Want to groom your Shih Tzu at home? It’s vital to use a powerful and durable clipper to cut through this breed’s thick hair. In this article, I’ve listed three of the best dog clippers for Shih Tzus to help you make an informed choice.
Versatile and powerful clippers for a Shih Tzu
The Wahl Bravura is an outstanding clipper for grooming a Shih Tzu. It’s a cordless machine with a powerful motor and 5-in-1 blade, making it a versatile tool – especially when combined with stainless steel combs. It can also be charged while in use. It’s not cheap, but for home grooming the Bravura is hard to beat.
Instead, Shih Tzus are named after their long and gorgeous coat. It’s one of the breed’s distinguishing features and a big part of why they are so popular.
The downside of this coat is that it requires lots of maintenance. A Shih Tzu needs to be brushed daily and bathed frequently. The coat also needs to be clipped on a regular basis.
For these reasons, some owners prefer to keep the coat short. This reduces the amount of maintenance required – although you lose the silky appearance.
While you can take your dog to the groomer every 6-8 weeks, a cheaper alternative is to groom your pet at home. This takes practice, but basic clipping and maintenance isn’t too difficult. There are also plenty of excellent instructional videos on YouTube. If you decide to home groom, a high-quality clipper is one of the most important Shih Tzu grooming tools.
Which are the best clippers for Shih Tzus though? And are there any you should avoid? Keep reading to find out.
The clippers below are all great choices for clipping a Shih Tzu. They are powerful, versatile and durable – plus they are capable of a professional-standard cut. While they are more expensive than the cheap clippers you see in many pet stores, they provide much better results.
Additionally, all these clippers have either detachable or adjustable blades, so you can use different lengths depending on the area of the body. You can also buy comb sets if you want a longer finish.
Note: You should never use human clippers to cut a dog’s hair. Dog hair is thicker than human, so clippers need to be more powerful. Human clippers may pull the dog’s hair which can cause your pet to fear grooming.
If you want to groom your Shih Tzu at home, one of the best options is the Wahl Animal Bravura. It’s a cordless clipper that has a high top speed of 5500SPM, so it cuts hair quickly and efficiently. It’s also powered by a lithium-ion battery and has a 5-in-1 blade set.
What makes the Bravura such a handy tool for Shih Tzu grooming though?
Firstly, the cordless design makes it easy to clip your dog without getting tangled. While cordless clippers usually aren’t as powerful, the Bravura provides more than enough cutting performance to tackle a well-maintained Shih Tzu coat. There’s even enough power to tackle matted hair. It’s also relatively quiet, cool and doesn’t vibrate as much as other models.
An advantage of the Bravura over other cordless clippers is that it’s powered by a lithium-ion battery. This provides a constant speed that doesn’t fade as the battery runs down.
It also comes with a 5-in-1 blade set. This can be adjusted from #9 to #40 lengths, depending on what you need. You’ll probably want to use the 10 on sanitary areas and 30 under a comb for the rest, so it’s handy to be able to switch easily.
The downside of a cordless design is the limited battery life, but the Bravura can be charged while in use. This allows you to use the clipper continuously. It also only takes 60-minutes to fully charge.
Although the Bravura kit comes with six plastic combs, I recommend spending a bit extra to get a stainless steel set. These provide a more consistent finish and are generally more pleasant to use.
There are a few downsides to the Bravura though. The battery is replaceable, but Wahl recommends using a repair center. This is much less convenient than cordless clippers with detachable battery packs. It’s also relatively expensive, although I think it’s worth the money.
Another excellent choice for clipping Shih Tzu hair is the Andis UltraEdge AGC. It’s a powerful two-speed machine that can glide through almost any hair or mat, so it’s a great choice for trimming or cutting long hair.
The first thing to note about the Andis is that it’s a professional-standard clipper. While this might seem like overkill if you want to groom a Shih Tzu at home, you’ll get much better results with a high-quality machine – plus the process will be faster and less stressful.
It’s a corded machine that’s powered by a rotary motor. There are two speed settings: slow and fast. The 3400 SPM mode is great for cutting delicate areas, while the 4400 option makes quick work of larger patches of hair.
Unlike low-quality clippers, the Andis is relatively quiet when in use. It’s far from silent, but the lower noise output means it’s less likely to scare your dog. The blade heats up when used for long periods though, so you might need cooling spray for extended grooming sessions.
Of course, the downside of a corded design is that it’s not as mobile as the Wahl Bravura. The Andis has a relatively long 14′ cord though, so you probably won’t feel restricted. You also don’t need to worry about battery run-time or fading cutting power.
Another drawback to the Andis is that it only comes with a single 10 blade. You’ll probably want to purchase additional blades and a stainless steel comb set before grooming your Shih Tzu.
Note: Andis produces a wide range of excellent clippers. Click here for reviews of the top models by this brand.
If you’re looking for something a bit cheaper that still provides a great cut, the Oster A5 Turbo is probably the best choice. It’s a corded clipper with a heavy-duty motor, durable design and enough power to cut through any Shih Tzu’s coat.
Like the Andis, the Oster has two speeds. The lower 3000 SPM is great for precision work, while the 4000 SPM mode is perfect for tackling larger areas. It also has a detachable blade system so you can quickly switch depending on the area you’re clipping.
Oster are known for their quality blades, which are cryogenically treated to increase durability. The A5 only comes with a single #10 blade though, so you’ll probably want to buy a few other blades and a stainless steel comb set.
As you would expect from a professional clipper, the A5 Turbo is well-designed and comfortable to hold. It’s not the quietest on the market, but it’s not too loud either. It gets hot when operated for a long time, but this is to be expected from a powerful clipper.
Despite being the cheapest on this list, there are a few reasons why I prefer the Wahl and Andis for clipping Shih Tzus. The Oster has a corded design, but the cord is shorter than the Andis. This makes it less convenient. It’s also less powerful than the Andis and doesn’t come with the 5-in-1 blade kit of the Wahl.
Even so, if you decide to buy the Oster A5 you won’t be disappointed. It can glide through almost any hair or mat and it’s compatible with any A5 blade. The Oster also provides great value for money.
Buying additional blades and combs is essential when grooming your Shih Tzu. While the “right” options depend on how you want your dog to look, it’s worth paying extra for quality accessories.
Which should you choose though?
4F, 5F and 7F blades are often used on the body. They are a popular choice for home groomers, as they provide a short shave that’s easy to maintain. A puppy trim may require a longer #3 3/4 FC though.
Longer hairstyles require combs. This makes the cut harder, but you have more choice over the appearance of the final groom. I always recommend stainless steel combs over plastic. They provide a much better finish and are more durable. You may also need to use scissors on the tail and head, but only if you’re confident and know what you’re doing.
Professionals often recommend a 30 blade combined with combs. This gives an excellent finish, although you can also use a 10 blade under combs if you want to save money (most clippers include a 10 blade). It’s best to avoid a naked 30 blade, as such a close cut makes it easy to accidentally nick the skin. For simplicity, a single finishing blade is the easier option.
Tip: Need help choosing a shampoo for your Shih Tzu? Take a look at our complete guide.
If your dog is a Shih Tzu, you probably already know that this breed requires plenty of grooming. Taking your pet to the groomer every couple of months can get expensive though, which is why home clippers are a popular alternative.
It’s vital to buy high-quality grooming clippers. While there are plenty of cheap options, they are usually loud, weak and heat up quickly. This makes clipping stressful or even painful for your pet.
My #1 recommendation for a Shih Tzu clipper is the excellent Wahl Bravura. It’s a versatile cordless clipper with 5-in-1 blade set and enough power to glide through hair and mats. The Bravura isn’t cheap, but it provides excellent performance.
Do you have any questions about choosing the best dog clippers for a Shih Tzu? Or do you have grooming tips for this gorgeous breed? Let me know in the comments section!