Grooming Clippers for Dogs with Long Single Coats

By on March 14, 2017

For the home groomer dealing with dogs that have long single coats like the Lhasa Apso, and Shih Tzu is a potential nightmare. These dogs’ fur will mat if not kept groomed and you can spend a fortune on professional grooming. Yet with their long silky coats they can be very difficult to groom unless you have the right tools.

What is the right tool? What dog grooming clipper is the right one for these wonderful dogs with the difficult coats? For us it is the Wahl 8451 5 Star Magic Clip Hair Clipper. With these dogs a heavy duty clipper is exactly the wrong tool. This 5 Star Magic has finer razor heads and a less powerful motor than some others on the market. This is just what you want for dogs with long single coats.

You might think the 5 Star Magic Clip is not a good clipper because of its price. Nothing could be more off base. As previously noted, these dogs do not need the heavy, stronger motor, faster speeds clipper. The cost of this clipper is around $45.00 to $55.00.

Wahl 5 Star Magic Clip Hair Clipper Review

As all dog grooming clippers are evaluated by their features and benefits, let’s take a look at these for the 5 Star Magic. There are certain categories of features that all clippers have and these are what we will use to judge this one as well.

The general categories of features and benefits used to judge dog grooming clippers includes:

  • Speed: Single or double
  • Noise
  • User-friendly
  • Corded or cordless
  • Maintenance required
  • Price


We will use some of these categories and customer ratings to judge the productivity of the Wahl 5 Star Magic Clip with the long, single coated dog such as the Lhasa Apso, and Shih Tzu. In addition you should know that Wahl is primarily a barber/hair stylist tool company. However their products have always been used on dogs and the line made for humans is at times better for the dogs than the pet pro lines they also offer.  

Before we do that let’s look at the grooming challenges presented by these dogs with long fine coats that matt easily. These dogs have what professional groomers call “Drop Coats”. They call it this because the coat drops straight to the ground. We will look at two of these breeds – the Lhasa Apso, and Shih Tzu.

Let’s look at some features and benefits of the Wahl 5 Star Magic Clip Hair Clipper.


The Wahl 5 Star Magic Clip has a V9000 motor that runs cool and has 50% more power than most standard-grade clippers. You can adjust the texture and taper of the cut without changing the blades. Because these dogs have finer coats more like hair than fur, this clipper will give you a smooth and precise cut. The V9000 is an electromagnetic motor operating at 120 volts.

Variable Thumb Lever

This feature is very convenient. As mentioned above there is a variable thumb lever that controls the adjustment for tapering and texturing without changing blades.

Long Corded

The chord is professional grade and more importantly it is 8 feet long. It is also chemical resistant so you don’t have to worry about the items you are using to groom your dog affecting the cord.


As one customer noted – “it is nearly impossible to match quality and performance of this clipper at the price point. It is hands down the best clipper I have ever used. It is a phenomenal and powerful machine, priced under $50.”

Blades and Attachments

The blades and attachments from the other entire Wahl full size clipper are interchangeable with those from the 5 Star Magic Clip. This allows for all the versatility you will ever need for these long, fine haired dogs.

All these benefits make the Wahl 5 Star Magic Clip Hair Clipper the perfect clipper for dogs with long, fine coats. This clipper receives a rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars from customers on Amazon. 71% of all customers rated this clipper a 5.



Challenges of Grooming a Lhasa Apso

As a breed with a long, fine coat the Lhasa Apso is a grooming challenge. With hair that should fall to the floor in the “show cut” of the breed, there is a lot of combing and brushing. In the “puppy cut” or variations of both there is a lot of precise clipping. A Lhasa needs to be clipped every 10-12 weeks and brushed daily in between.

Regardless of style, you will need to thoroughly brush your Lhasa before you begin to clip. You will want to know if there are mats to work through before your clipper finds them. The best tool for this is a slicker brush. Part the hair in the middle in front and back then you will get an even cut when you clip.

The blades used should be to provide a short trim and a gentle trim that will not pull or yank on the dog’s thin hair. You might need a variety of blades as you work your way to the underside and sensitive parts of your dog. Be sure to trim the excess hair around the toes.

Dogs with drop coats do not shed or they shed very little which is why their hair tends to matt. The coat of the Lhasa Apso has more in common with human hair they than they do with traditional dog fur. For these reasons they need groomed with a good clipper like the Wahl 5 Star Magic Clip Hair Clipper. Groom them occasionally if you want a show cut but you will have to groom them monthly if you want a puppy cut.

Challenges of Grooming a Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu is a long coated dog whose fur is as fine as human hair. It is silky and requires that you comb it daily or clip it regularly. If you don’t do either it will just continue to grow and become dirty and matted. The Shih Tzu is unable to groom himself and he barely sheds.

So it is either a brush and scissors or a good clipper like the Wahl 5 Star Magic Clip Hair Clipper. With some practice you will be able to groom your Shih Tzu with ease. Most owners of pet Shih Tzu’s clip their dogs while show dogs are brushed, scissors and arranged in the show look. Clipping the Shih Tzu makes it much easier to take care of them. When clipped as a pet they end up looking like little bears with spherical heads and chunky legs. This keeps the Shih Tzu from overheating in warm weather.

Within a few months of birth the Shih Tzu’s adult coat will be in full command and all their puppy fur will be gone. You need to start clipping them at a few months of age and continue to do so every two to three months.