Pet Nail Grinder vs Clipper – Which is Best for Dog and Cat?

Trimming the nails is one of the most hated portions of the grooming process for many pet owners (and their pets, for that matter). A bath for a dog that hates water or a teeth brushing session for a dog who attempts to bite the toothbrush are two apprehension-inducing stages for a lovely doggie, but for some reason, clipping the nails is the most feared activity by both owner and dog.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Finding a product that works for both you and your dog is critical to making this element of dog care and maintenance less stressful. Start slowly and discover which method is ideal for cutting your dog’s nails to reduce tension and avoid the drama of the situation.

Why is nail care so important?

dog nail so important

The nails of a dog have a specific function. Dogs have a natural urge to dig for treasure, as anybody who owns a furry friend that digs in the same area in the yard knows. They might possibly be constructing a den to cool down in on a hot day. A dog’s claws can also be used to grab toys or hold a delicious reward.

When you’re out for a run, the nails also offer grip for your buddy, allowing them to go up slopes with you. Allowing your dog’s nails to grow too long increases the chance of a severe rip or broken nail. If the claws are not kept at the appropriate length, the natural sense of balance might be thrown off. Long nails can also curl beneath the foot and hurt the pad of the foot.

Nail Clipping for Dogs

clipping for dog nails

For those who like to clip, there are two sorts of tools. The guillotine clipper features a circular hole (which the nail perfectly fits into) and a blade that passes through it to make a rapid and accurate cut. This tool helps you to trim your dog’s nails at a consistent and even speed, although it may not work well on thick claws. This instrument may cause your dog to experience pressure on his or her nails. If you have to use force to get the job done, this isn’t the clipper for you.

When cutting nails that are thick and strong, scissor-type clippers can be more efficient. They, like the guillotine tool, require a steady hand to use. If you nick the quick of the nail (the area at the top of the nail where the blood vessels are), your dog may connect nail cutting with pain. You can have more control by using a small scissor rather than a large one. Make sure they’re not dull, and that they’re sharp.

The benefit of using the clipping method for your dog’s nails is that if they are afraid, you can swiftly trim one or two claws, praise and reward them for good behavior, and then trim another nail or two later in the day or even the next day. There is no need to prepare anything for the operation.

Grinding Dog Nails

Dog nail grinding

Some pet owners choose to use a grinding tool for their pets, such as a nail Dremel. This type of trimming could be immensely effective, though it does require completing the work more often when using a grinder. However, many dogs seem relaxed around the tool. Investigating this approach might be beneficial for your pet as well. Before purchasing a dog nail Dremel, speak with those who have used the procedure and inquire about the best rotary tool for dog nails.

A grinding tool, rather than a clipper, may offer a smoother finish to the nail and works well on thick nails. Working with black-nail dogs reduces the risk of striking the quick because owners believe they have more control over the cutting procedure. It takes longer than clipping, and some dogs dislike the tool’s vibration. It’s crucial to remember that the Dremel warms up and can heat up the nail, causing discomfort if you’re not careful.

A grinding session requires a little more setup than a clipping session. The grinder should be charged or plugged in and put in an area where your dog may relax, such as on a comfortable mat in the sun. You should also bring scissors in case you need to trim the fur around the nails. If your dog’s long fur gets caught in the spinning attachment, he’ll be terrified of it for the rest of his life. Keep an eye out for the pads of your feet as well.

Which is Best?

The ideal tool to utilize is one that makes this important grooming process stress-free for your four-legged buddy. The approach you use is determined by your dog. Is it simple to groom them in general? Do they have the ability to remain motionless and patient?

Dog nail length

Clipping Tips

The session will become simpler as you and your companion become accustomed to a short trim on a frequent basis.

  • As you trim the nails, use your fingers to separate your dog’s toes.
  • Trim often, every two weeks, to make the work simpler.
  • To ensure that your dog is weary and satisfied, exercise them first.
  • After each session, you will be pampered and praised.

The scissor approach and the grinding method are both efficient methods for nail trimming. Always keep a styptic pencil available to stop bleeding fast if you accidentally strike the quick. In this situation, give them a treat and don’t make a big deal about it. Make a habit of rubbing your pet’s feet and manipulating their nails while snuggling them on the couch while watching a movie to desensitize them to touch.

Dog Nail Grinder vs Clipper: Which to Choose?

Is there a clickity click sound coming from your kitchen floor? It might be an indication that your dog’s nails are in dire need of trimming!

Owners who wish to cut their dog’s nails at home may find it difficult to decide how they want to accomplish it. Should they use a dog nail grinder or a traditional clipper? In the argument between a dog nail grinder and a dog nail clipper, which is better?

We’ll go over a few different sorts of dog nail clipping tools that owners may use, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of each instrument to help you determine which is ideal for your dog!

Clippers & Grinders: Types of Tools

Dog nail trimming tools exist in a variety of shapes and sizes, and they may be used in a variety of ways.


dog nail trims

Guillotine Nail Clippers

Owners of guillotine clippers insert the dog’s nail into a hole and press the handle, allowing a single blade to slice down across the hole and chop off the extra nail.

Because the guillotine technique isn’t generally powerful enough to cut huge, thick nails, this clipper is best for small to medium canines. To keep the blades sharp, they must be replaced on a regular basis.

Scissor Clippers

Scissor dog nail clippers (also known as Miller’s Forge clippers) function in the same way as scissors do. Small, circular indentations on the blades are where you’ll place your dog’s nails for cutting.

This design allows for a lot of force, so it’s ideal for dogs with larger nails. The handles, on the other hand, may not be suitable for people with arthritis.


Grinders grind down your dog’s nails with a small revolving piece of material (similar to sand paper).

These grooming tools, sometimes known as “dremels,” are powered by electricity and employ friction to wear down a dog’s nails.

Dog Nail Clippers: Pros & Cons

dog nail clippers


Quick & Quiet is a combination of the words “quick” and “quiet”. When compared to the buzz of nail grinders, which can often startle dogs, nail cutters are quiet. The procedure of clipping your dog’s nails takes only a second, so it can be completed in the blink of an eye.

Cheap. Dog nail clippers are typically inexpensive, and owning a pair doesn’t cost too much. However, don’t go too cheap; it’s worth it to invest a little extra in a high-end clipper from a respected brand. Cheaper clippers will not do the job, will not be sharp, and will be more likely to harm your pet.

There is no electricity. Nail clippers are manual tools that do not require batteries or power to operate.


Easy to Cut Quick. It’s quite simple to cut into the quick of your dog’s nail if you’re not cautious, causing discomfort and blood. After you’ve cut into your dog’s nail quick, they won’t want you to trim their nails again!

Pinching is a possibility. Another big drawback of dog nail clippers is that they can pinch and squeeze your dog’s quick, causing pain and suffering even if you don’t cut into the quick.

Breakage of the nails. Nail clippers, while uncommon, can cause your dog’s nails to break or fracture in rare circumstances. To avoid this, ensure your clippers are always sharp (more of an issue with guillotine-style clippers).

Dog Nail Grinders: Pros & Cons

On the Grind Dog Nail Trimming


Good for dogs that are afraid of clippers. If you’ve tried dog nail clippers before and your dog freaked out, grinders provide a second opportunity – you could have more luck persuading your dog to cooperate with a grinder.

Nails that are rounded and smooth. One of the most important features of a grinder is that it can smooth and round your dog’s nails. This is far preferable to the harsh edges that nail clippers leave behind. Rounded nails prevent your dog from snagging on carpeting, which is especially useful for dogs who scratch or jump up on their owners (smooth nails don’t do nearly as much harm to furniture or your skin).

Excellent for Thick Nails. Dog nail grinders are particularly useful for dogs who have big, thick nails that are tough to trim.


You could still Hit the Quick. Even with grinders, owners might hit their dog’s nail quick by accident. Grinders make it simpler to avoid, since you can keep an eye on the nail as you grind and look for the little dot that indicates you’re approaching the quick and should stop.

Loud (And Sometimes Scary). Dog nail grinders can be noisy and might startle your dog, especially if they aren’t used to hearing such noises.

Odor & Dust.. When a dog’s nails are ground, they produce dust and stink. As a result, it’s ideal if you grind your dog’s nails outside. You should also consider using a mouth mask and eye protection.

Dog Nail Grinder vs Clipper: Which Is Best For You?

nail clipping

When it comes to the dog nail grinding vs. clipping argument, the optimal option will be determined by your dog’s disposition as well as your grooming expertise.

If your dog is afraid of loud noises, you may want to avoid using a grinder and instead use clippers. If you do decide to use a clipper, do it gently and just trim a small portion of your nail once a week.

When you cut a tiny piece of your nail, the quick begins to withdraw from the nail edge, allowing you to clip more the next week. If you trim a significant amount of nails at once, though, you risk cutting into your dog nail quick. Trust me. That won’t sit well with them.

More suggestions and nail cutting information may be found on our page on how often to cut a dog’s nails.

Even if you elect to use a dog nail clipper to cut your pooch’s nails, a grinder may be used to smooth off the nails in some situations.

Do you prefer to use dog nail grinders or clippers on your dog’s nails? Why do you choose one nail trimmer over another? Let us know what you think in the comments!

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