The Best Dog Nail Grinder Australia - The Overview
Our #1 Pick
The Best Value for Money
Lucky Tail Dog Nail Grinder
Grooming your dog is a soothing and intimate experience… normally (1).
It can get a little tricky and uncomfortable when it comes to caring for your dog’s nails. The appliances look like nightmare fuel and your dog may be sensitive about their paws.
Though it may sound like a torture device fit for Freddy Kruger, a nail grinder is one of the key tools professional groomers use to keep your dog’s nails neat and tidy. Finding the right grinder will make the process of clipping claws far easier in the long run.
In this detailed article, we will strip the fear from this ominous tool so you can become an at-home grooming pro! We’ll discuss how to find the best dog nail grinder for you, how to use it without taking an entire paw off, and our top recommendations for nail grinders in Australia.
Pet Nail Grinder Buyer’s Guide
How Does A Dog Nail Grinder Work?
When purchasing a grinder, or “nail Dremel” if you are fancy, there are some key components to look out for. But before we dive into that, it is worth understanding how a nail grinder actually works. If you are the type to wear acrylic nails on a regular basis, you are probably familiar with these contraptions.
Essentially a nail Dremel is an electric file, made up of a small handle and a rotary drilling bit that shaves off slices of the nail. The core elements are the electronic centre, the handle, and the drill bit which all align with one of the following criteria.
What we are saying here is where does the tool draw its power from? When it comes to dog grooming there are two main pieces of electronic tools we use; electric nail files and dog hair clippers. When using electronics, we need to make sure that the power source and set-up work best with how you intend to use them.
So, for example, if your dog is a competitor, you may need a wireless nail file. For your personal needs, you may prefer a battery-powered tool over a rechargeable or mains-wired tool. Figure out what would be best for you before you search for a nail grinder for your dog.
Speed, Materials & Durability
This refers to the drill bit of your nail file. Generally, nail files for dogs have sand bits but some have diamond bits too. The material of the drill bit can correlate to its durability. Diamond lasts longer than sand for example. Most drill bits will be replaceable but of course, the longer you can use the kit bit, the better the return on your investment.
Some nail grinders will come with multiple bits so you can change the strength of the sanding bit. A higher grit on the drill bit will shave off more of the nail. Though this can make the process a little faster, a higher grit needs to be used with caution. These bits tend to heat up quickly due to the increased pressure. The heat can be uncomfortable for your dog. Speed control is also an important factor as drilling too fast will increase the heat.
This is all to do with the handle. How comfortable is the nail file to use? Though left-handed folks shouldn’t need a different handle as you would for grooming scissors, you want the grinder to be as comfortable and simple as possible for both you and your dog. A lightweight tool is preferable so that it is portable and not strenuous to hold in your hand. You shouldn’t be using the nail grinder for too long of a time, but the ergonomic factors are still important.
How To Use a Dog Nail Grinder
So, I suppose I haven’t done the best job of taking the sting out of the oh-so-scary grinder yet, but this is where I will set your mind at ease, dear reader. The humble nail file is not that frightening at all once you know the basics. In many ways, the trickiest part is actually getting your dog to relax around the tool. You’ll be pleased to learn that normally dogs get on better with nail files than they do with nail clippers - yes, really! So, let’s start with the acclimatisation steps before the practical instructions.
Step 1. Preparing Your Dog for Nail Care
“Many dogs are sensitive about their paws being handled, some can even be ticklish, just like humans. Sensitivity about their paws does not necessarily mean they have ever suffered a bad experience, or that they have not been handled as puppies, though with a rescue dog that could be a factor.” Sophie Jackson at Pet Helpful (2)
Therefore, acclimatising your dog to nail care could take some time. Like with all aspects of training, patience is key. Giving your dog treats and praise when you touch their paws will make them associate paw handling with good things. It’s a classic case of positive reinforcement. Over time, your dog may even offer up their paws for handshakes and high fives. (3)
The second part of acclimatising your dog to nail filing is the sound of the nail file itself. There are low-noise options on the market which we will recommend in the review section, but to a degree, it is completely natural for your dog to be scared or wary of a buzzing nail drill. To get them used to the sound, you can periodically switch it on around them and use positive reinforcement techniques. They will soon not be so frightened of the grinder.
Step 2. Determine How Much Needs to Be Trimmed
Dogs have an inner fleshy part of the nail called the “quick”, which you may also see referred to as the cuticle.
This is the part you definitely want to avoid at all costs. Have you ever accidentally cut into your nail bed? Actual nightmare! Luckily with a nail file, you are shaving off smaller sections of the nail than with a clipper, so you are not making a direct cut across.
When you examine your dog’s nails, you will be able to see a pink inner section and the clear or black free edge. You want to shave down the free edge only.
Step 3. Positioning Your Dog
Some dog owners nail their dog’s nails by sitting beside them, whilst others encourage their dog to give them their paw and grind the nail from in front. This depends on the comfort level of you and your dog.
You want to be at the same level so have them sit on the sofa. You need to have a very firm grip on your dog’s paw so that you are secure in what you are doing. Hold their paw with your weak hand.
Step 4. How To Grind Your Dog’s Nails
To file your dog’s nail, it is quite a simple process. After you have positioned your dog, use your weak hand to hold your dog’s paw, concentrating on one claw.
With the drill in your dominant hand, approach at a 45-degree angle, and use small, short bursts to shave the nail down to the desired length. Many groomers say to look out for a black dot visible on the inside of the nail.
We suggest watching YouTube videos to get a visual tutorial of exactly how to do this process safely.
Best Dog Nail Grinders Reviewed
So, you know what makes a good nail file for dogs and how to do the deed. Let’s now dive into our choices for the best dog nail grinders in Australia. There are multiple choices on the market at all price points, so we hope this buyer’s guide helps you!
Our top choice for a dog nail grinder on the Australian market is this great option from Lucky Tail. It is the perfect all-rounder for all your at-home or professional dog grooming needs.
Firstly, this is a rechargeable wireless tool so it is super portable and convenient. If you need to travel with your nail grinding equipment at all, it’s lightweight enough to easily transport. There are two drill bits that are covered in sand to softly drill down your dog’s nails. You have complete control over the speed, so you can adjust your pressure as you work.
The design has your canine's comfort in mind, with whisper quiet & ultralight vibration technology and perfectly suitable for all dog sizes, this option will make grinding your pups nails a breeze.
This grinder is on the higher end of the budget scale, but overall the quality speaks for itself. For a starter or experienced groomer, the Lucky Tail is a fantastic option.
The Dremel is great but it is not the cheapest option out there. For those of you on a budget, the Rimposky is a great option. It is a little simpler but it is perfect for beginners for this very reason.
This is another USB, rechargeable tool which is ideal for those who need to grind those nails on the go. The battery lasts for 2 continuous hours and takes 3 hours to fully charge. Not the fastest charge we have ever heard of but 2 hours of use is perfectly fine for single use. You don’t want to use it too much in one go after all as we discussed before.
We love that the port at the top of the grinder is adaptable to your dog’s nail size, so large dogs are accounted for here too. That is refreshing to see as you’ll be able to tell, manufacturers are a touch sizeist when it comes to nail care.
The noise of the vibration is purposefully low - below 50db - to ensure that even nervous dogs don’t feel stressed by the buzz. There are two adjustable speeds so you can adapt your trimming to your dog’s needs and tolerance.
All of this comes at a fabulously low price point. With decent reviews and a good range of features, we highly recommend the Rimposky model for beginners and amateurs.
A stylish tool is not to be sniffed at! If you are training to be a professional groomer, you are probably being advised to get the very best quality for the amount of money you have, which we completely agree with to a point. We forget, however, that style absolutely has a function! Beautiful tools are more fun to use. If a tool can be beautiful and functional at the same time, it’s a win-win.
So why is the Andis EasyClip 2-Speed Nail Grinder so stylish? Well, the rich purple colour and slim, ergonomic design is true fashion. Luckily, it’s also a great electric nail file for you and your dog to enjoy. And yes - I did say enjoy! This model has low noise and vibration, so anxious dogs will feel safe with this option.
The kit comes with two drill bits of different sizes and varied grit sand bands so you can customise to your dog’s needs. This means that most dogs regardless of size should get on with this product. No sizeism here!
The Andis is lightweight and comfortable in your hands as you work. It also comes with a portable sleeve to easily pack away and transport when you need to.
There are some cons, however. This is not a wireless nor rechargeable model so not quite as portable as the Dremel or Rimposky.
Some users have had some difficulty in using this tool. You need to tighten the sand bands to the sanding drum correctly and securely before use. You can always reach out to the manufacturer for further guidance. So, it is not quite as simple to use as other models on this list.
There is also no nail guard or port protecting the sand bit, so long fur can get caught in the drilling if you aren’t careful.
That said, for the mid-range price point, we think this is a great option for filing your pup’s nails at home.
The Oster Nail Filer is a good product for small dogs and other pets, like cats. It is a wireless battery-powered model but unfortunately does not have rechargeable properties. Pop in four AA batteries and away you go.
The Oster has two speeds that are powerful for saving through your dog’s nails. The manufacturer claims that this works 5 times faster than the other grinders on the market. If you feel confident in your ability to file your dog’s nail with control and precision, this is a great feature.
Efficiency is almost always good. However, this tool may be a bit too powerful if you are a complete beginner. That high power also comes with a bit more noise than the others on this list, so that is worth bearing in mind if your dog is particularly anxious.
There is a stone drill bit with two coarse bands and one fine band. Shave down the bulk of the nail with the coarse band. When you are at the right nail length, you can then use the softer grit of the fine band to create a super smooth finish. No snagged nails or sharp edges at all.
The Oster comes with a safety guard - a good addition for novices who want to give this powerful tool a go. The guard holds the nail in place at the correct angle. The reason we only recommend this nail file for small dogs is because of this safety guard. It is not very large so only small claws can fit. You can use the file without the safety guard of larger dogs but you need to have the confidence to do this as we mentioned before.
We admit, this model is a bit on the pricey side but that extra oomph in power is worth it. For professional or experienced groomers, you’ll love this nail grinder.
It is tough to get close to your dog’s nail with a drill in the best of times. I mean, how would you feel if someone approached you with a loud, buzzy drill to file your nails down that you have no control over?
I’m sure you would squirm. Your dog feels the same!
Our final pick is the Casfuy which is the very definition of whisper-quiet on its lowest setting. This electric nail file is so quiet that even scaredy-cats are okay with it. Coming at a great price-point, the Casfuy has many more features than just its quietness.
It comes with a USB rechargeable cable to top up the power before use. It does not come with a plug which in this case is a good thing. Many of the models on this list are not manufactured in Australia so they may need a power adapter. In this case, you can just use any USB charger you have.
The bit grinder is made of diamond (carbon) for a durable, smooth finish. Comparing to the others on this list, the Casfuy is less versatile with only one drill bit with an adaptable port. There are no sanding bands to adjust the strength of the filing.
Casfuy offers a lifetime warranty on the product. This is a step above most of the nail filers on this list. For the price point and satisfaction guarantee, we think this product is a wonderful addition to your dog grooming kit.
The Final Verdict: What Should You Use to Clip Your Dog’s Nails?
Our top choice is definitely OG Dremel nail grinder. It is probably the most famous for drilling and for good reason! We are also huge fans of the Rimposky model that provides great value for money.
There is no evidence to suggest that grinding down your dog’s nails is bad for them. In fact, vets recommend that you keep your dog’s nails a certain length. As a guide, your dog’s nails should not be dragging on the ground. They do not need to be shorter than that.
The frequency of grinding your dog’s nails depends on how long they grow and/or if you are using other tools to keep them short. If you are frequently clipping your dog’s nails, you will use the nail filer less. If your dog is active, they may also grind down naturally on pavements, etc, but it is still worth trimming the dewclaws.
The average is to trim your dog’s claws every 1-2months. That said, if you want to acclimatise your dog to having their paws handled, you could always make this a weekly or bi-weekly practice to strengthen the trust between you and your dog.
Jason Nicholas, BVetMed, of Preventive Vet, writes “ if it's possible and practical to trim your dog's nails weekly or at least every other week, you'll likely see better results, have a much less stressed dog, and experience less stress yourself in the process.” (4)
- Erb, H. September 25, 2015. “A Bonding Opportunity: Groom Your Dog”. American Kennel Club. Retrieved November 1, 2020. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/groom-your-dog
- Jackson, S. February 14, 2020. “How to Take the Stress Out of Grooming Your Dog's Paws”. Pet Helpful. Retrieved November 1, 2020. https://pethelpful.com/dogs/How-to-Take-the-Stress-Out-of-Grooming-Your-Dogs-Paws
- Lowrey, S. January 9, 2020. “How to Teach Your Dog to Shake Hands”. American Kennel Club. Retrieved November 1, 2020. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/how-to-teach-your-dog-to-shake-hands/
- Nicholas, J. September 21, 2020. “How Often Should You Cut Your Dog's Nails?”. Preventive Vet. Retrieved November 1, 2020. https://www.preventivevet.com/dogs/how-often-should-you-cut-your-dogs-nails