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You’ve probably seen the television commercials for canine nail grinders. They typically depict folks attempting to clip their dog’s nails, unsuccessfully. This is for a number of reasons, but chiefly the failures have to do with a dog’s fear of the clippers or the pet parent’s fear of cutting into the “quick” of their dogs’ cuticles. Although this is a part of the sales pitch of the commercial, these are actually the top reasons for owners to choose a nail grinder as opposed to traditional nail clippers.
If you’ve ever tried to hold your fur baby still long enough to clip her nails, you know this is not an easy task. Furthermore, if pet parents do accidentally cut too far into the cuticle, your dog could experience a great deal of pain. For this reason, pet parents are choosing to use nail grinders on their precious pups.
The Best Dog Nail Grinders of 2023
When choosing the best dog nail grinder for your pup, you want to keep a few things in mind. First, you want to get the best value for your money. The best dog nail grinders will offer powerful heads that won’t need frequent replacement. You’ll also want a dog nail grinder that can be easy to use, easy to clean, and easy to maneuver when in use. A dog nail grinder should be fairly quiet. Most dogs will react negatively to the noise of a tool, so look for a tool that will grind your dog’s nails without a lot of noise and does not vibrate too much.
Our Favorite: LuckyTail Nail Grinder
- Low amount of noise
- Powerful motor
- Takes at least an hour to charge
- Only operates for four hours or less on one charge
Our choice for the best dog nail grinder is the LuckyTail Nail Grinder. This product features two speeds at which to wear down Fido’s nails, and it is touted as “quiet as a whisper.” The motor offers a great deal of power, and it can be adjusted for your dog’s particular needs. Regardless of the speed you choose, the grinder is very quiet, producing only 30 dB. It offers very low vibration, which is comforting to dogs as well. Plus the LuckyTail Nail Grinder is cordless.
Favorite Cordless: Petural Dog Nail Grinder
- Safety port prevents cutting into the dog’s “quick”
- USB charger provides up to six hours of use
- The nail grinder offers a “super mute” brass motor that provides low vibration as well as low noise overall
- Two speeds to the motor allow pet parents to use just the right amount of power for grinding their pup’s nails
- Up to 50 dB of noise
- Getting a full charge requires to wait for four hours
The Petural Dog Nail Grinder is a cordless dog nail grinder that offers a diamond bit grinder in order to trim your dog’s nails more effectively. The Petural Dog Nail Grinder offers three grinding ports, one each for small, medium, and large size dogs. The Petural Dog Nail Grinder offers a unique safety design—a safety “port” where pet parents can insert the dog’s nail (regardless of the dog’s size) and rest assured that the grinder will stop before cutting into the dog’s cuticle. One of the downsides of this product is that the manufacturer suggests initially cutting your dog’s nails with clippers—which seems to defeat the entire purpose of using a nail grinder. However, you simply clip the sharp edges of the nail before placing it in the port for grinding into a smooth, safe nail. The Petural Dog Nail Grinder has a fairly quiet motor, too, so you don’t have to worry about your dog panicking due to the noise made by the grinder.
Lots of Power for Grinding Tough Nails: Wahl Ultimate Corded Pet Nail Grinder
- Quiet and lightweight
- Great for dogs of all sizes due to the variable sanding wheels
- Small enough to maneuver easily
- It is corded (the cord measures eight feet in length)
- Replacement wheels are sold separately, and there is no average length of time the wheels last
You likely recognize the brand name “Wahl” for its line of clippers and (human) hair products. Now, the company has taken its expertise into creating nail grinders for our beloved canine companions. The Wahl Ultimate Corded Pet Nail Grinder offers variable speeds up to 13,000 RPM (rotations per minute). In addition, the Wahl Ultimate Pet Nail Grinder is quiet and lightweight. Furthermore, the Wahl Ultimate is maintenance-free, which makes for ease of use. Finally, the Wahl Ultimate is great for dogs of all sizes. This is due to the ability to change out the sanding wheels for multiple sizes. The Wahl Ultimate is corded, however. The upside to that feature is that you’ll never run out of power, but that feature can also affect the ease of use. All in all, the Wahl Ultimate is a great product for dogs of any size.
Less Nail Dust: ConairPRO Professional Dog Nail Grinder
- Compact and lightweight
- Quiet design means your dog won’t likely get spooked due to noise
- Great for dogs of all sizes
- The protective adjustable cover will cut down on the amount of dust resulting from typical nail grinding
- Is corded, so it can’t be used just anywhere
- Does not offer an indicator to let pet parents know they’re approaching “the quick”
One of the typical downsides of using a dog nail grinder is the mess. Most pet parents regale themselves to going outdoors to carry out this part of the grooming process because, well, nail grinding can be downright messy, even if your dog doesn’t resist the grooming chore. Enter the ConairPRO Professional Dog Nail Grinder. This grooming tool uses the typical nail grinding attachments to safely shorten and smooth your dog’s nails, but there is a protective adjustable cover that is meant to reduce the amount of dust released during this part of grooming.
You want to keep in mind that some dogs will have reactions to a great amount of dust. This will keep you from having to clean up inside your home, and it will keep Fido from inhaling the dust from the grooming process.
The ConairPro Professional Dog Nail Grinder is small, but it does have a cord. The good news is it is fairly easy to maneuver, and you’ll never have to worry about the device never having power. The ConairPRO Nail Grinder is very quiet, and it is lightweight, even though the tool is very powerful. The ConairPRO Nail Grinder offers variable speeds as well, so it is great for dogs of all sizes.
The Toolkit for Grooming Kit: Dremel 7760-PGK 4V Pet Grooming Cordless Kit
- Offers a 45-degree angle paw guide to prevent cutting into the “quick” of your dog’s nails
- Has a clear cap on the end of the tool that catches nail dust
- Up to four-speed options
- Ergonomically designed so that pet parents control the tool with accuracy
- More like a tool than a nail grinder
- Must order replacement sanding paper or sanding tools solely from the manufacturer
If you’re looking for a grooming kit that contains everything you need to keep Fido looking great, then consider the Dremel 7760-PGK 4V Pet Grooming Cordless Kit. The kit includes not only the nail grinder, which will trim your dog’s nails at a 45-degree angle, and there are various grits of sanding paper that you can use to adjust the strength of the sander itself. There is a nail guard included that will catch that pesky dust as well.
The Dremel 7760-PGK is truly a tool. It is likely to last users for quite some time, and you can trust a name like Dremel to provide you with reliable service.
The Dremel tool uses four-speed options, and when pet parents change the sanding paper and mandrels to fit their particular pooch’s needs, you’ll find the Dremel tool is one that lives up to the reputation of the Dremel name. The Dremel kit is also cordless, so you can trim your pup’s nails anywhere you wish to do so.
Best Diamond Drum Bit Grinder: Casfuy Dog Nail Grinder Upgraded
- Lightweight and portable
- Rechargeable, and you can use a number of methods to recharge the tool
- Offers a low and high speed to ensure the safety of your dog
- Low noise level
- Users must purchase a separate power adapter if they want to use the USB port to charge
- Takes three hours to fully charge, but the charge only lasts two hours
The Casfuy Dog Nail Grinder Upgraded version is a nail grinder that promises low noise, powerful grinding for dogs of any size, and a rechargeable tool that is convenient to use. In fact, you can charge the Casfuy Dog Nail Grinder from a battery power bank, a laptop, or a conventional phone adapter. The Casfuy Dog nail Grinder emits less than 50 dB of noise, so your dog won’t be frightened by loud grinding noises. Plus, the Casfuy Dog Nail Grinder offers two speeds to choose from when grinding your dog’s nails, and the Casfuy Dog Nail Grinder is portable. The Grinder takes about three hours to get a full battery, and you’ll have to purchase a power adapter in order to charge it.
The Casfuy Dog Nail Grinder uses the port system to ensure you don’t clip Fido’s nails too short, but users are warned to start out on the lower setting in order to protect their dog’s nails. We like that the Casfuy Dog Nail Grinder is priced reasonably, too.
Most Powerful Motor in a Nail Grinder: Casifor Dog Nail Grinder and Clippers
- Offers a diamond bit for the toughest of nails
- Cordless and rechargeable
- Two LED lights that are built into the tool
- Three times more powerful than typical nail grinders
- Requires cleaning after each use
- Requires three hours to fully charge, but can only be used for two hours before you’ll need to charge it again
If you have a large dog (with large nails, of course) then the Casifor Nail Grinder and Clippers could be the best nail grinder for your purposes. This tool is driven by a 4.8 volt “super-powerful” motor, and it claims to be three times more powerful than the average nail grinder. Another great feature of this particular nail grinder is the fact that it offers an LED light (an LED dual light, to be exact). This light will help to identify the location of the “quick” of your dog’s nails, so you never have to worry that you’re going to cut them too short. The Casifor offers up to 10,000 RPM (rotations per minute), and it is specifically designed for medium and large-sized dogs.
The Casifor is designed to create noise levels less than 50 dB, and the product offers low noise as well. This will help pups to be less anxious when grinding their nails. The Casifor also offers a protective sleeve so that you won’t cut Fido’s nails too short, plus it reduces the amount of dust.
Great Grinder for All Types of Animals: Hertzko Electronic Dog & Cat Nail Grinder with USB Charger
- The Diamond Bit can work on dogs of all sizes
- The safety port offers three varieties of sizes to fit dogs of all sizes
- Highly portable and easy to charge
- Designed with a “super mute” motor for maximum quiet
- The diamond bit will have to be replaced at some point
- Users must either charge it at a computer or purchase a separate power adapter
The Hertzko Electronic Dog and Cat Nail Grinder is an affordable nail grinder that offers many of the same features of more costly grinding tools. The grinder uses a Diamond Bit Grinder and a port opening for your dog’s nails. With these features, you can rest assured you’ll never grind the nail too short and possibly injure your pet. The Hertzko Electronic Dog and Cat Nail Grinder are portable, and you can charge the tool with an included USB wire—although, you will have to purchase a power adapter separately.
The port comes in three sizes; you can adjust it to fit your pup’s particular paw size. The Hertzko is quiet, so it won’t frighten your pup while you carry out nail grinding. There is also very little vibration when in use, so you don’t have to worry about your dog’s anxiety while using the tool.
Stress-Free Nail Grinder: Bousnic Dog Nail Grinder 2-Speed
- Rechargeable and Portable
- Very quiet offers low vibration so as not to make Fido anxious
- Uses a diamond drum bit, which can trim down any type of nail
- Works on dogs of all sizes
- Hair can get caught in the grinder and injure your dog
- The diamond bit will eventually have to be replaced
- Power adapter must be purchased separately
If you’re looking for a nail grinder that is easy to maneuver, safe for your pet, and will keep down your pet’s stress level, then look no further than the Bousnic Dog Nail Grinder. This grinder offers two speeds, a low speed for getting started (and for dogs with fairly fine nails) and a high speed for dogs with thick nails. The motor is powerful, and it uses a diamond grinding bit which is more durable when compared with other dog nail grinding tools.
Another feature of the Bousnic Dog Nail Grinder is the low noise of the tool, even though the motor is fairly powerful. It also puts out very few vibrations so as not to cause anxiety in your dog. The Bousnic Dog Nail Grinder is also easy to use, rechargeable and portable. The Bousnic Dog Nail Grinder is made of high-quality material, particularly the Diamond Drill Bit. The company prides itself on utilizing whisper-quiet technology in order to minimize stress and anxiety in your dog. The Bousnic also offers the variety of ports seen in other similar tools, so it can fit any dog’s nail size. Plus, this prevents the possibility of you cutting your dog’s nails too short.
Premium Diamond Bit: Petlibro Portable Rechargeable Dog & Cat Nail Grinder Kit
- High-quality diamond bit grinder
- Two-speed options and three-port options
- Low noise and little vibration
- Can be used for up to ten hours on one charge
- Power adapter must be bought separately
- The diamond bit will need to be replaced, and the manufacturer can’t pinpoint how long the bit will last
For fast and safe nail grinding anywhere, you need to go, trust the Petlibro Portable Rechargeable Dog and Cat Nail Grinder Kit! This kit includes the nail grinder plus a micro USB charging cable. This means if you don’t charge the grinder at a laptop or on a computer tower, you’ll need to purchase a power adapter separately. The device is outfitted with a diamond bit nail grinder that offers safe and precise nail grinding, making the grooming experience so much better for your pup!
The Petlibro Portable Rechargeable Dog and Cat Nail Grinder can be used for up to ten hours on one charge—that’s the most lasting usage time for any of the grinders reviewed here! You will receive a micro USB cable for charging purposes, but you can also use a power bank to recharge the tool. There is also little vibration so your dog won’t become anxious when you’re grooming her, and there is a protective sleeve that you can use to determine how long to grind the nail, as well as keep the dust down to a minimum. This product does require a certain amount of cleaning but otherwise is very easy to use.
What is a Dog Nail Grinder?
If you are familiar with tools, a dog nail grinder looks similar to a rotary tool or rotary tool bit. A dog nail grinder uses a small rotating piece of material to grind down a dog’s nails in a safe manner. The material is similar to sandpaper, and some may call the grinder a “Dremel.” They work by using friction to wear your dog’s nails down to a safe length.
In fact, the nail grinder will look a lot like a “Dremel” tool, and it will make a little noise. If you plan to use a nail grinder on your pup, then you need to take the time to “socialize” him to the tool so that he doesn’t become frightened. Once he is used to this part of his grooming routine, keeping his nails in good shape should be a pleasurable part of the process.
When a person clips a dog’s nails “in the quick,” not only is it painful for your dog, but it can cause bleeding, and it can affect his ability to run and play. Some dogs have been known to limp after having nails cut too close to “the quick.” It’s important that you know how to stop dog nail bleeding if this accident happens.
However, dog nail grinders can prevent this painful experience. In fact, some dogs will totally panic after a few episodes of having their nails trimmed down into “the quick.” Experts recommend the dog nail grinding tool to prevent cutting their nails too short as well as promoting nails that won’t “catch” on certain things and possibly injure Fido in that way.
How Do I Grind My Dog’s Nails?
You’ll turn the grinder on, and you’ll take your dog’s paw in your hand much as you would if you were clipping the nails. The grinder works by wearing down the nail to an acceptable length; remember, if you let your dog’s nails get too long, there is a chance they could tear or catch on something and injure your dog.
You’ll want to press the grinder to your dog’s nail and work it back and forth until you’ve achieved the desired length. Never push the grinder into your dog’s nail. Watch for heat build-up (which can happen if you allow the grinder to work for too long. Turn the grinder off between toes to allow it to rest.
If your dog has long hair that covers part of her paws, you can slip an old nylon stocking onto her foot in order to prevent the hair from becoming tangled in the tool.
You will also want to have gotten your dog “used” to the grinder. This is going to take some “socializing” to the process. When your puppy is young, you should rub his paws and “work” them so that he is used to his paws being handled. This will help with later grooming. When you first bring the grinder home, turn it on and let him get used to the sound it makes. Without attaching the sanding paper or drill heads, run the plastic of the tool over your dog’s legs and paws so that he will understand the tool won’t hurt him. After a while, you may want to try one nail at a time to see if Fido will accept this part of grooming. Remember to keep treats handy so that you can reward him for good behavior.
The Challenges of Using a Dog Nail Grinder
Perhaps the greatest challenge of using a nail grinder on your dog’s paws involves the noise the grinder is sure to make. You’ll need to “socialize” your dog to this part of the grooming process. Don’t aim to cut her nails the first time you pull out the nail grinder! Rather, turn it on, and let her hear the noise. If she seems anxious, you may have to turn the grinder off before going further . Run the body of the tool (minus the grinder bit) over her body so that she understands the tool won’t hurt her. You may have to do this a few times with the tool off before you get her calm while the tool is running.
Once you feel she is ready, you can begin to use the grinder on her nails. Speak soothingly to her, and give her a treat afterward so that she understands the noisy tool need not be feared!
The nail grinder also poses other challenges. Even the most well-meaning pet parents can still grind the nail down too short. However, most grinders have a “dot” light indicator that will come on to let you know you are getting too close to the “quick” so that you can stop before injuring your dog. Another challenge of nail grinders is the fact that they are loud, and some dogs just can’t get used to the noise. Finally, when you use a nail grinder, you’ll find there is a lot of clean-up to do! The grinder literally turns the nail into dust, so you’ll need to prepare the grooming area for this. Most pet parents will grind their dogs’ nails outdoors to keep clean-up to a minimum. However, some dog nail grinders do offer a shield that will “catch” the dust from ground nails so that pet parents can keep cleaning to a minimum.
How to Choose Your Dog Nail Grinder
First, consider your dog and his nails. Do you have a small dog with fairly fine claws? Do you have a large dog with thick, long nails? Either way, you’ll want to consider the power of the nail grinder. Regardless of the thickness of your dog’s nails, you want a tool that is powerful enough to grind them down nicely. A device that doesn’t have enough power will stop when it comes against a certain amount of friction. However, one with too much power will get too hot while grinding your pup’s nails.
Next, you’ll need to determine the noise level of the nail grinder. It needs to be quiet enough that your dog doesn’t freak out every time you turn it on. However, keep in mind you’ll never find a grinder that is totally silent, just quiet. Turn the grinder on. If the grinder offers a very high-pitched noise, look for an alternative.
Third, you’ll want to get a nail grinder that offers the ability to maneuver the tool with a fair amount of ease. Many pet parents prefer a nail grinder that is cordless as they don’t have to worry about the cord getting in the way (particularly annoying when your pet is squirming). Plus, you want to consider if the nail grinder is easy to use.
Ease of use isn’t just the maneuverability of the tool, but also the assembly, cleaning, and storage of the nail grinder tool. These are issues to consider when choosing a nail grinder.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it better to trim or grind dog nails?
This depends upon your dog. Many dogs are frightened by traditional nail clippers, and they may also be uncomfortable when they hear the whirring of a nail grinder. However, once a pet parent is accustomed to successfully grinding the nails of one’s canine companion, then they tend to choose a nail grinder over a nail clipper. It is easy to cut into the “quick” of your dog’s cuticle with a nail clipper, but, without proper precaution, you can grind down into the quick with a grinder.
What nail grinder does PetSmart use?
PetSmart is not only a place to pick up pet food and supplies, but they often employ professional groomers to keep pups looking, well, smart! The groomers at PetSmart use a cordless grinder called the Andis Cordless Pet Nail Grinder. Most pet parents who use these clippers relate that the clippers are fairly quiet and do not cause stress in their pets.