Included in this guide:
The best dog nail clippers will let you pamper your pooch from the comfort of home and the most important part? You don't need to be a nail grooming expert to be able to use them!
A common fear amongst pet parents is that they may harm their dog if they try and trim their nails at home and if you fall into that camp, rest assured, we get it. But the good news is that when you arm yourself with the right tool for the job, cutting your dog's nails becomes far easier than you think.
If you already have a dog grooming kit at home, adding in a pair of nail clippers is the perfect finishing touch. Having your own pair won't just help cut down on costly trips to a professional groomer, trimming your dog's nails can also be a great bonding experience for the two of you. But what kind of clippers should you choose?
You have three main options when it comes to keeping your pooch's nails in tip-top condition: plier-style clippers, guillotine-style clippers, and nail grinders. Each comes with their own unique pros and cons, so let's briefly explore those so you know which clippers to invest in.
If you're new to trimming your dog's nails or you don't feel overly confident, then we recommend opting for a pair of plier-style clippers. These are great for newbies as their easy-grip design gives them a comfortable feel in the hand which offers you a good amount of control. They also come with a safety stop, so there's no risk of over-cutting.
Guillotine-style clippers are your best bet if you have a very small dog as plier-style clippers can often be too cumbersome for their tiny nails. While guillotine-style clippers make working with petite nails much easier, it's worth pointing out that they don't have a stop guard, so you'll need to be careful not to cut too far down.
Now, while technically not clippers, the best nail grinders for pets are a good option for keeping your dog's nails trimmed if the mere sight of clippers has them running for the hills. Not all dogs like getting their nails trimmed with clippers, so a grinder can work wonders for stressed-out furkids. They're also ideal if you feel nervous about using clippers as they enable you to trim gently, slowly, and safely.
So, now that you know a little bit more about the different types of clippers on the market, it's time to find the perfect pair for you and your pooch. We've rounded up the best dog nail clippers to make the whole process effortless and pain-free, with styles and prices to suit everyone.
PetsRadar's pick of the best dog nail clippers
- Best overall dog nail clippers: BOSHEL Dog Nail Clippers and Trimmer with Quick Safety Guard
- Best budget dog nail clippers: Safari Professional Stainless-Steel Nail Trimmer
- Best nail clippers for small dogs: Shiny Pet Nail Clippers for Small Animals
- Best nail clippers for large dogs: Epica Professional Pet Nail Clippers
- Best electric dog nail clippers: GHG Dog Nail Grinder
- Best guillotine-style dog nail clippers: Resco Nail Clippers
BOSHEL Dog Nail Clippers and Trimmer with Quick Safety Guard
Best overall dog nail clippers
Safety Stop: Yes | Dimensions: 7.5” x 2.5” | Dog Size: All
If you’re looking for the Rolls Royce of nail clippers, then look no further than this offering from Boshel, who have managed to wrap up substance and affordability in one funky, vibrant blue package.
Recommended by professional groomers, animal trainers and veterinarians, this high-quality nail clipper has an ergonomic design with easy-grip, non-slip handles that make it a breeze for you to use.
The 3.5mm thick stainless steel blades mean it only takes one cut to trim each nail clean, and if you and your dog are prone to sweating bullets every groom time for fear of injury, then you’re going to love the integrated safety stop, which makes it almost impossible to cut too deep.
We like that there’s a safe storage switch, which means that when you’re not using the clipper, you can lock the blade away, a great feature if you have young children at home. You also get a bonus nail file, which stores conveniently in the handle, so you always know where it is. A great addition if you’re wanting to give your dog that full salon experience and shape their nails after you’ve trimmed them.
With over 21,000 reviews on Amazon, and close to 90% of those being four-stars or above, this is the gold standard in nail clippers. Granted, its large size means it’s not a great choice for small dogs, but for medium or large breeds it gets our vote every time.
Safari Professional Stainless-Steel Nail Trimmer
Best budget dog nail clippers
Safety Stop: Yes | Dimensions: 10.5” x 2.5” | Dog Size: All
Are those trips to the vets to get your dog's nails clipped starting to take their toll on your bank balance? Look no further than this nail clipper from Safari, which replicate the experience without the hefty financial outlay.
These come in two sizes, so whatever the size of your breed, you should be covered. Sharp and offering a clean cut, these are very durable, and should remain a fixture in your household for many years to come
Moreover, they're very lightweight, with the rubberized grip offering control and comfort. Adding to this, there is a locking mechanism and safety stop, which reduce the risk of injury.
The only real downside to this that we can see is that it sometimes struggles with thicker nails – you'll need to apply a significant amount of pressure to cut them in one go, which some dogs may not appreciate. Even so, this offers great value for money.
Shiny Pet Nail Clippers for Small Animals
Best nail clippers for small dogs
Safety Stop: No | Dimensions: 3.7” x 2.6” | Dog Size: Small
If you’ve got a pint-sized pooch, then you’ll want to try these nail clippers that have been specifically designed for use on small dogs and cats. Designed like a pair of scissors, the rubber grip gives these clippers a comfortable feel in your hands and stops them from slipping.
The semi-circular shape of the stainless steel blades gives you a clean and precise cut, and the windowed opening means that your dog's nail is visible at all times, great for reducing the risk of injury.
If you’re new to clipping your dog’s nails, you’ll love that you get a free e-book that provides you with a comprehensive guide on how to cut and trim safely. Simply scan the QR code on the back of the packet with your smartphone and the e-book is all yours. Talk about great peace of mind.
If you’re after even more of that, then the lifetime money-back guarantee is pretty impressive. If for any reason you’re not happy with the quality of the clippers you can ship them back and get a refund, no questions asked.
The only drawback to this affordable nail clipper is that it’s not spring-loaded, so you may find you’re having to exert more effort when you’re using them, and reviewers also note that they can be a bit stiff to open and close on first use. Still, there’s a lot to love with this offering from Shiny, and given you’ve got nothing to lose, why not give these clippers a try?
Epica Professional Pet Nail Clippers
Best nail clippers for large dogs
Safety Stop: Yes | Dimensions: 9.8” x 3.8” | Dog Size: Medium - Large
With 96% of the 10,000+ reviews on Amazon being positive, it’s clear to see that pet parents can’t get enough of this nail clipper by Epica. The blades have been correctly spaced for use on medium and large dogs to ensure safe clipping, and the sharp stainless steel blades make for an effortless clip.
These durable clippers won’t bend or rust, so you’ll get years of use out of them, and the ergonomic design means the handles are shaped to fit your fingers, providing maximum comfort. You don’t have to hold them super tight to maintain control either; just grasp lightly and apply a normal amount of pressure and your dog’s nails will be looking beautifully manicured before you know it.
The safety feature enables the clippers to be stored away with the blades in a locked position, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally cutting yourself when you’re rummaging through your drawer. There’s also a nail guard, which is optional to use during the nail trimming process to protect from accidental cutting, although some reviewers have noted that this doesn’t always stay put.
Overall, the Epica Professional Pet Nail Clippers have a thoughtful design that takes into account the unique needs of larger breeds, which is why it easily takes the top spot in this category.
GHG Dog Nail Grinder
Best electric dog nail clippers
Rechargable: Yes | Dimensions: 6.8” x 2.9” | Dog Size: All
If manual trimmers aren’t your thing and you’re looking to take your pooch’s pedicure to the next level, why not opt for this powerful and effective nail grinder? Not only is this one from GHG super affordable, but it comes with a free set of clippers!
Offering fast, safe, and precise grinding, the LED light under the grinder does a brilliant job of illuminating your nails so you can clearly see what you're doing, reducing the risk of over-cutting.
Comfortable and quiet, the high-quality motor comes in at under 40dB which makes it ideal for pets who don't like loud noises. It features three different speeds and three grinding ports, so you can choose whichever setting works best for the nails of your small, medium, or large dog.
The grinder comes with a USB charging cable that you can use with any computer, power bank, or adaptor, and it's long-lasting, offering up to 10 hours of use before it needs recharging.
Resco Nail Clippers
Best guillotine-style dog nail clippers
Safety Stop: No | Dimensions: 5” x 3.5” | Dog Size: All
If you hate using plier-style nail clippers, then switching to a guillotine-style might be just the ticket. Made from high-quality steel and featuring a lifetime guarantee, these heavy-duty clippers with premium chrome plating are the only ones you’ll ever need.
We love that this trimmer features patented blade replacement technology, which means you can replace the blades when they start to go blunt. The blades are sharp too, so they’ll effortlessly cut through all nails, including super thick ones. With a micro-honed cutting system, you won’t have to worry about split or ragged nails either.
The advantage of using a guillotine-style nail clipper is that it creates a cleaner cut with less force than other types of clippers require. There is a drawback though as there’s no quick-guard safety feature, so you need to take care not to clip too far down the nail.
That aside, the Resco brand comes highly recommended by veterinarians and groomers so, if you feel comfortable working without a safety stop, then these clippers are a solid investment.
How to choose the best dog nail clippers
If you can hear the tap, tap, tap of your dog’s nails on your wooden floors long before you see their little face appear, then it’s definitely time to whip them into your home salon and give those nails a trim.
With so much choice available, we’ve put together some tips to help you choose the perfect pair of clippers for your pup.
The first thing you want to think about is size. This is important because if you have a small dog and you choose a pair of clippers designed for a larger dog, you may end up taking off more of the nail than you want to, and if you have a large dog and use clippers designed for a small dog you may not take off enough. Choose the right nail clipper for your dog’s breed, and also one that’s comfortable for you to hold.
Secondly, consider what style of nail clipper you want to use. Scissor-style clippers, also known as pliers, are popular and easy to use. Simply squeeze the handles together, and the blade will cut off the end of the nail. These often feature a safety stop so you don’t cut too far down, and the nail also remains visible, which offers great peace of mind if you’re an inexperienced groomer. Scissors are a good choice for larger breeds and dogs with thick nails.
Guillotine-style clippers are a good choice for small and medium-sized dogs as little nails can fit easily into the hole where the tip of the nail is gently sliced off. With no safety stop feature, it can be easy to take off too much of the nail and injure your dog so these are best used by experienced home groomers.
Sometimes it's worth spending a little extra for a high-quality clipper as inexpensive dog nail clippers are prone to becoming dull quicker.
Some dog nail clippers cannot be sharpened yourself and will need to be replaced in time, adding further expense.
Nail grinder v clipper
Finally, there are nail grinders which, as their name suggests, work by grinding the nail down rather than clipping it off. Nail grinders are less likely to cause injury as they file the nail down slowly, but it can be a more time-consuming process than simply snipping the end of the nail off. They’re a great option for dogs with thick nails and those who don’t like the feeling of clippers.
While trimming your dog’s nails may seem like a daunting task, it doesn’t have to be. With the right nail clippers, healthy paws your dog will thank you for are just a few safe snips away.
Frequently asked questions about nail clipping
Is it better to clip or grind dog's nails?
If you're considering whether to reach for the clippers or grinder, there are few pros and cons of each.
For dogs that are nervous of loud sounds, a grinder can be an intimidating tool to use. Clippers are typically quieter, but are far more likely to accidentally remove too much of the nail or reach down too far into its blood supply which can cause bleeding. A great way to determine how to stop a dog's nail from bleeding is by taking a closer look at your dog's nails either in natural light or with a flashlight.
You will notice that the part closest to the ground is white and it becomes pink as it gets closer to the toe. Be sure to a few millimeters of white space between the end of the quick and where you make your cut to prevent bleeding. Going slowly and taking off small pieces of the nail at a time is an ideal approach.
In contrast, a dog nail grinder quickly grinds down the nail. Accidents can still happen, but you are less likely to expose the 'quick' or blood vessel area of the nail.
Clippers are usually less expensive than a grinder, but they can leave behind sharper edges, while grinders are ideal for creating a smooth round edge.
With grinders, it's best to desensitize your dog to the sound first, but if you have a particularly timid pooch in your household, you could opt to use clippers first and then smooth it out with a dog-friendly nail file.
Whether it's your first time or more recent, if you're worried about clipping your dog's nails, head over to our guide on how to clip dog's nails written by our expert veterinarian.
Can you use human nail clippers on dogs?
No, it's not advisable to use human nail clippers on dogs. Dog nail clippers are specially designed for our canine companions and often have useful features that help pet owners to cut their pet's nails, such as a guard or stop mechanism.
Dog's nails are much different to that of a humans. They are much are thicker and tougher to cut so be sure to select the best tool for the job from our selection of best dog nail clippers.
How often should you replace dog nail clippers?
After being in use for some time, many clippers become dull and will inevitably need sharpened or replaced. High quality dog nail clippers should last at least a year or two without needing to be replaced, however low-quality dog nail clippers can become dull after as few as three or four uses.
It is possible to sharpen dog nail clippers yourself, with the approach dependent on the tool, while others need to be completely replaced.
Kathryn is a freelance writer with a passion for creating health and wellness, travel and wildlife content. Originally from New Zealand, her nomadic lifestyle has her currently fur baby-less. She scratches her pet parent itch by stealing frequent cuddles with any neighbourhood cat kind enough to indulge her.
Get the best advice, tips and top tech for your beloved Pets
Thank you for signing up to Petsradar. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.