February 22, 2019

best dog nail grinder

Best Dog Nail Grinder

Dog nail grinders are a great option for a nervous owner. If, despite all the tips, tricks and information here, you can’t bring yourself to squeeze the blades of scissor or guillotine dog nail clippers through your dog’s nails, or if you suffer from arthritis of the hands, then a dog nail grinder is probably the way to go. They work by friction, gradually shaving off small pieces of nail through contact with a sandpaper-like spinning surface. If you’ve ever used an emery board on your own nails, or had a mani-pedi recently, think of a dog nail grinder as a sort of rotating emery board. Or a small version of the sander you use for home DIY.

Although it is possible to grind the nail down too far and hit the quick, this is much less likely than with traditional clippers. Plus your dog will soon let you know if the grinder is nearing any sensitive parts of the nail. Potential accidents can easily be avoided; this isn’t the case with scissor or guillotine dog nail clippers – mistakes can’t be rectified and your dog will blame you if you cut into the quick. (But four-legged friends are very forgiving – aren’t dogs just great?)


Dog nail grinders are the ultimate in facilitating slow and steady doggy nail care

Nail grinders are generally more expensive than dog nail clippers (expect to pay around double the price) and bear in mind that they require electricity or batteries that may need to be replaced, along with the sanding heads. Dog nail grinders are the ultimate in facilitating slow and steady doggy nail care, but they are noisy and some dogs find the sound of the rotary tool spinning close to them intolerable.

In my case, Bella is happy enough with either clippers or grinders being used to trim her nails. Kobe, on the other hand, is more of a wimp. He has always hated the sound of the vacuum cleaner, hairdryer and suchlike; dog nail grinders fall into the same category in his opinion. He absolutely will not consider dog nail grinders and regards me with the utmost suspicion and nervousness if I get them out of the box. In his case, the ‘short, sharp shock’ of dog nail clippers is preferable to the continual whirring of dog nail grinders. I’m sure there are some dog owners out there whose mutts will feel exactly the same. If so, dog nail grinders are not the best choice.

That said, dog nail grinders give a great finish – smooth, even nails that look fantastic on any breed. Like any sanding tool, they produce dust, so you might want to consider wearing a dust mask while using them. Your doggy pal will also not appreciate airways full of dust; try draping a towel or similar over your pooch’s nose as you work. Some brands (see below) include sheaths to catch the dust, but in my experience, plenty of the dust escapes capture. Dog nail grinders can also become hot – friction of any kind produces heat – so stop regularly, as per my recommendations in How to Cut Dogs’ Nails.

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5. Oster Gentle Paws Less Stress Dog and Cat Nail Grinder

This grinder comes with a number of features and inclusions. The grinder has two speeds and a device to capture filings which doubles as a safety guard (the dog’s nail is inserted through a gap in this transparent ‘cap’) to ensure the nail isn’t ground down too far. The package also includes a coarse stone, fine band and two coarse sandpaper bands for different grinding requirements, depending on the breed/hardness of the nail etc. However, it requires 4 x AA batteries, which are not included, so replacement costs have to be factored in.

This grinder comes with a number of features and inclusions. The grinder has two speeds and a device to capture filings which doubles as a safety guard (the dog’s nail is inserted through a gap in this transparent ‘cap’) to ensure the nail isn’t ground down too far. The package also includes a coarse stone, fine band and two coarse sandpaper bands for different grinding requirements, depending on the breed/hardness of the nail etc. However, it requires 4 x AA batteries, which are not included, so replacement costs have to be factored in.

Verdict: Fast, effective grinders that cut down on mess. The safety guide may mean that the product is not suitable for toy breeds and the cost of batteries can elevate the initial financial outlay.

4. Bell + Howell PawPerfect Rotating Nail File

These grinders have an innovative design that feels substantial in the hand and a cute pawprint on/off button. However, Bell + Howell’s grinders have more than ergonomic good looks: they offer two operating speeds of 7000 or 14000 rpm, allowing a fast, efficient finish. The device is relatively quiet at around 50 decibels (about the sound of an electric toothbrush). A bright LED light is activated as soon as the device is switched on, facilitating the job and ensuring your dog’s nails aren’t trimmed too much. The rotating sandpaper head is covered by a protective sheath, with 3 differently sized nail slots in which to place your four-legged pal’s nails, providing safe usage for both you and your variously-sized pets. What’s more it comes with 3 replacement rollers for the rotating head: 2 x fine rollers and 1 x extra fine roller. However, the cordless design is achieved with 3 x AA batteries, which need to be replaced.

Verdict: Quiet, looks great, works well and has extras that make it a versatile and safe choice. More expensive than other grinders, however, and replacement batteries up the cost.

3. Furminator Nail Grinder Professional Grooming Tool for Pets

Fantastic value dog nail grinder with the same sort of features as the Bell + Howell PawPerfect grinder described above, but at a fraction of the price. The grinder can be operated at either 6000 or 12000 rpm speeds and has a removable safety guard and built-in LED light which increases its versatility. The package includes two grinding bands and 4 x AA batteries. However, bear in mind that at some point the batteries will need to be replaced.

Verdict: Excellent value, ergonomic, lightweight and fast. Versatile – can be used at different speeds and with/without the guard.

2. Zerhunt Dog Nail Pack
Zerhunt Dog Nail Pack

This is a versatile pawdicure combo that includes a dog nail grinder, dog nail file and scissor-style dog nail clippers. The pack is a great value option for anyone who wants to try both nail clipping methods, or who wants to use the clippers to cut dog nails and the grinder to give a smooth, professional finish. Or for dog owners like me whose mutts prefer different nail trimming procedures! I won’t specifically review the clippers, except to say they include a lock and safety guard as standard.

The grinder utilises a 6000rpm diamond bit, which the manufacturers claim never needs to be replaced (I’d be sceptical about this. Nothing lasts forever!), although it will certainly outlast sandpaper-style grinders. The tip of the grinder can be covered with a plastic cap, to produce two ‘ports’: a larger one for medium-large claws and a smaller one for the nails of small breeds. In both cases the nail is in contact with the top of the grinder. Alternatively, this cap can be removed for ‘fast grinding’ along the side of the rotating head. If you have a lot of pets, Zerhunt guarantee the small port on the grinder is suitable for other animals such as cats or rabbits. Personally speaking, I wouldn’t want to come near any cat with a grinder – apart from the fact I’d probably come off worst in the encounter, there are more natural, less traumatic ways to keep your cat’s nails trim.

Some of the best features of the Zerhunt grinder: the device operates cordlessly and can be recharged via USB. An indicator light on the grinder turns from red to green to indicate a full charge. Low vibration compared to some grinders and relatively quiet at less than 60 decibels (the sound of conversation in a restaurant/air-conditioner from 100 feet/background music in a store).

Verdict: Fantastic value pack. Good quality, versatile basic grinders. A good purchase.

1. Dremel 7300-PT 4.8V Pet Nail Grooming Tool
Dremel 7300-PT 4.8V Pet Nail Grooming Tool

Dremel is a well-known American company specialising in rotary tools, so from the start you know you are dealing with a quality homegrown product. Their dog nail grinder operates on a rechargeable Ni-Cd battery, which slots into the bottom of the device.  The pack includes a 3-hour battery charger and 5 sanding accessories: ½ inch 60-grit sanding band with mandrel (the shaft the sanding head fits onto) [accessory no. 407] and 4 x ½ inch replacement 60-grit sanding bands [accessory no. 408].

Although these accessories will last for quite some time, replacement sanding bands are readily available and the device is compatible with a range of Dremel sanding drums and bands. The included 60-grit sanding bands are sufficiently rough for grinding your dog’s nails, but if you want a really smooth finish, higher grit numbers are available. Or, if you plan to do some hardcore dog nail trimming, you can even buy a spare battery! Two rotation speeds (6500 and 13000 rpm) facilitate gradual or fast grinding; either way the job will be completed in minutes. Oh, and did I mention there is a 2 year warranty that you know will be honoured by a reliable company like Dremel.

Although there is a newer Dremel dog nail clipping model, this device does the same job at 75% of the cost. Bear in mind that this grinder does not have a safety guard, so if your dog has long hair on his/her feet, like Kobe the Grinch-footed collie, you should trim this back first to avoid any chance of it catching in the rotating mandrel.

Verdict: Hands down the best dog nail grinder. It is sturdy, rechargeable, well-made, and with an excellent range of accessories and replacement parts available. It is reasonably priced and really will last a lifetime.

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