There is alot of information on this page, and we hope you read it all the way to the bottom. Its set up for the first time customer, and will answer most of your questions about shipping to us.
Scroll to Sections:
- Mailing information (print out "Inventory Sheet") -
- Sharpening Prices -
- Scissor Types -
- Blades We Sharpen -
- Trimmer Blades We Sharpen -
- Clipper Repair -
- Payment Methods -
- What To Use, And Not Use When Shipping -
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.
The Mail-In Service Groomers are shipping from "All 50 States & The World"
One of the "Most Trusted" discount 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.
Return Shipping Promotion
(For customers shipping in the USA only)
We are offering $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 or insurance charges )
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 will take care of the cost of the basic return shipping only.
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!
Note: Free shipping is not based on multiple invoices totaling over $100. Hint: Try to put everything on one invoice, this cuts down on the paperwork.
* 48 Hour Turn Around * On "Average Size" Sharpening Orders
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!
The Best Day To Mail For Fastest Turnaround
The US Post Office has been in trouble since the internet allowed us to send an e-mail to someone in seconds, rather than writing a letter. Emails have been destroying a 350 year old business. To compensate for this, the Post Office stopped moving mail and boxes over the weekend, not hired any new workers, and have started to close extra Post Offices in some area's because the demand is not there anymore. We used to mail boxes back to customers on Friday and they would get them on Monday, not any more! The Post Office has went from being the worlds best way to mail a letter, to a 5 day a week package handler like UPS and FedEx. The difference is, the Post Office goes more places and has a better way of handling boxes. They are still the best choice to use as a box handler!
You can still get your box back in a week if you follow this suggestion. If you mail Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, the box will sit at the place you mailed it until Monday because no ones working. The best days are Tuesday or Wednesday at the latest. It takes two days to get to us, we will get the box Thursday or Friday. Then we'll sharpen everything over the weekend and mail it back out Monday. You should tenatively get the box back by Wednesday. Since we don't have mail delivery here on Saturday anymore, we sometimes get boxes on Monday, these are sharpened and shipped out Tuesday morning for tenative delivery on Thursday. We work 7 days a week to assure the fastest turnaround. Remember, there are times of the year when we get a heavy mailing, because of this we may take an extra day to get you box shipped back. Most groomers don't care because they know the great job we do.
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
Regional Rate Box "A"
Use this new box to send your equipment for a low rate of around $8.00 or less. Its big enough to hold blades, clippers and shears. You can get it on-line at
www.usps.com, we usually return equipment in one, so SAVE IT. The box is FREE at the Post Office or on-line, you just pay the postage.
Get the "top loader" version of this box it holds more.
The Regional "B" box is about the same size as the "Large Flat Rate Box". If your stuff won't fit in the "Regional "A" box, get the "B" box. The postage is still cheaper using this bigger box.
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?
Please make sure I have an "After Hours" phone number that you will answer ( evenings & weekends ), incase something is wrong and I need to contact you ! We may call 7 days a week, daytime or evening hours if its important.
Please make sure you have something INSIDE the box with your identification. Don't rely on the return address on the box because this can get covered up or come off the box during shipment. I will hold an unknown box until someone inquires about it.
NOTE: If you forget to put paperwork inside the box, please either email me or text me with your name, shop name, city/state, and a phone number where I can get all your info. If you call me about it, I'll misplace the info or forget where its at for a box that hasn't been received yet. Emails and texts are read and saved.
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. If not, they may have trouble cutting and just snag or drag in some of these cats with dense fur. Make sure your clipper is 100% as well, worn parts on it will cause blades to fail in some types of cat fur.
We are one of the most inexpensive sharpening services you can use!
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 informationRe-sharpen Trimmer Blades.....Mail-in...$7.00 always
"Laube SpeedFeed (steel or ceramic)"We dont re-sharpen 5-N-1 blades anymore, we refurbish them instead."Geib Excello Blade""Oster Finisher (T or reg blade) "Oster FreeStyle/Juice"
(blades for Mini Arco, Wahl Tid-Bit or Peanut, Andis Power trim, Oster Pro-Cord cannot be resharpened)
We can REFURBISH your Wahl 5-N-1 Blade for $10.00 This includes new parts, it will not be re-sharpened. Extends Life, SAVES MONEY! NOTE: The program is the best deal, like getting a like-new blade back
Any SHARK FIN Shear....(Suggested Sharpening Cost $25) ....$10.00 alwaysPlier Type Nail Clippers (2 pair max)...... FREE !!
Need Any Clipper Parts ??
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.
**** Average size orders are: 14 blades, 3 shears, one clipper. Excessive amounts of blades, shears, or clippers may take more time.****
. Have a safe and blessed day!
"You NOW have a better choice®"
All Mail-in customers get a CD-ROM with all the video's and articles on this website for free!!! Includes the "NEW" 3 Part Series On Blade Care
We service most major brands of clippers -------- Andis - Laube - Wahl -------- (One pair per box of sharpening, call for information) Northern Tails Sharpening is an authorized Laube Service Center and distributor for both Alabama and Louisiana Northern Tails Sharpening is a Wahl distributor and Repair Center in Alabama Northern Tails Sharpening is an Andis distributor and Repair Center in Alabama
We Don't Service ANY Oster or Conaire Clippers
We sharpen ALL types of grooming shears. Regular Grooming - Expensive Convex - Semi Convex - Beauty/Barber German Made - Japanese Made - American Made
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
Northern Tails Sharpening, Inc Is
A Certified SHARK FINŽ Sharpening Service
Call 888-544-7254 Verify Our sharpening WILL NOT void your warranty
Certification Click to view
We Sharpen Any Blade That Fits Your Clipper
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: Oster A-2 blades are manually tested on string and not on a clipper, so we do not warranty the sharpening of them. The A-2 clipper is obsolete and worn parts can cause blade failure.
Any and All STEEL Blades
Any and All CERAMIC Blades
Any and All WIDE Blades
Oster A-2 Blades
All brands of Barber/Home Groomer Blades
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, or any other small blade.
We DO sharpen the Laube Speedfeed, Wahl 5-N-1, Oster Finisher (Reg & T blade), Oster Freestyle/Juice, and Geib Excello. 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
Oster FreeStyle or Juice
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"? The blade is fitted with new parts and not resharpened. Cost is $10.00 per blade. Program is for blades that were not previously re-sharpened.
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, it will not be re-sharpened. Refurbishing extends usable blade life and SAVES MONEY!!
Here is the refurbishing process:
- The blade will not be re-sharpened. We take the bottom blade and polish the cutting edge.
- The spring deck (black part) is replaced if any of the tabs are broken.
- We take the old cutter and replace it with a new factory cutter valued at $8.00
- The re-furbished blade looks and cuts like a 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.
You get a "like 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.
*** We are a Wahl Distributor and Repair Center ***
The blade parts and what happens to them in the re-furbish program
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
The pictures below show only part of the Farm blade styles we sharpen.
LArge Animal Clipper Blades
4 Point Sheep Blades
Any Lister Blades $7.00 - $10.00 set.
Are You A Victim Of "Gritty Blades"??
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 Don't Repair ANY Oster or Conaire Clippers
We Don't Repair ANY "Power-Groom" Clippers
If they are heating up badly, or the cord is shorting out, best send to factory for free warranty service.
We Don't Repair ANY Cord/Cordless Trimmers
Clipper Repair is $10.00 labor,
plus cost of parts
(Please call with any questions, 1 or 2 pair of clippers per order)
Don't send a box full of clippers to be repaired it might get sent back. We work at getting the sharpening out fast, so only 2 pair.
Call if you have a questions about repair or turnaround time.
The Laube Cordpak removal and hardwire conversion is $25 + shipping with or without a normal sharpening order.
NOTE: Depending on the work required, clipper repair or conversions could delay turnaround time.
***** DO NOT SEND CLIPPERS LISTED BELOW *****
We don't service the Andis AGR cordless, or Andis PowerGroom for motor, battery, heating, or charging problems. It goes to Andis for warranty repair.
We do not repair any Oster Clipper. Refurbish program is cheaper.
Info for Oster Refurbish Program is below in PDF
The Wahl Switchblade/Storm - all cord or motor problems will be fixed by Wahl most times free of charge. Call Wahl Service, 800-767-9245 for Information.
Any problems with any Wahl cordless clippers (Bravura, Chromado, Arco) can be repaired inexpensively through the Wahl Refurbish program for a flat fee.
We don't work on these clippers because refurbishing is cheaper.
Click on link below for Wahl Refurbish Program information
We do not service any vibrating style clipper (all brands barber or home pet)
Northern Tails Sharpening is an authorized Laube Service Center for both Alabama and Louisiana Northern Tails Sharpening is a Repair Center For Andis & Wahl in Alabama
Your clipper is 50% of your cutting system, your blades are the other 50%. You have to do the user clipper maintenance or your blades won't cut properly. Freshly sharpened blades bring out clipper problems and worn parts. If you notice 7's and 10's not cutting properly after they've been sharpend, it may not be the sharpening. Blade drives need replaced every 4 to 6 weeks, and hinges about every 6 months. The video's on this website with show you how the parts of your clipper look when they need replaced. If your clipper isn't taken care of, blades won't cut no matter who sharpens them. You are responsible for your user clipper maintenance not the sharpener. We can do the maintenance for you and check the clipper.
If your Excel 5 speed sounds like its running really bad, or sounds like its not firing on a few spark plugs, it's the motor. The motor is unique because its a "plug and play" DC motor with no repair parts for it.
If you think (or are sure) your motor is bad, and you've eliminated a bad cord, send it to us instead of Andis. We can change the motor and put a brand new one in it for $30.00. That's cheaper than the cost of shipping and insurance back to the factory for a warranty job that takes a month or more. Just send it along with your sharpening and let us know your having motor problems. We'll check everything anyway!
Replacement cords are $35.00, expensive because of the converter.
New Motors Installed So Far: 41
We Accept These Credit Cards No International Checks No "Debit Only" Cards
Payment is appreciated along with your order
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. ** You may call uswith the card numbers before or after your box is shipped. You may call us 24/7 . We'll call if you want but PLEASE answer or return. 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
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.
We prefer the check not totaled because the final bill may change from the estimate on the inventory sheet, PLUS, when someone does total the check they forget to include the return shipping cost. I sharpen stuff for free most times, and Im always looking for ways to ship back for less money. This is why we prefer the amount left blank. I'm always trying to find ways to save you money, but if an unexpected charge arises I'll call you to get approval before going forward with the work. Your invoice will reflect the final total of your bill and the amount on the check and check number. I'm a very honest Christian man and I'm trusted by groomers everywhere!!
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. If that does happen, that bank will make you a rich person....
If you have any questions about payment please call before shipping
Never Go To The Post Office Again !!!
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
Padded Envelope - DO NOT USE
DO NOT USE PADDED ENVELOPES
They will break open when going through the machinery at the Post Office. If they break, the Post Office will not forward them further. An alternative to using a padded envelope is the "Small Flat Rate Box" from the Post Office. Its free and measures 9 x 6 x 2 and is free for the asking.
The Small Flate Rate Box
The Small Flat Rate Box was not intended to jam as many blades and shears inside and ship like the TV commercial says "If it fits-It Ships". WRONG. Let me say from experience that your not saving any money what so ever if equipment gets damaged or lost. We have received 24 blades and two pair of shears in a very over packed SFRB, and they were upset that I wasn't going to ship back to them that way. It's insane trying to save a couple bucks by risking all your equipment.
When you pack blades into any box you have to have the proper "packing" to make sure blades are safe. They can't bang into each other, or they can't bang against a pair of shears during shipment either. The SFRB is small enough where the postal worker is going to throw it into a bin rather than placing it there. If your SFRB is filled and heavy with all that metal, it may burst open when it hits the back of the bin because of the lack of proper packing. The SFRB is constructed of very thin cardboard, its not as thick as the bigger boxes. This alone will invite cracks and splits if its overpacked and dropped or thrown. Remember this, if your box bursts open during shipment, it will probably just get swept up and forgotten. It will not be forwarded in that condition.
To head off any dissappointment, pack your equipment properly in a shipping box thats the appropriate size to hold the amount of stuff your sending properly packed. So its not a flat rate box, if you jam everything you can into a SFRB to save a couple dollars, you stand to loose alot more than just the savings on the shipping. Breaking one tooth on a blade during shipment will cost you $20 to replace that blade, you didn't save anything. Getting the right box, or even a blade box to secure those blades will save you money in the long run.
Use this as a guide. Use a SFRB when you have 6 blades or less, wrap them real good in bubble wrap and they may be good. Fill in any spaces with packing media so you hear nothing moving when you shake the box. A couple small pair of 6 inch shears is good as well (8" shears are too long). Wrap them in bubble wrap and make sure they are small enough not to poke out the sides. They see that, the box will go no further. Fill in any spaces with packing media as well. Blade boxes are $4.50, and the extra postage to your shipping cost is about a dollar. Unless you indicate differently, if you shipped to us in a SFRB we will ship back to you in the same way.
The SFRB is a very needed mode of shipping for something small, without costing alot of money. Please don't missuse the SFRB by over packing it, it's just not worth it. Use the right size box.
Note: We charge 50 cents a blade to wrap blades and place them in a box. Even though they were wrapped by you, we still have to take extra time to save the wrapping, wrap them again, and try and place them securely the best we can in this SFRB. Get shipping insurance, we are not responsible for breakage occuring during the shipment, the shipping company is responsible.
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.
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.
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
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.
National Dog Registry Identification by Tattoo
Micro-Chip vs Tattoo
Do you feel your pet is safe from theft with a micro-chip installed under the skin? They can be located and removed very simply, and now your pet can be sold on the open market without question if proper looking papers are present.
Tattoo's cannot be removed, and its against federal law to sell (or buy) ANY animal that has a NDR tattoo without proper verification from the NDR. Its a scary world out there so have your animal protected two ways not just one. Read the info provided and make the call.
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. 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 warraty work. Unless the responsibility is that of Northern Tails and not a manufatured part.
13. 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.