Dog Slicker Brushes vs Pin & Bristle Brushes vs Combs vs Deshedding Tools vs Undercoat Rakes vs Shedding Blades: Buyer’s & FAQ Guide


We’ve previously put together a guide with feedback from a professional groomer on how owners might consider brushing their dog.

But, in the guide below, we include some buyer’s and FAQ information about dog brush grooming tools like slicker brushes, pin and bristle brushes, combs, deshedding tools, undercoat rakes and shedding blades.

We also list some of the most commonly used or best rated dog brush grooming tools.

Let’s take a look!


(NOTE: this is a general information guide only, and is not professional advice, or a substitute for professional advice. A qualified vet or animal expert is the only person qualified to give you expert advice in regards to your pet/s)

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Dog Slicker Brushes vs Pin & Bristle Brushes vs Combs vs Deshedding Tools vs Undercoat Rakes vs Shedding Blades: Buyer’s & FAQ Guide


Why Brush A Dog’s Coat? – Main Reasons

Three of the main reasons for brushing a dog’s coat might include:

1. Removing tangles and matting

Brushing can help tease out tangles and matting


2. Picking up/removing loose hairs, dirt, and debris in the coat

Loose hairs can be in the top coat or undercoat.

Shedding dogs and double coat dogs in particular drop a lot of hair from their undercoat 

Brushing helps pick up and remove these hairs (before they drop on your floor)


3. Finishing the coat

Finishing the coat involves leaving the coat looking brushed, neat, plush or or smooth in a certain way


Some Of The Most Popular Dog Coat Brushing Type Grooming Tools

Some of the most commonly used dog coat brushing grooming tools are:

Brushes & Combs


Deshedding Tools & Undercoat Rakes


You can read more about the different individual dog hair/coat grooming tools, and summaries of the different grooming tool products, in these guides:

Best Slicker, Pin & Bristle Grooming Brushes For Dogs

Best Dematting & Grooming Combs For Dogs

Best Deshedding Tools For Dogs

Best Undercoat & Grooming Rakes For Dogs

Best Shedding Blade For Dogs


Which Dog Coat Grooming Tool To Get?

It depends on factors like:

– your dog’s individual coat type and coat features (long, short, thick, thin, matted, fine, etc.)

– your grooming preferences (what you want to achieve – a brushed look, to remove loose hairs, to remove tangles, etc)

– what the different individual grooming tools are designed to do (make sure you also read the grooming tool product description before you buy)


But, if we had to provide a general answer …

Most owners might get:

A slicker brush, 2 sided bristle and pin brush, a comb, or a deshedding tool that can also comb/brush at the same time

These tools can usually helps tease out small tangles, but also help finish the coat to give it a brushed look. They can also help remove loose hairs depending on how fine the brush teeth are


Other owners may decide to get:

A deshedding tool, an undercoat rake or a shedding blade for dogs that shed a lot, or dogs that have long, matted, tangled or thick fur

Deshedding tools can be good for removing loose fur (and also brushing)

Undercoat rakes can be good for matting and tangles

A shedding blade can help remove loose fur, but can provide a rougher/coarser finish


… your dog’s features and coat type also matters in selecting a grooming tool:

Consider how thick and long your dog’s hair is.

The thicker and longer it is, the more they might be suited to more widely spaced and longer bristles or teeth on the grooming tool (to be able to better deal with more fur).

Sensitive dogs may also want a brush specifically with soft bristles

The size of the dog can also matter. Some people may want smaller and thinner tools for small dogs, and bigger and wider tools for big dogs.


Below we’ve provided a summary of what each dog coat grooming tool does …


Dog Slicker Brushes, & Pin & Bristle Brushes

Dog brushes are generally used for:

– Removing matting and tangling

– Removing loose hairs and dirt

– Finishing the coat to look neat and brushed


There’s two main types of brushes though – slicker brushes, and pin and bristle brushes.

Pin and bristle brushes have two sides – the rounded pins side for detangling and dematting, and the bristle side for picking up loose hair and finishing the coat.

Slicker brushes may be slightly less effective at detangling and dematting because unlike a double sided pin and bristle brush, they don’t have the widely spaced pins (with rounded ends) to get through some thick matts and tangles.

However, some slicker brushes are marketed to be an all-around tool.

Some of the top choices for brushes on the market might be:

Slicker Brushes


Pin & Bristle Brushes


Eco Dog Brushes (Pin & Bristle Brushes)


Dog Combs

Combs are pretty simple.

They either come with widely spaced comb teeth, or finely spaced comb teeth.

Widely spaced comb teeth are better for detangling and dematting.

Finely spaced comb teeth are better for picking up loose coat hair, and finishing a dog’s coat.

Some combs come with both sets of teeth.


Some of the top choices for dog combs might be:


Other options include:


Dog Deshedding Tools

Deshedding tools are designed specifically to reach down to the undercoat, and remove loose or shedding hairs from a dog’s coat.

They are specifically good for shedding dogs, double coat dogs, thick fur dogs, long hair dogs, and big dogs that drop a lot of fur.

Some deshedding tools have fine enough teeth that they can also finish a dog’s coat and tease out fine tangles too.

Some of the top deshedding tools might be:


Other options include:


Undercoat Dog Rakes

Designed specifically to demat and detangle, and remove loose furs in the top coat and undercoat.

They might specifically benefit double coat, thick coat, and shedding dogs.

Some rakes have rake teeth that are slightly sharpened on the inside of the teeth to cut through matting and tangles.

There’s also straight, and curved rake teeth models available.

Some of the top undercoat rakes might be:


Other options include:


Dog Shedding Blade

A piece of metal with fine and coarse teeth.

Designed specifically to remove loose hairs from the coat.

Good for shedding dogs, thick and long haired breeds, coarse haired breeds, and for owners who don’t mind more of a coarse haired finish to the coat.

One of the best shedding blades might be:


Multi Purpose Dog Coat Grooming Tools

Some tools are marketed as ‘Do-It-All’ type tools that do a combination of dematting/detangling, removing hairs and debris, and finishing the coat.


Best Brushes For Dogs With Different Coat, Hair & Skin Types

You can read more in this guide about the best brushing type grooming tools for dogs with different types of hair, coats or skin.

We look at the best brushing type grooming tools for:

Dogs that shed a lot

Dogs with an undercoat or a double coat

Dogs with long hair

Dogs with thick hair

Dogs with curly hair

Dogs with short hair

Dogs with fine hair

Dogs with sensitive skin

Small, medium and large dogs


What To Consider When Selecting Or Using A Dog Grooming Brush

Some considerations for grooming brushes and similar dog coat grooming tools are:


– How easy it is to clean the tool

Does it have a fur ejector button? How effective is it? If you have to pull the hairs out of the brush or tool yourself, consider over time whether bristles are strong enough that they won’t break


– How deep/long the bristles, pins, or teeth are

Impacts how deep into the coat the tool can brush


– How widely spaced the bristles, pins or teeth are

Impacts how easily the tool can get through mats, tangles, and thick or long fur.

Conversely, thinly spaced bristles, pins or teeth might actually be good for short or fine fur, or for finishing fur (as you get a finer or smoother finish)


– How hard or sharp the bristles, pins or teeth are

Some owners find that some bristles, pins or teeth are too hard or sharp for their dog, and their dog finds it uncomfortable when they use the tool on them.

In this case, softer or blunter bristles, pins or teeth may be better.

Having said that, harder bristles, pins or teeth may be needed for thicker fur (so they don’t bend or break from the brushing pressure).

Sharper teeth may be needed on rakes to cut through mats and tangles, and on shedding blades to help remove loose fur


– What size to get

Some tools are one size fits all, whereas others come in different lengths and widths for different sized dogs


– Short vs long hair models

Some tools come in short or long hair models


– Whether a tool cuts top coats or not

Some rakes have the inner part of the rake teeth sharpened to cut through matting and tangles.

If you don’t want your dog’s coat cut in any way – make sure you check if the tool cuts or roughs up the coat before buying, and read the instructions before use


– Type of finish a tool gives

Some tools are intended for a smooth finish, some give a fluffed finish, some give a coarse finish.

Check the type of finish before you buy


– Use in conjunction with other tools

Some tools may specifically tell you to use them with other tools.

For example, a shedding blade may specifically need to be used with a brush


– Operation instructions

Make sure to read the operation instructions before using the tool.

They should tell you when and how to use the tool


– Safety instructions

Make sure to read the safety instructions before using the tool.

Brushing slow, and not applying too much pressure is usually better in the beginning so you can find a safe and effective speed and depth of brushing that suits your dog’s coat.

Some brands also suggest checking your dog’s skin for cuts, bruises, bumps, etc. first so you don’t agitate the skin in an unsafe way before brushing or grooming.


What To Consider For Dogs That Are Having Their Coat Brushed

Some things you may consider for dogs that are being groomed are:

– Consider the type of coat your dog has

Short, long, thick, fine, curly, straight, double coat, and so on


– Consider how big your dog is

Small, medium, large, extra large, etc. This might impact the size of brush you get


– Consider how much and how often your dog sheds

All the time, or only certain times of the year


– Consider how the dog is to be groomed, and what finish their coat might get

Plush, curly, fluffy, rough, and so on


– Consider any health and safety requirements before grooming

For example, don’t brush a dog that has open sores and cuts – you could aggravate the cut/sore.


How To Brush A Dog’s Coat

We put together a guide with advice from a professional groomer on how owners might consider brushing their dog.



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