For Non-USA based customers visit Amazon!

Dog Nail Grinder vs Clipper: Which One Is Better?

owner clipping dog nails with LuckyTail pet nail grinder

Did you know that nail trimming is a very important part of any dog’s grooming routine? However, it can become a nerve-wracking job, especially with all the equipment options at your disposal. Grinders and clippers are some of the most popular tools many dog owners tend to use. They are both fairly straightforward and user-friendly solutions, yet each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Dog Nail Anatomy

Dog nails consist of two parts, the claw and the quick. The claw is the hard, visible portion of the nail protruding from your dog's paw. It's made of strong keratin and supports running, digging and overall stability. Within the claw is the quick, which is the soft inner area filled with blood vessels and nerves responsible for nourishing the nails and helping them grow. When trimming nails, you want to make sure you're working on the claw. Your dog won't feel any discomfort in this area. However, the quick is highly sensitive, and it will hurt and bleed if cut. This area is easier to spot on lighter nails, but is always in the same location.

Why is Dog Nail Trimming Essential?

Your dog‚Äôs nail hygiene is an integral part of pet grooming you shouldn't ignore. Long, unkempt nails can lead to various health problems for your furry friend, often causing immense pain.¬†They make it difficult for your dog to stand or walk and can even tear or split,¬†resulting in whining, limping and bleeding in severe cases. You should trim your dog's nails every three to four weeks to maintain a healthy and comfortable shape.¬†Keeping the claws short makes walks more enjoyable, allows your pup's feet to grip the ground more easily and also prevents joint issues.¬† Many dog owners hesitate to trim their dog‚Äôs nails because they aren't sure how or are afraid of harming their dog.¬†You can enlist the help of professional groomers to accomplish the task, but it's not necessary ‚ÄĒ having the right tool to do it yourself will save you money, and your pupper is likely to feel more comfortable in your arms!


Grinding is a trimming method using a grinder tool to shave your dog's nails. Grinders are devices with a cylindrical body using a rotating head, often powered by electricity. These tools utilize a sandpaper-like material to create the friction needed to wear down your pup's nails safely.

Dog Nail Grinder Pros

If your pup's nails are dark and thick, a grinder might be the best option. Using a grinder offers a slow, gradual process that reduces the risk of injuring your dog, which is important since seeing the quick might be more difficult on a dark nail. It also offers benefits like:
  • User-friendly:¬†Nail grinders¬†operate using electricity and¬†don't require much force, making them easy to use.¬†
  • Smooth finish:¬†These tools offer more control, allowing you to create a uniform finish.¬†
  • Unique features:¬†Many grinders are equipped with nail guards, an extra layer of protection to protect your dog's paws from the rotating head.

Dog Nail Grinder Cons

Grinders can come without some drawbacks, which include: 
  • Anxiety:¬†Nail grinders generate sound,¬†which can intimidate and scare some dogs.¬†
  • Debris:¬†Grinding nails causes dust and odor, adding an extra clean-up step to your to-do list.¬†
  • Power:¬†Since the grinder is electrically powered, you need to make sure that¬†it¬†is always charged.
Shop LuckyTail Nail Grinders


Tips for Clipping Dog Nails

Grinders are often recommended by vets as a safer at-home alternative. They allow for quick bursts which lets you check your progress periodically and ensure you don't accidentally clip blood vessels or nerves. While grinding dog nails may take longer than clipping, it ensures a pet-friendly, stress-free experience that allows you to take full control. The results are also extremely worth it, producing round, smooth and well-polished nails.  If you want to start grinding your four-legged friend's nails, but don't know where to start, consider the following tips:
  • Hold the dog‚Äôs paw gently and push out the nail using your finger.
  • For a firmer grip, hold the grinder near the moving head.
  • Keep the fur away to avoid getting detangled in the grinding tool.
  • Bring the grinder near, and start grinding the tip and bottom of the nail. Keep an eye on rough edges and smooth them evenly.
  • Keep the process slow and grind small parts at once.

Dog Nail Clippers

Dog clippers come in different shapes and sizes, including guillotine and scissor configurations. These clippers are constructed with stainless steel blades that cut the claw in one motion, making the process very fast.  Scissor clippers work a lot like traditional scissors you'll find around the house. This clipper has smaller, stationary indentations you'll use to position your dog's nails. Because of the force they require, they're often the go-to for big dog owners.  When using guillotine-style clippers, you'll put the nail through a hole before squeezing the handle. When you compress the handle, a single blade is forced down to cut off the nail to the desired size. This dog nail trimming tool tends to be better suited to small and medium dogs and is not strong enough to tackle thicker nails. However, the safest nail experience for larger dogs is using clippers at first and then going in with the grinding tool for fine-tuning and smoothing.

Dog Nail Clipper Pros

Clippers are valuable solutions if you're strapped for time but still want to ensure your pup is comfy and pain-free. They offer a speedier process that lets you get the job done in no time. Still, you want to avoid rushing through the trimming to ensure you don't accidentally hit the quick.  Using clippers offers several advantages, including:

  • Quiet operation:¬†Clippers do not produce any external noises,¬†offering a more comfortable environment for your pooch.¬†
  • Manual activity:¬†These tools rely on manual force rather than electricity, which allows you to clip nails where ever you are.¬†¬†
  • Budget-friendly:¬†Low-tech clippers are often easier on the wallet, offering a budget-friendly solution that has served its purpose for a long time.

Dog Nail Clipper Cons

One of the biggest disadvantages of clippers is the increased likelihood of injuring your pet by overcutting the nail. If visibility isn't great on your pup's nails, you could cut blood vessels or nerves.  Dog nail clippers can also result in harmful side effects for your friend, such as loss of natural nail shape and sharp edges. This misshaping of the claw will often cause discomfort when your pet walks or scratches an itch. You may also notice scratch marks on your floors and furniture!  Other downsides to dog nail clippers include:
  • Short-term use:¬†Blades used in the nail clippers wear out¬†after repetitive use¬†and require replacement over time.
  • Uneven edges:¬†Clipping nails does not produce a smooth finish, and nails often look coarse and uneven and may require filing.
  • Singular attempt:¬†Cutting the nails in one go increases the chances of cutting it too deep.

Tips for Clipping Dog Nails

Clipping is another popular method of trimming dog nails, and many owners have relied on it for years. While clippers come in different sizes and have unique features, they all perform the same function. To make the most of your dog's nail clippers, consider these essential tips:
  • Make your dog used to physical contact by touching their paws often.
  • First, make them familiar with the clipper by letting them sniff and inspect it.
  • Gently touch the clipper to the dog‚Äôs paw without using it to cut.
  • Once the dog is calm, cut the very tip of one nail first.
  • If the dog is still at peace, continue clipping nails one by one.

Which Should You Choose?

The best nail-trimming device depends on your skills as well as your pet’s size, breed, sensitivity and courage. If noises easily trigger your dog, opt for a dog clipper. Clipping is also quicker than grinding, so you don’t have to hold the dog down for a long time. If your dog has a calm, laid-back personality and isn’t bothered by external noise, you should go for the grinder. It's slow trimming also produces a smoother finish. Many also consider grinders safer when working on darker-colored nails, providing a better feel of where the quick is.  Nail clippers let you enjoy the speed of the process, while grinders give you more safety and control. Some owners use both, employing clippers for a quick trim and a grinder to smooth out rough or uneven edges. Regardless of your choice, make sure to be cautious and pay attention to your pup’s behavior and reactions to ensure maximum safety. Also, reward your canine friend with a treat for being the best pup!

The Safest Choice for Your Pet

If you still aren't sure which tool is the best for you, we recommend a nail grinder. These easy-to-use devices are the safest options and deliver great results. When searching the market for your tool, you should look for the following features:

  • Low sound
  • Low vibration
  • Different speed modes
  • Protective cover

A nail grinder that encompasses all these qualities will ensure a positive experience for even the most frightened pets. For easy and professional grinding, consider a device that is wireless and rechargeable for ease of movement and includes LED lights to easily spot the vascularized nail core. LuckyTail nail grinder is the only device on the market that combines all these qualities and is considered, by many vets, the safest tool for dog nails. LuckyTail is whisper-quiet, making almost no sound that would stress pets. Plus, the ergonomic design and small shape make it easy to transport and very comfortable for both you and your pup. Check out our shop to explore our catalog of high-quality grinders today!

ÔĽŅLast Updated on June 12, 2023 at 12:00 PM

Shop LuckyTail Nail Grinders
Previous post
Next post