Last updated: August 9, 2021

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Do you know the feeling of not knowing how to cut, of almost cutting your finger off or of having two left hands? A nail cutter is perfect for such purposes. You can use it with two hands without any problems. Therefore, it is often an advantage for the handling and speed of nail care to use a nail clipper.

With our nail clipper test 2021 we want to help you find the best nail clipper for you. We have compared pure toenail clippers and nail clippers in sets. Below we have listed the advantages and disadvantages of each. This should make your purchase decision as easy as possible.


  • Nail clippers are available as pure toenail clippers or fingernail clippers, but also as a set or complete package which can thus be used for both types of nails.
  • The nail clipper is practical, uncomplicated and clean. The nail clipper is particularly suitable for thick nails due to its mechanism (lever).
  • When using nail clippers, great care should be taken to ensure hygiene. Especially if you share it with your family or partner. Bacteria can be passed on through contact infection

The Best Nail Clippers: Our Choices

Nail clippers: buying and evaluation criteria

In the following, we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the many possible nail clippers. The criteria you can use to compare nail clippers with each other include:

In the following paragraphs, we will explain to you what is important in the individual criteria.

Anti-slip lever

Who hasn't experienced it with nail clippers when you want to cut your nails quickly but the handling of the nail clippers is not very good!

Most of the time it is a long struggle until you reach your goal. We would like to anticipate this step and point out that an anti-slip lever can save you a lot of frustration.

Chapel Carter invented the nail clipper in 1896.

This means that injuries do not occur even with thicker nails and higher pressure. Often the toenail clippers also have a longer lever to be able to generate more force. More about this later.

Type of blade

The nail clipper works by a lever action with two blades on top of each other. This is why the anti-slip function mentioned above is so important in order to be able to exert proper pressure on the nail.

The blades are slightly curved inwards, as a curved (concave) cutting surface corresponds to the natural shape of the nail. Those who wear their nails naturally or prefer a slightly rounder nail shape are best advised to use curved cutting surfaces.

If you prefer to cut your nails particularly straight, it is better to choose nail clippers with straight blades. These are also ideal for angular artificial fingernails.

Nail clippers with nail catcher

Some of the nail clippers are now equipped with a nail catcher so that the nail remains do not fly around and can be conveniently disposed of.

This in particular makes a lot of work easier afterwards. For this very reason, it is important to make sure that this is the case.

It is also important to pay attention to good quality. During my research, I often found that with cheap nail clippers it was not always possible to empty the nail catcher without frustration.

Product dimensions

First of all, the size and composition of the nail clipper should be chosen depending on the nail. The width of the nippers or the two blades lying on top of each other is the main differentiating criterion for nail clippers.

It should be noted that it should fit the nail. Nail clippers that can be used for fingernails and toenails have a width of 1 centimetre. Toenail clippers, on the other hand, are 1.2 to 1.5 centimetres wide. Nail clippers are between 5 and 12 centimetres long.

Most toenail clippers are longer because toenails are thicker and you need to build up more pressure. To be able to build up this pressure without having to use an enormous amount of force, you need greater leverage.

This is achieved by making the lever and thus the handle of the toenail clipper longer. In other words, this is where the classic law of leverage comes into play.

Nail clippers: frequently asked questions and answers

In the following section, we would like to answer the most important questions about nail clippers. We have selected the questions for you and will answer them shortly. After reading the guide, you will know all the essential background information about nail clippers.

What are the advantages of nail clippers?

Nail clippers, also called nail clippers or nail nippers in Bavaria and Austria, are small helpers that are used to care for toenails and fingernails. It is built like a pair of pliers and has two concave blades at the tip that are parallel to each other.

The difference to nail scissors is that the nail clipper does not cut the nails, but removes the part of the nail to be removed as a whole. This process is called clipping onomatopoeically. Thus, unlike nail scissors, nail clippers can cut the nail with a clip.

Further advantages and disadvantages of nail scissors are shown in the following table. First of all, it can be said that a good nail clipper offers many advantages over nail scissors.

  • the part of the nail is removed with a nail clipper
  • time saving - quick handling
  • no splintering and tearing due to even pressure
  • can also cut thicker nails without much force(lever)
  • stays sharp for a long time
  • some models with nail catcher
  • harder to handle and therefore more dangerous
  • not very precise
  • Nail tips can "fly around"

Our nail clipper comparison 2021 shows that a nail clipper should not be missing in your pedicure set or nail case.

What types of nail clippers are there?

Most products can be used for both finger and toe nails. Nevertheless, a distinction is often made between these two categories. That is why we have listed the biggest differences compactly and to the point here.

Nail clippers for fingernails: Nail clippers that are actually suitable for fingernails usually have an integrated file. They are between 6 and 8 cm long and the cutting edge is about 1 cm wide.

Nail clippers for toenails: Toenail clippers are slightly wider and longer, as toenails are thicker and stronger than fingernails. This means you have to apply more pressure. This requires a larger lever (length). Toenails therefore also tend to fly around the room when clipped.

That is why most toenail clippers have a nail catcher to prevent this. This catches the nail remains and you can dispose of them conveniently. Toenail clippers are slightly wider and longer, approx. 8 cm long and 1.2 - 1.5 cm wide.

Most of the nail clippers we have presented can be used for both toenails and fingernails. This means that you can create beautiful toenails and fingernails with just one tool.

What does a nail clipper cost?

As you can see in my product selection above, there is a big difference in price, especially for nail clippers. Our price-performance winner starts at an unbeatable £1.50.

The price range of nail clippers, which includes the Wilkinson Sword, is around 4-10 £. Like everywhere else, you have to decide for yourself whether you want a good material, a brand, whether you want it to be flexible, etc.

The premium nail clipper ZWILLING TWINOX is in our upper price range, but is also at the forefront in terms of quality. It is in a price category starting at around 22 £.

How should I use nail clippers?

A beauty day without a manicure or pedicure is unthinkable! Beautiful hands are an indication of health and a well-groomed appearance. In the meantime, we have also reached the point that a man should shine with well-groomed, at least trimmed nails.


Nail clippers are great for perfect nail care, as you can see here. Nail clippers are available as toenail clippers only or as fingernail clippers.
(Image source: Ian Dooley / Unsplash)

First of all, trimming your nails. It's quickest to do with a nail clipper. But how do you use a nail clipper properly? Here we have put together a small 1 × 1 on how to use nail clippers in a few small steps:

  • As a rule, only cut nails that are longer than 1 mm.
    The nails should be clean and dry.
  • Firststep, place the nail clipper on the side of the nail and press down. Now the excess part of the nail tip should already be clipped off.
  • Release the pressure without putting the clipper down. The cutting edges should be open.
  • Move to the centre of the nail and press down. Repeat these steps until the whole nail tip is clipped off.
  • A maximum of three clippers should be enough. Some people can even do it with one.
  • Then file the nails into shape.
  • Finally, you can file away the edges, if any. If you have clipped cleanly, there should not be any.

Important: Once again, less is more! Never cut or clip too much of your toenail or fingernail. Otherwise, in the worst case, it can lead to inflammation or even blood poisoning. As a rule of thumb, 1 mm should be left from the tip of the nail.

Which nail clippers can I take with me on a plane?

Most airlines allow you to take a small nail clipper with you in your hand luggage. However, they must not be larger than 5 cm, otherwise they could be considered a "weapon". This means that the larger models we have listed are not allowed.

However, your nail clippers will be taken from you with 100% certainty if you want to take them on board inside a nail care set or case. Nail files and nail scissors are prohibited on board. Therefore, to be on the safe side, we recommend that you pack your nail care set and nail clippers in your suitcase rather than in your hand luggage.

How important is it to clean the nail clippers?

Especially if the nail clippers are shared with other people, it is necessary to clean them regularly. It helps to prevent the spread of nail fungus and other infections. After a certain time, the bacteria on the clippers multiply and in the worst case, the next person gets it all.

There are various hygiene measures. Most of them are available in pharmacies or nail salons. Cleaning in itself does not take long and is uncomplicated, which also speaks in favour of doing it more often.

At the latest with the issue of Covid-19, one should also know that other pathogens can also be transmitted via contact infection.


When using nail clippers, extreme care should be taken with hygiene. Wash or disinfect them after use and store them in a dry place, as shown in this picture.
(Image source: Hengthabthim/ 123rf)

There are several ways to clean it. The easiest is to simply bathe it in warm water with liquid soap for 10 to 20 minutes. Then clean it and dry it off.

You can also clean / disinfect the nail clippers with alcohol. Simply clean the nail clippers with a little medical alcohol. Wet wipes containing alcohol are also suitable for this purpose.

In extreme cases, you can also use a bleaching agent and bathe the clippers in it. Of course, the more aggressive the liquid, the more likely it is to leave marks on the material of the nail clippers. As we have all learnt in the Covid-19 fight, in the end it is important not to be lazy.

With these simple measures, you will be doing yourself and your family good. Of course, you don't have to do this procedure after every use, but every now and then you should clean your nail clippers.


It is certainly worthwhile to test a nail clipper in practice. Most nail clippers have a concave edge and are therefore perfectly adapted to the shape of the nail. This makes it easier for most people to cut their fingernails and toenails with nail clippers.

A little insider tip from us would be to take a nail clipper with an integrated nail file. Ideally one with a nail catcher so you don't have to sweep everything up afterwards. If you're still wondering whether to get nail clippers or nail scissors, try your luck with one of these clippers, you won't be disappointed.

Image source: Dantragoon / 123rf