As a professional dog groomer, you know that having the right tools for the job is crucial. The wrong tool can make the groom take longer, and cost you time and money. So, how do you know which scissors to use? In this blog post, we'll break down the difference between blenders, thinners and chunkers so that you can make sure you're using the right scissors for the job.
There is a cross-reference of the terminology amongst groomers and scissor manufacturers when it comes to thinners. We often use the word thinners as the shears we use for blending. They are called either thinning or blending shears but, the very same shear could be referred to with either name. But a true thinner or double thinner is a scissor with both blades that have teeth. These types of shears are not so common in grooming rooms in Australia. These shears are used for thinning out a heavy coat quickly by bulk reduction. Because these shears have teeth on both edges, they remove more than fine blenders (shears with one side that has teeth) this means you'll need fewer cuts with these tools in order to get results. But it also helps to pay attention while using them because overuse can result in bald patches. When using these types of shears, like all shears, be sure to angle the blades away from the dog's skin so as not to nick the skin.
Blenders or Blending Shears:
A blending shear typically has evenly spaced teeth on one side and a straight blade on the other. Generally, blenders are used for blending the coat and softening hair around the dog's ears, feet, body and face and can be used to remove the weight of the coat by reducing the interior layer of the hair. Blenders are perfect for a more natural finish than a straight scissor. Often termed as the “Erasers” in the grooming world they are perfect for smoothing out scissor marks and blending track marks that are made in the coat by clippers or an error with straight shears. Unlike scissors that consist of 2 solid blades that will cut all the hair in one snip, the blender's teeth allow hair to slip through the teeth to cut the hair in partial. The perfect method for these shears is “Cut and comb” this ensures a beautiful finish and for blending.
When it comes to blenders, more teeth = a finer finish. More teeth result in more fine quantities of hair being trimmed per cut. If you are new to using these types of shears, these are ideal to get started with.
Chunking Shears or Chunkers:
Chunkers tend to be longer in length with less teeth and wider teeth and are designed for removing large amounts of bulk from the coat, adding texture and for finishing scissor work. These shears have a wider cutting blade opposite a blade with serrated teeth that grip the hair, this allows you to remove larger amounts of coat at a time. Because of the wider teeth, these shears cut a more substantial piece of hair than a blending shear will. Although Chunkers are designed for large-scale removal of bulk from the coat, they are also the perfect tool for finishing work on curly, double coated or heavy coats.
Important Tip: If you are new to using these types of shears, technique is important.
If you apply to much pressure on either side or if you open your scissor blades too wide this can imbalance the scissors and cause the notched teeth to hit or catch on the cutting blade. If this happens stop and check your technique before you damage the teeth. Don’t continue to use your scissors if they are catching, package them up and send to your sharpener to look at.
So how many teeth you say?
This can be confusing when purchasing your first set of shears. When picking out blender/thinner shears, size and blade length can be a big decider when it comes to purchasing. Generally speaking, more teeth result in smoother finishes – but that's not always the only factor to consider. Even if two different scissors share 46 teeth each, their differing size in length could lead to variations in tooth spacing - making one of them better suited for your purpose than another. For a smoother finish look for more teeth that are small and spacing between the teeth is small when it comes to choosing your blender/thinners. For a more natural, textured finish, teeth that are wider than the spaces between them are best suited and these types of shears tend to be commonly called Chunkers.
Now that you know more about blenders, thinning shears, and chunking shears, you can choose the right tool for the job every time. It is important to use the correct scissors for each groom and to have an understanding of scissoring techniques. These skills will help you create beautiful trims on all coat types.
We hope this article was informative and helpful. If you’re looking to learn more about scissoring techniques, come and join our Groomer Nation Evolving Pet Groomer. We offer tons of great content and insights that will help take your grooming skills to the next level. See you in the Groomer Nation community!