Comb guides are seen as a great alternative to buying several sizes of blades. They are much cheaper to buy, they can leave longer lengths than blades, and most can be added on to any A5 snap-on blade in a number 10, 15, 30 or 40. Most clippers already come with a standard number 10 blade, which these can be easily added on to.
Comb guides are available in plastic or metal and generally come in eight sizes (these reflect the length of coat they leave). These can be bought individually, or as a set. The sizes of these can be measured in millimetres or inches. The eight most common sizes of comb guides are 1/8” = 3mm, 1/4” = 6mm, 3/8” = 9mm, 1/2” = 13mm, 5/8” = 16mm, 3/4” = 19mm, 7/8” = 22mm and 1” = 25mm. Most sets of comb guides come in a plastic storage box, and some brands are even colour coded for ease of use.
When it comes to attaching a comb guide to your blade, there are three main types of attachment, they can be snap on combs, magnetic combs, or even spring-loaded combs. Be sure to attach and detach carefully, to avoid damage to your blade and comb guide. Also, be cautious when placing your clipper down when a comb guide is attached, as too much weight on the guide can cause the teeth to bend. Again, as when using blades directly, comb guides still need to be kept clean and dry, and the blade underneath should still be kept lubricated every 10 to 15 minutes during a clip.
Before clipping with a comb guide, you should fully prep your dog beforehand. This involves fully bathing, drying, and de-matting the coat before you clip. This ensures that the fur is as smooth as possible for the comb guides to glide through with ease. If trying to use comb attachments on a dirty, tangled or matted coat, you will find that the comb guide will drag, catch, and possibly even snap off your blade during use. A great tip is if you find that your comb attachments are not giving you a smooth finish, you can smooth out the ends of the coat using a good pair of thinning scissors to make the ends softer. This provides you with a more natural finish.