Use this technique to clip above the undercoat on terriers (keeping some colour and texture) and on coats that lay in a specific direction and are harder and tighter to the skin – like hard coated schnauzers and ‘shiny’ coated spaniel types.


The Reverse Comb trick is well worth learning!

We all must have had that Springer that has the perfect shiny back coat, and no amount of persuading is going to talk the client from having the whole dog shaved? Once you try to clip that coat down it just looks like you have attacked it with a knife and fork!

I find that with that type of Spaniel coat if you reverse clip it with a Mastercut 16mm or 13mm attachment comb it is the same length as a right way clip with a 5f or 7f only it picks up the coat better. A quick skim over with a 5f or a 7f and you have a far better finish than if you clip with just the blades.

Here are my top tips:


Most terrier coats take a 16mm or a 13mm comb attachment in reverse to stay above the undercoat. You will need to drop down two sizes for the tidy over with the grain of coat e.g. 10mm, 6mm or a 5f blade.

Avoiding Lines

Remember you have to stay above the undercoat to avoid lines and lots of blending afterwards. Maybe do a dummy run first with just the comb attachment, just to see how much you will take off before you put a blade underneath.

Feed hair – Don’t force it!

Stretch the skin on really dense coats to expand the hair follicles per square inch and allow the clipper to cut more easily. Let the hair feed through the blade, do not force it as that will cause “corduroy markings” which are rough markings in the coat that can be caused by too much hair being fed into the
blades at one time.

Don’t forget you need to clip over your reverse clip with the grain of coat 2 grades down to remove hair in areas you couldn’t reverse clip and to apply your finish. Play around with this a bit, you will soon recognise the blade needed for the coat type in front of you. Remember, the harder the coat that lays tight in one direction the shorter it will clip in reverse.

If you found this article useful, why not try: Basic Clipper Skills – Comb Attachments