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How to Sharpen Dog Nail Clippers?

guillotine style nail clippers on a scratched woof surface.

Some dog owners don’t care about the long nails of their pets. They think that it is normal for canines to have long claws, but that’s not true. In fact, overgrown nails pose serious threats to the health of your pup. Therefore, every owner must ensure regular trimming of his/her dog’s nails to keep it healthy.

A sharp dog nail clipper is extremely important for grooming the hard nails of your pooch. The sharp blades allow us to cut the nails accurately, without any difficulty. Just like human nail clippers, the blades of these trimmers also get dull with time. Fortunately, there are some methods to keep these clippers sharp (cost-friendly alternative) instead of purchasing a new one every time.

Keep reading to know about the tools and procedures that can help you to sharpen dog nail clippers.

Tools to Sharpen Dog Nail Clippers

There are different types of tools that can be used to sharpen dog nail clippers. The most common tools used for this purpose are listed below.

  • Flat Sharpening Stone
  • Fine Grinding Stone
  • Diamond-Tapered rod or Ceramic Rod

None of these tools can be declared the best because it depends on the personal preference of the user. Every dog owner is comfortable with a different tool and considers it the best.

Steps to Sharpen Dog Nail Clippers

person trimming jack russell nails with scissor type nail clippers.

Although we have different nail clippers, the general pattern to sharpen each one of them remains the same. The following step-by-step guide describes the complete procedure that can be used to sharpen most models of dog nail clippers.

Gather All the Required Stuff for Sharpening

First of all, you will need to purchase the preferred sharpening tool. You will also require a clean cloth (with some cleaning oil) for wipings the blades before sharpening them.

Disassemble the Nail Clipper

Dog nail clippers work with a stimulating lever design and you need to dismantle them first for sharpening their blades. For this purpose, you will slowly push the parts of the clipper together with the help of pliers. Then, remove the pin and separate the blade from the clipper. The dismantling process may vary a little according to the type of clipper.

Clean the Blades

small bottle of oil and a dropper.

In this step, the dog owner makes sure that the blades of the nail clipper are completely cleaned. You will need to get rid of the fragments of stray hair, deceased skin, and dust from the blades. You can use the cleaning oil (that comes with the clippers) for removing these materials. If cleaning oil is not available, any kind of baby oil is also quite effective.

Use a Tool for Sharpening

Now, you are all set to use the preferred sharpening tool to complete the task. Hold the blade firmly at a 35 to 45-degree angle and glide it quickly within the surface of the stone. Keep repeating this until the required sharpness of the blade is achieved.

Once you are happy with the sharpness, wipe away the residue with a wet cloth. Now, repeat the same process with the other side to sharpen it.

Reassemble the Nail Clipper

After finishing the sharpening process, you just need to reassemble the dog nail clipper. When it is done, lubricate the blades with the same cleaning oil to ensure smooth working of the trimmer.

Below is a quick video that shows how to sharpen a dog nail clipper!

Benefits of Sharpening Dog Nail Clippers

A sharpen dog nail clipper can give more accurate results by lowering the margin of error. It will trim the nail more swiftly and also have fewer chances of hurting your dog. The process used to sharpen dog nail clippers also reduces the chances of nail infections because the blades are cleaned. All the dirt and debris that could lead to infections were removed during the cleaning of blades.  

Do I Need to Buy a New Nail Clipper for My Dog?

Scissor style nail clippers with black and red handles on a white background

Everything in this world has a lifespan and the same is true for dog nail clippers. Maintenance and preservation of your clippers can increase their life, but it has a limit. After a time, the clipper won’t work properly and you will have to replace it.

Trimming of dog nails is a crucial part of grooming and you can’t afford any kind of carelessness in it. The use of an ineffective tool can also harm the nails of your canine companion. This can be very dangerous for his/her health because nail infections can develop complications in the long run.

Therefore, you should regularly check on the blades of your dog’s nail clippers to see that they are fine. The importance of monitoring the blades increases even more once you have sharpened them.  This is because the clipper is now more likely to become ineffective. Once it reaches that stage, you should simply replace it.

Other than that, if you observe fragmented or worn out edges of a clipper, it should be replaced right away. After all, you don’t want your dog to face any kind of misfortune.


When we talk about overall dog grooming, it includes both, manicure and pedicure. For completing these grooming practices, you will need to find the perfect nail clipper for your dog. Likewise, high-quality tools to sharpen dog nail clippers are also needed to avoid any kind of mishap. This is because the effectiveness of a nail clipper is based on the sharpness and quality of its blades.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q.How often should dog clipper blades be sharpened?

A. If your clippers are used for just a few minutes in a session, the blades only need to be sharpened every six months. However, groomers that shave dogs every single day may need to sharpen their blades every four to six weeks.

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