What should I do with my machine at the end of the clipping season?
However good the machine, it will only remain efficient if properly cared for. Special care must be taken with storage of electrical clippers, as they have a habit of being invisibly damaged in damp conditions. Unless your tackroom is centrally heated, then the best place for storage is in a warm dry house.
At the end of the clipping season it is advisable to return the clippers to a clipper specialist who will clean and service them, so they can then be put away in good working order, knowing that they will work when needed in the Autumn.
Care of the blades is as important. After use, remove from the machine carefully, the teeth are actually very fragile. Brush off any excess hair and wipe clean. If the blades are to be sent away for sharpening, wrap them up individually with protective packaging, eg. bubble wrap, kitchen roll, newspaper which will stop them rattling against each other and then put into a padded envelope, small box or tin. This will give them protection in transit. If the blades are to be stored with clippers for any length of time, again remove from the clipper and brush off and then wrap in an oily rag.
For general clipper care throughout the season, always check them over at the end of each day’s use. Give them an all over clean, brush off any excess hair, remove blades and check the teeth are OK. If any of the teeth have been broken, it is better to discard as you will be left with lines on your clip. We re-use bottom broken blades, they are very good for thinning/pulling manes. Just use them the same way you would a mane comb to pull a mane, they will actually cut rather than pull out by the root, but the effect is the same and the horse will feel no discomfort.
Always keep a spare set of blades, just in case your blades go blunt half way through a clip. Check the cable is not damaged, and clean air filters if fitted. Unscrew and brush both sides to remove any clogged hair. Look through to see that the gauze in the filters is clear. If necessary wash in detergent. Dry and replace. Send any blades off for sharpening as needed. If care is taken, a good set of clippers will give you many years of use.