What Are The Different Types of Dog Nail Clippers?

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Are you interested in trimming your dog’s nails yourself? If so, it’s important to first know about the four different types of dog nail clippers available so that you can choose the one that you feel will most comfortable with and will do the best job of trimming your dog’s nails. There are four types of dog nail clippers – guillotine style, scissors style, pliers style, and Peticure or Dremel-style.

Guillotine-Style Dog Nail Clippers

The first type of dog nail clippers is the guillotine-style clipper.

This name comes from the fact that the trimmer works sort of like a guillotine. It has a stationary ring through which the nail is placed, and a cutting blade that moves up to slice off the nail when you squeeze the trimmer’s handles.

The advantage of guillotine-style clippers:

guillotine-style clippers is that they normally have replaceable blades, so you don’t to buy a new clipper when the blade one wears out. This means the clipper will cut the dog’s nails cleanly every time and not crush them.

Here are two of the more popular guillotine-style dog nail clippers:

-Drs. Foster and Smith Nail Clipper Kit

Includes clippers, nail file and free extra tension spring and blade.

-Master Tools Guillotine Style Dog Nail Trimmer

The manufacturer of this trimmer reports says that it has extra-sharp blades and optimal leverage to cut through the thickest nails easily.

Plus, its handles have textured, rubber grips to reduce hand fatigue.

Scissors-Style Dog Nail Clippers

A scissors type dog nail clippers work just the way you would imagine.

They have two scissor-like notched blades which surround and cut through the nail as you push the handles together. The biggest advantage of these clippers is cost; they are relatively inexpensive.

The disadvantage

is that they should be used only for light jobs such as for small dogs, especially toy breeds. And when the blades get dull, you will have to replace the complete clipper.

Two of the more popular scissors-type clippers are:

Dogmatic Comfort Clipper Large Scissors Style
The manufacturer says that they are made of only the best components, including Japanese stainless steel blades and durable rubberized anti-slip grips.

Coastal Lil Pals Grooming Tools Trimmer
The manufacturer of this product promotes it as perfect for clipping the nails of small dogs.

Pliers-Style Dog Nail Clippers

Pliers type trimmers work much like pruning shears. They have two notched blades that surround and cut through the nail as you squeeze the handles together. Some dog owners favor this style because it allows them to see exactly where the blade will cut through the nail. Also, pliers-style nail clippers work great on large dogs with thick nails.

Two examples of pliers-style nail clippers are:

JW GripSoft Deluxe Nail Clippers
This clipper is said to have a cutting guard that reduces the chance of cutting nails too short, plus easy to grip and hold handles.
(for small- and medium-sized dogs)

Millers Forge Big Dog Nail Clipper
PetSmart describes this clipper as “A high quality, European-made, professional clipper”. They are made of stainless steel and have a positive lock, and non-slip handles.

Dremel-style Dog Nail Clippers

The fourth type, the Peticure or Dermal-style cutter, is fairly new. It uses a rotating file that shaves away the top of the dog’s nails. Some dog owners prefer this type of nail clipper because it gives greater control when trimming the dog’s nails and generally eliminates the risk of cutting the nail’s quick, causing pain and bleeding. The biggest disadvantage of these clippers is cost – they are simply more expensive than other types of clippers.

Here are two examples of Dremel-style clippers:

Dremel 761-03 Cordless Pet Nail Grooming Rotary Tool
This cordless nail grooming tool has two speeds of 7,000 and 14,000 rpm. It is said to be a quick and easy way to trim the dog’s nails with rotary action. It comes with 5 grinding drums and a wrench for changing the drums.

Battery Operated Pedi Care Pet Nail Trimmer
The Pedi Care Trimmer files nails off with a rotating head. It features a silent motorized operation. It is said to be great for small to medium sized dogs and eliminates cracked, splintered and broken nails.

Safety-type Dog Nail Clippers

In addition to these four styles of dog nail trimmers there is a type of trimmer with a built-in safety feature – a sensor that will tell you where the quick is so you can avoid cutting into it. Examples of safety-type trimmers are:

Miracle Coat QuickFinder Deluxe Safety Nail Clipper
This scissors-type nail clipper has a sensor that detects the dog’s quick to make sure you don’t accidentally cut into it. The Miracle Coat Clipper comes with an instructional DVD.

QuickFinder Safety Nail Clipper
This clipper utilizes QuickSensor Technology that senses your pet’s quick (nerve and blood vessel inside the nail) and gives visual cues as to when it is safe and when it is not safe to begin clipping. Available for small, medium and large dogs.

Which Type Of Dog Nail Clippers Would Be Best For You?

Choosing between the four types of dog nail clippers will depend on :

  1. your personal preference.
  2. level of skill and how much you’re willing to spend on nail clippers for your dog.

If you haven’t much experience in dog nail trimming, your best bet might be a Dremel-style trimmer or one of the trimmers with built-in sensor technology.

On the other hand, if you have some experience in trimming your dog’s nails, then a guillotine-style or pliers-style nail trimmer would probably be the best dog nail clippers for you.

Whichever you choose, just be sure to take it easy and trim carefully to make sure you do not hurt the dog.


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