I have always considered myself to be a fairly observant person.
Of course, after the cord thing with my cordless clipper, I began to have doubts.
After today I am convinced that I am not the least bit observant.
I may actually be oblivious to things around me.
Here goes...another embarrassing moment.
I bought this blade at Groom Expo.
I had never seen this blade before.
I had no idea that there was a #4 1/2 blade.
Maybe if I read the grooming catalogs more often I would see the new blades that come out, but I usually wait to look at new things for grooming at Hershey.
Anyway, I bought just one to try it, because I bought a #6 blade last year and I am not crazy about it.
I was very curious about the #4 1/2 blade.
Now, for some reason I automatically thought that this blade was going to cut hair a little longer than a regular #4F blade.
I didn't even think twice about it.
Maybe it was the 1/2 that made me think that it was going to leave the hair longer.
I used it a couple of times on dogs that normally got the #4F blade and I really liked it.
I didn't see that much of a difference than the #4F.
I had used it on two Shih-tzus, and it did a nice job.
Then I used it on a mix breed with a much thicker coat than the Shi-Tzus.
It did a really nice smooth cut on the dog, but I did noticed that it had taken the coat just a tad shorter.
So I compared the blade that I normally used on the dog, (a #4F) and the #4 1/2.
They look pretty much the same, but obviously the 1/2 meant shorter than the regular #4F.
Of course, if I had looked at the blades closer I would have seen that the #4F blade is a 9.5mm cut, and the #4 1/2F blade is a 7.9mm cut.
So what was really the point of making a 4 1/2 blade?
Someone in the Andis offices just wanted to drive groomers crazy?
Aren't we nuts enough?
Then I happened to look at another one of my #4F blades.
Do you notice something different from the other #4F blade in the above picture? (other than the fact that it is a Buttercut)
(I hate Buttercut blades)
The #4F above is a 9.5mm cut, the #4F on the right is a 9mm cut.
I decided to check out a couple other blades.
This Wahl #5F is a 6mm cut.
This Andis #5FC blade is a 6.3mm cut.
This older Andis #5FC blade is a 5mm cut.
This Oster #7F blade is a 3mm cut.
This Andis #7FC blade is a 4mm cut.
This Wahl #7F blade is a 3.8mm cut.
Whats with that?
Do you ever pick up a blade and start to clip the dog only to notice that it doesn't seem to be cutting the length you think it should on that coat.
Then you pick up another blade of the same length and that one seems to cut the coat better.
Is this why?
I mean really....I know that these blades are from different companies, but why can't they each have the same millimeter cut?
Of course, we are only talking about anywhere from a .3mm to a 1mm difference.
It still makes me wonder though.
To be honest I have not really paid that much attention to the cut measurements on the blade, or the fractions listed in the catalogs, because I learned very quickly, when I first started grooming, that the same blade will leave different lengths of hair on a dog depending on the coat type.
Like today, I had two Yorkies, one with a very thick, plushy coat, and one with a thin, silky coat.
The #4F blade took the thick, plushy coat fairly short.
The same blade glided through the thin, silky coat only taking a small amount of hair off, leaving a longer cut.
That is why I have never paid much attention to the cut measurements on the blades, and never noticed the difference before....in 28 years. :/
Well, that sounds like a good enough excuse for me being so unobservant.
At least that is what I am going to tell myself anyway.
Oh...one last thing...the next time a customer comes in, and you ask them if they want the same cut as last time, and they tell you; "just take him a tad shorter."
The #4 1/2FC is a tad shorter than the #4F.
An Andis #5FC (5mm) is a tad shorter than a Wahl #5F (6mm).
An Oster #7F (3mm) is a tad shorter than a Andis #7FC (4mm).
I have to go now.
I think that my head is going to explode.
Happy Grooming, MFF