Dog nails are not like human nails. They are thick, and cutting through them requires a special type of nail clipper. To cut your pet’s nails, the clipper needs to be sharper and stronger than any regular nail clipper that you use to cut your own nails.
But since dog nail clippers are sharper, do you have to worry about the edges getting dull? Well, let’s find the answers here!
Do Dog Nail Clippers Get Dull?
I have always been a dog lover. Zuko, my first dog, has been with me for a long time. And while I used to take him to a grooming parlor at first, these days, I prefer to groom him on my own. As a pet parent who grooms his own dog, I know that dog nail clippers can (and with the wear and tear of use) get dull.
So, a few days back, when it was nail trimming day for us, I sat him down on a table and got my dog’s nail trimmer out of the drawer. What I didn’t know was that the clippers blade had gotten dull, and using it to trim his nails would probably end in a disaster.
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Thankfully, I noticed the dull blades. So, I delayed the cutting session and instead focused on resharpening the blade so that the edges were sharp enough to cut clean through the thick dog nails. But I learned a valuable lesson here, to always check the blade before trimming my dog’s nails.
I will explore more on the subject and help you learn a few tricks on how you can protect the blades and resharpen them if needed.
Why Do Dog Nail Clippers Get Dull?
The thing is, dog nail clippers, just like human clippers, can get dull over time with use. While there are things that can accelerate it, there is no way to downright prevent the blades from ever getting dull. If you use it to trim your dog’s nails, eventually, the edges will start to get blunt.
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The main reason behind dog clippers getting dull is improper storage. If you keep your blade in a humid area, it will start to get dull sooner rather than later. In addition, not cleaning your blade after a nail trimming session can also accelerate its decay.
What Should I Do if My Dog Nail Clippers Get Dull?
If your pet nail clippers happen to get dull, it’s not the end of the world. You might be thinking, I just got it, and I don’t want to throw it away. Well, as it turns out, there are two great ways to resharpen your dog nail clippers and restore them to their former glory.
And the one that you choose to follow will depend on your sharpening tool. As of today, you can either sharpen your dull dog nail clippers manually or use a Dremel tool. Now, I don’t know which tool you have in your hands. So, I will cover both methods.
Method 1: Manual Sharpening
The first step to resharpening your blade is to take it apart. But before that, you want to use a thick cloth and wipe down the edges to remove any debris. There are two types of dog nail clippers you can buy; scissor-style nail clippers or guillotine-style clippers.
To disassemble scissor-style nail clippers, locate the nut and screw that is holding the two blades in place. Then, use pliers and a screwdriver to quickly take them apart. Guillotine-style clippers, on the other hand, usually come with a blade release button. You can push the button and gently pull on the blades to remove them from the socket.
With the blade disassembled, you can get started on the resharpening. To manually sharpen the blade, you need a rounded file. Hold it at the same angle as the blade and brace it against the base. A quick word of caution; holding the file at a 90-degree angle to the blade will not sharpen it. Instead, your blades will get duller with every pass.
Now, holding the file against the base of the blade, move it forward across the length of the blade. You want to make sure you are moving in one direction every pass. Repeat this motion for three passes. Then check the sharpness of the blade. If it is still dull, repeat the step.
Method 2: Dremel Sharpening
If you have a Dremel tool, you have to put in a lot less elbow grease. Going with the manual sharpening method takes a while. But with a Dremel tool, the time is cut down by quite a bit. Just make sure you have a medium or fine grit bit to use with your Dremel tool.
As like before, take apart the blades of your dog clipper. Then attach the appropriate bit depending on how dull the blade is. If it is too dull, use a fine grit bit. Otherwise, a medium grit should be good enough to restore it. Fire up your Dremel and set it at a stable and comfortable speed.
Then hold it against the base of the blade and run it across its entire length. Again, you want to make sure you are only moving the Dremel in one direction. After a couple of passes, check for the sharpness of the blade. Repeat the pass as per your requirement until the blade is sharp enough.
After you are done sharpening the blade, you want to clean it with a damp cloth. Use a paper towel to dry it, and apply a bit of blade oil. Then reassemble the dog clipper, and voila, it is as fresh as new!
When Should You Replace Your Dog Nail Clippers?
If your clipper blades got dull, you could resharpen them most of the time. However, there are situations when it is better to just throw the clippers away and get a new set. For example, if the blade gets chipped slightly, there is no point in trying to re-sharpen it.
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The notch in the blade will always be a major issue that you cannot fix properly. And even if you resharpen it, using it to cut your pet’s nails can hurt him. Personally, it is not worth trying to fix a damaged clipper. Instead, I would recommend buying a better dog nail clipper.
Typically, a high-end dog clipper should last you anywhere between one to two years. But the blades can get dull a lot sooner than that. When that happens, you can usually just resharpen it and keep using it.
How to Prevent Dog Nail Clippers from Getting Dull
The truth is, no matter how careful you are with the dog nail clippers, they will eventually get dull. Resharpening the blade of the nail clipper is an essential part of being a dog groomer.
Since dog nails are a lot thicker than human nails, the clipper blades naturally wear out sooner rather than later.
However, there are ways to delay it. If you properly maintain your dog’s nail clippers, you can keep the blades sharp for a decent while.
Besides, caring for your grooming equipment should come as second nature for any dog groomer in the making.
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Cleaning up after your pet’s nail clippers is not that hard either. Simply wipe down the blades with a damp cloth after each clipping session. Remember to try the blades using a paper towel unless you want to deal with rusted edges later on.
Once in a while, you might also need to put a bit of blade oil to re-lubricate it. If you use your clippers frequently, you might need to reapply some oil every other week. For casual pet owners, though, using blade oil once every two or three months should be fine.
Lastly, make sure you are using the proper clipping techniques when you are cutting your dog’s nails. If you don’t know how to correctly use the nail clipper, you might even hurt your pet in the process.
Knowing the proper way to use a nail clipper on a dog will not only make sure you do not hurt your pet when you are cutting the nail but also extend the lifespan of the blades. And when you are done using the clippers, store them in a cool, dry place after cleaning them.
You now know that dog clippers can get dull. And clipping your dog’s nail with a dull blade is extremely dangerous. Instead of cutting clean through the nail, it might simply break it, which will be extremely painful for your pet. And this might actually cause him to be scared of nail-trimming days for a good long while.
So, if you notice the blades in your dog’s nail clippers start to go dull, you need to address it straight away. Thankfully, you do not need to replace the clipper for blunt blades only. And now that you know the right ways to resharpen your pet nail clippers, you should be able to get a decent lifespan out of your dog clippers.