That clacking on the tile in the kitchen, the scratches on the hardwood, the absolute ruin left on your legs when your canine companion decides to jump on your lap. It’s time to trim their nails, and that means you’re going to need the best dog nail clippers you can find. You are ready to get trimming, aren’t you?
We recommend the Resco Original Deluxe Dog and Cat Nail/Claw Clippers for most people’s pets. They’re sharp, easy to use, and will quickly allow you to ensure your dog gets a good trim without breaking the bank. There are a lot of options out there, however, and you’re going to want to make sure you’ve got only the best for your pooch. Take a look at our top five and then we’ll help you decide which pair is the best for your pet.
If you’re looking for a guillotine-style dog nail trimmer then this is exactly what you’ve been looking for. They’re easy to use, professional grade, and you can even purchase an all-in-one kit with stypic powder, files, and replacement blades. It’s a bargain.
Top 5 Dog Nail Clippers
|Resco Original Deluxe||Guillotine||Regular and Large||Check Price|
|Boshel||Scissors w/ Tab||Regular||Check Price|
|Dremel 7300-PT 4.8V||Grinder||n/a||Check Price|
|Epica||Scissors||Small to Large||Check Price|
|Oster Premium||Grinder w/Safety Bar||n/a||Check Price|
1. Best Overall Dog Nail Clippers
Resco Original Deluxe Dog and Cat Nail/Claw Clippers
Resco made the original guillotine trimmers and their well-worn design is still one of the best around… period. They’re sturdy, easy to use, and allow you to make short work of even the longest claws.
There’s not a whole lot to say about them other than the fact that they’re the best guillotine-style clippers on the market and one of the few brands which offers them suitable for larger dogs. On top of that you can also order a kit from them in order to get everything you need for the whole affair.
The replaceable blades are nice as well. Professional groomers might go through them quickly but it’s a great deal to be able to replace them.
The only real issue is that the handles aren’t suited for everyone’s hands at the end of the day. They’re not all that modern or ergonomic, although they’re definitely better than the bare metal which is found on the original design.
Pros and Cons
- Super clean cut
- Full kit available
- Original guillotine design
- Comes in large sizing
- Grips could be better designed
- Rubber handles sometimes slip off
2. Runner Up for Best Overall Dog Nail Clippers
Dog Nail Clippers and Trimmer By Boshel
In our testing the Boshel clippers performed extremely well. The safety tab was a wonderful addition and helps to keep you from having to reach for the stypic powder as well, which makes them great for those pet parents who get nervous when it comes time to trim.
The whole affair is wrapped in comfortable plastic and rubber. These were another one that professional groomers recommended to us during our initial research and it’s easy to see why.
They make for a clean, smooth clip every time. Just like guillotine-style trimmers, however, you need to be sure to make a confident and smooth closing of the action or you’re really not going to be impressed with how they cut.
Indeed, we would recommend these over our favorites for skittish dogs. They’re pretty awesome all the way around, although not quite as simple as guillotine-style clippers once you’ve got them going.
With a safety stop, excellent handles, and clean action we found these scissor-style clippers were excellent for nervous mutts. Try them out.
Pros and Cons
- Excellent clipping
- Great for nervous users
- Well-made handles
- Extremely sturdy overall construction
- Not the fastest method of cutting
- Some people had issues figuring out how to use them. Read the instructions.
3. Best Dog Nail Grinder
Dremel 7300-PT 4.8V Pet Nail Grooming Tool
If you’re looking for an electric option then it really doesn’t get any better than Dremel’s nail grinder. It’s one of the best around and you’ll quickly find that it makes short work of your pet’s elongated nails.
It does lack a safety bar which means you’ll need to be careful with it. On the other hand, nothing else we tried was nearly as quiet while remaining powerful enough to handle even the toughest dog claws.
The cordless operation makes it easily maneuverable and it comes with two speeds so that you’ll be able to handle things properly. It’s also compatible with pretty much any Dremel sanding drum which means that you can match the grit to your pet’s claws if the one that comes with it leaves chips or isn’t rough enough.
It still has the disadvantages inherent to grinders: it makes noise and that means that you won’t be able to use it with particularly anxious dogs. It’s also not perfect when it comes to avoiding the quick, although the gradual motion makes it easier than when you’re working with other clipper styles.
If you’re looking for the best pet nail grinder on the market then check this one out. There are others with a bit more safety, but when it comes to effectiveness the Dremel 7300-PT takes the cake.
Pros and Cons
- Two speed motor
- Cordless operation
- Grinds quickly and efficiently
- Quiet running
- No safety bar
- Most expensive option on our list
4. Best Scissor Style Clippers
Epica #1 Best Professional Pet Nail Clipper
If you’re looking for an excellent set of scissor-style clippers that won’t break the bank then you’ll be in luck with these ones from Epica. You’ll need a steady hand and a careful eye to avoid the quick but at the end of the day you’ll be in good hands with these powerful clippers.
We found they cut quite cleanly. The main problem comes with the fact that there’s no inherent safety built into this set. Instead, you’ll have to make sure that you know what you’re doing which makes them a bad idea for those who have dogs with dark claws.
They’re probably the most powerful of our favorites as well. For dogs with extremely tough nails they’re an excellent choice.
They’re also quite inexpensive, which makes them an even better deal.
If you’re looking for something which will help to keep your dogs nails trimmed nice and clean then you’re in luck. Just be aware they lack some of the safety features of our other favorites.
Pros and Cons
- Extremely powerful and sharp
- Cheap in price
- Simple operation
- Handles are really comfortable
- Not the safest, handle with care
- Tend to loosen when used frequently
5. Best Budget Dog Nail Grinder
Oster Gentle Paws Premium Nail Grinder for Dogs and Cats
When you’re working with dog nails, some people need a safety bar. If you’re one of those who’s a bit leery about exposing their dog’s paws to a rapidly winding wheel then you may be happy with this one from Oster.
It’s a bit louder than our favorite grinder, so make sure that your dog can handle it if you decide to go with this option. On the other hand, the safety bar and dust catcher makes it much easier to avoid injuring your dog.
We didn’t find it to be as whisper-quiet as they claim. It’s quieter than a normal rotary, but not by much. It’s still got a good two speed motor and if your dog can handle the noise it’s a really easy way to make sure that you don’t harm your dog while you’re handling their nails.
It’s also a great deal pricewise.
If your dog can handle the noise and you’re squeamish about using the Dremel option than this one from Oster might be exactly what you’re looking for. It’s a bit louder, but the safety bar which comes with it makes it a fantastic option as well.
Pros and Cons
- Easy to use safety bar
- Comes with everything you need
- Two speed motor
- Ergonomic grip
- A little underpowered for some nails
- Louder than the Dremel option
Your clippers are going to have an assigned size.
Match them off, seriously. While you may be able to move around a little bit it’s going to make things more difficult for you.
Moving smaller sizes to larger ones is easier than vice versa. It’s also more important with manual models than with electric ones.
It’s the first thing you need to look at when you’re choosing however.
Electric vs. Manual Dog Nail Trimmers
It’s the hottest debate in dog nail care: grinding or clipping?
Electric models have sandpaper drums which allow you to slowly take down your dog’s nails rather than clipping them outright. Many people are less scared of using them than manual models since you can cut too far back more easily.
Let’s be fair here: the health implications of going either way are relatively minimal. In either case you should have hemostatic powder on hand just in case.
Instead, which are better will depend largely on your dog’s temperament.
Go with manual clippers for dogs which are scared of loud noises. The Dremel-like grinders are likely to make anxiety prone dogs have a little puppy panic attack.
Grinders also tend to take quite a bit longer than clippers due to their nature.
Keep in mind that dog nail grinders don’t avoid all possible problems with cutting into the cuticles. There’s a reason that you should be using a specially made grinder instead of a dremel and a sanding drum: safety bars are pretty much required.
Manual clippers, on the other hand, tend to be quite easy to use and many people have found them to be pretty much indispensable. They tend to last much longer than grinders, are quieter and quicker. They just make some people nervous.
Either is a perfectly viable option, however, the important thing is to suit your dog’s temperament and make sure that you’re using the proper technique for the tool you’re using.
What to Look for in Your New Dog Clippers
Once you’ve decided on what type of clippers you’re going to invest in you’ll need to figure out which ones are the best for you and your pet.
Choosing Your Manual Clippers
Manual clippers come in two different types: guillotine style and scissor style.
For most people the guillotine style are the way to go. They’re much easier to use since you slide your dogs claws in them entirely and then pull the handles together in order to get the nails clipped.
They’re really only suitable for small to medium sized dogs however. You’re probably going to want to use scissor style clippers for larger dogs.
Once you’ve figured out which style you’re going with the run-down of what you need is pretty easy:
- They need to be sharp enough to make the job easy on you.
- Durability isn’t as big of a concern for a home set as it is for vets. Professional quality clippers often have replaceable blades however, which can make things easier if you have multiple dogs.
- They need to be sized appropriately for both the dog’s nails and your own hands.
As long as all of that is in order then you’ll be able to use them quickly and easily.
Choosing a Grinder
Grinders are a little more complex than their manual counterparts. You’ll also need to make sure that you can get replacement heads easily so going with an “off-brand” with irregularly sized heads isn’t a great idea. You’ll end up having to buy another pair pretty soon if you go that route.
The first thing to look at is to make sure that it’s a sturdy device. They’re fairly simple overall but you need to ensure that things are working properly for a long time.
From there look for something which runs quietly. Even a stoic pet can quickly start to get upset if the grinder makes a ton of noise. This was our primary picking criteria once we’d spent some time making sure that they were working well.
Multiple speeds are great. You can use the higher speed in order to grind the tips and slow down as you come back towards the quick of the nail.
Finally, we wanted to make sure that they had a ⅛” shaft. This makes it much easier to find the sanding drums.
Some of the other things which we assume could be useful for some people:
- Some of the models we looked at had a dust catcher. These plastic pieces are quite useful for those who are doing things indoors. These also make it harder to accidently abrade the cuticle of the nail or your dog’s paw if you slip.
- There are some relatively small models which aren’t much bigger than an electric toothbrush. We’d avoid them due to them being underpowered but if you have a toy or teacup sized dog they may be a good way to go.
Just remember that not all dogs are going to go for a grinder. In testing we found that anxious dogs are much easier to handle if you opt for a manual pair of trimmers.
Cutting Your Dog’s Nails
Trimming your dog’s nails can be a bit tricky.
The price also adds up if you’re going to the groomer as often as recommended. Many people have found that it’s much easier to handle the process at home to save the money in the long run.
Fortunately, it’s not quite as hard as many people seem to think. You’ll need to take a few precautions but even if you royally mess it up the chances of any real damage are pretty slim.
You’ll want to pick up some groomer’s stypic powder just in case. If you accidentally cut into the quick of the nail then you can apply it to stop the bleeding almost instantly.
For most dogs the process is relatively simple: examine your dog’s nails in the light. If your dog doesn’t have black nails then you should be able to see the quick. The quick is a live portion of the nail and it’ll bleed if you cut into it, so you want to make sure that you don’t cut into it.
Many people recommend teaching your dog to accept the clippers before you get going.
The easiest way is the following:
- Pull the clippers around your dog’s paws without clipping them. Try placing them over the nails as well.
- Reward your dog with a treat and praise each time they let you do it without any objection.
- Repeat a few times and then try actually clipping the nails.
Hopefully this will help your dog to acclimate.
With a grinder you should simply allow your dog to get used to the noise a few times. Give them a treat if you let them get close with it and you’ll be on the right path.
Don’t be surprised if it takes a few tries. Most dogs don’t like having their feet handled in the first place so it may prove to be a little bit of a trial to get through.
It’s the moment of truth. Gather your dog and supplies and get ready for the fight of a lifetime.
Or possibly just a minor struggle, depending on the dog.
When you clip your dog’s nails you need to be aware of where the quick is. This is the part of the nail which is still growing and it can cause bleeding if you cut into it.
Don’t panic if you cut too close. Use either tissue paper or stypic powder to stop the bleeding and possibly stop the session for the time being depending on how your dog reacts.
Grinders can also cut to the quick, so be careful when you’re using them. Electric grinders also need to be used carefully to avoid hitting the dog’s paw.
The blade should be positioned to close from the bottom when you’re using manual clippers. This is the more natural way to cut and can help to avoid any problems with it hitting the quick.
You should have a forty five degree angle, leaving a quarter inch or so in front of the quick.
For dogs with black nails the proper way to go about things is usually to forgo the forty five degree angle and instead to cut directly across the bottom of the paw.
Exceptionally Long Nails
When a dog has an exceptionally long nail you may not be able to trim them without causing bleeding.
Once again we recommend that you pick up stypic powder along with your trimmers, especially if it’s been quite awhile since you’ve had their nails trimmed. If they’re really long you may even want to take them to a vet or groomer before you begin trimming them yourself.
Regardless of your situation, you’ll probably find that learning how to trim your dog’s nails is a rewarding experience. If you’re working with particularly long nails you may want to make sure you’ve taken care of it at the vet first but the grooming experience is something which both you and your dog can learn to enjoy.
For at-home grooming we still recommend snatching up the Resco Original Deluxe Dog and Cat Nail/Claw Clippers. They’re not quite professional quality but they’re a great way to start for those who only have one or two dogs in the house.
Isn’t it time to make your dog more comfortable? It’s not that hard to learn and once you get a maintenance schedule going you’re likely to save a lot of time.
Get your dog nail clippers or a good grinder today and you’ll have found a new way to stay close with your canine.