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Looking to trim your dog’s nails? Anyone who has tried—and failed—to do the deed with a pair of traditional dog nail clippers will be happy to know there’s another option, short of heading to your vet or groomers: Dog nail grinders. Think of these like a super-powered nail file that uses friction to shorten and shape your pup’s nails.
For a successful nail grinding session, start by allowing your pup to inspect and sniff the tool first before turning it on. Then switch it on so they can get used to the sound before you start grinding their nails, remembering to hand out plenty of healthy treats along the way.
Read on for our top picks.
Best Overall: Casfuy Dog Nail Grinder
The Casfuy nail grinder is quiet, easy to use, and has a powerful diamond drum bit grinder that takes down even the thickest of nails. You can choose from two speeds and three ports, which makes it easy to customize the grinder to your pet's needs. Veterinarians and pet grooming professionals recommend it for novices and experts alike, thanks to its lightweight, ergonomic design that makes maneuvering a cinch.
Because it's cordless, you'll have to recharge it with the included USB cord. It holds a two hour charge after three hours of being plugged in.
Best Budget: Wahl Classic Dog Nail Smoother
You get a lot for your money with this dog nail grinder from Wahl, a 100-year old company based in Illinois. That includes two large sanding drums and five sanding bands that are easy to change. The grinder is lightweight and easy to use and reviewers like that it’s battery operated. It has one speed: 5,300 RPMs, which is on the slower side compared to other grinders. The benefit is that it’s super quiet, while the downside is that it might take longer to groom all of your dog’s nails, especially if your furbaby is a larger breed.
Best Splurge: Andis Cordless Dog & Cat Nail Grinder
Not only does this Andis nail grinder feature sanding bands of two different sizes (because your pup’s toes and nails aren’t all the same length), it also runs on six different speeds ranging from 7,000 to 18,000 RPMs. This helps ensure that it will work on all sorts of dogs (and cats!) by being slow and gentle—or quick and powerful—enough to get the job done. And it’s as easy to swap out the bands as it is to operate this ergonomically designed grinder, which has a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that can run for up to three hours on a single charge. For convenient transport, it all comes housed in a hard plastic carrying case.
Best Multi-Speed: Dremel 7760-PGK 4V Pet Grooming Cordless Kit
From the same Wisconsin-based company that makes some of your favorite rotary tools, this nail grinder offers four different speeds (ranging from 8,000 up to 25,000 RPM) to get the most precise cut. Its 45-degree angle prevents the likelihood that you’ll cut too quickly, while its clear cap nail guard helps capture nail dust for less of a mess. The grinder is cordless and has an ergonomic design, so it's easy to control and handle. Just make sure to start at the slowest speed, then work your way up as needed.
Best for Dark Nails: FURminator Nail Grinder for Dogs and Cats
One of the top advantages a nail grinder has over a pair of clippers is that it can give your dog’s nails a soft-rounded edge that won’t snag on furniture or clothing.
That’s especially true of this grinder from FURminator. With two different speeds, it works quickly, which means you can get the job done in a jiffy (ideal for dogs who don’t like having their paws touched). The automatic LED light illuminates your pup’s nails while you work, so you’re less likely to accidentally nick your pup—especially crucial if your pup has dark nails. For added safety, it’s made of antimicrobial plastic that keeps germs and bacteria at bay.
Best Low Noise: ConairPET Dog Micro Trimmer Grooming Tool
If your pup is skittish around loud noises, you’ll appreciate that this ConairPet Nail Grinder is super quiet, even when you put it into action. It comes with grinding bands and a finishing stone attachment to smooth the nails, plus a wrench to help you switch back and forth between the two.
The grinder has an adjustable safety guard cover to protect your fingers and your pup’s paws, and its small, compact size (7.5 inches long) makes it easy for pet parents to use.
Best Cordless: Oster Gentle Paws Premium Dog & Cat Nail Grinder
This cordless nail grinder runs on batteries, giving you one less thing to worry about. It also lets you trim your dog’s nails wherever they’re happiest, be it outdoors or in their crate. The two-speed motor that’s whisper-quiet, which also helps to keep your pooch calm.
The adjustable safety guard prevents accidents, while also catching any shavings and stopping nail dust from getting in their eyes. It works well on dogs of all sizes—plus cats, too. It takes four AA batteries.
Best Nail Grinder Kit: Pet Republique Cordless Pet Nail Grinder & Clippers
If you want the flexibility to use either a clipper or a grinder—or clip your pup’s nails followed by a filing session to smooth them out—this kit is for you. It comes with a pair of nail clippers and a cordless, rechargeable nail grinder for less than what you would pay for some nail grinders alone. The grinder has two speeds and three openings (small, medium, and large) so you can best customize the treatment to your pet. It also has a hair guard that prevents your pet’s fur from getting caught in the device. In addition to cats, you can use it on rabbits, ferrets, and other small- to medium-sized pets.
The best overall nail grinder is the Casfuy Dog Nail Grinder (view at Amazon), which has two speeds and three ports for ultimate customization. If you're on a budget (or just trying out at-home grooming for the first time), we recommend the Pet Republique Dog Claw Trimmer Kit (view at Chewy), which includes everything you'll need to get the job done.