Regardless of why, Eli sprouted an extra fluffy (for him) winter coat this year. Very inconvenient, especially in Texas. I had not ever body clipped him and the entire time I have known the horse, he has not been body clipped. While Eli’s ground manners have improved over the years by leaps and bounds, he is still bitchy about me grooming around his flanks and haunches. This consideration was the source of my apprehension related to body clipping this horse. And it influenced my purchase, ultimately.
I have body clipped a lot. I used to do it for money, for about 3 or 4 years, and clipped a lot of show horses. I used the Oster Clipmasters because they can cut through anything and seem damn near indestructible. But they are loud. If you have them on for any length of time, when you turn them off you might wonder whether you have hearing damage. They vibrate so much that my arm goes numb within 20 minutes of clipping with them. They have a fan that blows horse hair right up into your face. They are heavy, too. If you have to clip a lot of animals, though, these might be an okay option because they can most assuredly stand up to clipping a lot of animals.
But I don’t clip for money any more. I just needed to clip Eli. Considering the cost of a body clip these days, I wanted to keep the clippers around that price range, so that with merely one clip they have paid for themselves.
Based on a gazillion googles and reading many, many reviews, I finally settled on the Wahl KM10 clippers, and found them for a good price on Amazon. I didn’t know anyone personally who had experience with them, but a handful of reviewers noted that they clipped their baby racehorses with them and the baby racehorses were totally okay with that because of how quiet they are. I was skeptical about whether a smaller clipper would be powerful enough for a full body clip, but Wahl advertises them as equine body clippers among other things and Eli doesn’t have thick hair. I took a chance.
The KM10s come with a Wahl #10 blade and I bought an additional #10 Ultimate blade. I knew for body clipping with a smaller set of clippers that I would need to swap out the blades periodically as they overheat from the friction of oscillating and clipping hair. I got the clippers on Friday, and I was set to clip Eli on Saturday after our lesson. It was too chilly for an additional bath, but he wasn’t too dirty, having had a bath the previous Saturday.
Eli handles me trimming his whiskers and bridle path with the Oster A5s just fine, and the Wahl KM10s are a bit smaller, but shaped somewhat ergonomically. Thankfully, they are extremely lightweight, and my arm never got tired.
The Wahl Ultimate blades can cut a lot of hair very quickly. The blades did heat up, but having an extra set paid off, as I was able to just swap them out occasionally. I kept everything oiled and free of hair as possible, and didn’t skimp on the Kool Lube. The clippers themselves — the housing of the motor — never got hot.
Best of all, these clippers are really freaking quiet. Like, the quietest ever. I could get right up to the base of Eli’s ears without him protesting too much. He was by turns lulled into a nap or licking and yawning when I clipped over itchy spots. He did get a little fussy about the inside of his hind legs above the hocks, and twitched enough while I was clipping his flanks that they look a bit ratty, so I’ll spend a little more time doing touch-ups. But back to how quiet they are — Saturday was body-clipping bonanza day, and the working students clipped two lesson horses with Listers while I was clipping Eli in an adjacent cross tie. I couldn’t even hear the Wahls over the sound of the Listers. I finished up Eli’s legs and some of his head on Sunday and never once did my arm tire or my ears ring. And especially for just a simple show clip or touch-up clipping, these Wahls can more than handle the job. Indeed, they are quite handy for body clipping, too. I can’t speak to their durability yet, so I am not going to tell professional body clippers to switch it up, but for a couple of body clips a season, these clippers seem to be an excellent choice. I was surprised by how well they clipped, considering their size, weight, and hardly-audible whir. I am also impressed with the how well the Wahl Ultimate blades retained their sharpness throughout the task. The blades are made in America, and the quality shows. Certain Oster and Andis blades are also compatible with the Wahl KM10s according to the packaging literature, so that’s handy if you prefer a certain brand and type of blade.
These clippers are definitely the right ones for me and Eli. I think my Oster A5s may need a new home for a low price …
There is one drawback about the Wahl KM10s. They don’t come with a case. Over the years, I have purchased 2 Oster Clipmasters, one Oster A5 2-speed, and one Oster A5 1-speed, and they have all come with protective carrying cases. I’d like the same for the Wahls and was surprised that they didn’t come with one, so for right now they are living in their retail packaging.
Otherwise, 10/10 recommend. Really, really impressed, Wahl!