dog nail grinder vs clipper which is better for trimming dog nails

Dog Nail Grinder Vs Clipper: Which is Better for Trimming Dog Nails?

As a pet owner, it’s your duty to ensure your dog is well-groomed, comfortable, and looks their best. A critical aspect of their grooming routine should be nail care, as neglected nails can overgrow, crack, and even impede your dog’s mobility. While taking your dog to a nail salon is an option for those with tight schedules, trimming their nails at home is also feasible. The debate has long raged among pet owners about whether grinders or clippers are the superior tool for nail trimming. This article aims to compare these two nail-trimming tools, assisting you in determining which is the most suitable choice for your needs.

Nail Clipping

dog nail trimming
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You can use a couple of tools if you wish to clip your dog’s nails. One common one is the pair of scissors, and as the name suggests, it works in the same way as the traditional scissors. They look like pliers, and their sturdy nature makes them perfect for clipping the large dog breeds with big and thick nails.

The guillotine is the second tool, and it works by inserting the dog nails into a hole and using the handle to lower the blade that slices the tip, just like a guillotine. It is ideal for small and medium-sized dogs since the nail must fit in the hole for it to be clipped.

Advantages Of Clipping

advantages of dog nail clipping
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Choosing to clip your dog’s nails comes with a host of benefits. First, these tools allow you to cut the nails quickly since all you need to do is to chop them off. The tools being used are also very quiet, and you won’t have to hear the constant buzzing sound that might irritate your pet. Some dogs are very paranoid of such sounds and might react negatively to buzzing sounds.

Another advantage is that this method is inexpensive as seen from how they work, unlike dog nail grinders. The clippers are simple tools and cost less than other grinders. Lastly, the clipping tools are all manual and do not need any power for them to work. This way, you can trim your dog’s nails at any time regardless of whether there is a power supply or not.

Disadvantages Of Clipping

disadvantages of dog nail clipping
Photo by Ermelinda Maglione from Pexels

One disadvantage of clipping nails is that there is always a risk of clipping your dog’s skin. You need to time the cut precisely, and if the pet moves their paw for a second, you could have to deal with a serious cut on the body. This is terrible for your relationship with the dog since they might not trust you when using clippers again. Nail clippers need to be sharp enough for them to cut the nail straight away and blunt edges can squeeze and pinch the dog leading to pain especially when you do not do it fast enough. Lastly, not all nails are same, and others are susceptible to cracking and using nail clippers on such will only make them worse.


dog nail grinding
Image by Myriams-Fotos from Pixabay

Nail grinders work differently from the Clippers as they spin an abrasive surface that needs to be put on the nail surface. This surface the grinds the nail down gradually in the same way as sandpaper works on timber. Several versions of grinders are available in the market and examples are the pedipaws, dremel, and oster.

Advantages of Grinders

advantages of dog nail grinders
Image by Anastasiya Lobanovskaya from Pexels

The grinders have an advantage in that they are better suited to dogs with thicker nails that may be hard to cut using the nail clippers. They are also better suited to dark nails which are bad for clippers since one cannot see them and know where they begin and end. Using a clipper on such nails is risky and can lead to pinching and injuries. If you have used clippers before on a dog and cut their skin accidentally, switching to grinders can be the best option. Lastly, grinding allows you to smooth the edges of the dog’s nails and leave no sharp edges that can scratch people and fabric.

Disadvantages of Grinders

disadvantages of dog nail grinders

One major demerit of using these tools is the noise they produce. Some dogs will get irritated by the buzzing noise and might react negatively when you want to trim the nails. When you grind the nails, the end product is some dust which is always smelly and can affect you if you are sensitive. These tools use power to rotate the grinding mechanism and can get heated up when used for an extended period.


Some of the benefits and demerits of these two sets of tools have been mentioned, and your choice depends on what you can compromise and the nature of your dog. If your pooch is jumpy and afraid of strange noises, you might want to stick to the nail clippers. However, the disadvantages of the clippers have been laid out, and you will have to be very careful and do it little by little rather than waiting for the nails to grow and cut them out completely. If your dog is relaxed, you could consider using these tools together and cut the long part and then grind the remaining part that is close to the surface. You need to be keen and notice when your dog needs to be trimmed. A good indicator is listening to the sound being made as they cross a tile floor. If you can hear the sound of the nails click as they move, then it is time to trim them.

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