How to use a nail clipper?

How to use a nail clipper?

Nails are a part of our daily lives. They’re one of the first things we notice when meeting someone new, and they can have an impact on how others perceive us. As such, grooming your nails is essential for hygiene and keeping them looking neat, so knowing how to use a nail clipper correctly is important. This article expounds on how to use a nail clipper to groom your nails.

What is a nail clipper?

A nail clipper is a hand-held device used to cut and trim nails. It usually consists of a pair of small, sharp blades hinged together. Nail clippers come in various shapes and sizes, but all do the same job: cutting nails.

Most nail clippers look similar to a pair of scissors, with two small blades lined up with an open space in between. The blades are often made of stainless steel or some other durable metal alloy with enough flexibility so they can be manipulated around the curves on your nails. You’ll find most people prefer the smaller sized clippers, but the shape and size are a matter of personal preference.

A step-by-step guide on how to cut nails with nail clippers

When clipping your nails, it’s important to follow simple steps to ensure a clean cut. Here is a step-by-step guide on the correct way to cut fingernails with clippers.

Sanitise your clipper blades

Before clipping your nails, it’s crucial to sanitise the clipper blades. This can be done by wiping them down with a sanitising wipe or soaking them in alcohol. Doing this will kill any bacteria or fungus on the blades and minimise the risk of infection.

Fungus, in particular, can be an issue if you clip your nails in a public restroom. The floor is often covered in bacteria and fungus, which means the clippers are exposed to them as well. This also helps prevent diseases contracted through unclean tools such as MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus).

Prepare your nails and clippers for clipping

If you’re trying to clip just one nail, then this step isn’t necessary; but if you’re doing all of them at once, it’s good practice to get everything ready before beginning the process. The best way to do this is to use a nail file to shorten your nails to the desired length. This will help make the clipping process easier and neater.

Once your nails are shortened, hold the clipper blades against your nails at a 90-degree angle and clip them away from your fingers. Make sure you avoid clipping into the skin, as doing so can cause pain and bleeding.

If you’re having trouble clipping your nails at a 90-degree angle, you can place the clipper blades on a flat surface (like a table) to make things a bit easier.

When clipping your nails, you should endeavour to go slowly and take your time. Rushing through the process can lead to frustration and get you into trouble.

Use the clipper’s built-in nail catcher

Once you’ve clipped all your nails, make sure to remove any excess bits at the end of them with a file. Then use the clippers’ built-in nail catcher to save yourself time and hassle from searching for one.

Disinfect the clipping blades

After clipping your nails, it’s vital to disinfect the clipping blades. This can be done by wiping them down with a sanitising wipe or soaking them in alcohol. By so doing, you effectively eliminate the risk of infection.

Instances when you shouldn’t use nail clippers

When your nails are wet

Clipping your nails when they’re wet can be a recipe for disaster. The moisture on your nails will make them slippery and more prone to slipping out of the clipper blades – which can result in an uneven cut or even a bloody nail.
It’s best to clip your nails when they’re dry, so you have a better grip on them.

When your nails are too short

If your nails are too short, it’s not advisable to use nail clippers as they won’t clip the entire nail. In this case, it’s better to use a nail file to trim them down to the desired length.

When you have very long nails

If you have long nails, clipping them with nail clippers can be frustrating and challenging. It’s much easier to use a nail file to trim them down to the desired length before clipping them.

When your nails are curved

If your nails are curved, it’s best to use a nail file to straighten them out before clipping them. Curved nails can be challenging to clip evenly and lead to an uneven cut.

When you have soft nails

If your nails are soft, it’s not advisable to clip them with nail clippers as they may break. In this case, it’s best to use a nail file to sand them down to the desired length gently.
Clipping your nails can be a quick and easy way to keep them looking neat and tidy – but only if you do it correctly.

Common Nail Clipping Mistakes to Avoid

Let’s explore the most common nail clipping mistakes.

Cutting nails straight across

Cutting your nails straight across is one of the most common mistakes people make when clipping their nails. It’s best to clip them at a 90-degree angle, which will help ensure that they look neat. If you make this mistake, it’s best to file your nails down before attempting to clip again.

Leaving too much nail to clip off

Leaving too much of your nails to cut off endangers your nails. Remember, you can always trim them down, so it’s better to err on the side of caution and clip less instead of more. If you need to have them clipped again, simply file them down to the desired length.

Not cleaning off excess nail clippings from the blades

Have you ever forgotten to clean the excess clippings from your nails? Keep in mind that it’s essential to remove any excess bits of the nail that may get caught up in there. By doing so, you’ll eliminate the risk of infection.

Not disinfecting the blades after clipping your nails

This is yet another common but most ignored bit. Most people forget to disinfect the blades and clippers after the activity, which can be dangerous. If you don’t disinfect them, bacteria can build upon them, leading to infection. After you’re done clipping your nails, wipe them down with a sanitising wipe or soak them in alcohol.

Not having a firm enough grip on the clippers when you clip your nails

How much of a grip do you have on the clippers? Considering that these are cutting items, they need to be as firm as possible. Not having them firm exposes you to risks. It can further lead to an uneven cut or even a slip and a nasty cut. Make sure you have a good grip on the clippers before you start clipping your nails.

Not using the correct type of clipper for your nails

What kind of clippers is ideal for your nails? Well, there are as many clippers as there are types of nails. You can choose what works best for you, depending on your nails. For example, if your nails are curved, you’ll need to use a curved clipper.

Clipping your nails too short

Clipping your nails too short is another mistake you should avoid when clipping your nails. It’s crucial to remember that you don’t have to clip them as short as possible; you can always leave a bit of a nail to grow out. If you clip them too short, simply file them down to the desired length.

Clipping your nails at different lengths

You should never clip your nails at different lengths or in different shapes. It’s best to cut them all to the same length, so they’ll look tidy. If you want some of them to be shorter than others, it’s best to use a nail file instead of scissors or clippers.

Tips for Choosing the Best Nail Clippers

Nails’ shape

The shape of your nails will determine the type of clipper you’ll need. For example, if you have round nails, you’ll need a round-nosed clipper. If your nails are square or oblong, then you’ll need a clipper with a pointed nose.

Type of clippers

There are different clippers available in the market, so it’s important to know which type is best for you. There are nail scissors, electric clippers and manual clippers.

The size of the clippers

The size of the clipper is also important. You don’t want a clipper that’s too big or too small for your hands. It should be comfortable to hold and easy to use.

Ease of use

The clipper should be easy to use. It shouldn’t require a lot of strength or effort to clip your nails. The blades should also be sharp so that it’s easy to clip your nails without having to exert too much pressure.

Safety Features

Clippers with safety features are a better option. The blades should be covered when not in use so that you won’t accidentally cut yourself. It’s also important to have a finger guard to protect your fingers from the blades.


There are many nail clippers on the market, and all of them have their pros and cons. The best way to find a clipper that will work for you is by researching reviews, watching videos on how they clip nails or asking family members what works for them. Keep in mind that some people prefer not to cut their nails, so this may be something you need to consider when looking at different options.

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