When using any tool, it is vital for the user to have an in-depth knowledge of its parts and how it works in order to make the most out of the equipment. For instance, did you know that clipper blades have 7 distinct and important parts? These are the comb (bottom cutter) and top cutter , blade socket the spring, the plastic blade guide and two screws that attaches the socket and spring to the blades. Clippers also have blade latches that help secure the blade sockets together. Several brands of clippers such as Andis and Oster have two types of clipper hinge designs. The AGC design has a blade latch while the AG has a built-in pressure latch.
Since clippers have quite a number of parts, this also opens them up to an equal number of problems that can develop in each of the seven parts. The most prominent problem of all grooming and cutting tools in general, are rust and the dulling of the blades. In order to prevent this from happening to your blade clippers, it is essential to maintain it regularly by cleaning and oiling the blades. You will be surprised by the number of years that this procedure can add to your clipper blade’s lifespan.
Spring and Hinges – Importance in Performance
The spring helps transfer tension to the cutter, offering an easier cutting experience. It is important for the spring to be perfectly balanced. Try to place it flat on a table and see if it is even on both sides. If it is not balanced, hair may get lodged in on one side, which will cause the blade to get stuck during use. If you find that your spring is uneven, try to bend it gently until it is well balanced on both sides. Balance is the key when it comes to your clipper blade’s springs. If the spring is too loose, then hair may get stuck between the blades; if it is too tight, it will cause extreme friction that will result in faster heat buildup as well as developing more wear and tear. You will know when you have the perfect tension when the clipper offers only a slight resistance and just enough to not strain your hands with prolonged use. The plastic guide is an essential factor for reducing the friction from the spring to the cutter groves. You can also use products such as Kool Lube to help minimize the tension and heat buildup on your clipper (please read more here). Also, try to regularly check the blade guide for any cracks and replace it as soon as possible if there are cracks. Rust will also cause the cutter grove to increase the friction and will become a more serious problem as not only will it speed up wear and tear, it will also cause the blades to become brittle faster.
Blade Sockets – Tough and Fragile at the Same Time
The blade socket is an integral part of the clipper, but it can also cause the biggest problems when left unchecked. This part of the clipper has 2 “ears” that should fit perfectly into the hinge. The most common problem with the blade sockets is that the “ears” tend to get bent due to constant use. Once this happens, the clipper tends to rattle and feels loose and unwieldy. Repairing the blade socket can be both simple and tricky. The important thing to remember when repairing a bent blade socket is that you must bring both “ears” together as close as possible, but not too close (picture on the left). If the blade sockets are locked too tight, they will not be able to latch onto the hinge.
Another problem that is common with blade socket is that it may sometimes get bent upwards, making it impossible to hold the blade against the clipper. This can be caused by a bent socket or a broken blade latch. Fortunately, the repair is relatively simple and can be performed by simply pressing the back end of the socket down with a plier so that it is once again parallel to the comb blade. Try not to press it together too much as it may cause the blade to not fit in the hinge tongue. If this happens, you can use a flathead screwdriver to pry the blade socket open again.
Watch Out for These Common Problems
The clipper’s hinge is prone to certain problems, which is common with the AG clipper models. AG clippers use springs that deteriorate over time, making it difficult for the blade to be held together. One way to check the state of the spring is by using a screwdriver. Try to move the hinge tongue with a screwdriver. If you experience little resistance then the spring is already weakening. The hook for the latch may also get broken off in time. When any of these happens, replace the clipper (or talk with your sharpener) as soon as possible. Furthermore, ensure that the screw blades are kept tight.If the screws start to loosen then simply use the appropriate screwdriver to tighten them back together.
You can’t forget to apply oil regularly to avoid friction from the top cutter when used. (read more here)
Clipper blades need but a few simple maintenance techniques to ensure its quality. Just follow the guidelines stated above for each part and help extend the lifespan of our clipper blade.