The first thing that comes to mind when you think of dog grooming isn’t usually nail trimming, but it’s an important part of the grooming process. Keeping your dog’s nails smooth and short is not only safer for them, but can limit accidental injuries or damage to furniture, bedding, and hardwood floors.
Regular grooming appointments can be very costly, especially if you’re scheduling them every few weeks. Luckily, using a nail grinder at home to trim your dog’s nails is both easy and cost effective. To help, we’ve researched hundreds of nail grinders, and thousands of verified reviews, to find the 8 best nail grinders for your dog. Here’s our list:
Our Picks for the Best Dog Nail Grinders
1. Dremel 7300-PT Dog Nail Grinder & Groomer
The Dremel 7300-PT is a solid choice for those looking for a quality, bang-for-your-buck dog nail grinder. Dremel, the company behind the product, is considered the gold standard for rotary tools; so much so, that the word “dremel” has becomes synonymous with any grinding tool. This particular cordless model has two different speeds, and can be easily recharged with the included battery wall charger. Most importantly, the 7300-PT is one of the highest rated dog nail grinders in its category.
- Cordless dog nail grinder
- Two speeds – can either choose 6,500 rpm or 13,000 rpm
- Rechargeable 3 hour battery
- Comes with 5 sanding discs, as well as a plug-in wall charger
- Includes two year warranty
- Easy to set up and use
- Does not include safety guard
2. ConairPRO Dog Nail Grinder
The ConairPRO Dog Nail Grinder is a corded, professional-level nail grinder. The device includes a number of features that make it a top option: multiple finishing attachments, a safety guard to prevent against over-grinding, and one of the quietest settings we looked at. If you don’t mind plugging your grinder into the wall, this is a best bet.
- Professional-level nail grinder
- Includes protective cover to prevent against over-grinding
- Comes with 2 different finishing stones, as well as 4 grinding band replacements
- Suitable for all dog sizes
- One of the quietest grinders
- Conair is a top recognizable brand
- Not cordless, must be plugged in to wall
- Only has one grinding speed
3. Casfuy Rechargeable Dog Nail Grinder
Want an ultra portable nail grinder? This Casfuy option is a small, easy to use grinder that can be charged via any USB port — either through a wall charger, portable battery, or your computer. The grinder features two speeds, and three different grinding ports depending on the size of your dog’s nails.
- Cordless dog nail grinder, with 2 hour battery
- Has two separate grinding speeds
- 3 separate grinding ports
- Uses a low vibration grinder to minimize noise
- Low noise at less than 50 decibels; good option for dogs sensitive to sound.
- Charged via USB. Can plug in to the wall, a battery pack, or your computer.
- Does not include product warranty
- Many have said that the grinding stone is not powerful enough for larger dogs
4. FURminator Nail Grinder for Dogs and Cats
The FURminator Dog Nail Grinder is the highest-rated affordable grinder on our list, at less than half the price of the other options. The model is portable and cordless, powered by AA batteries that give 100 hours of use. It also includes a nail guard and LED light to protect against over-grinding.
- Cordless dog nail grinder powered by AA batteries
- Comes with nail guard (two sizes) for safe grinding
- LED light to help illuminate the nail area
- Two speed settings
- Most affordable option on our list
- Suitable for all dogs and cats
- 100 hours of use on 4 batteries
- Replacement grinding bands are also affordable and easy to replace
- Many have reviewed that the low speed is not fast enough, and therefore required the higher speed which was noisier.
5. Casifor Dog Nail Grinder
The Casifor Dog Nail Grinder is a highly reviewed cordless grinder that differentiates itself with a “stepless” power setting, meaning the power can be suited to your dog’s specific needs. The grinder also shines in terms of battery life (at 20 hours), and is charged via any USB port. While this is a top rated option, we should note that owners with large dogs have said that this grinder had trouble with thick nails. Small dog owners should be completely fine.
- Cordless dog nail grinder with 20 hour battery life
- Speed setting is “stepless”, meaning you can tailor the speed exactly to your dog’s nails
- Three size ports for small, medium, large dogs
- Rechargeable via USB; charge with an adapter, a laptop, or external battery.
- Comes with lifetime replacement warranty
- Very quiet at 40 decibels; good option for dogs sensitive to noise
- Less power compared to other grinders, suitable for small to medium-sized dogs
6. Dremel PawControl 7760-PGK Nail Grinder
For those looking for a premium option, the Dremel PawControl 7760 is a top pick. This grinder takes the Dremel 7300-PT (reviewed above) and adds a number of features on top to improve the grooming process. This includes a nail safety guard at an optimal 45 degrees, a 9 piece accessory kit, as well as 4 speed settings ranging from 8,000 to 25,000 RPM.
- Professional grade dog nail grinder
- Rechargeable lithium ion battery
- Includes nail guard at optimal 45 degree grind angle
- Complete with 9 different grinding accessories to tailor grooming
- Works with all types of dogs, including large dogs
- Comes with 2 year manufacturer warranty
- Battery charged via USB; wall adapters, laptops, or external batteries
- 4 different speeds from a low 8,000 RPM to a heavy duty 25,000 RPM
- Pricier than other grinders
- Can be noisy at highest speed levels
7. Andis EasyClip 2-Speed Nail Grinder
The Andis EasyClip is another top rated choice for nail grinder, complete with multiple attachments for a customized groom. This particular model is a favorite amongst professional groomers due to its power and ability to file down thicker nails.
- Dual speed dog nail grinder
- Used by professional groomers
- Comes with 13 piece accessory kit: large and small sanding drums, along with a number of replacement sanding wheels
- Lightweight with ergonomic silicone sleeve
- Suitable for all dog and cat breeds
- Powerful enough for thicker dog nails
- Pricier than most nail grinders
- Not cordless- needs to be plugged in to wall
8. Oster Gentle Paws Dog & Cat Nail Grinder
The Oster Gentle Paws Grinder is another no-frills, quality grinder for those looking for an affordable option. The device is powered by regular batteries, and comes with two different speeds depending on the thickness of your dog’s nails. Another highlight is the included adjustable safety guard.
- Dual speed dog nail grinder
- Battery powered, cordless design
- Includes adjustable safety guard to prevent over grinding
- Comes with 4 attachments for a more tailored groom
- Suitable for dogs and cats
- Many owners have commented on the grinder being relatively quiet
- Comes with a 1 year product warranty
- Does not have as much power as corded grinders
Dog Nail Grinders Buying Guide
Nail trimming is an easy task that can be accomplished at home with the use of a nail grinder. A nail grinder is like an electric nail file and is used to quickly shorten and smooth out the tip of your dog’s nails. If you’re in the market for a nail grinder, you might be overwhelmed with all the options. From nail grinders made for small dogs and large dogs to varying power levels to corded models or rechargeable grinders, there’s a lot to choose from.
We’ve compiled a buying guide to help you know what to look for when choosing which nail grinder is the ideal fit for both you and your dog.
How Do Dog Nail Grinders Work?
Dog nail grinders, otherwise known as dremels, are essentially electric nail filers, which have a rounded head and run at a high speed to shave down the nail. The round head is made of rough material, very similar to sandpaper. A nail grinder is electric powered and uses friction to wear down a dog’s nail bit by bit.
A lot of dogs aren’t big fans of nail grinders because of vibrations and noise. Most dogs prefer to have their nails trimmed down with clippers, but one of the biggest benefits of using a nail grinder is that it works much faster. Though your dog might not love it at first, they will usually get accustomed over time through positive reinforcement. In fact, after a while, your dog may not even realize that they are getting their nails trimmed — nail grinders are that quiet!
Unlike nail clippers, an at-home grinder is equipped with a safety guard in place which gives you peace of mind when trimming down your dog’s nails. This prevents you from grinding down too low and hitting a soft nerve in your dog’s paws.
Why Is It Important To Trim Your Dog’s Nails?
If your dog spends a lot of time walking on soft surfaces like carpet or grass, their nails will not have as many opportunities to naturally wear down like they would on sidewalks or hardwood floors. Because of this, your dog will need the occasional nail trim to assist with the natural wear.
There are many reasons to trim your dog’s nails regularly, including:
Reduce Floor Damage
If your dog has untrimmed, long nails, and your home has hardwood floors throughout, you can get deep scratches in your floors over time from scraping.
If your dog’s nails get too long, your dog might be uncomfortable or in pain when walking or running. You may also notice them gnawing at their paws more often.
Prevent Injuries and Damage
Long nails can catch on your bedding, couches, carpet, or other pieces of furniture. Not only does this cause damage to your belongings, but can also create a risk of injury for your pooch.
Missing a regular nail trimming isn’t a reason to stress. But if you fail to trim your pooch’s nails for a few months, you can cause damage and pain for your dog, making it difficult for them to walk and even lead to joint problems.
What to Look For When Purchasing a Nail Grinder
Purchasing a dog nail grinder can be overwhelming due to the sheer amount of options. When in the market, consider the following features before making your purchase:
Some dogs can get startled by sudden, loud noises. If you have a dog with sensitive hearing, noise level is something you should consider when purchasing a nail grinder. To help ease your dog into a new grooming experience, try finding a nail grinder with a low noise level under 50 decibels. The lower the noise level, the more stress-free the experience will be.
When buying grooming tools you need to ensure they’re safe and won’t hurt your dog. One of the most important things to look for when purchasing a nail grinder is a safety guard. A safety guard helps to prevent you from trimming your dog’s nail too deep, which can cause nerve damage, making it painful for your dog to walk.
Not all nails will need the same power to trim them down — or your dog might have a preference for the rotational power level. Finding a grinder that has multiple power levels is a great option that will allow you to slow down or speed up the grinder. Multiple power levels is also handy if you have multiple sized dogs. Your large dog with thick nails might require a higher power to get a good grind, while your smaller pooch might be better off on the lowest setting.
Just because a nail grinder is on the expensive side doesn’t mean it’s professional quality. All of the above choices in this article have been personally vetted by our team, along these lines. Go through the must-have features of your nail grinder and look at a few models within different price points to see if one is the best fit.
Step by Step: How to Grind a Dog’s Nails
If you haven’t trimmed your dog’s nails before, the experience can be stressful — but it doesn’t have to be! Using a nail grinder to trim your dog’s nails is relatively easy if you follow these steps:
- Get your dog used to the grinder: Your dog will likely be unsure of the nail grinder at first. Before beginning, get your dog accustomed to the nail grinder by turning it on and off near them for a few days. Whenever your dog isn’t reacting negatively to the nail grinder, give them praise and rewards as positive reinforcement. An easy way to work this into your routine is to turn the grinder on near your dog as they eat a meal to help build a positive association.
- Make sure paw hair is short: Next, examine their paws to check hair length. If the hair between your dog’s paw pads is too long, you’ll want to give that a trim first, as it can get caught in the rotation of the grinder.
- Keep your dog still: Find a comfortable position for your dog that will keep them still and secure for the entire nail grinding process. If your dog is large or a squirmer, you might want to enlist the help of a friend or significant other to hold them. Hold your dog using your non-dominant area. This will allow you to hold the nail grinder firmly in your dominant hand to perform the grooming.
- Warm up: While holding your dog, turn on the nail grinder and allow it to run for a few seconds before beginning. Doing so will allow your dog to adjust to the noise without being startled.
- Carefully grind nail: Begin using the dremel on one nail. To do this, apply the grinder directly to the bottom of the nail tip and slowly move it up and over the tip of the nail.
- One layer at a time: Use the nail grinder to grind down one layer at a time, working down the length of the nail and rounding the tip to buff down any sharp edges.
- Keep checking nail depth: Make sure you don’t grind the nail down too deep. Keep checking each nail throughout the process to avoid getting too close to the nerves in the middle of the nail.
- Polish off: To finish off your nail grinding session and polish the nail, grind the nail in a circular motion around the tip.
- Repeat on each nail: Repeat this process on each of your dog’s nails. Don’t forget to give them a big treat at the end of the session so they continue making positive associations with you grinding their nails.
Tip: According to the AKC, if your dog isn’t a huge fan of having their nails trimmed, let them lick peanut butter off a spoon or a lick mat while you grind them down.
For a video on how to grind your dog’s nails, watch this tutorial from veterinarian Dr. Murray Matheson:
Nail grinding is a relatively simple process that shouldn’t cause you or your dog any stress. If you still have questions about using a nail grinder, keep reading to review our frequently asked questions about nail grinders.
Is a Nail Grinder the Right Option for My Dog?
If you’re looking for a way to easily trim your dog’s nails at home, you’re probably considering both a nail grinder and nail clippers. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, with the decision ultimately coming down to which option is better suited for your dog.
Advantages of a Nail Grinder
For most, a nail grinder is the preferred method of trimming nails because of its ease of use. Other advantages over clippers to consider are:
- Preferred by Some Dogs: If your dog is not a fan of nail clippers, a nail grinder is a great option. As they’re different, your dog won’t associate its negative feelings about clippers with the dremel. It’s also a much faster and more thorough option. This means you won’t have to trim your dog’s nails quite as often – a win-win for you both.
- Quality Nail Trim: When using nail clippers, you’re cutting off large chunks of the dog’s nail. This often leaves some jagged or splintered edges, especially if you have a dog that likes to squirm around. A good nail grinder will make it easier to get smooth, rounded nails that are less likely to snag on furniture, clothing, or carpets.
- Ideal for Thicker Nails: Larger dogs tend to have thicker nails, which can be problematic with nail clippers. Nail grinders in this case can be a safer option.
Disadvantages of Nail Grinders
Even though nail grinders are highly recommended by grooming professionals, they aren’t always the best fit. Consider these disadvantages as well:
- Louder than clippers: Because a nail grinder is an electric nail file, it gives off a noise from vibration when in use. If your dog is quick to startle or sensitive to loud noises, a nail grinder could be too frightening for them.
- Requires power: Whether you choose a rechargeable nail grinder or a corded one, this can be considered a con. If you’re on the go and need to give your dog’s nail a trim, your nail grinder either needs to be charged or have an outlet easily accessible.
- Can make a mess: While all nail trimming creates debris, grinders leave excess nail filings in the form of dust. This can be difficult to clean up, particularly if the grinding is done indoors. Additionally, you might want to invest in eye protection and a face mask to avoid ingesting this dust.
- Excess filing: You can still file away too much of the nail and hit the dog’s nail. The nail grinder works fast to remove each layer of the nail. While you can slowly work your way down, it can still be difficult to know a stopping point. Grinding the nail down too far can expose the quick of the nail and cause bleeding or pain for your dog.
Dog Nail Grinder Frequently Asked Questions
How does a nail grinder work?
A nail grinder is made up of a rotating piece that acts like a nail file. When powered on, this file rotates and is guided around the nail to smoothly trim off layers of the nail.
Is it better to grind or clip nails?
A nail grinder removes layer by layer of the nail using a sandpaper-like coating. This is different from nail clippers which cuts off the nail in chunks. Not only is using a nail grinder a safer method than nail clippers, but it also doesn’t create splinters in the nail. This leads to a much smoother finish.
How does an at-home grinder compare to a professional groomer?
Taking your dog to the vet or groomer for a professional nail trim on a regular basis can quickly become expensive. That’s why nail grinders have become a popular choice for many dog owners. With your own nail grinder, you’re able to get the same quality nail trim in the comfort of your own home (which your pooch will appreciate!), and without spending a lot of money.
Are nail grinders safe for dogs?
Nail grinders are completely safe for your dog while used properly. With a nail grinder, it’s easier to avoid getting too close to the nerves underneath the nail because you can see the layers coming off. When using a nail clipper, you just snip and hope that you aren’t cutting too deep. That’s why grinders, especially those with a built-in safety mechanism, are the preferred method to trim a dog’s nails.
At what angle should you grind your dog’s nail?
Once you begin cutting your dog’s nails on a more routine basis, you’ll get a better understanding of the angle and length that you should be grinding them down to. According to the groomers at PetCo, you should trim the nail at a 45-degree angle. You should never grind their nails too fast because you need to keep an eye out for the quick (the blood vessel within their nail) which indicates that it’s been trimmed down enough.
How often can you grind a dog’s nails?
Your dog’s nails should be trimmed on a regular schedule, roughly every four to six weeks. If you let your dog’s nails grow too long, it can lead to health problems and nerve damage. How often specifically is going to vary on your dog’s breed and their activities.
If you take your dog on walks outside on asphalt or concrete, their nails might naturally wear down more than a dog who primarily plays in a grassy backyard. The natural wear of your dog’s nails will impact how often you need to trim them.
Is nail grinding painful for dogs?
Trimming your dog’s nails should not be painful for them — just like it’s not painful for you to cut your own nails. However, their nails contain both a blood vessel, known as the quick, and a nerve. If the nail is cut too deep, you might knick the quick or the nerve, which can lead to bleeding and pain. As long as you follow proper care, the process will be painless.
Can you use a nail file instead of a nail grinder?
A nail grinder is going to be the most effective way to trim down a nail. A file can be used for a touch up, but won’t be fast or effective if used for the entire trim. If you’d prefer to use a nail file over a nail grinder, you’ll want to first clip the nails and then use the file to smooth out any rough edges.
How long should your dog’s nails be?
When your dog’s paws are flat on the floor, their nails should be slightly above the paw pad with a space between the nail and the floor. To maintain this nail length, you will need to keep an eye on how quickly their nails grow. Like humans, each dog’s nails will grow at their own pace. This can vary from breed to breed, and even from dog to dog.
Do large and small dogs need different grinders?
When selecting your nail grinder, you can use the same one for both small and large dogs. However, you might want to consider grinders with varying power levels. This will allow you to use a higher power grind on thicker nails, and a less powerful one on your small dog’s nails.
Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine: https://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/outreach/Pet-Health-Topics/categories/procedures/dogs/clipping-your-dog’s-claws
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