A Cut Above
Martha Palmer, director of Wahl Clipper Corporation’s professional animal division, discusses how the company is leveraging its long history in the clipper business, as well as valuable input from groomers, to craft the perfect tools for professional pet stylists.
Grooming Business: How does Wahl Clipper Corporation’s nearly 100 years of experience in designing and manufacturing hair clippers benefit today’s professional groomers?
Martha Palmer: In 1919, Leo J. Wahl patented the first practical hand-held hair clipper, and manufacturing began at the Wahl Clipper Corporation in Sterling, Ill. Now in our 97th year, Wahl is the international industry leader in the design and manufacturing of hair clippers. Our vast experience and knowledge in hair clipping and grooming, along with listening to our customers, allows us to be responsive to our customers’ needs and ensure that we are developing products that solve a groomer’s problems and makes his or her life easier. The fact that we continue to manufacture the majority of our professional-grade products in Sterling, Ill., also affords us total quality control, while our competition remains an ocean away.
GB: What are some of the key considerations that professional groomers should have when selecting a clipper or trimmer?
Palmer: Key considerations for professional groomers when buying a clipper or trimmer are: increased performance, greater control, ergonomic design for comfort and increased pet safety. Professional groomers need clippers or trimmers that withstand the wear and tear from heavy daily usage. They also need clippers that are lightweight and ergonomically designed for the well-being of the groomer and the safety of the pet.
GB: Are there any common mistakes that groomers make when it comes to clipper and trimmer maintenance?
Palmer: The most common mistake is not completing regular blade maintenance to ensure maximum clipper or trimmer performance. It is a simple process that helps to ensure blade sharpness, reduces heat and improves blade longevity. Groomers should follow three basic steps:
- Manual cleaning to remove hair and skin debris;
- Liquid cleaning and disinfecting to kill and remove bacteria, viruses and fungi; and
- Lubrication to reduce friction, prevent rust, prolong blade life and help them run smoother.
Just following these basic instructions will help ensure longer blade life and greater product satisfaction. Wahl Clipper has YouTube videos that demonstrate this process, and live customer service representatives can also answer any questions on blade maintenance.
GB: What are some of the newest and most exciting products that Wahl has introduced into the professional grooming industry? What sets these products apart from others in the marketplace?
Palmer: Wahl is continually innovating by providing groomers with lightweight, quiet clippers that have an ergonomic design to make the grooming process a safe, painless and enjoyable experience for both the groomer and animal. Wahl has recently introduced several new products with these benefits:
PowerGrip is a professional-grade clipper created by groomers for groomers. Designed from focus group feedback, it is an all-new, American-made, two-speed, corded clipper with two unique performance systems to take grooming to new levels—Constant Speed Control (CSC) and PowerDrive Performance (PDP). CSC is automatic and works like cruise control does on your car. The CSC provides an extra burst of force when needed to clip through the most intimidating coats. CSC kicks in where and when you need it, quickly and efficiently. PDP provides unbelievable power and torque over standard rotary motor drive systems. PDP prevents stalling (bogging down) of the motor and drive system while delivering more power and torque with less vibration, noise, clipper heat and blade heat. Additionally, PowerGrip was designed with a patented, easy-to-replace drive-tip system. This means that you no longer have to remove clipper parts for occasional maintenance. PowerGrip can be used on all coat types and is ideal for grooming multiple pets.
Wahl’s KM10 2-Speed Professional Clipper uses brushless motor technology, so it runs cooler, extending the life of the clipper motor. The KM10 has maximum power and torque with Constant Speed Control to deliver more power when clipping through mats and thick coats. Lightweight at only 12.3 ounces to reduce wrist fatigue, the KM10 is designed for superior comfort and control with a correctly balanced, low-vibration ergonomic design.
Also worth noting is that Wahl is the original inventor of the “5-in-1” clipper. With an extensive offering, such as Bravura, Arco, Chromado, Figura and Motion, Wahl combined the unsurpassed cutting ability of a “5-in-1” blade with the power, torque and long life of lithium ion technology to take cordless technology to the next level. Exceptionally light, powerful, amazingly quiet, no vibration and always cool running, “5-in-1” clippers are a must have for every professional groomer looking for a high-performance cordless clipper.
Finally, Wahl’s Ultimate Nail Grinder is a professional-grade corded grinder kit that is ideal for trimming, shaping and smoothing rough nails on pets of all sizes. The grinder is completely maintenance free, quiet and lightweight at only 5.7 ounces for easier grooming. Its ergonomic design with finger grips gives you added comfort and control.
GB: Other than producing a broad lineup of high-quality products, how does Wahl
support the professional grooming community?
Palmer: Wahl is a very active participant in the professional grooming community. Along with participating in all the major industry trade shows, Wahl is also a GroomTeam USA sponsor. Wahl has world-class Xtreme Team ambassadors that travel the world to provide industry grooming education. We are also well-known for providing world-class customer service and support. Finally, our 30-day, no-risk guarantee and minimum one-year limited warranty take away any risk and ensure that a groomer gets a product that will meet the demands of the job.
GB: What does the future hold for Wahl and the professional grooming industry?
Palmer: We continually get feedback from professional groomers and use it to develop new products and innovations that make a groomer’s job faster, safer and easier. You can expect a continued focus on making grooming a safe, painless and enjoyable experience for both the groomer and pet. Manufacturers will continue to find innovative ways to make clippers lighter weight, quieter, cooler running, lower vibration, more ergonomic, longer-running cordless, etc. At Wahl, we are committed to designing clippers that deliver superior performance while meeting the unique needs and preferences of groomers.