Electric Nail Clippers for Seniors: Are They Worth Using?

Electric nail trimmers work by grinding or filing nails instead of actually cutting them. This provides a safe nail cutting experience for seniors but also a much slower one. Many of these devices aren’t well rated because of that. Keep reading to learn more!

woman showing well manicured fingernails hold a cane
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Cutting your nails becomes harder as you age. It becomes increasingly hard to bend down and work the nail clipper. Before, seniors had to go and get pedicures to have this task accomplished. This can add up as aesthetic services aren’t cheap. Science is always coming up with a way to make our lives easier. The electronic nail clipper is perfect for those who struggle to work a manual one because of age or disability.

Many caregivers and family members find that working an electronic nail clipper is easier than standard ones too. Often, the elderly cannot do this tasks themselves. Especially if they are unable to bend over safely. Having an electric nail clipper makes doing this task much easier and more comfortable.

Many elderly people have been forced to let their nails grow due to an inability to cut them themselves or the inability to afford a pedicure. But, before considering an electric nail trimmer for elderly people, t’s important to understand how these work and consider the positives and negatives.

How Electric Nail Clippers Work

Most electronic nail clippers work just by pressing a button. This can be simply done with the hand that holds the nail clipper. The goal of this device is to make your life easier. The manufacturers who design electronic nail clippers have put that in mind.

senior woman having nail care done by caregiver

The Benefits

Electronic nail clippers are usually pain free. That’s why they are often a top nail cutter choice for arthritis sufferers. There is no squeezing motion required! Most work by grinding or filing away at the nail rather than truly cutting them.

There is also less chance of injury with electric clippers. It’s common for those who use standard nail clippers to accidentally cut their finger. Bleeding can be worse, even if it’s a small cut, as many elderly people have a reduced ability to heal. This is especially important when diabetics cut their own nails.

These models are also extremely light weight. For seniors who have reduced arm strength, a lighter model means easier operation.

The end result is often much more aesthetically pleasing too. It can be hard to get a nail clipper in the right position when you’re cutting someone else’s nails or toenails. Even if you do manage to do it properly, filing is often needed to make sure the nails are even. A clean and precise job is done with an electronic nail clipper. Electronic nail clippers are designed to not over cut the nail and many file the nail at the same time.

Some Drawbacks

There is a bit of a learning curve to using these devices. While reading the online reviews of several models, I noticed many of them had some strong negative reviews. Further investigation revealed that often the case was that the instructions weren’t followed or the user didn’t take the time to learn the device.

It is also very, VERY important to know that they are going to be slower than manual nail clippers. MUCH slower actually. This is a common complaint about them. The reality is you are trading safety for speed.

Also, most nail clippers do have to be charged. This isn’t too inconvenient though because most charge quickly. The charge also lasts a long time. Most models do not need to be charged again for months.

Reviews: Electric Nail Clippers for Seniors

To be upfront, none of these products have stellar online reviews for some of the reasons I discussed above. This is a “you get what you pay for” category of products. There are lots of cheap options, but they are terribly reviewed.

But, here are some of the best ones on the market based on ease of use and online reviews. Read these and decide for yourself if an electric clipper is the best option for you.

ClipDifferent Electric One-Handed Fingernail Clipper

electric nail clippers for seniors 1ClipDifferent Electric One-Handed Fingernail Clipper

You may have lost too much dexterity in your hands to hold up an electronic one to clip your nails. This isn’t an issue when you use this model that’s designed to stand on a surface to cut your nails. It’s made with surgical grade stainless steel blades to ensure that you never have to replace the model.

You may find this model extremely easy to use if you have vision loss. The battery has a high capacity and is rechargeable. This model is one of the more expensive ones options available though it has the best online reviews.

Here is a video testimonial from an actual user:


Honlibey Rechargable Electric Nail Clipper

electric nail clippers for seniors 2Honlibey Electric Nail Clipper, Rechargeale Nail Trimmer

The nail grinder in this model is made of alloy for durability. This model is capable of cutting, trimming, and polishing nails. It’s even water proof for those of you with clumsy hands and can be washed with soap and water. It comes in three sizes that make it perfect for trimming a child’s nails too.

Diabetics use special toenail clippers because they often have nails that are thicker than average. More often than not, this makes them have to have someone else cut them. This model, though, includes a blade designed especially for thicker nails. If you have diabetes, you may find that this model gives you the new found freedom of being able to cut them yourself.


Pursonic NC3 Portable Electric Nail Trimmer & Filer

electric nail clippers for seniors 3Pursonic NC3 Portable Electric Nail Trimmer & Filer

Ok, we are starting to get into some questionable models from this point. But, if cost a primary consideration, start with the NC3.

This model has two cutting modes based on the thickness of the nail and sharp allow blades. But, one user who stated he was a “healthy man” said it took over 20 minutes to cut all his fingernails. So, like I said before, these devices are for safety more than speed.

It does require holding it in the opposite hand to operate. This model runs on AA batteries so make sure you have some extra batteries on hand.


Pursonic NC1 Electric Nail Filer

electric nail clippers for seniors 4Pursonic NC1 Electric Nail Filer

This model is more gentle than the others as it files nails down instead of grinding away at them. You can place your skin on the blade without risking injury.

The manufacturer claims it only takes a few seconds to carefully trim the nails. Online reviews are 50/50 on whether or not this is true. While the other models can be charged, this one requires AA batteries to operate.

Here is a video of this model in use:


Roto Clipper Electric Nail Trimmer

electric nail clippers for seniors 5Roto Clipper Electric Nail Trimmer and Nail File

This model operates with rotating blades. They spin quickly, which makes the job effortless. It includes an electronic nail filer too for a more precision look.

This model comes with a built in light too for perfect placement and to see what you’re doing. It certainly isn’t recommended that you do it in the dark though!

The nail trimmings are easy to dispose of through an opening on the back. It operates at the touch of a button for easy use and handling.

Here is the actual TV commercial for the Roto Clipper so you can see it in use:

My final opinion on this one? Reviews are 50/50 on whether or not it even works. Keep looking!


Consider All Your Options

Different models are right for different people. It all depends on what you need to accomplish. Some of these models are better for caregivers, while some are better for people who wish to cut their nails themselves. Depending on how much money you are willing to spend, there are several options to choose from. But, if you want a higher quality experience, you are going to have to get one of the more expensive options.

Have I mentioned how slow these devices are? Remember that you will sacrifice speed for safety when using an electric nail clipper. If the amount of time you spend with nail care matters to you, you are better off going with one of the better manual clipper options for seniors.

Have you used an electric nail trimmer? What do you think about their usability for seniors and the elderly? Tell me your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.

About Scott Grant, ATP, CRTS® 366 Articles
Assistive Technology Professional, Custom Wheelchair Specialist, Medical Equipment Guru, Dad and Grandfather
I am a lucky dad to four awesome daughters and grandfather to three pretty terrific grandkids. When not working as a custom wheelchair specialist at a regional home medical equipment company, I enjoy early morning runs and occasional kayak trips. I am also a self-admitted nerd who loves anything from the 1980's. Learn More

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