Perhaps you're nervous about trimming your dog's nails. Perhaps they're too thick to get through, or maybe your pooch simply dislikes the sensation of dog nail clippers. In any case, a dog nail grinder is a great alternative to dog nail clippers. When selecting a dog nail grinder, there are a range of factors to consider, including grinding speed, noise level, and whether you want a corded or cordless model.
We've chosen our top three dog nail grinders for you to peruse. Our favorite model is made by Dremel, a brand we love for its rugged tools. The Dremel is highly effective, even if your dog has thick nails that are usually very difficult to trim.
Considerations when choosing dog nail grinders
The grinding speed -- or rotation speed -- is the speed at which the grinding bit spins. It's measured in revolutions per minute. A higher rotation speed will grind down canine nails quickly but gives you less control over length and shape. As such, two-speed dog nail grinders are handy. You can use the higher speed to shorten the nail, then switch to the lower speed for the finishing touches.
Corded or cordless
Corded dog nail grinders tend to be more powerful than the majority of cordless options and there's no chance of running out of power mid-grind. However, cordless models are easier to use since you don't need to position yourself near an outlet and you're less likely to scare nervous dogs. Improved battery technology is making cordless models comparable to corded ones.
Some dog nail grinders are louder than others; you don't want a nail grinder that's so loud it will scare your four-legged friend. However, more powerful grinders tend to be louder than less powerful models, so you'll need to find a happy medium between power and noise level.
The grinding bit is the part that spins to grind down your pooch's nails. Some models feature bands of sandpaper that fit around the spinning part. Others feature solid grinding bits which are made from stone or stainless steel. Although sanding bands can be less effective than stone or stainless steel bits, other features (such as the speed) make more of a difference to overall performance.
Dog nail grinders can feature covers that fit over the grinding bit. These covers have holes in them to allow you to guide your dog's nail carefully to the grinding bit. They also help contain the dust produced when grinding.
Most dog nail grinders cost between $10 and $40. We wouldn't recommend spending less than $20 on a nail grinder, as the most basic dog nail grinders can be ineffective, especially on large dogs with thick nails.
Q. Are dog nail grinders safe to use, or could they hurt my pet?
A. Dog nail grinders are safe. In fact, it's far less likely you grind too far and hit the quick (the inner part of the nails housing the blood vessels and nerves) than it is you nick it with clippers. Plus, clippers that aren't powerful enough can squeeze your dog's nail as you apply pressure, creating an uncomfortable sensation. It goes without saying that you should avoid hitting the quick of your dog's nails, but if you accidentally go a bit too far on one nail, it will hurt your dog a little and bleed a small amount, but it won't cause any serious problems.
Q. Where can I find replacement grinding bits or sanding bands?
A. Your nail grinder should come with a few replacement bits or bands, but after using these, you should be able to buy more online or direct from the manufacturer.
Dog nail grinders we recommend
Best of the best: Dremel Pet Nail Grooming Tool
Our take: This is an excellent dog nail grinder from a trusted manufacturer. The high grinding speed gives excellent results.
What we like: It's powerful enough to grind down thick nails. The cordless design is easy to use and has two speed settings.
What we dislike: It can be noisy on the higher speed.
Best bang for your buck: Hertzko Electric Pet Nail Grinder
Our take: This affordable dog nail grinder might not be as powerful as our top pick, but we love the diamond bit grinder.
What we like: The cover makes it easier for new users to grind at the correct angle. It features two size ports plus the option to remove the cover for larger nails.
What we dislike: It struggles with exceptionally thick nails.
Choice 3: ConairPRO Dog Professional Nail Grinder
Our take: With this corded grinder, you'll never find yourself running out of power three paws in.
What we like: It runs quietly and it's easy to change the grinding bit. It comes with a removable grinder cover.
What we dislike: It could benefit from a higher speed setting.
Lauren Corona 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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