Clipping a dog’s nails is critical for every dog owner to remember, but the job is a bit more challenging when your pup has black nails. Black nails hide the blood vessel in the center of the nail, called the quick, unlike white nails where the quick appears pink. To locate the quick on black nails, you have to use sharp clippers to make small, precise cuts. The cuts help you identify the slightly lighter black line of the quick and show you where to stop cutting.
Although you can find numerous clippers for sale online, we’ve examined the best clippers for black nails and included in-depth reviews to help you determine which brand is ideal for your furry friend.
A Quick Look at Our Favorites in 2024
|Safari Professional Nail Trimmer for Dogs
|Hartz Nail Clipper for Dogs
|Dremel 7760-PGK 4V Pet Grooming Kit
|Best for Puppies
|Millers Forge Nail Clipper
|Resco Deluxe Dog Nail Clippers
The 10 Best Dog Nail Clippers for Black Nails
1. Safari Professional Nail Trimmer for Dogs – Best Overall
Trimming black nails requires a sturdy clipper with razor-sharp blades, and we chose the Safari Professional Nail Trimmer for Dogs as the best overall nail clipper for dogs with black nails. The clipper’s double blade and tension spring design give you incredible control while grooming, and the non-slip grip keeps your hand from sliding during this delicate task.
Unlike many competing products, the Safari clipper has a safety lock that keeps the blades closed and secure when not in use. Compared to other clippers in its price range, the Safari has sharper blades and a high-quality design. Customers were impressed by the Safari’s performance and durability, but some mentioned that the handles were too small for large hands. However, the Safari clippers also come in a larger size for big hands.
2. Hartz Groomer’s Best Nail Clipper for Dogs and Cats – Best Value
If you’re looking for an affordable clipper that’s durable enough to handle thick black nails, you can try the Hartz Groomer’s Best Nail Clipper. It won our award for the best nail clipper for dogs with black nails for the money, and its stainless steel blades effortlessly slice through stubborn nails. Hartz clippers have a comfortable contoured grip that eases strain during lengthy grooming sessions, and the spring-loaded blades are sturdier than most competitors.
Most customers were happy with the Groomer’s Best, and we could not find any significant flaws with its performance. However, the safety guard that ensures the nail is not cut too short tends to slide around during clipping.
3. Dremel 7760-PGK 4V Pet Grooming Cordless Kit – Premium Choice
When you have a hyperactive dog that has trouble standing still, nail grooming is difficult with clippers. Instead of risking damage to the nails or quick, you can use the Dremel 7760-PGK 4V Pet Grooming Cordless Kit. Grinders are more expensive than clippers, but they’re less likely to damage the nails’ blood vessels than clippers.
Dremel’s powerful grinder has four different speed settings and a 45-degree cutting surface that reduces the chances of injuring your pet during grooming. The clear plastic cap near the grinding head collects nail dust and loose fur, and the battery light indicator on the handle alerts you when the unit requires charging.
We thought the Dremel is an effective grooming tool, and pet parents seem to prefer using it over clippers, but the sound may scare timid dogs. The Dremel grinder is less noisy than hair clippers, but some dogs get nervous when they’re around any vibrating device.
4. Millers Forge Nail Clipper With Safety Stop – Best for Puppies
Clipping a puppy’s nails typically involves more patience than adult grooming; puppies are notorious for squirming and trying to bite the clippers. With Millers Forge Nail Clipper, you can cut nails quickly and avoid hitting the quick by adjusting the safety guard. Safety guards on similar models are not as easy to adjust for small nails, but Millers Forge clippers are simple to use and ideal for small pups.
The heat-treated stainless-steel clipper is durable, and most dog owners were pleased with the unit’s precise cuts. However, the only drawback to the clipper is the handle sheath. Over time, the rubber handle begins to slide down.
5. Resco Deluxe Dog Nail Clippers
Unlike the double-bladed clippers, these guillotine-style clippers use a single blade to cut the nail. Resco’s Deluxe Dog Nail Clippers feature a stainless-steel design with a rubber handle that gives you a firm grip during trimming. The spring-loaded mechanism makes clipping effortless, and the durable body can withstand abuse from accidental drops.
Although most customers liked the Resco clippers, some mentioned that the clippers could not produce clean cuts on large nails. They seem to leave jagged cuts on thick nails. Owners of small and medium dogs loved the trimmers, but we suggest trying a double-blade model if your pet has extra-large nails.
6. Andis Pet Nail Clipper
The Andis Pet Nail Clipper features a wide cutter opening that can handle large nails, and the ergonomic handle reduces fatigue during the slow grooming process. The stainless-steel clipper has a safety lock that keeps the unit closed for storage and a stop guard that prevents you from cutting too deep. Most pet parents were happy with the Andis clipper, but others were disappointed with the blade’s longevity.
They produce clean cuts initially, but the cutters become dull too fast and must be replaced. Andis is an affordable option, but the clipper is not as reliable as our best value pick. Unfortunately, like most nail clippers, Andis does not sell replacement blades.
7. LuckyTail Dog Nail Grinder Trimmer
If you’re searching for a whisper-quiet trimmer that will not upset your nervous pet, you can try the LuckyTail Dog Nail Trimmer. It has three port positions to trim multiple nail sizes and two speed settings. Some of the premium clippers and trimmers have LED lights for trimming in low light, but they’re often positioned poorly and seem to interfere with grooming.
LuckyTail’s lights are recessed under the handle, and they’re bright and practical. The trimmer only takes 1 hour to charge but operates for 4 hours. Unlike the competition, the LuckyTail is lightweight and quiet. Although customers raved about the LuckyTail’s design and performance, owners of large dogs complained that the grinder on high speed was too long to trim beefy nails.
8. GoPets Nail Clippers for Dogs & Cats
The GoPets Nail Clippers for Dogs and Cats features a non-slip handle that provides a firm grip and sturdy stainless steel that’s stress-tested to ensure it performs for several years. It has a safety lock for storage and a quick guard that prevents cuts into the blood vessel. The GoPet’s most innovative feature is the hidden nail fail in the handle for touch-ups after trimming.
Although the premium clippers are more durable than cheaper models, they’re less successful with large claws. Owners of small and medium dogs did not seem to have any issues, but large breed owners complained that the blade tore the nail rather than cut it. It comes in two sizes, but the large is too small for big hands.
9. FURminator Nail Clippers for Dogs and Cats
The FURminator Nail Clippers for Dogs and Cats features an adjustable safety lock to protect the quick and supportive handle that gives you a firm grip during trimming. The safety lock is more durable and easier to adjust than competing models, and the design is impressive for an inexpensive clipper. Although the FURminator is sturdier than similar products in its price range, the blades are not sharp enough to produce precise cuts on oversized nails. Medium and small breed owners were generally happy with the FURminator, but some mentioned that the blades sometimes stick after cutting a nail. FURminator’s dog and cat brushes are top sellers with large followings, and their clippers would be much higher on our list if they were sharper.
10. Gorilla Grip Professional Pet Nail Clippers
|Beige, navy, black, orange, blue, purple, gray, red, turquoise, lime green
The Gorilla Grip Professional Pet Nail Clippers is available in more colors than the competition, and it’s less expensive than similar models. It has a silicone slip-resistant handle that’s comfortable and lightweight and a safety guard to protect the quick. Like the GoPets clipper, it has a hidden nail file in the handle.
Unfortunately, the Gorilla Grip is not as sturdy as the competition. It works well on small, thin nails but tends to tear larger ones. The safety guard can only be adjusted laterally, and it’s positioned too far from the cutting blades. If your pup has thick nails, we suggest using one of our top five picks.
Buyer’s Guide – Purchasing the Best Clippers for Dogs with Black Nails
If you have not decided which nail clipper is ideal for your pet, you can examine these factors that may influence your decision.
If your dog’s nails are overgrown, you can trim a little at a time to allow the quick to recede. Most clipper manufacturers include tips on cutting long nails, and they suggest trimming the nails once a week until the nails are even with the dog’s pads. After the nails are cut to a safe length, you can go back to cutting every 3 or 4 weeks.
Handling Hyper Dogs
Holding the paws steady is difficult when the animal squirms and tries to bolt. Having a partner assist in the grooming can help calm your pet, but you can also use a harness and leash to secure your hyper pup during trimming.
Your dog may not behave too well during the first few sessions, but you can ease its fear by serving a tasty treat before and after clipping.
Although your dog’s anxiety can disrupt the grooming process, try to stay calm and confident. If you become stressed, your dog will sense your distress and only become more unruly.
Keeping Styptic Powder on Hand
Cutting into a blood vessel is a scary experience, but it does not require a trip to the vet when you have styptic powder to stop the bleeding. After adding the styptic powder to the wound, you may have to postpone the clipping for another day. Some pets are too upset to continue after receiving a minor injury.
Clippers come in various styles and sizes, but the right tool for your dog depends on the size of the nails. Most clippers claim to be suitable for all breeds, but larger nails require using trimmers or heavy-duty clippers with sharp blades.
Guillotine clippers have a round or triangular opening for the nail and a single blade that trims the nail when you squeeze the handle. Unfortunately, guillotines are sometimes too small to use on large claws, and they’re better suited for small and medium breeds.
Double-bladed clippers resemble wire cutters or pliers, and they use the sharp edges of two blades to clip nails. Our top four picks can cut large nails, but several brands we reviewed did not produce clean cuts on overgrown nails. If your clippers tear the nail and leave a rough edge, you’ll need to try another brand.
Many owners of large breeds have given up on using standard clippers and rely instead on motorized trimmers. Trimmers take longer to trim nails, but they’re safer to use on black nails when locating the quick is difficult. If a clipper has injured your dog in the past, a premium trimmer is an excellent alternative.
With a few exceptions, the low-priced clippers are not as durable as the premium ones. Using a cheap clipper is fine if you replace it when the blades are dull, but you’re unlikely to find replacement blades that are cheaper than the clipper. Online distributors like Amazon and Chewy do not carry extra blades, and most clipper manufacturers do not offer them either. Like our top pick, well-made designs will stay sharp for several years, but cheaper brands may not last a year if you use them frequently.
After selecting a highly-rated clipper that most dogs tolerate, your pet may violently resist grooming with the new tool. You can try leaving the clipper near your dog’s toys while you supervise to show your pet that it’s not something to fear, but some pups may never warm up to a clipper. It’s frustrating to return or trash an expensive clipper, but you may have to try another brand if your pet runs every time you pick up the tool.
Our reviews highlighted some of the best dog clippers for dogs with black nails, but we chose the Safari Professional Nail Trimmer for Dogs as our top pick. We liked the clipper’s sharp blades that slice through massive claws without problems, and we were impressed with its durability compared to other affordable models.
Our next pick was the Hartz Groomer’s Best Nail Clipper. Although it’s inexpensive, it is comfortable to use and capable of grooming thick, black nails. We hope you’ll select a clipper that your dog tolerates and eventually enjoys.
Featured Image Credit: Duet PandG, Shutterstock