Bravura for her cordless work and Shark Fin shears.
Robyn Glazebrook, owner of Diva Dog Grooming in West Point, Va., utilizes Oster lithium ion clippers because of the cordless convenience and the Andis AGC Super 2 Speed when she needs more power for tough coats.
Diane Lundeen, owner of Petcetera in New Orleans, noted that clippers have gotten progressively quieter, which offers a less-stressful experience for dogs. Her products of choice are Andis clippers and blades, and cordless Dremel tools.
However, functionality, ergonomics, speed and noise level are not the only product features groomers consider when purchasing clippers.
"We continue to see professional groomers looking for tools to express their personality," Gallo said. "Gone are the days of everyone in the shop only wanting a black clipper—the more colors and personalization, the better."
Lightness and Speed
Andis has a number of new products making the rounds in grooming shops and pet stores.
The Andis Pulse ZR Cordless Detachable Blade Clipper was launched roughly three years ago, and now the company is introducing the next generation of this tool, the Pulse ZR II Cordless Detachable Blade Clipper, which has a removable battery.
"This new clipper features the same power and versatility of our current tool, but now gives the professional up to three hours of run time—a 1.5 times increase—and the option to have separate battery packs charged and ready for all-day grooming," Gallo said.
Andis is also launching its Pulse Li 5, a cord/cordless adjustable blade clipper, which is the lightest cordless clipper the company has offered to the professional market, Gallo said. With its premium, adjustable blade, the clipper has five settings: from a 9 to a 40 cut length. Powered by a lithium ion battery, this lightweight clipper provides a great option for groomers looking for an all-around tool, according to the company.
"Finally, regarding the trend of personalization and vibrant expression in clippers, Andis is pleased to announce the launch of our Happy Hour 5-Speed+ clipper in a fun, groomer-inspired design," Gallo added. "We’ve taken our wildly popular Excel 5-Speed+ and incorporated a colorful confetti design and illustrated dog, inspired by our professional grooming customer base."
Slaven said Conair has developed an extremely powerful, lightweight clipper with a motor life that boasts a 10-year warranty.
"These clippers will help the performance to get a professional look with more comfort to the end user," she said. "Conair is also developing grooming tools by working alongside professional groomers and getting their professional opinions so the company can put out some of the finest tools on the market, like our gel-handle grooming tools, and much more."