Best Baby Nail Clippers

Updated June 2021
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Buying guide for best baby nail clippers

For people who don’t have kids, babies are just adorable bundles of joy requiring occasional diaper changes and feeding. But new parents know better: having children is a 24/7 commitment. That includes trimming their nails with baby nail clippers — an important task that must be done frequently.

Trimming a baby’s nails prevents the baby from scratching him or herself or their parents, not to mention contracting infections from those scratches. Regular nail clippers just won’t do. They are too large to safely and neatly trim tiny fingernails. Baby nail clippers, on the other hand, are ergonomically designed tools that parents can handle with one hand while holding their infant in their other arm.

While some baby nail clippers are simple and streamlined, others come with an array of attachments and accessories. What’s the best set of clippers for trimming tiny nails? Read on.

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Babies’ fingernails grow fast: Some parents may need to cut their nails twice a week or more.

Key considerations

Babies’ nails are tiny and difficult to see. At the same time, the skin of their fingers is very fragile. Baby nail clippers should be designed to help you avoid causing skin nicks. A deeper curve in the clipper can help, as can a clipper with only one blade, rather than two.

The ongoing challenge of safely clipping a baby’s nails means that there are a variety of ergonomic designs in this category of nail clipper. Many brands feature rubberized grips to prevent slipping, while others make it easier to locate the baby’s nail and line up the clipper properly. Most baby clippers feature blades with a deep curve that matches the contour of the baby’s nail more closely, making it easier to trim the nail in one or two snips.

A good baby nail clipper needs to provide the parent with a sure grip. This generally translates to a much larger gripping surface that supports the very small clipper blade.

How well the clippers hold up to their environment is important as well. You should be able to use the clippers and wash them clean, and the blades should stay rust-free.

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Accidental nicks happen. When they do, press a sterile gauze pad to the nicked area until it stops bleeding. Do not put a bandage on the nick.

Baby nail clipper features

Manual clippers

The most commonly available type of baby nail clipper, manual clippers vary in shape and size, but they all have the same basic features:

  • The cutter blade has a much deeper curve than adult nail clippers to accommodate the smaller size and shape of a baby’s nails. Often the cutter has only one blade on the top edge, rather than two blades.

  • The pin holds the clipper together and serves as the rotating point for the lever.

  • The lever is used to press the cutter blades together to clip the nail. Levers for baby nail clippers may have lots of extra padding or a rubberized surface to prevent slipping.

  • The grip is the largest part of the nail clipper. It rests in the user’s hand and helps improve control and handling of the clipper.

Automatic clippers

There are several brands of electric baby nail clippers available. These are almost universally abrasion-type trimmers, which use a mildly abrasive pad attached to a rotary tool head to gently buff down a baby’s delicate nails.

Electric baby nail clippers are typically battery-powered, so they can be quickly used in any room or situation, making the job slightly more efficient than non-electric models.


  • Magnifying glass: Included with some baby nail trimmers, a magnifier can make it easier to locate a baby’s tiny nail and line up the clipper correctly to cut the nail and avoid the skin. It’s often positioned to swing out from the lever to magnify the clipper blades and the area around them.

  • Replacement pads: For electric nail trimmers, extra-abrasive pads are a big bonus, as these tend to require more frequent replacement.

  • Mini nail file: The clippers may include a small nail file, either as part of the clipper itself or as a separate item.

  • Protective cover: Whether it comes in the form of a separate case or a plastic attachment that swings into place after use, this covers the clipper blade and protects the assembly.

Baby nail clipper prices

Inexpensive: The most basic manual baby nail clippers have few to no frills, though an ergonomic grip can be found in models costing as little as $2 to $3.

Mid-range: Clippers with accessories like magnifiers start at about $5 to $10; you’ll also see nail clipper kits in this range with Emery boards or other accessories.

Expensive: Electric nail trimmers are — as you might expect — typically more expensive, ranging from $11 to $18, with some premium models coming in at just under $40.


  • The best time to trim a baby’s nails are when he or she is relaxed – just after a bath, or even when sleeping.

  • Distract the baby with a toy or another item during the nail trimming procedure.

  • Trim around the shape of each fingernail, in about three clips, rather than straight across the nail.

  • Toenails should be trimmed straight across, rather than in a curve.

  • Use an Emery board to smooth baby’s nails.

  • Don’t use your teeth to try and bite the fingernails short, as this can transmit bacteria to the baby.

Other products we considered

We really liked the giant grip and wide magnifier featured in the Xinblue Deluxe Nail Clippers, which made nail trimming easier to see and control. The Nuby Baby Care Nail Clippers are sturdy and precise, with a cute decorative grip. And we felt the Cherish Baby Care Electric Nail Trimmer, with its two-speed trimmer and buffer accessories, offered a well-rounded care package.

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It may take two people to cut baby’s nails – one to hold or distract the baby, and the other to actually cut their nails.


Q. I can’t get my baby to stop clenching his fists when I try to trim his nails. What can I do?
Try trimming his nails at a different time, when he is more relaxed – after his bath, after play time, or during feeding. You can also trim his nails when he’s asleep.

Q. Which is better, manual or electric baby nail clippers?
It’s a matter of preference, both personal and that of your baby. Manual nail clippers can give you more detailed control, which you may want as a baby grows and nails get thicker and easier to see. Electric nail clippers are less likely to cause nicks: they either make very tiny snips, taking off a sliver of nail at a time, or use a circular buffer similar to an Emery board to buff the nails down. This is less precise, but it can be faster, with less stress to the baby and parent.

Q. What are the disadvantages of electric baby nail trimmers?
Electric baby nail trimmers are by and large reliable and easy to use. While they can cost several dollars more than manual nail trimmers, the difference is not too great. If there’s a concern with this type of trimmer, it lies in choosing the correct trimmer/buffer attachment for your baby. A finer, softer attachment works best for fragile newborn and infant nails, while slightly more abrasive attachments are targeted toward older babies and toddlers.

Q. What if I nick my baby’s finger while trying to cut his nails? Should I bandage the cut?
No bandage is needed in most cases. If a nick occurs while trimming a baby’s nails, hold a gauze pad or a sterile cotton ball on the cut until it stops bleeding. After that, let the nick heal on its own; don’t put a bandage or a liquid skin product on it, as your baby can quickly remove either one by putting his hand in his mouth.

Q. The baby nail clippers I currently use are small and slip out of my hand, or my baby grabs them. What kind of clippers should I try instead?
Look for nail clippers with a much larger grip and non-slip padding. These may be easier to hold onto while dealing with a wriggly baby, and the clippers are less likely to be grabbed by inquisitive hands.

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