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Types of Dog Nail Trimmers

Updated on February 19, 2011

Trimming your dogs nails is something you can learn to do at home saving time and money going to the groomers too often. Learning how to trim nails is one of the best dog grooming tips you can acquire. You will need to purchase the best type of dog nail trimmer for your dog and the type of nail you are cutting.

Guillotine style - The most popular nail trimmers on the market is the guillotine style trimmers. These have a metal guard that the claw goes in, user squeezes a handle and a blade slices the nail where the guard is. The handle has a straight part and a curved part. The straight part is placed against the palm and the curve part is squeezed to operate the blade. These are used mainly for smaller dogs and the blade dulls with use, having to be replaced.

Scissor dog nail clippers - This design is again used for smaller dogs as it is not really strong enough is build to handle the thicker, tougher nails of larger breeds. The lighter construction of these trimmers could crush the nail rather than clip it. The smaller sizes are good for young puppies. Puppy claws are sharp and trimming the tips often will get your puppy used to having their claws cut. This will come in handy as they grow.

Plier type dog trimmers - This is a sturdier design that has forged steel blades. These are sometimes called Miller Forged clipper. The blades are in opposing crescent shapes, the nail goes in between the blades and a plier action clips the nail. These are preferred by groomers as they work on all kinds of dogs. They are especially useful on larger breeds.

Nail grinders - Nail grinders are pretty big these days due to a commercial campaign a couple of years ago for a brand of nail grinder that was cheap. These can be great tools that allow you to grind a nail avoiding any cuts to the quick of the nail. You still have to be careful not to grind too far. These are similar in design to the rotary tools used by hobbyist such as the Dremel tool. The device vibrates and make noise so there is a period where you will need to get your dog used to the sound and feel in a positive manner. Research before you buy based on the breed of dog you have. The ones advertised on TV are for toy breeds and may not have the power needed to grind a large breed dog's nails.

Trimming your dog's nails may not be an enjoyable grooming experience. It is, however, something that needs to be done often for the health of your dogs. Getting the proper tools will make this chore go a little easier.


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    • Midge Harvey profile image

      Midge Harvey 4 years ago from Trenton, Onatrio

      I purchased the Dremel grinder I love it. I have two Yorkies I'm far more comfortable with the grinder so the dogs are as well they don't seem to mind the noise no louder then the clippers or hair dryer

    • datahound profile image

      datahound 7 years ago from USA

      Thanks Alison, I think those are the best all around and they stay sharp longer.

    • Alison Graham profile image

      Alison Graham 7 years ago from UK

      Thanks for this clear, well researched and really helpful information, I did not know there were different types available and think that the plier type might be the most suitable for my dog. Thanks again, voted up.