Want to buy a cordless pet clipper but not sure which to choose? Cordless models are convenient, but it's vital to choose a high-quality model that can cut hair quickly and quietly. In this article, Richard Cross lists three of the best cordless dog clippers for grooming any breed.
The Bottom Line...
Oster Pro 3000i
My top pick for a cordless dog clipper is the Oster Pro 3000i. It's an expensive machine, but provides great performance and a long two-hour battery life. The lithium-ion battery also means you get full power for the entire run-time. If it's within your budget, the Pro 3000i is a fantastic choice.
It's easy to see why many people prefer cordless clippers - especially for home grooming.
It can be hard enough to keep your dog still and compliant during a grooming session. Worrying about a cord getting in the way or spooking your pet doesn't make things any easier!
Choosing cordless clippers isn't always easy though. In fact, it can be downright stressful.
The reality is that many cordless models aren't worth the money. The cheap machines you see in the pet shops or Walmart might look like the real deal, but they are usually underpowered, noisy and overheat quickly. Spending more doesn't always guarantee a high-quality machine either.
For this reason, I've put together a list of the best cordless pet clippers. I believe each of these models provides great performance and value for money.
Before we get to the top picks, let's clarify when cordless models are suitable...and when a corded clipper is the better choice.
Who Should Buy a Battery Operated Model?
Most dog owners are naturally drawn towards a cordless clipper. They are more convenient and make it easier to reach awkward places without scaring your dog, so it's easy to see why they are popular.
With that said, cordless clippers aren't the right option for everyone.
While they are great for grooming your dog at home, especially quick touch-ups or clipping the coats of smaller breeds, they have a limited battery life and aren't as powerful. If you're grooming a big dog, you might need to recharge the clippers which can take several hours.
The average cordless machine is also slower at clipping. As they are battery powered, these models have weaker motors to conserve energy. This might not matter for dogs with a relatively thin coat, but for thick coats or mats a corded machine is a better option.
To summarize, professional groomers or people with big dogs that need full grooms should go for corded clippers. If you're only going to be using the machine as a trimmer between grooms, or if your pet has relatively thin fur, a cordless clipper could be a good choice.
Note: Some professional groomers have both corded and cordless clippers, so they get the best of both worlds. The corded machine is usually best for thick fur or mats, while the cordless is great for trimming hair on the tail, feet or face.
3 Best Cordless Clippers for Dogs
Convenient home grooming without a cord
Listed below are three of the best cordless dog clippers, along with reviews of each model. Make sure you read the reviews before you buy, as the right option depends on your requirements and budget.
You'll notice that I haven't included any of the ultra-cheap models found on many shopping sites. While these can be useful, especially for quickly trimming small areas, they tend to be less durable, weaker and noisier than the best models. The noise and heat generated by these models, in particular, makes them difficult to use for any length of time.
I recommend spending a bit more on a high-quality clipper, as it makes the grooming process much smoother for you and your dog.
1. Oster Pro 3000i
My top pick for a rechargeable clipper is the excellent Oster Pro 3000i. It's a stylish model that's powered by a lithium-ion battery, so it can last up to two hours on a single charge. The 3000i is also a durable model that's designed for professionals.
At its core, the Oster Pro is a single speed machine with a rotary motor and lithium-ion battery. It runs at 3000 SPM, which isn't as high as most corded Oster clippers. It still cuts through hair easily, however, and can run for more than two hours before needing to be recharged.
As you would expect from a premium cordless model, the Pro 3000i is fantastic at cutting hair. It's not as effective as the best corded models, but if you want a cordless machine it's hard to beat and will make managing your dog's hair much easier.
The Pro 3000i comes with a #10 blade, although it's also compatible with all Oster A-5 blades. Size 10 blades are great for the ears, face and stomach, but you'll probably want to buy other blades and combs depending on the body cut you need.
The biggest downside of the 3000i is the price. This is an expensive machine that costs much more than corded models with similar performance. There's also no variable speed option.
Despite the high price tag, the Oster Pro 3000i is an excellent machine that's suitable for both home use and professionals. It's convenient to use, relatively lightweight and has a long run-time. If you're looking for cordless pet clippers, the Pro 3000i is the gold standard.
Quick Summary: The Oster Pro 3000i is expensive, but justifies the high price with excellent performance. It's suitable for cutting almost any coat and is much more than just a tail or paw trimmer. If you want the best, this is the one to get.
- Brand: Oster
- Speeds: 3000 SPM
- Battery Life: 120 minutes
- Price Range: $$$$$
- Powerful performance for a cordless
- Up to 2 hours battery life
- Lithium-ion rechargeable battery
2. Wahl ARCO SE Professional
If the Oster is too expensive, the Wahl ARCO is a great alternative. While it's called "Professional," I don't think it's durable enough to withstand daily use for extended periods (although I know some groomers who use it). For convenient home grooming, however, it's an excellent machine.
The ARCO is powered by NiMH batteries. These aren't lithium-ion, which is why the ARCO has a shorter run-time at 80 minutes. To counteract this, however, Wahl has included two battery packs with the ARCO, so you can swap without needing to wait for the first to charge. The charge time of each battery is also only 75 minutes, so theoretically you could groom indefinitely by charging one battery while using the other.
How does it perform though? The ARCO SE is great for clipping small areas such as the face or paws. It's also excellent for touching up your dog's coat between going to the groomer. While it can just about handle full body clipping, it's probably not the best choice for thick coats with mats. The good news is that it's relatively quiet (although it's far from silent).
A useful feature of the ARCO is its 5-in-1 detachable blade set. This provides 9, 10, 15, 30 and 40 cutting blades, and it's easy to switch between them when necessary. The ARCO also has a one year limited warranty and is available in several colours (including purple, pink and champagne).
There are some drawbacks to this model though. It isn't the right choice for full grooms of large dogs, so I don't recommend it for professionals or people with big breeds (although it's great for clipping smaller dogs like miniature poodles or yorkies). The lack of a lithium-ion battery also means it starts to lose cutting power as the battery gets low.
Even so, the Wahl ARCO SE is a fantastic machine considering the relatively low price. It's great for small breeds or touch-ups, and can even handle full grooms in a pinch. The adjustable blade kit also makes it highly convenient to use, and you can buy attachment combs if required.
Note: The Wahl Bravura is another cordless model. It's great for breeds with long hair such as a Shih Tzu.
Quick Summary: The Wahl ARCO SE provides surprisingly good cutting power for a great price. The machine is great for quick trims and can even handle full body grooms for easier coats. It's probably not the best option for thick hair or mats though.
- Brand: Wahl
- Speeds: 5500 SPM
- Battery Life: 80 minutes
- Price Range: $$$
- One of the quietest cordless clippers when in use
- Great value for money
- 5-in-1 adjustable blades
- May struggle with full body grooms with thick hair
3. Oster Volt Lithium-Ion
If the Oster Pro 3000i is outside your budget, a slightly cheaper alternative is the Oster Volt. Like the other Oster model, it's powered by a lithium-ion battery, has a rotary motor and is relatively lightweight. If you want a cordless model that's great for mats, the Volt is one of the best options.
One of the most interesting things about the Volt is that it has a relatively low 2400 SPM. Instead of speed, the Volt is designed to have high torque. This allows it to cut thick hair and mats more easily, although it's not as fast as other clippers.
The lithium-ion battery provides enough power for two hours of continuous usage. One of the advantages of lithium-ion is that the power of the motor shouldn't decrease as the battery gets lower, which prevents pulling on the dog's hair. The battery is also detachable so you can buy a second for longer running times.
There's no doubt the Oster Volt is fantastic for thick and matted hair. The relatively long run-time also makes it suitable for extended grooming sessions. It's not the fastest clipper though, so if you want speed go for one of the other options. It's also relatively expensive - especially as you'll probably want to buy additional blades.
Quick Summary: The Oster Volt has a high-torque design that's great for powering through mats and thick hair. It's slower than the others on this list, however, and is relatively expensive.
- Brand: Oster
- Speeds: 2400 SPM
- Battery Life: 120 minutes
- Price Range: $$$$$
- Great for thick hair and mats
- One of the lightest models
- Lithium-ion battery for consistent power
- Not as fast as other clippers
Cordless dog grooming clippers certainly have advantages. The lack of a cord makes them more convenient - especially when clipping awkward places. Modern lithium-ion batteries have also made cordless models more powerful than they used to be, so they are no longer just basic trimmers.
With that said, cordless machines aren't always the right choice. If you're going to be grooming multiple dogs, or even a single large dog's full coat, then you might run out of battery before you finish. Cordless clippers are also usually slower at cutting.
For trimming messy areas, touching-up your dog's coat between grooms, and the even the occasional full cut at home, cordless models are hard to beat though. My top recommendation is the Oster Pro 3000i. It's a powerful single-speed machine that's great for cutting almost any coat. It also has a long two hour battery life, lithium-ion battery and is compatible with all Oster A-5 blades.
Do you have any questions about choosing the best cordless dog clippers? Or do you think I've missed a model from this list? Let me know in the comments below.