There is alot of information on this page, and we hope you read it all the way to the bottom. There is over 30 years of sharpening and grooming experience compiled to help you. Its set up for the first time customer, and will answer most of your questions about your equipment and shippingto us.
There Is Alot Here, At Least Scroll And Glance At These Sections:
- Mailing Information (print out "Inventory Sheet") -
- Sharpening Prices -
- Scissor Types -
- Blades We Sharpen -
- Trimmer Blades We Sharpen -
- Wahl 5-N-1 Blade Refurbish Program -
- Clipper Repair (see tab on left) -
- Payment Methods -
( WE DO NOT TAKE AMEX CARDS )
>>>>> What To Use, And Not Use When Packing A Box <<<<<
- Terms Of Our Guarantee On Bottom Of Page -
Regular customers only read it once, then go get the "Inventory Sheet" after that.
Read my blog on Petgroomer.com, the tab is on the left.
<<<<< If you just want the Inventory Sheet, Click the navigation bar on left
The Mail-In Service Groomers are shipping from "All 50 States & The World"
One of the "Most Trusted" inexpensive sharpening services in the U.S.
Get your FREE CD-ROM containing all the files and video's on this website!
PLUS The New 3 Part Series On Blade Care (not on website)
It goes in your computer for instant viewing, no more waiting or downloading.
We are a discount sharpening service, NOT a low quality service. The prices are low by design, and will remain lower than other services. The prices we charge covers the cost of our expenses just fine. Our employee's are groomers, and have a combined experience of over 40 years at a grooming table. We know how your equipment is suppose to cut, and we use the same equipment everyday.
Because of our experience, we won't sharpen anything broken, worn out, or something thats dangerous to an animal. We'll call you if we have any questions, or if any of your equipment is questionable. Our website has information that will help keep your sharpening and repair money in your pocket. No one else does that for you. The information is all FREE!
In this economy, you need someone like us on your side who will exceed your expectations with sharpening, and not charge you a ridiculous price to do it.
We will be moving our sharpening business to a building we purchased across the street from our grooming shop where it is now. The late hours and noise interfers with the boarding part of the grooming salon.
The move will be March 9th to March 13th
We will still be sharpening, butthere may be 1 or 2 days delay in shipment back. If you don’t mine, ship anyway. If it’s a problem, get your stuff to us before or after the move dates. Sorry for any inconvenience.
A T T E N T I O N
Jeff will not be working...
Apr 13th through Apr 19th, 2015
We'll be at the Yearly Sharpeners Report Seminar.
At this seminar, we learn about all new products and the technical information about them to include repair. I will also be one of the speakers.
If you don't mind waiting a little, then ship your box when you have the time. If you need your equipment back sooner, please get it to us before or after the dates above. It would be best we didn't receive shipments between Monday April 13th and Sunday April 19th. I won't be in town to sharpen anything, and it could sit waiting on me for Monday April 20th. If your OK with that, go ahead and ship it, my crew will be here prepping everything for me.
Return Shipping Promotion
(For customers shipping in the USA only)
You pay $5.00 return shipping on invoices totalling $100 or less.
For invoices $101 or more,the return shipping is free !!!
( invoice total is before adding the shipping, insurance charges or clipper parts . Your custom shipping box "ex: The Davis Box", plastic parts boxes, ect, you pay total shipping. )
We will ship back to you using the cheapest postage we can get for "2 Day Priority Mail" using regular boxes and flat rate boxes and padded envelopes.
If you request insurance for the return trip, we will add it but you pay for it. We will add the cost for the insurance to your invoice.
We clean what rust and gunk off your blades we can, and polish your shears
And we do it for free... We want your stuff to look like new!
* 48 Hour Turn Around * On "Average Size" Sharpening Orders - We have the box no longer than 48 hous or less,
and you should get it back 7 to 12 days after you mailed it.
**** Average size orders are: 14 blades, 3 shears, one clipper. Excessive amounts of blades, shears, or clippers may take a little more time.****
You get your box back 7 to 12 days after you mail it, depending on the Post Office,
unless you sent and excessive amount of equipment, this will take longer.
NOTE: On certain holidays ( Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day,Thanksgiving, and Christmas ) we get double the boxes. Turnaround may take a couple days longer.
Here is the address to ship when using the US Post Office, DHL, UPS or FedEx: The "Inventory Sheet" (below) will automatically print this address out for you on a separate sheet, then you just attach it to your box.
Northern Tails Sharpening, Inc c/o The UPS Store 1956-J University Blvd. S. Suite# 333 Mobile, AL 36609 251-232-5353
This is a new address in Mobile since April 2009. They tore down the mall where the old UPS Store is located to build a CVS Pharmacy. DO NOT SHIP to the"Old Shell Road" address it will increase shipping time.
Please print and fill out the "Inventory Sheet" Below.
( scroll down )
This sheet gives you the opportunity to itemize your box and see how much your going to spend on your sharpening order.
It gives us your return mailing address and "Anytime" phone number so we can reach you after hours or over the weekend if we need to contact you.
The Inventory sheet also prints out a label to put on your box, how cool is that!
Information To Mail For Fastest Turnaround
The US Post Office has upgraded their system entirely, from on-line invoicing, to delivery options. They started using over the road trucks to carry mail as opposed to air to save money. They also stopped moving mail over the weekend, this extends delivery time to you and us. What used to take 2 days takes 3 or 4 now. Don't be surprised when it takes longer than the person behind the counter told you...they don't know, they are telling you what they were told to say. The box goes to the your local sorting center the day after you mail it, it could leave your town that night or the next morning. So figure a day and a half before it leaves your town. Then add 3 days to get to Mobile, then I get delivery the next day. So, if you need your equipment back in a week I don't think its possible, figure 7 to11 days from when you mailed it to be safe. Get USPS tracking so you know where your box is at. If you call us, we may not have it yet or know where its at, but your tracking will know. You can track your box on your computer or smart phone, we won't do that for you. The Post Office is giving $50 free insurance on every package, if you want more then you'll have to purchase it. The post office has slowed down a little this year, but its the safest and best way to ship.
IF YOUR TRACKING SCAN SAYS IT WAS DELIVERED, IT WAS ACTUALLY SCANNED AT THE USPS SORTING CENTER IN MOBILE,
THE BOX WILL ACTUALLY GET SHIPPED TO OUR LOCAL POST OFFICE AND DELIVERED TO US IN A DAY OR TWO AFTER THAT.
Go ahead and mail any day you want, you will still get the box back quick.
NOTE: If your trying to enter our address into "Click-N-Ship" and it keeps saying its an "invalid address", go to the "Click-N-Ship (Postage)" page of this website. On this page about half way down we picture the entry sheet from the USPS website and what to put in each place so it works
Padded Bubble Bag (9.5 x 12.5)
Flat Rate Bubble Bag
This NEW bubble bag from the Post Office is perfect for sending blade boxes full of blades for the SAME PRICE AS A SMALL FLAT RATE BOX. Always use your blade box to ship blades, never wrap them and use a small flat rate box, they can get damaged. Even if the box isn't full, use the blade box and this bag. This new bag is durable and tear resistant and FREE AT THE POST OFFICE, grab several.
Make sure the cover to your box is secured with several thick rubber bands or tape it closed with packing tape. (scotch tape will not hold) Seal it up and your good to go. Postage is under $6.00 just like a small flat rate box, and this bag will hold20 pounds.
The US Post Office is automatically insuring all priority mail boxes for $50. If you want more then $50 you can purchase more.
Print out the "Inventory Sheet" (below) and send it with your order.
Use this Inventory Sheet to itemize whats in your shipping box. It will give you an estimate of what your sharpening will cost.
It also has a place to tell me about your concerns and special requests. It even has the label for the box already addressed for you.
Make sure you tell us what brand of clipper you use. We will test your blades on the same brand of clipper to make sure they attach good, and they should cut when you get them back.
If you can't print out the "Inventory Sheet" just answer these questions on a regular sheet of paper.
How many blades your sending? How many shears your sending? Any broken teeth on any blades? Do you want blades returned safely in a blade box? What name and address you want everything sent back to? Let us know if this is a different address than we shipped to before. Payment information. Phone numbers where we can reach you anytime, 7 days a week, daytime/evenings. If we talked on the phone about anything you want done, write it down to refresh our memory.
WHAT BRAND OF CLIPPER DO YOU USE?
Do You Do Cats?
If you do alot of cats with #10's or 7F's please designate these blades for me. Its best to set the tension of these blades at the high end of the tension spec, and set the cutter back a little more so it will dig. If not, they may have trouble cutting and just skim over the fur in some of these cats with dense fur. Make sure your clipper is 100% as well, a worn blade drive will not let the blade dig in cat fur. Have a new blade drive on when you do cats.
Sometimes as you know you just have to find a 10 that will work on a cat, but this helped me when I was shaving down cats all the time..
MAIL-IN PRICES *** We DO NOT accept American Express cards ***We are one of the most inexpensive sharpening services you can use! NOTE: Multiple groomers sending blades in the same box. Please Identify your blades permanently somehow by engraving or nail polish on the sockets. We clean blades two times and air blow them once, and we may not keep the identity of the blades separate between groomers in your combined blade box. Just a heads up to help us out! A5 Steel Blades.....Mail-in...$5.00 always
A5 Ceramic Blades.....Mail-in...$6.00 always 4 Pt, Equine, or Farm Blades.....Mail-in...$5.00 always Restore Heavy Rusted Blades........$6.50 Designate which blades, see informationWe can REFURBISH your Wahl 5-N-1 Blade for $10.00
This includes new parts. Extends Life, SAVES MONEY! NOTE: The program is the best deal, like getting a almost-new blade backPlease only send up to (10) 5-N-1 blades at a time
If you need any blade drives, levers, hinges, power cords or whatever for Andis, Wahl, or Laube just let us know how many in a note. We can add it to the invoice and ship it back in your box.
There is a place on the 2nd page of the Inventory Sheet to list the parts you need.
Disclaimer: Northern Tails Sharpening, Inc is not responsible for equipment lost or damaged in transit from us, so the owner will not be compensated. The shipping company is responsible, so shipping insurance is the only way you can get compensated for lost or damaged equipment. We do not apply insurance to shipments automatically even if there was insurance applied when it was shipped to us. You have to request we apply insurance and how much to apply to the return shipment. You can do this by documenting your request on our "Inventory Sheet", a received email, or on a plain piece of paper inside the box. Verbal notification over the phone will not be adequate, it can be forgotten that way.
Have a safe and blessed day!
What Kind Of Edge Is On Your Shears?
The Beveled Edge
Considered the "Work Horse" of the grooming industry. This edge is the standard edge of 90% of all grooming shears. Why is this edge so good for grooming? Because it will cut almost every type of coat without going dull so quickly. The small 30 degree bevel on the edge gives this edge its support. It will cut out mats, dirty hair, wet hair, and general roughing in without dulling out or pushing the hair very quickly. It can be sharpened on standard sharpening equipment. We charge $4.50 to sharpen shears with this edge.
The Convex Edge
Considered a finishing shear rather than one used to "rough in".The convex edge is identified as looking like a razor. When both blades are sharpened properly you can barely feel the shear go through the hair. This same edge is on most beauty shears. The convex edge gets its strength from the metal of the shear its on. Good shears with a convex edge are usually in the $150+ price range, and may have a ball bearing as a pivot rather than just a tension screw. The better the metal the longer the edge will last. Of course, what you cut with the shear influences the life of the edge as well. We charge $10.00 to sharpen shears with the convex edge because they need to be honed to get that razor edge. SHARK FINŽ Shears please call for pricing.
If you purchased a convex shear in the $40 - $80 price range we consider that an inexpensive shear. This type of shear usually comes in grooming kits as sets for entry level groomers, but can be purchased separately in any catalogue. The metal on these shears isn't strong enough to support the honed razor edge that normally comes on convex shear blades. If you scissor alot with these shears they could dull out in a few weeks, and if dropped can bend very easy. I suggest putting a small beveled edge on the shear because it is stronger on any metal and should hold the edge for months. Since the blades are convex, the beveled edge will seem just as sharp and cut for alot longer. Some sharpeners charge $20 to hone the razor edge back on convex shears which is almost half the cost of the cheaper shears, if they dull out in weeks its not cost effective to put that edge back on. Expensive convex shears are made with very good metal and will hold the razor convex edge for months
If your always having issues with your shears, it may be the way you take care of them. Here is an article that will help you maintaine your shears the proper way.
All brands of A5 blades fit all brands of A5 clippers, no blades are specific to clippers brands.
We sharpen all brands of all steel blades, blades with ceramic cutters, barber blades that fit the vibrating clippers, and large animal blades. We sharpen ALL BRANDS and TYPES of clipper blades. Note: We don't test blades on comb attachments to see if they work. So if you put a #40, #30, #15, #10, or #9 on a comb and push it through the coat and it just snags, something is wrong. You need to take the blade off the comb, push the cutter to each side while cleaning the hair from under it and then oil with blade oil (no coolants). Try the blade on the belly someplace by skimming it to see if it cuts with out the comb on it. We test every blade we sharpen on our clipper that has new parts, if it dont cut at your shop something is wrong.
Any and All STEEL Blades
Any and All CERAMIC Blades
Any and All WIDE Blades
Barber/Home Groomer Blades
All T-84 and all Horse Blades
Power Pro Blades (Wide)
All Oster A-2 Blades
4 Inch Wide Animal Blades
4 Point Sheep Blades
4 Inch Wide Animal Blades
Lister Blades $7.00 a set
If you have a comb that looks like the picture with the plate loose, or the teeth bent, throw it away and buy a new one. Your blades will drag if you use it.
We don't fix combs, so please don't send them.
There is more to ceramic blades than you think. If your having trouble with them constantly you may not be using them correctly. Ceramic blades have to be handled differently than steel blades, read this article. Maybe ceramic isn't a good choice for you!
How do you know if your clipper blade is good or bad, or is worth being re-sharpened? Do you have blades with broken parts, or you feel they are old and worn out? Read this article and you'll know !--->
The pictures below show the only trimmer blades we sharpen or refurbish at the present time because they can be sharpened consistantly to cut. We DO NOT sharpen Wahl Mini-Arco or Mini-Chromo, Wahl Tid-Bit or Peanut, Andis Power Trim, Oster Pro-Cord, Andis Easy Clip, Oster Freestyle or Juice, Geib Zoomer, Oster Finisher, Geib Orthello, or any other small trimmer blade. Some are just disposable and can't be re-sharpened.
We DO sharpen the Laube Speedfeed, and all versions of the Wahl 5-N-1, If they don't look like any of the ones in the photos, please don't send them. We will just be returning them.
Wahl 5-in-1 Black. REFURBISH ONLY, NOT RESHARPENED
Wahl 5-in-1 Silver. REFURBISH ONLY, NOT RESHARPENED
Break The Tab On Your Wahl 5-N-1 Blade???
We have NEW spring decks to install on your Wahl 5-N-1 blades so don't throw them away. THEY CAN BE FIXED and REFURBISHED for $10.00
Spring Decks alone cost $3.00 each, New cutters are $6.00 each.
Why not take advantage of our "5-N-1 Refurbish Program"? Cost is $10.00 per blade.
Wahl 5-N-1 Blade Re-furbish Program
We can REFURBISH your Wahl 5-N-1 Blade for $10.00
This includes new factory parts if they are broken. Refurbishing extends usable blade life and SAVES MONEY!!
Here is the refurbishing process:
- We take the bottom blade and polish the cutting edge on a factory wheel for 5-N-1's only.
- The spring deck (black part) is replaced if any of the tabs are broken, or we leave the old one on.
- We take the old cutter and refurb it or replace it with a factory cutter valued at $6.00
- The re-furbished blade looks and cuts like an almost new blade without buying a new blade.
-We will give you a "Tip Sheet" on the functionality of the 5-N-1 blade, and cleaning tips.
** We suggest to never use the wide open setting, it can snag as the blade ages **
** The more times a blade is refurbished, it can seem louder because its made of plastic**
You get an "almost new" blade for $10.00
NOTE: The enclosed spring decks for the 5-N-1 "Pro's" are not available yet, it can be replaced with the standard spring deck if its broken.
NOTE: The plastic piece on the cutter blade (cutter notch) is not replaced or replaceable. This part is not available for purchase from Wahl.
*** We are a Wahl Distributor and Repair Center ***
Important: We cannot guarantee a "Like New" blade after refurbishing if the blade was first sharpened by a sharpener using the same blade machine they sharpen regular A5 blades on. The reason is that blade machine for regular clipper blades has a different angle to the plate and will grind the #9 position, or wide open position, off the blade. We cannot restore it fully, but very close because we will try and put the correct angle back on the blade with our factory plate. The blade will work beautifully in all other positions.
5-N-1's cannot be successfully sharpened on the same machine regular clipper blades are sharpened on, but they do it anyway. The reason is the plate angle of that machine is steeper, and you loose the wide open setting after a few times. Also, so much metal is take off that the blade can only be sharpened a few times. Our refurbishing machine is at the specification angle. It polishes the edge to sharpness taking little or no metal off. We have refurbished blades up to 10 times.
Refurbish Program Parts
Differences in Coarse and Fine 5-N-1 Blades
The two most popular styles of the 5-N-1 blades are the "COARSE" and the "FINE". The coarse blade is on the left in the picture and has 18 teeth, the fine blade has 24 teeth. Depending on the coat your using it on, the fine blade may not go through it very well, example: cat fur. The fine blade may be hard to push, snag, or skim over the top with some cats. The coarse blade has alot more room between the teeth letting dense coat enter the blade better to be cut cleaner without problems.
I've used both these blades in my shop and found the coarse blade to be a general all around blade for grooming. It seems to go through most coats without problems. As always, use what your used to or prefer, they are both great blades. We refurbish both coarse and fine blades.
Here are instructions on cleaning and lubrication of the 5-N-1 Blade
Gritty blades are the result of the sharpener not taking the time to thoroughly clean the blade after its sharpened. Grit sticks to a blade after its taken off the sharpening wheel because its "maganetized" from the metal to metal contact on the spinning wheel. The majority of sharpeners just use a paint brush to clean away the grit from both sides of the blade and call it good. But thats not good enough!!!!
Grit hangs up in the spaces between the teeth, and along the inside of the cutter blade and the rails. Just using a paint brush to quickly brush it away will not get it all, especially if the blade hasn't been "Demagnetized". Everything will seem OK until something liquid is applied to the blade like oil, blade wash, dissenfectant, or coolant. Then the grit breaks away from its hiding places and gets on your cutting surfaces and contact points to make this black mess you see in the picture above. It can be cleaned off if you see it but the real problem is this:
"The same grit that sharpened your blades, could dull them in seconds"
We use a completely different process to clean blades after sharpening.
Brush first >>> Demagnetize >>> Air Blow >>> Finally Blade Wash
Used grit from the sharpening wheel has metal in it and will stick to blades that aren't demagnetized no matter how well you brush the blade with a paint brush. We will first brush the obvious grit from the blade, then run the unassembled blade over a demagnetizer, then finally take an air-gun and blow away what grit may be left on the blade. We pay special attention between the teeth, along the rails, and the underside of the cutter. When we are done, there is no black grit left on the blade to make a mess later, or worse yet, quickly dull your blade or cause a black streak on the dog.
It takes a little more time, but as groomers, we want clean blades like you!
We Accept These Credit Cards Only No American Express Cards
No International Checks No "Debit Only" Cards
A payment method is appreciated along with your order. We don't sharpen unless we have a payment method in hand or on file. We do not invoice for later payment.
We will keep your credit card info in our PCI Certified database for future sharpening
Best Payment Method
Send your credit card information so I can keep it on file.
Card Number, Expiration Date, Last 3 #'s on back
** You can write it on the "Inventry Sheet" or paper. ** We prefer you call uswith the card numbers before or after your box is shipped. You may call us 24/7 . We like to have a payment method to start work. Contact us when you need to give us different #'s.
** You can TEXT the CC numbers to our phone number Phone 251-232-5353. Include shop name/location.
Most send it right along with the equipment. This makes things easy for future shipments, just enclose a note saying"Do you want me to use the card thats on file" Please include the last three numbers on the backside of the card, I need them to run the numbers. Make sure your card info is up-to-date, it could delay shipping if we have to make calls to get this information.
"Charge Cards" or "Check Cards" Only No "Debit Only" Cards
NO AMERICAN EXPRESS CARDS
Credit Card Data Retention Policy
We follow this policy to ensure any credit card information isn't compromised. You can feel safe if we have your credit card on file for future use. Our security is audited.
Make it out to "Northern Tails Sharpening". Please leave the amount blank. No one can cash a check made out this way because it has to be deposited in the same business account, so it is secure this way. I've never lost a check.
An example of the way your check should be filled out for security reasons if you want to send one along that way is below. Is this safe to send a blank check this way?? YES! If you make the check out to "Northern Tails Sharpening" it can only be deposited in our business account. It can't be cashed, and it can't be deposited in any other account but mine.
We DO NOT take PayPal to pay for sharpening or repair invoices
If you have any questions about payment please call before shipping
We Service All 50 States
AK, AR, AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY
The US Postal Service offers a service called "Click and Ship", which lets you get postage right from your computer. Take your box to work and let the mailperson pick it up there.
Click on the box below and go to the "Click and Ship" page of this website for information.
The Post Office is the biggest deciding factor of when you will get your box back. The time when you could mail a box off on Monday or Tuesday, and get it back on Friday are gone! There is a short note about the new Post Office hours on the "Click and Ship" page. UPS and FedEx are not any faster, in fact they are actually SLOWER unless you pay big bucks for "2nd Day" or Overnight"
Flat Rate or Regional Boxes
These are free from the Post Office. You would want to use the big one as it will hold more things. The cost for postage is "One Rate" to anywhere in the US regardless of how much it weighs. If you have alot of stuff, or your shipping a long way, this is the best deal. If you have a small amout of stuff just use a regular box. Get the box that measures 8 X 11 X 6, its free at the post office. A picture of one is at the left. There is also a "Large Flate Rate Box" that holds 50% more than this box, the flate rate for this box is a few dollars more.
Regional boxes just came out from the post office. Postage is very cheap using these boxes, and there are three sizes that fit every size shipment. Save the box and use it over and over
The Blade Box
Insert blades with "TEETH DOWN" for the safety of the blades. Putting two in a slot will increase shipping volume.
Replace the cover and "SECURE IT DOWN" with rubberbands or tape. If not, the cover will raise up and blades will come out of the slots and break the teeth.
The Blade Box - (Please Read)
The box will hold up to 25 blades when you put more than one in a slot. They will save your blades from having broken teeth during shipment, and organizes them while its in the grooming shop. If you want to ship scissors as well, get a bigger box that will hold the blade box with some extra room. Wrap your shears real good with bubble wrap and put them in the bigger box along with the blade box. Make sure you put a rubber band around the blade box to hold it shut because it will come open.
We charge $5.00 for the box and they are the best on the market and it will hold together for quite a long time. Wrapping blades in paper or bubble wrap is not good, blades bang into each other during shipment and teeth break off. The price of the box is better than replacing a blade, and its re-usable for each shipment. We can return your blades in the box, just tell us you need one. Getting insurance is always good.
If you feel you don't need a blade box and wrapping blades in bubblewrap or newspaper is better for you, I can do that for you. I charge a little extra per blade. If your sending only 2 or 3 blades I'll wrap them for free. If you make use of containers not designed for securing blades during shipment (ie plastic parts box), we will put your blades back in them but are not responsible for any damage occuring during shipment. These boxes are made of hard plastic and not designed for shipping clipper blades, and can break the teeth on a blade when the box is dropped. Request insurance.
Arrangement that fits 25 blades securely in Blade Box
If you don't have a blade box, wrap your blades individually
This person, for what ever reason, figured the blades would be OK just throwing them in a bag and wrapping the bag in bubble wrap..WRONG!! If you don't want to use a blade box, you need to wrap each blade INDIVIDUALLY in either bubble wrap or newspaper. Pack them tightly in the box and make sure you don't hear anything moving when you shake the box.
If you have a blade box, use it. Don't try to save money by cutting corners to save on postage, its not worth it. The picture shows a bag with twelve 5-N-1 blades in it at $30 each, 10 arrived with most of the teeth broken making them unusable. This mistake cost this groomer $300. An extra $3 in shipping costs would have saved all this money.
If you don't have a blade box, wrap them for the trip to us and we can send them back in a blade box. The cost of the box is $5, very cheap insurance against loosing blades you have to replace. We charge 50 cents to wrap blades and most times a blade box is the cheaper way to go and you can use it every time you ship. I'll wrap a few blades for free on very small orders that I can send in a Small Flat Rate box
Purchase and use a blade box.
This is how your properly sized box should look after you pack it up. The blades are secure in some sort of blade box, blade boxes are better than wrapping them because it keeps them from floating around in the shipping box. The clipper is wrapped in bubble wrap and tucked to the side with the cord wrapped up and placed next to the blade box. Shears are wrapped in bubble wrap and secured with rubber bands, they are placed on top of everything else. Lastly, fill in all the empty spaces with peanuts or newspaper so nothing moves around during the shipment. Shake your box after closing it up to make sure you dont hear anything moving around.
The Twin Shear
The Twin Shear has a thinning shear and a regular grooming shear bolted together with nuts and bolts. Several companies make Twin Shears, but they are not a common item in the grooming industry.
I would rather not sharpen this type of shear for two reasons. (1) Ive seen and sharpened two pair of these shears in the last 7 years. They have to be completely dismantled from each other by taking 4 to 6 very tiny nuts and bolts apart. If you loose either a nut or a bolt there are not parts available to a sharpener. (2) When I have sharpened them and returned them to the groomer, they have said they didnt like the way they cut, they cut different.
So, I suggest sending them to the manufacturer who should sharpen them better than anyone else, and if they loose any parts they can replace one.
Nail Clippers (1 or 2 pair only please)
Plier Type, We sharpen these.
These are the only nail clipper we like to resharpen. Any size or colored handle, any brand. These have no problems, and the tension can be adjusted as well as the spring replaced if we have one in stock to fit it. We can also take that little flat guard off that will let you get the nail through further. Let us know. We will sharpen these for FREE.
Squeeze Type, We don't sharpen these.
We prefer not to sharpen this type because of the problems they have. They are loose, handles are bent most times, and they are not adjustable. Years ago they made these from good material and they were the best, today they are not.
There is a blade kit you can buy to replace the blade that cuts yourself. Its very easy and anybody can do it, instruction are right on the package.
What to pack equipment in, and what NOT TO USE
PLEASE DON'T SHIP SHEARS IN THIS CASE
Please Don't Ship Shears In This Glass Top Case
This particular shear case is very bad to ship your shears to the sharpener in. WHY? It isn't contoured or padded, and the only thing that holds your shears securley is two tiny elastic bands that allow movement and sometimes break. This case looks like it will keep your shears safe but it doesnt. I have received these cheap cases with shears that have come loose inside and have busted the elastic bands and beat its self so much along the sides of the case the shears were bent very bad. I've also had them come out through the glass top. Ever receive shears in this case and they don't work? Now you know why.
When you buy really expensive shears they come in a case similiar to the case in the bottom picture. This case its contoured, padded, and the shears fit down inside a recessed area that prevents them from banging around. When you close the top there is no space to let the shear move up and down. This type of shear case is perfect for shipping shears and keeping them secure during the trip.
Instead of using the cheap case, wrap the shears in bubble wrap instead and use as much as you want. It may not look like much, but your shears are protected from getting beat up if you pack them tight in the box. You do what you want, this is just a suggestion.
One of the BEST shear cases to ship in.
DO NOT PACK SHEARS LIKE THIS IN A BOX
Another Box For Shears?? Bad Idea!
When you pack shears they have to be wrapped very good. Packing them in a box like this will bend or nick them up. It will cause considerable harm to them and maybe they can't be bent back into shape. You see they are banging against each other which causes them to bend. Don't use a box like this, wrap your shears individually in bubble wrap for the trip. It can also cost more to ship sharpening when trying to find a box big enough to put this scissor box in.
DO NOT PACK SHEARS LIKE THIS IN A BOX. THEY HAVE COLORS OF BLUE AND BROWN. SHEARS WILL BEND.
This is another version of the scissor box sold by retailers. They tell you that this box will keep your shear safe during shipment. THEY BEND IN THIS BOX, DON'T USE IT.
Wrap your shears in bubble wrap, best protection there is and its cheap.
You may also have to find a large shipping box to ship this in if you dont use bubble wrap.
ROSELINE PLASTIC SHEAR CASE BREAKS!
Rose Line Plastic Case
The Rose Line box was nice when you bought your shears, but it just doesnt stand up to being bounced around in a shipping box thrown by postal workers.
It was made to display shears, not ship shears. Because of its wide shape, you may have to use a larger shipping box just to fit them. Its best to take the shears out of the box and wrap them in bubble wrap or news paper. This saves space and higher postage costs. Note the broken box in picture.
Use Common Sense When Packing Shears
This box of shears was actually shipped to us packed this way. The groomer was very upset and didn't understand when I called and said all the shears were bent up. Said they were packed very well when they were shipped and it must be something I did.......Right!
Shears are actually fragile and the shipping company is not going to handle the boxes like they were filled with eggs. Wrap shears in bubble wrap or news paper, you can combine 2 shears in the same wrapping. Bunching up shears and wrapping the whole bunch is not good as you can see.
Glass top blade storage box
Please Don't Ship Blades In Any Of These Containers
The "Glass Top Blade Storage" box priced about $10.00 is the worst container to ship blades in. The blades are not secure, and they come loose on the inside and bang around the whole trip and bust teeth on the blades. We have recieved this box with broken glass and the blades all over the inside of the bigger box with broken teeth. This box was made to store blades and organize them at the shop, it was not designed to ship blades in. A blade box as shown above is the best way to ship.
The "Plastic Parts Container" is the next worst container to ship blades in. These cost about $2.00 at Walmart and seem like the perfect box to ship blades in because of the many compartments. This plastic is hard and brittle, and no matter how well you think you packed the blades in it, blades get damaged. When this container is bounced around or dropped with blades inside, the teeth hit against the plastic walls and break off. We have received this plastic box broken with blades all over the inside of the shipping box with broken teeth, and the groomer can't understand why. These plastic boxes are shaped so it will be hard to find a flat rate box to ship them in, thus your shipping costs will go up. A blade box as shown above is the best way to ship. As always, this is just our suggestion, you do what you want.
Plastic hobby parts organizer
NEVER USE A BLADE TRAY
The "Blade Tray", or any other hard plastic container, is not good to ship blades in. The hard "un-cushioned" plastic has broken many blade teeth when the box is dropped and the blades smack the inside of the tray. The covers never fit snug, and there is always too much space around the blades on the inside making impossible to secure them properly. The "Tray" is made to store blades at the shop, not ship them in the mail.
Your better off wrapping your blades individually in bubble wrap and purchasing a cardboard blade box for the return trip. The blade box is re-usable and you can even store blades in it.
The Blade Tray.
The "Blade Tray", or any other hard plastic container, is not good to ship blades in. The hard "un-cushioned" plastic has broken many blade teeth when the box is dropped and the blades smack the inside of the tray. The covers never fit snug, and there is always too much space around the blades on the inside making impossible to secure them properly. The "Tray" is made to store blades at the shop, not ship them in the mail.
"Rack Paks" or "Individual Blade Boxes"
Don't use either of these individual containers for blades. You think because your blades came in them they are safe to ship in, quite the opposite. If you throw a bunch of blades in a box inside either of these packages chances are some will be broken because there is no padding around them, they bang into each other and break teeth off. They are not safe!
If you have to ship in them, only ship a small quantity like 6 or 8 and wrap them in bubble wrap. It would be best to get a blade box for the return trip so you have it to ship blades in again. It takes time to take blades out of these containers and put them back in when we are done sharpening blades. We charge extra for the time it takes to do that. Get a blade box and throw these individual containers away, they fall apart over time anyway. Please don't ship us a box full of blades in these containers without calling us first.
These are examples of my definition of disposable shears. Most come from the beauty supply store, and some are manufactured by reputable pet grooming shear companies. There are different variations and lengths of these shears, but they are all made the same way with low grade metal blades and plastic handles.
I know that many groomers find these shears attractive because they are inexpensive and light, but most sharpeners consider them junk. They are made of very low grade metal with cheap molded plastic handles, and the best thing about them is they were "Ice Tempered" to harden the metal. Sometimes after they are heated up on the scissor sharpening machine they loose the rigidity they once had because of the heat generated during sharpening. They bend very easy and don't hold an edge as well. Sometimes its almost impossible to re-align them because they bend in several areas of the blade when you try to bend one area straight again. It can be very hard to get them to cut right again after being dropped and twisted by customers. Please don't think sharpeners can fix these shears as easily as they do better grades shears, its hit and miss with these.
I consider these shears disposable. I will sharpen them at no charge with no warranty. If you send a couple three pair I'll sharpen them for free, if you send a bunch of pairs I will charge enough to compensate my time ($10.00 min). Why do I feel this way? Because I used to have these shears and they did a great job until they went dull. After I sharpened them and started to use them again in the shop they seemed very different. They didn't hold an edge and they bent very easy just dropping them on the table or squeezing them hard.
So, I hope you understand what I've said and agree, Ill sharpen all the disposable shears you send to me. But if I were you, Id spend the extra money and get an all metal pair of shears that won't have all the problems these seem to have. They make all metal shears that have metal handles that are sometimes rubber coated, which are very light like the disposables are, you just have to look around for them.
Testing Residue on Blade
We receive a call from a new customer who had a complaint about the cleanliness of the blades she just got back. This is what she said to us:
" When I opened the box of blades I just got back from you, I inspected every blade and found two that did not comply with your quality standards. They have all kinds of dirt in the teeth and I don't believe they were sharpened at all. When I get a blade back from a sharpener I should be able to stick that blade in my mouth without any worries. I'm sending these two disgusting blades back to you for cleaning."
WOW! This made me think something got past me. I assured her I'd take care of the problem and to throw in a couple other blades for sharpening to compensate for the postage of sending these blades back to me. She sent 10 blades along, how nice!! The picture below is one of those blades we got back.
We really don't have a "quality" standard to speak of, what I do have is a system of cleaning and de-rusting what we can get off the blades as they are broke down for sharpening. Groomers send us blades that have red buildup from coolants, rust, and most are packed with several colors of pet hair. We go far beyond what other sharpeners will do for cleaning blades, we actually wash them before and after the sharpening in blade wash containing a rust inhibitor and disinfectant. We received compliments from groomers that said blades coming back from us look better than new, and surpassed their expectations. WHY? Because we are groomers ourselves, we try to send blades back to you in the same condition we want to receive them.
Here is the testing procedure we use to test each blade before its packed up and shipped out. The blade is actually put on a clipper and run to check to see if it cuts. All 8 1/2's, 3's, 5/8's, 3/4's, and all ceramic blades are tested on fur. These are the blades that some other sharpeners have trouble getting sharp enough to cut fur, so we test these blades on fur. After the test, we blow the hair out of the blade with air. If we miss a few specks of hair we are sorry, but the blade is still clean and sharp and you know it was tested. We test all other size blades using Oster Test String, which is a mesh of several strands of cotton string combined to form one filament. If that blade isn't sharp it will flutter through the string and not cut a clean cut. After the test we take a toothbrush and brush this residue out of the blade teeth. If we miss cleaning it out it may look like the blade in the picture below, a tiny speck of cotton fiber. We are sorry and the blade is still clean and sharp, and you know it was tested to be sharp.
As an "Old School" groomer for many years, when I shipped blades off to get sharpened years ago I prayed they came back in a condition that I could actually groom with them. I wasn't worried if they would be clean enough to stick in my mouth, I just wanted them to cut the coat on any dog I put on the table. I think we do a fantastic job here at Northern Tails cleaning some of these nasty blades we get in here, other sharpening companies barely get all the black grit off the blade so it doesn't streak a dog.
So, if you want to be able to check blades for cleanliness by sticking them in your mouth, you definitely have too much time on your hands. Please don't be concerned if by chance you find a tiny piece of test media in the teeth of a blade, we're sorry its there. That tiny piece of test media confirms that blade was sharpened, cleaned and tested for sharpness before it was shipped back to you. Most groomers want a blade that will cut, and that is exactly what we try to provide to our customers in a timely manner. Sharp Blades!
Tiny Speck Of Test String Residue
Receiving Blades Back That Look Rusty
If you open your box and some of your blades have rust on them it not the fault of the sharpener, it happens while the blades are in transit. We'll explain.
This happens at certain times of the year with specific conditions. The rust your seeing isn't impregnated in the metal of the blade, its oxidized condensation that formed on the blade and turned to what we call "surface rust". Its a very harmless type of rust and develops when condensation forms on the blade and reacts with the metal. The rust is topical and can be wiped off with a rag dipped in blade wash or any kind of spray cleaner. Sometimes the condensation gets between the teeth of the blade and forms the surface rust. This can be cleaned up by using your tooth brush and lightly scrubbing between the teeth, or just grooming with the blade and let the hair your cutting clean it off. Any way you do it this rust wipes off very easy.
Here are the scenarios that form this surface rust on blades in transit, you'll be able to understand why your sharpeners procedures aren't responsible for its presence. When blades are processed at the sharpener its done in normal ambient temperatures (70 - 80F). When the blades are taken to the shipping company (Post Office or UPS), these blades are subjected to extreme temperature changes. When blades are taken from an air-conditioned post office storeroom to the truck, the temperature goes from cold to warm very quickly, this is when condensation forms on the cold blades. Depending on how much forms on the blades with determine if any surface rust will develop. The same philosophy works in colder weather . When blades are transported in a cold truck, then brought into a very warm building, condensation may develop on the blades from the temperature change. Surface rust can develop this way as well.
Now that you know how (or if) that little bit of rust got on your blades, you won't feel like something was done wrong by the sharpener. Please don't call the sharpener and complain, or worse yet, change sharpeners because of this. Your sharpener really did everything right and has no knowledge this has happened. We get blades from you as well that have surface rust all over them from shipping, it comes off in our sharpening process. We wash our blades in blade wash with a rust inhibitor, but Im sure its not 100% all the time. Just clean the surface rust off and enjoy how well your blades cut.
Terms of the "Satisfaction Guarantee"
A. Not following instructions on the accompanying "Tip Sheet" for blades and shears.
B. Not following the instructions on the accompanying "Suggestion Sheet For 5-N-1 Blades"
1. The instructions on the invoice pertaining to steel blades must be followed. 2. The instructions on the invoice pertaining to ceramic blades must be followed. 3. The instructions on the invoice pertaining to trimmer blades must be followed 4. The instructions on the invoice pertaining to shears and adjusting must be followed. 5. Your clipper maintenance must be up to date. Blades wont cut on clippers that are not maintained even if the blades cut on it before they were sent. Freshly sharpened blades bring out worn parts on clippers. Just don't think your clipper is OK, watch the video on this website pertaining to your brand of clipper titled "What to check on your clipper when blades don't cut". When in doubt, send your clipper along and we'll check it out for problems and make sure your blades work properly on it.. 6. All equipment must be tested upon receipt then stored away for later use if that's what you intend. If there are any problems we need to address them within 5 days of receipt of equipment. 7. Any problems with receiving equipment from Northern Tails Sharpening Inc that is broken, bent, or lost, is the responsibility of the shipping company. Get insurance for the trip to us and the return trip. We pack boxes the best we can but what is actually enough packing when they throw boxes. Call us on the phone. 8. Any problems, call us on the phone within 5 days of receipt of equipment. NO EMAILS or TEXTS. You may have problems we are not responsible for and can help you with. We have training videos and articles that will help you manage your equipment. We have proven that its not always the sharpening when there is a problem, but we have to investigate to find out the problem. 9. There are no refunds. We will work with you to investigate any problems you may have except for broken or missing equipment received in the mail. The post office is responsible for any damaged or missing equipment. We dont break equipment and mail it back to you. Call us on the phone. 10. You must not use spray coolant, WD-40, or REM Oil as lubricants. Only the use of blade oil put on a blade before, during, and after the groom (per manufacturers instructions) will we recognize and proper blade lubrication. These other products dry the blade of proper lubrication and can shorten the life of the cutting edge . Our tests have shown that using solvent only as lubrication could wear the cutting edges out in 4 weeks +/-. The use of these spray solvents without using the proper safety gear can be dangerous to your health. Read the can pertaining to proper ventilation and safety gear required. The MSDS for these products will contain safety information and those can be found on our website..
11. Does not include shipping company used, turnaround time, or damage caused by the shipping company. You file all insurance claimes if you asked for insurance, we don't automatically insure packages.
12. Return shipping is not part of returned clippers for warranty work. Unless the responsibility is that of Northern Tails and not a manufactured part.
13. Return shipping is not part of warranty work done on blades or shears. If you insist on sending any of these items back by themselves, and not with your next order, we will inspect and repair for free if its a problem caused by us for free, but you will pay the return shipping. It was already tested for sharpness before it shipped the first time.
14. Expecting or assuming certain services that are not explained or described on the website, or agreed upon in a phone call or written documentaion. Any questions call before shipping.