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How to Sharpen Nail Clippers?

Nail clippers are one of those beauty tools that many of us take for granted. But what many people don’t realize is that they must be sharpened regularly to provide clean and precise cuts.

A dull pair of nail clippers can leave you with jagged edges and hangnails – something no one wants, so how to sharpen nail clippers?

I’ll share why sharpening your nail clippers is so important, as well as a few easy methods you can use to keep them nice and sharp.

Woman with brunette hair holding a pair of silver nail clippers to trim her fingernails

What Are The Different Types Of Nail Clippers?

Nail clippers are essential tools for personal grooming. They come in various styles and sizes, so it’s important to pick the right one that suits your needs and preferences.

The most common types of nail clippers are standard clippers, which feature two blades with a “V” shaped cutting edge.

These can be used on both finger and toe nails, and they usually have a straight or curved design, depending on the person’s preference.

Other types include guillotine clippers, which cut through the nail with a single blade.

Corner clippers, which are designed to trim nails close to the corners without cracking them; and ingrown toenail nippers, which have angled pieces of metal that go over the sides of an ingrown nail, so you can carefully eliminate it.

There’s also electric trimmers that can be used for more accurate results, as well as for people with arthritis or difficulty holding traditional clippers properly.

Depending on how often you clip your nails, there’s also a range of different materials for each type, such as stainless steel, carbon steel or plastic — ensuring quality performance over time.

Nail Clippers Vs Nail Scissors: Which Is Best For Your Fingernails?

For the best results when trimming your fingernails, you should know the difference between nail clippers and nail scissors.

Nail clippers are handheld tools which feature a lever-type handle and two blades.

Squeezing the handles together cuts through nails with ease, although it can be tricky to maintain an even, symmetrical shape of your nails with them.

Nail scissors are larger than traditional scissors, but have all the same cutting properties and functions for use on fingernails.

They offer more precision when cutting your nails; allowing you to create nice straight lines and curved corners or rounder edges – depending on how much of a crisp look you’re going for.

When it comes to deciding between nail clippers vs nail scissors, it really depends upon personal preference as well as what kind of effect you want on your nails afterward.

If precision isn’t essential to you or if you simply don’t have time to give yourself manicures too often, then using nail clippers is probably just fine for keeping your fingers looking neat enough.

However, if neatness is crucial and a professional finish matters more than anything else, then investing in some quality nail scissors could be beneficial in giving yourself the perfect manicure at home.

Woman using a pair of nail clippers to cut her nails

Why Should You Sharpen Your Fingernail Clippers?

Sharpening your fingernail clippers should be part of regular nail care. Dull clippers make it more difficult to trim nails and can cause snags or tears in the nail material.

A good, sharp pair of clippers will cut cleanly and quickly so that you get the desired shape to your nail without accidentally cutting into your skin.

Clippers need to be maintained regularly, or they won’t perform well; this means they should be sharpened with a file at least once a month, especially if you use them often.

Manicure tools are not just for aesthetics; it’s important to keep them in top condition for hygienic reasons because bacteria builds up easily on old, dirty equipment.

Cleaning your nail clippers is also recommended between uses, as this helps remove any germs that may have been transferred from one person to another via the tool’s surface.

Keeping your manicure tools sharp and clean is essential for healthy-looking hands and nails.

What Are The Downsides Of Using Dull Nail Clippers?

Using dull nail clippers can cause a lot of issues. The blades need to be sharpened because if they are not, they will not properly cut your nails.

When the clipper is used over and over again, it gets dull, and then you have to find a way to sharpen it or simply purchase a new one.

You can try sharpening the blades with a file, but this does not work for everyone as some people may find themselves using more force than necessary, which might not make the job any easier.

After a while, you might need to invest in new clippers so that you can get back to having perfect nails without damaging them or struggling with every cut due to dull blades.

Not only could this cost more money eventually, but it also poses a health risk if bacteria builds up on the old clipper and is transferred while trying to use the nail clipper.

Dull nail clippers should not be used as they don’t give accurate cuts, leading your nails into poor shape and unevenly trimming them instead of giving them their desired look.

Woman using a pair of silver nail clippers to trim and shape her nails

How to Sharpen Nail Clippers?

Sharpening a nail clipper is an easy process that keeps your tool sharp and ready to use.

Begin by taking them apart, making sure to store all the parts in a safe place while they are not attached to the clippers.

Then you will need a sharpening stone or a piece of tin foil. The stone is preferred as its texture provides more grip than tin foil will.

Once you have chosen which material you will be using, take the clipper blades and rub them on it gradually until the blades become sharp enough for your needs.

If you have a high-quality nail clipper, then you can use fine or extra fine sandpaper instead of either the stone or tin aluminum foil.

This will give you more precision when sharpening, as well as provide an even more pronounced result once you’re done sharpening.

After running the blades over whichever material you’ve chosen for several minutes, test their results against one another to make sure both sides are evenly sharpened before putting everything back together again.

Once assembled, rinse off your newly sharpened clippers with lukewarm water and let them dry completely before storing them away or using them again right away.

For best results when polishing off any burrs that may still remain after rinsing your tools off, hold some light oil between each blade while rubbing it back and forth firmly.

This should help smooth out any rough edges remaining from where they were honed down during the sharpen process itself.

Best Methods Of Sharpening Manicure Clippers

Sharpening manicure clippers is essential for a professional, clean finish.

The best methods used to sharpen manicure clippers, are when you take them apart and sharpen each individual part.

First, the edges of the clipper blades should be sharpened using a flat stone or grindstone to grind on a flat sharpening stone, running the blade edge along the abrasive side, in one direction until you have a smooth edge with no bumps.

It’s important that you take care when doing this, as over-grinding could damage the blade.

After grinding on a flat stone, use extra fine sandpaper grits to further hone and refine the blade’s edge by running your finger along it in one direction to check for any burrs or imperfections.

If found, then lightly grind down these areas before continuing on to the next step.

You may also need to remove the actuating lever as well as unscrew any screws securing small pieces together while holding on to them, so they don’t get lost during assembly.

Although there are also methods, where you don’t have to take apart the nail clippers using sharpen knives, or tin foil and start cutting.

To complete the whole sharpening process, hold both of the jaws together, of the nail clipper, and run an extra fine sandpaper across both jaws at once.

This will sharpen them evenly and allow for a more uniform cut and nail clipper to bite.

Hold on to the sandpaper using two hands so that you can apply slight pressure while doing this, which will help achieve an even sharper cutting edge.

In some cases, additional maintenance may be needed, such as lubricating springs or cleaning dirt off surfaces.

But make sure not to apply too much force when working with these parts; otherwise it could cause permanent damage to your manicure clippers.

Woman sitting at her desk with her manicure essentials, with nail clippers, nail file, nail polishes and nail polish remover

Don’t Have Sandpaper? Which Method To Sharpen A Nail Clippers Is Best? Sharpening Using Tin Foil!

If you don’t have sandpaper to sharpen your nail clippers, and they need sharpening, using tin foil is the best alternative. Use this method, and simply fold a piece of tin foil several times until it is flat across the top.

This will make up your makeshift sharpening strip. Then, place the blade of the nail clipper on top of the folded piece and rub it back and forth in a sawing motion for around thirty seconds.

Go through the whole sharpening process multiple times if needed to get rid of any rust or burrs built up on the blades.

Due to its softness, this method won’t take off too much metal, so it’s good for extremely dull and rusty clippers that need quite a bit of sharpening.

Make sure to run each side along both sides evenly so as not to alter their shape before you finish—you’ll need a good-quality clipper after all, without having to go out buying new ones.


Sharpening your nail clippers is an essential part of keeping them in good condition and performing at maximum efficiency.

It also ensures that they’re not harboring bacteria or causing any harm when used to clip nails for manicures or pedicures.

The best methods for sharpening your nail clippers include grinding the blades on a flat stone, using extra fine sandpaper grits, rubbing each blade along tin foil, running it back and forth against a piece of paper or using a file attachment if available.

Always make sure you pay close attention to sharpening both edges so that they are consistently even across all sides before reassembling the tool again afterward for use.

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