What sort of clippers should I buy?
TIP - It is useful to use a trimmer for all the difficult places. These shown are re-chargeable - great for putting in your pocket & taking to shows.
Trimming ears - again be careful - this 4yr old has taken it all in his stride. Others are not always so easy.
TIP - Trimming around the cornet band makes a nice finish when clipping legs.
This will depend on a number of things:
How many horses you will clip on a regular basis, and how often.
Who will be using them?
It is worth bearing in mind that smaller people will find a slimmer clipper easier to manage.
Do you have access to mains electricity?
If not, a battery operated clipper is the answer.
Do you have young or nervous horses to clip?
If this is the case opt for a cable-free, Machine. The 12 volt Lister Liberty operated from a battery on a waist belt, or from a lead attached to a car battery is a good option. Although for the really nervous horse, who cannot tolerate the noise of a large clipper, try one of the small trimmers first, available in mains or battery, and then progress to a larger machine when the horse is comfortable.
The range of clippers available is extensive, but basically breaks down into three divisions. Trimmers, full size machines and re-chargeables.
Mains or cordless for trimming small areas, eg. face, ears, fine leg hair or any awkward places. A good introduction to clipping for young or nervous horses. For many years we have used the Moser Rex which is a mains trimmer, it has a lever on the side which gives blade adjustment, particularly useful for merging in the clip when used for clipping heads. The Lister Meteor is another very good trimmer, this is cordless, but with an attachment to work from the mains if necessary. Lister offer the choice of fine, medium and coarse blades with this trimmer. The Lister Legato is another quiet rechargeable trimmer and is worth considering. This also has a blade lever on the side to enable the user to adjust the blade length and merge in the trimming with the rest of the body clip.
2. Full Size Machines
There are a good range of both mains, 12 volt and rechargeable, to cater for all requirements.
Mains clippers are divided into three groups:
(i) Lightweight Clippers
Lightweight clippers have been designed for use on fine coated ponies and horses where part clips and trimming are needed. For example, the Moser Artiko is mains powered, light and exceptionally quiet running and is ideal for the one horse or pony owner. They take a little longer to clip with, as the blades are not as wide as a full size machine. However, they are quiet and light to hold, need no tensioning and again, good as an introduction for young or nervous animals. They take snap on blades which means a narrow blade for trimming can be used, and then a wider blade (No 10W) is ideal for doing the body area. The re-chargeable version of this machine is the Moser Avalon and is powered by a battery clipped on to a belt.
(ii) Medium Weight Clippers
There are a variety of clippers to choose from in this category. All made by well known manufacturers and include the Lister Star, this is a new generation of clipper using less power, creating less noise, but producing more torque. Very user friendly with a slightly narrower and lighter body than its predecessor, the Lister Stablemate.
Wolseley, who have been in the clipper business for many years offer the Wolseley Swift. Again, a good all round, workmanlike clipper and probably the quietest running in this range.
(iii) Heavyweight Clippers
These clippers, have been designed with larger, more powerful motors to cope with heavy usage over longer periods of time and as such, can be slightly heavier to hold and can be a bit noisy. Mainly used by large yards and contract clippers, the range includes the Lister Laser, a 170 watt mains machine which can also be adapted for use on sheep and cattle. The newly designed Lister Legend, a new generation of clipper which provides a high level of power, but handles more easily than its predecessor the Laser and is lighter and quieter. The Hauptner 2000 also comes within the heavy duty range it is a German built clipper, and is also reasonably light to hold and handle. It has a powerful motor and there are sheep blades available to allow for versatility.
Undoubtedly the best rechargeable clipper on the market is the Lister Liberty. The Lister Liberty, manufactured in England by Lister Shearing, can be operated from a battery pack around the waist, or from leads off a car battery, it allows you approximately 3 hours clipping time and is a heavy duty machine. Alternatively there is also a mains conversion kit which enables the user to also use it off the mains if necessary. Very economical to maintain, as there really is very little servicing involved.
It is also worth remembering, that if you a replacing a set of existing clippers, providing you have been happy with the make, replace with the same make, as your existing blades will fit on to your new machine. If you change systems, you will have to change blades too. Wolseley and Liveryman are the exception and these two makes do take the same blades, but they do tension differently, so always check the tensioning requirements with the manufacturer before use.