Updated December 2021
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Buying guide for best ingrown nail clippers

Ingrown nails are painful, and they can lead to dangerous infections. While a doctor can help you get rid of ingrown nails, this usually isn’t necessary. You can handle them on your own as long as you have the right tool. Regular nail clippers aren’t enough to tackle the job – you need specialized ingrown nail clippers.

These clippers resemble scissors or pliers, and the best ones can tackle even the toughest ingrown nails with ease. But it’s important that you choose yours carefully, especially if ingrown nails are a recurring problem for you. The wrong nail clipper could dull or break down after a few uses, and then you’ve just wasted money.

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Ingrown nails can happen on any nail, but they’re most common on your big toes.

Key considerations

The two most important factors to consider when choosing ingrown nail clippers are the material and ease of use.


The best ingrown nail clippers are made of solid steel. This makes for strong blades that hold an edge for a long time and durable clippers that won’t fall apart at the hinges while you’re cutting. Some cheaper clippers are made from steel-plated aluminum. They may not look any different on the surface, but the lighter, more malleable aluminum might not hold up as well over time and could dull more quickly. The manufacturer might list the nail clippers’ material on the product page, or you can reach out to the company directly to ask.

Ease of use

The ingrown nail clippers should fit comfortably in your hand and be easy to maneuver so you can cut the ingrown nail without injuring the surrounding skin. You shouldn’t need to apply too much pressure in order to cut through the nail. If it requires considerable force, you might find the clippers too difficult to use or they could accidentally slip and injure you. You can get an idea of how easy the clippers are to use by reading through online customer reviews before you buy. This is an especially important concern for older adults or anyone with poor grip strength who might not be able to apply significant pressure when using the tool.

Ingrown toenail clipper features

Here are some other factors worth considering when choosing ingrown nail clippers.

Curved vs. straight

Curved nail clippers leave your nail rounded, while straight nail clippers cut it straight across. It’s up to you to decide which you prefer, but straight nail clippers are the better choice if you’re trying to prevent new ingrown nails. However, if ingrown nails are not a frequent problem for you, a curved blade might work just fine.


Ingrown nail clippers aren’t all equally sharp, even when they’re brand new. Dull blades might have a hard time cutting thick or brittle nails, and even if they do manage it, the cut might not be clean. You’ll then need to go back and touch it up with your regular nail clippers or smooth it out with a file. This takes extra time and effort that can be avoided by choosing sharp ingrown nail clippers to begin with. You can develop a sense of how sharp a tool is and how well it works by reading through online customer reviews before you buy. Be sure there aren’t any recurring complaints about the clippers you’re interested in.


Solid metal ingrown nail clippers might be difficult to grip and could slide out of your hands while you’re using them. This is especially problematic for older adults who might not be able to grip the nail clippers tightly. It’s best to choose clippers that have a plastic or rubber coating on the handles if you worry about the clippers slipping from your hands.


A few ingrown nail clippers have a built-in nail file. This isn’t an essential feature, but it’s a nice tool to have in case you need to smooth out the nail once you’ve cut it. If this is important to you, choose a tool with a built-in nail file.

Storage bag

If you want your ingrown nail clippers to last, you should store them somewhere safe. Some clippers come with a storage bag in which you can keep the clippers between uses so there’s less of a risk of them becoming damaged or dull. This isn’t a make-or-break feature, but it is a nice touch, and it could help you decide between two models.

" Older adults with arthritis or poor grip strength should choose ingrown nail clippers that don’t require significant pressure to operate. "

Ingrown toenail clipper prices

Ingrown nail clippers are slightly more expensive than traditional nail clippers. They start at around $7 and can go as high as $20, but a higher price tag isn’t necessarily indicative of higher-quality nail clippers. You’re better off basing your decision on the quality of the construction and the customer reviews.


  • Soak your feet in warm water for ten minutes before clipping your ingrown nail. This will help soften the skin and nail and make it easier to remove the ingrown nail.
  • Use tweezers to place a piece of gauze or a cotton ball between your ingrown nail and the skin. This helps creates space between your nail and skin and reduces the possibility that you’ll accidentally cut your skin while removing the ingrown nail.
  • Disinfect the area around the nail. Once you’ve cut the nail, use tea tree oil or another disinfectant that’s safe for use on skin to prevent infection.
  • Disinfect your ingrown nail clippers after each use. Wiping them with hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol will get rid of any germs or bacteria. Allow the clippers to dry completely before using them again.
  • See your doctor if you think your ingrown nail is infected.
  • Check your clipped nail periodically. Once you’ve clipped your ingrown nail, check on it to be sure that it isn’t growing back into the skin again.
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Did you know?
An ingrown nail is where one or both sides of the nail grows into the flesh around the nail.
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Cutting your nails too short can put you at risk for ingrown nails. You should always be able to see a little bit of the white part of your nail.


Q. What causes ingrown nails?
Several factors can increase your risk of developing ingrown nails, including not cutting your nails properly, wearing high-heeled or tightly fitting shoes often, and constantly sweaty feet. If you have any of these conditions or you’ve struggled with ingrown nails in the past, it’s smart to invest in ingrown nail clippers.

Q. Are ingrown nail clippers safe to use?
Yes, ingrown nail clippers are a safe way to tackle ingrown nails. If your clippers include instructions, read these carefully so you understand how to use the tool properly. Otherwise, you can follow the above tips or look up instructions online.

Q. How can I prevent ingrown toenails?
Clip your toenails regularly and don’t round them too much, especially your big toes, and avoid wearing shoes that are too tight.

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