The Best Nail Clippers | Reviews by Wirecutter

2022-05-07 08:24:14 By : Ms. Jannicy Pu

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We’ve noticed stock issues with our top pick, the Green Bell G-1008 clippers. Our other picks, the Seki Edge SS-106, the Harperton Nail Clipper Set, and Muji’s Silver Nail Clippers, are available.

By upgrading your nail clippers from a set with dull blades and lightweight levers to a super-sharp, hefty-yet-ergonomic set, you can elevate nail trimming from a chore to a ritual. After interviewing a podiatrist and testing a total of 10 nail clippers over the past five years—most recently with the help of a nail technician who has a decade of experience—we’re certain that the Green Bell G-1008 clippers are the best and well worth the splurge. They have sharp blades that cut cleanly through toenails and fingernails alike, as well as excellent build quality.

These clippers are razor sharp, feel sturdy in hand, and look nicer than the competition.

*At the time of publishing, the price was $14.

The Green Bell G-1008 clippers cut so cleanly that you may not even need to file off the edges when you’re done—though they do have a built-in file if you want to anyway. They also have a sturdier, more ergonomically sculpted body than the other clippers we tried. They’re usually less expensive than the next-sharpest clippers we’ve tested and feel better in hand. “They had a good weight,” our nail-tech tester said about the Green Bell clippers. “I had good control, and I didn’t have to tip around at an angle to get a clean cut.”

If our top pick is unavailable, these seriously sharp clippers—made by the same parent company—are the next best bet.

If the Green Bell clippers are unavailable or jump drastically in price, the Seki Edge SS-106 clippers are a good backup option—they’re proving to be as sharp and comfortable to use, and they’re even made by the same parent company. The Seki clippers aren’t as sleekly designed as our pick; they also lack a built-in file. We found they required a tad more pressure when cutting through a plastic hotel key card. Overall, though, they cut cleanly through both finger- and toenails without much force and feel good in the hand.

These inexpensive clippers are compact and effective, and they come with a nail file strip and removable nail catcher.

*At the time of publishing, the price was $8.

Muji’s Silver Nail Clippers come in two sizes, small and large. We tested only the small and found they were adequate for fingernails and toenails. These clippers are a good inexpensive option compared with our other picks (and they’re far superior to most drugstore clippers). But they’re inferior to the Green Bell and Seki options when considering sharpness and overall performance. After three years of owning them, one long-term tester reported that they’re “still not as dull as brand-new drugstore ones.”

These clippers are sufficiently sharp and come in a set with two sizes.

*At the time of publishing, the price was $16.

Experts we interviewed indicated that you don’t need different sizes of clippers for fingernails and toenails, and our testing backed this up. But if you prefer to have dedicated clippers for your fingernails and toenails, or want a backup travel pair, the Harperton Nail Clipper Set contains two solid clippers for about the price of one of our other picks. These small and large clippers don’t feel as sturdy as the Green Bell and the Seki clippers, but they’re still substantial and cleanly trim nails without leaving jagged edges. “I like the idea of a pack of two because you can simply switch” between them, one tester said. “And they both felt good in [my] hands.”

These clippers are razor sharp, feel sturdy in hand, and look nicer than the competition.

*At the time of publishing, the price was $14.

If our top pick is unavailable, these seriously sharp clippers—made by the same parent company—are the next best bet.

These inexpensive clippers are compact and effective, and they come with a nail file strip and removable nail catcher.

*At the time of publishing, the price was $8.

These clippers are sufficiently sharp and come in a set with two sizes.

*At the time of publishing, the price was $16.

To learn all we could about clipping nails at home, we spoke to podiatrists and grooming experts who explained what makes a good pair of nail clippers, plus how to use them properly. We supplemented this professional advice by examining published research on nail clipping and reading hundreds of customer reviews on top-rated, best-selling models.

If you think you might appreciate nail clippers that work better than cheap drugstore models, then this guide is for you. Likewise if you’ve just been uncertain about the best tools to trim your nails.

At the drugstore, you’ll see two types of clippers—standard thumb-sized ones with a fold-up handle (lever style) and plierlike nippers with longer handles. “People need to be careful with these ‘medical grade’ clippers. One little slipup and they could do quite a bit more damage if some extra skin were to get caught up,” said Wirecutter contributor Jim McDannald, a writer and distance running coach with a background in podiatry. Most folks should stick with the standard lever style.

Most people can snip both their fingernails and toenails with the same pair of clippers. However, if you have particularly thick toenails, it might be worth investing in a larger pair with more leverage. A dedicated pair of clippers may also be useful should you have a fungal infection. “As people age, their toenails tend to dry out, thicken, and become more prone to developing fungal infections,” McDannald told us. “Having a separate strong clipper for the toenails can make the job easier and avoid potential contamination of the fingernails with a clipper that might be carrying some fungal spores from the toenails.”

Based on our expert interviews and our own collective experience with a lifetime of nail trimming, we concluded that quality nail clippers:

Some pairs of clippers are equipped with a nail catcher—strips of plastic that line the arms—which we found unnecessary. During testing, we removed any included nail catchers and clipped our nails over a trash can.

Over the past five years, we’ve tested 10 of the most popular and acclaimed nail clippers to gauge cutting performance and ergonomics.

We first tested five different clippers—the Tweezerman Deluxe, Seki Edge, Feather PaRaDa, Kai 0718, and Mehaz 660—twice each on our fingernails and toenails, watching for the ease with which they cut, whether nail clippings flew off, and how nails felt once trimmed. To get a sense of the sharpness of the blades, we compared how all five pairs cut into a plastic hotel room key card, watching for spidering near the edges. We later repeated the same process, pitting the Mehaz 660 against the Muji Silver Nail Clippers, Clyppi Stainless Steel, and KlipPro.

Later, we tested the Green Bell G-1008 and the Harperton Nail Clipper Set against the Mehaz, Muji, and Seki models that we initially liked best.

We’re long-term testing all of our picks to keep an eye on rust and other signs of wear.

These clippers are razor sharp, feel sturdy in hand, and look nicer than the competition.

*At the time of publishing, the price was $14.

Testers preferred the Green Bell G-1008 Nail Clippers to the four other finalists we tested them against because they consistently clipped fingernails and toenails the most cleanly without requiring much force. They also easily cut through a hotel key card without producing any spidering around the edges—a more controlled measure of sharpness. We like that they’re solidly constructed and feel satisfyingly heavy.

Our testers liked the way the Green Bell clippers left finger- and toenails without jagged edges and without clippings flying every which way. This has benefits beyond quick cuts. One tester, who typically files her nails after clipping them to smooth out the edges, found this unnecessary given how cleanly the Green Bell clippers cut.

Compared with the rest of our field, the Green Bell clippers are also the most interesting design wise, with their ergonomic shape, smooth feel, and thin filing strip down the center of one handle’s interior. They’re bigger than our other picks, but they can still easily fit into even the smallest toiletry bag.

If our top pick is unavailable, these seriously sharp clippers—made by the same parent company—are the next best bet.

If our pick is unavailable, consider Seki’s Edge SS-106 clippers, which are made by the same parent company as our Green Bell pick and performed nearly as well in our panel and hotel key card testing. We've found that their blades are sharp enough to cleanly trim finger- and toenails with single snips. While the Seki Edge clippers have a nice heft to them and are easy to grip, we ultimately prefer the feel of the Green Bell clippers.

Unlike all our other picks, the Seki clippers do not have an onboard nail file. We consider this a potential flaw but not a dealbreaker.

These inexpensive clippers are compact and effective, and they come with a nail file strip and removable nail catcher.

*At the time of publishing, the price was $8.

The small, solidly constructed Muji Silver Nail Clippers snip cleanly without much force, though we’ve found that they’re inferior to both the Green Bell and Seki clippers. Still, these are quality clippers that can be had for a notch above the price of the drugstore variety.

If you want basic, no-frills clippers, these will suit you just fine. But we think spending a few more dollars for our top pick is worthwhile. Some Amazon reviewers and a Wirecutter staffer have reported that the Muji clippers they own have rusted after a short while. (One long-term tester, who has owned the clippers for five years, reported no signs of rust.) We recommend storing these only in dry environments, if possible.

Like the Green Bell and Harperton clippers, the Muji ones have an onboard filing strip for use in a pinch. The former nail care professional said she wouldn’t use these clippers again at all, but one tester liked their simple rectangular shape, which he said felt comfortable in both his dominant and nondominant hands.

These clippers are sufficiently sharp and come in a set with two sizes.

*At the time of publishing, the price was $16.

Our testers found that the Green Bell clippers cleanly trimmed both fingernails- and toenails, but if you prefer to have two different sizes, live with someone who likes to use a larger or smaller pair than you do, or just want a smaller pair to travel with, this two-clipper set from Harperton is a good choice.

Like the Green Bell and Seki clippers, both the large and small Harperton clippers are sharp and cut nails cleanly, without sending clippings flying all over the place. Also like our Green Bell pick, the Harperton clippers have an onboard file.

Dermatologist Chris Adigun told us that tools aren’t usually the issue when an ingrowth leaves a patient hobbling. “Problems I encounter with my patients do not tend to stem from the type of nail clippers they are using, but rather how they are clipping their nails,” she said. Even if you have the best clippers, take care to use them correctly.

For one, don’t clip your cuticles. “Clipping cuticles, as a rule, is bad for the health of the nail unit,” Adigun said. “Cuticles provide necessary protection from infection and insulation from water loss.”

When trimming your toenails, Wirecutter contributor Jim McDannald advises: “Cut them short and straight across. Clipping the nails with a small taper in the corners is okay, but if you take too much off the corners or dig into the sides, there is an opportunity for the skin to impede on the space and the potential for an ingrown toenail to develop.”

“Problems I encounter with my patients do not tend to stem from the type of nail clippers they are using, but rather how they are clipping their nails.” — Chris Adigun

Be especially careful not to cut your nails too short. It’s one of the most common issues Adigun has seen in her practice. “Clippers that clip only the nail and not the surrounding skin or cuticle, and clip in a predictable way, are ones that I prefer,” she said. “That means fewer accidents, such as the common, ‘I had no idea I was cutting that short.’”

Do you need to file your nails? When using a quality pair of clippers, probably not. If you have exceptionally thick nails and worry about them snagging on socks or stockings, go ahead and file.

Finally, take care of your clippers. Dropping them or letting them bang around in a toiletry bag can throw off the factory alignment and the friction can dull the blades. Make sure they’re stored securely. If you have a nail infection, it’s good practice to disinfect your clippers after use. A rinse or dunk in alcohol or hydrogen peroxide will work.

Previously we had recommended Tweezerman’s plier-style Barrel Spring Toenail Nipper for use on especially thick nails. Given the brand’s long-standing reputation for quality grooming products and its free sharpening policy, we still think it’s a solid choice if you prefer this type of clipper. Still, in the time since our initial recommendation was published, several promising competitors have become available. In a future round of testing, we’ll be comparing the Tweezerman model against other top-rated, best-selling nippers.

The Mehaz 660 Professional Nail Clippers used to be our runner-up pick, but they couldn’t beat the models we tested in 2018. We liked the extra-curved handle that offers better leverage for cutting particularly thick nails, but overall the clippers felt flimsy compared with others we’ve tested, and consistent availability has been an issue.

A former top pick, the Tweezerman Deluxe Nail Clipper Set, seems to have suffered occasional quality-control issues. While the pairs we first tested in 2014 have continued to perform well, other editors and readers who’ve bought them since have noted that they weren’t sharp enough out of the package or had misaligned blades. Compared with more-expensive clippers we’ve tested more recently, these clippers felt lighter and cheaper, and their handle was harder to turn, making a scraping noise every time we opened it. And when it came to the hotel key card test, these clippers literally didn’t cut it. We chose not to retest them in 2018.

We tried the Khlip, a nearly $80 tool that, as the company explains, gives you total control by placing the leverage point at the front of the clipper, right over the blades. That way, you can set the blades exactly where you want them to cut. We don’t think these are worth the price, which as Gizmodo put it, is a bit ridiculous: “It’s definitely an improvement [over regular clippers] in some ways, but until they get the price down to, say, $25, it’s a luxury item.” Still, the Khlip clippers are impressive. The textured grip for your thumb, the sharp blades, and the carrying case all amount to probably the best home nail-clipping experience we’ve had. Is that experience $65 better than our pick? We don’t think so, but if you’re looking to assemble the finest toiletry kit possible, throw these in there.

Another luxury option is the Zwilling J.A. Henckels Pour Homme clipper from the venerable German knifemaker. We tried and liked them, but found that many of the less expensive models we tested produced cleaner cuts.

Readers requested we give the Feather PaRaDa (Medium) a whirl. We found that these clippers feel a lot more expensive than they are. They’re built quite solidly and come with a built-in nail catcher that actually works: It’s made of stainless steel and isn’t removable, but slides back nicely when you need to empty it. These clippers also handily passed our plastic key card test and have an onboard nail file. However, these cost more than our top pick, and one tester indicated that the opening might not be large enough to easily clip thicker toenails.

Readers also asked about the Clyppi. In our tests, these clippers performed nearly as well as the Mehaz 660, but were not as comfortable to work with because of their shorter lever. They did a good job of clipping cleanly and smoothly on fingernails, but one tester found them less effective on his toenails.

Kai clippers are made by the same company as Mehaz ones. We tried the 0718 model clippers. These were identical in almost every way to the Mehaz 660 clippers, except much larger. The Kai blades are just as sharp, and the clipper’s overall size means an even longer handle and thus even more leverage. But this pair is a tad more cumbersome and probably bigger than most people will need.

Most big-name cosmetics brands sell lever-style clippers similar to this Revlon model, which you will likely encounter in drugstores. We haven’t found any evidence to suggest that these bargain clippers can compete with our picks. While we chose not to test bargain nail clippers, Wirecutter staffers who have tried Revlon models or their ilk as well as our previous or current picks spoke to the shortcomings (namely, dull blades) of bargain pairs. “I’m on year two with Tweezerman, and they have held up super well,” remaining sharp over time, said one long-term tester. “I used to have to gift myself the cheapies every year.”

A Wirecutter staffer who owns our runner-up pick, the Seki Edge SS-106, said that “while cheap nail clippers have a slight edge over chewing your nails to the right length, a high-quality pair … cuts through the nail more smoothly and precisely, won’t leave you with ragged edges, and is less likely to fling bits of nail all over the place.”

Erica Ogg is the senior editor responsible for home office, batteries and charging, cameras, and hobby and craft coverage at Wirecutter. She started as the updates editor in 2013, before we had senior editors—or even full-time staff. Prior to that, she was a reporter covering the consumer electronics and computing industries at CNET and GigaOm.

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