The 10 Best Pet Nail Grinders
This wiki has been updated 34 times since it was first published in October of 2015. Overly-long nails can be a health hazard for your pet, make it hard to walk on hard floors, and can result in damage to furniture. But if you've ever tried to clip a nervous dog's claws, let alone a cat, then you know what a challenge that can be. These powered grinders are gentle and allow for a precision job, so you can keep your furry friends well groomed without stressing them out. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
July 10, 2020:
While examining our previous recommendations during this latest update, we found that we can still stand behind nearly all of our choices. In fact, the only model we felt the need to elminate was the UrPower NG-012 because there were simply too many complaints of it not holding a charge well and being underpowered for grinding down thick nails.
We replaced the above model with the Andis 65915, which comes from a well-respected company that is know for making barber-quality hair clippers, and that premium manufacturing has carried over into their nail grinders. You may notice that we also included a corded model from the same company, the Andis EasyClip. This latter option would probably be a better choice for professional groomers who don't have the time to wait for a battery-powered model to charge throughout the day.
Since electric nail grinders are very similar to hair clippers regarding how they work, it may be no surprise that you see familiar brands across both product categories. And just like names like Andis, Oster, Conair, and Wahl make produce good quality machines that work well for hair, they do so with electric nail grinders too, which is why they make up the majority of our list.
When it comes to power, it shouldn't be a surprise that the Dremel 7300 and Dremel Pawcontrol 7760 really stand out. After all, this brand also makes what are arguably the best rotary tools. If they make machines that can power through concrete, wood, and metal, there is no doubt their grinders can handle nails with ease.
July 11, 2019:
Cutting a pet's nails with traditional clippers can be traumatic for both the animal and the owner. Anybody who has ever accidentally cut the quick and caused profuse bleeding knows what we are talking about. Because of this, many owners have decided to switch to nail grinders. While they may be a little scary to dogs at first, most will get used to them rather quickly, and they practically eliminate the chance of hurting your animal.
If you have multiple pets of different sizes, it is a smart idea to buy a model with more than one speed setting, like the Dremel 7300, Oster Gentle Paws, Oster Professional 650-001, Dremel Pawcontrol 7760, Andis EasyClip, and Wahl Ultimate. This allows you to use the faster setting on larger dogs that have thick nails, and the slower speed on small animals. Of these options, the Oster Professional 650-001, Dremel Pawcontrol 7760, and Wahl Ultimate offer the most adjustability. However, the Dremel 7300 is consistently one of the top choices by groomers and home users, so you definitely won't go wrong purchasing this model.
For professional groomers, we recommend a corded model so that you don't have to worry about running out of juice midway through the day. Of the corded options on our list, the Oster Professional 650-001 is definitely our favorite. It comes with multiple bands in different grits and has a variable speed dial. If the reason you are cutting your pet's nails yourself is because you are tight on cash, then the budget-friendly Oster Gentle Paws is a good option. Simply combine it with a low-cost pet clipper and you can handle all of your pet's grooming at home.
GentlePaws Quiet Nail As the name implies, the GentlePaws Quiet Nail is good choice for use with skittish animals that are scared of loud or unusual sounds. It has a sturdy brass shaft and reliable motor that should allow it to stand up to plenty of use, and its battery lasts for roughly two hours on a full charge. baxternbellapetshop.com
Why Grinders Are Better Than Clippers
Grinders also eliminate the chances of cracking the nail, which can be quite painful for a pet.
Nail grinders can be a safe alternative to clippers for pet owners because they file down the nail in a slow, gradual manner. Nail clippers reduce the length in one, quick motion but they come with the risk of accidentally cutting a pet’s cuticle bed, which can cause immense pain and bleeding.
While most vets and trained animal medical professionals know exactly where the cuticle bed is, it is very hard for pet owners to locate. Bringing one’s pet to the doctor every time it needs a nail trim is costly and time-consuming so many animal lovers are turning to grinders.
Nail grinders also provide a smooth tip, whereas clippers can leave sharp edges. When a pet’s nails are sharp, it can easily cause damage to floors, carpets, and furniture, as well as its owner. If a pet owner has sensitive skin or lives with a child, keeping their animal’s nails smooth is the responsible thing to do to prevent accidental scratches and cuts. Pets provide several health benefits to the elderly, but if their nails are rough and jagged, they can also tear the fragile skin of an older person.
Grinders are more pleasant for pets, too. Clippers can put too much pressure on an animal’s nails, as well as create a loud, cracking sound that causes anxiety in pets. People who use clippers often report that their pets are afraid when they bring the tool out. Grinders, however, are relatively quiet, and apply only a mild amount of pressure to an animal’s nails, reducing a pet’s anxiety around the tools. Grinders also eliminate the chances of cracking the nail, which can be quite painful for a pet.
Features To Consider
When dealing with a sensitive pet, look for a grinder that has adjustable speeds. This gives a person the option of putting their grinder on the lowest setting so that it’s quiet and gentle, making it less frightening for the animal. Even with a grinder one has to be aware of the cuticle bed, which is difficult to spot. A grinder with an LED light will illuminate the nail bed as the pet owner works, so they can know when to stop grinding.
Some pet owners prefer to grind their animal’s nails outdoors to prevent a mess inside.
For pets with extra thick nails, a high-speed grinder might be the best choice. Unfortunately, any time the tool is set to high speeds, one runs the risk of losing control of it, which can cause damage to the user or the pet. If you require a high-speed grinder, look for one that has rubber pads, which will give you a firmer grip and better command of the tool. Multi-pet households can save money by purchasing a grinder that can support various sized sanding drums. This allows a pet owner to trim the nails of small and large animals with the same device.
Some pet owners prefer to grind their animal’s nails outdoors to prevent a mess inside. Those individuals might consider a cordless, battery-powered grinder so they can work anywhere without worrying about a power source. Some grinders come with a rechargeable battery that can be charged while inside the device, similar to an electrical toothbrush. This can be more convenient that having to constantly remove and charge a battery pack.
People who put their animals in pedigree dog shows need grinders that come with attachments capable of creating perfectly rounded or shaped nails as this is something judges will look at.
Causes Of Brittle Pet Nails
In order for grinding to be successful, an animal has to have strong, healthy nails. Otherwise, the nail may shatter when pressure is applied. Brittle nails are a common problem among pets, but they are treatable. One cause of the condition is Onychomycosis, which is a fungal infection of the claw folds and nail bed. This infection typically causes pets to continuously lick their paws and carries symptoms like redness, swelling, and limping. A vet can diagnose Onychomycosis and prescribe an antifungal medication.
It’s important that a pet gets enough zinc and omega 3 fatty acids in its diet.
Animals can develop tumors in their nail bed and surrounding areas, which can result in weak nails. Carcinomas in any part of a pet’s body usually need to be removed so they don’t spread to other regions. If one’s pet has particularly brittle nails, regular bleeding around the paws and seems very sensitive to anybody touching its feet, they should bring their animal to the vet. Only a trained medical professional can identify if a pet has tumors, and how severe they are.
Just like humans, animals are susceptible to yeast infections. When Candida albicans yeast attacks an animal, it can affect its mouth, nose, ears, intestines and other organs. Symptoms of a Candida albicans infections include constipation, itching, rashes and fragile nails. Should a vet determine that a pet has this condition, they’ll likely prescribe a topical antifungal treatment like Miconazole or Ketoconazole.
Poor nutrition can also harm a pet’s nails. It’s important that a pet gets enough zinc and omega 3 fatty acids in its diet. These play a crucial role in maintaining healthy nails, as well as other parts of an animal’s body like its fur and eyes. A holistic vet can recommend a pet food that can help an animal's specific needs and conditions.