Three best dog nail clippers

Jennifer Blair

If your dog is anxious, you may not want to clip all of his nails at once.

Whether you've watched your dog struggle to get around or you've gotten scratched during a game of fetch, you know how important it is to keep Fido's nails neat and trim. With a pair of dog nail clippers, you can skip a trip to the groomer's and trim your dog's nails at home. The clippers are designed to make it easy and safe to cut your dog's nails, even if you haven't done it before.

If you're not sure how to find the best dog nail clippers for your pooch, our convenient buying guide can help you choose the right option. Our top choice is GoPets' Pet Nail Clippers and File, which features ergonomic handles and a safety lock for an extremely user-friendly pair.

Considerations when choosing dog nail clippers

Clipper type

Dog nail clippers are available in several different styles. While all can be effective, you may prefer one over the others depending on your dog's size and nail type.

Scissor-style dog nail clippers have two blades that fit around both sides of the nail just as a pair of scissors would. They usually provide better control than other types of clippers and work well for dogs with thick nails. However, they can require significant hand strength to use.
Guillotine dog nail clippers have a hole that you place your dog's nail through. A single blade then comes down to cut the nail when you press the clippers' handle. This clipper type works best for small- to medium-sized dogs, but they can crush nails if they're too thick.
Nail grinders aren't technically a clipper -- they help shorten your dog's nails by grinding them down to a more manageable length. They work well for dogs with extremely hard or thick nails, or those who are too anxious to have their nails cut with clippers. The sound and vibration can bother some dogs.


For the most effective dog nail clippers, opt for a pair with stainless steel blades -- they don't rust and can stay sharp longer than other metals. Some nail clippers feature metal handles while others have plastic handles. Plastic can be a suitable material as long as it's heavy duty so it won't snap when you're cutting particularly thick nails.

Blade sharpness

You'll get a cleaner cut and stress your dog out less if your nail clippers feature an extremely sharp blade. If the blades aren't sharp enough, they may crush the nails instead of clipping them or you may need to put more pressure on the handle to cut all the way through.


Safety catch

If you opt for scissor-style clippers, choose a pair with a safety catch. It keeps the blades together when the clippers aren't in use so you don't have to worry about cutting yourself when you're taking the clippers out or putting them away.

Safety guard

Scissor-style and guillotine dog nail clippers should have a safety guard to prevent you from clipping off more of your dog's nail than is necessary. It's usually just a small piece of metal that sits opposite the blade(s) and blocks the clippers from cutting too far down the nail.

Safety lock

If you opt for a dog nail grinder, choose a model with a safety lock. This feature prevents the tool from grinding even when it's turned on so you can prepare your dog for their pedicure without worrying about the grinder scaring them accidentally.


Dog nail clippers typically range in price from $5 to $40. Scissor-style clippers usually cost between $5 and $20. Guillotine clippers generally range from $5 to $25. Nail grinders are the most expensive, ranging from $15 to $40.


Q. How often should I trim my dog's nails?

A. Most dogs should have their nails trimmed every one to two months. You can usually tell when your dog's nails require trimming if their nails touch the ground when they're standing or you notice a clicking sound when they walk.

Q. What should I do if my dog's nail starts bleeding after clipping?

A. If your dog's nail bleeds after you use nail clippers, it usually means you've accidentally cut to the quick, which is the part of the nail that contains blood vessels. To stop the bleeding, use a styptic powder or pencil (which you can find at most drugstores) to treat the wound. If you don't have a styptic product at home, cornstarch or baking soda can often work. Apply pressure to the area to help stop the bleeding. If it doesn't stop after 20 minutes or so, call your veterinarian.

Dog nail clippers we recommend

Best of the best: GoPets Pet Nail Clippers and File

Our take: Distinguishes itself from other clipper options because of its durable construction and easy-to-use design that always gives your dog perfectly trimmed nails.

What we like: Features an ergonomic handle that's comfortable to grip for easy operation. Its 3.5mm blades cut smoothly and the safety lock prevents you from accidentally cutting yourself. Comes with a bonus nail file. Manufacturer offers replacement or refund if you're not completely satisfied.

What we dislike: Can take more effort and hand strength to get through thick nails.

Best bang for your buck: Millers Forge Quality Nail Clippers

Our take: Simple but durable clippers that have many of the same features as more expensive options but at a more affordable price.

What we like: Professional-grade design and construction. Non-slip handles prevent accidents. Blades are made of surgical steel and feature a safety lock. Spring-loaded mechanism makes it easy to get through even thicker nails.

What we dislike: Clippers are fairly large so they're not as easy to use on small dogs.

Choice 3: Dremel 4.8V Pet Nail Grooming Tool

Our take: Trims nails easily and efficiently if your dog isn't bothered by the noise and vibration.

What we like: Features a rotary grinder rather than blades, so no risk of cuts. Offers two speeds for all nail sizes. Runs on a rechargeable battery that has a three-hour run time. Comes with a two-year warranty.

What we dislike: Attachments don't always fit well and don't have the sturdiest feel. Motorized operation is extremely noisy, which can upset some dogs.

Jennifer Blair is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

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