Best Dog Nail Trimmers

Angela Vuckovic
by Angela Vuckovic

Dog nail trimmers help you make sure your dog’s claws are short and neat without having to take them to a salon for professional grooming. The trick, though, is knowing which nail clippers or grinder will be the best choice for your pet–read on to find out!

Regardless of the fact that most pet parents dread the task, every dog’s grooming routine should include nail clipping. It’s as important as regular combing, teeth brushing, and bathing–neglecting it wouldn’t just make your pet look unkempt but it could also cause pain and injury. Of course, every dog is unique and the frequency of nail clipping will vary from case to case. For instance, dogs that spend a lot of their time walking or running on cement surfaces usually have to have wee trim every now and then as the contact with the abrasive surface will wear down their nails without them even noticing. Dogs that are not as active, or spend most of their time indoors or walking in nature on grass, soil, and similar surfaces won’t have the same luck–their nail growth needs to be controlled by their owner, and likely more often than their energetic and urban-living fellows.

In case your dog’s nails get too long, they can make walking uncomfortable and even painful for your dog. The constant pressure on the nail bed and the paws is far from pleasant and when it comes to long walks, it can make your pet start avoiding the outings he once loved. It’s unnecessary stress and discomfort for your pet, in a nutshell. Additionally, overgrown nails are prone to breaking off which can lead to an injury–and a hefty vet bill to top it off. And all of that can be easily prevented with regular nail trimming and clipping, either by yourself or by a professional in a dog grooming salon.

Many pet pawrents prefer grooming their dogs at home, despite the fact that handing things over to a professional is undeniably the easier route. For some, money is the issue–on average, dog grooming sessions can cost between $60 and $90, which doesn’t fit everyone’s budget, especially if they have a pet that requires frequent grooming. Others focus on their dog’s preferences and have to avoid leaving their pet with a stranger due to their dog’s anxiety or aggression problems.

Whatever the reason, having the option to cut your dog’s nails at home could be a life-saving option for you–but only if you have the right tools at your disposal. Dog nail trimmers vary greatly in quality and design and what works for some people might not be the ideal option for you. To help you find the best dog nail trimmers for your pet, we’ve rounded clippers and grinders that have raving reviews–there’s a choice for every breed and every budget. Read on to find out how to pick dog nail trimmers and find the perfect one for your dog’s nails!

Editor’s Pick Best Nail Grinder: LuckyTail Claw Grinder

When we say the LuckyTail Nail Grinder is quiet, we mean it’s quiet. Half the nervousness dogs show for nail trimmings is due to the weird sounds some of the clippers and grinders we bring to their paws make and LuckyTail takes that right off their table.

We also love that it’s cordless (a must, really) but not just battery-operated. That you can use and recharge to always be on the ready (which you’ll want to be if you’ve mustered up the courage to trim your dog’s nails) is a big plus.

It isn’t bulky in your hands, either. Some like to hold it like a pen or a knife but no matter how you hold it, it’s comfortable. Your comfort in holding it puts your dogs in a better, less anxious position as you bring it to them. The vibration is minimal and that’s important for when grinder meets paw.

Our favorite thing, though, is that it has two speeds and an LED light. A regular Dremel tool or even a typical nail grinder will just have one speed, but the truth is you don’t always need high-power, and an LED light is a MUST for great visibility. Especially if you’re looking to get puppies on board with at-home trimmings, you can start slow and move them into the faster speed (like your older, more used-to-it dog may like).

Epica Best Professional Pet Nail Clipper

With an affordable price, clever design, and superior performance, Epica dog nail clippers have everything a pawrent can want bundled in one convenient package. The sharp semi-circular blade fits your dog’s nail perfectly for a precise cut and the safety stop edge makes sure you don’t cut back too far and injure the quick. Made from high-quality plastic with a non-slip grip rubber coating and rugged stainless steel with tempered edges that won’t dull easily, this durable nail trimmer will give you great value for money. Epica dog nail clippers are designed for medium and large dog breeds.

Dremel 7300-PT

There is a good reason why dog nail grinders are often called dremels–the brand is so good and popular that its name replaced the name of the tool. With two rotation speeds (6,500 and 13,000 RPM) and 60-grit sanding drum attachment, this handheld gadget is not just effective for grinding down nails, it does it faster than the competition. The rechargeable battery will last for up to 3 hours of operation on one charge, which gives you more than plenty of time to get your pooch a perfect paw-icure.

SHINY PET Nail Clippers for Small Animals

Petite pooches have tiny, fragile nails that require special dog nail trimmers- and SHINY PET clippers are a perfect match. The scissor-style of these clippers makes them comfortable to use and suited for the small paws and claws of your four-legged companion. The semi-circular and angled stainless steel blade is designed for precise and sharp cutting of the nail. This is crucial as their fragile nails are more prone to painful crushing and require razor-sharp tools. The handles have an ergonomic grip to make sure you have a firm and comfortable hold while you’re grooming your pet. SHINY PET Nail Clippers are designed to be used on small and toy breed dogs, as well as puppies.

Resco Original Deluxe Guillotine Clippers

Resco invented the guillotine style dog nail clippers more than half a century ago and they have been the most popular choice ever since–and with good reason. These USA-made dog nail trimmers are not just convenient to use but well made and durable–they will get you a good bang for your buck. Made out of rugged steel, these clippers are difficult to get dull and will give you years of use. The micro-honed, replaceable cutting blade on the standard model is a match for small and medium dog breeds, but there are Resco alternatives suited to the needs of large breeds, as well.

Zen Clipper Pet Nail Trimmer

If you are a newbie at dog nail clipping or simply do not want to sweat bullets while you’re trimming your pet’s claws, you’ll love the unusual design of the Zen clippers. The unique conical blade grips and cuts only the very tips of your pet’s nails, eliminating the possibility of cutting the quick by clipping far too deep. And the non-slip, cushioned handles are another bonus for your comfort and convenience as they boast an ergonomic design. These dog nail clippers come with different diameters of the hole opening on the blade to fit dogs of all ages and sizes, from extra small puppies to extra large dogs.

BOSHEL Dog Nail Clippers and Trimmer with Safety Guard

Inexpensive and easy to use, these dog nail clippers will help you keep your pooch’s nails tidy and short while keeping his safety and comfort in mind, too. The safety guard that is located right behind the high-quality 3.5 mm thick stainless steel sharp blade prevents deep cuts and bleeds and makes nail trimming hassle-free even for beginners. The handles are ergonomic and easy to grip, with rubberized parts to ensure there’s no slipping while you’re clipping. As a bonus, these clippers also have a built-in mini file in one of the handles to make sure your dog’s nails are smooth after your paw-icure is finished.

Casfuy Dog Nail Grinder

Cheap, compact, and convenient, this dog nail grinder boasts an ultra-quiet operation that won’t scare off your timid pooch as soon as you hit the on button. The Diamond Bit Grinder is encased in plastic with three ports to make sure you can use this tool on small and large dogs alike–and control the amount and intensity of the grinding. There are also two speeds to choose from–low and high–depending on the thickness of your pet’s nails. With a 2 hour operation after one charge, this portable dog nail trimmer is a good choice for travel, too.

Hartz Groomer’s Best Nail Clipper for Dogs

With a contoured blade that fits most dog’s nails, Hartz Groomer’s Best clippers are best-suited for medium and large dog breeds. The stainless steel blade is sharp and precise and will have no issue slicing through thicker nails- without hitting the quick in the process. The built-in safety guard makes sure you cut the nail gradually and have plenty of time to stop before you reach the tender quick. The textured non-slip handles make these trimmers easy and comfortable to use.

Millers Forge Large Dog Nail Clipper

The simple yet efficient design of these nail trimmers makes them popular with pros and newbies alike. These plier-style dog nail clippers boast heat-treated blades that will clip through a large dog’s thick claw with precision for a clean cut without jagged edges. While affordable and well-made, these clippers have no safety guard, so if you’re inexperienced or have a pet with dark nails, they might not be the best choice for you.

Safari Professional Nail Trimmer for Dogs

Budget-friendly but high-quality, Safari dog nail clippers are ideal for small and medium dog breeds. The sharp stainless steel blades offer superior performance and the safety stop makes sure that you don’t take it too far and hurt your pet’s quick. If you want something simple, cheap, and decent, these dog nail trimmers won’t disappoint.

Clippers vs grinders: which dog nail trimmers to choose

Dog nail trimmers come in different designs- their function might be the same, but the mode of operation will vary greatly. Dog nail clippers cut the nail to get it down to an acceptable length, whereas dog grinders file down the nail. So which should you choose? There are pros and cons to both types of dog nail trimmers, and it all boils down to personal preference. Dog nail clippers come in three versions: guillotine style, pliers style, and scissors style. Each relies on a sharp blade to slice the tips of your pet’s nails. Some have a safety guard, others don’t, but in any case, they will make the nail trimming process much faster, albeit a bit more dangerous as it’s easier to hit a quick with dog nail clippers than with a grinder. Still, with a bit of practice and a still dog, it’s easy to master the nail trimming technique without it turning into a bloodbath each time.

Dog nail grinders are an alternative to the clippers that doesn’t cut your pet’s nails to shorten them but rather files them down, similar to the effect of walking on concrete has. The only difference is that one session with a nail grinder can achieve what months of walking couldn’t! You can still hit the quick with a grinder, too, but it is more difficult to do so, as the process of wearing down the nail is more gradual than it is with clippers. Their downside is that they require electricity to work and they can be a bit loud- which is not the best match for dogs that get anxious around loud sounds.

In conclusion, your choice of dog nail trimmers will depend on your dog’s needs and your own preferences. For trained dogs that are obedient during grooming the choice is all the same: they will do well with clippers and grinders both, so it comes down to what you would prefer. Dogs that are squirmy and don’t like sitting still for a long time might be more suited for nail clippers as the process is faster, but if you are worried that all that moving will cause you to injure their quick, a grinder will work better.

How to pick dog nail trimmers

Once you figure out which type of dog nail trimmers is right for you- clippers or a grinder- you will have to look for certain features to ensure you’re getting the best bang for your buck. Regardless of the type of trimmers you go for, here are important factors to consider before buying:

Dog size compatibility

Needless to say, dogs come in all shapes and sizes, and you should consider your pet’s breed or mix when choosing a dog nail trimmer. For dogs that have thick, large nails that are difficult to cut through, either go for a grinder or heavy-duty clippers designed for their size. Toy dog breeds and puppies are usually a good match for scissor-style dog clippers as they are designed to fit their tiny and fragile nails–and cut through them with precision and sharpness rather than cause breaking. And in case of most other dogs in between, regular dog clippers and grinders are certain to fit the bill–as long as you get quality ones that suit their needs.

Blade quality

Nail cutting is a tricky business and it’s important to be careful not to hit the quick, which contains nerves and blood vessels- needless to say, cutting the quick is both painful and messy. To make sure that this doesn’t happen, in addition to paying attention to the depth of the cut, you have to have a sharp and precise tool. That’s why blade quality is crucial- you want to avoid dog nail trimmers that have a dull blade that would essentially break your pet’s nails as pliers would instead of slicing it clean off.

Safety features

The fear of hitting the quick is certainly the most stressful thing about trimming your pet’s nails, especially if they have dark nails that make quick impossible to spot until it’s too late. Dog clippers with a safety guard prevent you from cutting the nail too much as they force you to trim the nail bit by bit. In dog nail grinders, the safety guard encloses the better part of the sanding surface to expose only a minor part of your dog’s nail to it, effectively achieving the same thing- giving you more time to spot the quick and stop trimming on time.


As you’re the one that will be sweating bullets while you try to keep your pooch and your hand steady, it’s only fair that the tool you’ll be using is designed to be comfortable to hold. If you can’t get a good grip on it or if it’s straining to use, your nail trimmer will be a pain to use–and can even hamper the process. Go for dog nail trimmers with an ergonomic design and be sure to check the dimensions to ensure they are not too big for you to hold comfortably.

Price range

We all have our pet’s best interest at heart, but it’s important to be realistic about the budget, as well. If you have limited funds it doesn’t have to mean that your pet is not getting the best he deserves–there are plenty of quality dog nail trimmers out there to fit everyone’s budget. However, when it’s possible, it’s always better to invest in a high-quality tool as it is bound to pay off in the long run with its durability and superior performance.

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Angela Vuckovic
Angela Vuckovic

A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.

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