The importance of correct tensioning

The importance of correct tensioning


Tensioning a machine is one of the most essential things that needs to be done correctly once the blades are positioned on the machine.

If the machine is incorrectly tensioned, this simple operation will cause numerous clipping problems, which often get blamed on the machines operation and blade sharpening.

If you are new to clipping, or new to a clipper brand, then take advice from the supplier or manufacturer to ensure you are advised correctly.  Generally tensioning will also be included in the instruction book find inside the case containing new clippers.

A tension set comprises a nut, bolt and spring and comes as three components but are sold as a set.  When a machine is serviced in our workshop, we will replace a tension set as part of the servicing procedure and recommend changing a tension set after a couple of seasons of limited clipping.  If you are clipping professionally and using clippers everyday throughout the winter clipping season, we would suggest changing the tension set more regularly. 

The first thing you may notice with a worn tension set is that when you tension as usual, the blades are just not cutting correctly.  This means that the spring is distorted and although you won’t be able to see any difference from looking, it will affect the way it tightens onto the blade.  It will feel like the blades are chewing, giving a similar symptom as blunt blades do when they need sharpening.

Other symptoms for incorrect tensioning are blades getting too hot due to being tightened too much and too much pressure is being put on the blades.  Blades that are too loosely tensioned will chew the coat or not clip at all.

Some clippers take the “snap on” type blades which enable the blade to be fixed by pushing on to the head of the clipper.  Once this is on, there is no tension needed as they will have been pre-tensioned by the manufacturer or clipper specialist when the blades have been sharpened and assembled.  These are light duty clippers, which are useful to use on young or sensitive horses, or animals that only need partial clipping or have very soft fine coats. 

24th September 2018

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