Best Dog Nail Grinders

Angela Vuckovic
by Angela Vuckovic

To help you choose the best dog nail grinder for a stress-free grooming routine, we’ve rounded up the very finest that the market has to offer.

If you ask any dog owner, they’ll tell you that one of the more stressful things about having a dog is nail clipping. Personally, I can’t think of a thing I dread doing more than trying to figure out if I’m cutting too much of the nail and risking a bleed from an injured quick. It’s even worse when your dog happens to have naturally dark nails! Ugh. Grooming dogs is not easy, that’s for sure but on the other hand, getting your pooch professionally groomed can be very expensive. Luckily, there are ways to properly groom your pet’s paws at home without losing your sanity in the process. Instead of clipping, why not opt for filing down your pooch’s long claws? Dog nail grinders do exactly what their name hints at- they grind down the nail to an acceptable length without the risk of the nail breaking or you cutting too much of it on the first try.

How Do Dog Nail Grinders Work?

Dog nail grinders usually have a rounded head that runs at a high speed and files down the nail. The surface of the grinder is similar to sandpaper, so it’s not too harsh as to hurt your pet’s paw but harsh enough to grind down nails. There are still risks involved, like hitting the quick, but overall the speed of the process and the ease of use are what win people over to nail grinders over clippers. Naturally, pooches are not too crazy about nail grinders any more they are about clippers, but hey- it’s a much quicker process. It does take some getting used to, but dogs generally dislike nail trims, so it’s nothing new, really.

How to get my dog used to nail grinders?

A great way to get your pooch used to a nail grinder is using positive reinforcement (read copious amounts of treats) to make them connect the dots between the nail trimming process and a reward. Each pooch is different, of course, so it might take you more or less time to get your pet comfortable during your grooming sessions but be persistent and you’ll get there.

Dog nail grinders generally operate on the same principle, but the difference between makes and models can be quite drastic. Some don’t live up to the hype and others deliver on their promises- but it can be difficult to know which of them are worth your money. To help you choose the best dog nail grinder for a stress-free grooming routine, we’ve rounded up the very finest that the market has to offer.

Of course, everything seems endlessly easier if you grow to rely on a professional dog groomer. But where’s the fun in that? When you take nail grinding into your own hands, it might seem like a difficult task but it has its merits.First, and the most obvious one is that a dog will be more receptive to a nail grinding treatment from you – a face they know and trust – rather than a stranger. If they are usually wary and cautious, this will be a huge advantage. Also, the financial benefits don’t hurt, either- with a reliable nail grinder, you can save a lot of $$$ on visits to the groomer’s.

1. 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).

2. Runner Up: Hertzko Electric Pet Nail Grinder

Whether you have a Pomeranian or a Great Dane, this dog nail grinder will impress you with its performance. Designed to be efficient for nails of different thickness and size, Hertzko nail grinder has 3 size openings to control how much of the grinding head is in contact with the nail. For instance, for the largest dog breeds, you’d completely remove the cover and use the whole grinder area for work. The diamond bit grinding stone is very efficient, but the sound of this grinder doesn’t reveal it- it’s so quiet you’ll be wondering if it’s turned on. The USB charging mode makes it easy to always be prepared for a grooming session- no pesky batteries needed.

3. Customer’s Choice: Dremel 7300-PT 4.8V Pet Nail Grooming Tool

Dremel dog nail grinders are so popular with pet owners that people sometimes refer to nail grinders as ‘dremels’. That’s one heck of a recommendation! The praise is certainly earned, as these nail grooming tools are really top of the line. Dremel 7300-PT operates cordless, as it has a rechargeable battery, and it’s convenient to use. This nail grinder has two rotation speeds, so you can start slow in the beginning before switching to the faster mode once you get the hang of it. The 60-grit sanding drum definitely does the job in both speeds, whether it’s for the smaller claws of toy dogs and thick nails of the large breeds.

4. Professional Choice: Wahl Ultimate Corded Pet Nail Grinder

While cordless, rechargeable dog nail grinders have their appeal, some people prefer to be plugged in. It means you can always use your grooming tools without worrying about the charge level, and for some, that’s a make it or break it feature. Wahl Ultimate is a professional dog nail grinder for heavy-duty use that boasts quiet operation, multiple speed modes that go up to a whopping 13,000 RPM and comes in its own storage case. You’ll also get 3 large and 3 small sanding wheels, which is perfect if you have multiple dogs in your home and need to switch between sizes.

5. Best Compact: Wahl Premium Pet Nail Filer

While you might think that smaller nails mean less work to be done, it’s actually the opposite: the nails of small dogs and toy breeds are a bigger hassle to trim. It can be difficult to spot the quick when the nail is tiny, and not to mention that many of the available dog nail grinders can simply be too big to be of use for grooming a Yorkie or a Toy Poodle. Don’t fret though, there are suitable options for petite pooches as well, such as this compact nail grinder from Wahl.

Meant mostly for small dog breeds, this cordless nail filer is powerful enough to grind down your pet’s nails to dust but still gentle enough on those tiny pupper nails. Wahl Premium Pet Nail Filer has two forward and two reverse speeds, and it can go up to 7,500 and 10,000 RPM. This might not sound all too impressive if you have a large dog, but for small and toy breeds, it’s the optimal range. Powered by batteries, Wahl nail clipper comes in its own stylish case with 6 sanding bands- more than enough to last you for months, if not more.

6. Best Nail File: DiggerDog Nail File

Not all dogs respond well to nail trimming – the noise a nail grinder produces can scare off skittish dogs and clipping can be too challenging for pet owners, as missing the quick is no easy fit. This is why this dog nail file is a perfect alternative to automatic nail grinders: it is designed to file down your pet’s front leg nails without any hassle and in a fun way that your pooch will love. This box with a filing surface has a hidden compartment where you place treats that your pooch will- you’ve guessed it- try to scratch their way through to. As a result, their nails will be grinded down without them even noticing it! A stress-free alternative to automatic dog nail grinders, this could be a good choice for food-motivated, skittish dogs.

7. Best Quiet: Gentle Paws Less Stress Nail Grinder

With its “whisper-quiet” rotary motor, this nail grinder is great for timid pooches or dogs who are new to the world of nail grinding. The two speeds of operation allow you to adjust the mode to your pet’s individual needs: slow for thinner nails and faster for thicker. This grooming device boasts a safety guard cap that exposes your dog’s nails to a minor part of the rotating sand drum’s surface. The guard cap prevents you from going too far and traps the nail dust at the same time. Gentle Paws nail grinder comes with fine and coarse sanding bands, so you can further customize the grooming experience.

8: Best Lightweight: ConairPRO Professional Dog Nail Grinder

Like all professional dog nail grinders, ConairPRO is also corded and needs to be plugged in an electric outlet. Lightweight and ultra-quiet, this nail grinder also has a long cord that will give you enough room for maneuvering- convenient to use in every way. ConairPRO has both stone and sander attachments that are interchangeable and it will do the job as efficiently for a toy dog as it would for a gentle giant. The protection cap that’s included is especially handy for containing the dust mess and lifesaving for beginners who are still getting used to using a nail grinder on their pet.

9. Best Basic: Andis EasyClip 2-Speed Nail Grinder

Giving your pet a mani-pedi will be a breeze with this lightweight nail grinder! The silicone sleeve with ergonomic design gives you a good grip- the grinder feels quite comfortable in hand, so you won’t strain while grooming your pet. The two speeds of operation make sure that every dog’s nails can be trimmed with the same ease, whether thick or brittle. This dog nail grinder is cordless but doesn’t need batteries to work: it charges through an electric DC charger. The EasyClip comes with one large and one small sanding drum included, with 5 sanding wheels between them, all packed in a high-quality pouch.

10. Best Rechargeable: Bell+Howell PAWPERFECT Rechargeable Pet Nail Grinder

Highly versatile and easy to use, this rechargeable pet nail grinder will make nail trimming easy work. With a powerful performance of 7,000 to 14,000 RPS, it will quickly file down long nails to an appropriate length without breaking it or injuring your pet- the protective caps that go over the file come in 3 sizes to suit any dog breed with ease. The nail file also comes in two fineness levels: super fine for small pets and finishing touches and fine for some heavy-duty grinding. With nifty features such as LED lighting for better visibility and shake-free grip for firm control during nail grinding, this pet nail grinder is suited for pros and newbies alike.

11. Also Consider: Casfuy Dog Nail Grinder

A modern design with an affordable price tag, this rechargeable pet nail grinder provides safe, effective, and precise nail trimming without breaking the bank. There are two speeds to choose from, low and high, and 3 ports to match small, medium, or large pets, so you can easily adjust the performance to your pet’s size and the thickness of their nails. Quiet and low in vibrations, this nail grinder is a good choice for dogs that are not familiar with the process as it won’t scare them off with loud noises. The advanced diamond drum bit grinder can tackle any type of nail and the fact that it is rechargeable makes it very portable, too- you can use it whenever you need it and wherever your dog feels most comfortable.

Is a Dog Nail Grinder Necessary?

Keeping your pet’s nails neat and trimmed is a big imperative for every owner. Neglecting to do so can cause a lot of issues – a fact which is often overlooked and dismissed as untrue. It is no secret that clipping and grinding your pet’s nails can be tricky and challenging, and that pets usually won’t react too well to it. But it is nonetheless quite crucial to keep the nails tidy. Overgrown nails and claws can become ingrown and eventually inflamed, which in itself leads to further problems. Moreover, certain dog breeds have peculiar paw shapes, and overgrown nails become a huge issue. Pugs for example, can have great difficulty with movement if their nails are left unattended. And from there on it is a short distance to obesity, apathy, and lethargy.

Of course, neglected pet nails are directly responsible for inhibiting your pet’s movements. A dog or a cat that is eager to play, jump, and run – but cannot due to its nails – is an unhappy and neglected pet. Of course, you would not want to do that to your friend, so investing in a dog nail grinder is a must. What is more, it is best to do so early on, while your four legged friend is still a puppy and eager to learn. Trying to grind the nails on a hard headed senior pupper can be a challenge few can overcome. That’s why early training is ideal. Start on time – and nail grinding will never be an issue.

Of course, you can always rely on a professional grooming salon to do the work for you. However, these can often be a strain on the budget or cause a lot of stress to your pet, especially if they are not relaxed around strangers. A dog nail grinder is the ideal way to keep these expenses down to a minimum, and to allow you to take the matter into your hands – and it can be a great way to make a deeper bond with your furry friend.

All in all – there are tons of advantages to owning a nail grinder. It makes you a responsible owner that understands your pet’s needs and goes to any length to satisfy them. And that is what it’s all about!

How to use nail grinders properly?

While using a nail grinder might seem a bit daunting if you have never used it before, the truth is that these tools are quite easy to use. All of these devices have a cylindrical body with a rotating grinding head at the top, that you should apply on the top of the nail, following the line from the bottom to the top of the nail and back again. Apply light pressure and repeat several times until you reach the desired length. While you grind their nails, your pet’s paw should be extended and held firmly in your hand, without the possibility of them moving it around to avoid accidental injury.

What should I consider when choosing nail grinders for my dog?

There are various different pet nail grinder designs out there, and not all of them will suit your dog’s needs. To make sure you’re making the right choice, pick according to your preferences- if you want a heavy-duty grinder go for corded grinders, and if you prefer mobility, a cordless grinder is your best bet. Go for designs that are non-slip for a firm grip, as your hands might get sweaty during the process and the last thing you need is losing hold of the grinder during the process. Lastly, be sure to consider the RPM power (larger dogs need higher RPM value grinder) and if it comes with replaceable grinder heads and adjustable caps for versatility.

What does RPM mean for a nail grinder?

The surest way to check if a nail grinder is powerful enough for your needs is to check what its RPM rating is. RPM stands for rotations per minute and it indicates how fast the grinder head moves- the higher the number, the more powerful the performance is. Most dog nail grinders offer anything between 6,500 and 13,000 RPM- if you have a larger dog with thicker nails, go for higher numbers, but the lower end of the scale will do just fine for small breed dogs.

How often should I grind my dog’s nails?

There’s no rule set in stone when it comes to frequency of nai grinding, as every dog’s nails will grow at a different rate. Not to mention that more active dogs can somewhat file their own nails down, which will prolong the period in between the nail grinding sessions. A good rule of thumb is to grind the nails down as often as you need to in order to prevent your dog’s nails from touching the ground- for some dogs, this will have to be every couple weeks, for others, every couple of months.

Does grinding a dog’s nails hurt them?

One of the main reasons why pet owners prefer nail grinders to clippers is the fact that there’s almost no risk of injury, bleeding, or pain which can happen if you hit the quick with a clipper. With grinding, the nail is sanded down without the potential for breakage or damage, so there’s no pain involved at all. Of course, this is provided that you use the grinder properly and with all safety precautions in place.

Can a dog nail grinder be used on humans?

While they are not designed for human use, in theory, you could use a pet nail grinder on your own nails. However, the finish might not be what you hope for as the grinder heads are not adapted for manicure needs or the RPM value might be too strong for your nails, causing breakage in the process. After all, the thickness of a pet’s nail can’t be compared to the thickness of human nails!

Additional resources:

We are committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using the retail links in our product reviews. Learn more about how this works.

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.

More by Angela Vuckovic