If there is ever a mindless purchase that most men grab due to sheer convenience, it’s the nail clipper. Found at the local drugstore, gas stations, or even hotel gift shops – with exception to the disposable razor, nail clippers are probably one of the most widely accessible grooming tools. We don’t think twice about cutting our nails once they get too long for comfort or vanity purposes. However, for people who have thick and topfitnessreviews, it’s necessary to find a pair of toenail clippers that will get the job done.
Thick toenails can be a result of anything from genetic dispositions, to a fungal infection that has caused the nails to become harder and, as a result, thicker. Whatever the case, it can be difficult to find standard clippers that will cut cleanly through the nail.
But given its wide distribution on store shelves everywhere – this oft grooming tool can make a world of difference on the overall appearance of your hands and feet.
Thankfully, there are some professional-grade toenail clippers on the market that work on hard nails. These products can keep you from having to visit a foot doctor. They can help you to maintain proper hygiene and grooming habits.
How We Found the Best Nail Clippers
We started out with 96 clippers that were readily available on retail sites like Amazon, Ulta, and Walgreens.
You don’t have to struggle with using standard cutters any longer. In fact, it can even be somewhat dangerous to use regular clippers that don’t cut the nails correctly.
When using regular trimmers, you can spread nail fungus or irritate the nail bed. It’s also easy to cut yourself, especially if the clippers are too small to get a decent grip.
To be honest, all 96 had similar specs, and after learning about nail clipper construction, we identified only one real dealbreaker: The best nail clippers should be made of stainless steel. While nail catchers and casings can be plastic, the cutting blades themselves must be stainless. Why? Other metals, such as nickel-plated steel, can rust when exposed to damp environments like a bathroom counter.
Our Picks for the Best Nail Clippers
Best for Fingernails
Superb knives and swords have been the claim to fame for the city of Seki, Japan, since the 13th century. It’s an ambitious namesake for a pair of fingernail clippers. And while the Seki Slim is neither sword nor dagger, it’s about as close as you’ll get while trimming your nails. We loved its well-balanced grip, sleek lines, and ability to cut through thick fingernails like butter.
Comfort is key for the Seki. Its 2-inch lever is a little longer than usual — enough leverage for an effortless, whisper-smooth clip, and enough to stand out against contenders like the Harperton Klipit, whose tiny inch-and-a-half lever testers found slippery and hard to depress. The Seki’s delicate, curved cutting edge is sized for precision fingernail clips, but we also found it powerful enough to tackle toenails with no trouble (it’ll just take a few extra clips to cover your toes’ wider surface area).
An extra long lever lets the Seki Slim clip more smoothly than contenders like the Harperton Klipit.
The Seki Slim’s hand-feel also made a lasting impression. “The Seki is just comfortable,” said one tester, with another reporting, “I like the heft of this one.” It has a solidity you don’t get with drugstore clippers, weighing in at 1.3 ounces, versus 0.75 ounce for the ubiquitous mass-market Bassett brand. (For reference, five U.S. quarters weigh approximately one ounce.) The design also offers nothing but smooth curves — a major draw after testing finalists like the Clyppi, which cut well, but had jabby edges that dug into our palms.
There were some small but thoughtful design elements that delighted us. A tiny button at the end of the lever latches into a corresponding hole when you close the clippers, so that they won’t slide open in a pocket or toiletry bag. Unlike most of the designs we tested, the pin that holds the clippers together also doesn’t end in a hook, instead featuring a closed post-and-pin mechanism that’s impossible to detach. (If your nail clipper’s lever has ever fallen off when you try to open it, a pin-and-hook design is to blame — the pin has slipped off the hook.)
But we were ambivalent about a couple of extras. A metal nail catcher on the bottom of the Seki collects trimmings and slides back when you want to dump them. But as with most of the nail catchers we tried, it didn’t catch everything. You’ll still need to clip over a wastebasket to avoid a mess. And there’s an embedded nail file toward the base of the lever, which has the potential to rub against your thumb if you try to grip the clippers too closely.
At $17, the Seki Slim isn’t the cheapest option we looked at. But if you want clippers that make cutting your fingernails a comfortable — even pleasant — proposition, these are your best bet.
If you need a fingernail clipper that’s truly compact, the Swiss Army Victorinox is also worth a shot. This clipper is tiny enough to be barely noticeable on a keychain, weighing about half an ounce. Despite its small size, it offers a decent cut, but you’ll have to press harder than the Mehaz or Seki (remember, a small lever means less leverage). The jaws also don’t open as widely as our other top picks, making the Victorinox ill-suited to thick nails.
And there’s another fairly significant design flaw: The Victorinox comes with a nail file that automatically snaps out when you open the clippers. “The fold-out file is too pointy and jabs into my palm,” one tester lamented. Still, the Victorinox outperformed the other ultra-lightweight options that we tried. The $35 Zwilling J.A. Henckels Ultra-Slim Nail Clippers performed abysmally during testing: “It just would not cut through my nails,” said one tester. “Maybe I just got a bad pair, but these were duds. There’s no leverage to cut,” reported another.
We also looked at the Tweezerman Folding Nail Clipper, but its design was identical to the Victorinox’s, and it cost an extra $4 ($13, versus the Victorinox’s $9). So if you want ultra-portable clippers, the Victorinox is our pick — just be prepared to make a trade-off in terms of cutting ability and comfort.
Mehaz 660 Professional Nail Clipper Not quite as finely crafted as the Seki, but cheaper and lighter.
The Mehaz is about half the cost of the Seki, at $10, but delivers almost as much bang for your buck. If you like to take your clippers with you, it’s also more convenient — it’s lighter than the Seki, weighing in at less than an ounce, and features a loop for a keyring.
Be aware that the ugly plastic nail catcher is removable. It took us a long time to figure this out, and we liked the clippers much more once it came off. (The catcher is so bulky that it’s hard to see where you’re clipping.) Overall, we found the Mehaz comfortable and easy to use. The lever curves up slightly at the end, providing a ledge for your thumb, and we appreciated the lack of an embedded nail file (Seki, take note).
The Mehaz’s lever does rely on a standard hook-and-pin to flip into position, and it doesn’t lock in place like the Seki, but the lever stayed put while we were clipping, with no slippage.
ClipPro-Kohm Toenail Clippers
The ClipPro Toenail Clippers are one of the most popular solutions for hard nails. They are made of surgical grade stainless steel. That allows them to cut through extremely hard nails, no matter the cause. They also allow the user quite a bit of leverage when handling them. Because they’re five inches long, you can establish a firm grip when clipping.
The leverage and strength of the blades allow for even, clean cuts every time. When you have tough toenails, making precise cuts is important. If the blades are too dull, you can crack or split the nail. The ClipPro clippers ensure that won’t happen thanks to the sharpness of their blades.
They also have additional safety features. They include two different styles of safety tip covers and a convenient carrying pouch. Those extra features can give you peace of mind when storing your clippers. You or a family member (like a small child) won’t accidentally poke or cut yourself when reaching for the clippers in a drawer, etc.
The manufacturer is so confident about how well they work that they offer a satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not completely happy with the product, you can either receive a full refund or a replacement product.
If hard toenails continue to be a problem for you, and standard clippers aren’t doing an adequate job, the strength and sharpness of these ClipPro clippers may be just what you need.
Read the In-Depth ClipPro-Kohm Toenail Clipper Review!
Harperton Klipit Nail Clipper Kit
Both sets of clippers by Harperton feature an ergonomic, easy-to-grip handle. The handle is meant to cradle your fingers as you use them. That makes them perfect for men, women, younger users, and even the elderly or people with less strength. Even the smaller size clippers can work on smaller, thick toenails that are too tough for regular trimmers.
While a wide jaw opening isn’t the main focus, the strength of the blades helps to eliminate the need for an extended jaw. The stainless steel blades are so sharp, they can cut through the thickest of nails with ease. You may have to make multiple cuts. But, because of the sharpness of the blades, your nails will not split or crack.
The blades are hand-sharpened, and designed never to weaken or dull. Harperton backs this up with a satisfaction guarantee and lifetime guarantee. If you’re not happy with the product, you can get it replaced, or receive a refund.
Additional safety features include a special carrying case. That helps to prevent accidental cuts from someone reaching for the clippers while they’re being stored.
If you struggle with tough nails, the Harperton Klipit nail clipper set can fit your individual needs. It’s easy to use for just about anyone, and with two different clippers to work with, you can make the best adjustments necessary to have clean and smooth trimmed nails.
Read the In-Depth Harperton Klipit Nail Clippers Review!
Seki Edge Toenail Clipper
The Seki Edge Nail Clipper has a textured handle for better grip strength. This allows you to apply more natural pressure to the nail when clipping. That’s a great safety feature to ensure your hand won’t slip while cutting. However, it also gives you more leverage to cut easily through thick, tough nails.
They are especially great for toenails that may not be as thick but are extremely hard. The jaw opening spreads to about ⅜”. While there are some clippers out there with a wider opening, the stainless steel blades of the Seki Edge make easy work of hard nails. If you’ve neglected to take care of your toenails for awhile and they have gotten extremely tough, the strength of these clippers will offer clean, precision cutting.
The cutting edge is hand-grinded. This ensures that they are very sharp, and won’t dull over time.
The Seki Edge is also very safe to use. Not only does the textured handle provide extra grip, but the jaw opening works as a built-in safety feature. It does not open wide enough for fingers to become trapped. If you reach for the clippers while they are being stored, it’s less likely you’ll cut your fingers.
If hard nails that seem impossible to cut have become a big problem, the Seki Edge clippers may be the best solution. They are safe, easy to use, and have sharp blades that are designed specifically to cut through hard nails.
Read the In-Depth Seki Edge Toenail Clipper Review!
Mehaz 668 Angled Wide Jaw Toenail Clipper
The Mehaz 668 Pro Toenail Clippers are easy to use, comfortable, and effective. With many positive reviews on Amazon, it’s clear that more and more people are beginning to realize just how beneficial these powerful clippers can be.
They feature a wide opening that is imperative for people dealing with thickened toenails. The opening is complemented by sharp, stainless steel blades that allow for even, precision cutting each time. Because the cutting edge is angled, it helps to reach even the most difficult areas of the toenails to make clean cuts.
The sharp blades are only part of what makes them so easy to use. They also feature a rubberized coating around the 3.4 inch long handle. That works as a comfort feature, as well as a safety feature to ensure the clippers won’t slip during trimming. The larger size makes for an easier time when cutting toenails, so you don’t have to bend down as far to get those hard to reach spots.
The nails trimmed off with the Mehaz clippers are collected neatly within the nippers. There is no mess to clean up. That can be especially helpful if you’re dealing with toenail fungus and don’t want to leave toenails sitting around.
With stainless steel blades that won’t dull over time, an easy to grip handle and a wide jaw made specifically for thicker nails, these Mehaz clippers can help anyone struggling to cut their nails.
Read the In-Depth Mehaz 668 Pro Nail Clippers Review!
Chooling Toenail Nipper
If you struggle with thick toenails, these nippers double up on the power of making trimming easy. Not only are the blades extremely sharp and effective, but the clippers themselves have double springs. This allows for an easy grip and smooth cutting. Not only are they powerful, but they can also open up to about ½” wide. So, no matter how thick your toenails may be, the Chooling clippers can handle it.
When it comes to ease of use, they are comfortable for just about everyone. Their sleek design allows them to fit comfortably in your hand, and they can be gripped easily. The blades are slightly curved to make cutting the nails a precise process. You don’t need to worry about the nails looking jagged or pointed after clipping so that you won’t snag them on shoes, socks, etc. Smooth, clean nails are important, especially if you’re dealing with toenail fungus.
If you’re not happy with the Chooling clippers or run into a problem within the first eighteen months of use, the manufacturer features a money-back guarantee. This allows you to use them with confidence, and take on the symptoms of toenail fungus with a pair of strong nippers. No matter the reason behind your hardened toenails, these strong clippers can help to manage them.
Read the In-Depth Chooling Toenail Clipper Review
Who Is Most at Risk from Tough Toenails?
Our toenails don’t usually get as much attention as other areas of the body. So, it can be a while before we notice any significant changes. But, one of the clear signs of thick toenails is that they become more difficult to cut.
Thicker Toenails Due to Getting Older
As we age, our circulation deteriorates. Poor circulation to the lower half of your body can cause several problems.
When blood isn’t flowing strongly to your toes, it doesn’t provide all the nutrients that your nails need to grow and be healthy. This can cause them to become thicker and more brittle. It is referred to medically as onychauxis.
If age is what may be causing extra nail thickness, the best thing you can do is keep them trimmed and clean. That can help to prevent additional trauma to the nail and fungal infections.
If you have trouble trimming your nails yourself, you may want to see a podiatrist. They can use special podiatrist toenail clippers and help if you struggle to reach your toenails.
You may also benefit in several ways from using a good foot circulation booster machineas it will help to improve your blood flow.
You may find it easier to choose clippers that are bigger, or long handle toenail clippers, like the Harperton Nail Clippers. They can keep you from having to bend down so far.
Clippers that also don’t require you to use a lot of strength are helpful, like the Equinox Heavy Duty Toenail Clippers. The best toenail clippers for thick toenails will comfortably in your hand, and do the work for you, will likely be the easiest and most effective.
Diabetes Often Causes Increased Toenail Thickness
The reason is similar to the problems we face as we get older. People with diabetes often have poor circulation. It can heavily affect the lower extremities of the body.
Again, when not enough blood flows to the feet and toes, the toenails don’t receive the proper nutrients to grow properly. If you have diabetes, keeping your nails clipped with extra-large toenail clippers is important in keeping them clean and healthy.
Psoriasis Changes the Toughness of Your Toenails
It is often associated with the skin, but psoriasis can affect fingernails and toenails, too. On the skin, psoriasis is characterized by areas of red skin that is to be raised and flaky.
The skin may even appear to look like scales in some spots. The condition can also cause toenails to appear pitted, irregular nail growth, and nail thickening.
Trauma Can Cause Toenails to Thicken
Trauma to the nail is another big factor in thickness. When most people think of nail trauma, they think something dramatic has to happen to the nail. For example, the nail bed needs to be poked, or something heavy needs to fall on the nail.
While these are moments of trauma and aren’t healthy for your nails, the type of trauma that can cause nail thickening is more subtle.
It’s more likely that trauma is being caused by something like tightly-fitted shoes. When your shoes rub against your toes consistently, it can cause thickening to take place. This can be especially common in athletes if their shoes aren’t properly fitted.
To prevent this type of trauma, make sure you’re wearing the right shoe size. Make sure your toes have room to breathe in any shoes or socks you put on, so rubbing doesn’t occur.
Toenails Are Thickening Due to Fungus
A fungus is one of the major causes of extra nail thickness. About 35 million Americans alone deal with toenail fungus on one or more of their toes. The symptoms include things like a foul odor, brittle, and hard nails.
Toenail fungus, also known as Onychomycosis, can be caused by trauma to the nail, or moisture getting trapped underneath the nail. It can spread very easily if not treated as soon as possible, so be sure to check for additional symptoms if you have tough nails. One of the first signs of a fungal infection is a black dot or nail discoloration.
Almost any of the heavy duty nail clippers listed here can be helpful in trimming thick nails caused by a fungal infection. A wide jaw, like that of the Mehaz 668 Angled Wide Jaw Clipper can be helpful in making clean, even cuts.
Any clippers that feature sharp, stainless steel blades should be effective. Stainless steel is a plus when you have toenail fungus, as it’s easy to clean and sanitize. That helps to ensure you won’t spread the infection each time you clip your nails.
Did You Know?
You probably don’t need many extras.
Clippers sometimes come with additional bells and whistles, but during testing, we found that these features were usually overrated. About half the clippers we looked at had built-in metal nail files, for example, but most experts say that metal files are too abrasive and should be avoided unless you have gel or acrylic nails. Using them can create create snags and actually damage your nails.
Same with built-in nail catchers. They’re a great idea in theory, because who hasn’t been hit in the face with an errant nail clipping while trimming? But in practice, our testers found that they didn’t catch clippings consistently, and were often hard to empty. We didn’t eliminate clippers that had them, but didn’t see them as a benefit, either.
Some health conditions mean you shouldn’t clip your own nails.
If you have certain health challenges, you might not want to use nail clippers at all. “Those who have diabetes, circulatory or vision issues should never use any clippers or sharp objects on their feet,” says Caruso. “They should strictly use a single-use nail file which prevents them from cutting the skin or getting an infection.”
Ever wonder what it takes to cut your nails in space?
Neither did we, but then we watched this fascinating video by Chris Hadfield, a Canadian astronaut who was commander of the International Space Station. Suffice to say, it’s a little trickier than doing it over the bathroom trash basket.
You’ll hear conflicting advice about the “best” way to trim your nails. Some experts recommend cutting straight across the nail, then slightly rounding the corners. Others suggest that you mimic the curve of your cuticle. You do want to be careful with toenails: If you cut too much at the corners, you run the risk of ingrown toenails. We like GQ’s guide to cutting your nails like a pro.
Although you’ll find tools in every drugstore for cutting your cuticles, experts recommend that you leave them alone, or just push them back gently. Cutting them provides an entry point for germs, which can lead to infection.
One thing everyone, from podiatrists to salon professionals agree on, is to never cut nails so short that you risk cutting the hyponychium, or “quick” — the skin that forms a seal between the nail plate (the hard part) and the nail bed. Why? As with nail biting and cuticle cutting, this leaves your skin vulnerable to infection.