Fine Stripping / Carding Knife
Based on the iconic ‘McClellan’ design, ideal for hand stripping a variety of terriers and other wire coated breeds. The distinctive curved shape and dipped non-slip handle are instantly recognisable and a firm favourite with pet groomers and show exhibitors alike. The blade itself is made from heat treated steel, with a durable Teflon coating to resist corrosion and eliminate static. This particular knife has fine teeth, perfect for removing top coat and fine textured hair. It is most commonly used for the head, neck and general finishing.
Is it safe to use?
Although described as a ‘knife’, the blade edge is serrated with short rounded teeth to prevent injury. The sides of the teeth are tapered to grip and remove the hair without cutting it.
How do I use it?
Start by thoroughly brushing the coat to remove any knots, tangles and loose undercoat. When you’re ready to begin, hold the knife securely with your thumb against the inward curve of the blade. This is also known as the ‘smooth’ side.
Having selected an area to strip, hold the dogs skin taut to avoid any discomfort. Draw the blade through the coat following the natural direction of growth. As the hair begins to gather between the teeth of the blade, place your thumb on top of the hair to secure it. Then, gently pull the hair in the direction of growth, keeping your wrist straight throughout the entire movement. Avoid twisting your wrist as this may cause the hair to break, creating uneven length and damaging the coat.
Hand stripping is very time consuming, demanding both patience and persistence. As such, work a small area at a time until the entire outer coat has been removed. Regular hand stripping (every 4-6 weeks) will help you to achieve what is known as a ‘rolled’ coat, where the hair lays flatter and has coarser texture. Hand stripping at longer intervals (e.g. 6 months) will create more irregular coat texture and even bald patches as new hair growth develops. This is known as a ‘blown’ coat and, should ideally be avoided.
As a pet groomer, it’s important to manage client expectations and, the necessity for more regular salon appointments. If the client feels hand-stripping is too demanding (and expensive), discuss the option of clipping the coat for a more manageable style.