A pair of nail clippers is a medicine cabinet essential, whether you prefer to do your own nails at home or need a trim between manis and pedis. And investing in the right nail clippers can make all the difference, whether it’s perfecting your ideal nail shape or getting a nice clean cut. “The cheap ones you get at the drug store or dollar store tend to tear or break the nail when you use them,” says famed nail artist Fleury Rose. But with so many options available, it can be difficult to choose the right ones for you and your budget. To help, we spoke to Rose and ten other experts, including nail technicians, podiatrists and our own editors, about which ones they use themselves and would recommend.
Best overall | best cheaper | Best Together | Best nail clippers for thick nails | Best nail clippers for people with reduced mobility | Ideal for ingrown toenails | Best for Babies
Blade material: Stainless steel blades were a must in all areas when we spoke to the experts, with Rose also mentioning that titanium steel clippers also work. Both materials are hypoallergenic, so they can be used by almost anyone. They are also easy to clean and rust resistant to prevent infection and extend the life of the clipper. Dr. Dana Stern, MD, a board-certified dermatologist specializing in nail health, suggests investing in clippers made with good quality steel “as opposed to cheaper tools that tend to dull and need to be replaced”. The rest of the nail clippers can be made of a mixture of metals or plastics, but it is very important that the blade that cuts your nails is made of stainless steel or titanium.
Edge shape: Nail clippers usually come with two different edge shapes: straight and curved. When it comes to choosing between the two, it usually comes down to preference. Use a straight edge trimmer if you like squarer nails and a curved edge trimmer if you like rounder nails. However, if you are prone to chipping, experts suggest a nail clipper with a straight edge, as slanting the sides of the nail with a curved nail clipper can encourage the nail to grow into the skin.
Cut: Choosing the right size of your nail clippers depends on the person. If you’re someone with smaller fingernails and toenails, you’re probably fine with nail clippers for both. If you have larger or thicker nails, it’s probably best to have a set of toenail clippers and toenail clippers, or you may be able to get by with just one toenail clipper in some cases. Slightly larger clippers are also great because they provide more leverage for anyone with mobility issues or difficulty reaching their toes.
Additional Features: There are as many toenail clippers with extra features as there are simple ones. If there are really useful features, we’ll highlight them. It should be noted that some of these clippers come with nail files, but they are not mentioned. That’s because almost all nail files on clippers aren’t good enough for normal use, and you’re much better off getting a nail file instead.
Stainless steel | Curved | Nail clippers | Ergonomic ridges
Made by the same company that makes Green Bell nail clippers, a longtime Strat favorite, is the Seki Edge SS-112. When I contacted the company to test the Green Bell for myself, they suggested I try the Seki Edge as well, informing me that the Seki Edge is an updated version of the Green Bell with a plug. more ergonomic in the hand. When I tested both side by side, I appreciated the extra ridges on the Seki and felt it was much more secure in my hand, even while cutting my nails. As for the actual cut, both cut practically the same thing. As former Strategist editor Jason Chen said in 2016, they “slice nails like a santoku through a tomato.” It’s worth noting that Tweezerman was highly praised by experts (more on that soon), but after testing both, the ease and transparency when using the Seki made it stand out as truly the best. . As Chillhouse’s lead nail technician Molly Romah points out, that also means they’re great for thick nails. “It cuts through thick nails with virtually no effort, giving the user complete control,” she says.
Stainless steel | Straight | Nail clippers | Free sharpening service
As mentioned above, Tweezerman was a favorite of the nail salon experts we spoke to. All pointed out that it was a pair of affordable high quality clippers. Amy Lin, founder of New York-based salon Sundays, uses straight edge nail clippers herself because they are professional quality and easy to handle. Rita de Alencar Pinto, founder of the Vanity Projects Institute, specifically called out Tweezerman’s straight-edged clippers because of their versatility. They can be used for both fingernails and toenails “very easily and safely” without having to worry about possible incarnations. And they’re known to last, which is probably why nail artists are such fans. “I’ve been using the same pair for a while, and they stay sharp for a long time,” Rose says, adding that they’re much tougher than any other brand of drugstore clippers. And if your set of Tweezerman nail clippers dulls over time, Jacqueline M. Sutera, DPM, a chiropodist at City Podiatry, notes that you can send yours to the company for free sharpening.
Stainless steel | Curved and straight | Nail clippers and toenail clippers
If you’re looking for a set, this one Tweezerman is only a few dollars more. It comes with the nail clipper above and a smaller nail clipper with a curved edge. While most of our experts don’t think it’s absolutely necessary to have two different sized mowers, Stern thinks the opposite. “Hand and toe nails are very different in size,” she says. “The analogy would be to compare an adult fingernail to a young child’s – you would use two different sized nail clippers.”
Stainless steel | Curved | Nail clippers | Cushioned handle
This pair of nail clippers was recommended by beauty columnist Rio Viera-Newton, who has “strong nails that grow quickly.” Months into the pandemic without her usual pedicures, it became a problem. Her pair of nail clippers at home and a pair of drugstore-specific nail clippers weren’t strong or sharp enough to cut her nails. (Like Viera-Newton and the podiatrists we spoke to, thick nails can be a sign of a fungal infection if you also have cracks and discoloration. If so, it’s best to see a doctor or a specialist.) After some Reddit research, Viera-Newton found these clippers designed specifically for podiatrists to use on older clients, who tend to have thicker (and often ingrown) nails. “They have a sharp, curved blade that cuts through any nail with ease, no matter how strong, hard or tough, and a cushioned, non-slip grip that makes for quick, clean cuts,” she writes. “Unlike other trimmers I’ve tried, you only have to squeeze them and they work perfectly.”
Stainless steel | Straight | Nail clippers | Pivoting blade
When we spoke to podiatrist Dr. Emily Splichal, she was hesitant to use podiatric nail clippers at home. “They are designed to be used on someone else,” she says, adding that it could lead to cuts and infections if the user is not careful. Instead, she recommended this Clipperpro pair, which has a long plastic handle much larger than a standard set of nail clippers and a blade head that swivels 180 degrees. These two features make this mower much easier to use for anyone with arthritis or mobility issues, Splichal notes, because it has more control and extra reach it can achieve.
Stainless steel | Straight | Nail clipper
Every expert we spoke to said it’s best to see a professional if you have ingrown toenails, but if you can’t, Lin cautiously suggested this nail clipper. It has a sharper blade, allowing precision. He was also recommended by Marcela Correa, licensed medical pedicurist and owner of Medi Pedi NYC, and Juan Ortiz, medical pedicurist at Aida Bicaj Spa, when we spoke to them at length about ingrown toenails. And since this specific Mundial clamp has a straight edge, you can use it to avoid future incarnations. “To avoid ingrown toenails, use a straight toenail clipper to cut the nail, then use a straight file, but don’t cut or file the sides of the nail,” Romah says.
Stainless steel | Curved | Baby nails | spy hole
Babies’ nails grow quickly and it’s important to keep them short so they don’t accidentally scratch themselves (or you). Trimming a baby’s nails can be a daunting task, so instead of nail scissors, strategist writer Lauren Ro uses these “intuitive” nail clippers. Unlike regular nail clippers, these use a “kind of cutting motion that works best on soft baby nails” and even have a “viewing” window to help you better see what you’re cutting.
• Marcela Correa, licensed medical pedicurist and owner of Medi Pedi NYC
• Amy Lin, founder of the Sundays nail salon
• Juan Ortiz, medical pedicure at the Aida Bicaj spa
• Rita de Alencar Pinto, founder of the Vanity Projects Institute
• Lauren Ro, Editor at The Strategist
• Molly Romah, Senior Nail Technician at Chillhouse
• Fleury Rose, celebrity nail salon
• Dr. Emily Splichal, DPM, Center for Functional and Regenerative Medicine
• Dr. Dana Stern, MD, board-certified dermatologist specializing in nail health
• Jacqueline M. Sutera, DPM, podiatrist at City Podiatry
• Rio Viera-Newton, beauty columnist at Strategist
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