Having a pair of nail clippers on hand can keep you from being pestered by a hanging or broken nail. Nail clippers come in a wide variety of styles, sizes and colors. For example, fingernail clippers are usually smaller than toenail clippers. Clippers also come in concave and convex shapes for cutting convenience. Most styles of nail clippers have the same basic features, including a head for cutting, a lever for managing pressure and a file.


Raise the lever up and turn it in a circular motion 180 degrees, then lower the lever again toward the base of the clippers. It will be pointing at a 45 degree angle from the rest of the nail clippers and will no longer go all the way down.

Hold the nail clippers in your right hand with your thumb on the lever and the base resting against your index finger if you’re right handed. If using clippers with a plier-style handle, hold the two handles in the palm of your hand and wrap your fingers around them so that you have a comfortable grip that allows you to squeeze the handles together without slipping.

Place the head, where the cutting blades are located, around the fingernail or toenail you intend to cut. Do not place the cutting edges too close to the quick or, where the nail and your skin connect.

Apply pressure on the lever or handles, being careful that the head of the clippers remains in place. Continue exerting pressure until the head cuts completely through the nail. For wider nails, after the first cut move the head and finish cutting the nail until it is completely removed.

Use the file included on the clippers to smooth any overly rough spots left by the nail clipper. Before use, turn the file 180 degrees so that it protrudes out of the back of the clipper ensemble and close the lever.