Best Nail Grinders For Dogs


Best Nail Grinders For Dogs

dog nail grinder

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I tried clipping just one of my terrier’s nails the other night, fearing it had got too long and was causing him discomfort. After a minute of fighting with the nail clippers and with my terrier, PeaKay, I gave it up as a bad job. There was no way those clippers could penetrate that tough lump of keratin – and no way PeaKay was going to take my attempts lying down!

Frustrated and concerned that I couldn’t alleviate his discomfort – PeaKay is a senior dog and deserves comfort! – I started looking around for alternatives and stumbled across nail grinders! Why I had never thought of using them before, I have no idea. After all, I have been dreaming about getting one for my goats for years!

I started asking friends and family about their experiences with nail grinders and gathered information about ten different products, five of which I had the opportunity to take for a test drive. Of those five, the Casfuy dog nail grinder stood out as being the easiest to use and the most efficient. If you keep reading, I’ll tell you why I recommend it as the best nail grinder for dogs – including ones with claws that are, quite literally, as tough as nails!

Our Top Choice: Casfuy Nail Grinder

Our TOP Choice
Casfuy Dog Nail Grinder - Professional 2-Speed Nail Trimmer

With its diamond drum bit grinder, the Casfuy nail grinder is safe to use and comfortable for dogs of all sizes. As PeaKay is a Jack Russell-cross, I initially thought the small port would be the best but, after a few false starts, it turned out the medium one was best for PeaKay’s thick claws and oversized paws.

The Casfuy has two speeds available, although it’s generally best to start on the lower one while your dog gets accustomed to the noise and vibration. Having said that, the Casfuy is one of the quietest nail grinders around, using “whisper-quiet” technology to help keep your dog calm.

Being cordless and lightweight, this nail grinder is easy to use. Better still, the battery will last up to two hours on a three-hour charge, which is about an hour and a half longer than PeaKay can sit still for!

Check the current price here!

When I first introduced PeaKay to this nail grinder, he wanted to play with it! When I pointed out what it was actually for, he was surprisingly accommodating. This nail grinder is easy enough to operate while holding your dog at the same time. In the past, clipping PeaKay’s nails has required a small army of people and a slightly larger mountain of treats. 

I was amazed at how quickly it smoothed the rough edges. PeaKay does run on gravel roads every day, so he doesn’t have a lot of growth. What there is, however, appears to be made of stone. The Casfuy nail grinder made quick work of them, however, and, after 10 minutes, they looked like polished gems instead of rough bits of coal.

While easy enough to use on PeaKay’s short-haired paws, I did wonder how safe it would be on my Cairn terrier-cross, Biscuit, who has a long fluffy coat that hides his nails – and his eyes most of the time! 

Fortunately, the manufacturers have already thought of this and suggest putting “a small nylon stocking or sock” over your dog’s paw and then make holes in the end that you can push the nails through. That way, “only the nails are exposed,” and there’s no chance of catching your dog’s hair in the device as it spins.

Affordably priced, the Casfuy dog nail grinder is easy to use, comfortable for your dog, and quiet enough not to frighten him. Even PeaKay agrees. And it comes with a lifetime warranty!

Table of Contents

Our Runner-Ups

If you need a specific nail grinder for your pooch – such as an extra quiet one or a grinder with special safety features – her are our picks:

Best Budget Option

Our Budget-Friendly Pick
Casifor Dog Nail Grinder

There isn’t a huge price difference between the most expensive and the cheapest dog nail grinders, but this one is a bargain whichever way you look at it. It’s quiet, has a battery life of up to 10 hours, and costs a few dollars less than either the Casfuy or the Dremel.

The Casifor nail grinder features a high-quality motor that, according to the manufacturers, produces so much torque that “it can even polish metal.” 

Charge the device using any standard USB port, so you don’t have to worry about batteries. Its long battery life also means you’ll only need to charge once for every two or three uses.

Check the current price here!

Not only is the Casifor affordable and efficient, but it’s also much quieter than many of its rival pet nail grinders to the point that some users weren’t even sure if it was working until they saw the grinding head spinning!

This nail grinder fits easily in your hand, making it comfortable to use, while the silicone grip means it won’t slip and frighten your dog.

It comes highly recommended, with multiple positive online reviews, and works well enough even on larger breeds, although you may have to use it daily to stay on top of things, taking just a little off at a time.

This is an impressively durable product for the price and is also one of the quietest nail grinders we tested.

Best Nail Grinder For Nervous Dogs

Our Choice for Nervous Dogs
Dremel 7300-PT 4.8V Cordless Nail Grinder

Dremel manufactures a wide range of power and rotary tools and is one of the leading names in pet nail grinders. This grooming tool uses a 60-grit sanding drum rather than the diamond drum grinder of the Casfuy product. It’s still effective but possibly not as long-lasting.

Like the Casfuy, the Dremel is cordless and lightweight, making it easier to maneuver regardless of what size dog you’re dealing with. With five different sanding disks, you have complete control over how much nail you grind off at a time, while the two rotation speeds mean you can move seamlessly from one stage of grinding to the next.

Short nails for my nervous pup!

Even at the fastest speed, the Dremel is easy to control and is quiet enough to use on the most nervous of dogs, assuming you introduce your canine companion to the noise and vibrations one step at a time.

The Dremel is accurate enough to get close to the hyponychium, or quick, of your dog’s nails without hurting him or taking off too much. PeaKay seemed to sense this, and other dog owners have said that even a dog that turns “into a Tasmanian devil” at the sight of regular clippers becomes a pushover with the Dremel. 

At the same price as the Casfuy, there is little to choose between the two. I preferred the Casfuy because it seemed to hold its power for longer and was a lot lighter and, therefore, more maneuverable. The Dremel is quieter, however, so might be better for younger dogs that aren’t yet as hard of hearing as my elderly Terrier!

Safest Nail Grinder For Nervous Owners

Our Choice for Extra Safety
Oster Gentle Paws Grinder

If you’ve got a skittish, long-haired dog, I can understand you being a bit apprehensive about going anywhere near him with a nail grinder. The moment you start thinking about it, your mind is flooded with nightmarish images of your dog’s nail getting caught and him yelping with pain. 

The Oster Gentle Paws can give you peace of mind with its plastic safety guard which is designed to protect the dog and stop you from trimming too short and cutting into the sensitive quick. The safety guard doubles up as a catchment for nail filings, making your grooming experience less messy.

Designed to provide a less-stressful pet pedicure, the Oster will not disappoint!

Check the current price here!

PeaKay didn’t seem to mind too much but, then again, his bark is one of the loudest noises I’ve ever heard, so he’s used to ear-splitting uproars!

This nail grinder lacks the power of our top two choices, which means it’s less effective on particularly over-grown nails and larger dogs. On the plus side, it’s even lighter than the Casfuy dog nail grinder so, easier to move around, especially on toy or miniature breeds.

In the same price range as both the Casfuy and the Dremel, the Oster nail grinder can’t compete in terms of power, but it does lead the pack when it comes to safety.

Longest Battery Life Grinder

Our Choice for Long Battery Life
Pecute Rechargeable Electric Nail Grinder

I doubt that anyone is going to sit down to a 14-hour nail grinding session unless they’ve got 30 dogs or more, but, if you needed to, you could with the Pecute dog nail grinder. 

A one-hour quick charge will give you four hours of battery life, while a full charge will keep you going for a phenomenal 14 hours, making it ideal for those, like myself, who have a pack of dogs instead of just one or two.

Using a diamond grindstone, the Pecute makes quick work of overgrown nails, especially if you use the faster, 6800 RPM speed, while the lower speed is better if you want precision and if your dog is still a little nervous of the grinder.

Check the current price here!

Its lightweight, ergonomic design makes it easy to use, while its low-noise and minimal vibration make it easier to use around skittish animals.

Like the Casfuy dog nail grinder, the Pecute features three different ports, designed to work on three different sizes of dog. While these prove effective enough, the Pecute doesn’t perform so well on larger dogs whose “nails are too big and too tough.”

As it’s not quite as powerful as the best dog nail grinders, it also takes longer to complete the task, with some users reporting that it takes them “about 1-2 minutes per nail to grind down to the desired level”.

It’s a shame this nail grinder isn’t more versatile or powerful, given that it costs quite a bit more than our other products. Still, if you work in a dog rescue center and have 30 skittish dogs with overgrown nails, it might just be worth the investment.

dog needs nails trimmed

Why Should I Get a Nail Grinder For My Dog?

Keeping your dog’s nails short and neat is as much about his health as it is about his appearance. 

Long nails are prone to breakage and can get caught on carpets and furniture, causing them to tear. You know how painful it is when you break a nail, so imagine how it feels for your dog! In the worst-case scenario, the nail could be ripped out altogether, which is both extremely painful and leaves him susceptible to infection.

Overlong nails put pressure in the wrong places and cause the paw to splay unnaturally. This can lead to deformity if not dealt with timeously, and may even cause damage to the tendons and ligaments in the leg.

Dewclaws also need regular attention and, without it, can grow so long that they curl around and become embedded in the paw, causing pain and, potentially, infection.

While dogs who spend a lot of time running on hard surfaces like concrete or blacktop may wear their nails down to such an extent that they rarely need trimming, dewclaws don’t touch the ground so don’t have the opportunity to wear down naturally.

How Frequently Should I Trim My Dog’s Nails?

How quickly your dog’s nails grow will depend on the amount of exercise he gets and the kind of surfaces he runs on, as well as his breed and age. 

Dogs should get nail trims ideally every week. Observe your dog and trim “as often as it takes to prevent their nails from touching the ground when they’re standing.”

How To Use a Dog Nail Grinder Safely

Before you fire up your nail grinder, make sure you trim away any long hairs around the nails so they won’t catch in the moving parts. Alternatively, try the sock trick we mentioned earlier. Once all the hair is squared away:

  1. Hold your dog in a comfortable position with his paw outstretched;
  2. Holding the paw firmly, use the grinder on one nail at a time;
  3. Apply gentle pressure to the bottom of the nail tip before working around the sides to the top;
  4. Always angle the grinder at 45° “to follow the slant of the nail growth;”
  5. Avoid grinding the nail too short by looking for the lighter, fleshier portion that contains the quick;
  6. Repeat this process until all the sharp edges have been removed and then move onto the next nail.

If you want a more detailed explanation of how to grind your dog’s nails, check out this informative tutorial.

Is a Nail Grinder Better Than a Clipper?

Both nail clippers and grinders have a role to play in maintaining your dog’s nails. While clippers are quick and quiet, the chances of cutting into the sensitive quick of your dog’s nail are greater than with the gradual motion of the grinder.

Many dogs become anxious about having their nails clipped, and many owners do too, which is where the nail grinder excels. As it’s more difficult to cut the nail too short, many dog owners doing their own nail maintenance prefer it. It is also ideal for dogs who’ve had unpleasant clipper experiences.

Many professional groomers use a reputable pair of clippers to remove the bulk of the excess growth and a grinder to finish the process, leaving the nail smooth and polished.

The Bottom Line

Although PeaKay is still favoring his paw, since grinding his nails, he looks a lot more comfortable and a little smarter than usual. 

Having used clippers in the past, I’m impressed with how the best dog nail grinders turn this usually arduous process into a breeze. PeaKay is far more accepting of the Casfuy nail grinder than he ever has been about nail clippers. In part, that’s probably because its “whisper-quiet” technology makes it a lot quieter than his own voice so, he barely even notices it.

If he wasn’t quite so hard of hearing, I might have considered the affordable and virtually silent Casifor nail grinder instead and would certainly consider it next time around. The Dremel is also highly effective if a little noisy and somewhat harder to control with its rather enthusiastic vibrations.

As I’ve been trimming horses’ hooves for over ten years, I don’t get particularly nervous about grinding my dogs’ nails. Not everyone feels like that, however, especially not if they’ve had a bad experience in the past. If that’s the case, the Oster nail grinder can set your mind at rest with its handy safety guard. It’s not ideal for dogs that are sensitive to loud noises, however, as it rumbles away like a power tool.

If you’ve got a big pack of dogs who all seem to need their nails trimming at the same time, you might want to invest in the Pecute nail grinder with its 14-hour battery life and diamond grindstone. You could be there a while, however, especially if you’ve got a lot of big dogs with thick claws to get through.

Maintaining your dogs’ nails is crucial to their well-being, even if they do maintain them by running on hard surfaces. Rough edges can easily get caught, causing the nail to tear, or even ripping it out completely. You can go the clipper route if that suits you, and you’re confident you won’t trim too short. If you prefer to err on the side of caution, invest in one of the best dog nail grinders.

Author: Nicky Hoseck

Author: Nicky Hoseck

Nicky lives on a small-holding on South Africa’s Wild Coast with a selection of animals, a husband, and five dogs. She spends all her waking hours with her Australian Cattle Dog, Koala, either walking, horse-riding, running, or just hanging out.

Originally from the UK, Nicky been living with dogs for over 40 years and is a passionate dog-owner.

With a Masters Degree from the University of London under her belt, Nicky has had a diverse career, training and riding horses, running safari lodges, and hosting volunteers. She’s now a full-time writer.