If you’re a dog owner, you’ll know that there are several important actions you need to take to keep your pooch healthy, happy and safe and to maximise their life expectancy. Nail grooming is essential and also filing keeps your dog looking great.
Nails are one of those things which can make dog owners nervous at first, mainly because they worry about cutting too deep into the ‘quick’. Dog nail grinders are one option, especially for larger dogs with thicker nails.
Whether you’re a proud Labrador owner or more of a Collie person, there’s one tool essential for proper dog care, and that is a nail grinder.
In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at why dog nail grinders are such an essential part of canine care, what to look for when buying a nail grinder for your pooch, and some of the best dog nail grinder options currently available to purchase.
|Dremel 7020-PGK Pet Nail Grinder, Quiet Electric Dog Nail File Care Set with 4 Sanding Discs, Safe...||Buy on Amazon|
An all in one kit for grinding and filing your dogs nails. The Dremel is fairly easy to use, features a variety of speeds and does a good job. It is perhaps better suited to those with some experience, so if you’re a first time user – you may want to check out other options covered in this article.
What Are Nail Grinders?
Nail grinders, also called ‘dremels’ are an alternative method for nail clippers that are safer and more comfortable for your pooch.
This type of grooming tool is designed to prevent your dog’s claws/nails from growing too long and catching on things, as well as keeping them clean and healthy.
Doggie nail grinders work in a similar way to dremels in a DIY situation, from which they evolved — using a rapid circular motion driven by a motor (usually battery-powered), the grinder files down the nail in a similar way to a sander.
Why Use Nail Grinders on your Dog?
Some dog owners find dog nail clippers fiddly to use (or even rather tough when your dog has a thicker nail), and if you don’t have a particularly steady hand or your dog is the wriggly, active type, it can pose the risk of cutting the nail too short and even causing your pooch to bleed.
No one wants a sore pup, so a nail grinder which operates in a completely different way can save your pooch the pain and you the stress of a clipper.
Even if you’ve never hurt your dog with nail clippers, they may have had a bad experience with clipping in the past, and so the sight of the clippers could upset them and cause them to get jittery.
If this is the case, introducing them to a nail grinder can be a great way to get the job done without stressing out your beloved four-legged friend or accidentally cutting to the quick.
Nail grinders are also particularly useful for safely grinding nails down on a dark-clawed dog, as this can make it hard to get it right with nail clippers.
What Are The Pros and Cons of a Nail Grinder?
Nail grinders may not be the best choice for every dog or their owner. Filing overall is a great alternative to clipping – but what are the advantages and disadvantages:
Advantages of Nail Grinders
- Gives your dog a smooth finish. Smooth nails stop things catching on them. For example, our cavalier suffered from allergies and would scratch his neck on occasion. Unfiled nails which are sharp would scratch the skin.
- Can be a better experience for both owners and their dogs. Grinders are a gradual grooming, while clipping are very sudden and dramatic. If the owner is not confident or your dog is easily startled – it can be quite a stressful experience.
- It helps prevent damage to the nail. Whether greatly reducing the change of cutting into the quick, or cracking the nails – grinding is a lot more controlled than normal clipping.
Disadvantages of Nail Grinders
- The noise can be unsettling to your dog. Some grinders can be quite loud, especially if you have a large dog with thicker nails which needs a bit more “oomph”. Gradually introduce the grinder to save a negative experience (see next section for more).
- The experience can still be intimidating. Unfortunately there’s no easy way to trim a dog’s nails if they are particularly anxious. Though clipping can be more alarming than grinding and filing, there’s no one method to completely reduce the anxiety felt by a nervous dog.
- It can be a little messy. Because you’re grinding the nail, there may be friction smells of bits of nail. Try not to be to close (to stop getting anything in your eye) or, if necessarily, do the grinding outdoors (many are battery powered for such reasons).
What to Look for in a Nail Grinder
While often regarded as safer and more effective than traditional clippers, dog toenail grinders do have their drawbacks, and these should be taken into consideration when choosing the right one for your pooch.
First of all, the fact that they are motor-powered means that they can be quite noisy, which can be quite alarming for your dog. Therefore, choosing a grinder that offers a low decibel range is an excellent place to start.
You also want to consider the vibrations caused by the grinding, as some dogs may be spooked by this too. You must shop around a bit before settling on a grinder to ensure you get the right one for your dog.
How to Use a Nail Grinder
- It takes most dogs a little while to be acclimated to the noise and vibrations of a nail grinder, so you’ll probably need to spend a while getting them used to the new experience.
- Using a nail grinder is very easy, once you’ve got the hang of it.
- Once a week or so, sit with your dog’s paw in your lap and slowly use the grinder to grind a small amount of the nail, being sure to move it over the tip in a sweeping motion. This will give a smooth, rounded finish to the nail and prevent it from catching on things.
- Ensure your dog is sitting or lying comfortably while you do the grinding, as this will minimise stress over the situation.
- While using, it’s normal for the grinder to heat up, so don’t do it for extended periods – perform in small bursts until your dog’s nails are suitably shortened.
- If your dog has long hair around the paw, move the hair away from the nails before grooming.
- The bigger and older the dog – the thicker the nails usually are. Keep this in mind when making your nail grooming selection.
- Clean the grinding wheel after use.
- Remember to get your dog used to the sound of the grinder first – quiet motor products can help with this.
- Keep treats handy – it helps!
Our Top 9 Best Dog Nail Grinders
1. Dremel Pet Grooming Kit
|Dremel 7020-PGK Pet Nail Grinder, Quiet Electric Dog Nail File Care Set with 4 Sanding Discs, Safe...||Buy on Amazon|
The price is slightly higher than some alternatives, but you’re getting a lot for your money.
Easily grind and shape your pet’s nails and give a smooth finish to reduce hangnails and catching.
Easily adjust the speed and replace the sanding discs depending on the job at hand, and the Dremel kit also runs on rechargeable batteries, so you can take it with you wherever you go.
This versatile grinder works just as well on small dogs as it does on larger pooches, and is designed to run without too much noise to avoid startling your pet; however, we’ve found that it still makes a lot of noise which can be off-putting for some dog owners.
Also, although easy to operate once set up, this particular model is quite challenging to initially put together, which is another factor to consider when choosing the best dog nail grinder for your pooch.
Online this has great dog nail grinder reviews – so it’s one to check out.
2. Pecute Dog Nail Grinder
|pecute Dog Nail Grinders 50DB Ultra Quiet, Strong Motor Large Electric Dog Nail File Pet Claw...||Buy on Amazon|
We did an in-depth hands-on review of this grinder on our Great Dane. If you have a medium to large dog breed this is one of the best entry level grinders we’ve found. It’s certainly well suited to the more robust, thicker nails found on bigger dogs.
It arrives in a very compact box and with the grinder already charged. Included in the box was the nail grinder, a USB charging cable and a user guide which included some handy hints and tips.
To use, remove the lid and then the removable (twist and turn) grinder cover. Sliding the on off switch up to level one starts the motor you can instantly hear it’s quieter than a lot of grinders out there. The 50DB (50 decibels) meant that the device is super quiet and has a low vibration level, so neither you nor your pooch gets a headache while using it.
The diamond grinding tip makes it easy to get the exact look of the nail you want, and slowly grind off excess nail bit by bit until you have a beautiful smooth finish.
Pecute also offers a one-year warranty on any faults, which isn’t as generous as some (certain brands offer a lifetime guarantee), but it’s still worth noting.
The Pecute’s design also makes it very comfortable to hold and therefore easy to use on your pet. Saying that, constant vibration on your hand can get a little tiresome, so you may want to take a break between paws to save your hands going numb.
This grinder is an excellent option for those on a medium to low budget at a very reasonable price who want a tool that does the job without too many added frills.
- An easy to use grinder for medium and large breed dogs
- Two rotary speeds (6000rpm and 6800rpm)
- A quieter motor than many other grinders
- Better suited for medium and large breed dogs
- Multiple speeds for thicker nails
- Included USB cable makes it easy to charge
- A lot quieter than most nail grinders
- Handle is a little small and smooth for gripping
- Not as powerful as other brands so may take longer to do all nails
3. Casfuy Dog Nail Grinder
|Casfuy Dog Nail Grinder Upgraded - Professional 2-Speed Electric Rechargeable Pet Nail Trimmer...||Buy on Amazon|
This is a rechargeable, two-speed electric grinder uses a diamond drum bit grinder for a precise cut and smooth finish.
One of our favorite things about this dog nail grinder is that it is low noise – the sound output is under 50db.
This is a two speed model which lets you slow down the grinder the closer you get to your dog’s quick.
The charge lasts for around two hours of use and takes roughly three hours to recharge to full power. This is all using a USB cable.
Overall, an easy to use, affordable and very compact dog nail grinder.
4. Furminator Nail Grinder
|Furminator Nail Grinder Professional Grooming Tool for Pets, 8" L||Buy on Amazon|
With a powerful motor in a compact, lightweight body, this grinder is an excellent option for those who want something small, effective and affordable.
Equipped with an auto-safe guard and an easy-grip handle, the grinder is safe and easy to use on your pooch without fear of hurting them or cutting the nail too short.
Nothing short of a bargain, this grinder offers everything you could want without the bulk or high price tag, and there’s no cord to get in the way when you’re using it either.
Included are two strips for grinding, and the whole model is made from super hygienic plastic so you can keep it wiped clean with ease, and reduce the risk of infection in your pooch.
The only negative point we have to raise about this offering from Furminator is that it is pretty loud, which could be distressing for your pet and irritating for you when using.
5. Oster Gentle Paws Dog and Cat Nail Grinder [USA]
|Oster Gentle Paws Less Stress Dog and Cat Nail Grinder, 2 Speed (078129-600-000)||Buy on Amazon|
Designed with the safety and comfort of your pet in mind, this is an excellent alternative to traditional clippers and can be used on both a dog and a cat to get nice, smooth nails that won’t catch on anything.
The Oster Gentle Paws Less Stress Grinder does precisely what the name suggests, causing less stress to your pet without compromising on effectiveness.
This nail grinder features a special safety feature so you’ll never accidentally trim the nails too short, and this can be easily adjusted to suit the size and type of nails you’re cutting.
Use on your dog and cat, as well as on other clawed animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs – whoever’s living in your menagerie, this tool enables you to clip their nails safely and effectively.
Without a cord to get in the way and an easy-to-grip handle, you don’t have to be skilled to use the grinder properly. There are also two types of the grinding band to choose from, depending on the animal you’re using them on a fine band and a coarse one, the former of which is better suited to subtle filing; the latter is better for grinding down thick nails on larger pets.
On top of this, the grinder automatically collects the nail shavings making it quicker and easier to clean up after using.
If there’s one drawback we couldn’t help noticing, it’s only that the higher speed is (unsurprisingly) quite a bit louder than the lower setting.
This, as well as its compact nature, means that it’s probably better suited to smaller dogs and pets than larger ones.
6. Zerhunt Cordless Pet Dog Nail Grinder
Handheld and compact, the tool is easy to use while also being powerful.
Featuring a diamond bit grinder, the grinder allows close and careful grinding to get the smooth finish you want.
With a range of only 60 decibels, this grinder also offers reduced noise and low vibration levels, to minimise stress on your pet, and therefore on you!
Equipped with three different settings depending on the size of the pet you’re treating, you can trim the nails of a chihuahua as easily as a Border Collie, and it can be charged easily using the included USB charging lead.
If we had to point out any negatives about the Zerhunt Cordless Grinder, they would only be that the battery drains fairly quickly, so you’ll need to keep charging it regularly.
Another thing to point out is that this particular is not that effective on larger breeds of dogs such as Great Danes or Saint Bernards, as these dogs have thicker nails and require more heavy-duty grinders.
7. Wahl Pet Nail Grinder (Wired)
|WAHL Dog Nail Grinder/File for Pets, Mains Powered, Clear, 1 Count (Pack of 1)||Buy on Amazon|
Designed to be super lightweight, this handheld grinder is easy to set up and use (we recommend dogs should have their nails trimmed weekly or fortnightly).
The fact that this grinder is corded means you don’t have to mess around with batteries or worry about keeping it charged regularly – plug into the mains, and you’re ready to go.
Being wired also means that you get consistent and powerful grinding – whether you need to make a significant trim, shape or perform a slight filing on your pooch’s nail.
With easily variable speeds, you have full agency over the grinding process and can adjust it depending on the size of your pet’s nails and the requirements of the breed.
The tool features an ergonomic design, making it extremely comfortable in hand and giving you easy control over the job in hand.
You don’t even need to have a particularly steady hand to operate this offering from Wahl, as every feature is designed with the user in mind. The Wahl grinder also features a two-year warranty, with a friendly customer service team to contact should you have any issues.
The only drawback with this corded nail trimmer is its price; being mains-powered, it’s unsurprisingly more expensive than competitor cordless products.
However, we find this to be a fair price, given the durability and consistency of the product – for us, it’s a worthy investment into your pet grooming department.
8. Wahl Battery Nail Grinder (Battery)
|WAHL Battery Nail Grinder, Claw File for Pets, Battery Powered, Pet Nail Trimmer, Dog Claw File,...||Buy on Amazon|
Less than half the price of the wired version, this inexpensive grinder offers many of the features of its counterpart with just a couple of crucial differences.
Featuring an ergonomic design and easy-grip handle, you can safely and confidently trim your pet’s nails to the shape and length you want.
The compact and lightweight build also makes it super easy to grab and get the job done without causing strain to your arm or risking hurting your pet.
As with all the nail grinders from Wahl, there is a safety feature to stop you from trimming the nails too short or causing an excess mess.
This type of trimmer requires you to use rechargeable batteries, which means it’s thoroughly portable but also that you need to keep charging it regularly.
It is also better suited to smaller pets like small dogs, cats and rabbits, rather than larger pets, as it may lack the power needed to grind thicker nails.
The most affordable grinder on this list, and a great choice of nail grinder for small dogs – this is a popular option for those on a strict budget.
9. OMORC Electric Dog Nail Grinder
Very affordable and popular, this is an excellent option for animal owners, whether you have a dog, a cat, a rabbit or other household pet.
To gently and subtly file the nail, use the grinder with the protective cover on; if you wish to grind the nail down quickly, remove the lid to get the job done.
Without pain or risk, OMORC is another brand who offer a great safety feature so you’ll never hurt your pet by cutting the nail down too far.
Also, with a range of below 55 decibels, the noise and vibration levels are low on this tool to minimise stress, anxiety or sudden movements in your pet.
The fast-spinning disc goes round at a rate of 7500 per minute, allowing you to get the job done quickly and without fuss, so you and your pet can get on with your days.
Another handy feature is the USB charging capabilities, so you can easily keep it charged from whichever power source you choose.
This also means you can charge while on the move, and enjoy all the benefits of a portable grooming device at home or while you’re out and about.
This is also a thoroughly affordable OMORC offer a 12-month warranty on their dog nail grinders, so if you have a problem, you can always get in touch.
They also offer a 60-day money-back guarantee if you’re in any way unhappy with the product.
As with all battery-powered, cordless grinders, the power levels are not always consistent or strong enough to tackle thick claws, such as those found on large dogs like Great Danes.
This means that, if you’re an owner of large pets, a nail grinder for large dogs will need to be more powerful trimmer or one that is corded.
As you can see, there are lots of options to choose from in the marketplace of dog nail grinders.
Dogs need to have their nails trimmed regularly, and you should incorporate cutting into your regular grooming routine at a young age so they can get used to the experience as early as possible.
Deciding on a trimmer is dependent on several factors: the size and type of pet whose nails you’ll be trimming, their current experience with trimming (choose a quieter grinder if they are jittery around loud noises), and your target budget.
You will also want to consider choosing a grinder based on the warranty offered by the manufacturer, especially if you think you’ll be getting a lot of use out of it.
We hope you’ve found out guide to the best dog nail grinder helpful, and wish you and your pooch all the best with grooming, walking and all the other adventures the world has in store for you both.