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Poodles have coats that grow continually and must be kept trimmed to keep them from becoming matted. If you are going to use your clippers to do all the trimming for your poodle you will need clippers that are powerful enough to handle their traditionally thick, coarse hair. If you are just going to use the poodle clippers to keep your dog’s face and feet trimmed between regular grooming, light-duty clippers will be fine.
Since many poodle cuts involve leaving the hair at various lengths, you should look for clippers that allow you to attach various combs that control the length of the coat. Adjustable blades can also be very helpful, since you can go from a very short cut to a longer one by simply moving a lever. Many brands of poodle clippers, especially the better-quality ones, also have a range of interchangeable blades that can quickly be changed to control various aspects of grooming and to ensure you always have a sharp blade on your clippers. If you plan on doing much work on your dog, quick-change blades are likely to be helpful to you.
Power is an important issue when cutting through a poodle’s coat. Cordless clippers are easier to work with because you never have to worry about the cord getting in your way, but unless you are clipping a very small dog that needs a minimum of work, you may find that cordless clippers run out of power before you are done. Plug-in clippers don’t have that problem and can save you the hassle of having to recharge your clippers halfway through. Some models also have multiple speeds so you can get extra power when you need it.
In addition, you should look for clippers that are comfortable for you to hold. Some poodle clippers are curved to fit your hand, while others have straight sides that may or may not be easy for you to hang onto. The more comfortable the clippers are for you to hold, the less likely your hand will become fatigued from a long session of grooming.
Due to the way they operate, many types of poodle clippers are very noisy, which can be a problem for some dogs. If your dog is sensitive to sounds, your best choice is likely to be clippers that have a rotary motor. These typically run more quietly than other types.
To avoid damaging your dog’s skin, you should look for poodle clippers that don’t heat up very quickly. Clippers tend to transfer heat from the motor to the blades, resulting in a painful experience for your dog. Some clippers, especially those with rotary motors, are designed to minimize this problem. Test several different models by letting them run for about 5 minutes, then turn them off and feel the blades to see which one is the coolest and is most likely to be comfortable for your dog.