Poodles are among the most popular dog breeds all over the world; in the US, they consistently rank among the top ten. Yet, despite their popularity, they’re notoriously high-maintenance pets. That long beautiful coat needs to be properly maintained to keep your house clean and your pet happy.
However, trimming your poodle can be difficult because of their thick, wavy hair. Inexperienced owners can find themselves overwhelmed by the prospect of keeping a poodle consistently groomed, and that’s why we’ve written this guide.
A ton of work went into our product selection. We systematically sorted through all the dog clippers available on the market to find out which ones work best for poodles.
If you’ve got a poodle with a wild and unruly coat then read on. We’ll cover the best dog clippers for poodles and we’ll give you a full step-by-step guide to trimming your dog.
Table Of Contents
- Poddle Clippers Comparison Table
- Top Seven Best Poodle Clippers
- Andis UltraEdge Detachable Blade Clipper
- Oster A5 Two Speed Animal Grooming Clipper
- Wahl Professional Animal Bravura Corded/Cordless Clipper Kit
- Wahl Professional Animal Arco Cordless Clipper Kit
- Wahl Lithium Ion Pro Series Cordless Animal Clippers
- oneisall Low Noise Rechargeable Cordless Hair Clippers
- Oster Volt Cordless Pet Clippers
- How To Choose Dog Clippers For Poodles
- A Step-By-Step Guide To Clipping Poodles
Poddle Clippers Comparison Table
|Name & Brand||Run time||Blade||Coat Type||Price|
|Andis UltraEdge Clipper||Corded||Detachable Blade||All Coat|
|Oster A5 Grooming Clipper||120 Minutes||Detachable -X #10 Blade||Thick Coat|
|Wahl Animal Bravura Clipper||90 Minutes||5-in-1 Blade||Matted Coats|
|Wahl Animal Arco Clipper Kit||80 Minutes||5-in-1 Blade||Matted Coats|
|Wahl Lithium Ion Pro Clippers||2 Hour||Carbon Steel Blade||Thick and Heavy Coats|
|oneisall Cordless Hair Clippers||80 Minutes||Stainless Steel Fixed blade||All Coat|
|Oster Volt Cordless Pet Clippers||2 Hour||Detachable blades||Matts and Thick Coats|
Top Seven Best Poodle Clippers
After searching the entire market, we’ve chosen these seven as the best clippers for poodles. However, each one fulfills a different role and a different need, so which one is the best for you will depend on the preference of both you and your dog.
Any list should start with the best, and for poodle clippers, the best is this quality device from Andis! The Andis UltraEdge applies all the hallmarks of a regular Andis hair clipper to animal grooming.
You might not think much of it at first glance. It’s a plastic cylinder with a wire coming out one end, flattening out to the blade on the other. The exterior is textured to give it some grip and keep it in the hand; the weight of 1.7 pounds also helps keep it light and maneuverable for easy grooming.
The case holds a rotary motor with two speeds. Low is 3,400 strokes per minute, high is 4,400. This is average for a clipper, but it delivers each stroke of the blade with enough power to cut through any coat. That blade is a size #10 UltraEdge, the standard blade on most dog clippers. It’s on a detachable mount, so you can take off the blade for another one as the situation requires. The mount accepts all other blades in Andis’ UltraEdge and CeramicEdge lines.
The detachable blade mount also allows for a fair bit of length control. The standard #10 blade cuts hair down to 1/16”, and you can vary this length with a different blade size. Guide combs are also available for when you want to leave longer hair. With the right set of combs and blade sizes, you can fine-tune exactly how long you’re cutting your poodle’s coat.
The power supply is a 14-foot heavy-duty cord that will survive most anything your pets can do to it. 14 feet is quite a generous length, so grooming sessions will proceed without interruption. The box doesn’t have much else inside, just a vial of blade oil to keep it lubricated.
Andis has stuck to a fairly basic but intuitive design with the UltraEdge, so once you’ve got the hang of switching blades and blade speeds, all that remains is clipping your pet. Another great feature is that the power switch also has a lock to avoid any accidental shutdown.
There are two prominent downsides with the UltraEdge. There’s its habit of overheating, which occurs because the blade has a working time of approximately 20 minutes before it starts to get hot. Compounding that problem is that the UltraEdge lacks any extras; no combs, no extra blades. You’ll have to buy those yourself.
With all that in mind, it’s well worth the cost. The Andis UltraEdge can get through any coat no matter how thick, and your poodle will look magnificent after a good clipping with this device.
Our second clipper comes from another pillar in the hair clipper industry. Oster’s Classic 76 is a standout among clippers, and this one, the Turbo A5, is the pet version of that device.
It’s easy to see the Classic 76’s influence in the Turbo A5. Its body is almost exactly like the Classic 76, a cylinder ribbed for extra grip. 2 pounds is on the heavy side for a clipper, but that’s for good reason. That good reason is the rotary motor inside the classic case. It’s got two speeds: Low speed is 3,000 strokes per minute, good for most duties, while turbo is 4,000 strokes per minute for the tough jobs.
As usual, there’s no stopping an Oster clipper; the Turbo A5 will cut through any coat without ever slowing down. That cutting is performed by the #10 blade on the business end.
The blade is mounted on a detachable mount, which is compatible with all Oster A5 blades. The included #10 blade cuts hair down to 1/16”, and you can easily swap it out for another blade size and get a shorter or longer cut. For longer clips, snap on a guide comb; just about any sort will fit, though we recommend getting Oster combs to reduce any potential problems.
A 12-foot heavy-duty cord supplies power, and it’s a tough one capable of weathering most challenges; even if your poodle starts chewing on the cord. Included in the box is a maintenance kit to keep the Turbo A5 running, blade oil and a cleaning brush to keep the blades clean and lubricated, and clipper grease for the motor. Keep it well maintained, and the Turbo A5 will last a lifetime.
As with all things, the Turbo A5 has some issues. First is the weight. It goes with the power, but 2 pounds is still extra fatigue for your arm, especially after a long grooming session. It doesn’t come with any extra blades or combs, so you’ll have to pay extra for any variation in cut length. And the ergonomics, especially the case shape, could use an update for a much better grip. None of these issues are particularly major, but the small annoyances build up.
But these are minor downsides that don’t take away from the solid, competent performance that the Oster Turbo A5 offers. No job is too tough for this solid tool, not even a matted poodle coat.
We’ve seen one product each from Oster and Andis; to complete the triangle of big names in hair clipping, here’s an animal clipper from Wahl. Their Professional Animal line is a collection of excellent clippers for many animal needs, and the Wahl Bravura is no exception.
It’s the successor of their older Arco clipper in the same line, which we also cover in this guide. The Bravura isn’t all that large or heavy, weighing only 8.8 ounces. The body is a sleek plastic case, curving slightly for a better fit in the hand and thus better grip.
Wahl prefers rotary motors for its cordless clippers, and that includes the Bravura. The motor inside drives the blade at a good 5,500 strokes per minute, pushing a Wahl adjustable 5-in-1 blade. This combination gives the clipper excellent cutting power without excessive heat buildup.
The adjustable blade also makes it easy to control cutting length. For quick adjustments without interrupting your flow, you can switch between five blade sizes using the switch on the back of the blade. For longer lengths, you can put on a comb, as the box comes with six: from 1/8-inch to 1-inch. You can even combine both blade and comb for some very precise lengths if the need arises.
The power supply is a lithium-ion battery providing 90 minutes of cutting time. It recharges in 60 minutes, though it’s also usable while corded, so you can keep going if you have a nearby outlet. An LED indicator on the tail shows battery status. The charger can go either directly into the clipper, or you can stick it on the included charging stand.
Since it’s a Wahl clipper, it also comes with a few helpful extras. There’s the usual maintenance kit of a vial of oil and a cleaning brush to keep it in tip-top shape, and a soft travel case that holds the Bravura and its extras. If you need to go somewhere with your poodle, you can easily take the Bravura with you to keep your pet looking great.
There are some downsides you should be aware of, most notably build quality. The case will hold even under heavy use, but there are reports of certain parts breaking too easily, in particular the tabs that hold the blade in place. Keep a close eye on your Bravura to be sure it holds up under use.
On the whole, the Wahl Bravura provides an excellent combination of power and portability in a lightweight package. If you need to travel with your poodle, it’s the best clipper to bring with you.
Wahl has been in the clipper game for a long time, for both humans and animals. The Arco is the predecessor of the Bravura and was Wahl’s first model of cordless animal clipper. Despite its age, it holds up excellently today.
It’s got a cylindrical plastic body that flattens out for the head. The body is well-shaped, letting you keep a good grip on the Arco, and it weighs 7.9 ounces. The rotary motor inside runs at 5,500 strokes per minute, letting you cut through most spots on a poodle coat. On the business end is an adjustable 5-in-1 blade that’s sharp and cool-running.
Cut length control is done by two methods. First is the adjustable blade. There’s a switch on the back that lets you go between five different blade sizes for on-the-fly adjustments. Second are the combs; it comes with four of them from 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch, in case you need something longer than what the blade can provide.
The power supply is a nickel-metal hydride battery pack. This will last you 80 minutes of working time, and it needs 75 minutes to charge. The Arco only runs cordless, but the battery pack is removable, and the box comes with two of them. You can eject the first one when it runs flat and stick it on the charger, then put the second one in, for 160 minutes of clipping time. The charger can connect directly to the clipper, or you can stick the clipper and spare battery onto the charging stand.
Wahl’s standard clipper maintenance kit also comes included in the box, that being a cleaning brush and a vial of blade oil. You’ll need both to keep the Arco cutting well, so don’t skimp on the maintenance.
The Arco’s main flaw is its build quality. The rotary motor seems to be a touch overpowered for the case, and it tends to split open after a few months. The combs themselves also aren’t the best-made since they don’t hold under extended use. Keep a close eye on the Arco to ensure it’s still holding together.
It’s lightweight, it’s cordless, and it’s perfectly competent. When you want something portable that can still cut through a poodle’s coat, the Arco will serve you well.
While this is a Wahl product, it’s not part of their Professional Animal line. It’s a more typical Wahl clipper turned cordless and made for animal use, but it’s no less competent than the other Wahl products on this list.
The Lithium Ion Pro looks more like a typical Wahl clipper, though with rounded corners for a more modern look. Ergonomics are excellent, the body itself curved to fit nicely in the hand and it weighs a well-balanced 1.6 pounds.
Wahl relies on rotary motors for their cordless products. This one runs at 6,000 strokes per minute, coupling a high blade speed with the characteristic power of a rotary motor; you can cut through any coat without a problem. The motor drives a set of self-sharpening stainless steel blades.
Length control is excellent. The taper lever on the side lets you adjust the blade into three positions for quick length changes. There are also four included combs in the box from 1/8” to 1/2”, all of them color-coded.
As you expect from the name, it’s powered by a lithium-ion battery. Working life is 2 hours, recharge time is 1 hour, and it’s cordless only. However, there’s also a quick-charge feature: 15 minutes plugged in gets you 8 minutes working time.
The label isn’t kidding when it says ‘grooming kit’. Wahl’s expected blade oil and brush come included, and there’s a blade guard to go with them. For more styling options, you get a pair of scissors and a comb. Everything fits into the hard storage case, so you can bring everything around if you need to travel. Best of all, the whole package is cheaper than some other devices with no extras at all. This makes it an ideal choice for a first clipper since everything you need is right there in one inexpensive purchase.
But even the Lithium Ion isn’t perfect. The blade overheats, especially during extended grooming sessions, so you’ll need to consider some way of cooling it. And overall build quality just isn’t that good; the price is indeed cheap, but it also feels cheap.
If you want a low-cost clipper that can also deliver excellent performance while also bringing everything you need in just one purchase, the Wahl Lithium Ion Pro checks all those boxes.
It’s not just the big names that provide good hair clippers. Other manufacturers produce their own dog clippers, and oneisall, a Chinese company, provides a quiet but still powerful clipper.
It’s cylindrical, but getting a solid grip is quite easy, especially with the rubberized portions on the case. It’s average in weight at 1.28 pounds. That’s a bit of heft in your hand, but not too much that it’ll tire you out.
Inside the cylindrical case is a rotary motor with one running speed: 5,500 RPM. This is quite good for a clipper and will get the blade cutting through any coat it’s likely to encounter. The motor is also quiet, barely producing much of a buzz. The blade is double material: the fixed blade is stainless steel, while the cutter is ceramic.
Length control is quite good, thanks to the adjustable blade. To adjust the length, twist the dial on the case. With that, you can go from 1/32 inch to 1/16 inch. For longer lengths, there are six guide combs, from 1/8 inch to 3/4 inch. This is a bit on the short side, but it’s quite good overall.
It runs off a lithium-ion battery that provides 80 minutes of cordless running time. Charge time is also 80 minutes, and you can also use it while it’s plugged in. As long as you’re near an outlet, you won’t be caught short. It also comes with a few helpful extras beyond the combs. A maintenance kit of blade oil and cleaning brush will help you keep the oneisall in working condition. It also comes with a pair of scissors and a stainless steel comb, giving you more options in grooming.
One performance downside is that the oneisall can’t handle longer hair; you’ll have to cut it down to a manageable length with scissors first before you apply the clipper. And there’s the general lack of length options out of the box. This isn’t a downside if you were planning on a close clip anyway, but if you want a longer cut, you may need to find some longer combs.
When you need a good clipper that’s got a lot of options at a good price, the oneisall has your needs covered. And to top it all off, it’s the quietest clipper on this list.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that the Oster Volt looks a little weird. It’s a chunky brick of a thing, all white and gray, but while Oster may be faulted for its appearance, it brings performance in spades.
It may look like a brick, but the shaping and the rubberized gray segment mean it’s very easy to keep a solid grip on the Volt. It weighs a nice 15 ounces, which is just heavy enough to pack some power, but not heavy enough to unduly tire out your arm.
Most of that weight goes to the rotary motor inside. 2,400 strokes per minute from a rotary motor is pretty low for a dog clipper. The good news here is that each stroke is made at higher torque than comparable clippers. It’s the same principle as going to first gear in your car, giving up sheer speed for better power. The motor drives Oster’s Cryogen-X blades, which can not only cut through any hair your poodle has, but are also tougher than most blades on the market.
There’s one more good thing about a slower blade speed: your blade doesn’t overheat as quickly as faster blades. This means you can go for longer before needing to cool your blade down, and your poodle is less likely to be discomforted by a hot blade.
It’s powered by a battery that provides 2 hours of cutting time. Charging time is 60 minutes, and you can charge the Volt either by plugging the charger into the clipper or by putting it on the included charging base. The battery is also detachable, so you can swap in a second battery to continue working while the first one charges. The charging base has two battery slots precisely for this need.
However, all this excellent quality comes at a cost. The Oster Volt has the highest price tag out of all seven of these clippers. It is worth the outlay, but you can honestly get performance just as good out of a device that costs a lot less. And it doesn’t come with any extras, so you’re paying out of pocket for more blades and batteries.
However, if your wallet allows for it, then the Oster Volt will serve you well. No poodle’s coat is too much for its powerful motor, and no grooming challenge is beyond your reach.
How To Choose Dog Clippers For Poodles
What makes a clipper good? We have a set of criteria to judge which clippers made it to our top seven list above. In this section, we’ll expand on those criteria, so you can judge which of the clippers above is best for you.
Motor Power And Speed
A poodle coat might not be as thick as you see on dogs with two coats, but you still need power to get through it. There are several types of motors that a clipper might come equipped with, but for grooming a poodle specifically, only one type will do: rotary. Forget about the other types; if it’s not a rotary motor, it’s not worth buying.
This is because rotary motors offer the power you need to cut through poodle hair. The other motor types don’t offer nearly the same amount of power that a rotary motor does, and that’s why every clipper we’ve recommended above has a rotary motor.
Also, look at motor speeds. Some clippers offer multiple running speeds for their motors, in case you run into rough patches or matted spots on a dog’s coat.
The motor is the heart of the clipper, but it can’t do a thing if the blades aren’t worthy of it. Considering a poodle coat, you definitely don’t want a substandard blade on your clipper. Your typical blade is a stainless steel blade, and those will suffice for most purposes, becauses they’re cheap and they’re common. However, they also overheat quicker. If heat is a problem, you may wish to consider ceramic blades, which heat up much slower. However, ceramic blades are more expensive and are more brittle.
What keeps the clipper running: a power cord or a battery? There are advantages and disadvantages to both.
A corded clipper will never run out of power in the middle of grooming, and most corded clippers will be more powerful than a cordless one of the same grade. However, the cord can only stretch so far, and that limits your options and your range.
Cordless clippers aren’t constrained by the wire, and so they’re more easily moved around. They’re usually lighter and quieter than corded clippers. Yet the battery only powers it for a limited time, and that might not be long enough for a full grooming session.
Some clippers can run both corded and cordless and thus have both sets of upsides and downsides as necessary.
You can never overlook the user experience. How well does it fit in the hand? How well-balanced is the clipper? Is it easy to keep a good grip on the clipper? How heavy is it? Ergonomics encompasses a lot of things, but the ultimate purpose of ergonomics is to make a device easy and comfortable to use.
You don’t want to wrangle both your dog and your clipper at the same time. The less time you spend thinking about your clipper, the better; which is what good ergonomic design accomplishes.
This isn’t that much of a concern with human clippers, but it’s a much greater concern with animals. A loud, noisy clipper might startle your poodle, and a nervous pet needs to calm down to be groomed properly. The less noise your clipper makes, the less your pet has to deal with. However, some noise is unavoidable. That’s just how clippers work, and considering the qualities of a poodle’s coat, you may need to get a powerful clipper, and those are noisy by default. You’ll have to find the balance between a noise level that your dog can deal with and enough power that your clipper works for thick fur.
How do you control how much hair you’re leaving behind? On a clipper, this is generally done in two ways: either by changing blade size or by putting on combs. Andis and Oster clippers usually have detachable blade mounts, letting you have both, while Wahl prefers using combs. Whichever way you prefer it, this might be more or less important for your needs. Consider what sort of style you want and if you need that much length control for your clipper.
These are less important than the other factors, but still a worthy consideration. What else are you getting in the box aside from the clipper? This could cover a lot of ground, but you’ll usually get maintenance tools like oil and a cleaning brush, or additional styling tools (a comb or scissors), or sometimes even instructional materials. The extras shouldn’t form your main consideration, but they shouldn’t be ignored, either. Consider if you can use the extras a clipper comes with, if it has any.
A Step-By-Step Guide To Clipping Poodles
This is the hard part. Picking out a good clipper isn’t that difficult, especially since our guide above makes it easy. The difficult part is why you bought the clipper. Keeping your poodle groomed is a high-maintenance task. The specific matter of poodle grooming can cover several whole articles by itself; for now, here’s our short guide to clipping your poodle.
Step 1: Prepare Your Poodle
The noise and vibration of a clipper might unnerve a dog who isn’t used to it. This is why it’s important to get your dog accustomed to your clippers because a nervous dog during your grooming session is bad news for everyone. Turn your clippers on while you’re some distance away from your dog and slowly move them closer over the next few days. Only start clipping once you’re confident that your dog won’t panic when you clip.
Step 2: Choose Your Poodle’s Coat Style
Dogs have coat styles just like humans have hairstyles, so consider how you’ll style your dog’s coat. Going into all the different styles of poodle clip is worthy of a whole article in itself, but it’s still relevant to us because the type of clip affects how much work you’re going to do. Do you want a short, low-maintenance kennel clip? Or do you take part in shows, and thus need to conform to the prescribed clips? Generally, shorter clips are easier to cut and to maintain.
Step 3: Prepare Your Tools
Always have all your tools ready when you start clipping. That’s your clipper, cleaning brush and blade oil, clipper spray, any extras that you consider necessary like extra blades or guide combs. And this is just for the clipping; don’t forget to include brushes, towels, a pair of scissors (for the spots that the clipper either can’t fit in or can’t get through). Best to have all your tools on hand so you don’t go looking for something you missed while in the middle of grooming.
Step 4: Bathe And Brush Your Poodle
Contrary to popular belief, poodles do shed hair, just not to the extent of dog breeds with double coats. Their coats also trap the few hairs that do fall out, which is why you rarely see poodle hair all over your furniture. This also means they have to be regularly brushed to get rid of any trapped hair. You may as well go the whole nine yards, so bathe your dog before you clip. This will get rid of the hair, dirt, dander, and anything else caught in the coat that can make a clip difficult.
Also, ensure that your poodle is completely dried out before you clip. Cutting wet hair means it’ll snarl up and look a lot less neat, which we want to avoid.
Step 5: Start Clipping Your Poodle
Apply your clipper to your poodle and do so with care. If you’re uncertain about how your dog feels about the clippers just yet, start with the body; if you are confident, you can start at the head.
The body is simple enough: just select a length, and then just cut the hair, keeping in mind to cut with the grain, that is, in the same direction that the hair is growing. This will reduce any chance of irritation or the blade cutting skin. Be careful around sensitive spots like the nipples and genitals.
For other parts of your poodle, that depends on the clip you’ve chosen. Some styles call for the characteristic ‘poms’, which need scissors to properly style. If you’re not going for a style that includes poms, you can just clip that portion the same way you did everything else.
Step 6: Styling With Scissors
This step applies if you’ve chosen a style that includes poms or sleeves on the legs. The concept is simple enough, though it may require some practice if you’re still new to grooming. Take the tail as an example: most styles generally call for a pom on the tail. To achieve this, clip the hair from the base to halfway down the tail, and leave the rest long. Twist the remaining hair tightly into a rope, then cut it at about an inch past the tip of the tail. Shake out what’s left and then use your scissors to trim it into the correct shape.
It’s the same idea for poms elsewhere. Use your clippers to define the broad area, then cut down to the correct shape with scissors. It’s a bit of work, but it’s worth it if poms are your thing.
Step 7: Pause For Heat
You’ll have to pause from time to time to let your clipper cool down. How long this takes depends on your specific model of clipper, as some heat up faster than others. There are several ways to cool the blade down. If you want to keep working, apply some clipper spray. Spray it onto the blade, wipe off the excess, and get back to clipping. Or if your clipper has detachable blades, switch in a new blade. Or you can just turn the clipper off and set it aside and comfort your poodle for a while.
Step 8: Post-Cut Aftercare
Once you’re done clipping, finish off any little problem areas with either your clipper or your scissors. This will keep your dog looking neat and tidy. Then give your poodle a good brushing to get rid of any clipped hair that hasn’t fallen off. And above all, don’t forget to comfort your dog, especially if they’re a nervous type. Clipping can be stressful, so their mental well-being is important. And don’t forget treats, because what dog doesn’t deserve treats?
A poodle may be a high-maintenance dog, but they’re well worth the effort you put into them. With the right set of clippers, even the toughest grooming jobs can be made a lot easier. There’s a clipper for every need, depending on just what you want to do with your poodle. Do you need something that can maintain a short kennel coat, or a maintenance tool for a show dog?
Do you require a lightweight, cordless clipper that can travel with you to shows? The Wahl Bravura has you covered. Do you need a reliable machine that can cut through any poodle coat? Call in the Oster Turbo A5. And for simplicity combined with excellent quality, there’s always our top choice: the Andis UltraEdge.
Your poodle deserves to look their best. Thankfully, you can give that to them with the best dog clippers for poodles!