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Billie and Flamingo are two women’s shaving startups making sharp and affordable razors.
Billie is a subscription service, while Flamingo is not. Both sell a $9 razor with $9 refills.
We compared the two companies so you can decide which is better for your shaving needs.
Shaving, if you choose to do it, is usually an inefficient and time-intensive process. It’s also one of those personal-care habits that quietly sucks the money out of your wallet (for some, more quickly than others depending on how often you shave).
Online startups like Harry’s and Dollar Shave Club brought fresh changes to the shaving industry by making sharp, high-quality razors and sending them to your door for less. Not only men used their products. Women did, too, but there was always the sense the razor designs and skincare products could be better tailored to women’s needs.
Two startups, Billie and Flamingo, are finally making women’s lives easier with their affordable shaving solutions. As the two biggest disruptors of the women’s shaving scene, they’re often compared – which is better, Billie or Flamingo?
To help you decide which new women’s shaving brand is for you, we put them side by side and looked more closely at what products they sell, how much you’ll pay, and the shaving experiences themselves.
Billie, founded in 2017, is taking a stand against the pink tax — which upcharges women’s personal-care products — by creating a razor priced in line with affordable men’s razors. It offers realistic portrayals of body hair in its ads and images, and it donates 1% of all revenue to women’s causes around the world.
Flamingowas introduced in 2018 by Harry’s, the men’s grooming brand that first launched its subscription-based razor products in 2013. Though more than a million women were using Harry’s products for themselves, the Harry’s team knew that they could be better optimized for how women shave their legs, armpits, and bikini lines. Flamingo is led by two Harry’s veterans who have been with the company since its start, and it uses the same blades as Harry’s razors.
How the services and products work
Billieis a subscription service that sells shaving and body products. After getting its $9 Starter Kit, you’ll receive four replacement cartridges for $9 on an ongoing basis.
To get started, you’ll choose your favorite handle color and how often you’d like to receive the replacement cartridges. If you shave every day, Billie will deliver once a month; a few times a week, every two months; and once a week, every three months. You can change this frequency at any point later. Then, add an optional shave cream ($8), lotion ($12), makeup wipes ($9), or travel case ($5) to your order.
Flamingo lets you buy all of its shaving, waxing, and body products a la carte. There is no subscription plan, so you can buy refills whenever you need them. Most new customers start with the $16 Shave Set.
Taking a closer look at their starter shave kits
Billie‘s Starter Kit costs $9 and includes a handle, two five-blade cartridges, and a magnetic holder.
Flamingo‘s Shave Set costs $16 and includes a handle, two five-blade cartridges, 1 oz. foaming shave gel, 3 oz. body lotion, a shower hook, and a reusable pouch.
What the razor looks like
The Billie razor handle comes in six colors, in various shades of pink and blue. It has a five-blade cartridge made with USA-sharpened and assembled steel. The blades are encased in a charcoal shave soap and the cartridge has rounded edges.
The Flamingo razor handle comes in three colors, with metallic accents. Its five-blade cartridge features German-engineered blades (Harry’s owns the German factory where the blades are made), a hydrating strip formulated with aloe vera, rounded edges, and a flexible hinge.
I shaved with both Billie’s and Flamingo’s products to compare the experiences. Both gave me a smooth, close shave but in different ways.
I used the Billie razor with the Shave Cream ($8), a non-aerosol cream made with soothing and gentle ingredients like aloe, sage, shea butter, and grapefruit and free from synthetic fragrances, parabens, and sulfates. I’m a sucker for anything grapefruit-flavored or scented, so right away I loved the cream. It’s not super thick, but since the blades already have soap built into them, you don’t need to use a lot of cream.
The Billie razor felt comfortable in my hand. Though the cartridge has a hinge, I thought the angle and design didn’t allow it to go as far back as I would’ve liked. I was still able to tackle every inch of hair on my legs and armpits thanks to its sharp blades — I just had to be more careful and intentional.
Meanwhile, the Flamingo razor pairs with a Foaming Shave Gel ($5), which comes in an aerosol can. Its key ingredients include aloe vera as well as conditioning emollients. Its gel is also paraben- and sulfate-free. This thick gel foamed up nicely and felt luxuriously smooth on my skin.
I found the Flamingo razor handle, with its textured rubber grip, was easier to hold and less likely to slip from my fingers. The flexible hinge also helped me better get into tricky curves and corners. Like my experience with Billie, the sharp blades were ultimately the most impressive and important feature of the razor.
The accessories and other bodycare products are also factors worth considering.
Both Billie and Flamingo razors come with a wall accessory to hold it and keep it within reach in your shower. Billie‘s is a triangular magnetic holder that your razor sticks to, while Flamingo‘s is a circular suction grip that your razor clicks into.
Whether because my shower wall was too wet when I stuck these holders to it, or these accessories simply weren’t strong enough, either the holder or the razor often fell off. While the idea is great, I wouldn’t rely too much on these holders.
To supplement your body-care routine, I do recommend trying both companies’ lotions and body washes. The Billie Sudsy Body Wash ($9), made with grapefruit, coconut, rosa canina, and aloe vera, cleanses and preps your skin before you shave, and the Dry-Bye Body Lotion ($12) is formulated with grape seed, chamomile, shea butter, and aloe vera for perfect post-shave moisturization.
Flamingo doesn’t have a body wash, but its Body Lotion ($8) features the key ingredients of white willowbark extract and papaya fruit extract (for hydration) and a derivative of sugar cane (for moisturization).
Which company’s razors should you shave with? Here’s the bottom line.
The best women’s shaving brand for you depends on your shaving habits and preferences. With both Billie and Flamingo, you’re getting sharp blades that will get rid of your body hair efficiently, at an affordable price.
If you shave at a consistent schedule, Billie will be better for you because of its convenient and automatic subscription service. It’s easy to add on supplementary products to your order, and subscribing is also the only way to get replacement cartridges.
If you’re on less of a schedule and want to order refills as you go, you’ll be better off with Flamingo. Its Shave Set offers a good introduction to its products, and it’s affordable at less than $20. You should also shop Flamingo if you’ve used and liked Harry’s razors in the past but want a design better suited to your body.
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Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky
For decades, multi-blade razors have been the most popular razor, with commercials and advertising flooding the men’s grooming market with promises of ultra-glide shaves without nicks or cuts. While these advertising buzzwords might prove true for men who have fine, straight facial hair, multi-blade cartridge razors just don’t have the same positive effect on guys with coarse or curly beards. Enter: The old-school safety razor.
Crafted with a permanent handle and head with a slot specially made for universal disposable razor blades, safety razors are designed to sit comfortably in the hand. They also provide a clean, smooth shave when used with fluid, slow strokes. The weight of these safety razors, combined with the insertion of a new blade every shave, makes for an altogether luxurious shaving experience compared to a cartridge razor.
So, if you’ve ever thought about making the switch, why not now, and why not with one of these tested and trusted safety razors?
Here are the best safety razors in 2021:
The best overall: Standard Razors Aluminum Series
Hefty, handsome, and crafted to last a lifetime, the Aluminum Series razor from Standard Razors takes the top spot.
Pros: Great weight, nice hand-feel, easy to clean.
Cons: Matte black coating requires wiping with a dry cloth to prevent water spots.
Our favorite safety razor has everything you want and nothing you don’t. Crafted and machined from aircraft-grade aluminum, both the handle and head of this razor have a surprising heft with an excellent hand-feel. The handle itself quickly unscrews from the head mount, which allows you to quickly insert a new blade. Plus, this safety razor is compatible with all brands of double razor blades, meaning you’ll never have to search for the “right blade” again. The anodized coating does double-duty as a minimalist aesthetic choice and a slightly textured surface, great for a wet hand grip. The Aluminum Series Razor comes in both matte black and raw silver, both of which would look great on anyone’s counter.
With a matte aluminum coating and sci-fi design, the Merkur Futur razor is a functional and futuristic grooming game changer.
Pros: Looks cool on the counter, shaves well, easy adjustment for blade gap.
Cons: Take time to clean due to its inset lip below the blade.
A major player in the razor game, Merkur is making its modernist mark with its stunningly designed Futur safety razor. Chrome-plated with a matte finish offering a performance grip, this futuristic-looking safety razor is as utilitarian as it is aesthetically pleasing. To key in on the perfect angle for closest shave possible, twist the handle to narrow or widen the gap between the blade and the bar. Adjusting the aggressiveness of your gap provides the right amount of nuance customized to each user. The Futur also sports a good weight, making it a solid choice for guys with butter fingers.
Futur Safety Razor Matte Chrome (small)
Vikings Blade The Chieftain Jr.
Pros: The long handle is good for precise shaves, great grip, low cost.
Cons: Some men might find this one too light in weight.
At first sight, the Chieftain Jr. looks a touch too delicate. But this razor’s slim, long handle is designed with crosshatched channels machined into its shaft, which makes for a robust grip —even the biggest and clumsiest of hands. The razor’s classic double-flapped opening functions beautifully as an easy-to-access cradle for a double-blade razor.
The Chieftain Jr. Safety Razor (small)
Bevel Safety Razor
Created specifically for curly and textured facial hair, the Bevel safety razor leaves skin smooth and helps prevent ingrown hairs.
Pros: Gentle shave thanks to special razor head, attractive shape.
Cons: With a shorter length and lighter feel, this razor can feel toy-like at times.
At four inches long, this razor hews toward the middle of the pack in size — and at 3.2 ounces, it’s also surprisingly light. The highly angular razor head and the slim gap between blade and bar make for an extremely close, yet gentle, shave. Plus, the single blade prevents the snagging found with multi-blade cartridge razors, making it a much better option for those with especially coarse, curly facial hair.
Safety Razor (small)
Baxter of California Safety Razor
Cons: Chrome plating requires wiping after use to prevent water spots.
The Safety Razor from Baxter of California evokes the feel of a classic, old-school barbershop, thanks to the engraving on its handle that mimics the red, blue, and white barber poles. The chrome plating may require a little extra polishing before you put it away, but the extra work is worth it. This razor also starts you off with five double-blades for a week’s worth of shaves.
The Rockwell Razors 6S scores high marks for its heft and its ability to precisely fine-tune the blade gap to suit your face.
Pros: Visually appealing, excellent grip, precise blade gap adjustment.
Cons: Can feel a bit clunky and chunky for guys with smaller hands.
The textured shaft of this razor makes this safety razor a striking addition to your medicine cabinet. Aside from its good looks, the texture holds your grip — even while shaving in the shower. The 6S sports a precision blade gap adjustment, which is as easy to use as turning a screw. The razor itself is made from robust 316L stainless steel, meaning it’ll last through decades of future clean shaves.
6S Adjustable Stainless Steel Safety Razor (small)
The Art of Shaving R106 Short
The shortest safety razor of the group, the R106 Short fits precisely in the palm of your hand, affording users a surprising amount of control.
Pros: Closed-comb head offer gentle shave and prevents nicks.
Cons: Small size doesn’t work for guys with big hands and big faces.
Featuring a handle of just 3.75 inches, this black matte, closed-comb safety razor from The Art of Shaving works great for guys with smaller hands or who struggle with coordination. Its short stature offers a sturdier grip and a more precise movement. The closed-comb nature of the head makes for a safer, gentler shave, and prevents knicks, cuts, and razor burn.
R106 Short Black Safety Razor (small)
Maapilim Safety Razor
A faux-bronze coating on this simple safety razor makes it an irresistible shaving assistant.
Pros: Comb straightens and aligns hair for a clean shave every time.
Cons: Like others, the shiny plating on this razor requires extra care.
The Maapilim Safety Razor lives up to even the highest of standards. It utilizes a fine-toothed comb to straighten facial hair before cutting, which provides a much closer shave. The easy-to-remove head makes changing your blade a snap, and the weighted handle feels great in your hand. Combined with the can’t-look-away color, this razor makes is a solid buy for anyone.
Safety Razor (small)
Supply The Single Edge 2.0
Standing out for more than just its single-edge design, The Single Edge 2.0 is a unique take on the traditional safety razor.
Pros: Easy to replace blades, an innovative design offers ultra-close shave.
Cons: The razor’s single-edged blades are often more difficult to find.
While this option might look like a disposable cartridge razor, that’s as far as the similarities go. Crafted from stainless steel and engineered to offer three shave styles — sensitive, comfortable, and ultra-close — this safety razor takes single blades that can be replaced swiftly and safely with an accompanying insertion mechanism.
The Single Edge 2.0 (small)
MÜHLE Hexagon Bronze Safety Razor
Cons: Polished razor head, as with several others, requires a post-shave wipe down to prevent spots.
Bold is an understatement when it comes to the look and feel of this hexagonal-handle safety razor. The handle is properly weighted, easily gripped, and offers ease-of-use as well as visual appeal. The head, held aloft by a polished silver neck, features a standard double-blade razor bed and screw-on cap.
Makeup brand Morphe may be facing a boycott over its continued association with James Charles, who has been accused by more than 15 men and boys of sexual harassment and sexting minors. He released a video addressing some of the allegations on April 1 and said “these conversations should have never happened.”
The makeup company, which is also known as Morphe Cosmetics and Morphe Brushes, has not responded to Insider’s inquiries about its longtime partnership with Charles, who appears in Morphe marketing campaigns, has cut ribbons at multiple Morphe store openings, and who is the face of the best-selling Morphe x James Charles Artistry Palette.
But a podcast host said on Twitter that they received an email from a Morphe representative saying that the brand “does not condone inappropriate online behavior of any form.” The purported email, which was screenshotted and shared widely online, continued: “We have been actively looking into the recent allegations against James Charles, and have suspended marketing of the Morphe X James Charles collaboration while we continue to evaluate and monitor the situation.”
The purported email circulated in the online beauty-drama community and led to Morphe’s social-media posts being overrun with negative comments. The hashtag “#BoycottMorphe” appeared in over 200 tweets and in dozens of Instagram comments on Morphe’s account since Charles’ video was posted on April 1.
One comment on a recent Morphe Instagram post asking the company to “remove” the palette from their store reached over 400 likes. “How about actually listening to fans and maybe you wouldn’t be losing money right now,” said another comment with over 300 likes.
The recent accusations against Charles include more than a dozen so-called “exposé” TikToks made by individuals who claim Charles used Snapchat to send or solicit sexually suggestive or explicit messages and photos. Several of these individuals say they were minors at the time. Insider was unable to independently corroborate all of the allegations.
Charles’ partnership with Morphe has been an integral part of his own online brand for years. He even previously sold a hoodie that said “Use code ‘JAMES’ for 10 percent off,” referencing his famous affiliate discount code for the website.
Morphe’s discount code ‘JAMES’ still works on its website
Morphe launched in 2008 as a beauty brand intended for collaborative partnerships with influencers and creators in the makeup and beauty space online, according to the company’s website. Those creators have included Manny Gutierrez (Manny MUA), Nikita Dragun, Jaclyn Hill, Bretman Rock, and Charles, among others. Collaborations typically include a signature Morphe X eyeshadow palette.
Charles’ rainbow-themed Artistry Palette is still listed on Morphe’s website under the “Best Sellers” tab, along with the miniature palette and Charles’ branded makeup-brush set.
While Morphe hasn’t posted on Instagram about Charles’ products since March 25, Insider confirmed that his affiliate code still works on the website. Customers can use code “JAMES” for 10% off their purchase.
Morphe has separated from controversial creators in the past year
It wouldn’t be unprecedented for the company to part ways with one of its major featured creators.
In June 2020, Morphe stopped working with YouTubers Shane Dawson and Jeffree Star as the creators were embroiled in controversy. It “ceased all commercial activity” with Jeffree Star Cosmetics, Star’s brand that had previously been sold in brick-and-mortar Morphe stores. Morphe also stopped selling the popular Conspiracy makeup collection marketed by Star and Dawson.
The move came after YouTuber Tati Westbrook released a video accusing Star and Dawson of having “manipulated” her into accusing Charles of sexual misconduct with boys in 2019. Westbrook also claimed that Star had ownership in Morphe, which the company denied to Insider. At the same time, Dawson was being widely condemned by mainstream celebrities and online critics alike for his past offensive content.
When customers asked about Morphe’s ties to Star and Dawson at the end of June 2020, the company initially wrote in similar purported emails to customers that it did not “condone or agree with the actions and behavior of Shane Dawson.” Before officially separating from Star, the company also wrote that “Jeffree Star has acknowledged mistakes made in the past and has apologized, taken accountability, and worked hard to make amends within the community.”
Facing mounting pressure from customers, it’s unclear whether Charles’ future with Morphe will follow a similar trajectory to Star and Dawson.
Neither Charles nor Morphe have responded to Insider’s multiple requests for comment.
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Your hair dryer can be the difference between a good hair day and a not-so-good hair day.
The best blow dryer for your hair type is less about the dryer and more about the accessories.
Luckily, there are expert-approved options at every price point, from luxury to budget-friendly.
When it comes to hair care accessories that can be surprisingly expensive, blow dryers are pretty high on the list. It’s easy to assume that the most expensive tool will always be the best, or work the quickest, but as the experts will tell you, this isn’t always the case. And when it comes to different blow dryers for different hair types, most experts will tell you it’s actually not the blow dryer itself you should be considering – it’s the accessories.
If you’re not quite sure yet whether to prioritize speed, comfort, or luxury when choosing your new blow dryer, though, here are the five best, expert-approved picks to help you make your decision, no matter what budget you’re working with.
Harry Josh Pro Tools Pro Dryer 2000
The Harry Josh Pro Dryer with great reviews that gives you luxury results with a reasonable price tag.
As celebrity hairstylist Clariss Rubenstein says, there isn’t a blow dry that this tool can’t handle. Rubenstein says she prioritizes heat and power, the two things best for a quick and efficient blowout when choosing a blowdryer.
As Josh himself explains, the best tip for getting a professional looking blowout with this tool, or any, is to know your hair well and to use a quality dryer. “Utilize a nozzle to direct air at a smaller space, then start at the roots and work your way to the ends, in the direction of the hair cuticle, which will add shine,” Josh suggests, noting that heat settings, diffusers, and different types of brushes should all be considered when adjusting the experience for your specific hair type.
The Sedu Revolution Hair Dryer is a lightweight, travel-friendly blow dryer that offers heat settings to adjust for any hairstyle or texture.
When it comes to a light-as-air blow dryer that offers different heat settings (and is great for travel), hairstylist Bianca Hillier recommends Sedu Beauty’s Revolution Hair Dryer 4000i.
“This blow dryer gets hot enough on even the low setting to smooth out any texture hair whether coarse or fine. There is a sneaky cool-blow button that helps completely set the styled look and finish out the job,” Hillier says, noting that the blow dryer works for any style and hair type.
“Regardless of hair type, you must always use a heat protectant,” Hillier explains, noting that this applies to each and every blow dryer and heat tool, regardless of how safe it may be for hair.
“I have used many blow dryers throughout my styling career and I can honestly say, hands down, that the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer is the ultimate styling tool,” Maria Elizabeth, Founder of Salon deZEN, says. “It’s definitely an investment, but well worth it as it will save your hair from heat damage while also speeding up your dry time.” The Dyson was developed to protect the hair from extreme heat damage, allowing the hair to naturally shine. Elizabeth also points out the magnetic attachments as another boon for this dryer.
Beauty expert Nick Stenson also listed the Dyson as his personal favorite for efficient use on various hair types. “I love using this dryer behind the chair and behind the scenes, because it gives me so much control and versatility with the heat and speed settings — not to mention the diffuser attachment is an absolute dream for drying curls with no frizz,” Stenson says.
A trusted alternative with an affordable price tag and thousands of positive reviews.
The Dyson might seem amazing in theory, but it’s not necessarily a realistic purchase for many people shopping on a budget. For an alternative, Elizabeth suggests BaByliss’ PRO Titanium Hair Dryer, especially for people looking to achieve a sleeker or smoother blowout.
“With 2000-watt performance, ergonomic handling, several heat and speed settings, and a cool shot button to help seal up cuticles, the BaByliss delivers less frizz and cuts down on dry time. It is a great option for all hair types, but is specifically great for coarse and thick hair as it assists in creating sleek styles,” Elizabeth says.
As an added bonus, as Elizabeth mentions, this blowdryer’s handle folds up for easy transport and storage — pretty convenient.
Titanium Hair Dryer (small)
Perfect for fine hair, this is the ultimate styling and drying tool in one high-tech package.
By now most of us have seen brushes, styling tools, and blow dryers combined into one. But do they actually work? According to Hillier, Dyson’s Airwrap does, especially for those with fine to medium hair who are trying to add volume.
“It’s kind of like an all-in-one,” Hillier says. “You can adjust the heat settings and also adjust the tool to be used when creating a variety of styles. It’s lightweight, which makes it easy for traveling and daily use.”
While the AirWrap does use air to style and curl hair while drying it, it’s best used on damp, rather than wet, hair. So if you are looking to use it to dry your entire head of hair straight out of the shower, it might be best to try one of the other options instead.
AirWrap Styler (small)
Check out our other haircare guides
We tested 15 models to find the best nail clippers for dogs of all sizes, guillotine-style clippers, and nail grinders.
This article was medically reviewed by Karie Johnson, veterinarian and co-founder of VIP Vet Visit, a mobile vet service in the south suburbs of Chicago.
Keeping your dog’s nails trimmed is more important than you might think. Although some dogs wear their nails down naturally if they are very active outdoors, most dogs need regular trims. Too-long nails can curl back and grow into the paw pad – a painful and dangerous condition that requires swift treatment from a veterinarian. Not to mention, long nails can damage wood floors and scratch your arms and legs when your dog jumps up on you.
Nail clippers for dogs come in several different styles. Plier-style nail clippers work for most dogs. Guillotine clippers are generally best for small- and medium-size dogs. Nail grinders are great for gently filing down the nail rather than cutting through it.
Pros: Affordable, sharp stainless-steel blades, simple but functional design, safety lock for storage, exceptionally quiet
Cons: Small blade opening is not ideal for very large dogs or very thick nails, rubber grips sometimes slip down the handle
If you’re just starting out trimming your dog’s nails, a basic, inexpensive nail clipper is a good option. The Millers Forge Pet Nail Clipper stands out for its simplicity, effectiveness, quality, and affordable price. These were the quietest of all the plier-style clippers I tested, something anyone with a skittish dog will appreciate. The blades are sharp and cut smoothly and easily. The metal handle has slip-on rubber grips — not a lot of frills here, but I found them comfortable to hold, although in my experience the grips sometimes slipped down on the metal handles.
I’ve used these clippers a lot over the years, especially back when I worked in the veterinary hospital. Even with lots of use, the stainless-steel blades always held up great, maintaining their sharpness for many years. Compared to the similarly priced Furminator Nail Clipper, the Millers Forge Pet Nail Clipper is more comfortable to hold, quieter to use, and easier to maneuver around each nail thanks to the size and thinness of the blades. These nail clippers also have a quick-guard safety feature and safety lock for safe storage.
These clippers are small with a narrow blade opening, so they aren’t the best choice for very large dogs or dogs with very thick nails, but they worked great when I tested them on a miniature poodle with medium-size nails and a 10-pound mixed-breed dog with small nails.
Pros: Small size perfect for smaller nails, very comfortable to hold, sharp stainless-steel blades cut the nail cleanly
Cons: Not ideal for people with large hands
The JW Pet Grip Soft Deluxe Pet Nail Clipper in size medium is a great option for little dogs with small or thin nails. I used these clippers on a miniature poodle with medium-sized nails and a 10-pound mixed-breed dog with small nails. JW Pet’s gel-like nonslip handle is exceptionally comfortable. The stainless-steel blades are sharp and cut the nail easily and smoothly, and the clippers are fairly quiet. The clippers have a quick guard and lock for safe storage. I always lock my nail clippers after using them to protect the blade.
Cassie Edmond, an animal care specialist at the San Diego Humane Society, likes using small nail clippers for puppies or dogs whose nails have grown too long and are curling back toward the paw pad because the smaller cutting blades are easier to maneuver around curled nails.
The JW Pet Grip Soft Deluxe Pet Nail Clipper is also helpful if you have small hands. On the flip side, if you have large hands you might find the handles difficult to hold. I have medium-size hands and had no problem operating them.
The best for large dogs
With sharp stainless-steel blades and a large tension spring, the Andis Pet Nail Clipper smoothly and easily cuts through big, thick nails.
Pros: Sharp stainless-steel blades cut smoothly, rubberized grips for comfort and control, quick-stop guard for safety, lightweight, easy to hold, locking mechanism for safe storage, one-year warranty
Big dogs often have thick, large nails, and even some medium-size dogs might have thick nails. The Andis Pet Nail Clipper in size medium easily cuts through large nails, is well constructed, and comes with a one-year warranty.
I used these clippers on a Labrador retriever. The sharp blade cut her thick nails easily and smoothly, with no shredding or splintering of the nail. The nonslip grip felt good in my hand and the handles are easy to squeeze closed thanks to a large tension spring. These clippers also worked well on a miniature poodle with medium-size nails, so they are versatile. The safety guard prevents overcutting and hitting the quick, and it can be locked in the closed position for storage.
Interestingly, the Andis Pet Nail Clipper, and our runner-up — the Safari Professional Nail Trimmers — are very similarly constructed. Side by side, they look nearly identical (outside of color), and they are also nearly identical in performance. Both are also very versatile, working well for large as well as small nails. However, the Andis nail trimmers won this category because the brand offers a one-year warranty, and Safari does not, but both are an excellent choice for almost any dog.
Pros: High-quality American steel, sharp blade for a smooth cut, easy to hold and squeeze closed, blade can be replaced with purchase of kit, made in the United States, limited lifetime warranty
Cons: No quick-guard safety feature, not appropriate for very large nails or thick nails
Resco is the inventor of the guillotine-style nail trimmer, which debuted in 1937. I used these clippers on a miniature poodle with medium-size nails and a 10-pound mixed-breed dog with small nails. The Resco Original Deluxe Dog Nail Clippers in size small/medium outperformed the other guillotine-style clipper we tested (the Millers Forge Guillotine Style Pet Nail Trimmer). The Resco blade was very sharp and cut the nail smoothly. In comparison, the blade of the Millers Forge trimmer didn’t seem as sharp and didn’t cut as smoothly.
Even though the Resco clippers have no rubber grip on the handles, I found them comfortable to hold and easy to squeeze closed. In comparison, the Millers Forge handles felt a little sticky each time I closed them, which I found distracting.
Designed to last, Resco’s chrome-plated American steel nail clipper is manufactured in the United States. When the cutting blade becomes dull, you can purchase a kit that allows you to replace the blade instead of buying a new set of clippers.
Guillotine clippers cut with less force than is needed with plier-style clippers, but they aren’t as strong so don’t choose these for dogs with very large nails or very thick nails. They work best on dogs with small or medium-size nails (they are also great for cats). The clippers are very quiet, so dogs that get upset by the loud snapping sound of some plier-style clippers might appreciate these.
Guillotine clippers don’t have a quick-guard safety feature, so don’t make big cuts; slowly snip off small amounts of nail to avoid cutting the quick. Exercise caution because a dog’s nail can get caught in this style of clippers, and if they pull away, they can damage or tear out their nail.
This cordless grinder is quiet and gentle. I particularly liked the grinding disc (recommended for novice users), which quickly and easily sanded down the nails. The grinding disc is used with both guard attachments, which block all the spinning parts of the tool — something that made me feel quite safe when using it. The enhanced safety afforded by these attachments are main reason this grinder beat out the next closest competitor in the category: the Wahl Battery Nail Grinder.
The Dremel also comes with band attachments that offer more maneuverability but require more skill and confidence as they cannot be used with the guard attachments. I used this grinder with both options and preferred both the performance and peace of mind of the grinding disc.
Nail grinders can be used on dogs of all sizes and are effective even on thick nails. I used this grinder on a miniature poodle with medium-size nails and a Labrador retriever with large nails. Nail grinders are great for dogs that don’t love clippers as well as dogs with black nails since you can’t see the quick.
“When grooming, 9 times out of 10, I will just grind a dog’s nails instead of trimming,” Edmond said. “Nail clippers can leave a jagged rough edge on the nail, but a nail grinder can buff out the sharpness and round the nail all the way down to the quick.”
I liked the variety of sanding bands and discs that come in the Dremel kit, but the product’s real standout is the nail safety guard and paw guide, which helped me attain a good nail trimming angle. Nail grinders do have a learning curve, but Dremel’s Quick Start Guide is helpful and clearly recommends specific attachments and speeds for beginning users. As with all nail grinders, the grinding heads need occasional replacement. Professional groomers will need to replace these more often; for pet owners, they should last a long time.
Millers Forge Nail Clipper: These trimmers are similar in construction to the Safari and Andis clippers, but they feel lower quality — reflected in the lower price. The handle on the Millers Forge clippers doesn’t have a nonslip grip and the clippers lack a quick-guard safety feature.
Furminator Nail Clipper for Dogs and Cats: The blade opening of these clippers is somewhat narrow, the handle is small, and I didn’t love the nubby grip. Although the safety guard has a unique, adjustable design, I found the guard itself got in the way too much and was hard to move out of the way if I didn’t want to use it.
Millers Forge Guillotine Style Pet Nail Trimmer: The rubber grips on the handles make the clipper stick a little and the grips also slipped down while I was using them. Our top choice guillotine clipper from Resco outperformed this trimmer, which didn’t cut the nail as smoothly.
Wahl Battery Nail Grinder: Comfortable to hold and easy to use, this grinder was a close runner-up to the Dremel 7760 Paw Control Cordless Pet Nail Grinding Kit. The nail safety guard has multiple openings of various shapes and sizes, making it easy to find the ones that worked best for each individual dog’s nails. This grinder comes with a grinding stone with a concave top that makes it simple to round the tops of the nails, plus coarse and fine grinding bands.
Conair Pro Professional Dog Nail Grinder: This grinder is not cordless, but the cord is sufficiently long and you’ll never get caught with an uncharged battery. It’s less powerful than the other grinders I tested, so it takes a little longer to grind the nails. However, this could be a positive for novice pet owners who feel intimidated using a powerful grinder.
I tested 11 different pairs of nail trimmers and 4 grinding tools, using them on three dogs with different size nails: a Labrador retriever with large, thick nails; a miniature poodle with medium-size nails; and a 10-pound mixed-breed dog with small nails. I received editorial review samples from the manufacturers with the exception of the Millers Forge and Resco clippers, which Insider Reviews purchased.
All of the clippers and grinders were tested on the miniature poodle with medium-size nails. Additionally, I tested the small clippers on the small mixed breed and the large clippers and nail grinders on the Lab. In our initial round of testing in fall 2021, each tool was tested at least once per dog, but the front-runners were tested multiple times to narrow down the category winners. I waited several weeks in between testing for the dogs’ nails to grow back.
To gauge long-term durability, I continued to use the nail trimmers that received the highest marks to trim my own dog’s nails (the miniature poodle). In the five months since this guide was originally developed, I’ve trimmed my dog’s nails approximately every two weeks and rotated clippers. I used the nail grinding tool after each trim to buff the nail edges.
Here are the main attributes we looked for and how we tested them:
Ease of use:I assessed how controlled the clippers felt in my hand and whether they were easy to squeeze closed. When cutting a dog’s nails, you don’t want to struggle or feel uncomfortable while using a nail trimmer. For nail grinders, I assessed how easy they were to set up, hold, and use.
Performance: I evaluated each pair of clippers to make sure they worked as advertised. For instance, large dog nail clippers should easily and effectively clip through tough nails, and small clippers should be appropriately sized for smaller nails. For nail grinders, I evaluated how well the grinding bands or discs smoothed out the nails and how loud each grinder was.
Sharpness: Although the cutting blades will inevitably dull over time, they should be very sharp to ensure a swift, clean cut through the nails. Inferior, dull blades tend to shred or splinter the nail rather than slicing clean through.
Safety: I evaluated the presence and effectiveness of any nail safety guards, as well as the presence of a locking mechanism that allows the clippers to be stored safely in the closed position. For nail grinders, I evaluated the tool’s safety options and how safe it felt to operate the tool.
Quality: I assessed the quality of each clippers’ materials and construction. A good pair of clippers should feel study and appear to be well made rather than cheap and poorly manufactured, and all parts should function as intended. For nail grinders, I assessed the assembly of the tool and how it felt when using it.
Frequently asked questions about nail trimming
We spoke to Edmond and veterinarian Melissa Smits, DVM, medical team coach for Blue Heron Consulting, about the most common questions about trimming a dog’s nails.
How often should I trim my dog’s nails?
This depends on your individual dog. All nails grow at different rates, and dogs wear their nails down differently, too. Big, heavy dogs that run around outside may naturally wear their nails down, requiring less frequent trimming. “A Yorkie that barely touches the ground most days might need a nail trim every two weeks,” Smits said. “An Iditarod training or marathon running pal might never need one.” Rule of thumb: Trim your dog’s nails before they grow long enough to click on the floor.
How far down do I cut the nail?
Trim the nail as short as you can without cutting into the quick, which is the vein that runs down the center of the nail. If your dog has white nails, it’s easy to see the quick. If your dog has black nails, it’s harder to know exactly how far to cut. Conservatively clip just the hooked part of the nail to be safe. You can also ask your veterinarian for a demonstration on your dog.
When should I start trimming my puppy’s nails?
Start nail trimming as early as possible so your puppy learns to accept it. Even older dogs can learn to accept nail trimming if you approach it the right way. “Introduce the dog to the nail trimming procedure in a slow, fun, rewarding manner,” Smits said. “This will enable the dog to fall in love with the attention that comes with getting a pedicure and time with you.”
Which is better, nail clippers or a nail grinder?
Nail clippers cut through the nail whereas nail grinders file the nail down to a shorter length. Some dogs prefer the sensation of nail grinding over clipping, and you’re less likely to cut into the quick with a grinder. On the flip side, some dogs dislike the loud sound and vibrations of nail grinders. These tools also have a learning curve to be able to use them safely and comfortably. Smits recommends using the tool you feel most comfortable with, which will make your dog most comfortable.
What is the best nail clipper for my dog?
In general, a good dog nail trimmer should be easy to hold and have a sharp blade for smooth cutting. If your dog has very small or very large nails, choose a nail clipper that correlates. Look for clippers with blades made of stainless steel, which is strong and resists rusting. For timid dogs or those that are reluctant to have their nails trimmed, a quiet nail clipper is a bonus. At the end of the day, though, choosing the right dog nail clipper comes down to how you like using it.
Does nail trimming hurt my dog?
As long as you don’t cut too far down, it hurts no more than trimming your own nails. However, be very careful not to cut the quick. The quick is extremely sensitive. Cutting into it is painful and will cause the nail to bleed. It may also cause your dog to become resistant to nail trimming in the future.
What should I do if I cut my dog’s nail and it starts to bleed?
If you accidentally nick the quick, use styptic power to cauterize it and stop the bleeding. Scoop up a small amount of powder onto your finger or with a piece of gauze and press it gently but firmly against the nail. Hold for a minute or so until the bleeding stops. If you don’t have styptic powder, you can use use flour or corn starch instead.
I’m too nervous to trim my dog’s nails. Who will do it for me?
If you are not comfortable trimming your dog’s nails, or if you are concerned your pet might bite if you try to trim the nails, seek professional help. Most groomers include nail trimming in their regular services. You can also make an appointment to have your dog’s nails trimmed at your veterinary hospital. “If the dog is an amiable sort, groomers are a phenomenal option,” Smits said. “If the dog is a holy terror, they might need sedation, at which point the veterinarian is your best option.”
How do I care for dog nail clippers and grinders?
After each use, wipe your clippers clean. When not in use, close the clippers and engage the safely lock to keep the blade protected. If your nail clippers get wet, dry them thoroughly before storing them indoors in a plastic or cloth bag with all of the grinding accessories. If nail clippers or grinders are left outside and exposed to dampness and temperature extremes, the metal can rust and plastic can warp.
Unless your smile is already blinding, pretty much everyone wants whiter teeth. Our smile is one of the first things other people notice when meeting us, and considering most of us indulge in teeth-staining compounds like coffee, red wine, maybe even cigarettes, there’s ample opportunity for pearly whites to be brighter.
While whitening strips can be expensive, painful, and require effort, incorporating whitening properties into your toothpaste helps you get more out of something you’re going to do twice a day, regardless.
Contrary to occasional misconceptions, most whitening toothpaste is safe and suitable for daily use – but you have to choose the right product. While whitening toothpaste generally doesn’t cause tooth sensitivity, some harsher whitening toothpaste can cause damage to tooth enamel if used for weeks or months at a time. In fact, one of the most popular of-the-moment toothpaste ingredients, activated charcoal, is not only useless when it comes to whitening teeth, but it also has the potential to damage your enamel, discolor it permanently, and damage your gums, according to a 2019 study in the British Dental Journal.
What’s more, not every ingredient is equal: A 2019 study in the Journal of Applied Oral Science found that whitening toothpaste with blue covarine and microbeads (like that in Oral B 3D White Perfection – 3DW) were the most effective at whitening teeth after just one brush, and ones with hydrogen peroxide made pearly whites pearlier when used over time.
This kind of toothpaste helps remove surface stains, showing off the natural appearance of the exterior of your teeth. It will not actually whiten the enamel itself, but merely reveal its true color. For deep stains and/or for teeth that are yellowed or otherwise discolored, talk to your dentist about professional whitening.
And before you start even a DIY tooth whitening program, it’s a good idea to see a dentist and get a deep cleaning. That way, your at-home whitening efforts can be more of a maintenance approach than an attempt to tackle the issue of stained, discolored teeth.
As for which whitening toothpaste is right for you, that depends on factors ranging from tooth sensitivity to ingredient preference to how much time you’re willing to invest daily.
Pros: Works quickly, safe for long-term use, includes fluoride to prevent cavities
Cons: Slightly more expensive
The job of toothpaste is, first and foremost, to clean your teeth. While white, bright teeth look great, actual cleaning is more important than cosmetics, as far as oral health is concerned. So it’s good to know that Colgate’s Optic White Platinum toothpaste protects tooth enamel and can help prevent cavities thanks to the inclusion of fluoride along with the other ingredients.
As for the whitening effects of this potent toothpaste, those come thanks to hydrogen peroxide. The toothpaste has two times more hydrogen peroxide than most other kinds of whitening toothpaste. According to the many buyer reviews online, you really can see whitening results in just a matter of days, especially if you are generally careful about what foods and beverages you ingest and how you consume them.
After a month of using Colgate Optic White Platinum Express White Toothpaste twice daily, you can expect a marked lightening of your teeth. Results will probably plateau at that point, and you can shift into a maintenance mode.
The first part of the two-step system is all about cleaning. The toothpaste contains a 0.454% concentration of stannous fluoride which helps fight cavities and gingivitis (gum disease, e.g.) and that will break up plaque and freshen breath. When you move to the second step, a gel that features hydrogen peroxide, you are applying a whitener to freshly cleaned teeth.
The 3D White Brilliance system will cost you more than you’ll pay for most whitening toothpaste, and the process is a bit more involved, but it will dramatically whiten most teeth over time.
Pros: Great low price choice, baking soda acts as safe abrasive, suitable for perpetual use
Cons: Some people dislike taste
I’ve been an Arm & Hammer toothpaste user for more than a decade, and every time I switch brands (say during travel or when we forgot to restock and I have to dip into the reserve mini tubes collected from dentist’s visits) my mouth never feels quite as clean.
Arm & Hammer uses baking soda in all sorts of products, and in this case, that’s the ingredient that provides safe, gentle abrasion to help break up plaque and tartar (hardened plaque, essentially) and remove surface stains. Fluoride is on hand to help prevent cavities and to kill off bacteria, and peroxide helps whiten your teeth.
I was tempted to make this product the number one pick, as it’s surely number one in my book, but while many people love the feel and the aftertaste of this baking soda-based toothpaste, an equal number of people hate the taste, so it’s not right for everyone.
Pros: Ideal for sensitive teeth, rebuilds enamel over time, gently lifts stains
Cons: Whitens slowly
If your teeth are sensitive, it most likely means is that you have weakened enamel which is leaving the sensitive interior of your teeth overexposed. This is usually caused by exposure to the acids found in everything from citrus fruit to coffee to wine — the very same things that leave stains and damage the appearance of your smile.
For sensitive teeth that are also not as white as you’d like, Sensodyne Pronamel Gentle Whitening Fluoride Toothpaste is a great choice. The formula is designed to help re-harden tooth enamel damaged by acids and to actively strengthen each tooth and prevent future damage. It is a low abrasion toothpaste, thus it won’t cause any enamel wear and tear itself, and it features fluoride to help fight off bacteria.
What this toothpaste does not feature is hydrogen peroxide, so it will not whiten as quickly as many other options. Rather than bleaching stains away, Sensodyne Pronamel Gentle Whitening Fluoride Toothpaste takes a longer approach to whitening, helping restore and refresh your teeth and to slowly but reliably remove stains and prevent new ones from forming.
If you get your teeth to a healthy, resilient state in which they are ready for more intense whitening, go ahead and switch brands. If you have always had sensitive teeth, then consider makingSensodyne Pronamel Gentle Whitening Fluoride Toothpaste your lifelong go-to choice.
Nobody likes going to the dentist, but if you take good care of your teeth between visits, the cleaning will go easier. We researched and tested many kinds of toothpaste to find the best ones you can buy.
We want you to keep your teeth healthy and strong for a lifetime. That’s why we’ve done the research to bring you five electric toothbrushes that we feel are the best choices for the most people.
We visited the top consumer websites, listened to actual product owners, and considered advice from dentists and dental hygienists when making our decisions. So go ahead and break out your favorite toothpaste. Healthy, clean white teeth are on their way.
There’s plenty to be said for the classic manual toothbrush: It can’t run out of batteries and it’s compact, lightweight, and portable.
We chose a wide array of manual toothbrushes, from the low-cost disposable brush you keep on hand for guests to the Cadillac-level manual toothbrush that the classic oral hygiene aficionado will appreciate to unique options, like charcoal-infused toothbrushes that might just help bring out your brightest, whitest smile ever.