Nail Grinders vs Nail Scissors

When it comes to trimming nails there are two tools we can use to get the job done: Clippers or Grinders, but how do you choose which tool to use? Read on to find out where you should be using Nail Grinders vs Nail Scissors!


Nail Scissor / Nail Clippers

The blade has a small round indentation in them – this is where you place the dog’s nail. This style of clipper allows a large amount of force, making them good for dogs with larger nails.


Quick and Quiet – the buzz of nail grinders can frighten some anxious dogs. Clippers take just a second, so the process can be over in the blink of an eye.

No Electricity – don’t require batteries or electricity.

Cheap – The affordable option, but don’t skimp too much on the price – cheaper, flimsy clippers won’t be sharp and could hurt the dog!


Easily cut the quick – it’s very easy to cut the quick and cause discomfort and bleeding. This can also be a cause for distress the next time you approach the dog with nail clippers!

Pinching – if you don’t cut the quick, it’s possible that the Clippers could pinch it and cause an equal amount of discomfort.

Nail Breaking/Splitting – nail clippers can cause the nails to split/crack, although this is very uncommon. Always make sure your clippers are sharp to prevent the risk of this happening!


Nail Grinder (Dremels)

An electrically powered tool used to wear down the nail using friction. A small rotating head like sandpaper is used to grind down the nail.


Avoid Nail Clipper Anxiety – if your dog has a previous bad experience with nail clipping, a nail grinder might be your second chance!

Smooth Nails – Clipping the nails can leave sharp edges which can scratch and increase the likelihood of splitting. The grinder is perfect for leaving smooth, round nails – which will do less damage to the dog, you and your furniture!

Great for Large Breeds – Great for dogs who have large, thick nails which can be difficult to clip using clippers.


Can still hit the Quick – You can still cause discomfort by hitting the quick of the nail, although it is much easier to avoid using the grinder than clippers!

Loud – Grinders can be fairly loud and scare dogs who are especially not fond of loud noises.

Dusty – It’s a dusty business with the grinder, so it’s a good idea to grind nails outside or use a mask to prevent inhaling the fine dust.



Ultimately the best option is what is best for the dog you are grooming! It is a good idea to have both tools in your arsenal to accommodate every dog. Using a grinder can help grow your confidence as a groomer as every dog will have a different quick length.