All dogs need their nails trimmed, though some do need them trimmed more than others. You can either trim your dog’s nails yourself or pay a groomer to do it for you. Of course, taking your dog to the groomer every few weeks for a nail trim can be very tiring, especially if your dog doesn’t require any other professional grooming.
Many dog parents decide to trim their dog’s nails themselves for this reason. However, if you have a dog with black nails, this is often more challenging. It is hard to see the quick when your dog’s nails are black.
Having a good pair of dog nail clippers is absolutely essential, which is exactly why we’ve provided reviews for 10 of the best dog nail clippers below.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2023
|Best Overall||Millers Forge Nail Clipper with Safety Stop||
|Best Value||Frisco Dog & Cat Nail Clippers||
|Premium Choice||Safari Professional Nail Trimmer for Dogs||
|Hartz Groomer’s Best Nail Clipper||
|Frisco Dog Nail Trimmer||
The 10 Best Dog Nail Clippers for Black Nails
1. Millers Forge Nail Clipper with Safety Stop– Best Overall
If you’re looking for a simple, good pair of dog nail clippers, we recommend the Millers Forge Nail Clipper with Safety Stop. These dog nail clippers are easily the best overall dog nail clippers for black nails. They’re made in a plier style, which makes quick and precise cutting much easier. You can see what you’re doing a bit better, which helps prevent accidents.
We also like the comfortable plastic grip, which provides a secure hold (an extra-important feature if you have squirmy pets). The cutting mechanism is spring-loaded, so it provides a bit more force than your hand can itself. This extra force helps cut through the whole nail on the first try, making the cuts neater and stressing your pet out less.
The built-in safety stop is another great feature for pet parents who are still unsure of themselves. It can be moved to prevent overcutting.
2. Frisco Dog & Cat Nail Clippers – Best Value
Just about everyone out there knows how to use scissors, which makes the Frisco Dog & Cat Nail Clippers particularly helpful for new dog owners. These carbon steel clippers are designed to stay sharp for a long time, allowing you to cut your dog’s nails quickly and easily. The semi-circular blade also allows you to see exactly what you’re doing—a trait that’s especially important if your dog has black nails.
We love the scissors-style design of these clippers, as well as the lower cost. In fact, they’re easily the best dog nail clippers for black nails for the money. The only negative is that these clippers aren’t as strong as some other designs, which can make it harder to get through particularly thick nails.
3. Safari Professional Nail Trimmer for Dogs – Premium Choice
If you have a bit of extra money to spend, we highly recommend the Safari Professional Nail Trimmer for Dogs. These nail trimmers have many of our favorite features, but you are going to pay a bit extra for them. They’re made with stainless steel, which is very durable and provides a long-lasting edge.
Plus, the non-slip grip is exceptionally comfortable. It provides some extra control, which is important when you’re trying to wrestle your finicky dog. The cutter is double-bladed, allowing it to cut from both sides, unlike a surprising number of clippers out there. The tension spring provides a bit more force, helping ensure a swift, clean cut.
Like other premium options, these nail clippers also have a safety stop that helps reduce the risk of cutting too much.
4. Hartz Groomer’s Best Nail Clipper
The Hartz Groomer’s Best Nail Clippers are fairly similar to our other top picks. They are made with stainless steel, which helps them keep an edge. The blade is also contoured, allowing you to cut practically any dog’s nails.
The grip is pretty nice, too. It’s textured to provide some control, while still being very comfortable. It’s fairly similar to other high-quality grips. These clippers feature a built-in safety guard that is meant to help you avoid cutting the quick—a common problem for dogs with black nails.
That said, these clippers are a bit cheaply made, and you can tell. The plastic isn’t as high-quality as other options, and the guard cannot tighten all that much. The quality just isn’t as high as our three top picks.
5. Frisco Dog Nail Trimmer
We like the Frisco Dog Nail Trimmers for several reasons. The high-carbon steel blades are durable and keep an edge for a while. Like many nail trimmers we recommend for black claws, it has a built-in safety guard to help you avoid cutting your dog’s quick. The soft grip also provides some extra control over the clippers, especially whenever your dog decides that they don’t want their nails trimmed.
Our biggest problem with these nail clippers is that you have to reset the lock after every cut. When you’re trying to cut nails quickly, this is a serious problem. It makes the process take much longer, leading to more irritated pets.
6. Resco Original Dog Nail Clippers
The Resco Original Dog Nail Clippers are a traditional pair of dog nail clippers. They’re the kind often used by professional groomers. It reduces the pressure of the cutting process, which prevents stress for your dog. This particular pair is made with solid steel and is extremely durable (which is why professionals often use them; they do a lot of nails). The attractive chrome plating also looks nice, though that doesn’t affect the practicality of these trimmers.
We love that these nail clippers allow you to replace dull blades when you need to. This isn’t a very common feature, and it can help increase the lifespan of the clippers.
However, you are going to pay for all of these features. These clippers are very expensive—twice as much as many of the other clippers on this list.
7. Boshel Dog Nail Clipper
The Boshel Dog Nail Clippers have quite a few things going for them. Firstly, they are rather sharp and made of 3.5 mm stainless steel. Therefore, they are strong enough to cut just about any size nail, and sharp enough to easily get the nail without tearing. They do their job decently well, even if they are lower on this list.
They do have a safety, like most on this list. Its job is to keep you from hitting the quick. They also have a very comfortable grip that provides plenty of control.
All that said, these clippers do require quite a bit of force to properly cut the nail, and they don’t have anything helping them produce this much force. Therefore, they may cause more tearing and pain for the dog than other clippers on this list.
8. PawPerfect Nail Trimmer
The PawPerfect Nail Trimmer is much different from other trimmers on this list. Starting off, it isn’t a standard clipper at all. Instead, it’s made with a rotary file that slowly wears down your dog’s nails. It’s meant to be an alternative to clipping, which may be helpful for dogs with black nails.
It comes with three different safety guides, which reduce the odds of wearing their nails down all the way to the quick. It also has a rubber grip for comfort and control, though the grip isn’t one of our favorites. This trimmer doesn’t make a huge mess, which is always a big plus.
All that said, this trimmer is pretty loud, which is a problem for more sensitive dogs. There also aren’t any replacement bands. So, once you wear through one band, you’re out of luck.
9. Zen Clipper Precise Dog Nail Clipper
The biggest benefit of the Zen Clipper Precise Dog Nail Clipper is its adjustability. Unlike other dog nails out there, these clippers can be adjusted for different nail sizes. Theoretically, this makes the nails easy to clip. However, you do have to adjust the clippers for each size nail, which can take a few minutes. When you’re clipping nails, this is often easier said than done.
Because it is adjustable, you should only cut the tip of the claw. However, this is assuming that you are adjusting it correctly.
Many people complained about the adjustment feature, even if it does sound somewhat smart on paper. The feature just doesn’t work well practically speaking, and it doesn’t seem to fit much larger nails.
10. Chi Guillotine Nail Dog Clipper
We’ve included very few traditional clippers in this article, as they can be a bit harder for dog owners to use. They’re also incredibly expensive, including the Chi Guillotine Nail Dog Clipper. These clippers are supposed to be for professional groomers. However, they can also be a great option for dog owners who want to use professional-style clippers.
The ergonomic grip is made to reduce hand fatigue, and it is much more comfortable than other grips out there. The blade is exceptionally sharp, allowing you to easily slice through your dog’s nails.
The only significant negative is that these clippers are expensive, and they are a bit bulky. They’re much bigger than other types of clippers, which can make them a bit harder to maneuver and store.
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Dog Nail Clippers for Black Nails
When you have a dog with black nails, you want a pair of clippers that are going to help you properly cut their nails without causing damage to the quick. Often, this is easier said than done, as you can’t see the quick.
Luckily, we’re here to help. We’ll go over everything you need to know about choosing the best clippers for your needs, which should help you and your dog have an easier time.
Types of Clippers
There are several types of clippers available. Each has its own benefits and downsides. Sometimes, you may want to have different clippers on hand for different situations or dogs, but you can often get away with having just a favorite pair of clippers you use all the time.
Here are the main types of clippers you should be aware of when shopping for a pair of your own:
- Guillotine/Traditional Clippers: Guillotine-style clippers are simple to use and work well for smaller dogs with thin nails. They feature a small hole where you insert the nail and a blade slides across to cut it. These clippers are known for their precision, but they may not be suitable for larger dogs with thicker nails. They can also be a bit intimidating, and some dog owners may have a harder time seeing where the blade is going to go.
- Scissors Clippers: Scissor clippers are more versatile and provide better control, especially for larger dogs with thicker nails. They resemble scissors with two blades that come together to cut the nail cleanly. Choose scissor clippers with sharp blades and a comfortable grip for ease of use.
- Pliers Clippers: As the name suggests, plier clippers are designed to look and function like pliers. They are very similar to scissors clippers, but you hold them differently. Usually, you can put a bit more force into these clippers, making them a good decision when you have a larger dog with thicker nails.
- Grinder Tools: If you prefer a different approach, consider grinder tools. These electric or battery-powered devices grind down the nail instead of cutting it. Grinders are great for rounding sharp edges and smoothing the nail’s surface, making them suitable for all nail types. However, they can be noisy and may take some time for your dog to get used to.
Consider Size and Strength
Getting through the nails of smaller dogs isn’t challenging. However, some bigger dogs have very tough nails that can be a challenge to cut cleanly. Therefore, you may want to choose more powerful, larger clippers if you have a bigger dog. For smaller dogs, practically anything will do.
Of course, you also want to choose a pair of clippers that is high-quality and able to withstand some serious usage. You don’t want flimsy clippers that won’t hold up to more than a couple of uses.
You should also consider the quality and sharpness of the blade. Dull blades can lead to the nail splintering or only partially cutting. The blade should preferably be made out of stainless steel, which is durable and resistant to rust.
Some clippers have blades that only allow you to cut to a certain length. This length can often be adjusted, allowing you to use the blades for a wide variety of different dogs. However, these clippers do rely on you to adjust them correctly. They often claim to prevent owners from cutting the quick, but that’s assuming the clippers aren’t adjusted too large.
Therefore, adjustability can be helpful, especially if you know how to use it. However, this feature is commonly sold to inexperienced dog owners who haven’t clipped many dog nails before—which is exactly the type of person who will have trouble figuring out how to adjust the clippers to the right length.
Plus, if you know the length to adjust the clippers, you probably don’t need the adjustability, anyway.
The handle of the clippers should be comfortable. You don’t want your hands getting sore every time you use them. However, the handle should also provide plenty of control. You don’t want your hand slipping in the middle of a grooming session, even when your dog is fighting against you.
When you’re trying to cut your dog’s black nails, the last thing you need is to worry about the grip, too. This feature is one of those that you really don’t think about unless you’re trying to use a pair of clippers with a very bad grip.
The blade should remain sharp for a long time. While you can sharpen many clippers, this process is often hard and requires specific tools. In many cases, dog owners simply throw their clippers away and purchase a new pair. However, the ability to replace blades can help your clippers last much longer without tons of extra effort.
Sadly, this feature is pretty rare. Many types of clippers do not have blades that can be easily changed, like scissors clippers. However, more traditional clippers often do come with extra blades, as they were often designed for professional dog groomers.
There are tons of different dog clippers on the market. It can be hard to distinguish the differences between different clippers—not to mention which clippers you should be using.
Our favorite is the Millers Forge Nail Clippers with Safety Stop. These clippers are simple, but they work. They also won’t break the bank, either.
For a more budget-friendly option, we also like the Frisco Dog & Cat Nail Clippers. They’re very inexpensive, and many dog owners may like the scissor-style design.