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What Are the Different Types of Nail Clippers?

By Madeleine A.
Updated May 21, 2024
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Different types of nail clippers include scissored nail clippers, guillotine nail clippers, and clippers that resemble a small pair of pliers. Other types of nail clippers include baby nail clippers, toenail clippers, and pet nail clippers. Although pet nail clippers are available at most pet stores, people who are inexperienced in trimming their pets' nails should have them clipped by a professional groomer o the veterinarian.

Guillotine-type nail clippers are among the most popular. The mouth of the device is curved to accommodate the fingernails, however, care must be taken when using this type of clipper because the skin or the quick of the nail can easily get nipped. Small models work well on fingernails and larger clippers are designed for use on the toenails. Sometimes, after using the guillotine model, the scissor clipper can be used to trim back hangnails or small pieces of the nail unobtainable by the guillotine model.

Trimming the nails is typically a simple procedure, but it can lead to infection and hangnails if done improperly. Regardless of which type is used, if the blades or cutting edges are not sharp enough, they will be less effective in getting a clean cut. When getting a professional manicure or pedicure in a salon, consumers should determine if the tools are being sterilized between use. Bacteria can be transmitted between customers and contribute to bacterial and fungal infections of the skin and nails. If the consumer feels more comfortable, she should bring her own set of manicure and pedicure tools to the salon, instead of using the manicurist's.

When trimming a baby's nails, great caution needs to be taken to avoid nicking his delicate skin, and it might even be a good idea to cut the baby's nails when he is asleep. It is important that a baby's nails be kept short because long or jagged nails can scratch the baby and injure his skin. Baby nail clippers are available in a variety of cute designs and also come in pink, blue, yellow, and green.

Clippers can be purchased at most drug stores, big-box retailers, grocery stores, and beauty supply chains. Although most are made from stainless steel, certain types are made from durable plastic. In addition, they can be purchased as a single unit or part of a manicure or pedicure kit. Also, the price of the product typically depends upon the quality of the material, brand name, and construction of the clipper.

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Discussion Comments

By Heavanet — On Aug 29, 2014

I am glad that the article touched on the fact that it is a good idea to bring your own nail clipper and manicuring set when you go to a nail salon. You just can never be sure that the staff is carefully cleaning their own tools, and this can lead to fungal and bacterial infections.

I treat myself to a trip to my nail salon twice a year, and I always bring my complete nail manicure set that includes small and large nail clippers. This provides my manicurist with every tool she needs so she won't have to use the salon's tools. It also puts my mind at ease!

By Ocelot60 — On Aug 28, 2014

I have found that the best type of nail clippers to get a great manicure are those designed for babies. Small, baby nail clippers give you a precise trim, and enable you to reach areas of your fingernails that adult nail clippers can't.

Baby nail clippers are also great for trimming toenails on your small toe, and help out if you have an ingrown toenail. You can find baby nail clippers in the baby department of any retail store.

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