Your Ultimate Guide to Buying Dog Nail Clippers

If you haven’t already experienced how challenging this whole process of grooming your dog’s nails is, you are up for a BIG surprise! Which is why our number one tip is - to start clipping your pup’s nails as soon as he learns how to stand up on his own feet. That way, the dog becomes accustomed to getting his nails trimmed from the very beginning and the whole process becomes so much easier than it usually is.

The next big decision you have to make is to decide what kind of dog nail clipper you need to buy for this job. Even if you are a professional dog groomer, making this decision for your salon requires a certain level of knowledge and experience because of the sheer number of choices that are available these days in the market. There are so many different kinds of dog nail trimmers to choose from - you can buy a grinder or a scissor or a plier maybe? Don’t worry, we’ll help you decide what kind of dog nail clipper is best suited for your dog’s needs.

What Should I Look For in a Good Dog Nail Clipper?

The right kind of tool won’t be flimsy or poorly built. It will be the one which is easy to hold and to use. It’ll be safe for you to handle and even safer for your dog. With the right kind of clipper, your dog won’t feel threatened since there’ll be no pain or excessive or loud vibrations. A quality dog clipper gives you a clean cut in one quick succession. Also, it proves its mettle by staying sharp and edgy even after being used for a long period of time.

What you need to remember here is - different types of clippers would suit different kinds of dogs. There’s no such thing called, ‘one kind fits all’ when it comes to dog nail clippers. Below, we’ll discuss the advantages and disadvantages of all the popular styles available in the market. And based on that, you can decide which one to buy.

Four Main Kinds of Dog Nail Trimmers

This is the first big decision you have to make - what kind of clipper is best suited for my dog? Carefully go through these pros and cons and then make a choice. After that, we’ll discuss a few more features and qualities to look out for.

  1. Dog Nail Scissors - These kinds of nail clippers are ideal for small-sized dogs. They resemble the shape of a scissor, but they come with a blade in the shape of half-a-circle. They aren’t as user-friendly as pliers are, but they can get the job done quite effectively.
  • Advantages - Small in size, thus, easy to use on smaller dogs. Also, easy to store. These types of dog clippers are usually not very expensive.
  • Disadvantages - As mentioned above, scissor-type clippers are not suitable for large-sized dogs. You will have to put in a lot more effort and time if you try to use these clippers to trim nails of a larger-sized dog.
  1. Dog Nail Pliers - These are pretty similar to scissor-type dog nail clippers but with the exception that they come with an additional spring that pops the blade open after every clipping action. Usually, they are a little bigger than the scissor-type clippers but they can be used on small-sized dogs and on the bigger dogs as well.
  • Advantages - Plier-type dog nail clippers can easily cut thick, tougher nails, as long as their sharpness is intact. They can be used on any dog no matter how big or small it is. And they are usually known for being tougher since they offer better durability and longevity.
  • Disadvantages - The biggest con is - if they aren’t sharp enough, they can badly crush or twist your dog’s nails instead of cutting neatly in a single swing. This can cause a lot of pain to your furry little companion. So, make sure you replace them in time to avoid such an incident.
  1. Guillotine Dog Nail Clippers - Guillotine-type clippers come with a hole in which you need to place your dog’s nail and with a single click of the clipper, a sharp blade cuts through the nail completely.
  • Advantages - The blades of these clippers are replaceable. So, when they get old, you can easily replace them with new ones, which is a lot cheaper than buying a new clipper altogether. Please note, guillotine-type dog clippers are ideal for small to medium-sized dogs.
  • Disadvantages - If you have a larger-sized dog, these clippers might not work very well. Also, they are not very user-friendly. You need to get a little used to before you could handle them effortlessly.
  1. Dog Nail Grinders - You can use a grinder after cutting the dog’s nail to give it a proper shape or you can use it alone to grind the entire length off.
  • Advantages - The biggest advantage of nail grinders is that they are absolutely safe to use. Also, the end result is very smooth and shiny.
  • Disadvantages - Some of these dog nail grinders are a bit too loud for some dogs. So, there’s a possibility your dog would get scared. You also need to make sure that your dog’s hair does not get in the way. Sometimes that happens and you unintentionally cut off your dog’s hair along with the nails.

Other Features to Take Into Account 

Once you’ve decided what kind of clipper to buy, you can look out for additional features like - durability, the sharpness of the blade, the grip of the clipper, and its safety features. Here are a little more details about each of these attributes -

  • The Sharpness of the Blades - Always go for those brands which are praised for the sharpness of their blades. Clippers with sharper blades take a lot less time than those with duller blades.
  • Safety Features of the Dog Nail Clippers - Some nail clippers come with safety features like nail guards to protect your dog’s nail from being clipped too short. They can be useful if you know how to use them properly. But most of the time, they make your job even more difficult. Some plier-type clippers come with an automatic locking guard. But this safety feature too becomes more of a problem since you’ll have to unlock it after every clipping action.
  • Durability - If you want to clip the nails of your own small-sized dog, durability might not be an issue, really. But if you have multiple dogs or you are a professional dog groomer, then it’s important that you look for clippers that come with a ‘professional dog nail clippers’ tag. These kinds of clippers are more likely to last longer than an average dog nail clipper.
  • The Grip of the Clipper Handle - Different kinds of dog nail clippers come with different kinds of grips. You have to look for one that suits your personal needs. If you think you are someone who has steady hands, any grip might work for you, but if that’s not the case, look for handles that come with rubber grips that aren’t too wide or too narrow for your hand size.