Clippers, Nippers, or Scissors – Which is Best?

Clippers, Nippers, or Scissors – Which is Best?

Do you clip, nip, or cut your nails? If you’re confused about which tool is best for nail care, don’t worry, you’re not the only one. We’ve broken it down to basics to help you choose the best tools for your nail needs. 


One of the most frequent questions we’re asked is the difference between nail clippers and nail nippers. While the two terms are often used interchangeably, the design of the tool will help distinguish the two. In general, nail clippers usually refers to a lever-style cutter while nail nippers define the plier-style. However, you’ll notice that some brands will exclusively use the term nipper when referring to clippers. 


  • For fingernails or toenails
  • Use smaller models for hands; larger for feet
  • Nippers work better thank clippers for harder nails 
  • Look for steel-made instruments for the most effective cut 

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If you’re not a fan of nail nippers or clippers, nail scissors are the next best thing. Many prefer scissors to traditional clippers as they are more comfortable, and some would say easier, to hold. Their blades come curved, rounded, or straight and are gentler on nails. Scissors make it easier to move around a nail and don’t apply as much pressure on nails as clippers or nippers do. They’re also better suited to shaping nails ad removing hangnails or snags.  


  • Use on delicate nails
  • Easier for nail shaping/maintenance

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Durability and Quality 

Curved and steel instruments are the most effective and most durable. For example, the Klhip Ultimate Clipper, shown below, is crafted from 440C Stainless Steel and is known for its sharpness and performance.

Klhip Ultimate Clipper
Photo c/o Klhip

Whichever tool you’re using – clippers or scissors – make sure it is sharp! Dull blades damage nails and are not recommended for use. The sharper the tool, the better the cut!

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