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What is a Cuticle Trimmer?

Tricia Christensen
Updated May 21, 2024
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A cuticle trimmer is a long handled device with a sharp razor at the end that is used to trim off dead skin at the cuticles or to cut off hangnails. One may be used by manicurists or anyone who enjoys nail care.

Some manicurists prefer cuticle scissors to a trimmer because scissors require slightly less precision. Both tools are quite sharp and should never be used on skin that is still alive. In fact, the clipper should only be used when hangnails or extra dead skin make the cuticles of the nails appear ragged.

A person must use absolutely precise movements with a cuticle trimmer. It can help if the individual uses a large magnifying glass over the hand so as not to accidentally cut away live skin. A quick slip can cause a pretty severe cut, since the razor end is very sharp.

Generally, the point of the blade of the cuticle trimmer should be directly toward the nail, rather than the cuticle. Excess skin should be cut in an upward sweep so as to avoid cutting down into the finger. When cutting of hangnails, the cut should be directed away from the rest of the finger, instead of toward it. Users should be careful, however, not to sweep too briskly and run the blade into the finger next to the one being trimmed.

Some people confuse the cuticle trimmer with a cuticle pusher. A cuticle pusher tends to be made of wood or plastic and is used to push the cuticle skin down for a more even appearance. By pushing the skin down, one also reveals more of the half moon shape at the bottom of the finger or toenails.

Some people should avoid using a cuticle trimmer on their feet. Those who have diabetes are extremely vulnerable to infections of the feet, so they should never use any cutting tool on them without first consulting a medical professional about the safety issues involved.

People who are vulnerable to skin infections may also want to avoid using sharp tools their on hands or feet. In addition, if hangnails or the cuticles appear to be filled with pus, they should be examined by a medical professional.

BeautyAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen , Writer
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a BeautyAnswered contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.

Discussion Comments

By Terrificli — On Jul 05, 2014

@Markerrag -- but ridding yourself of a painful cuticle can also be painful with a trimmer if you don't attack it precisely. A lot of people prefer the method of using a cuticle pusher in conjunction with a special cuticle liquid that aids in dissolving and removing the cuticle. The process isn't nearly as painful and you remove more of the exposed cuticle by going that route than is possible with just a trimmer.

The problem with a trimmer is that you might remove the surface part of the cuticle and leave more lurking under that surface that can pop out and cause pain.

By Markerrag — On Jul 04, 2014

A lot of people don't have a cuticle trimmer or pair of scissors and absolutely need one. If you have ever had one of those painful things pop up on a finger, you will wish you had a pair of trimmers around. Oddly, nail clippers are considered essential but something to rid yourself of the misery of a rebelling cuticle is not.

Tricia Christensen

Tricia Christensen


With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a BeautyAnswered contributor, Tricia...
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