Nail Grooming Tools

Top Nail Grooming Tools

Help!  I just got a new dog and don’t know what type of nail clippers to get!  

Don’t worry; all dog owners have been where you are.  We have been in the middle of the pet store looking at all of the choices and at a loss for what to get.  Inevitably, we went through many clippers until we found the right set for each dog. Take your time and also make sure you have some essentials on hand too.  

The type of clipper you should choose depends on your dog’s size, temperament or even health.

TLDR (Too lazy, didn’t read): Use guillotine clippers on small nails, scissor clippers on large nails and use what YOU are most comfortable with.  Remember to keep treats on hand to minimize boredom and to give your dog something to look forward to.  See below for our recommendations on the top nail grooming tools.

Types of Tools

Grinder Tools

Features/ Benefits
  • Little room for error as there are no quick clips
  • Easy to use
  • Can be used on any size dog
Recommended Examples
Dremel 7300-PT 4.8V Pet Nail Grooming Tool

This is the only grinder I have had consistent success.  It has multiple speed settings so that you can make sure you get the best finish. It also features a rechargeable battery.  

Link to Amazon –

Scissor Clippers (aka. Miller's Forge)

Features/ Benefits
  • Great for large breed dogs – these clippers have a more significant cut area
  • Look for nail guards to help you assess how much you will cut.
  • Handles will provide you with enough leverage to get through tough, brittle nails.
  • Look for stainless steel construction. 
Our Recommendations
Simply Pets Online Dog Nail Clippers

 I like these clippers because they are stainless steel, have a comfortable grip.  They won’t lose their sharpness very easily. Sometimes when you have dull blades, it can squish a dog’s nail and make them uncomfortable.

Link to Amazon:

Dog Nail Clippers and Trimmer By Boshel

These clippers are a great example of a pair with the nail guard.  If you are nervous or new to cutting a dog’s nails, these would be a great training pair of clippers.

Link to Amazon –

Millers Forge Doggy Man Stainless Steel Professional Large Dog Clipper

For years I have heard people’s excitement over this brand, and now I finally know why.  These clippers are sturdy and sharp! I have seen vets, and groomers use this brand. The only downside to these is that they do not have a nail guard. If you have a large dog and are a sharp nail trimmer, I would highly recommend these.

Link to Amazon –

Guillotine Clippers

Features/ Benefits
  • Many allow you to swap out the blade.  Blades tend to be cheaper than a whole new set of clippers.
  • Easier for small dogs
  • Provides a quick, clean cut
  • I find it easier to cut dew claws (the claws on the side of the foot) easier with these.

Our Recommendations

Resco Original Deluxe Dog and Cat Nail/Claw Clippers

These feel sturdy and have a nice weight to them.  They provide a quick cut and make for a lot less fuss when clipping nails. We can use them on all dogs without worrying about clipping the quick.

Link to Amazon –

Millers Forge Guillotine Style Pet Nail Clippers

If you are looking for something affordable to see if this is the right style of clipper to use, go no further then these Millers Forge clippers.  They aren’t as well put together as the Resco ones, but they get the job done well.

Link to Amazon –

Master Grooming Tools Dogs Guillotine Nail Clippers with Textured Rubber Handles

I like these. I think the same company makes the handles as the Resco ones, but these are even sturdier.  I know that when I use these on Pepper, I won’t crack her split-prone nails. I get the most beautiful finish to her nails.

Link to Amazon –

Other Tools You Might Want

Nail File

Believe it or not, I didn’t get into the pet nail filing game until it was too late.  We kept clipping dog nails and would always complain that their nails were too sharp when they would sit on our laps.  It wasn’t until one day that I got a nice long scratch on my arm that I pulled out an emery board and went to town. Unfortunately, the sharp dog nails tore up the emery board but wow did it work!  The next day I went out and picked up one of these super simple Revlon nail files and have been using it ever since on the pup’s nails. I think I have replaced it once and that was because I lost the first one.  This is such a simple thing to do, and it is excellent if you are working with your dog on allowing you to groom their nails. This doesn’t make any scary noises or hurt.

Link to Amazon –

Styptic Powder

For the “Oh no!!  I am so so so sorry!!”  moments, we have this Styptic Powder.  One dip in this powder and it will stop the bleeding from your pet’s nail.  This is great to have on hand, especially in a first aid kit. You can see why in my article about Pepper’s injury here.

Link to Amazon –

Paw Protection Wax

To complete the Pawdicure:  I have always wanted to try this, and I picked it up a few weeks ago to work on Pepper’s paws.  Not only does this protect their paws from the elements but it also gives paws time to heal. I will update the results of Pepper’s pawdicure soon when I see the results.  I will say that this comes highly recommended from many groomers in the industry and many dog owners love it!

Link to Amazon –


So remember, when you are out looking for the top nail grooming tools for your dog or puppy, use what you are most comfortable with!  This way, you will be less stressed and so will your dog.  It is important to keep things fun and quick when trimming nails.  These are just a few examples of tools we use IRL.  Also, don’t forget to keep a few treats on hand too!!  

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