Is the Dog Nail Grinder the Ultimate Dog Nailcare Tool?

Is the Dog Nail Grinder the Ultimate Dog Nailcare Tool?
March 20, 2019

 In this article, we will be addressing the age-old dog nail grinder vs dog nail clippers debate. There are pros and cons to using both of the tools, and remember, what works best for one dog won’t necessarily be what is best for all dogs!

We’ll run you through some impartial advice to help you to decide which option is the best for you!

However, if your dog is incredibly averse to having their nails trimmed there are always professional groomers on hand to help you! Don’t see this as the easy way out. Your dog will need to be groomed, whether they like it or not. Allowing the professionals to give a helping hand is advisable to maintain a healthy relationship with your dog and make the experience as enjoyable as possible for your dog.

Remember that it is your responsibility to stay on top of grooming, not because it’s nice to have a perfectly turned out pet. But you must also take into consideration that it can get pretty painful for a dog if their nails aren’t adequately trimmed.

Most dogs are perfectly capable of grinding their own nails down through exercise, but this can be tricky for inactive or older pets who don’t get quite as much exercise.

As well as the coat and their teeth, it is essential that you look after their nails to prevent them from overgrowing and cracking! Remember there is a nerve that runs through a dog’s nail – if a nail cracks this could be extremely uncomfortable for them!

Aside from going to the groomers, you have two options; clippers or grinders. We’ll run you through what you should choose now! But remember, whichever tool you use, you should always aim to make your cut 2mm away from the blood vessel in the nail which is also referred to as a quick. This can be tricky if your dog has black nails – if this is the case, we’d probably advise that you asked for professional help.

 There are multiple different tools which you can buy at the pet store or online to help you cut your dogs nails. Do NOT use average household scissors. They are simply not cut out for the job (in a very literal sense).

However, there are nail scissors for dogs which look like traditional scissors, they are designed for purpose and will reduce the risk of you causing injury to the dog.

Your second option is to choose trimmers which look more liked pliers, you’ll be able to get a good grip with the plastic handles and make sure that you make the cut you intended due to the special crescent-shaped blades. These plier-shaped clippers are especially recommended for larger dogs who will have thicker and bigger nails.

Finally, you can opt for a guillotine clipping tool, which gives you a tiny little hole to slot your dog’s nail through, by using the handle you will be able to drop the blade slicing the tip of the nail. This clipping tool is most suited for small to medium-sized dogs. Make sure you take into account your dog’s size before you make your purchase and ensure that your dog’s nail is suited to the clipper.


  • Quick and easy to use – it is as quick as cutting your own nails!
  • The clippers won’t make any noise which may make your pet uncomfortable. Some dog breeds are incredibly averse to buzzing or vibrating sounds.
  • Cost, in comparison, to nail grinders the clippers are much cheaper to buy, they are also fairly common and could be found in any supermarket.
  • You’ll never have to worry about powering the electronic grinder.


  • There is always the risk of a little accident when you are clipping your dog’s nails when using scissors, pliers or a guillotine. This is a big concern for anyone whose dog can get a little bit wriggly! An accident can happen at any time when you make the cut and your dog moves their paw away from you. If this happens, it is very unlikely that your dog will allow you to cut their nails again – they WILL remember it. 
  • If you are cutting your dog’s nails with old or blunt clippers, there is always the risk that they won’t be sharp enough to make an effective cut. Blunt blades have the potential to cause quite a lot of pain to your dog as it causes a squeezing or pinching sensation as you press down.
  • If your dog’s nails are in poor shape, using clippers may cause your dog’s nails to crack under the pressure. This is why it is important for you to thoroughly check the condition of your dog’s nails before you do anything to them.


Dog Nail Grinders work in a completely different way from dog nail clippers. They help to trim the dog’s nails by offering a spinning abrasive surface which can be held to the tip of your dog’s nail until you see the desired effect. Remember that’s no less than 2mm away from the quick!

Dog nail grinders don’t work all that fast, so you won’t risk taking off too much of the nail! The grinding is done very gradually, the process can take quite a while, similar to how long it would take for a piece of sandpaper to wear down timber.

Of course, there are plenty of different dog nail grinders on the market, and no two of them are the same. Currently, the leading manufacturers of dog nail clippers are Dremel, Oster, Furminator and Amir Gentle Paws. So, always make sure the model that you choose is well suited to your dog!

You’ll need to check how the grinder is powered, the level of noise emitted, the power in the motor, and that it is the right size for your dog’s nails.


  • The main selling point for dog nail grinders is how safe they are to use. There is very minimal risk of damage or injury which can potentially put your dog off having their nails looked at ever again!
  • Getting through thick dog nails can be har with clippers, if this is the case, you will find it much easier to use the grinders.
  • As we mentioned before, grinders are better suited for dogs with black nails which don’t allow you to see where the quick is.
  • Another great reason to invest in grinders is that your dog’s nails will be perfectly smooth and rounded after the cut. This means that they are much less likely to cause injury to themselves when scratching or to you or your home!


  • If you opt for a high-end model of dog nail trimmer, you will have to expect to spend a fairly pretty penny on them! But buying from a high-quality retailer should mean that you’ll get to use them for years and years to come – so think of them as an investment.
  • The buzzing noise emitted from the grinders may cause distress to some dogs, so if your dog is the kind of dog which gets freaked out by the hoover, a blender, or the hair dryer, it is likely that it won’t take too kindly to the nail grinder.
  • We do really have to mention at this point that when you’re grinding your dog’s nails this might not smell all too great! This is hardly a serious negative, but we thought it would be better to warn you!
  • If used for extended amounts of time these tools can soon heat up – so if you’re planning on cutting more than one dog’s nails you might want to give the grinder a rest between cuts.

To sum up,
 Cutting your dogs nails is essential if they are unable to grind them down through exercise, so, even though both of the tools have cons, you’ll need to choose from one of the above options. Depending on the health and size of your dog’s nails the best option is different for everyone! At least now you’re able to make an informed choice on which tool to buy!

And remember, you can always use the two tools together. You will be able to make the initial cut with the clippers then grind them down and smooth them out with the grinders.