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Dog Clippers vs Human Clippers

can i use clippers on my dog

Is there a difference between dog clippers vs human clippers? This a common question from owners of long-haired pooches and from those looking to save money on professional groomers. It is also the question that we seek to answer here, today.

Long dog hair can easily attract dirt, and parasites, and could result in skin irritation if it begins to mat. If you don’t have dog clippers, here is the general consensus on using human clippers instead.

Can I Use Human Clippers On My Dog?

clippers on dogs

The answer is not as straightforward as the question, and the truth is that you can, technically speaking use human clippers, but you should avoid it if possible.

To help us understand why you shouldn’t use human clippers to cut dog hair, there are a few factors we have to break down. Understanding these factors will give you a much clearer idea as to why you should aim to cut dog hair, with canine grooming tools.

Let’s get stuck into the details around dog grooming, pet clippers, and why human clippers are for human hair only.

Difference Between Human Hair and Dog Hair

The main reason why you shouldn’t use human clippers to trim a dog’s fur is that human hair is very different from dog hair. The key differences between human hair and dog hair are the thickness and the coarse nature of each.

A dog’s hair is always denser than human hair and it is far less supple. Additionally, many dog breeds have double coats, with an under and outer layer.

No human has hair that can be compared to this kind of thick fur. Even dogs with single coats have thicker hair than the majority of humans, perhaps with a few exceptions.

Human hair clippers are designed for thin, easy-to-remove human hairs, not for the thick fur of a dog. Because of these differences, dog clippers should not be considered the same as human hair clippers.

Dog Clippers vs Human Clippers

dog clippers vs human clippers

When we look at dog clippers vs human clippers, we can see several fundamental differences, mostly in terms of the parts used. Both human and dog clippers may look the same, but they perform very differently because of the way they have been designed. If we look at the functional aspects of clippers, we can see where those differences lie.


The biggest risk when using human clippers on dogs is that the fine tooth blades won’t move quickly enough to cut the dog’s fur. Should this happen, the blades will pull at the dog’s skin, causing irritation and pain.

Human clipper blades may be sharp enough, but they only have the necessary speed setting to trim and cut thin human hair. They are most certainly not fast enough to cut through the thick fur of our canine friends.

If you hold human clippers alongside these pet clippers and watch the speed of the blades, you’ll notice the difference immediately.


Another core difference we see between human clippers versus dog clippers is the blades. Essentially, the blades of human clippers are designed to be much finer and shorter than those of dog clippers.

The reason behind this is that human clippers are used much closer to the skin. This stands to reason of course given how humans cut hair, which is often very short.

We don’t cut a dog’s fur in the way, and that is why you’ll find that the blades on dog clippers are much longer. Additionally, you’ll find that these pet clippers have skip-tooth blades, which are spaced out to best attack coarse hair.

Because of this design, human clippers are a poor option to use on dogs as they don’t have the design or power to cope with such a mass of hair. Will human clippers cut through dog hair?

Most definitely, but will it do so effectively and without causing pain? Probably not. This is why you should always look to use specially-designed pet clippers when clipping your dog’s fur.


If you have ever done a little bit of dog grooming before then you’ll know just how skittish some pooches can be. This can pose a real problem when it comes to keeping them safe.

After all, the last thing you need is to accidentally injure your dog while trying to make them look good. It is precisely for this reason that the motor used on a dog clipper is less powerful than on human clippers.

This is so that the motor makes less noise, and doesn’t scare the pooch. Dog clippers are also cordless by design, to give dog groomers and pet owners more flexibility when cutting a dog’s hair.

The last thing we need is a dog tangled up in an electrical cord. Cordless clippers give a better range of movement, but they need to last a long time from a single charge.

This again is where the motor differs. Human clippers don’t need a long-lasting motor, as they are more than often designed to be plugged in.

The fact that pet clippers don’t have as much power as human clippers doesn’t mean that they pack any less of a punch. Thanks to the skip-tooth blades and the increased speed-to-power ratio, pet clippers can easily chop through the thicker fur of your dog.

Risk Of Using Human Clippers on Pets

One of the reasons why some get confused about using human clippers on a dog’s hair is that clippers can still do a good job. Simply because they can cut hair, however, doesn’t make them a safe option.

If you are desperate to get your dog’s hair trimmed, and you have no other option, then human clippers will work, but we’d advise against it. Using human clippers on your dog can cause all kinds of problems for your dog’s skin, and your dog’s fur.

Dog fur is a very delicate balance of long and short, rough and smooth hair. Depending on your dog’s breed, it will have a coat that has evolved to offer maximum protection.

If you begin to hack away at the dog’s hair, you are going to compromise the health of the coat and potentially your dog’s health. Coats are there to manage temperature, balance skin health, and help with hygiene.

This is exactly why a pet’s fur should be groomed with care and precision. Human hair and dog hair are not the same, and neither are human skin and dog skin.

Given that each clipper product is designed with hair and skin in mind, this is exactly why you shouldn’t look to use clippers on dogs that were designed for humans.

What To Look For In Dog Clippers

If you plan to purchase some dog clippers, there are certain components that you should focus on. The better the clippers you have, the easier the grooming process will be for you. Let’s have a look at what you should be looking for in a set of clippers.

  • High RPM to get through matted fur and coarse hair
  • Range of blade attachments and blade options for thick and fine hair
  • Check reviews to ensure that you are buying clippers with a quiet, lighter motor for your dog’s comfort
  • A good pair of dog hair clippers will have a well-designed grip, for dogs who like to wriggle
  • Ceramic blades stay cooler for longer, giving your dog a little more comfort when they are in for a grooming session. These also allow you to cut for longer without the need to allow the clippers to cool down

Can You Use Regular Nail Clippers On a Dog?

dog nail clippers

Clippers are not the only human grooming products owners want to use on their dogs, many also ask about human nail clippers. The answer to this is much simpler than it is regarding hair clippers.

The best advice we can give is that cutting your dog’s nails should be relatively easy if you are using the right tool. If you come up against too much resistance then you need a better set of nail clippers.

Human nail clippers will do a decent job on puppies, and can certainly be used to give those nails a trim. Once they get older, a dog’s nails will get thicker, and your human nail clippers won’t be able to do much at that stage.

If you have no option and your human nail trimmers are all you have to hand, by all means, give them a go. If however, your pooch’s nails are too thick, you are more likely to break your clippers than cut its nails.


As a general rule of thumb, it is always better off using pet products on pets, and human products on ourselves. If you visit any professional groomer, you will find that they have pet-only products in the business, and with good reason. The pet combs, clippers, and products they use, are the best options for our dogs.

When home grooming, you shouldn’t use human shampoos, hair clippers, or ear cleaning products, as they just aren’t designed for use on animals. To avoid any potential health issues, always use products on your pets that have been designed with them in mind.


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