The Difference Between Blenders, Thinners and Chunkers

Yorkshire Terrier being groomed

Often referred to collectively as thinners, this general term actually references three different types of grooming scissors known as traditional thinners, blenders and chunkers. Each thinner brings a different purpose to a groom, creating multiple finishes for different coats, cuts and areas of the body. When it comes to grooming, we want to make purchasing your next pair of thinners super easy, that’s why we’re picking apart the main characteristics of all three types, so you can rest assured that you’re adding the correct pair to your grooming kit. 

What are chunkers, blenders and thinners used for in dog grooming?

Thinning scissors, ‘thin’ a dog’s coat, but each type of shear brings a different finish to the table, with different coats and cuts responding better to some thinners over others. The most significant traits of each of these scissors are explained below;-

Thinners, or Double Thinning Scissors

Thinners, also known as double thinners, have teeth on both edges and are the best choice for bulk thinning dogs coats and removing the hair close to the skin. Removing less hair per cut than blenders (scissors with teeth on just one edge), they are the most popular choice for dogs with thicker coats and can be super-effective at removing hair from fluffy ears. Users should be mindful of their technique, however, as overuse of thinning scissors can result in balding and patchiness to the coat.

Blenders, or Single Thinning Scissors

Blending scissors, also known as blending shears or blenders are used for blending the coat and softening the hair around the face and ears. Consisting of one solid cutting blade and a second serrated teeth blade, the teeth blade allows more hair to be cut and for it to be removed in bulk. Great for smoothing clipper lines and giving coats a more natural texture, they blend the lines between short and long hair effectively both on the top and underneath the coat. As a general rule, the more teeth that blending shears have, the more hair they will remove and those with a high tooth count are the best for removing and blending hair around the eyes and nose. Although they are effective at removing hair in bulk, users should be mindful of their technique, as overuse can make the dog’s coat look patchy. The most popular type of thinning scissors, blending shears are a great tool for finishing off a groom, blending away straight scissors lines and uneven areas for a stunning, natural finish. For best results, use ¼” to a ½” from the hair tips and over a comb and blending short to long for a consistent length all over.

Chunker Scissors 

The perfect choice for adding texture or a natural finish to your groom, Chunkers are great for tidying up wavy coats without upsetting the blend. Ideal for going over harsh full-bladed scissor work, they work well to remove clipper or scissor marks and add texture to a coat. Characterised by large T shaped teeth down one edge of the shear, they allow hair to be pushed from the cutting blade for a much more natural and soft finish to the coat. Perfect on ears, legs, underlines, around the head, softening the ears and tail and in the narrow details around the face and eyes, they are the best choice for heavy, curly coats for shaping curls quickly and evenly, or for dogs with double coats such as Shelties and Rough Collies. Because of their unique fish-tail shape too, Chunkers work well near the skin as the bottom of the shears simulate full-bladed scissors. When combined with a comb as a guide, Chunkers help to create a constant, consistent length across an entire coat.

What are the main differences between chunkers, thinners and blenders?

Grooming a westie

To sum up the main features of each of the types of thinning scissors, we’ve pulled together this helpful list to help you choose the correct shears for your next grooming session.

  • Identified by having teeth on both blades, true double-bladed thinning scissors are the best choice for thinning thick hair with cuts made close to the skin and are great when used near the ends for a more natural look and finish. 
  • Blenders are used to finish off a groom, blending away severe scissor and clipper lines and softening the cut. Best used ¼” to ½” away from the hair tips, they are characterised by having teeth down one edge and a solid blade on the other. They remove more hair per cut than double-bladed thinners and are the best choice for blending short hair into long for a seamless finish.
  • Easily recognised by their large ‘T’ shaped teeth and fishtail shape, Chunkers help to finish or texturise a coat and to remove severe scissor marks for a soft, natural finish. The preferred thinner for double-coated dogs, they’re also a great choice for shaping curly coats evenly.
  • All three types of shears are often referred to as thinners, but each type has its own characteristics, with blenders generally being the most popular choice for groomers.

When it comes to chunkers, thinners and blenders, why do technique and amount of teeth matter?

As with any tool, technique plays a huge impact on the finished product and this is no different with chunkers, thinners and blenders. When cutting coats, if you find that the hair is catching, it may be worth stopping and adjusting your technique otherwise, you may damage your shears’ teeth. Usually this is due to the amount of pressure applied from your thumb as you cut, causing the teeth to catch and pull. Alter your angle and relax the pressure from your hand to prevent the shears from catching, for best results. 

Each thinning shear that we’ve discussed is readily available in a range of sizes and with a differing number and spacing of teeth and this can impact on your end result too. It’s important to bear the following teeth-related points in mind when choosing your shears;-

  • As a general rule, the more teeth thinning scissors have, the more hair they will remove and the smoother and more even the coat blend will be.
  • The length of the shears also plays an important part here too, for example, if two thinners have the same number of teeth but one is 6” in length and the other is 8”, the teeth spacing with be different, with the smallest teeth and the smallest spacing offering a smoother result.
  • For a natural, textured result, choose shears that have teeth that are larger than the spaces between them.
  • Shears with a higher teeth count are a better choice for working around the nose and eyes, for an accurate and tidy finish.
  • The size of the ‘V’ notch at the top of each of the teeth determines how much hair will be trapped so the bigger the notch, the more hair that’s trapped and cut.

So now you know the main differences between Chunkers, Thinners and Blenders, it’s time to update your grooming kit! Shop our full range of scissors at Groomers today, available from a wide selection of brands and in a range of sizes, styles and prices.

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