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Dremel vs. Nail Clippers


Ireland80
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I've always used nail clippers on all of the pets and really have only encountered one animal that was a royal pain to clip - my parents' Bengal cat. I suppose I've stuck with the clippers because as a child in 4-H that was what I was taught on. Can someone weigh in on the pros and cons of the dremel vs. nail clippers? I have accidentally hit the quick on various animals less than a handful of times and wonder if using a dremel lessens the risk at all or is less stressful/painful?

 

I'm not a fan of my current clippers. I am thinking possibly of nailing two birds with one stone this Christmas and purchasing the husband a dremel kit (while secretly intending to use it on the animals' nails :innocent:). Not knowing much about tools, would a multi-use kit work to use on the dogs in lieu of a pet specific one? I imagine cordless would be a plus but not sure on voltage or settings. Or, if anyone has suggestions on a good tool that you currently use - dremel or clippers- I would greatly appreciate it.

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Sorry can't help with this. During the summer Malcolm runs in the yard and on the sidewalk. That keeps his nails pretty well trimmed down. In the winter I can't keep him still to use the clippers on his paws so I take him to a dog groomers. She had a Cairn one time and knows how they are. She gets an assistant to hold Malcolm while she clips. She does it so fast I don't think Malcolm realizes what is going on. I noticed she doesn't hold his paws forward. She stands behind Malcolm and holds his paws backwards towards to the rear.

 

I do use the clippers on Oscar the parrot. They need their claws clipped. Oscar is a sweetheart. He doesn't put up a fuss. Parrots have small claws similar to a cat so I don't know how well a dremel would work on those. I think the dremel would work better on larger claws but there is one thing, dremel tools get hot. I've used the dremel sander on wood and metal. The wood and metal will heat up. Haven't used the ones designed for pets so I don't know if they get hot.

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I used a corded flexible-shaft dremel I had for a while, but it was too loud for me (never mind the dogs) and surprisingly difficult to maneuver. I then used a small battery "Petmate" style dremel for a while because it was the same kind my vet used. It had terrible battery life. I finally bought a dremel "Stylus" on a whim and it was love at first use. Nice lithium battery so it has negligible resting discharge, a quality smart charger, easily variable speed, and the ergonomics are great. I use it in the garage too, in preference to my corded one 9 times out of ten.

 

Snips have the advantage of being fast. But I'm a big chicken so I don't mind taking longer to go more incrementally. While metal does get hot when being dremeled I have not noticed *any* discomfort or apparent heating when doing nails (other than the generalized struggle that some dogs put over being restrained or having their feet handled). 

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I use both, it just depends on my mood, I guess. I also admit to being afraid that I'll cut too short when I'm using clippers and I have. I think I cut too long when I use clippers. With the Dremel (and I have the corded one with the long flexible stylus), I take my time and never leave it on the nail too long at one time. My dogs don't seem to mind the noise. I like how I can get the nails trimmed without the short edges left with clippers.

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Jandy and my Cairns, Kirby & Phinney 
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It doesn't matter which I use both my girls hate having their nails done. Because they put up such a fight I dread it so it doesn't get done as often as I should, so they're too long to just dremel it would take too long.

I start off by clipping them. I use dog nail clippers that have a guard on them. After I do that I dremel them.  It is funny, they put up such a fight but are so happy when I'm done. They prance around like it's the best thing that has happened to them. haha

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I was talking to my dad tonight and he mentioned that he wanted to get DH a dremel for Xmas so I guess I will get to try one out on Fury. :) I am planting ideas in his mind given some of the tidbits that were provided above.

I can't imagine clipping a parrot's nails. That's great that he doesn't put up a fuss. :) Love the name Oscar too btw.

Now I just have to think up something else to get DH...too bad I can't afford the General Lee.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Coming late to this topic, but just want to add one observation… This was being discussed at the local dog run and someone mentioned that they stopped using the Dremel because the airborne powder made too much of a mess. :thumbsdown:  I'm only reporting this F.Y.I. I have no first-hand experience with the Dremel.

Edited by sanford

FEAR THE CAIRN!

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Dust is indeed a by-product of grinding anything. It's fascinating to me what constitutes a "deal breaker" for folks. This must be one of those things where "if it's a problem, then it's a problem" and its obvious corollary. 

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Up here in Bellingham, WA, Furever Friends (doggy daycare and grooming) trims the toenails for $5.  I have the battery Dremel, but Pepper shook so much and it took so long and I was so panicked that I would cut the quick that the $5 is a real bargain.  It takes them about 2 minutes and it is amazing to watch!  PS - I found that the Dremel works great on my heel callouses!  ha ha

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Pepper's Mom

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As for the dust byproduct I'm sure DH has some handy dust masks- he's an automotive painter by trade and has ample supplies for body work too. :) Lucky for me that the boys currently love to vacuum as well. ;)

Lil (my daughter) just started 4H with Fury- it'll be interesting to see how they teach the kids the various aspects of caring for their dogs. As for now & up until Christmas, I will continue to clip one paw at a time. Lol

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"As for the dust byproduct I'm sure DH has some handy dust masks- he's an automotive painter by trade and has ample supplies for body work too…"

 

Does DH have a spare hazmat suit?post-896-0-96420600-1419566162_thumb.jpe

Edited by sanford
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  • 3 months later...

This is an older post I guess but just wanted to chime in. I take our two dogs (cairn and chihuahua) to a groomer that uses a dremel. She is so fast at using the dremel we are in and out in 5 mins! I take the dogs one at a time usually. And the nails are smooth so they don't accidentally scratch the kids.

Ireland80 any updates? How did it go with the dremel? I don't know if I could do it myself!

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