9 Best Nail Clippers for Unruly Cuticles and More in 2024


Are the best nail clippers for men going to get pride of place on your bathroom counter? We didn’t think so. You’re going to stash them somewhere out of sight. Because unlike, say, shaving or moisturizing, clipping your nails feels more like a chore than a rewarding act of self-care. Most of us tend to tackle the task with whatever nail clippers we grabbed in the checkout line of the drugstore. This is a mistake! It’s totally possible to enjoy cutting your nails, but you first need to get a good clipper. Or preferably two: we strongly believe everyone should have a dedicated clipper for fingers, and a separate one for toes. (Ideally, the toenail clippers will have a straight-across blade, in order to avoid all-too-common ingrown toenails—cutting your toenails with small, curved jaw makes it all but impossible to get the right nail shape.)


The Best Nail Clippers, At a Glance:

We’re in the business of recommending grooming tools for guys, but the best nail clippers for men will work just as well no matter who you are. To start trimming those nails as quickly as possible, check out our grooming gurus’ top choices:


We snipped our way through dozens of devices (and 10 times as many nails) to bring you our favorite clippers. For full-on manicure sets, Japanese-made tools with a cult-following, and just-the-basics nail necessities, read on.


The Best Nail Clippers for Men, Overall: Tweezerman Clipper Set

Tweezerman isn’t just known for its tweezers: The brand has also cornered the grooming tools market, and its stainless steel nail clippers top of this list for their top-quality design and low-cost. This pair includes a curved edge for fingernails, plus a larger straight-edge for toes. While there are certainly more innovative designs and powerful tools out there, these are the best of the best at the baseline task of cutting your nails and never rusting. Use the curved blade for your fingers and the wider jaw for your toes.

The Sharpest Clipper: KIYA Black Steel Fingernail Clipper

As soon as we tested KIYA’s black-carbon steel nail clippers, we understood the difference between a great nail clipper and a cheap alternative: A great one (like this KIYA) works like a straight razor during a shave. It cuts smoother, cleaner lines with more precision than the duller competitors—which, up until now, you had never registered as dull in the first place. Turns out we’ve been settling for hack jobs all these years. For just a few bucks more, you can upgrade to the sharp-edged shears engineered by knife-smiths from Japan. Save yourself from subpar scissors and the ragged results.

The Cult Favorite: Green Bell G-1008 Takumi No Waza Nail Clippers

Green Bell

G-1008 Takumi No Waza Nail Clipper

Nailcare obsessives may be familiar with Seki Edge clippers. These Japanese-made cutters have some diehard devotees, as does Green Bell’s cult-favorite Takumi No Waza clippers. We’ll let you in on a secret—Seki Edge and Green Bell are basically the same brand (Seki Edge for the American market, and Green Bell for the Japanese market.) Ironically, Americans prefer the brand with the Japanese-sounding name, and vice versa. No matter what you call them, this brand makes ’em sharper than the rest, stronger than the rest, and editorially sexier than the rest, too. These clippers are made from rust-resistant stainless steel and have wide, extra-sharp blades.

And if you’re looking for both toenail and fingernail clippers, try the Seki Edge Luxury 2-Piece Grooming Kit, which comes in a leather travel case.

The Best Pocketknife Nail Clipper: Victorinox Nail Clip 580 Swiss Army Keychain

Victorinox

Swiss Army 580 Knife and Nail Clipper

This keychain clipper from Victorinox Swiss Army follows you everywhere, and can do everything shy of painting your nails. It’s part pocketknife, part nail file, part cuticle pusher, part scissor, and of course, part nail clipper. (We don’t recommend using the knife in your nail care routine.) You can use this keychain as your everyday clipper or keep it on hand while you’re out of the house for unexpected chips, breaks, and hangnails.

The Best Nail Care Set: Barbour Padbury Manicure Set

Many manicure kits have cheap tools stuffed inside a cheap faux leather case. That’s not really Barbour’s style, which makes this premium men’s grooming kit for keeping your cuticles and nails in shape. The tools are stored within a canvas and leather pouch with two snaps, and the inner surface features the brand’s signature plaid. We appreciate Barbour’s just-the-necessities approach here, and the set comes with a clipper, scissors, tweezers, nail file, and cuticle tool. When you’re done, leather loops keep each tool securely in place.

The Best Luxury Nail Care and Grooming Set: Zwilling Black-on-Black Grooming Set

Zwilling

Black on Black Grooming Set

German manufacturers like Zwilling are famous for their sharp-edged and long-lasting knives, so perhaps it’s not a surprise that this company also makes some of the best fingernail clippers. The Black on Black set includes five tools—grooming scissors, a clipper, a nail file, slant tweezers, and cuticle tweezers. It’s all contained within a black leather case that snaps closed for travel and storage. The stainless steel tools themselves come in a handsome matte black with a carbon-coating finish for added durability. This may just be the last nail grooming kit you ever buy.

The Best Budget Manicure Set: Tweezerman Nail Care Set

Tweezerman

Emerald Shimmer Nail Care Set

Looking for a simple manicure kit that doesn’t cost $70 or more? We get it. And while we can’t recommend scraping the bottom of the barrel in search of a bargain, we can recommend this Tweezerman kit. For a no-nonsense approach to nail trimming, Tweezerman includes a stainless steel nail clipper, cuticle pusher, cuticle snipper, and a glass nail file that won’t wear down after a few weeks of use.

The Best Cuticle Clipper: Premax Cuticle Clipper

Here’s a bonus pick for your cuticles (and for preventing hangnails). Every time you cut your nails, you should also be tending to your cuticles. While many clippers come with a built-in cuticle pusher, they still strand you without a dedicated, angled clip for the cuticle itself. That’s why this standalone cuticle snipper is a must-have device, thanks to its smaller, angled mouth. It’s so much easier than using tiny scissors, with far fewer (agonizing) accidents along the way.

The Best Nail File Set: Germanikure Crystal Glass Nail Files

Germanikure

Crystal Glass Nail File Set

This Germanikure’s set is beloved by professional stylists and groomers, as well as by our own staffers. We love these files so much we recently named them some of the best nail care tools in our latest edition of the GQ Grooming Awards. This four-piece set (which comes in a convenient suede travel case) includes traditional nail files as well as a crescent-shaped tool that’s perfect for on-the-go touchups. The glass stick can also be used to exfoliate cuticles, fix hangnails, and smooth away calluses. Unlike traditional files that wear out, these glass files will maintain their texture so that you can use them for years to come. They also work on both sides of the nail, smoothing each layer of keratin uniformly.


How To Shop for Nail Clippers

Because nails can be gnarly, the best clippers for men (and anyone, really) tend to be made out of durable, lasting material like carbon or stainless steel. They’ve got to have a sharp enough blade to clip down through hard nails, while also resisting rust and deterioration. There isn’t a ton of room for innovation in fingernail and toenail trimming, but some devices do have small upgrades, like gripped handles, unique ergonomic designs, or even a nail-catching case. Finally, we know that not everyone wants to trim their fingernails with the same clippers they use for their toes. Some brands do make clippers designed specifically for each type of nail. Typically, toenail clippers are wider, and they may also be tougher to punch through thick nails.

If you’re shopping for manicure sets, you’ll find a huge range in prices and overall quality. Retailers like Amazon, Sephora, and Target are full of cheap manicure sets, some of which have 15 or more individual tools for nail care. Generally, we think this is overkill, and that it’s worth investing in a higher-quality kit with fewer items. If you’re meticulous about your mani, then all you really need are fingernail clippers, toenail clippers, cuticle snippers, cuticle pushers, and nail files—and some type of carrying case.

About the Authors:

Adam Hurly is one of GQ‘s most experienced grooming correspondents, and he’s written dozens of shopping guides for GQ Recommends over the years. He tested numerous nail clippers and manicure tools for this piece, which has been updated to include additional options. Timothy Beck Werth is a GQ writer covering men’s grooming, home goods, and gifts, and he’s been working as a product reviewer and shopping editor since 2019.



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