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Best nail clippers

Which nail clipper is best?

Whether you’re giving yourself a manicure or need a basic trim, a reliable nail clipper is non-negotiable. Otherwise, you could end up with split or torn nails. 

Although sharp blades are usually the top priority for nail clippers, there are other features you should examine. Ergonomic design, durability and ease of use are also important. If you’d like to invest in built-to-last design, Victorinox Adult Nail Clipper is forged from Swiss steel and comes with a lifetime guarantee. 

What to know before you buy a nail clipper

Types of nail clippers

There is more than one type of nail clipper, and depending on your nail needs, you might invest in more than one. 

  • Fingernail: Fingernail clippers have small bodies and crescent-shaped blades that follow the nail’s natural curve. 
  • Toenail: Toenail clippers, approximately twice the size of fingernail clippers, typically have straight blades to make a clean cut across the tops of toenails. 
  • Thick toenail: Heavy-duty nail clippers have sharp, oblique tips. They also have more powerful squeezing mechanisms for efficient cutting through thick or ingrown toenails and dead skin.
  • Baby nails: Baby nail clippers are similar to fingernail varieties, but they have ergonomic designs with thicker handles for more comfortable and safer use. 

How to clean nail clippers

Like all manicure and pedicure tools, nail clippers should be regularly cleaned and sanitized to minimize the risk of infection. For best results, clean the clippers before and after every use.

The easiest way to clean and sanitize nail clippers is with alcohol, which disinfects surfaces and can kill bacteria and fungi. Wiping them down with alcohol is a good start, but it’s better to let them soak for 10 minutes. You can also place nail clippers in an ultraviolet sanitizer, which uses UV-C light to kill bacteria. Most devices fully sanitize items in eight minutes or less. 

What to look for in a quality nail clipper


Basic nail clippers have a simple, straight grip. Because they’re smooth, some people find their fingers slip off them during use. Ergonomic clippers, on the other hand, offer a better grip. They typically have contoured and rubber or silicone details, and some varieties have thumb indentations. A few ergonomic clippers have oversized grips that are easier for people with dexterity issues to manipulate. 

Extra tools

Several nail clippers have built-in manicure tools. The most common tool is the under-nail cleaner, with a curved tip to remove dirt and lotion from beneath nails. Other tools include cuticle pushers, cuticle trimmers or mini scissors. While convenient for on-the-go manicures and trims, mini tools are more difficult to use than their full-size counterparts. 


High-quality nail clippers often come with storage cases, typically sleeves or drawstring bags. While they may not seem necessary, the cases offer modest protection from debris and moisture. They also provide a protective barrier that limits contact between nail clippers and dirty items.

How much you can expect to spend on a nail clipper

Basic nail clippers typically cost $3-$10. More durable designs made by reputable nail and beauty brands run between $12-$22 apiece. Nail clipper sets, including sets with additional manicure tools, are $8-$30.

Nail clipper FAQ

What is the difference between nail scissors and nail clippers?

A. Nail scissors have slender, sharp blades that may have curved, straight or rounded tips. Some people feel they’re easier to use than nail clippers. However, they may not be sharp enough to cut through thick toenails. Nail clippers, on the other hand, are quick and convenient, but they don’t offer precision trimming like nail scissors. 

Is it OK to share nail clippers?

A. No. Sharing any manicure tools, including nail clippers, poses a risk of spreading bacteria and sharing infections. Every member of your household should have their own nail clippers. To avoid accidental use, they should store their clippers in personal toiletry or makeup bags. 

Do I need to file nails after clipping them?

A. It’s not necessary, but it will give your nails a cleaner, smoother finish. With that said, nail clippers are designed for trimming only — not shaping. If you want a nail shape other than your natural one, such as square or almond, filing is required. 

What are the best nail clippers to buy?

Top nail clipper

Victorinox Adult Nail Clipper

What you need to know: The clipper’s fine construction and ergonomic design makes it well worth the investment. 

What you’ll love: The clipper has a smooth, easy-to-control mechanism for efficient cuts. It’s forged from durable Swiss-made steel by the company that makes Swiss Army knives (which often include nail clippers). The blades are razor-sharp and won’t shred or split nails. It’s backed by a lifetime warranty against defects.

What you should consider: It lacks a built-in nail file, which surprised many buyers. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top nail clipper for money

Tweezerman Stainless Steel Nail Clippers

What you need to know: Made by a trusted beauty brand, this Tweezerman duo covers all your clipping needs. 

What you’ll love: There’s a small, curved clipper for fingers and a large, straight clipper for toes. Each clipper has a simple, pared-down design for easy handling. They also have easy-to-squeeze mechanisms. 

What you should consider: There are mixed reviews regarding how sharp and reliable the clippers are. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Steinder Easy Grip Nail Clippers

What you need to know: Instead of wrangling clippers at an awkward angle, these clippers have convenient rotary designs. 

What you’ll love: The rotary design lets you find a comfortable angle for easy clipping. They're suitable for people with limited dexterity. The clippers have ergonomic pear-shaped handles. Many reviewers found the small clipper was ideal for trimming baby nails. 

What you should consider: There is a slight learning curve when it comes to finding the ideal rotary position. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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