Whether your pup’s super laid-back or will do just about anything to avoid you when it’s time for a nail trim, you want the best dog nail clippers possible for pain-free grooming.

“Regular nail trims are important for your dog’s health, well-being, and routine maintenance because a dog with nails that are too long can cause a great deal of discomfort, pain, and, at times, infection,” says Ashley Ann Odom, a certified master groomer and owner of Diamonds in the Ruff grooming salon and spa in Lincoln Park, New Jersey. 

While just how often you need to trim your dog’s nails depends on their activity level and environment, checking their nails at least once a month is a good rule of thumb. If you’re behind on nail trims or their paws rarely hit the pavement, you may want to check them even more often.

If you admittedly dread nail trims due to fears of hitting the quick (soft tissues and nerves inside a dog’s nails) or don’t want to further traumatize an already-skittish rescue dog, having the right nail-trimming gear and knowing how to use it can make a big difference. But with so many different options and thousands of reviews to sift through, the selection can be overwhelming. 

To make the process easier, we asked a professional groomer to share her top recommendations. We also did the research for you on important factors like safety, durability, affordability, and ease of use. Here’s our guide for what to look for in dog nail clippers, plus our top product picks for the best dog nail clippers you can buy.  

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Our Top 7 Picks

Best Dog Nail Clippers: Overall Winner 

Our pick: Safari Professional Stainless Steel Nail Trimmers For Dogs

Safari Professional Stainless Steel Nail Trimmers For Dogs
Breed TypesSmall to Medium, Large
MaterialStainless steel blades, rubber-coated handles
Sizes and Dimensions (LxWxH).5 x 2.55 x 10.5 inches
Age RangeAll life stages

Odom’s personal favorite, Safari Professional Nail Trimmers, are reasonably priced and available in two sizes for small to medium and large dogs. “They are particularly well-suited to large dogs because of their sturdiness and due to the thicker steel offered in this model,” she says. With rubber-coated handles for a firm grip and a safety guard to avoid cutting too far, these trimmers also score high on ease of use.


  • Stainless steel. 
  • Strong, sharp blade. 
  • Safety guard. 
  • Easy-grip handles. 

Things to Consider 

  • Clicking sound may disturb some dogs.

Safest Dog Nail Clipper

Our Pick: Zen Clipper Dog Nail Trimmers

Zen Clipper dog nail clipper in package

Get 10% off at Pet Product Innovations with code: CLIPPER10

Breed TypesAll
MaterialStainless steel blade, cushioned handles
Sizes and Dimensions (LxWxH)8.5 x 5.5 x .25 inches
Age RangeAll life stages

Safety is definitely a top priority when it comes to trimming your dog’s nails. Zen Clipper really has that covered with its conical-shaped, patent-pending design. The cone shape of the blade makes it nearly impossible to cut your dog’s quick as long as it is sized correctly for your pet. These clippers offer a sharp, stainless steel blade that sheers nails and doesn’t crush them. These are small and easy to use, whether you opt for the finger holes or clip with your hand surrounding the handles. 


  • Unique cone-shaped design for a safe cut.
  • Comes in seven different sizes to fit all pet types — XXS to XXL.
  • Ergonomic, non-slip handle.
  • Small size makes them less intimidating for pets and easy to handle.
  • Come with a lifetime warranty.

Things to Consider

  • With several size options, getting the right size may be tricky. But Zen Clipper will replace your order free of charge if you choose the wrong size.
  • It may take dogs a little time to get used to the shape of these clippers. Take it slow and steady at first. 

Best Budget Dog Nail Clippers

Our Pick: Millers Forge Dog Nail Clipper

Millers Forge Dog Nail Clipper
Breed TypesMedium to Large
MaterialGerman stainless steel
Sizes and Dimensions (LxWxH)6.5 x 2 x .63 inches
Age RangeAdult dogs

Just want some dog nail clippers that’ll get the job done? If you’re new to trimming your dog’s nails or not quite ready to lay down the big bucks on a fancy pair of dog nail clippers, Millers Forge makes a great starter pair for large and medium-sized dogs. They’ve got strong, stainless steel blades, a safety lock, and bright orange handles (a major perk if you tend to misplace these things!). 


  • Strong and sharp stainless steel blades. 
  • Safety lock. 
  • Highly affordable. 

Things to Consider 

  • Not much! All in all, these clippers get solid reviews and many groomers and veterinarians recommend them. 

Best Dog Nail Grinder 

Our pick: Dremel 7760-PGK 4V Cordless Dog Nail Grinder Kit

Dremel nail grinder
Breed TypesAll
Sizes and Dimensions (LxWxH)8.25 x 2 0.75 inches
Age RangeAll life stages

If traditional dog nail clippers just haven’t worked for you, it may be time to give dog nail grinders a try. Dremel is considered the go-to brand for rotary tools, and many groomers say they make the best dog nail grinder, too. The Dremel 7760-PGK 4V Pet Grooming Kit is cordless and comes with a nine-piece accessory kit, USB charging cable and power adapter, user manual, quick start guide, and a 5V power adapter.

“While it can be a pricey investment for home grooming, this particular brand has a longer battery lifespan than most other brands,” says Odom.


  • Cordless
  • Features a 45-degree paw guide for the accurate nail trimming angles and dust collection
  • Variable speed slide switch which is helpful for nail thickness
  • Lightweight design for portability, comfort, and control
  • Four speed options (8,000 RPM, 14,000 RPM, 21,000 RPM, and 25,000 RPM)
  • Backed by a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty
  • Approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes charge time

Things to Consider 

  • Noise or vibration may disturb some dogs
  • No light feature
  • May come with a learning curve if you’re new to using them

Best Guillotine Dog Nail Clippers 

Our pick: Resco Deluxe Guillotine Dog Nail Clippers

Rescoe Deluxe Guillotine Dog Nail Clippers
Breed TypesAll
MaterialSolid steel
Sizes and Dimensions (LxWxH)‎5 x 3.75 x .63 inches
BladeMicro-honed replaceable blades
Age RangeAll life stages

If you prefer guillotine-style dog nail clippers for a quick slice through your dog’s nail, you can’t go wrong with the original. Resco invented guillotine nail clippers way back in 1937 (!). They’ve been a leader in the market ever since. With no slip-handles and super sharp blades (plus affordable replacement blade kits should yours ever dull), these clippers are user-friendly and safe.


  • Made in the USA. 
  • Durable construction. 
  • Anti-slip grip. 
  • Easily replaceable blades. 
  • Backed by a lifetime warranty. 

Things to Consider 

  • Guillotine-style may come with a learning curve if you’re new to using them.
  • May not be strong enough for large-breed dogs with thick nails.

Best Large Dog Nail Clippers

Our pick: Epica Professional Dog Nail Clippers

Epica Professional Dog Nail Clippers
Breed TypesAll
MaterialStainless steel, rubber-coated handles
Sizes and Dimensions (LxWxH)‎6 x 3.38 x 3.63 inches
Age RangeAll life stages

With high-grade stainless steel and semi-circular blades to hold your dog’s nail in place, Epica’s dog nail clippers get high marks from pet parents with large-breed dogs like Rottweilers, Labradors, and Mastiffs. Grooved, rubber-coated handles are easy to hold onto and many reviewers say the blade cuts through nails like butter. Even better? They come with a 100 percent Lifetime Warranty, so if you’re not satisfied, you can contact the manufacturer to resolve the issue.


  • High-quality stainless steel. 
  • Strong and sharp blade. 
  • Durable construction. 
  • Grooved, rubber-coated handle.
  • Lifetime warranty. 

Things to Consider 

  • Nail guard may move, making it unreliable, some reviewers say

Best Small Dog Nail Clippers  

Our pick: Master Grooming Tools Guillotine Nail Clipper

Master Grooming Tools Guillotine Nail Clipper
Breed TypesSmall
MaterialStainless steel, textured rubber handles, powder-coated finish
Sizes and Dimensions (LxWxH)5.3 x 3 x 1 inches
Age RangeAll life stages

“These are ideal for home use on smaller dogs,” says Odom. While two-blade clippers or nail grinders are preferable for larger dogs with harder-to-cut nails, guillotine-style dog nail clippers are a smart pick for your little one. Just five inches in length, they’re made for small paws and textured rubber handles ensure you have a firm and comfortable grip so you can get the job done quickly.  


  • Guillotine-style blade. 
  • Textured rubber handles. 
  • Sized for small dogs. 

Things to Consider 

  • Guillotine-style may come with a learning curve if you’re new to using them.

What to Look For in Dog Nail Clippers 

Dachshund getting nails trimmed

At first glance, dog nail clippers might seem pretty simple, but then you see just how many different options there are to consider. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you shop so you can find the most effective pair of dog nail clippers for your pup’s needs. 

Blade quality: “First and foremost, when searching for a set of nail clippers you want to make sure to invest in a pair that is sturdy and sharp,” says Odom. Stainless steel clippers with durable features allow you to clip through your dog’s nails without applying unnecessary pressure that can cause pain and discomfort for your dog. 

Size and type: “Of course, you also want to make sure the clippers are suitable for your dog’s size,” says Odom. Generally, dual-blade clippers are a better choice for large-breed dogs with thick, hard-to-cut nails, while guillotine-style clippers make for quick and easy slices for small to medium-sized dogs. 

For dogs of any size, Odom recommends nail grinders which reduce the risk of cutting your dog’s nails too short and hitting the highly sensitive quick. They can also smooth out nails for less of a clickety-clack sound when your pup shuffles across hardwood and tile floors. 

Ease of Use: For those of us with dogs who may never enjoy having their nails done, safe dog nail clippers are a top priority. In this case, look for user-friendly features that allow for a quick and precise cut like no-slip handles, nail guards, and a safety lock. 

Reviews: Many online retailers list reviews from verified customers, which can help you get an idea of what using dog nail clippers is really like in real life. Pet parents are often happy to share how to ease skittish dogs into adjusting to certain nail trimmers, whether clippers are strong enough to handle ultra-hard nails, or which size options fit certain dog breeds or weights best. 

Best Dog Nail Clippers: Groomer Recommendations 

While there are plenty of options for dog nail clippers out there, many groomers, customers, and veterinarians agree that these are some of the most effective and high-quality picks on the market. 

Whether you’ve got a fiery Chihuahua or a shy Great Dane, there is a pair of dog nail clippers that can work for you. Here are our top recommendations for the best dog nail clippers, according to thousands of happy customers and a master groomer.

Dog Nail Clipper FAQ

If you have questions about dog nail clippers, we’ve got you covered! Here are some helpful answers to pet parents’ most frequently-asked questions about nail trimming tools. 

How do you use dog nail clippers?

Depending on what type of clippers you use, the specific technique may vary. So check for instructions from your clipper manufacturer first. You can also learn the basics by watching a helpful video on how to use dog nail clippers before you begin.

You may need to try different approaches, depending on your dog’s comfort level, age, and size. As a general guide:

  • Gently isolate the nail you plan to clip
  • If you can see the quick, position the clippers so you won’t hit it.
  • If you can’t see the quick, trim a little bit at a time to avoid hitting the quick.
  • Squeeze clippers firmly but gently to cut the nail straight across. 
  • Don’t forget to trim the dewclaw, which can be hidden in fur.

Can you cut dog nails with human clippers?

It’s not recommended to use human clippers to cut a dog’s nails. Though some human nail clippers might be strong enough to take on smaller dog nails, you’ll get a safer, easier cut if you use specialized dog nail clippers. 

Canine nails are not only tougher and thicker than human nails, they’re also curved, which can make them harder to cut. Dog nail clippers feature strong, sharp blades for a quick, clean cut with minimal effort. That’s crucial for a good trim…especially if your dog isn’t exactly cooperating!

Dog nail grinder vs. clipper: What’s the difference?

Dog nail clippers — whether scissor-style or guillotine-style — are cutting tools designed to trim dog nails using a sharp blade or blades and a compression mechanism. Pros: Clippers are quick, effective, and inexpensive. Cons: It’s possible to pinch or cut the quick of the nail with clippers, which is painful to dogs.

Dog nail grinders — often called “dremels” after the largest manufacturer — are rotary tools powered by electricity that grind down dog nails using abrasive material similar to sandpaper. Pros: Because grinding is more gradual than clipping, you’re less likely you’ll hit the quick (though it’s still possible). Plus, you can smooth the nail while you trim. Cons: Grinders typically cost more than clippers. The sound of the grinder may also scare some dogs. 

How often should you cut your dog’s nails?

On average, most dogs could use a nail trimming session around every three to four weeks. But dog nails grow at different rates depending on a variety of factors — your dog’s breed, their diet, even how much time they spend outdoors. 

To figure out what your dog’s trimming schedule should be, learn how to recognize when your dog’s nails are too long. Then schedule regular trims to maintain an appropriate length. Dog nails should extend enough to be seen, but should not go past the paw. 

This isn’t just about appearances. Trimming your dog’s nails regularly keeps the nail quick from growing out, reducing the likelihood of a painful cut in the future.

Should you get a professional to trim your dog’s nails?

If you’ve just brought your first puppy home or you’re desperate for safe dog nail clippers that won’t stress out your scaredy dog, know that fear-free nail trims are possible. You’ve just got to find the right fit and gradually introduce your dog to the grooming process. 

That said, never hesitate to reach out to experts if you find you do need some extra help. “Use your better judgment on nail clipping at home,” says Odom. “If you know your dog is squirmy or extremely anxious and you feel like you won’t be able to get their nails done safely, bring them to a professional.” 

Your veterinarian or groomer can help you learn how to ease your dog into a nail trimming session in order to keep their nails healthy and avoid injury. In no time, you may both come to enjoy (or at least tolerate) your monthly paw-dicures.