In 2018, nail clippers are common enough to be found at almost every pharmacy, grocery store, even gas station. However, there are still enough nail clipper variations—compound lever, plier, even scissor clippers—that it’s hard to track down the right pair of clippers for your needs.
The following is a recommendation of the 10 best nail clippers that you can purchase right online and have delivered to your house, no trip to the gas station necessary. We’ll take into account their ability to cut your fingers, toes, and anything else you might use them for, so let’s get clipping!
How to Choose Nail Clippers – Buying Guide
When buying nail clippers, what factors should you be considering? Here are the ways you’ll identify the best pair of nail clippers for your needs.
Choose a Nail Clipper Depending on the Cutting Method
There are basically three types of nail clippers. They can all cut your nails, but they do so in different ways. Let’s choose the best one for you.
The Compound Lever: A Classic Shape That’s Easy to Handle
The most popular type of nail clippers is the compound lever. When you apply pressure on the top (first) lever, it squeezes the opening in the bottom (second) lever and cuts your nail. It’s extremely simple and easy to use, and can be bought at convenience stores.
However, it applies a considerable amount of force onto the nails. So, be careful out there. If you have thin nails, the compound lever might split them down the middle. If you apply too much force, you could cut through the nail and into the skin, drawing blood. Plus, it’s kind of difficult to cut toenails with these. Compound levers are better for strong, healthy fingernails.
The Plier: Less Hard on Nails, Better for Toes
Pliers are the most common type used by medical professionals, such as nurses and doctors. The handle is positioned to allow you more dexterity in cutting your nails. Pliers work by just shaving the edges off your nails–so there’s no fear of snapping or cracking. They can be used on both the hands and the feet.
Arguably, pliers are better for your feet because they’re usually longer than compound levers. They also work great on ingrown toenails. However, pliers tend to be more expensive and the handle takes some getting used to. But you’ll thank yourself once you learn how to use them properly. Trust us.
The Scissor Clipper: Great for Infants and Thin Nails
Most scissor clippers come with a rounded edge, so they can be safely used on babies and others with fragile nails. Because the rounded edge offers a gentle clip, the scissor clippers are a safe bet for butterfingers or other nail troubles.
However, the scissor clippers don’t allow you to clip with much precision. Often, an accompanying nail filer is necessary to fine tune the shape and curvature of your nails to your heart’s desire.
Use Straight Blades for Cleaner Clips, Use Curved Blades for Longer Nails
Compound lever nail clippers come with either straight blades or curved blades. You should choose clippers depending on your desire for a clean cut and the durability of your nail. Let’s explain.
But before we do that, here’s a quick lesson on the anatomy of your nail. The hyponychium (also known colloquially as the “quick”) is the tissue that connects your nail to the nail bed underneath it.
When you use nail clippers with a curved blade, it’s much easier for the edge of the blade to “nick the quick” and draw a little bit of blood. We don’t want that to happen. But curved blades are gentler on the nails–which is important if your nails are always snapping off. If you’ve been growing out your nails for that lovely French manicure, get curved blades.
Straight blades offer more precision. That’s why they’re good for ingrown toenails. But they also take more time, too. We recommend making 4-5 small clips per nail with the straight blade. If you go for one clip straight across, you’re going to end up with sharply angled nails. Think about it: your nail is curved, so you should clip accordingly.
Clip with Something That Actually Works
If you have tough nails, you’re going to apply considerable stress to your nail clippers over time. You don’t want to be buying new clippers every couple of months, so choose a material that lasts. The best option is stainless steel. Stainless steel is resistant to corrosion, so it can withstand the natural elements, like rain, over time.
You’ve also got to check out how well the clippers actually work. When it comes to compound levers, for example, get a pair where the lower blade sticks out a bit, over the upper blade. These not only cut better, but they also dull slower. Of course, it’s pretty hard to tell how a pair of clippers is going to perform if you haven’t used them, so give the reviews a glance.
Accessories, Accessories, Accessories
You can buy nail clippers with accessories that’ll mitigate the difficulty in getting that super clean cut. Have you ever found yourself clipping your toes or nails, and the clip goes flying across the room? Some compound lever clippers come with a compartment in the bottom lever that catches these clippings. Then, you’re able to slide open the metal plate over the compartment and empty out the clippings into your trash bin.
Have you ever been straining to see your toe nail, only to end up with your clippers biting into flesh, yet again? There’s a remedy for that. Some nail clippers come with circular magnifying lenses that help you hone in on the nail you’re trying to perfect. Many come with attached nail filers, too.
Take It on the Go
Nails are fragile. That’s just the way they are. They can break or crack when you least expect it. If you’ve got especially brittle nails and need quick fix-ups, buy a portable pair of clippers.
If you’re just using them at home, might as well buy nail clippers based on the sharpness and additional accessories. But if you’re getting a pair to carry around, don’t worry about that stuff. Just get something that’ll snip away chips and is easy to lug around. Some clippers you can attach to your key chain, or are small enough to fit in your pocket.
TOP 10 Nail Clippers to Buy Online
Nail clippers come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Stainless, plastic, even wooden, but those are impractical. Let’s dive in. Here’s our recommendation of the best value nail clippers on the online market today!
10. Miayon 2 Piece Nail Clipper Set
Portable 2 Piece Clipper Set
At number 10, we had to include this compound lever double feature, simply because they’re a great deal if you’re looking for a quick cut. At 2.2 inches wide, these are small clippers that could be your portable go-to. They have a circle at the base of the lever that allows you to clip it to your key-chain too.
When a set comes with 2, you get the option to use one pair of clippers for your fingers, the other for your toes. Doctors suggest separating toenail and fingernail clippers to stop the potential spread of fungal diseases. All in all, though, these clippers are reported to be flimsy and kind of small. Opt for these clippers if you’re looking to save some cash and just need those things cut.
9. Harperton Fingernail and Toenail Clipper Set
2 Piece Stainless Steel Clipper Set
Harperton is an industry darling in the toe and fingernail clipping world. These are strictly clippers, and a good pair at that. Coming in at 3 inches across, they grip naturally in your hand, and the hand-sharpened stainless steel withstands a lot of pressure. The two clippers of different sizes, again, offer you the ability to use one pair for your toes and the other for your fingers.
When you pick these clippers up, you’ll feel their heft. You know they were created with durability and longevity in mind. That’s probably why Harperton offers a Lifetime Replacement Warranty if they defect. The catch: some buyers report that the curved blades don’t exactly line up. That can make it hard to get a clean and straight cut.
8. Bokdy Nail Clipper
Clipper with File and Rotation Cutter
A maker of household appliances small and large, Bokdy has released toenail and fingernail clippers that look cool and work well. They come in black and gold, and also with a sleek carrying case. What’s impressive about these clippers is that the cutter itself has the ability to be rotated 360 degrees. That’ll get you to the exact angle that’s best for your fingers or toes.
However, because the cutter is not actually fixed, you run the risk of piercing the nail bed or hyponychium if you’re not careful. So, be advised. Regardless, these clippers are made of sturdy stainless steel, and have that nice weight to them that feels comfortable in your hand.
7. QLL 4 Piece Toenail and Fingernail Clipper Set
4 Piece Toenail and Fingernail Clipper Set with Swing out Nail File
This is another bang-for-your-buck item that we had to include. You get two toenail and two fingernail clippers for a reasonable price, and they all come with nail files and cleaners that you can rotate out to a preferred position.
While they are made of stainless steel, reports suggest that the metal might not be as durable as Harperton’s or Bokdy’s clippers. If you have thick nails and find yourself forcing the lever into submission, these clippers might not be the way to go. Perhaps there’s a reason they’re so cheap and they come with a backup pair.
6. Xinjianeng Travel Manicure Set
Toenail and Fingernail Clippers with Glass Nail File and Leather Pouch
While not technically portable, the black leather pouch is a sleek addition that easily slides into your pocket. The clippers are a matching obsidian black, and come in the familiar two sizes. While this clipper doesn’t technically have a catcher, the jaws are shaped so that the clipping either falls neatly into the clipper or straight down.
Some clippers make a loud noise, these don’t. But what truly separates this set from the others we’ve reviewed so far is the nail file. It’s made of glass and smooths out your nails like no other. It removes dirt at the same time too. All in all, this travel set is a fashionable choice for those who like to travel and clip in style.
5. Indtool “No-Mes” Nail Clipper
USA Made Nail Clipper with Catcher
Touted as “The World’s First Stainless Steel Nail Clipper That Catches the Clippings” per the company’s website, this clipper does just that. On the top of the bottom lever is a metal compartment. When you clip, the clipped nail falls into this compartment, and you slide it open in order to empty out the clippings. This is much easier than scouring the room for your clippings, if you’re motivated enough to do even that.
This is the first product on our list to be Made in the USA. It’s made from heat treated stainless steel, and the company offers a replacement if your clipper gets dull or defects in any way. Be advised: the edges of the clippers are precision ground and extremely sharp.
4. Taajir Nail Plier Set
Nail Plier and Cuticle Pusher
This is the first pair of pliers on our list and it’s a great one. At 4 inches, it’s got the length to reach your fingers and toes without you having to strain yourself. The cuticle pusher is used to prime the bed of the nail. On the other end of the pusher is a prodding device that allows you to delicately get underneath the bed of the nail to remove dirt. You can start your side career as a pedicurist or manicurist with this product.
The jaws of the pliers are 6 millimeters and they’re sharp, really sharp. This product gives you the ability to cut at extremely precise angles. While pliers aren’t able to easily apply the same type of force that a compound lever does, these compensate for that by having extremely sharp jaws.
3. Mr. Green Nail Clipper with Magnifying Glass
Nail Clipper with Magnifying Glass and Catcher
This is the luxury SUV of nail clipping devices. It’s got features. While the magnifying glass is advertised as a feature meant for the visually impaired and elderly, it’s not like it can’t help you out if you’re not old. A magnifying glass allows you to really focus on the nail and see the cuts as you make them. The catcher is located underneath the top part of the lever, just like the “No-Mes” that came in at number 5.
This product is 5 inches long, the biggest on our list so far. It’s a capable clipper for your toes and nails, and can power through some of the thickest nails out there. It also comes with a nice tin case that keeps it safe from the elements.
2. Bestope Nail Clipper Set
Easy to Use and Lasts Forever
You’re not going to be disappointed if you buy this toenail and fingernail clipper set. At first glance, you might only be impressed by its design, but it packs a couple features if you look closely enough. The levers are thick, and there are grated handles so it’s easier to grip and make your cuts. It also has a hole on the end which allows you clip it onto your keychain and take it on the go.
It comes with a case that has foam cutouts that hold the clippers nicely. A carrying pouch or case is frankly an underrated feature. While many companies advertise their clippers to be non-corrosive, metal will eventually rust. That’s especially the case if you keep your clippers in the bathroom where they’re more prone to getting wet. A pouch or case is therefore recommended.
1. SEKI Edge Fingernail Clipper
The Samurai Sword of Clippers
While advertised as only a fingernail clipper, this product will have no problem cutting your toenails. Let’s explain. Seki, Japan has a history of samurai sword making since the 13th century. Seki Edge employs a similar high grade stainless steel in their products. Think about it: what are you truly looking for in a nail clipper? The best clip possible. A clipper that gets the job done.
Tough. Exact. Reliable. Razor sharp. Grooved edges. “An exquisite blend of metal and art,” according to Seki, and it’s true. Where other companies have to rely upon catchers and magnifying glasses and nail filers to attract customers, Seki relies on its metal, truly the most important aspect of a nail clipper. It’s the cut that matters. Go with Seki; the samurais did.
All in all, pliers and compound levers are the most common types of nail clippers for healthy adults. Depending on your budget, you can get a clipper with accessories or simply one that just clips.
Whatever you do, though, make sure it’s stainless steel. And most of all, remember to be careful clipping. Those edges are sharp, and we don’t want you to hurt yourself.
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