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The FURminator was one of the first de-shedding tools I bought after discovering that our small, innocent-looking Fox Terrier cross was (actually) a little shedding factory in disguise!
And it worked (and still works) incredibly well. Not only does it remove all the loose fur from his coat, but it’s very easy to use, easy to clean, and built to last.
That said, no brush or tool is perfect. And over the years, we’ve tried, tested, and researched a bunch of different dog brushes to see which ones are better in different ways.
In short, what we found was that, while the FURminator is our top choice overall, some brushes are better in different situations, some do a similar job for less money, and others might be more tolerable for your dog (for example, rubber grooming gloves can be better for dogs that don’t like being brushed with a “regular” type of brush).
In this post, I’ll show you what you need to know about the FURminator and compare it with other types of dog brushes and individual brands to help you decide what’s best for you.
Quick Overview of the FURminator
The FURminator is essentially a stainless steel comb that’s specially designed to remove loose hair from your dog’s undercoat and top coat without cutting the hair or irritating the skin.
It also features a comfortable, easy-to-grip handle and is weighted nicely, which makes it easy to use. And it has built-in features like a curved edge and skin guards to ensure that it doesn’t irritate your dog while you brush.
Does it work, really?
Yes, in my experience, the FURminator works very well.
And according to the company, the brush can reduce loose hair from shedding “up to 90 percent” if used regularly, which seems about right based on our testing.
Of course, it depends on how often you use it and how thorough you are. And if you have a really heavy shedding dog in the home (or multiple heavy shedders), you will still likely notice dog hair around. This isn’t a magic quick-fix solution to stopping your dog from shedding.
But it does work, and there’s a range of size options that can make it even more effective and comfortable for your dog (six options in total):
- Small, medium, or large dogs with SHORT hair (3 options)
- Small, medium, or large dogs with LONG hair (3 options)
Matching the size of the brush to your dog can make brushing more comfortable for your dog, help you do a better job, and potentially save you some time if you have a larger dog.
Likewise, it pays to get one that’s designed for the length of your dog’s coat, as this can help you reach right down to the undercoat (if your dog has a long double coat) or avoid using a brush with teeth that are too deep if your dog has short hair.
So, the sizing options are a big plus.
Another cool thing about the FURminator is the “FURejector” button. This allows you to easily eject the fur the brush has collected during the brushing session into the bin. And when you’re done, there’s an edge guard that caps off the end of the brush to keep it protected.
How much does it cost?
The pricing differs depending on which of the six versions you choose to go with, so it’s best to check Amazon (or wherever you like to shop) to see the latest pricing:
Now that we’ve discussed the FURminator, let’s see how it compares with other brush types (slicker brush, undercoat rake, etc.) and other popular brands.
FURminator vs. Different Brush Types
There are numerous different types of grooming tools on the market, but most fit under the banner of being either a brush, rake, comb, de-shedding tool or something in between.
And as for which one’s best, that really depends on what you’re using it for. So in this section, I’ll show you what each brush type is and how it compares to using a FURminator.
The slicker brush is one of the most popular brushes on the market and a worthy alternative to using a FURminator. These are more brush-like than a FURminator, too. So they can be better for everyday grooming, making them useful even if your dog doesn’t shed much.
How do they work?
Slickers are very similar to a regular dog brush, except instead of bristles, they feature tightly packed wires that are angled and have rubber or plastic tips on the ends. The general idea is to brush your dog from head to tail, removing loose fur, mats, and tangles along the way.
What’s better: the FURminator or slicker?
On the one hand, slickers are better for everyday grooming and for removing mats from medium-to-long-haired dogs. They are also generally less expensive than a FURminator.
On the other hand, FURminators are better for de-shedding, can suit both short and long hair dogs, and are much easier to clean thanks to the FURejector button.
The only caveat to that last point is that some slickers, like the Hertzko slicker shown, come with a self-cleaning head. So how easy a slicker is to clean will depend on what one you choose.
Undercoat rakes are a pretty rugged type of brush designed to remove loose undercoat fur in double-coated dogs. Most are designed to safely cut through mats, knots, and tangles in the outer coat while also removing the loose fur.
There are numerous variations of undercoat rakes and de-matting combs (which are similar) on the market, but most feature rounded stainless steel blades that are sharp on the inside. Used correctly, these won’t cut or scratch your dog’s skin, but they can cut through stubborn mats while picking up undercoat fur, making them particularly useful for some situations.
The only way I’d choose an undercoat rake or de-matting comb over a FURminator would be if the dog has long, thick hair that’s prone to mats, tangles, and knots. This is because the FURminator will not cut through these as easily as an undercoat rake will.
The FURminator will remove just as much, if not more, undercoat fur as a rake, but it’s not designed to cut your dog’s hair, so it will struggle with stubborn mats.
Most dog combs come with finer teeth on one end and more widely spaced teeth on the other end, which can make them a good all-around choice for grooming and removing fleas.
That said, combs are not as good for de-shedding as a FURminator. They’re also not as comfortable to use, the shape makes them difficult to use in certain places, and they’re not as easy to clean. The only two things that make a comb better, at least in my opinion, is that they typically cost a lot less, and they are better for everyday grooming than a FURminator.
Pin & Bristle Brush
The bristle brush is probably the most common type of brush in the world, and many come with a pin brush on one side and a bristle brush on the other (i.e., a pin and bristle brush combo).
Given how inexpensive these are, they’re worth having around the home even if you have a FURminator or similar de-shedder because they’re a great all-around grooming brush.
The pin brush is great for breaking down mats and knots, removing debris from your dog’s coat, and general everyday grooming. And the bristle brush is ideal for finishing your grooming session as it helps to massage your dog’s skin and spread his natural skin oils around, which in turn can help promote healthy skin and hair that sheds less.
These can also help add shine to your dog’s coat.
That said, like the comb, this isn’t as good for de-shedding as a FURminator.
So while they’re very affordable and great for day-to-day grooming, this is not what I’d recommend if you want to get the shedding under control.
Shedding blades come in different shapes and sizes, but most feature a steel blade with tightly spaced teeth or ridges on the end and are designed to de-shed short-haired dogs (or horses).
These can work very well if your dog has short, smooth hair, and they are generally cheaper, but they won’t get down into the undercoat as well as an undercoat rake or FURminator, especially if your dog has long hair. They’re also generally not as comfortable to use, and they don’t catch the hair they remove, so cleaning can be more challenging.
Still, if your dog has short hair and you want a simple, cheap shedding tool, these can be a great alternative to the FURminator.
Rubber Brush or Gloves
Rubber brushes (aka curry combs) often come in either brush form with rubber bristles on the end or in the form of a glove with rubber or silicone grooming tips.
The good thing about these is that they are affordable, remove a surprising amount of loose fur from most dogs, and provide a gentle massage, which is great for your dog’s coat.
Not to mention, the glove version is, in my experience, often better suited for dogs that don’t like “regular” brushes as they are less harsh and not as intimidating.
However, as you might have guessed, a rubber brush is almost certainly not going to remove as much of the old hair as a FURminator or similar purpose-built de-shedder, especially if your dog has thicker, longer hair and is double-coated.
These are still worth having on hand, though (no pun intended!). And you can even use them while you bathe your dog to gently massage his coat and remove the old hair.
FURminator vs. Other Popular Brands
Now that we’ve discussed how the FURminator compares to some of the most common brush types on the market let’s see how it stacks up compared to other popular brands.
King Komb’s de-shedding tool is a worthy alternative to the FURminator, and instead of being yet another FURminator “copycat,” it has a unique set of features.
In short, the King Komb is a 7.75″ x 2″ handheld comb with rubber bristles on one end and three metal de-shedding blades on the other, which retract to make cleaning easier.
To me, it’s basically like a SleekEZ on steroids because it has both a rubber brush and three de-shedding blades, which makes it a nifty little tool, especially if your dog has short hair.
It’s also slightly more affordable than a FURminator, depending on where you buy. And because it has a rubber brush, you could use this for more than just de-shedding your dog.
However, I still prefer the FURminator for de-shedding purposes because it’s designed for removing fur from the undercoat of dogs with both short AND long hair.
ShedMonster is another popular de-shedding tool on the market, and it’s essentially an undercoat rake with curved stainless steel teeth that are designed to remove old hair from your dog’s top coat and undercoat.
On the plus side, this de-shedder has been around for years and has many positive reviews from customers. However, it’s not our top pick because it lacks the features of many other de-shedding rakes and brushes, yet it’s more expensive as of writing (September 2022).
For example, the GoPets Dematting Comb (which is similarly priced) will do pretty much the same thing but comes with two sides, one with more tightly spaced teeth and another with looser spaced teeth. And the MalsiPree grooming brush is cheaper than both of these and is unique in that one side is an undercoat rake while the other features a FURminator-like comb.
So, the ShedMonster isn’t our top undercoat rake pick. And while it looks like a great de-shedding tool overall and would likely beat the FURminator for cutting through mats, the FURminator is more affordable, easier to clean, and has tighter-spaced teeth, which is ideal for de-shedding.
Not to mention, the FURminator has options for short-coated dogs, whereas the ShedMonster is better suited to dogs with medium-to-long coats.
Dakapets grooming brush is probably the closest FURminator alternative on the market. It features a 4-inch (100mm) stainless steel comb designed to de-shed your dog.
What’s good about it?
The biggest standout with this tool is its price; it’s considerably cheaper than a FURminator, yet it will do a similar job overall. In fact, the company claims it can reduce shedding “by up to 95%,” although that’s a hard claim to verify and pretty much the same as the FURminator.
Is it better than the FURminator?
In my opinion, no.
And there are three main reasons I say this:
- For one thing, the Dakapets brush is a “one size fits all” design. The blade comes in one length (4 inches long), so it’s not as well-suited to brushing smaller dogs.
- Second, unlike the FURminator, there isn’t an option for short or long-haired dogs.
- And third, even though the head is detachable, which can make cleaning easier than some other brushes, it doesn’t have a FURjector button. So the FURminator is easier to clean.
Still, Dakapets’ de-shedding tool is a viable FURminator alternative, especially if you’re looking to save some cash. And it’s one of the most popular dog shedding brushes on the market.
Bottom Line: Is the FURminator Really the Best De-Shedding Brush?
Compared to most other types of brushes, the FURminator is best for de-shedding dogs, given the way it’s designed and my experience of using it (and other) brushes. However, there are brushes that are better for certain tasks (like removing mats) and for everyday grooming.
For example, a slicker, pin/bristle brush combo, or regular dog comb are better for everyday grooming, an undercoat rake is better for removing mats, and rubber/silicone grooming gloves are better for dogs that don’t like being brushed.
As for how it stacks up against other brands, my top choice is the FURminator for de-shedding, considering how well it works, its overall quality, and its features.
However, there are cheaper alternatives and options with features that the FURminator doesn’t have (like rubber bristles or the ability to cut through mats).
Of course, we haven’t compared the FURminator to every single brush on the market since there are too many of them. But the ones we’ve highlighted are among the most popular, and we’ve discussed different brush types to help you compare the different overall designs. So, hopefully you now have a better idea as to what brush is likely to suit you and your dog best.
And if you want to see other brushes we recommend, you can see our top 10 picks here. That page also contains a guide on getting the most out of each grooming session and tips on reducing shedding, so be sure to check that out if you want to know more.
Thanks for reading, and happy brushing!