Having trouble deciding between the X-Block blade or the X-Blend blade when clipping and fitting your cattle? Both are effective but have key differences that are important to understand. In the following article, Wahl Animal E.L.I.T.E Educator, Tracy Coffland, explains distinctions and when it’s best to use each blade.
Wahl’s X-Block blade is ideal for “freehand” clipping. This means it should only be used off the hide of the animal because the X-Block blade is built with a tip to tip design that will leave no hair if used in direct contact with the skin. This blade’s design is most effective when sculpting the hair of the cattle because of its ability to clip through adhesives. It will not gum or build up with show preparation sprays and adhesives. Instead, the X-Block blade will cut through show-prep product with ease.
Use caution when starting with the X-Block blade as this blade is very sharp and abrupt.
Wahl’s X-Blend blade is ideal to use when contacting the animal’s skin is required. The X-Blend blade will leave approximately 3/16” of an inch of hair. This is ideal for the tail area, the head if you choose to shave, the back hair dragging on the neck, or if you prefer to leave the hair a little longer for security in case a mistake occurs. The X-Blend is designed so that if the calf moves and the blade comes in to contact with the calf’s skin, it will not shave all the hair off. If using on a show day, the X-Blend feeds well through fitting products but is not as effective as the X-Block blade.
The X-Blend blade is a safer option for beginners, especially if you’re not comfortable using the X-Block blade yet.
No matter which blade you use, both the X-Block and X-Blend blades provide performance and show winning results. Both blades are interchangeable on all brands of clippers. The X-Block and X-Blend blades are versatile no matter the fitting job, but it is best to practice using for specific jobs on certain areas of your cattle: X-Block blade for freehand clipping hair on your animal and X-Blend blade when contacting the animal’s skin or sensitive areas.
Through practice, you will get a good feel for where each blade works best on your animal and how to best use your X-Block clipper and blades.