Dog Nail Clippers vs. Grinders

July 31, 2019 11:08 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

It’s important to stay on top of trimming your dog’s nails, especially if you’re starting to hear clicking on your floors as your dog walks through your home. Of course, exactly how you choose to trim your dog’s nails might be a matter of some internal debate for you. You might choose to use a classic nail clipper, or you could opt for a dog nail grinder. But which is the better option of the two?

Here’s a quick overview from our dog groomers in Henderson, NV of a few of the most common varieties of these tools, and the pros and cons that come with each of them.

Scissor clippers

Scissor-style nail clippers feature small, round indentations on the blade, where you position the dog’s nail to be cut. This allows for a significant amount of force, meaning larger dogs with thicker nails can have their nails cut with this type of clipper.

Because of the extra force required to clip nails with this style of clipper, it might not be an ideal solution for people who have arthritis or other conditions that diminish grip strength.

Guillotine clippers

These clippers involve the owner placing the dog’s nail through a small hole and then squeezing the handle, at which point a blade slices across the hole and cuts off the excess nail poking through. This kind of blade is most commonly used and recommended for smaller and medium-sized dogs. Generally, the blade in the guillotine is not going to be strong enough to cut the thicker nails on larger dogs.

Keep in mind that if you use this type of clipper, you just periodically need to replace the blade to make sure it stays sharp and cuts the nail rather than breaking it.


Grinders are much different than clippers. Rather than slicing the nail at a certain point, they use a rotating material that grinds the dog’s nails down, very similar to sandpaper. In fact, you may have a similar tool that you use for other DIY projects around your house—it’s called a “Dremel tool” or “rotary tool.”

Grinders are powered by electricity, and use friction to gradually wear down a dog’s nail. Grinders are good for dogs that might have anxiety about the usage of clippers, or if you really want to get rounded, smoother nails. They’re also beneficial for thicker nails that are more difficult to cut. However, they can be loud, especially when you compare them to the naturally quiet clippers, and they also result in a little bit of dust and odor, meaning it’s best that you use the grinder outside.

For more information about how you can choose between grinders versus clippers for trimming your dog’s nails, and the pros and cons associated with each option, we encourage you to contact the team of dog groomers in Henderson, NV at The Soggy Dog. We’d be happy to answer any questions or address any concerns you may have. Come see us today to get the assistance you need!

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