Dog Trimmers For Preventing Pain whilst Clipping Their Nails

Looking for the best dog nail clippers?  You can save so much money and provide your pet with more timely, comfortable care, if you own a pair.

Before you buy there are a few important differences  you need to know about the different types of dog nail trimmers.

Below I give you a quick overview so you can make an educated buying decision for your and then I review a few of my favorite nail trimmers to help make things easier.

NameOptimal Dog Size
Millers Forge Large
Safari 770045Medium
Resco OriginalSmall
Dremel 7300-PTAny

Don’t Buy Cheap Clippers! I know that you need to save money, but nice clippers don’t cost that much more than the cheap ones do. The cheap ones are more apt to hurt your pet, cut crookedly, leave hang nails … and break mid-session.

The nail trimmers that I review below were selected based on their strength and durability, ease of use, and average and type of  user reviews.

Three Main Types of Dog Nail Trimmers

Guillotine Style – this is the most common type of nail trimmer.  It is especially popular for smaller dogs, as it is extremely simple to use.  With this trimmer the nail is inserted into the small metal hole, and the handle is squeezed.  The blade slides across the hole, trimming off the excess nail.  The downside with these trimmers, is that the blade does need to be replaced with use.  Additionally, it does not have the force to trim a large dog’s toenails.

Miller’s Forge Trimmers – These clippers are favored for small- and medium- sized dogs.  They look a lot like scissors, except that the blades have semicircular indentations.  When you open the blades, the indentations creates a small hole for inserting the nail.  This configuration allows for more force, and also creates a system where the blades do not have to be replaced.  However, this scissor-like handles may be harder to use for people with arthritis.

Large Dog Trimmers – These nail clippers are identical to the Miller’s Forge Trimmers.  They are simply thicker and stronger to cleanly clip large dogs stronger nails.  This makes them clumsy for use on smaller dogs.

Rotary/ Powered Trimmers – These systems use a small, rotating bit of sandpaper that can be used to file down your pet’s nails.  the nice thing about this system is that it does not leave as jagged of edges and you can move slowly, incrementally, to make sure you don’t accidentally cut the quick.

dog having its nails clipped

Best Nail Clippers For Large Dogs

Let’s go in order of size from largest to smallest dogs.

For the large dogs I would recommend going with Miller’s forge large dog nail clippers. The larger size makes it easy for you to fit the clippers around the nail, and the industrial strength stainless steel cutting blades lets you confidently clip all the way through the nail the first time. None of this fighting to cut the same nail twice nonsense.

This increases the accuracy of your cut making the risk of accidents much, much lower.

Also, the simple nail clipper design makes cleanup extremely easy. Just rinse them off and  — if you want — apply a couple of drops of light oil (such as sewing machine oil). Many of the other clippers do not use stainless steel so you have to take a lot more care to keep them from rusting. Not so with the Miller Forge brand.

I realize these clippers may not look like much, but they are an industrial strength trimming tool that are designed to will hold up to years of use in a professional setting. .

Most often used by veterinarians and groomers, this set is sure to last us long as you need it.

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dofnail clipper

Best Nail Trimmers For Medium Dogs

One of the best aspects of the Safari clipper is the safety stop that helps prevent injury. I know a lot of us are worried about hurting ourselves — our worse, our pets, and the safety stop gives you a lot of peace of mind.

As with the Miller Forge’s brand, this clipper uses stainless steel blades for long-lasting use.

While these clippers look a lot like the larger pair above, they don’t work as well on larger dog’s, nails. The simply don’t offer the same leverage.

However, for doing medium-sized dogs (40-ish pounds), these clippers are great. The smaller size makes one-handed operation easier and the cutting action is extremely smooth.

While this clipper does not seem to work as well with large dogs, it is small enough and sharp enough to smoothly trim medium sized dogs paws.

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safari nail clippers for dogs

Best Nail Clippers For Small Dogs

For our small dogs let’s look at the Resco original dog nail trimmers. These are the guillotine style trimmers, that works so well for small and medium size dogs.

Resco has been making these clippers for a long time — since 1937 to be exact.

This is a proven system, with a lot of happy dog owners.

If you need to purchase additional blades, Resco makes it very easy to do so, as well as to replace them. However, for a single dog owner, each blade should last a long time.

Just like I prefer the Miller’s Forge style for larger dogs, I find that this guillotine style works really, really well on our smaller pets.

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resco small dog nail clippers

Best Dog Nail File

What is ironic about these rotary dog nail files, is that they were popularized by late-night TV infomercials — most of which are crap. The ones advertised on TV are noisy, flimsy, and almost seem as if they were designed to scare your pet.

The Dremel 7300 is a huge departure from those cheap sets. We begin with, it offers the variable speed operation, so you can pick the level that is comfortable for your pet.

It is also a cordless, making for easy operation wherever your pet is.

The key thing to remember with one of the systems is that you need to file in increments. The file will heat the pet’s nail and if you go at it for more than a few seconds at a time, it will cause the pet some discomfort. Slow and incremental is the key.

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dog having nails filled with dremel nail file

How To Trim A Dog's Nails

This is a really handy video that gives you step-by-step instructions on how to cut your dog’s nails safely. It even discusses some of the more challenging cuts you might have to do (like how far back to cut black nails).