Nails need cutting - we can’t make this a more glamorous pastime, but we can recommend the best nail clippers to help make it an easy job
Everyone needs to cut their nails, and the right tools can help to make this a quick and painless task. The best nail clippers are an essential tool to help keep your nails strong and prevent them from splitting or flaking. Plus, nail clippers make it easy to get a clean cut, making the job far quicker.
It can be tempting to pick up a cheap pair for a pound, but good nail clippers are made from stainless steel or occasionally titanium. This material helps them to stay sharp and prevent any danger of cracking. But with so many nail clippers on the market, how do you know what to choose?
In this guide, we’ve picked the best selection of nail clippers for different needs, covering a range of styles and budgets. We’ve also put together a buying guide to answer your questions and help you make the right choice. Let’s get started.
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How to choose the best nail clippers for you
Just about every chemist and supermarket in the country will have some sort of nail clipper on their shelves. But many of them could be a false economy if made from cheap materials. We have options starting from under £5 that use toughened steels to ensure your clippers stay sharp to do their job.
What to look for when buying nail clippers
There are a few key factors to consider when you’re buying nail clippers.
Blade material: Nail clippers should have a stainless or titanium steel blade. These materials are hypoallergenic, meaning they can be used by almost anyone and are easy to keep clean. They are also rust-resistant, which helps to avoid infections and extends a clipper’s life. Another advantage is that these steels won’t dull or need to be replaced. The rest of the clipper might be made of metal or plastic, but this isn’t as important as the blade material.
Edge shape: Nail clippers generally have two different edge shapes – straight and curved. Although preference plays a part when choosing a shape, we’d recommend straight-edged clippers if you’re prone to ingrown toenails. The straight edge is important because using a curved nail clipper means you’ll angle the sides of the nail, which can encourage it to grow into the skin. A curve-edged blade makes it easier to create a tapered nail on your fingers.
Size: If you’ve got small fingernails and toenails, you may find that you’re better off with a small fingernail clipper for both. But if your toenails are a bit tougher, you’ll want to consider a separate clipper.
Other features: Some nail clippers may come with a nail file, but they’re generally not particularly effective, and you’ll find an emery board does a far quicker job. There are also clippers that have plastic collectors for the toenail clippings, although these can sometimes be fiddly to use. We would recommend spending your money on the nail clippers rather than looking for particular accessories.
How we test nail clippers
To decide which nail clippers make the cut, we test them over several weeks on our own nails, as well as getting feedback from other keen testers. They’re tested on finger and toe nails of varying shapes and toughness, to ensure every clipper is pushed to its limit.
We assess how easy the clippers are to use and take note of those that might be harder for less dexterous people. Most importantly, we look at how well they cut through our nails, particularly those that are tougher than average. We also consider the material each clipper is made from – flimsy cutters aren’t likely to last and won’t make the list.
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The Rubis Nail Clippers may be more expensive than others on our list, but we think they’re worth every penny. Rubis started making precision tools for the Swiss watch industry before branching into beauty tools 25 years ago. It’s clear to see the attention to detail and craftsmanship that this history has bred in these little clippers.
Rubis only uses anti-acid stainless surgical steel, which won’t rust or corrode. We loved how sharp the tempered blades were, making it incredibly easy to cut through any thickness of nail. Designed with their trademarked Rubis Twist, the clippers are well balanced in the hand and don’t require a lot of pressure to close the jaws.
Because they’re mini clippers, they are on the smaller side, so those with larger hands may find them a little fiddly. However, we think any size hand can use these with a bit of practice, and the extremely high quality of the clippers means you’ll never need to buy another pair in your lifetime.
Key details – Size: 6 x 1 x 1cm (LWH); Material: Stainless steel
2. Kaasage Toenail Clippers: Best clippers for thick nails
Price: £14 | Buy now from Amazon As we get older, our toenails become thicker, and cutting them at home can be a challenge. The Kaasage clippers have been designed for podiatry use, meaning no nail is too tough for them to handle.
We loved the rubber grip on these nail clippers, which made them easy to grip without any danger of slipping mid-cut. The curved blade makes it easy to cut any awkward angles, although you should be careful not to cut too far down the side of your nail if you’re prone to ingrown toenails. We also liked that these clippers open slightly further out than many on the market and this, combined with the springs in the handle, makes them particularly easy to use. The blades are made of anti-rust surgical stainless steel, and the clippers come with a lifetime warranty.
Key details – Size: 15.5 x 8.6 x 3.2cm; Material: Stainless steel (blades), rubber (handles)
3. Mavala Nail Clippers: Best budget nail clippers
Price: £4.68 | Buy now from Amazon Swiss brand Mavala has been specialising in the care and beauty of nails for over 60 years and is probably best known for its range of nail polishes. But the company also produces a range of nail-care products, of which these clippers are one.
Each blade is individually sharpened and tested by hand to ensure a clean cut. We found them extremely easy to use, although they are small and probably best suited to use on your fingernails, as opposed to toenails. The blade is gently curved, making it easy to shape your fingernails into a tapered finish. We also think they’d be good for keeping in your handbag for any “nail emergencies” while you’re out and about. The only slight downside is that they’re made from nickel instead of stainless steel (nickel steel isn’t quite as tough).
Key details – Size: 9.5 x 5 x 1cm; Material: Nickel-hardened steel
5. Tweezerman Nail Clippers Set: Best duo set of nail clippers
Price: £13 | Buy now from Boots Fingernails and toenails can be quite different in size, meaning that one pair of nail clippers might not be the best option. Having a different set of clippers for your fingers and toes is also extremely hygienic, preventing germs from spreading.
This set contains a toenail clipper with a straight edge, which is ideal for cutting toenails without risking ingrown toenails by going too far down the sides of the nail. The smaller clippers are designed for fingernails and have a curved edge to create a gently tapered look.
Tweezerman’s products are extremely high quality and are favoured in the beauty industry for their longevity. The nail clippers are very sharp, and users report that they won’t dull over time, but you can send them to the company for free sharpening if necessary. We found these clippers simple to use and we liked their sleek design.
Key details – No in set: two; Material: Stainless steel