How to Sharpen Dog Nail Clippers

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One grooming task that needs to be done on a regular basis is that of clipping dog nails. This requires the right kind of pet clippers. Is that all it takes or do dog nail clippers get dull over time?

Yes, after considerable use, they can become quite dull. When that happens, nail clipping becomes more and more difficult.

So is this something that you can fix yourself at home? Can you sharpen dog nail clippers yourself instead of taking them to a professional?

The short answer is yes, so this article will address how to go about it, how to sharpen dog nail clippers at home. Given that you probably won’t have a professional nearby to demonstrate the steps involved, we have included a YouTube video that can walk you through the task.

Table of Contents

Dog Nail Clippers Used by Groomers & Owners

If you are a dog groomer, then most likely you are  already very comfortable with the use of nail clippers.

If you are just starting out as a dog groomer, then you probably haven’t quite reached a level of confidence that allows you to feel completely comfortable when clipping your clients’ nails.

If you are a dog owner and have been grooming your dog at home then I’m sure you are no stranger to clipping your dog’s nails, regardless of the dog breed you have.

Either way, I’m sure you will have experienced clippers that are no longer as sharp as they should be. Blunt clippers can be a real problem and lead to pulling on the nail instead of neatly clipping. To trim the nails of a dog effectively, you definitely need sharp clippers.

Dog Nail Clippers with Safety Guard – Superior Sharpness – Veterinarian Designed – Suitable for Large Dogs – Stainless Steel Dog Nail Trimmers

When faced with dull clippers, the 2 possible solutions are either sharpening them or replacing them with a new set. Let’s look at the cheaper of the 2 solutions, sharpening the dog nail clippers yourself.

How to Sharpen Dog Nail Clippers Yourself

So how do you sharpen dog nail clippers? This is a question that is relevant to groomers as well as owners doing their own grooming at home.

4 Easy DIY Sharpening Steps

There are many different models of nail clippers but in most cases, when it comes to sharpening blades, the first step is to take the tool apart.

  1. If your clippers have an actuating lever design, be sure to remove the lever first. You can do this by pressing the two parts of the clippers together using a tool like pliers.
  2. Once you have removed the pin, you can separate the clipper blades.
  3. Proceed to gently sharpening each of the clipper blades using one of the tools mentioned below.
  4. Put the clippers back together again by reversing the steps you used to separate them.

Video Showing How to Sharpen Dog Nail Clippers

How to Sharpen Dog Nail Clippers

In the video demo you can see the use of Millers dog nail clippers (affiliate link). The sharpening technique can be used on both scissor style nail clippers as well as the guillotine type.

As you would have seen, the angle in which the sharpener is held is very important so as not to further dull the blade.

There are also some excellent steps, in this article, steps that guide you through the process of sharpening your own dog nail clippers at home.

Tools to Sharpen Dog Nail Clippers

The tools that you can use for the task include:

  • a sharpening stone
  • a grinding stone
  • a diamond-tapered rod or
  • a ceramic rod

Depending on your preference or availability, you can use any of these tools to sharpen your clippers. Most of the time however, a fine grinding stone or a flat sharpening stone will do a satisfactory job.

Replacing Your Dog Nail Clippers

Sharpening may not always be a permanent solution. In other words, clippers have a lifespan.

When clippers become worn out, they are more difficult to sharpen.

Thus, after a long period of use, your clippers may need to be replaced. One sign that clippers do in fact need replacing is when they wear out along the edges.

Safari Professional Large Nail Trimmer For Dogs

Unfortunately, clipping the nails of a dog can be a little tricky. This is because a small mistake can cause you to hit a sensitive nerve or nick too deeply which can cause bleeding. This is where the right tools, in the best condition, come in.

Many people may encounter these types of difficulties, when trying to trim dog nails, because of the type of nail clippers they purchased in the first place. For example, the fancy looking grinder trimmers are often found to be wanting when it comes to trimming dog nails with ease. Many guillotine-type trimmers are difficult to use and can prove ineffective the moment they become dull. So it pays to watch a good video demo, such as in this article, that can show you how to sharpen guillotine dog nail clippers.

Rather than risk causing injury to your dog by using worn out clippers, you need to sharpen dog nail clippers as described above or start looking around for a new pair. Given how inexpensive dog nail clippers are, you would have to ask yourself whether or not sharpening is worth the trouble.

Fortunately, as mentioned, you can buy top quality dog nail clippers for very little cost.

Pet Nail Clippers for Small Animals – Best Cat Nail Clippers & Claw Trimmer for Home Grooming Kit – Professional Grooming Tool for Tiny Dog Cat Bunny Rabbit Bird Puppy Kitten Ferret – Ebook Guide

It is best to buy trimmers that have a pliers-like appearance with relatively big handles and double cutting edges. These trimmers are not only safe to use, but also stay sharp for a longer period of time and are easier to use, as well as to sharpen if needed.

There are a number of good quality options available on Amazon that present good replacements for your old clippers:

BOSHEL Dog Nail Clippers and Trimmer – with Safety Guard to Avoid Over-Cutting Nails & Free Nail File – Razor Sharp Blades – Sturdy Non Slip Handles – for Safe, Professional at Home Grooming

But if you already have top quality tools then learning how to sharpen dog nail clippers yourself might be the ticket. I hope you can now feel a little more confident when sharpening your own clippers. Having sharp rather than dull clippers can, in turn, allow you to feel less hesitant when it comes to grooming your dog’s nails yourself.

~ Guest ~


5 thoughts on “How to Sharpen Dog Nail Clippers”

  1. I’m a beginner, grooming my own dog. She is a toy poodle. This information on how to sharpen dog nail clippers was very helpful

  2. With persistent use, the dog nail scissors get dull, so sharpen the scissors or replace the clippers when it damages the nails instead of actually cutting. With such a large number of kinds of dog nail scissors accessible in the market, every blade requires its own instrument for maintenance. Disassembling the device is the most basic step of sharpening.


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