Best Dog Nail Clippers of 2020 Complete Reviews with Comparisons

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It’s a well-known fact that since canines became man’s best friend, certain things, such as grooming, require a little more attention. Domesticated dogs don’t naturally pare down their nails as easily and as often as they should. Hence the need to use one of the best dog nail clippers you can afford.

If you don’t take grooming seriously, and the dog’s nails get too big, he could hurt you or himself by simply playing or performing his everyday tasks. Check out the following reviews to see what types of clippers you should use and why you shouldn’t skimp on quality.

Best Dog Nail Clippers
Comparison Chart

Resco Original Pet Nail/Claw Clippers

Shiny Pet Nail Clippers for Small Animals

Epica Medium/Large Pet Nail Clippers

Millers Forge Nail Clippers

Safari Professional Dog Nail Trimmer

Best Dog Nail Clippers Reviews

1.  Resco Original Pet Nail/Claw Clippers

The original guillotine nail trimmer came from Resco back in the 1930s. It should come as no surprise that the Resco Original clippers stood the test of time due to the manufacturing experience in this field and the minor design improvements implemented over the years.

Product Highlights

You can get the Resco Original or the Resco Deluxe dog nail clippers at a bargain price. The Deluxe model is worth the extra buck as it comes with superior grips and a more ergonomic handle that will let you work on all your pets, one after another.

The blade replacement system is patented and unique to Resco, making this clipper a solid financial investment in the long run. All you have to do is remove two small screws to fit a new blade. You may be surprised to learn that not all pet clippers have this feature, which means that with some, you’ll eventually end up replacing the whole thing.

This particular model is also suitable for small dogs to medium dogs. But rest assured. Resco also offers larger guillotine clippers should your dog have the nail thickness of a #2 pencil or higher.

The Good

The Resco nail clippers are held in high regard by groomers and vet technicians. That, and a lifetime warranty from Resco, are testaments to the standard of quality you would be getting from either the Resco Original or Resco Deluxe nail clippers.

The Bad

As good as the blade is, and as light as the clippers are, both the Resco Deluxe and Original models have a slight learning curve to them. You’ll have to familiarize yourself with the optimum position in order to hear that clean popping sound instead of a crushing nail sound.


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    Micro-honed stainless-steel blade
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    Patented blade replacement system
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    Comfortable grip
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    Superior cutting power


  • Has a learning curve to it

2.  Shiny Pet Nail Clippers for Small Animals

If you’re more accustomed with scissor nail clippers, then you might want to consider this Shiny Pet nail clipper. It's adaptable to all kinds of small animals, from cats to dogs to rabbits and even birds.

Product Highlights

A potentially indispensable home grooming accessory, the Shiny Pet Nail Clippers come with traditional semi-circular blades that work really well with nails and claws. You can get an angled cut with ease, and not just because of how sharp the blades are but also because of how easy the clippers are to use.

The lightweight clippers feature recycled plastic handles. Granted, not as durable as steel in the long run, but if you don’t use them to crack open nuts, they’ll be just fine. Besides, the handles are also ergonomic and fit well in the palm of your hand, which should give you a better feel and more cutting power.

A “how-to” type e-book is also included with the clippers. This is really cool as you’ll always be able to check the instructions before you start grooming your canine friend.

In terms of cutting prowess, the blades are stainless-steel and razor-sharp. You can’t really ask for more at this price range, if you do get an extra perk. The blades also feature a non-slip coating, which should help improve your accuracy.

The Good

The combination of razor-sharp semi-circular blades and non-slip coating is what makes this pair of clippers one of the easiest and safest to use. Although it may not work on larger dogs, this option is definitely worth considering for young pups.

The Bad

There are some inconsistencies in the production of the Shiny Pet Nail Clippers. Sometimes the clippers may need a breaking in period as they tend to come out a bit stiff. Inconvenient if you need to groom your pet immediately, but not a real problem if you take your time to open and close the clippers for a few minutes.


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    Razor-sharp stainless-steel blades
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    Semi-circular blade design
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    Safe to use on small to medium dogs
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    Non-slip blade coating


  • You may need to break them in

3.  Epica Medium/Large Pet Nail Clippers

If you own a large breed dog, or a few of them, then medium to large clippers are for you. These Epica Nail Clippers should do the trick as they have remarkably long-lasting blades and a fine-tuned blade spacing.

Product Highlights

Made from high-grade stainless steel, these semi-circular blades create an opening for medium and thick nails. Due to the angled blade edge, you should have no problem getting clean 45-degree cuts in a single pass.

The clippers also feature a locking guard for safety reasons. When it comes to grip, the handles aren’t exactly ergonomic but rubber-coated. This means that your hands won’t slip even if your canine friend is giving you a hard time.

The straight handle design might even work to your advantage if you have small hands. Large clippers aren’t suitable for everyone since they require larger hands and more grip strength. With this clipper design, things should go smoother with a wide range of users.

In addition, to allow precise cuts, the Epica Pet Nail Clippers also comes with a lifetime warranty. However, that’s just for reassurance since it’s unlikely you’ll need a new one before the blades go dull.

The Good

Not only are the blades made of high-quality stainless-steel, but they also feature well-engineered angled edges that allow you to perform 45-degree cuts quickly and safely. This and the low price tag are reasons enough to give the Epica clippers a try.

The Bad

If there’s one thing that could’ve been done better, it would be reinforcing the spring to offer a bit more resistance. When using these clippers on medium dogs, you could get carried away and trim too soon, if you don’t have grooming experience.


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    Long-lasting blades
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    Superior blade edge design
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    Locking guard


  • Low resistance spring

4.  Millers Forge Nail Clippers

These are some of the most durable pairs of pet nail clippers, and certainly, among the best dog nail clippers, you can get for large breeds. They’re slightly heavier and offer more control, which makes grooming with them an interesting experience.

Product Highlights

The Millers Forge Nail Clippers are what you need for big dogs. Think anything between 40lbs and 100lbs or even bigger. The semi-circular blades create a big enough opening for thick and long nails. The heavy-duty spring mechanism offers plenty of resistance to help you avoid cutting too soon.

It’s also nice to see that the blades have been designed with thicker bases. This will act as a cutting guard and hopefully prevent you from cutting into the quick, causing pain and discomfort. However, keep in mind that you’ll need a few practice runs too. The guard alone won’t do a lot of work if you rush things.

The handles are slightly curved inwards, but not as hard as regular wire pliers. This provides a more ergonomic grip and reduces the amount of fatigue considerably. If you have a restless dog that hates grooming, this type of handle design just might help you conserve enough energy to finish the job.

The Good

Not everyone can appreciate the benefits of having a durable pair of dog nail clippers. It’s not just drops and impact damage you have to worry about in the long run. You also have to worry about the spring becoming too relaxed and not retracting after a trim. This is the area in which the Millers Force Nail Clippers excel.

The Bad

If there’s one negative feature on these clippers, then it’s probably the flimsy locking guard. It will do its job for the most part, but it’s just a tiny piece of plastic holding together a powerful pair of clippers. Eventually, it will stop doing its job properly.


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    Stainless-steel blades
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    Heavy-duty construction
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    Great spring resistance
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    Ergonomic handles


  • Flimsy locking guard

5.  Safari Professional Dog Nail Trimmer

This is another interesting choice, although it doesn’t look like your garden variety clippers from the blade down. It features an intriguing handle as well as a top-notch locking guard, all for a much lower price than what some big brands offer.

Product Highlights

When looking at the Safari Professional Dog Nail Trimmer, you may be more inclined to think that it’s a safari survival tool. With its military-style handles with finger rests and its camouflage-like pattern, it looks and feels like more than a pair of nail clippers.

That said, these stainless-steel blades may look intimidating, but they weren’t made to groom lions, just man’s best friend. Both a cutting guard and a locking guard are part of the design, with the latter being made of stainless steel too, for extra durability.

Due to the size of these clippers, you should be able to use them on dogs of all sizes. The opening between the blades is big enough for canines well over 50lbs. However, you need to be experienced in handling blades of this thickness against small nails.

The Good

The handles are the bread and butter of the Safari nail clippers. This hunting knife type of grip will give you superior control and a lot more confidence when grooming your dog – a feature a lot of people look for these days.

The Bad

Although recommended for dogs of all sizes, the blade guard has not been designed for small nails and small breeds. The sharpness is there, but only an experienced hand will get the job done safely.


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    Boosts user’s confidence
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    Very comfortable non-slip grip
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    Thick razor-sharp blades
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    Steel locking guard


  • Not for small to medium breeds

Best Dog Nail Clippers Buyer’s Guide

There’s a new trend when it comes to dog nail clippers and grooming accessories that currently has a lot of dog owners confused as to what to buy and what to use. Here’s what you need to know about the types of nail clippers and why some are better than others for inexperienced users.

Types of Nail Clippers

There are three main categories of nail clippers for pet grooming, each one featuring a few variations too. But regardless of what clipper you’re looking at, it will belong to one of the following types:

Scissor clippers

Scissor clippers are sturdier and thicker than what you would use for yourself. They need to be made this way in order to work on thick dog nails. The way they work is no mystery if you’ve used a pair of scissors before. As to what type of dog breeds they suit best, we’re talking medium to large breeds or extra-large breeds.

Guillotine clippers

Guillotine clippers are far from the medieval execution devices of old. That said, they pretty much use the same efficient principle. They have a small hole in the middle, just big enough to fit a dog’s nail. By pushing down on the handle, the blade will go straight through in a single clean pass, trimming the nail. This type of clipper will work best for puppies, as well as small and medium breeds.


Grinders are rather new to the party, and in a sense, they’re not exactly clippers. They look similar to a lot of mini-workshop, multipurpose rotary tools. Obviously, they’re not as aggressive as what you have lying around in your garage, but they still cause vibrations and a bit of noise. On the plus side, if your dog sits still, they can create a very smooth trim, even though it will take considerably longer.


The size of the best dog nail clippers will be determined by the size of your dog. As will the type of clippers you should be using, as previously explained. Clippers that feel comfortable in your hand and are not bigger than a small pair of wire clippers should be enough for grooming small dog breeds, puppies, and even some cats.

But, as your dog gets bigger, you may also need to get a larger pair of nail clippers. As they grow in size, so does the opening between the blade, as well as the cutting power. That said, you should know that the blade quality is more important than the size of the clippers in most cases.


There are two things you should keep in mind concerning blades: material and shape. Stainless-steel is the best choice for blades as it’s used in cutting tools designed for a wide range of applications from medical use to industrial work.

Stainless steel is not only durable but can also be sharpened easily and showcases impressive sharpness retention. You’ll want that if you have a big dog with thick nails.

As for the blade shape, this will differ from one manufacturer to another. The depth of the edge and the curvature of the blade will make it easier or harder to make that 45-degree angle cut. But, the shape of the blade may also influence your hand positioning. So, keep in mind that with some models, you won’t be able to tell until you get some hands-on experience.

A very sharp blade is also preferable, but under the circumstances, there’s no need to worry about our recommendations. All nail clippers reviewed in this article come already sharpened and are in no need of maintenance after unboxing. As for store-bought clippers, you can just test the sharpness onsite.

Cutting Guard

A good cutting guard is an essential component in any dog nail clippers. You can’t claim to have the best set if they don’t feature a quality cutting guard. It’s something you’ll also see vets using as a safety net, so why wouldn’t you?

The cutting guard will minimize, but not eliminate, the risk of cutting the nail too short or even cutting into the quick. As to how the guard should look, this really depends on the model of the clippers and the blade design.

Some dog nail clippers work better with a thick base on the cutting blades. But that’s just one popular design. In reality, you’ll only be able to tell if it works for you after you’ve given it a few tries.

Locking Guard

The locking guard on nail clippers works just like the locking guard on pliers. It prevents the blades from staying exposed in an open position, increasing the risk of accident. A strong locking guard is also recommended for safe storage since it will render it unlikely that the clippers may cut through fabric, the storage box, or your fingers when you reach in to grab them.

Dog Nail Clippers FAQ’s

How Do You Clip Your Dog’s Nails the Right Way?

The proper way to clip your dog’s nails is with a good quality trimmer. From the guillotine style trimmers, to pliers, to scissor style, the trimmer should be sharp and bought for the right size dog.

The first step for a proper, stress-free nail clipping experience is bringing some treats and making the whole experience a positive one. Play with your dog’s paws to get acquainted with that type of movement.

Second step, before rushing to cut the dog’s nails, you should locate the kwik (quick), that is the blood supply to the nail; the pink part within the nail itself. Cutting the pink part of the nail can cause bleeding and pain to your dog. Therefore, be careful to locate the kwik properly. You should then keep the position of the clippers at an approximate 45-degree angle, just as the cut should be.

The best clipping technique is the one where you hold the handle of the clipper flat against the toe pad and cut right across the nail, with the nail sitting right above the ground. With this method, it’s rather unlikely that you’ll cut the nail too short, or cause damage to blood vessels and nerves of the kwik. Hence why it’s also dubbed the safest technique.

As you can see, the trimming process involves a lot of attention and patience, but you must remember that whenever you clip your dog’s nails, you should make the whole experience rewarding by having treats on-hand and taking your time to avoid stressing your little friend.

What’s the Difference Between Nail Clippers and Grinders?

The difference between the nail clipper and grinders are numerous:

Clipping is quicker and quieter, over in no time, and with no constant buzzing of a rotary tool, which, as you know, might agitate some dogs averse to the sound and the vibration of a grinder. You don’t see a lot of vets using rotary tools, do you? But there are clear disadvantages to clipping too.

Clipping is much more inexpensive and requires no electricity in the process. Therefore, you can trim your pawed friend’s nails no matter the time or the location.

However, it’s also easy to miscalculate if and when your furry friend will move his paw. And if you’re inexperienced and clip the kwik of the nail, it will cause bleeding and pain, probably to both of you. In addition, it’ll also be hard to build up trust for future grooming.Clippers can be a little bit tricky when it comes to the accuracy and form of the nail. They can leave the nails with sharp edges that will hurt your dog as much as it will hurt your carpets, hands, or clothes. On the other hand, with a grinder, you’ll be able to round the unwanted sharp edges, leaving a smooth and delicate nail.

By now, you know that the kwik integrity is important. It may be difficult to locate on a dark nail. And when using a clipper, it can sometimes be difficult to prevent a pinching of the kwik. This is where the grinder offers more stability and security.

This tool grinds away the layers and reduces the possibility of cutting deep into the nail. That said, the noise and vibrations of a rotary tool may be reasons enough to stick to clippers if you’re the owner of an anxious dog.

What do I do if I Cut my Dogs Nails too Short?

If you cut the nail too short, this usually implies that you have cut the kwik and that your dog’s nail is bleeding, because you just damaged the blood vessels. The first and most important thing is not to panic.

Your dog will sense that you’re agitated. In turn, this will cause the dog to become agitated too. Secondly, you must apply pressure over the bleeding nail with a clean bandage or fabric for as long as it takes to stop your dog from bleeding and stressing out.

Cleaning the wound with a clotting agent will do the trick, as it will also have a mild numbing effect and prevent further bleeding. That said, there’s something else that happens when you cut nails too short. Assuming that you haven’t reached the kwik, it’s still unadvised to cut nails too short because dogs use them for self-defense.

If you have a guard dog, then trimming only the tips of the nails may be the most important grooming aspect to keep in mind.

What Size Nail Clippers Should I Use on My Dog?

It’s hard to tell what size nail clippers to use, given that there are different types, and dogs have nails of different sizes too. For small to medium dogs, most average-sized guillotine clippers will do the trick. As long as the tip of the nail can enter the hole, you’re good to go.

When it comes to scissor clippers, the size of the clippers should scale with the size of the dogs. Bigger dogs will have longer and thicker nails. Therefore, the clippers should be bigger too, so as to accommodate the nail better, fit it perfectly, and have plenty of power to trim in one swoop.

Can I Use a Scissors to Cut my Dog’s Nails?

Using normal scissors to trim your dog’s nails is, in fact, the worst way to clip their nails. Given the fact that the dog’s nails are significantly thicker and stronger than human nails and that they’re also curved, this would make the simple process of clipping, a traumatic and uncomfortable task for both you and your furry friend.

Using scissors will be painful and will crush the nails, therefore potentially damaging the blood vessels and the nerves in the kwik. Thus making long-term or permanent damage a reality.

Instead of using a blunt paper or tailoring scissor, try one of the accredited tools for this task. There are many types of special scissors you can use for grooming your dog’s nails, and many of them are cheap and safe. The only way a normal scissor would be allowed around a paw, it is when you need to trim the excess hair that stops you from seeing the nail before clipping it.

Final Verdict

As you can see, there’s a bit of science involved in picking out the best dog nail clippers. In regards to the best product, we recommend using something like the Resco nail clippers, especially if you’ve done this before and want to step up your game.

Classic scissor-style nail clippers are also great and certainly beginner-friendly. Perhaps the Millers Forge nail clippers will be for you if you have a big dog or the Safari clippers if you’re looking for something reliable and also more affordable.

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