The 4 best dog clippers for thick coats & matted hair

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After my previous posts, some of our readers asked me if the Wahl Bravura I use is the best choice as dog clippers for thick coats.

My answer actually is no, it isn’t. I mean, it does wonders for my Shih Tzu. However, if you have a pet with reaally thick, matted hair, there’s one catch:

You don’t really want a cordless clipper.

Instead, it’s best to go full out corded with something like Andis’ 5-speed Pro, heavy duty dog clippers for matted hair.

I know, I know: you love the mobility and how flexible wireless pet hair cutters are. But thick coats are a stubborn bunch and they need a plugged in beast.

In this article I’ll introduce to you the 4 best dog clippers for thick coats and matted fur. All of them are corded, but there are some differences I want to elaborate on. I’ll also give you some tips re: removing matted hair.

Top pick
AndisExcel5Chart
  • Andis Excel Pro
  • Best for:
    5 speeds to groom smarter, cooler ceramic blades and best overall thick fur performance.
  • Body:
    ★★★★★
    6.63", lightweight at 0.80 lbs.
  • Speeds:
    ★★★★★
    5 speeds: 2500 to 4500 SPM
  • Motor quality:
    ★★★★★
  • Blades:
    ★★★★★
    #10 ceramic blade included.
  • Price: $$$
Best Wahl
WahlKM10Chart
  • Wahl KM10
  • Best for:
    Long-lasting brushless motor, extra quiet operation & Wahl's best steel blades.
  • Body:
    ★★★★½
    7.5", very lightweight at 12.3oz.
  • Speeds:
    ★★★★
    2 speeds: 3000 or 3700 SPM
  • Motor quality:
    ★★★★★
  • Blades:
    ★★★★½
    #10 Wahl Competition series steel blade included.
  • Price: $$$
Budget
OsterGoldenA5Chart
  • Oster Golden A5
  • Best for:
    Good performance on the most affordable price among cutters for thick coats.
  • Body:
    ★★★½
    Heavy at 1.97" lbs, prone to getting hot.
  • Speeds:
    ★★★½
    2 speeds: 2100 or 2700 SPM
  • Motor quality:
    ★★★★½
  • Blades:
    ★★★★
    Steel Cryogen X #10 blade included.
  • Price: $$
Balanced
andisagctab1
  • Andis Super AGC
  • Best for:
    Well-rounded choice, combining good price with strong performance and extra durable body.
  • Body:
    ★★★★
    7.13" and semi-heavy at 1.1 lbs.
  • Speeds:
    ★★★★½
    2 speeds: 3400 or 4400 SPM
  • Motor quality:
    ★★★★½
  • Blades:
    ★★★★
    Andis steel blade #10 included.
  • Price: $$+

The 4 best dog clippers for thick coats

1. Top choice clippers for thick dog hair:
Andis Excel Pro 5-Speed

This machine right here is the real deal. The Excel 5-speed will plow through any hair that’s otherwise nightmare to cut. Absolutely no compromise and maybe Andis’ finest heavy duty clippers for thick fur.

I know some people prefer the AGC 2-speed (I’ll get to it a bit later), but the AGC is no match. Why?

Let’s start with the 5-speed motor thing. 2500 to 4500 strokes per minute give you way more control over grooming your hairy pal’s thick coat. You can adjust them according to the area you want to take care of or how anxious the dog you’re cleaning up is.

The 2500 SPM is a big deal for delicate areas, especially for extra matted fur. AGC only goes down to 3300 SPM which can be scary to some pooches and might cause the blades to heat up. Here’s a short video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWUMTsncslA

Another thing I like more here are the ergonomics and the 12.5oz only weight. You have a soft-grip housing that’s one of the most convenient bodies out of the pro groomer clippers. Pair it up with how lightweight this thing is, and you’ll skip on wrist fatigue for sure.

As with all high end Andis clippers, you get a #10 size ceramic blade with the Excel Pro. It stays rather cool, but if you operate at 4500 SPM it will inevitably get a bit warm.

Remember to spray it with a cooling agent while you’re working on that thick undercoat.

My main complaint would be the fact that there’s no case included with the set. You’re paying quite a few bucks, surely that means you’d get somewhere to store this beauty? I wish Andis would add this little finishing touch to the best dog clippers for thick matted hair out there.

2. Best Wahl clippers for matted dogs:
Wahl KM10 2-speed

The monster power KM10 is Wahl’s answer to Andis getting the Excel out. While confined to only 2 speeds, this model has a roaring brushless motor with extended lifespan. After all, you’re making quite the investment here, right?

I’ll tell you something: quite a lot of horse owners use exactly the KM10 to do some quality horse trimming. This should speak volumes about its capabilities.

Where this clipper for matted dogs also stands out is silent operation. Andis models are powerful, but sometimes they buzz too much for my own liking. The KM10 stays quiet, which makes it great for extra skittish pooches.

Don’t think it doesn’t pack a punch, though. At 3000 or 3700 SPM, its motor delivers quality performance, despite not being as spectacular as the Excel 5-speed.

You know, you can always take a peek at this showcase video of it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68fzTa2o4X8

Once again thinking about your comfort, Wahl have made this monstrous beauty quite ergonomic. At 12.3oz, it’s even a little lighter than the Excel 5-speed. The slightly curved design makes sure it fits your hands properly, minimizing both vibrations and wrist fatigue.

The blade is once again a standard #10 size, but there’s a catch: it’s from Wahl’s Ultimate Competition series. While not ceramic, rather heavy duty stainless steel, it shows Wahl’s most elaborate blade design and long-lasting quality.

The only drawback is the cord that feels somewhat flimsy. A few people seem to complain about it getting damaged…but it really depends on how you move the machine around too. Just be careful and don’t stretch it too much and you should be fine.

3. Best budget shaver for thick pet fur:
Oster Golden A5 2-speed

I can’t do the whole professional thing without mentioning Oster. The brand is famous for its extremely heavy-duty clippers for long hair dogs prone to matted knots. The 2-speed Golden A5 is a prime example of these.

And don’t get me wrong, I love the Cryogen X #10 blade you’re getting here. It’s comparable to the Wahl Competition series and will cut through thick pet fur like butter. But…

But, once again we get the usual A5 problem: heating up and the rather heavy body. This quite powerful fellow weighs around 1.97 lbs. Yep, you read that right: that’s twice the weight of both the KM10 and Excel 5-speed.

For some people that won’t be an issue, but honestly, your hand will get tired at one point. The usual universal Oster motor also generates a lot of heat and you’ll need to take more frequent breaks according to my observations.

On the upside, this set of thick hair clippers is way more affordable than the previous contestants. If you’re on a budget and still want to get exquisite results, that’s your best friend.

Aside from the heavy body and the attention you need to pay to cooling it off, the A5 is A+ in terms of performance. No knots, no mats, no thickness can stand in its way.

Well-rounded pick:
Andis AGC Super 2-speed

Well, it really is. If you factor in price and pair it up with performance, the most well-rounded result would be the AGC Super 2-speed. You’re getting better overall performance than the budget pick, but slightly lower results compared to the higher end KM10 and Excel 5-speed.

So, what’s in for you here?

The AGC 2-Speed is a classic for dog groomers seeking to cope with thick fur frustrations. Its low speed revvs it up at 3400 SPM, while the higher shoots to the skies with 4400 SPM. Quite the performance, though I once again want to mention that 3400 SPM might be too powerful for more skittish pets.

Ergonomics are taken care of, but at 1.1 lbs and some 7.13″, the AGC isn’t as convenient and groomer-friendly as the Excel. No rubber-grip coziness either, but the break-resistant, extra durable housing will take care of clipper longevity.

Some people like to use them for poodles, but I actually prefer other poodle clipper options if you want comfortable grooming.

Another difference to my recommended 5-speed Excel is the carbon steel #10 blade. You’re not getting the ceramic treatment here so you could expect things getting a little bit hotter. Not as hot as the Oster, though!

All in all, the Super 2-speed AGC does what the Excel does…but one level lower than that. The tradeoff is that you save a few bucks, yet still get a high quality clipper for thick coats. No storage case once again, though!

How to groom a dog with matted or extra thick fur?

Getting mats out of any dog can be a real pain, especially if it’s been a long time since it’s been groomed properly. My top 3 tips for you would be:

  • Be patient

  • Work slowly

  • Don’t be afraid to complement your clippers with other tools

In some especially nightmarish cases, you really want to start with a dematting comb before starting with the clippers. Professional clippers are one thing, but if there’s a whole jungle of knots on the dog’s fur, they won’t be able to cope.

Grab a comb like this favorite GoPets dematter of mine and gently, but firmly, brush through the body. Once the mats are under control (not gone, but ready to be taken on with a clipper), switch to the fur cutter.

You could also use pet scissors to achieve the same results, but a dematting rake gets things done faster and more conveniently. Also, if you’ve bathed your dog, make sure the hair has dried out properly.

(For larger dogs with too thick of a fur, consider getting a proper dog blow dryer to help you out!)

The actual process of shaving a dog with matted hair

If your dog’s hair is longer, chances are the thick matted areas will obstruct your vision. Instead of jamming the clippers and starting the grooming process, take your time.

With slow, delicate motions pull the skin a little and divide the knots so you can see clearer.

You need to be aware where the skin actually starts, otherwise you might wound your dog. Remember: professional clippers come with pretty sharp blades.

Get a feel of the coat and continue working section by section without rushing through it.

Also, keep in mind that getting a #7F size blade, instead of the stock #10 sized blades can achieve better results. It leaves hair a bit longer than the #10, but this lets it get through thick matted hair easier.

You can always change to a #10 after the biggest knots have been taken care of, and groom your dog to a shorter length.

Here’s a good short video showcasing the proper technique of the best way to get mats out:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htfrXrKUIzg

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