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Best dog nail clippers: Keep their nails short and sweet

Dog having their nails clipped with the best dog nail clippers
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you've haven't already got a pair of the best dog nail clippers in your pup's grooming kit then trust us when we say that it's money well spent. These little beauties are a total lifesaver, allowing you to quickly and easily trim your furkids nails at home without having to shell out on expensive trips to a professional groomer. Worthy of a spot in any dog grooming kit, you'll find everything you need to know in this guide to help you find the right pair for your pooch.

While learning how to clip a dog's nails can take a little bit of getting used to, once you've mastered it, you'll never look back. Although it can be lovely to treat your canine companion to a special salon session now and again, there's no denying that these trips can really add up if you're making them on a regular basis. Clipping your dog's nails will save your precious pennies and help strengthen your bond with your beloved bundle of fur in the process.

One of the most important aspects of being a pet parent is to regularly give your dog a good going over to make sure they're happy and healthy. Part of this involves inspecting their nails to ensure they haven't become overgrown. While it's true that a dogs nails naturally wear down as they walk and run on hard surfaces, senior dogs or those that spend most of their time indoors may need a little extra assistance in the way of clipping every three weeks or so. 

When it comes to choosing a pair of nail clippers for you dog, there are a few things worth considering. First up, you'll need to decide between plier-style clippers and guillotine-style clippers. We recommend you opt for the former if you're new to nail clipping as they come with a safety stop that will prevent you from over-cutting. The only downside is that plier-style clippers aren't generally suitable for toy breeds or small dogs, which is where guillotine-style clippers can come in handy.

Guillotine-style clippers are much smaller than plier-style clippers which makes them ideal for tackling tiny nails. They don't have a safety stop though, so you do need to be really careful when you're using them to make sure you don't cut down to far into the quick. Check out our guide how to use guillotine-style clippers where we walk you through the process of trimming with this style of clipper.

If you have a nervous or highly anxious dog, you may find that the best nail grinders for pets are a better option. These tend to be very quiet and gentle, allowing you to trim slowly and most dogs tolerate nail grinders really well. Regardless of whether you go with a pair of nail clippers or a nail grinder, look for an ergonomic design - remember, you're going to be holding these for quite some time, so you want them to be comfortable.

To help you find the best dog nail clippers for you and your canine companion, here's our favorite picks for 2022, including a great nail clipper set that comes with everything you need to treat your pup to a professional paw-dicure from the comfort of home. 

PetsRadar's pick of the best dog nail clippers

Boshel Nail Clippers

(Image credit: BOSHEL)

BOSHEL Dog Nail Clippers and Trimmer with Quick Safety Guard

Best overall dog nail clippers

Specifications

Safety Stop: Yes
Dimensions: 7.5” x 2.5”
Dog Size: All

Reasons to buy

+
Recommended by professionals
+
Clean cut every time
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Safety stop

Reasons to avoid

-
Can be difficult to use on small dogs

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 dog nail clippers

(Image credit: Safari)

Safari Professional Stainless-Steel Nail Trimmer

Best budget dog nail clippers

Specifications

Safety Stop: Yes
Dimensions: 10.5” x 2.5”
Dog Size: All

Reasons to buy

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Ergonomic handles with rubberized grips
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Available in two sizes
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Locking mechanism for safe storage

Reasons to avoid

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Thick nails may require significant force

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 dog nail clippers

(Image credit: Shiny)

Shiny Pet Nail Clippers for Small Animals

Best nail clippers for small dogs

Specifications

Safety Stop: No
Dimensions: 3.7” x 2.6”
Dog Size: Small

Reasons to buy

+
Money-back guarantee
+
Free e-book
+
User-friendly design

Reasons to avoid

-
Can be stiff when first used

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 dog nail clippers

(Image credit: Epica)

Epica Professional Pet Nail Clippers

Best nail clippers for large dogs

Specifications

Safety Stop: Yes
Dimensions: 9.8” x 3.8”
Dog Size: Medium - Large

Reasons to buy

+
Automatic lock
+
Lifetime warranty
+
Precise and sharp blades

Reasons to avoid

-
Nail guard doesn’t always stay put

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.

Best dog nail clippers: GHG Dog Nail Grinder

(Image credit: GHG)

GHG Dog Nail Grinder

Best electric dog nail clippers

Specifications

Rechargable: Yes
Dimensions: 6.8” x 2.9”
Dog Size: All

Reasons to buy

+
Comes with free clippers
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LED lighting for visibility
+
3 speeds and 3 grinding ports

Reasons to avoid

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Charging cable but no power adaptor

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 dog nail clippers

(Image credit: Resco)

Resco Nail Clippers

Best guillotine-style dog nail clippers

Specifications

Safety Stop: No
Dimensions: 5” x 3.5”
Dog Size: All

Reasons to buy

+
Replaceable blades
+
Lifetime warranty
+
Sharp blade for a smooth cut

Reasons to avoid

-
No quick-guard safety feature

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.

Zen Clipper Precise Safer Pet Nail TrimmerPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Amazon)

Zen Clipper Precise Safer Pet Nail Trimmer

Best adjustable dog nail clippers

Specifications

Safety Stop: No
Dimensions: LxWxH 9.5 x 7 x 0.75 inches
Dog Size: All

Reasons to buy

+
Fully adjustable to suit all breeds
+
Sharp blade
+
Ergonomic design

Reasons to avoid

-
No safety stop

The Zen Clipper is an adjustable dog nail trimmer that can be reconfigured to suit the nails of any breed of pup. The unique fully adjustable blade limits the amount of nail being clipped and reduces the risk of over cutting the nails and hurting your pet’s sensitive quick.

To use, simply determine how much nail you want to cut and then use the convenient thumb wheel to adjust the blade. The widest setting is 11m and the narrow setting is 2mm, so you'll easily be able to find the perfect size for your pooch.

The extra sharp blade will cut through even the thickest nails and the laser etched markings ensure consistent measuring. We also love the ergonomic design, which is comfortable to hold and great for arthritis sufferers. The result is a no-stress nail clipping experience for both you and your canine companion. 

BONEST Dog Nail clipper set

(Image credit: Amazon)

BONEST Dog Nail Clipper With Grinder and File

Best dog nail clipper set

Specifications

Safety stop: Yes
Dimensions: Not stated
Dog Size: All

Reasons to buy

+
Comes with nail grinder and nail file
+
Easy to grip
+
Ideal for medium and large dogs

Reasons to avoid

-
Not suitable for toy breeds or small dogs

Looking for more than just a pair of nail clippers to take care of your dog's grooming needs? Well, this super affordable set from JBONEST is a worthy contender for a place in your shopping cart. Alongside an excellent pair of nail clippers, you'll also receive a nail grinder and nail file to make it a breeze to give your pup the ultimate pawdicure.

The nail clippers are plier-style and come with a safety stop to prevent over-cutting. They have an ergonomic design with an easy-grip handle that's comfortable to hold for long periods of time. While you could use these on smaller breeds at a push, they're best suited to medium and large sized dogs. 

We recommend you use the nail clippers first and then finish off with the nail grinder and file to smooth away any ragged edges. The nail grinder has a diamond grinding head which means it will last for ages and while the motor is powerful, it's also quiet, coming in at under 40 dB.

How to choose the best dog nail clippers

best dog nail clippers: How to choose

(Image credit: Getty Images)

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.

Size

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.

Style

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.

Longevity

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

Best dog nail clippers: FAQ

(Image credit: Getty Images)

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.