If you own a horse, you might agree that trimming its hooves is vital. If hooves are neglected and allowed to overgrow, they become sore, causing your horse a lot of pain. That, in turn, creates walking problems for your horse.
Using the best hoof nippers to trim the hooves has great benefits. It maintains the natural shape of equine legs, thus aiding the animal to have the right gait. That way, the horse gets to walk without any issues and it remains safe from lameness.
Apart from that, clean, well-trimmed hooves look beautiful.
If you're in the market for the ideal equine hoof nippers, you've landed on the right page. Here, you will learn some of the top-rated models while discovering how to choose.
Let’s dive in.
With regard to equine care, Tough 1 Is recognized as a top-quality brand. When consumers want durable horse tack and equipment that are also affordable, the brand comes to mind.
The Tough 1 Heavy Duty is a strong and resilient pair of nippers. It is so well-made that it cuts through the toughest hoofs with incredible ease of use. What is surprising though, is that even if your horse is a draft horse that carries heavy loads, the nipper will still do its work easily.
Wondering how the unit achieves that?
First, it has pretty sharp blades. The tool arrives at your door already razor-sharp, meaning you don't even have to sharpen it. Moreover, the fine-steel edge is so high-grade that it can last a lifetime with the same superb strength.
Secondly, the unit is designed with the farrier in mind. The long handles, for instance, provide an adequate gripping surface, so you can do your job comfortably.
The nippers open wide enough so the blades fit around the outer and inner wall of the hoof of most horses. Thankfully, the mechanism, which comes pre-oiled, moves smoothly, making operation a cinch.
Furthermore, the length of the handles provides good leverage for the clipping mechanism, so you don’t have to apply much effort.
Another fantastic feature is the rubber cushions on the handles. These protect your palms from the hard metal surface, ensuring your hands don’t hurt. They make it practical to work with the clippers for long durations.
If you want the hoof nippers that will get even the toughest jobs done, be sure to check out the Tough 1 Heavy Duty Hoof Nipper. It is strong and durable, affordable, and easy to use.
If you're a serious DIYer in the US, chances are that you've heard about Channellock. It is one of the most well-known sellers of hand tools here, with its pliers being some of the most popular in the market.
The company hasn’t been left behind in the equine hoof clipping industry. Its Channellock 148-10 Cutting Nipper Plier is the preferred tool for many farriers. This tool offers strength, performance, and ease of use. Let’s take a closer look.
First and foremost, the tool is constructed with performance in mind. In that regard, the blades and handles are made from a high-carbon steel alloy. This is a pretty heavy-duty material that is tough and resilient. It stands up to repeated use and can last a lifetime.
Because of the quality material the blade is made from, it has an unbelievable edge-holding capacity.
You needn't worry about sharpening it because it comes already sharp enough to cut through the toughest hoofs.
I like the meticulous design of the blades. They are well-positioned, which making them mate perfectly, and thus make cuts effectively. The handles open them wide enough, thereby allowing the blades to surround the hoofs of any horse in readiness for the cut.
Speaking of the handles, these are shorter than the ones on Tough 1. They measure 10 inches, which, unlike the 14 inches on Tough 1, are more suited for people with smaller hands.
10 inches is still long enough, so you have adequate gripping surface and a decent amount of leverage.
Rust is one of the worst enemies of metal. But it’s not something to fret about when using the Channellock 148-10 Cutting Nipper Plier. The handles are covered with a quality black finish that provides excellent rust protection.
Another amazing feature is the rubber grips, which enable comfortable operation.
3. Diamond 14D Hoof Nipper, 14-Inch
Do you know what makes a good pair of hooves nippers? Construction. When a unit is well made, it is strong and sharp enough to cut efficiently.
What makes the Diamond 14D Hoof Nipper a worthy pick is that it features a decent construction.
Diving into that, the tool is made of high-grade steel on the jaws while the handles are made of plastic. To make the active part, the jaws, even sturdier, the manufacturer applies heat treatment on them. That’s why the jaws of this unit are exceedingly tough. They hold with a powerful grip, and as they are sharp, the cut is quick and easy.
If you’re looking for a clipper that will help you finish the task quickly, the Diamond 14D will do. How that is achieved is that there is enough space underneath the jaws to make possible the biting off of large portions.
In addition, the handles open wide and so do the jaws. That way, the hoof is held properly and firmly for effective trimming.
The mechanism is something many users boast about. With these nippers, jamming will be a thing of the past. They open and close smoothly almost without ever getting stuck. This makes operation extremely convenient.
Using metal tools in a cold environment, can, at times, be uncomfortable. Imagine the cold surface when you hold it. Thankfully, the Diamond 14D comes with features to make it more hospitable no matter the weather. Its plastic grips insulate the metal, keeping the cold at bay.
Having a farrier take care of your horses’ or donkeys’ hooves can be very convenient. The specialist, charged with equine hoof care and shoe design, is trained to perform the job trimming those hooves effectively and safely.
But still, as a horse owner, you may want to have your own pair of trimmers. Perhaps the farrier is not available and the time is due for trimming, or you want to give your animals that pedicure before time. In such situations, your nippers will come in handy.
The main thing that folks love about the Intrepid International Hoof Nippers is that it is budget-friendly. It is one of the inexpensive units I have encountered that packs a decent amount of quality.
The first thing that depicts quality here is the construction. This unit is forged from hardened steel, which gives plenty of strength.
That being said, I did find that the unit is not strong enough for the extra tough hooves. If you’re a farrier, and you usually encounter all sorts of hooves, these nippers will not be a very suitable pick.
But if you’re a horse owner and your animals don’t have the toughest hooves, such as one of those draft horses, then the nippers will work just fine. They will hold the horse till the farrier comes to do the trim properly.
You will definitely enjoy the handles. Covered with a piece of insulating plastic, they don’t get cold and they’re also quite comfortable to work with.
Build for the professionals, the Diamond N10 Nail Cutting Nipper is extremely tough and will see you through many hooves of ranging degrees of hardness.
The first thing about this is that they’re made for those who love a shorter grip. With a handle length of 10 inches, these make it possible to grip more closely.
You’ll find that the handle provides a good amount of leverage without being overly long. I only wish handles had a rubberized surface for insulation and comfort.
What makes the nippers unique is how easily they cut. The blades, made of heat-treated steel, slice through the hoof as easily as butter. Apart from the material, another feature that makes these blades so good is the way they’re designed. They are positioned in an improved beveled angle that cuts very efficiently.
Something you will find quite convenient is the wide throat beneath the jaws. It has ample space to accommodate the largest masses of hoof material. That, coupled with the fact that the jaws open wide, makes it possible to complete the work quicker.
Imagine getting your nippers but having to sharpen them before use. That's the harsh reality many farriers have to put up with. But the N10 come already sharpened and razor-sharp, so there's no need to sharpen. Moreover, their quality edge holds for many years.
For a high-quality pair of nippers for professional hoof trimming, get the Diamond N10.
Diamond is certainly one of the finest quality brands in the market, which is the reason there are several of its models in these hoof nippers reviews.
For people with big hands who are looking for the nippers that are the easiest to use, the Diamond FN15 is a perfect selection. The main reason why that is so is that it comes with pretty long handles measuring in at 15 inches. With such a length, you have enough leverage to slice through hoof walls with little effort. Also, the gripping surface is adequate for both a long and a short grip.
What I truly loved about the unit is the quality it offers. If you’re a professional dealing with thousands of hooves, you might agree that horses have wide-ranging hooves. Some are soft but others are exceedingly tough.
The reason why FN15’s quality is superior is that it is constructed to deal with all types of hooves. Whether the hoof is soft or tough as a piece of leather, the heat-hardened blade slices through it like butter.
What’s amazing about the blade is that it comes already sharpened, making it possible to use the nippers as soon as they arrive. The edge is set in a way that the jaws mate precisely, which improves not only the accuracy but also the efficiency of cutting.
I have observed that many nippers in the market come with a protruding rivet (bolt holding the two parts together). What this alignment does is that it obstructs your line of vision to the jaws, therefore keeping you from cutting accurately.
But things are different with the FN15. It comes with a recessed rivet, so you have a clear vision of what you’re doing. This improves accuracy.
Do you like clipping hooves with one hand? A very long pair of nippers is probably not what you need. A shorter pair would be more appropriate. The Miniature Hoof Nipper, whose handles are only 10 inches long, works perfectly for one-handed operation.
If you have smaller hands and need something that will fit, this might be just the model for you.
Aside from that, the unit is very well-made. It is drop-forged from one of the sturdiest tool-building materials – chrome vanadium steel. Thus, it is extremely resilient, withstanding repeated use for a lifetime. In fact, if you’re a professional, you will appreciate the performance of the little unit.
The blades are super sharp, which gives them the power to slice the hoof wall with incredible ease. They’re also situated in a manner that cuts the hooves precisely, so you don’t end up with uneven edges.
I liked how widely the jaws open. In their completely open position, there is a space of 1.5 inches, enough to fit most hoof walls.
The weight of the unit is another factor I have to talk about. Weighing in at 15 ounces, the tool is lightweight enough for prolonged use without exhaustion.
But what I really appreciated about this clipper is that even though the quality is at a professional level, the price is still affordable.
If you’re looking for a robust hoof clipping tool with great strength and sturdiness, and that you can operate with one hand, then you might want to try the Miniature Hoof Nipper.
Hooves are perhaps the toughest part of a horse’s external body parts. Particularly if your horse carries loads or people regularly, the hooves are likely to be so tough that conventional tools will not cut through them.
That is why it matters to think about the material of the nippers before purchasing them.
In the world of equine hoof nippers, vanadium steel is one of the respected materials. This is an extremely strong metal that stands up to the difficult task of cutting hoof walls.
Thus, Equinez Tools Hoof Nipper, which is made of this material, is a good choice. With its vanadium steel construction, the tool is so strong that it doesn’t matter if the beast is a draft horse. With the unit’s heavy-duty jaws, you get to cut through smoothly as though you were cutting butter.
Apart from the cutting power, another benefit that comes from this robust construction is that the unit lasts. Forget those inferior units that got ruined in a couple of months. This one normally lasts a lifetime.
The handle is quite long – 15 inches. With that length, you have adequate space to hold your nippers close to the jaws or farther away.
By holding the handles farther from the jaws, you get to cut with maximum leverage and minimum effort.
There is just one shortcoming I have observed here. Sometimes, the unit is shipped with dull cutting surfaces. On the brighter side, sharpening the edge with diamond stones is not that difficult. It can be done in 15 minutes. Again, the edge doesn’t always arrive dull. It happens only occasionally.
Operating a pair of hoof clippers with both hands is very efficient, but let’s face it. There are those of us who like to use one hand or have to do so for one reason or the other.
For instance, you could be working alone, so that there’s no one to hold the hoof for you as you operate. In that case, a unit that is specially designed for one-handed clipping becomes very useful.
The Prorider Vanadium Steel Mini Nipper is one of the finest models I have come across that is designed that way. Let’s see how.
On one handle, the wide hook with a design to conform to the human hand. Your palm can rest easily in there. On the other handle, there is a narrower hook, designed to hold the average person’s thumb or finger. This innovation is meant to introduce a high degree of comfort. It makes the nippers very easy to use.
As you can guess from the title, this is a small-size nipper. It has a length of 10 inches, meaning the gripping surface is not substantial. The jaws, too, are not that large, and they may not fully hold the hoof wall of the big horses.
Because of these reasons, the unit is suitable as a nipper for full-grown horses. Bit for foals and small horses and donkeys, the clippers work like a charm.
The material is one of the awesome features. It is made of chrome vanadium steel, one of the toughest materials used to make clippers, and which assures performance and longevity. The blades are both sharpened and beveled to ensure the cutting efficiency stays high.
Winding up our list is the Heepdd Horse Farrier Hoof Trim Tool Kit.
This product is a little different from the others in that rather than coming with just a nipper, it comes with everything needed. You get a nipper, a horseshoe file, and a knife.
If you’re a home farrier looking for the complete package to do the work, then this is it. Once you get it, you can trim your animals’ hooves immediately.
Let’s see what each of the items in the package has to offer.
With a length of 8.7 inches, the knife is just the right size for scraping off the excess part of the hoof. It comes razor-shape, so cutting with it is effortless. The tool’s wooden handle is strong yet comfortable to work with, and amazingly, it is well-shaped for use by hand.
The file is 16.5 inches long. It is made of steel and its surface is highly textured and rough. This heavy-duty tool sands the surface effectively and without needing too much effort. You will love the rubberized handle on one end of the file, which provides a comfortable grip.
Lastly, there is the clipper. It is a 13-inch long apparatus that provides you with enough space for a two-handed operation. Although it is not professional-grade, the unit has features that make trimming hooves at home easy and convenient.
For instance, it comes with a relatively sharp edge. Though it doesn’t cut very precisely or cleanly, its work will suffice till you can get a professional farrier to finish the task. The rubber covers on the handles insulate the nippers and make them comfortable to use.
Hoof Nippers Buying Guide
When looking for the horse hoof nippers, ask yourself whether it fits you. Size is the main factor that will determine this. In that regard, you ought to go for a pair that fits well in your hands and gives a safe and comfortable grip.
Apart from that, you want a tool that gets the job done. Not some piece of crap that hardly cuts.
Well, here are the major factors to consider when looking for the right pair of horse hoof nippers.
Material is a vital factor for two reasons. First, it determines how well the unit works, and secondly, it determines whether or not the unit will last.
Realize that although steel is the commonest material used to forge nippers, the quality of the steel differs.
Make sure that the steel of the pair you’re about to get is high-grade. It should be heavy-duty steel or a steel alloy like chrome-vanadium steel. Most importantly, the steel should be heat-treated, even if only at the jaws, as this boosts the strength and longevity of the tools.
For cutting efficiency and durability, the blade should be very sharp and extremely hard.
No one wants to start thinking about sharpening the tool when it arrives. We all want to get down to business immediately. That is why it’s important to look for a unit that comes with its blade already super sharp.
What determines the hardness is the material that the blade is forged from. Obviously, you ought to go for a pair of nippers made of high-quality steel from the handles to the blades. One made of carbon steel, such as the Channellock 148-10 Cutting Nipper Plier, which is discussed in the review, packs an incredible amount of sturdiness. However, any quality steel, like vanadium steel, is okay.
The important thing to look for is heat treatment. To know whether the blades were heat-treated, hold them out against the light. You should see a distinct line on each of them, as the place where the heat varied the metal’s look.
The handle plays a huge role in determining whether you find the pair of nippers easy and comfortable to use or not.
Picking a trimmer that has a good handle is important because it ensures you have a solid grip. That way, you’re in a position to deliver strong and accurate cuts.
If you’re just getting started, I would advise you to look for a handle with a padded or rubberized gripping surface. The pad or rubber insulates the surface, keeping it from getting too cold if you’re working in a chilly atmosphere. Moreover, it prevents your hands from getting sore when working for long periods.
The material of the handle also matters. Many models have a hard-plastic handle, but for durability, go for nippers with a heavy-duty steel handle.
Finally, we have the size. Understand that equine hoof nippers come in different sizes. The main dimension used is the length, which usually varies from 10 inches to 15 inches.
10-inch long nippers are considered short/small, while the 15-inch ones are considered long/big.
Normally, your choice of size depends on the size of your hands. If you have small hands, go for 10-inch units, but if you have big hands, then the 15-inch units suit your better.
Another consideration is whether you like one-handed or two-handed operation. You’ll find that mostly, the long nippers have to be operated using both hands. But you can use one hand to operate the short models.
Also, the small units are used more for foals and minis and other animals like goats, while the big ones are used for regular/big horses.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an equine hoof nipper?
An equine horse nipper is a tool that resembles a pair of pliers, which farriers use to trim the hoof wall of horses. It usually has a sharp blade made of steel that cuts through the hard hoof material. Hoof nippers come with different handle sizes between 10 inches and 15 inches.
What will happen if I do not trim the hoof of my horse?
If your horse does not travel many kilometers frequently, and over different surfaces, the hoof will overgrow. The overgrown hoof will get sore and painful for the horse, and it might also cause the horse to develop an unnatural gait. That is why trimming the hooves on a regular basis is crucial.
In case you’re wondering how wild horses trim their hooves, they travel long distances over varying surfaces. That wears their hooves, preventing them from overgrowing.
Is it possible to trim my horse’s hooves myself?
Domestic horses should have their hooves trimmed every three to four weeks. In case your professional farrier is not available, or in case you have just one horse and you want to save money, you can do the task yourself.
Trimming your horse’s hooves yourself is not complicated. All you need is a good pair of nippers. Take care not to go too deep though.
Does it hurt the horse when I trim his hoof?
A hoof is just like the nails on your toes. It does not contain nerve endings. Hence, as long as you’re not going too deep, the horse will not feel pain at all.
If you take your horse’s foot health seriously, it is time to invest in the best hoof nippers. With the gadget, you’ll be able to keep the animal’s hooves trimmed, so they don’t end up becoming sore and causing walking difficulties. Moreover, you’ll keep the animal’s feet looking clean and beautiful.
As you've seen in the review, there is a range of options. The models come in a variety of sizes, materials, and so on. Therefore, it is up to you to get the unit with the features that suit you.
If you have small hands or just need something you can comfortably use with one hand, try a 10-inch model like the Diamond N10, which is discussed above. And if you have big hands or need a tool you can use comfortably with both hands, a longer model like the 14-inch Tough 1 Heavy Duty Hoof Nipper will serve you beautifully.