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Which dog nail trimmer is best?

Dogs must have their nails regularly trimmed, and dog nail trimmers are the best way to accomplish this at home. If left untrimmed, a dog’s nails can grow too long, potentially causing the dog pain and maybe even future veterinary visits. The Safari Professional Nail Trimmer for Dogs is a first-rate dog nail trimmer for new pet owners.

What to know before you buy a dog nail trimmer

Consider whether you should clip your dog’s nails yourself

Some dog owners are worried about clipping their dog’s nails on their own. You should think about whether you want to trim their nails on your own or take them to a groomer or vet instead. If you have a very anxious pup, a trip to the groomer or vet is probably best. Otherwise, you shoul trim your dog’s nails on your own.


There are a few different kinds of dog nail clippers: scissor-style trimmers, guillotine trimmers and grinders. Scissor-style trimmers come with two blades that close on each side of your dog’s nail. Guillotine trimmers have a hole that you poke the nail through and a single blade that cuts your dog’s nail when you push on the handle. 

Dog nail grinders are essentially electronic nail files for your dog, which can buff their nails down, particularly for dogs that don’t like dog nail clippers or have thick and dark nails.


The best blade material for trimmers is most commonly stainless steel since it stays sharp, doesn’t rust and is strong. Some dog nail trimmers are composed entirely of metal, but most of these trimmers have plastic handles. It’s okay to buy a trimmer with plastic handles, as long as it’s heavy-duty rather than flimsy. If your plastic handles are too weak, they could easily break if you place a lot of pressure on the handles.

What to look for in a quality dog nail trimmer


You should find a trimmer with strong handles and sturdy blades, especially if you have a larger dog with thicker nails. Your dog nail trimmer won’t cut it if it’s not strong enough.

Blade sharpness

Sharp blades give you a smooth result with no jagged edges, and they make the experience more comfortable for your dog.

Safety features

Trimmers often come with safety features, including a safety catch, safety guard and safety lock. The safety catch keeps the blades of the clippers together when you’re not using them. 

The safety guard prevents you from cutting too much of the nail off, and the safety lock keeps the grinder from grinding while it’s on, so you don’t accidentally start the grinder while you’re setting it up.

How much you can expect to spend on a dog nail trimmer

Scissor-style trimmers cost about $5-$20, while guillotine trimmers go for $5-$25, and grinders vary in price from about $15-$40.

Dog nail trimmer FAQ

When should you start clipping your dog’s nails?

A. You can begin trimming your dog’s nails immediately, even if they only have a tiny amount that needs to be trimmed. The sooner your dog gets used to having their nails trimmed, the less they will struggle in the future. 

You should take the process very slowly and gradually. Make sure to give your dog plenty of treats and praise after trimming each nail so they associate having their nails trimmed with a pleasurable experience.

How regularly should you clip your dog’s nails?

A. This will depend on various factors, including how frequently your dog exercises and how quickly their nails grow. Exercise can help your dog naturally wear down their nails. Generally, many people find that dog nails need to be trimmed about once per month.

How can you tell where the quick is if your dog has dark nails?

A. The quick refers to the pink-looking part of the nail. You can easily see where the quick of the nail is if your dog has clear nails; however, you are basically going in blind if your dog has darker nails. 

If your dog does have dark nails, you should trim a tiny amount of the nail each time and look at the end of the nail after each cut. When you see a small black circle show up in the nail’s center, this means you’re getting close to the quick of the nail and should stop trimming.

What’s the best dog nail trimmer to buy?

Top dog nail trimmer

Safari Professional Nail Trimmer for Dogs

Safari Professional Nail Trimmer for Dogs

What you need to know: This trimmer from Safari is precise, safe, simple to hold and will help the trimming job go by quickly for your furry friend.

What you’ll love: This trimmer has a safety stop to prevent injuries, as well as a durable construction, an ergonomic design and premium stainless steel. The trimmer also reliably offers a clean and quick cut.

What you should consider: Make sure you purchase the correct-size trimmer for your dog.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top dog nail trimmer for the money

Millers Forge Pet Nail Clipper

Millers Forge Pet Nail Clipper

What you need to know: This trimmer from Millers Forge is durable, basic and has similar features to more-expensive models.

What you’ll love: This inexpensive trimmer comes with steel blades in two different designs. The trimmer is precise and sharp for a reasonable price.

What you should consider: This trimmer won’t work for all dog owners since it comes in a small number of sizes.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Well & Good Stainless Steel Nail Clippers for Large Dogs

Well & Good Stainless Steel Nail Clippers for Large Dogs

What you need to know: This trimmer from Well & Good is perfect for larger dogs.

What you’ll love: This trimmer features a rugged design, precise stainless steel blades and a comfortable rubber handle. The trimmer slices through big dog nails with little to no effort.

What you should consider: If you are inexperienced with clippers, you might pinch your hand in the handle if you are not careful.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Alex Kilpatrick writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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