Cleaner Paws is a mother-daughter run blog. Together we have over 40+ years of professional pet grooming experience and we hope to pass some of that on to our readers throughout our in-depth and non-bias reviews and buyers guides.
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This review guide was updated in November 2018.
When it comes to dog grooming, one of the ways you can ensure the best treatment for your pet is the nail clippers you use when trimming their nails.
There is nothing worse than a dog greeting you at the door only for their sharp nails to put you off as they jump up to say hello.
Not only that but there are a number of reasons why it is dangerous for dogs to have long nails particularly as it can lead to claws becoming tangled with long hair or irritating sore skin whilst scratching.
Fortunately, trimming your dog’s nails is something that can be carried out in the comfort of your own home at a relatively low cost.
Dog Nail Clippers Comparison Chart
This guide will not only review the best nail clippers available for the job but also help you carry out the process with our 3 Step walkthrough.
As opposed to dog shampoo and conditioner which you buy regularly, with dog nail clippers it really is worth investing in a high-quality product you can count on for a long time.
If you choose the correct brand of clippers it is a purchase that will last a lifetime and the right product can make a huge difference to how quickly you can trim as well as how comfortable your dog will be while they’re being groomed.
Top 10 Best Dog Nail Clippers Reviews
When it comes to choosing the perfect nail clippers for your dog making the right decision can be a tough one.
Not only do you need to consider your the size and breed of your dog but you also need to take into account the thickness of their nails and how nervous your dog becomes when being groomed.
All these factors will have an impact on the nail clippers that are right for you and your pet.
It also doesn’t help that many of the best dog nail clippers available today all look remarkably similar. And with such little difference in appearance how exactly do you know which are high-quality and which clippers are going to go blunt after two uses.
Luckily we have rounded up the top 10 best nail clippers for small, large and medium-sized dogs and have taken into account the different types of nail clippers along the way as well.
2. Epica Pet Nail Clippers
Another highly durable set of dog nail clippers this product also comes with stainless steel blades.
Epica’s Pet Nail Clippers are specifically designed for medium to large sized dogs including bulldogs, spaniels, German shepherds and Great Danes.
We found this to be true ourselves when reviewing Epica clippers on a loving Golden Retriever and the rubber grip made trimming the nails particularly easy with no need for excessive pressure or a super-tight grip.
This anti-slip rubber is one of the main reasons why we rate the clippers so highly as they really do add another layer of protection. Being easy to handle means you don’t have to worry about the blades slipping quickly from your grip and accidentally hurting your pet.
Like the Safari clippers, these also come with a safety lock meaning you can store the trimmers away without fear of damaging any other belongings or hurting yourself in the process.
Being designed with medium and larger dogs in mind you can be sure of precision and the sharp blades delivered an accurate cut every time we trialed them so are definitely worth a try if you have a slightly larger dog.
3. Boshel Dog Nail Clippers
Boshel’s Dog Nail Clippers are another great product that completes the Top 3 of our list brilliantly.
If you have found any other round ups where these clippers aren’t involved then frankly you shouldn’t trust it as this product was unfortunate not to finish higher here.
Not only a great looking grooming tool but Boshel nail clippers also perform very well.
The sharp stainless steel blade means quick and precise cuts while the trimmers also come with a built-in safety stop to ensure you do not over cut your dog’s nails.
A brand of product that is often used by professional dog groomers you can be sure of quality and we found these clippers extremely easy to use.
As a little-added bonus, the clippers also come with a free nail file thrown in, perfect for when you want to really pamper your dog and another excellent addition to your pet grooming kit.
4. Omega Pet Dog Nail Clippers
Very similar in style to the Boshel Nail Clipper, OmegaPet have their own take on what makes the best dog nail clipper.
These clippers come with all the features you would expect by now, strong rubber grip, safety stop for cutting your dog’s nails too short as well as a safety lock and sharp blade.
What will also strike you with this product when you use them for the first time is just how well made they are.
The handle feels extremely secure and these clippers ready are made to last meaning you can be confident in your purchase knowing you won’t have to replace the product six months down the line.
This durability, along with the fact like other products already listed, they are extremely easy to use were the main reasons we rated them so highly.
You really do feel you have a steady hand throughout the whole time using these clippers and a number of online reviews also mention great success using them with cats as well as dogs which is great if you have a feline friend in your household as well.
5. Millers Forge Dog Nail Clippers
Millers Forge is no doubt already a brand that most pet owners will be familiar with.
A brand known for their sturdy and reliable products, these nail clippers definitely deliver in that area.
The comfortable grip makes them perfect for trimming the nails of all size dogs although the product description does suggest that the product isn’t best used on extremely large dogs where a specialized product would be a better alternative.
The Miller Forge brand really is a mark of quality and the stainless steel blade, comfortable grip and spring-loaded cutting mechanism all combine to deliver a really remarkable product that is thought of so highly by other dog owners.
If you are looking for a real smooth cut with your clippers then look no further!
7. Resco Deluxe Dog Claw Clippers
Quickly following our first review of the Dremel dog grooming kit is our first guillotine style nail trimmers to make our Top 10 roundup.
Resco invented the guillotine style of nail clippers in 1937 and has manufactured them in the U.S. ever since.
You operate the clippers by firmly placing pressure down on the handle as opposed to gripping as you do with the scissor style trimmers.
Once pressured the blade then slices your dog’s nail in a smooth manner and is an excellent alternative if you had trialed other options for grooming your dog without much success.
One of the downsides to this style of nail clipper is that they may not be ideal for larger dogs and we did encounter some problems when using them on a great Dane but found them to be simple to use and extremely effective on smaller sized breeds.
8. Mojo Dog Trimmers
A product that is veterinary approved sure is a sign of quality and that is definitely the case with these Mojo dog trimmers.
One the main reasons this product works so well is the thick stainless steel blades are perfect for medium to large sized dogs and you really do feel the clippers give an effective cut with every trim you make.
These clippers do not slide at all meaning you know you are not harming your pet and you can be sure you’re trimming their nails to the exact length you want them.
As well as most clippers in this list the Mojo trimmers come with a safety guard to prevent you cutting too deep and the non-slip handles help to provide a steady cut.
These trimmers really are well made and you know you are holding a product made to last when you use them.
9. Wagglies Dog Nail Clippers
The Wagglies dog nail clippers we reviewed differ slightly from the others we took a look at as this product comes with a slightly raised tip that helps to offer an easier clipping angle that is designed to keep your dog calm and relaxed throughout the grooming process.
The raised tip definitely help to offer a different angle to cut our dogs nails but overall the trim wasn’t as smooth as other products we reviewed.
However, if you do have real trouble trimming your dog’s nails, whether your pet becomes restless or just doesn’t enjoy being groomed these clippers may be worth trying for yourself as the unique design is a solid alternative to many of the clippers included in this guide.
One thing we really did like with this product is how the clippers come with a guide on how to cut dogs nails which included some inside tips and recommendations and is a great walkthrough for new dog owners or those who have only recently begun to groom their dog at home.
10. C-2 Pets Dog Nail Clippers
Another product that comes with a step by step guide to cutting your dog’s nails this a great addition for beginners.
C-2 dog nails clippers are a solid product, priding themselves on effectively cutting your dog’s nail without harm, hassle or frills and are very well made for a comfortable cut.
These trimmers are designed with smaller dogs in mind and we found that to be the case when we reviewed them for ourselves.
A good product and one definitely worth trialing if you have only just begun to groom your pet at home before move on to another set of clippers mentioned in this list.
That wraps up our top 10 best nail clippers and we hope at least one of the products reviewed in the roundup will be perfect for your dog.
We really do recommend beginning to create your own home grooming kit.
Although initial purchases mean upfront costs you will definitely save money in the long run as you no longer have to worry about taking your dog to be groomed elsewhere.
In this section, we will begin to take a look at why you need to invest in high-quality dog nail clippers and key features to look out for.
Why You Should Trim Your Dog’s Nails
From an anatomical point of view, dogs nail are composed of two parts:
- Outer casing or shell
- Soft center
The outer casing may be clear – translucent or black – pigmented.
Although both clear and pigmented nails are anatomically the same, clear nails are easier to cut because their parts can be easily visualized from the outside.
Just like in humans, cutting the shell is painless because it lacks nerves.
The soft centre of a dog’s nails is commonly known as the ‘quick’.
The quick contains the nerve, as well as blood vessels.
In translucent nails, the quick can be easily identified due to its pinkish coloration. If the quick is accidentally clipped it can be painful and tends to bleed.
Most dog owners are concerned about cutting the quick when trimming the nails.
It should be well understood that cutting the quick is not dangerous and can happen to professional groomers too.
No dog ever died from quicked nail. Nevertheless, there are ways to prevent cutting the quick and ways to successfully manage it in case it occurs.
The dog’s nails grow permanently and require regular maintenance.
As a general rule, the dog’s nails should not protrude over its pads or touch the ground when the dog is standing.
Simply put, there should be a slight gap between your dog’s nails and the floor. Generally, if cutting for maintenance it is recommended to cut once every 2 weeks and if cutting for shortening it is advised to cut every week.
More precisely, the length of your dog’s nails and how frequently they need to be trimmed depends on:
- Your dog’s lifestyle – if your dog spends its time outdoors, playing and running around, it will naturally trim and wear off its nails.On the flip side, if it spends its time at home and does not take regular walks, its nails will overgrow.
- Your dog’s nutrition – the balance of certain vitamins and minerals can determine the nails’ strength, structure, and growth rate.
- The type of surface your dog walks on – surfaces like pavements, dirt, grass, and gravels are excellent for naturally trimming your dog’s nails.Soft carpet are easy on the nails and do not wear them off.
If you can hear your dog making the annoying click-click sound when walking, then it is time to cut their nails.
Keep in mind that trimming the nails is not a cosmetic procedure, but an essential part of the grooming ritual.
Long, overgrown nails can be hazardous to your dog’s health because of several reasons.
Another reason, why you should keep your dog’s nails short is to protect yourself.
When your dog jumps on you or paws you for attention, unless its nails are well-trimmed, it can easily, accidentally scratch you. And we all know how painful can dog scratches be.
Different Types of Dog Nail Clippers
When it comes to choosing the right nail trimmers for your dog it is worth taking a bit of time to research the three main styles of clipper available.
Luckily, as we know how time-consuming being a pet owner can be alongside managing your own everyday tasks we have done the hard work for you and broken down the three types below.
By far the most popular style of nail clippers favored by dog owners this type of clipper almost exclusively makes up our Top 10 recommendations list above.
The simple reason these types of clippers are so popular is that they are both easy to use, operating in the same way as normal scissors while also causing your dog no harm or irritation during the grooming process.
They are of course not identical to your usual stationary scissors, they feature a small hole for inserting your dog’s nail in to and the blade sits in a semi-circle fashion as opposed to straight like normal scissor blades.
A style of dog clipper that used to be extremely popular but has now been replaced by the easier to use scissor trimmers.
Although not completely different, the guillotine clippers operate by inserting the dog’s nail into a small hole with the handle than being squeezed down as opposed to operated in a scissor motion.
There is a number of disadvantages to this type of clipper, including the blade becoming particularly worn with excess use and the fact that when used on larger dogs nails the clipper doesn’t always operate cleanly, potentially causing your dog distress.
A style of dog clippers that is an alternative to the two more popular styles.
Not officially a clipper or trimmer in nature, Dremel allow you to groom your dog’s nails with a rotary blade used to soften and file the nails away instead of clipping them.
Many dog owners swear by this method of grooming although you still need to clip your dog’s nails before using this style of trimmer and once this is done it is advised you stick to a regular schedule of grooming.
Although this is a great way to groom your dogs nails the price point of dremel trimmers being slightly more costly often deters dog owners.
Dog Nail clipper features
Choosing the right nail clipper might not always be as easy as it sounds, especially if you are a new dog owner or have recently made the switch to home grooming.
Sharpness of the blade
The sharpness or quality of the blade is one of the key features worth considering when choosing a proper nail clipper for your pet.
The sharpness of the blade determines how fast and smooth the clipping process will be.
High-quality, sharp blades ensure clean, painless and trouble-free grooming sessions.
On the flip side, dull or blunt blades tend to either crack or break the nail causing your dog distress.
The material of choice for high-quality blades is stainless steel.
This is because stainless steel not only stays sharp for long time, but it is also resilient to rust.
Handle design and comfort
The design of the clipper’s handle influences the level of comfort you will experience while using the tool.
Choosing a clipper that fits comfortably in your hand is crucial for a successful clipping outcome.
Nail clippers that are hard to maneuver, uncomfortable or heavy to hold can make the manicure if not impossible, at least difficult and annoying for both you and your dog. Combine this with an anxious dog and you get the recipe for disaster.
Luckily, the market offers a plethora of nail clippers with ergonomically designed handles, especially manufactured to offer maximum comfort.
Always choose a clipper with rubberized or anti-slip grip features.
It is also recommended to choose a nail clipper with longer handles in order to ensure higher leverage.
Light-weighted clippers also ensure prolonged use without tiring your wrist.
The handle’s design also contributes to the safety of the clipping process. The more comfortable and easy to use the clipper is, the lesser the chance of slipping and cutting the quick.
High-quality nail clippers should have the best safety features as part of their overall mechanism.
Choosing a nail clipper with advanced safety settings prevents you from cutting deeper than is recommended, thus reducing the risk of injuries and bleedings.
Nail clippers with safety setting are especially recommended for dogs with pigmented nails.
Even though cutting too deep is not dangerous and can happen to everyone it is your responsibility to try to avoid it.
Cutting too deep causes your dog pain and makes it link the clipping process with a negative experience, thus making it anxious every time you try to trim their nails.
Size of the clipper
The size of the clipper should depend on the size of your dog.
There is no universal, one-size-fits-all type of nail clipper.
Most nail clippers work up or down a size category, but they will always not deliver a perfect result.
In a nutshell, if you choose a clipper that is too small for your dog, it will be difficult to cut through the nail which will result in a struggle for you and pain for your dog.
If you choose a nail cutter that is too big for your dog, you risk cutting too much of your dog’s nails.
Easy to clean and maintain
High-quality nail clippers made of stainless steel and durable plastic can be easily cleaned by using soap, hot water, a soft cloth and paper towels.
First dip or soak the clippers in a mixture of soap and water. Dry the clippers using the paper towel and then rub the blades with the soft cloth. After cleaning, let the clippers air dry and store them in a plastic bag.
Investing in a high-quality nail clipper is a good idea, especially if you plan on grooming your dog at home.
Clippers vs. Grinders
When deciding whether to go for a conventional nail clipper or nail grinder there are a few factors you should consider.
It all depends on your personal preference and what you find easiest to use and most practical.
Generally, most dog owners agree that when it comes to nail maintenance, clippers are easier to use but grinders deliver the best results.
Because of this, both nail clippers and nail grinders have their advantages and disadvantages.
To make things easier and help you decide we have listed some pros and cons below:
If properly used, nail clippers are great for trimming your dog’s nails.
As explored above there are 3 types of dog nail clippers:
- Scissors style clippers
- Guillotine style clippers
- Guillotine style clippers.
Generally, the scissors style clippers, because of their size, are better suited for smaller dogs, however we have used them for all sizes of dog had always had successful grooming sessions.
Scissors style clippers are the cheapest and simplest option.
Pliers and guillotine style clippers come in various sizes and are more suitable for medium, large and giant dogs. both pliers and guillotine style clippers are around the same price point.
Pros of using dog nail clippers:
- Simple to use
- Inexpensive and easy to obtain
- Do not produce disturbing sounds
- If properly used and maintained, can last for years.
Cons of using nail clippers vs grinders:
- May need replacing as your dog grows
- When cut with clippers, the nail’s edges are not very smooth and usually require additional evening, meaning you may also have to purchase a nail file
- Can easily pinch the dog’s nail and cause pain
- If the blades are blunt, they can tear or crack the nail
- If the dog’s nails are too thick they may not fit inside the clipper.
Nail grinders have a high-speed rotating pad and instead of cutting the nail, the grinder files it down.
As with dog nail clippers, nail grinders also have their pros and cons.
Pros of using a dog nail grinder:
- Many types of grinders available on the market – rechargeable, battery, and electricity powered
- Lower risk of cutting and hurting the dog, thus being categorized as safer
- The tips and edges of the nail are much smoother and do not require additional evening
- Suitable for dogs with thick nails that cannot fit inside clippers
- No risk of tearing and cracking nails.
Cons of using a nail grinder:
- More expensive
- Require more frequent replacement
- The humming they produce may annoy or scare some dogs
- It takes longer to grind than to cut the nails
- Using a nail grinder requires regular breaks, because the grinder tool gets hot over time and using it when hot can cause pain.
If you decide to get a nail grinder, choose one with safety sensors.
It is also worth bearing in mind that a nail grinder can be used as a supplement to conventional clipping.
This means you can use regular clippers to trim the nails and then use the grinder to shape and smooth the nails. When used together, nail clippers and grinders make effective and dynamic duos.
How to Cut Your Dog’s Nails
Being a dog owner is a big responsibility.
Aside from showering your beloved pooch with lots of love and making sure they’re getting the right amount of exercise and a balanced diet, having them regularly groomed is of equal importance.
Not only does it promote good hygiene but it also keeps certain diseases and discomforts at bay.
Luckily, grooming can be done in the comfort of your own home and as this guide has shown there are now excellent dog nail clippers available for you to use to cut your dog’s nails with.
However even with the best clippers around new pet owners often agree that the most challenging aspect of grooming a dog is cutting their nails.
Learning how to cut dogs nails correctly can take a lot of time, practice, and treats.
Step 1 – Keep Your Pet Calm
First of all, make sure your dog is relaxed.
Dogs, especially those who are about to have their nails clipped for the first time, may feel anxious.
In order to help calm your pet down, you should try using treats and soothing words to relax them.
Of equal importance is how you act around your dog.
Remember, dogs are great at picking up their owner’s feelings. If they feel that you are tensed or anxious about the process, they may also begin to feel worried.
Experts advise that dog owners should exude a relaxed aura so that your furry friend will feel safe and secure throughout the grooming session.
Step 2 – Choosing the Best Nail Clippers for Your Dog
Second, in every battle, it’s always best to know your weapons.
For nail trimming, clippers come in different shapes and sizes to cater to the needs of different types of dogs.
The most common of which are the scissor style and the guillotine-type.
We have already been over the different styles of dog nail clippers in detail above but just in case you missed that we will examine them again here. Scissor-type trimmers, as the name implies, appear like scissors but with concave indentations through which the dog’s nails can be placed inside.
These are often used on long nails and are suitable for all size of dogs.
On the other hand, the guillotine-type trimmer slices off the dog’s nail with a blade that moves up and down when the handles are gripped.
Third, aside from knowing which type of trimmer is best for a particular sized dog, being familiar with the anatomy of a dog’s nail also helps.
A dog’s nail is made up of two parts – the insensitive nail and the quick.
The insensitive nail does not contain blood vessels, and is the part of the nail which must be removed.
On the other hand, the quick is the part that contains the blood vessels and nerves.
It usually appears as the pinkish part of the nails for dogs with lighter claws. Being the sensitive part of the dog’s nail, cutting the quick must be avoided, as it would be a very unpleasant experience for your pet.
Step 3 – Positioning Your Dog Properly
Generally, dogs that are new to having their nails trimmed may require a certain amount of restraint.
There are two common types of restraint usually used by groomers: the table restraint method and the side-laying restraint method.
The table restraint method allows easier access to the paws. In this method, the groomer stands on the opposite side of the table from the claws.
One hand will hold the paw in place, while the trimmer is being held by the other.
This allows for you to easily drape your arms over the dog, leaving the groomer’s forearm over the dog’s neck to prevent any head lifting movement, while allowing for a comfortable position to access the paws.
And just in case the dog tries to stand, you can easily lean over his body to stop him.
The other method is the side-laying restraint method which is the preferred method for the more active pet.
In this method, the dog is made to lie down on one side.
The groomer’s right hand will hold the trimmer while restraining the dog to stay laying on the same side.
The left arm will keep the head in place, while the hand holds the paw.
Both these methods may be used on dogs of different sizes although smaller breeds may require a lot more restraint than bigger breeds.
Step 4 – Cutting Your Dogs Nails Correctly
Now that the basics and positioning of your dog have been covered it’s time to proceed to trim your pet’s nails.
The first thing to do is to determine where and what to cut.
Since it is already established that the quick is the sensitive part of the nail, the goal is to avoid cutting it.
Light-colored nails have pinkish quicks that make them easier to identify.
However, on dogs with darker claws, the quick is harder to find, so the standard being followed is to cut about 2 millimeters away from the quick.
It’s always best to make small cuts only, as this avoids cutting the nails too short and to prevent any bleeding.
With the cutting blade facing away from your dog, the nails are cut either from bottom to top or from top to bottom, whichever is more comfortable for you.
Do take note that in trimming, the clipper should always be perpendicularly placed from the nail. Otherwise, placing it parallel to the nail may result in the nail being split or crushed by the clipper – an experience you don’t want your dog to have.
Additionally you must hold your dog’s paw with a firm but gentle grip with your fingers under the pads. This gives you the right amount of control for when your dog makes an involuntary jerk or movement.
If you have a dog with very sensitive paws try not touch the foot between the pads as this may be very stressful for your dog.
However there may still be instances when the nails are accidentally cut too short.
In case this happens the first thing to do is to restrain your dog from standing up and running away since it will only cause further damage.
Once your dog is calm you must immediately stop the bleeding with styptic powder.
In case you don’t have any styptic powder available popular alternatives to stop the bleeding include flour, cornstarch or soap and water.
Once the bleeding has stopped don’t let your dog run around the house. It is advised for your dog to remain lying down for another 10 to 15 minutes to aid healing. This will also prevent the possibility of the nail starting to bleed again. Instead, you can keep your dog calm with treats and lots of loving assurance.
Pet owners often overlook the dew claws when it comes to nail trimming. These are the shorter claws located on the inner surface of the paw and ensuring you don’t miss them as well is important, since these claws do not touch the ground as often they need more frequent trimming because they do not experience any natural wearing off.
In cutting dew claws, the guillotine type nail trimmer is the best choice as the nail can be easily placed inside the hole.
How Often Should You Cut Dog’s Nails?
You should look to trim your dogs nails at least once a month.
By cutting your dog’s nails regularly you will ensure they remain well groomed and will not have to worry about any sharp claws harming either you, guests or your dog.
For long nails that grow quickly you can cut your dog’s nails every 2-3 weeks to ensure you keep the quicks well kept.
Challenges You may Face
Remember that long nails result in painful paws for your dog.
This is because the nail is being pushed by the hard surface of your home and neighborhood sidewalks deeper into the nail bed.
Some dogs even develop a condition called the “goat on the rock” wherein they lean over their forelimbs resulting in paws that are drawn closer to his body.
In effect, the dog develops overused muscles and joints in the forelimbs, making his hind limbs weaker than normal dogs. If not corrected this may even lead to diseases such as rheumatism.
Another point to consider is that dogs must have their nails regularly trimmed.
The standard being followed is every two to three weeks for dogs with suburban lifestyles however for dogs with more active lifestyles nails are often shortened by natural wear and tear. Also, some dogs may have naturally shorter nails than others. In this case it’s best to simply file the sharp edges away.
In the case of dogs who accidentally had their quicks cut, they may feel hesitant to do it a second time.
In times like these it is always best to keep them calm and give them treats to associate it with being rewarded. Eventually your pooch will warm to the idea – just remember to be patient and give your dog lots of assurance that everything’s going to be okay.
Finally, if you’re not confident about doing it on your own just yet, it is always best to watch a professional do it first before trying it yourself.
To summarize, learning how to cut dogs nails can be a very challenging task for new dog parents.