What Are the Different Types of Toenail Clippers?

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  • Written By: Sherry Holetzky
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 17 September 2019
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Toenail clippers are available in a variety of types and sizes. The quality and construction of these tools can vary greatly, and the same is true of the cost. From baby toenail clippers to professional models such as those used by podiatrists and pedicure specialists, there are many tools specifically designed for toenail treatments.

Because there are so many types of clippers, it is important to select those designed specifically as toenail clippers. One should not alternate between using the clippers on fingernails and toenails as doing so can lead to infection. It is essential to keep fingernail and toenail clippers clean and separate from each other as well as separate from other hygiene tools.

Toenail clippers are generally metal, but the preferred material for quality tools is stainless steel, which is less likely to rust with frequent cleaning. All pedicure tools should be cleaned after each use to avoid potential infection. Alcohol is a good substance to use for cleaning because it evaporates quickly.

The size of the clippers is also important. Adult clippers are usually not a good choice for children. Also, there are child-proof toenail clippers, which can be made of metal or stainless steel as well, but they generally include plastic around the metal to help avoid injury. The plastic may be brightly colored or adorned with cheerful symbols. Children will know that these clippers are designed especially for them, which may make trimming nails seem less scary for them.


The lever style clipper may be the most common, and often has a small, fold-away nail file or other tiny tools attached. There are similar designs that have the cutting apparatus turned to one side. Lever style clippers may have a curved or straight cutting edge.

Toenail clippers also come in designs that resemble scissors or a pair of pliers. Scissor styles are generally used for trimming cuticles and nails edges. There are left handed nail scissors available for those who need them. The style that mimics a set of pliers may contain a spring. These types of clippers are useful for thick, hard to trim toenails, as well as for clipping difficult to reach edges of nails that tend to become ingrown.

There are also toenail clippers available for pets. These are generally “guillotine” style clippers. The cutting apparatus for many pet clippers has a circular design. The point of the nail is inserted into the hole. The handles of the clippers are then squeezed together bringing down the blade to cut the nail.


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Discuss this Article

Post 3

@fBoyle-- You need a professional toenail clipper with a clipping catcher. The clipping catcher is just a piece of plastic or rubber that covers the bottom part of the clipper. Nail pieces fall into it as you cut your nails. Also, make sure to get one with a wide jaw because those are very easy to use.

Post 2

@fBoyle-- Have you ever used a nail nipper?

This is a tool that podiatrists use to cut toenails. I first saw it at my podiatrist's office and ordered it online.

I think it's a great tool. It's much easier to use than a toenail clipper. Clippers don't cut toenails well because toenails are much thicker than regular nails. It's hard to maneuver a clipper around a toenail. A nipper works much better. I highly recommend it.

Post 1

I use a typical toenail clipper. It's just a large clipper that came in a manicure and pedicure set that I bought. It's stainless steel, cuts straight and has a mini file.

I'm not sure why they even bother to put a mini file because it's so ineffective. It doesn't file nails smoothly, it makes ridges so I never use it.

I also don't like the fact that when I'm cutting my toenails, the piece of nail gets stuck inside the clipper and I have to shake it or manually remove it to get it out. I think that I need a better toenail clipper. Something that's easier to use and that has more functions.

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