Why Won’t Clippers Cut My Dog’s Hair? [9 Causes & Solutions]

Why Won't Clippers Cut My Dog's Hair?

It can be incredibly frustrating when you can’t cut your dog’s hair because the clippers aren’t working correctly. So, what exactly is causing this issue? Let’s explore the possibilities in this article.

Here’s why clippers may not cut dog hair:

  • Dull blades
  • Blade driver issues
  • Coat matted or tangled
  • Weak motor
  • Battery issues
  • Excessive oil on blades
  • Dirt on the fur
  • Incorrect blade placement
  • Using the wrong blade
  • Clippers with hair underneath or a product defect

Identifying the exact cause of your clipper’s malfunction will allow you to address the problem quickly. We’ll discuss nine different reasons for this issue, along with solutions and other related concerns.

Possible reasons why won’t your dog clippers cut dog hair.

I’m a huge dog person and an engineer, so I will give you the exact reasons. Please go through the following reasons, and one of them might be your problem.

Also, possible solutions can be found along with the reasons. So, let’s dive right in.

1. Blades are dull.

If your clippers don’t cut your dog’s hair, the reason could be dulled blades. Although the blades are perfectly maintained, the blades will be dull and required to sharpen over time.

If the blades are dull, the options available to you are to sharpen them or buy a new one.

Here is how often you need to sharpen the dog clipper blades. 

♦If the clipper is used regularly for a few minutes, the blades should be sharpened at least once every six months. 
♦With regards to a dog groomer that uses a clipper for several hours each day, the clipper blades should be sharpened every 1-1.5 months.

2. Problem with the blade driver.

There is a plastic component that actually moves the blade inside the clippers and can be named the “Plastic lever” or the “Blade drive.” In general, it comes with 3 in the box because that must be wearable frequently.

Usually, this plastic lever will wear down over the utilizing time and may need to be replaced. Most groomers who use clippers regularly replace this section every 30-60 days.

I cannot suggest the exact replacement frequency as it depends on the brand, the grooming frequency, the nature of the coat, and many other minor things. However, you can consider replacing it when it seems to miss functioning, damaged, or when they wear down, often every 6 months.

Here are 5 reasons why do dogs sleep after bathing?

3. Dog’s coat is too far gone with mats.

If your clippers don’t cut dog hair, the reason could be the dog’s coat is matted due to irregular grooming, and the blade cannot cut through it.

Because the blade should be short enough in order to go under the mats and cut through it.

Frankly, clipper blades aren’t designed to go through knots or mats.

It doesn’t matter what the breed is. The dog clippers generally work perfectly on the washed and brushed coats.

Here is exactly what you should do if the dog's coat is gone with mats and the clippers cannot cut the hair through them. 

1. The most appropriate blade to use on a matted coat is #10.
2. You will need to use a slicker brush and simply a handheld dryer.
3. Start off with a small area that is easy to complete. For instance, a foot is a nice area to start.
4. Start brushing with drying till the hair seems dry, straight, and separated altogether from the dog skin.
5. The next thing you wanna do is "Fluff drying," which is starting from an area like a foot and brushing while drying in the direction of up the leg and throughout its body,
6. If clippers still can't cut the dog's hair, It is better to use scissors and shorten them a bit.
7. If the coat is really matted and you aren't confident to groom him, don't hesitate to enlist the help of an experienced dog groomer.

By the way, read this to understand if you can use human scissors on dogs?

4. The dog clipper has a weak motor or battery issue.

Sometimes the reason could be the motor inside the dog clippers just isn’t powerful enough to cut the coat. The available options for you are to try repairing the clippers up or buy a new one.

Maybe an issue with the batteries. If the batteries are low or they aren’t powerful enough to process the clippers, the clippers won’t function well. It’s better to replace the batteries or check if the batteries have the required voltage.

5. Too much oil on blades.

Some people put too much oil on the clipper blades, resulting in the oil getting onto the clipper blade’s teeth, and the dog hair will get stuck, and the clippers won’t be able to go through the fur.

A good rule of thumb when you use oil is to put only two drops of it and do that several times a year.

♦ However, now you've ended up with too much oil on the blades, and they cannot cut the dog hair, get an absorbent cloth and just wipe the blades up. 
♦ Then put everything together and try again. 
♦ If it seems functioning better, use blade wash liquid to soak the blades overnight.
♦ In The next day, remove blades from the liquid, wipe with an absorbent cloth, and use them again without oiling. 

6. Dirt on the fur.

Dogs play outdoors and get dirty easily. Unbeknownst to you, a thick coat may contain blade killer objects, resulting in the blades get damaged and the clipper won’t function well, and you cannot cut the dog hair anymore.

This is the main reason why we need to wash the dog, brush it, and dry them up prior to use the clipper.

Here are 9 reasons why do dogs lick themselves after a bath.

7. Placed the blade in the wrong way or using a wrong blade.

If your clippers don’t cut the dog’s hair, the reason may be that you are either using the wrong blade under the attachment or placed the blades the wrong way.

It’s best to read the instructions before using the clippers or asking someone who knows the subject.

8. The clippers had hair in them.

If your dog clippers don’t cut dog fur or hair, one of the common reasons could be the clippers had hair in them.

Remove blade and clipper driver and clean them prior to next use.

9. A problem with the product.

Sometimes the problem is with the whole product. You need to be extra careful when buying a product.

If you suspect the problem with the whole product, try refunding or asking the seller to replace it with another one.

However, I would like to suggest our top choice that won’t give you a headache anymore.

Tips to extend the lifespan of your dog clippers.

If you want to improve the lifespan of the clipper, please keep the following in mind. Then it will not give you many troubles, and headaches like your clippers don’t cut the dog hair.

Temperature: Don’t forget to check the temperature of the blades against your cheeks (Because the cheeks are sensitive enough to feel whether blades are too hot or not.) Moreover, ensuring that the blades aren’t too hot to the touch is also a nice way to check the temperature.

Cleaning the blades: An ultrasonic cleaner is a good option to clean the blades. But remember to dry them up and oil with dog clipper oil just after cleaning.

Switch between blades: Try switching between two blades as you feel that blades emit a certain temperature. You will always have a cool blade when you switch between two blades.

Drying and brushing: If your clippers don’t cut dog hair, the reason could be inadequate drying and brushing. When you do this, the life of the product will be gradually reduced.

Removing dog hair: When the dog hair gets caught in the clipper teeth, you gotta take the blades off. After that, slide apart to make sure there is no more hair underneath. I highly suggest you use a blade brush to clean them up.

When clippers putting together: You should put the blades when the clipper is running. Reinspection to ensure if the blade is sitting firmly on the clippers.

Storing the tools: Storing the clipper in the right way after each use can significantly impact the lifespan of the clippers.

Checking the clipper occasionally: Don’t forget to seldom check the lock and the blade drive in order to make sure they are functioning properly without rusty, worn, or it has all the parts.

Suggested Reading: Can You Use Dog Clippers On Human Hair?

Things to be aware of.

It seems that you now have a better understanding of the reasons why some dog clippers don’t cut dog hair. But, there are a few other things you need to be aware of.

So, here they are.

  • Some people used to after grooming. Don’t do that mistake. You should bathe the dog, brush and dry the dog prior to using the clipper.
  • Ensure to check the temperature of the blades repeatedly because a hot blade can cause to “blade burn” your dog, and it’s extremely painful.
  • Don’t just buy cheap clippers. Always ensure to check if they are functioning properly and the product is from a well-recognized brand.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid confusion and to potentially increase the lifespan of the clipper.
  • Bacteria and germs are more likely to build up rapidly inside the clippers causing pretty much all the manner of infections to your dog. So, clean the clippers and disinfect them just after each use. Again follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • If this is your dog’s first grooming and clipping session, I highly suggest getting help from a professional dog groomer and watching and learning how to do that and how you should handle the clippers.
  • Be careful when you check the temperature against your cheeks or hand.
  • Don’t get angry with the dog. If the clippers won’t cut its hair, the problem with the clippers.
  • Be careful when you deal with blades.
  • Keep the clippers away from small children and pets to ensure the safety and the longer use of the product.

Suggested Reading: How to keep dog nails less sharp?


It feels so horrible when you are ready to groom the dog, and suddenly dog clippers won’t cut. Well, we’ve discussed 7 different reasons why this can happen, along with the solutions that can address the issue. In fact, this article contains tips to increase the lifespan of a dog clipper and other relevant factors. Hope you found this helpful. Have a nice day.

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