How to get the tension just right - A guide for Masterclip clippers
Tensioning your clipper correctly plays a crucial part of the how your clipper blades can efficiency cut the hair. It can be tempting to pick up a new set of clippers and tension them as you may have done with a previous model, but the various clipper makes and models can have very different optimal tension settings and what works well for one, can be too tight or too loose for another.
Too little tension and the blades will chew at the coat, causing discomfort to the animal you’re clipping or even drop out of the clipper altogether. Too much tension can cause all sorts of problems as the motor has to work harder to move the blades. These include –
- Excessive heat generation from the clipper blades
- Clipper blades blunting too quickly.
- Wear and tear to the clipper motor
- For cordless clippers, significant reduction in the run time of the batteries
- Reduce the lifespan of your clipper motor and blades.
So, finding the correct tension for your clipper is important and many people can feel a little daunted as to whether they have the right tension. As a general rule, your clipper needs be able to cut well with the least amount of tension possible. This will ensure your clippers provide the most efficient and comfortable clip and endure the least amount of wear and tear to last for many years. Here’s our handy guide for finding the right tension for your Masterclip clipper.
THE SHOWMATE TRIMMER
The original Showmate trimmer and Showmate II cordless trimmers for dogs, cats, rabbits and horses, both take trimmer blades that are pre-tensioned, meaning they do not require manual adjustment to use them. Super easy! When these blades become blunt, it is best for them to be replaced.
Masterclip Showmate II cordless trimmers
The beauty with A5 clipper models are that the simple snap on/ snap off clipper blades are pre-tensioned during manufacture so there is no need to manually tension them before use. Our A5 clippers models are the Pedigree Proand cordless MD Roamer for dogs, and the Royale and cordless MD Roamer clippers for horses. For these clippers, simply pop the blade onto the clipper head and begin! Watch our video guide on how to fit the blades here.
It is important however, not to be tempted to undo the screws or take these blades apart for cleaning. Loosening the screws on these types of blades or dissembling them will alter the tension which can be very tricky to reset. When these blades are due to be resharpened, they will need to be taken apart by a professional sharpening company who will clean, expertly sharpen and reassemble the blades and set them to the correct tension for you.
Our A2 clipper models include the Ranger, Hunter, cordless HD Roamer and V-series clippers (plus Ewe 2000 and Ram 3000 with A2 multi-head for sheep and cattle). These clippers do require manual tensioning but are very straightforward to do.
With the blades set on the clipper head, continue to turn the tension knob clockwise until it will no longer turn. Then, using the arrow on top on the tension knob as a guide, turn it anti-clockwise for 3 full turns. Watch our video guide here.
TOP TIP – When you have the tension set, test the clipper on the coat. If the blades are cutting well, you could even loosen the tension a little further. With practise, you may find your clipper has its own perfect setting.
L-R Masterclip V-series, Hunter, Ranger and cordless HD Roamer A2 clippers
HEINIGER STYLE CLIPPERS
Our older models of the Ranger, Hunter and HD Roamer have a traditional Heiniger style clipper head. This model of head has been around for many years but does require little extra care for setting up the clipper blades on the head to get them to cut just right.
With a sharp set of blades placed onto the clipper head correctly (with a 1-2mm leading edge on the comb – watch our video guide here), begin to turn the tension knob clockwise until you feel the first bit of resistance. Then turn the screw for just ¼ of a turn more.
With the traditional head, you need to be mindful of the blade position on the head to ensure they lift the hair into the cutter. If the comb is set too low, this can seem as though the clipper does not have enough tension, so always check the blades are positioned well before tensioning. If this set up it is new to you, it may take a couple of tries to get it just right. The good news is, if you prefer to have a simpler set up, you can upgrade your handset with the new A2 clipper head to allow for easier blade changes, tensioning and use a wider range of premium clipper blades. You don’t even need to send your clipper to us to upgrade.
TOP TIP – Always loosen the tension first before you change the blades on this type of clipper otherwise the screw will be set too far down when you put a new set of blades on and then won’t allow for any more tension to be applied to the clipper blades.
Masterclip HD Roamer and Ranger clipper with the traditional clipper head
For the Masterclip Ewe 2000, Ram 3000 and cordless Outback shears, the correct tension can be found by listening our for the change in sound of the clipper when the blades are running. With the blades set correctly on the shearing head, tighten the tension just a little to hold the cutter in place. Plug the clipper in or insert the battery and run the clipper with some clipper oil or Andis cool care spray applied to the blades. Tighten the tension knob and listen out for the change in pitch. The tension is correct when you hear the slight drop in the pitch and the ‘chatter’ is taken out of the blades. The sound should be smooth with the blades running at a good speed. Test the shears on the fleece. If the blades are cutting well, you could always release a little tension to find the sweet spot. Find out how to listen for the correct pitch in our YouTube video guide here.
TOP TIP - For the Ewe 2000 and Ram 3000 shears, the comb may need to be adjusted so that it lifts the fleece into the cutter and the throw of the cutter reaches across the comb evenly to allow the blades to cut effectively. Test the clippers on the fleece, if they are not cutting well, always check the blade position before adjusting/tightening the tension.
Masterclip Ewe 2000 shears