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Why are my clippers not working?

Why are my clippers not working? - Masterclip

Loz Dorey |

You’ve retrieved your horse clipper from summer storage and you are now at the yard ready to start the first clip of the winter season. You’ve attached the blades and set the tension, but the clipper is just not clipping the coat! First of all, each of these steps to ensure the clipper is set up correctly.


Clipper Blade is fitted the right way up

For clippers that take A2 clipper blades, the small part of the blade (the cutter) is positioned on the clipper head first, and the large part (the comb) is set on the lugs. The large part of the blade must be set with the ridges facing up. if you can see the side with the writing on, the comb is on upside down. Simply undo the tension screw to remove the comb and place the right way up. Take a look at our YouTube guide here.

Tension is too loose/too tight

To tension A2 clippers, tighten the tension screw until it will no longer turn. Then using the arrow on tension screw as a guide, turn the tension screw anti-clockwise for 2.5-3 full turns. Test the clipper on the coat. If the blades are clipping well, you could even adjust the tension a little looser. It’s important to have the tension set as loosely as possible whilst clipping to reduce friction and wear and tear to the clipper handset. Tension that is set too tight will also lead to the blades going blunt too quickly.


Tension set needs replacing.

If you are finding that the tension needs to increased much more than 2.5-3 turns in order for the blades to cut, it may be time for the tension set to be replaced. You can purchase a new tension set from us here.


Clipper blade is dirty or blunt 

The blades are on the clipper the right way up, the tension is nice and loose, but now the blades are not cutting well or chewing the coat. Remove the blades and give them a thorough clean and replace them on the clipper with plenty of clipper oil or Andis spray. If they are still not cutting, swap to a freshly sharpened or new blade. Make sure your blades have been sharpened by a specialist sharpening service, such as Shear Ease Ltd. Always have a spare sharp clipper blade to hand that matches your first set incase your blades go blunt mid clip and especially to avoid the embarrassment of a half clipped horse. Ooops!

 When clipping a clean, prebathed coat, your blades should remain sharp for many full clips and give the best results. However, if you are unable to fully prepare the coat beforehand, there is a chance that you may need to use a second blade to finish the clip. If bathing your horse beforehand is not an option, a good thorough groom and hot clothing will help to remove the worst of the dirt and grease from the coat and get a decent finish.


Worn cog

If the clipper is continually used with the tension set too tight, the excessive pressure will cause wear and tear to the clipper motor and the cog which joins the motor to the clipper head. If the cog is worn, the clipper may be running but the blades will not be moving or may stutter. Unplug the clipper and use the double ended screwdriver in the clipper carry case to remove the clipper head to check the ridges on the cog. This is easy to do and you can follow our YouTube guide here.




Not switching on at all

Check the length of the clipper cable to look for breaks in the wire covering. If your horse has accidentally caught the cable with their hooves, they can damage and split the cable. We can easily replace damaged clipper cables at our repairs centre. If everything is intact on mains powered clippers, check the fuse in the plug. Always use an RCD when using clippers to keep you and your horse safe. For battery clippers, check the battery has full power by placing it in the charge cradle. The indicator light will turn green when the battery is fully charged. Next, check the inside of battery inlet on the handset to see if there could be anything obstructing the battery from connecting with the handset properly.


Checks complete

Usually these steps will be enough to get your clippers working again, but on the off chance that they are still not working as expected, send them to us for servicing and inspection by our dedicated service and repair team. Regular clipper servicing ensures that all the components of the clipper are clean and in good condition. Any parts that are showing signs of wear are replaced so your clippers are primed and ready for the busy clipping season.



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