Looking for an efficient way to trim your dog's nails? If so, a nail grinder is the way to go. While traditional clippers can get the job done, they have a couple of design flaws.
Clippers essentially chomp down on the nail, which could ultimately pinch some nerves and cause pain. Plus, they leave a rough edge that could end up marring up your floors more than your dog's long nails do!
A high-quality nail grinder is far more effective at cutting back on length while creating a smooth finish.
Not only that, but they can finish the job faster. That means less time struggling with a fussy dog!
There are several grinders on the market these days. The tools are no just for professional groomers and veterinarians. You can easily find a solid grinder you can rely on whenever it's time to freshen up your pup's nails.
Here are some of the best dog nail grinders to add to your grooming arsenal.
7 of the Best Dog Nail Grinders
1. Andis 2-Speed Pet Nail Grinder
The Andis nail grinder is a professional-grade tool that can provide you with some great results. It's a versatile grinder that comes with all the tools you need to get the job done quickly and efficiently.
Two operating speeds are available. The lower one spins at about 7,000 revolutions per minute while the higher one is a fast 12,000 revolutions. You're getting multiple grinding drums and replaceable bands, so you can easily get the power you're after.
The grinder is wired and comes with a detachable power supply. It provides consistent power throughout the entire grooming session.
2. ConairPRO Professional Dog Nail Grinderm
This ConairPro nail grinder is relatively simple. But, it has all the functionality you need to trim your dog's nails safely. There's a single operating speed and a simple power switch to turn the device on. On top of the tool, there's also a shaft lock button.
This button lets you stop the spinning drum instantly. It's great for swapping out drums quickly. Plus, it gives you an emergency stop just in case.
The grinder comes with a clear plastic guard. Covering the entire grinding wheel, the guard collects dust and ensures that you don't get too close. A versatile cutout accommodates nails big and small.
3. Dremel 7760-PGK 4V Pet Grooming Cordless Kit
Dremel is a brand that's most known for creating power tools for woodworking. This nail grinder has all of the power and efficiency the brand's products are known. It's lightweight, easy to use, and completely wireless.
Powering the grinder is a rechargeable battery that takes less than three hours to juice up. When you insert it into the device, you can also monitor its power levels thanks to the LED indicator light. In terms of operation, this tool is one of the most versatile. It has four different spin speeds. The highest is 25,000 revolutions per minute! With one of the included bands or discs, speeds that high will grind down your pup's nails in seconds.
4. Andis Cordless Dog & Cat Nail Grinder
With about three hours of runtime, this grinder from Andis can help you take care of multiple dogs in one session. It's battery-powered and comes with a handy USB charging cord for simplicity. There's also an LED light to help you keep an eye on charge levels.
Overall, the barrel of the grinder is lightweight and ergonomic. It has a comfortable shape to help you get a confident grip as you work.
Operating the grinder is a breeze. Just push the power button to turn it on. Then, use the plus and minus buttons to select one of the six available speeds. If you need to change the barrel, use the shaft lock button for safety.
5. Hertzko Electronic Dog & Cat Nail Grinder with USB Charger
This sleek grinder from Hertzko offers a safe and comfortable way for you to manage your dog's nails. Inside the low-profile barrel is a powerful and quiet motor. The motor doesn't produce a ton of noise or vibration, making the grinder a good option for skittish dogs.
Another cool thing about this grinder is the included grinding stone. Instead of using bands that you have to replace, this model is equipped with a diamond-bit stone. It does a fantastic job of wearing the nail down. Plus, it's long-lasting.
The grinder has an internal rechargeable battery. Use the included USB cord to plug it into a wall adapter, computer, or receptacle for charging.
6. FURminator Nail Grinder For Dogs and Cats
If you're looking for an affordable grinder you can take anywhere, this one from Furminator is a good choice. It's a battery-powered tool that utilizes simple AA batteries. There are no cords or charging docks to fiddle with.
Two operating speeds are available, which you can select with the single power switch. Up top, you'll find a plastic nail guard. The guard is made out of antimicrobial plastic. So, it will limit bacterial spread as it collects nail dust.
The grinder is also equipped with an LED safety light. It turns on automatically with the grinder and shines down the shaft for better visibility.
7. BOSHEL Upgraded 2-Speed Electric Pet Grinder for Safe Paws Grooming
Here's a powerful grinder with a modern design. Compact enough to stow away with all your other grooming supplies, the grinder is comfortable in the hand. It's rechargeable and features a blue light to let you know when the tool is ready for action!
A diamond-bit grinding wheel is used in place of traditional bands. The grinding stone is tough and features plenty of grit to get the job done. For better efficiency, the grinder has two operating speeds. Use the faster speed to take care of thicker nails. Switch to the lower speed when you're working with delicate nails or you want to create a smoother finish.
Benefits of Using a Dog Nail Grinder
All in all, grinders just do a better job than traditional clippers. That's why you see so many professional groomers utilizing these tools instead of struggling with nail cutters.
They're efficient, quick, and provide a more polished finish.
Some would even argue that they're safer. When you grind your dog's nails, you're wearing away layer after layer of keratin. The grinding band turns your dog's nails into fine dust instead of chopping off chunks.
The benefit of this is that you're able to get more control. Hiding beneath your dog's nail is a bundle of blood vessels and nerves. Often referred to as the "quick," these nerves are very sensitive. If you cut into it, your dog will likely howl in pain and bleed for several minutes.
Prevents Cutting the Quick
The issue with traditional clippers is that you can easily cut in the "quick" by accidental. All it takes is one slip or poor alignment. If your dog has black nails, the task gets even trickier!
With a grinder, you can reduce the length of the nail bit by bit without actually cutting into the "quick." You can get very close and stop before you do any damage. This is particularly useful if you haven't cut your dog's nails in a while.
The "quick" will get longer with the nail. The only way to force it back down is to cut your dog's nail close to the quick. You must continually trim the nails to make the "quick" recede.
This is nearly impossible with clippers. But with a grinder, it only takes a few minutes!
Choosing the Right Nail Grinder for Your Dog
Ready to pick up a nail grinder? Before you do, there are some things to consider. There are a wide variety of tools to choose from. But, some are going to be more effective for your dog than others.
It's important to choose a nail grinder that's safe, powerful, and easy to use. Here are some things to keep in mind while you shop.
Nail grinders are power-hungry devices. That's the main disadvantage of using them over nail clippers. They're entirely dependent on a reliable power source.
You can find grinders that use simple alkaline batteries, a rechargeable lithium battery, or a standard outlet.
Obviously, battery-powered models come with the benefit of being wireless. They can be a bit easier to manage when you're dealing with an anxious dog.
But, they are sometimes not as powerful as plug-in models. You might notice a dip in speed as the power depletes, which could be problematic as you trim your pooch's nails. A slow grinder will knick the nail instead of grind it.
With wired grinders, you're getting full power each and every time. Ultimately, this is a matter of personal preference, so choose a power source that works well with your grooming technique.
If you're familiar with using a sander for woodworking projects, you know all-to-well how the level of grit will affect the finished product. The same principles apply to nail grinders.
A coarse grinding band is going to offer a more textured finish. However, it'll also provide more grinding power. Thus, it's best for dogs with thick nails that need a bit more elbow grease to wear down.
Meanwhile, fine grinding bands will work well with smaller dog breeds that have tiny nails. They aren't as powerful as coarser bands, but they will create a smoother finish.
For the most versatility, choose a model with interchangeable bands. Many grinders let you swap out the band in only a few swift motions. Start with a coarse band to achieve the length you want. Then, follow up with the finer one to create a nice rounded finish!
The speed of the grinder can also affect the finish of your dog's nail. Simpler grinders will only have one speed. That's not necessarily a bad thing! It makes the tool more user-friendly. Unless you're planning on doing some finer detail work, you can get by with only one operating speed.
That said, dual-speed grinders do provide a bit more flexibility. You can choose the speed based on the grinding band you're using or the finish you're after.
Many dog owners like to use the lower speed for basic trimming and the higher speed for getting the right shape.
Noise and Vibration Levels
Nail grinders are loud. There's no getting around that!
Before you commit to buying one, make sure you get a good idea of just how loud and jarring it is. Some dogs simply can't handle a lot of commotion.
Excessive buzzing and vibrations could startle your dog. You'll need to take some time to get your pup comfortable with the noise and sensation. If you have a particularly skittish pup, a quieter model might make that process a bit easier.
Safety is a top priority when dealing with your dog's nails. For the most part, grinders are safer to use than clippers because of the control you have. But, it doesn't hurt to have some additional features to help you avoid injuring your dog.
One of the best features to have is a nail guard. These guards slip over the grinding barrel. Usually, they have multiple holes in different sizes. Just slip your dog's nail into the hole to grind it down.
The guard will prevent you from grinding too much. Plus, it creates a safety barrier against your dog's delicate toe pads.
Another good feature to have is a built-in light. Remember the "quick" we talked about earlier? It can be difficult to see in standard lighting conditions. To get a closer look at where it ends, you'll need to shine a light through it.
Grinders with built-in lights let you do just that. The light can also give you a better look at the entire nail, which is always a good thing when you're grooming.
How to Grind Your Dog's Nails
Clipping your dog's nails is no easy task. This is true even if you have a powerful grinder at your disposal. But, it's very manageable with a bit of extra training and patience.
Get Your Dog Comfortable
The first thing you need to do is get your dog comfortable with the grinder. Let them investigate it and turn it on before you start. Make sure to provide plenty of praise and treats.
This will desensitize your dog a bit to the noise and vibrations.
Before you cut their nails, consider using some calming products. You can use all-natural calming sprays, herbs, or aromatherapy oils. They can reduce stress levels and make your dog more receptive to the process.
Find the "Quick"
Using a light, find the quick so that you can better plan for the trimming. Hold your dog's nail and push back any fur.
With the light underneath, you should be able to see an opaque mass. You can cut and shape your dog's nails anywhere above the "quick."
If your dog has black nails, you might not be able to see the quick at all. In this case, you will have to work slowly and examine the nail as you grind layers away. When you see a mass of gray, you must not go any further.
Grinding the Nail
Turn the grinder on away from the nail. With one hand holding your dog's paw steady, use the grinder to shorten the nail to an acceptable length.
Ideally, the nail should be above the bottom of your dog's foot. The goal is to ensure that the nails don't tap on the floor as they walk.
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Work in short bursts. Grind down the nail a bit and reexamine it to ensure that you're not doing too much.
Complete each toe individually. Make sure that you're praising your dog and comforting them throughout the entire process.
Shape the Nail
After the nails are at the right length, you can go back and do some shaping. Switch to a finer grinding band and round off any harsh edges.
You can follow the natural curve of the nail to create a rounded edge that won't scuff up your floors.
Nail grinders are a must-have tool for all dog owners. It's time to ditch those ineffective clippers and move onto something a bit more efficient. Try one of our recommended grinders. Once you start using a grinder, you'll never look back!