Snap-on combs are a great invention that can save groomers a lot of time, as well as saving our hands from excess scissoring. To use these handy tools correctly, make yourself familiar with the length each snap-on comb will leave a pet’s hair, as well as how they work on different coat types.
Also, it’s important to note that many different companies make snap-on combs, so you will want to be aware of the manufacturer’s recommendations on which clipper blade should be used with their products. I personally use Andis stainless steel snap-on combs with a #30 blade underneath.
Once you’ve chosen the right combination of snap-on comb and blade, there are seven areas in which these valuable little tools can make the grooming process more efficient.
(Note: The examples below apply to general—not corrective—grooming.)
1. Taking Length Off Quickly
Whether it’s a pet with an extremely overgrown coat or a puppy getting its first haircut, there are times that an excessive amount of hair needs to be whacked off so you can find the dog under all that coat.
2. Setting Rear Angulation
I generally use a #2 snap-on comb in reverse. The shortest part of the back of the rear leg is at the bend of the knee. To find the bend of the knee, pick up the leg and bend it up into its natural position. The bend is right behind the knee. Start at the bend of the knee and scoop up to the point of the rump. This is a great trick to avoid the ‘droopy-draws’ look.
3. Setting a Length
Snap-on combs set a consistent length of hair, which helps with symmetry and balance. When scissoring in a leg set by a snap-on comb, you can concentrate on your scissoring because the shape and length is already set for you.
4. Setting Front Legs
While having problems setting the front legs under a dog, I learned a great trick by notching in the hair on the front of the front leg where it meets the body.
You can use snap-on combs to take the area under the jaw line shorter, making the head pop and creating a longer neck.
6. Setting Heads
I set most of my heads in with snap-on combs and then touch up with thinning shears and curved shears. This is where knowing what amount of hair a snap-on is going to leave is important.
7. Setting the Tuck-Up
Find the last rib and follow it down to the underbelly with your snap-on comb to automatically set the tuck-up.