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Which type do you need?

Trimming our cats nails is a necessary task that might leave you scratching your head when going to select the right style trimmer for you. Read the benefits and draw backs of each style below so that you can make an informed decision for you and your feline friend! 

Small Scissor
Finger 
Style

Large Scissor
Whole-hand
Style

Large Guillotine
Whole-hand
Style

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68%
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32%
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When polling professional groomers (general group, mixed with both cat and dog groomers) not a single one chose the guillotine style. Instead most groomers favored the small scissor style. When asked why the vast majority attributed their choice to feeling less intimidated towards cutting the cats nails and fairly cheap. These did not hold their sharp edges as long and did need replaced more often, some brands being monthly with every day salon use.  

General consensus was that nearly all small finger style trimmers felt equivalent, with the exception of just a couple specific brands which had high praise:
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Greenbrier Kennel Club Nail Trimmer:

Now this one might surprise you, but honest take.... The dollar store brand was one of the recurrently mentioned brands that groomers had tried and or kept around! 

These were good for a quick purchase, readily available, and cheap enough for the job without deterring clients from keeping up with nails at home between appointments due to a very affordable price tag.

There were several professionals who touted their sharp smooth blade did a quick job of the task. They just warned that at the first signs of dulling, replace because once they start going down hill, they decline rapidly. Squished nails, splitting nails and or the scissoring motion snapping around the nail and not cutting can be problems once this occurs. 
Safari Deluxe with finger rest

This nail trimmer was a resounding favorite among professionals. Not to be confused with the basic one without the finger rest, as that one didn't always perform as well as the deluxe in terms of smoothness in cutting.

Long lasting, sharp edge and easy to use with your hand have this one down as the most commonly found brand in both small scissor and whole hand scissor style.   
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Purrcision by Necoichi 

Now these nail clippers were kind of a special mention. We found that several master cat groomers opted for this particular nail trimmer as they have a much narrow taper on the steel tip. 

Biggest draws to this clipper was the narrow tip, strong long lasting steel that didn't need sharpened hardly ever. This is the preferred nail trimmer for Melissa Hall, a CFMG that teaches cat grooming extensively. Many of her students fall in love with this nail clipper as well. 
Ok moving onto the whole hand style nail trimmers! We found that most of the cat exclusive groomers were equally as likely to use this style, as they were to use the small finger style. When asked why they chose the one they did several stated it was due to easy access in purchasing that particular trimmer. Other reasons were they were most familiar with that tool to begin with and they found these to be quite comfortable to use, with the bonus of quick dropping when they needed to use their hands. 
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Safari Dog Nail Trimmer

This nail trimmer was a resounding favorite among professionals. Yes it has ''dog'' in the name, but don't let that fool you. It was not only touted for a nice fit for both cats and dogs, but it also had great praise on keeping it's edge sharp for a long time. 

This is technically closer to a ''medium'' size and fits well into the hands of most averaged size adults. As well as smaller handed folks. An all around favorite for fit, long lasting edge, and more than one note about it's cool colors. 
Resco Professional Dog Nail Trimmer
Here's the contending runner up out of the survey. This nail clipper was a favorite due to it's medium size, rubber grip on the handle which works well to prevent slipping or dropping and the overall praise for it's long lasting blades as well. Now it should be noted that a few people offered the feedback that if you have smaller sized hands this wide spaced handle was harder to work with. 
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Millers Forge 

Last mention, but certainly not least... the millers forge, specifically the smaller red ones (model # 743C)  was the 3rd runner up on the professional groomers survey. This solid little find is a hidden gem in the owner world, but well known in the pet pro world. Often carried with your local sharpener, trade shows, and pet warehouses....this is easy to see why so many want to snag them up. They are a 

Nail Trim Assisting Tools:

Now technically these aren't nail clippers, however we know clipping your cats nails isn't always the easiest task and sometimes we need some helpful aids, there are lots of things on the market, but this is true expert advice here... keep it simple. A good styptic powder just in case you kwik tha nail. Some form of bite protection if you have a sassy pants... and a nice thick large bath towel. 
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Now hopefully it's obvious that of course you don't need these specific towels, but if your struggling with a towel you have at home being an ineffective method for you. It could be that your trying it with a towel that is too small. If your still getting scratched up even with a towel wrap, then the towel might be too thin. Most towels will be fine, and you just need to find one in your stash that works. 

That said, if your already in need of new towels anyway, and want a purrrrfect towel size for your purrito this is a pretty great option. This is technically a bath ''sheet'' not towel, giving you nearly 70" to utilize with your wrap techniques. It is also a thicker towel and we find it can take the beating sharp nails if your cat is a scratcher or bunny kicker for the process. 
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What we personally use in our
cat exclusive salon:

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In our salon we use both the ergonomic design (with finger rest) as well as the large scissor style. But for different tasks and different scenarios. 
The small scissor ones are often used for petite cats and kittens, it can just maneuver those nail sizes well. Most of your 10lbs or under kitties can use this one easily. I love it especially for all my polydactyl kitty clients! The ability to get into a tight space with a fine blade is critical on those squished little toes! It is also ideal with our smaller handed staff members.  What this clipper isn't really great at is the tougher senior nails that are bulked up a bit and hard to snap through. Or dropping quickly as your fingers can get tied up in it. 

When we use the smaller finger clippers:

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When we use the larger whole hand clippers:

When I need to be quick with my hands and a more wiggly or upset cat is being worked on I default to the larger whole hand style. This is based on ease of quickness with handling the clippers and speed of being able to set down quickly, without my fingers getting stuck in the holes and compromising my safety or the safety of the cat. 

The smaller finger set has much smaller finger holes and while great for tiny hands, it is one our adult fingers get stuck in more frequently which can be very frustrating when working with quick creatures! 
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What education and or certifications does this groomer have? or are pursing currently?
While grooming isn't necessarily a regulated field requiring a degree to get into... it is a field that allows you to see a wide variety of talents and skills. Since there are no licensing requirements it is imperative that owners take it in their own hands to research who they are trusting their kitty with! 

Some important things to check out/ask your groomer:

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