How to Sharpen Dog Nail Clipper Blades for a CLEAN Cut

A good dog nail clipper is critical for trimming your dog’s tough nails. The sharp blades enable you to cut the nails cleanly and precisely, which is very beneficial.

However, with time and use, these trimmers’ blades become dull.

Fortunately, there are a few methods to sharpen these clippers and keep using them. This way you don’t have to buy a new one.

how to sharpen dog nail clipper blades

How To Sharpen Dog Nail Clipper Blades
If you notice the nail clippers require greater effort to cut through the nail or the nail is being bent or not cut smoothly, then it’s time to sharpen the clippers.

It’s important to keep your dog’s nails trimmed but to do that you need a sharp nail clipper blade.

Sharpening the blade of your dog’s nail clippers is easy to do once you get used to it.

Below, we have outlined all the steps that you need to follow.

Read our related article, How Do Dog Nail Clippers Work? for a quick run-down of using dog nail clippers!

collect everything you need

You will need some tools in order to clean the dog nail clippers. You probably already have them:

  • Honing stone
  • Philips screwdriver
  • Towels
  • Cleaning

And of course, don’t forget the nail clippers.

honing stone

There are several different kinds of honing stones that you can choose from, but there are 4 main types of sharpening stones to consider:

  • Arkansas stones which are natural stones quarried in, you guessed it, Arkansas
  • Water stones which can be either natural or synthetic
  • Oil stones which are man-made
  • Diamond sharpeners, composed of synthetic diamonds.

It is up to you which stone you chose, but have your preferred stone ready and be sure that you are using it correctly.

If you don’t have a honing stone, you can always carefully use fine-grit sandpaper.


A Philips screwdriver is suggested because that is the most common type of screw that you will find holding the parts of your nail clipper together.

But be sure to inspect the screws first. If they are flat head screws then use a flat head screwdriver.

To be safe you could have both with you. Also be sure that the screwdrivers are small, because the screws in your nail clippers will likely be small as well.

towels and cleaning oil

Keep towels and cleaning oil handy.

You will want to lay a towel down on the surface on which you are working, and you will want a second one to clean the blade before and after you sharpen it.

take apart the nail clipper

How To Sharpen Dog Nail Clipper Blades
Whether you have traditional scissor-style nail clippers or guillotine-style clippers, you’ll sharpen the blades the same way.

Remove The Nail Clipper From Its Packaging And Assemble It

Most nail clippers are made out of stainless steel with possibly a plastic or rubber cover on the handles.

The handles usually have an ergonomic design and even a spring between them. Do not try to take all this apart.

Focus your attention on the head of the clippers and find the screws that secure the blade in place.

Every clipper is different, and some come with instructions about how to replace or sharpen the blade.

Follow these instructions being very careful to not cut yourself.

Clean The Blades

Once you have removed the blade from the clippers you will want to clean it with your towel and cleaning oil. If cleaning oil isn’t available, baby oil is also quite effective.

Use a Sharpening Tool

Once you have dried the blade after cleaning it, you may now go on to use the preferred sharpening instrument to complete the operation.

Hold the blade at a 35 to a 45-degree angle and slide it rapidly across the stone’s surface.

Continue doing so until you’ve reached the required sharpness with the blade.

Once you’re satisfied with the sharpness, clean away any residue using a wet cloth.

To sharpen the other side, simply turn it over, but check with the instructions provided with the clippers. You may not need to sharper both sides.

Return the blade to the clipper

To complete the sharpening procedure, simply reassemble the dog nail clipper.

Lubricate the blades with the same cleaning oil after it is completed to ensure that they operate smoothly.

pros and cons of sharpening dog nail clippers

How To Sharpen Dog Nail Clipper Blades
A sharpened dog nail clipper can give more accurate results by lowering the margin of error.


  • It’s a very inexpensive way to keep the trimmer blades sharp
  • Honing the blades on a regular basis will prolong their life
  • You can achieve perfectly trimmed nails with sharpened blades


  • If not done correctly, it may damage the blades beyond repair
  • You need to have some experience or knowledge in order to sharpen the blades properly.
  • It can be a time-consuming process.

There are a few things to keep in mind when sharpening dog nail clippers:

  • It’s important to use a proper honing stone in order to avoid damaging the blades.
  • You need to be careful not to cut yourself while sharpening the blades.
  • It is important to lubricate the blades with some cleaning oil after sharpening them in order to avoid rusting.
  • These steps work for most dog clippers but not for dog nail grinders

Read our related article, How Often Should Dog Nail Clippers Be Replaced? Nail clippers will wear out despite how well you take care of them. Find out when clippers should be tossed.

Final Thoughts

Some dog owners believe that canines must have long claws and that it is natural for them to do so.

In reality, excessively long nails pose a substantial risk to your dog’s health.

As a result, every owner has an obligation to trim his or her dog’s nails on a regular basis in order to maintain its health.

Keeping the blades of the nail clippers sharp will ensure that your dog remains healthy and comfortable with nails that are the appropriate length.

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Jesse Hopping, CCDT

Jesse is a natural-born dog-lover certified dog trainer (CCDT), dog foster, and former volunteer at Richmond SPCA and surrounding dog shelters for over 10 years. Her pack includes a Bernedoodle and 3 Boston Terriers. She’s sipping caramel coffee and watching her pack play in the sun when she’s not writing blogs. Jesse has her Certified Dog Trainer designation from CATCH Canine Trainers Academy since 2018 and and majored in English from the University of Virginia.

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