Best Nail Clippers Not Made in China

Best Nail Clippers Not Made in China

I remember when I was a kid one pair of nail clippers would always be sharp and would last forever. Like everyone else as I grew up I noticed that nail clippers would start out sharp but get dull right away (and it is of course NO FUN to try to cut nails with a dull blade, where the nail doesn’t cut cleanly or worse, the nail clipper twists or falls completely apart.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that there are tons of options for nail clippers not made in China. Even two of the top three recommendations from Wirecutter are made in Japan, something I’ve never seen given how much Wirecutter loves China.

In addition to these, there are nice options from South Korea, Germany, and the U.S. In a pattern we’ve seen so many times, big brands foolishly chase cheap manufacturing, leaving opportunity for smaller brands to continue to innovate and take pride in their craftsmanship.

While the vast majority of Americans still go for the cheapest price and end up paying for it in the long run, hopefully, people are realizing that it makes more sense to buy one $20 nail clipper that’ll last you for years rather than buying “disposable” nail clippers that break after two uses.


Best Nail Clippers Not Made in China

1. Seki Edge SS-112

This nail clipper brand made the list of both Wirecutter and New York Magazine. New York Magazine’s information is actually a little more up-to-date; while Wirecutter recommended the Green Bell Nail Clippers, New York Magazine accurately reported that the new Seki Edge SS-112, made by the same company, improves upon both the Green Bell model and previous versions of the Seki Edge and unlike Green Bell is marketed to the US market.

You can get the Seki Edge 112 for about $20. The Green Bell is still available for sale by third party sellers in Japan; the price will fluctuate depending on the third party sellers but will tend to be lower. Both models have an ergonomic grip.

Whatever model you get, you’ll get some of the sharpest blades you’ll find in a nail clipper, expertly crafted by the same craftspeople in Seki City Japan who perfected the art of making samurai swords, and then knives and cutlery. Judging from the reviews on this thing, $20 is a small price to pay for perfectly cut nails.

2. No-mes Fingernail Clipper

While other American brands have long since abandoned United States manufacturing, I was happy to see that No-mes still makes their products here in the USA.

If you’ve ever dealt with fingernails flying across the room you’ll appreciate No-mes. They patented a design that catches clipping and holds them neatly until you empty it. Something else I love about No-mes clippers is that the handle doesn’t swivel; if you’re like me, another painful part of clipping nails with cheap nail clippers are those occasional moments when the handle swivels while you’re clipping, twisting your fingernail as you attempt to cut it (ouch). Or just as bad, sometimes when I’m cutting my nails with cheap clippers the handle will come apart altogether. Not so with this wonderful bit of American ingenuity.

This was one of those products where I’m sure there was a lot of pressure to outsource to China. Kudos for the executives at No-mes for staying loyal to their own country, unlike certain other companies (cough…Trim…cough).

3. Muji Nail Clipper

This was named as the best “budget” option from Wirecutter.

I was pleasantly surprised a few months ago when I visited my local Muji store in New York City. When I visited a few years ago, it seemed that every single product had been outsourced to China. Whether it’s the 2018 tariffs or Japan generally waking up to the fact that it’s generally not healthy to feed the hand that bites you, I was happy to see it. I even bought a toilet brush made in Japan for about $7.

Like the previous two nail clippers these Muji nail clippers are super sharp. They include a plastic cover to catch clippings.

4. Royal Wide Jaw Toenail Clipper

Okay, I’m not crazy about the image of toenail fungus that greets me when I visit this page, but I suppose they made their point. These Royal clippers are perfect if you have thick or tough nails that take ordinary clippers several tries to cut; they open wider and take less pressure to cut thick nails.

They’re made in South Korea by a company that’s been making metal products for over 60 years. They’re also extremely affordable.

5. Steinder® 360 Rotation Easy Nail Clippers Set 

Here’s another great set out of Korea. These are a pair of nail clippers with a swivel head to help you get a precise cut and shape. Like the other clippers on this page, it’s made with premium-grade stainless steel and built to last with precise, sharp cuts each time.

6. Three Seven Nail Clipper

This 777 Nail Clipper is also made in Korea by a company that’s been in business since 1975 and is breaking into the American market, no thanks to Amazon who makes them nearly impossible to find amid all the China-made junk that dominates the search results. This is a beautiful and straightforward nail clipper that’s received rave reviews. I like the fact that the manufacturer sells directly.

They also sell a toenail clipper that’s also gotten rave reviews.

7. Kai X Seki Mago Roku Finger Nail Clipper

Back to Japan. These Kai nail clippers are made by the same Kai that produces excellent knives and they’re also made in Seki, Japan. Even though it’s a finger nail clipper, it’s strong enough to handle tough finger and toenails. Reviews rave about how sharp the blades are, so much so that your nails don’t “pop” when you cut them.

8. PrettyClaw Finger Nail and Toenail Clipper

Here’s another one out of South Korea; it’s essentially the same basic design as standard nail clippers like Trim (and is very competitively priced), with the exception of it having the beautiful words “MADE IN KOREA” on the top as opposed to CHINA. Not surprisingly, despite its great reviews and its price, it’s not showing up anywhere near the top of Amazon’s search results. But if you’re looking for a basic, no-frills model with a straight edge, this is the one for you.

9. Germanikure Professional Nail Clipper

These nail clippers are made in Soligen, Germany. Like Seki, Japan, Soligen is known for its knife making, producing some of the world’s best knives from that city and region. This nail clipper is priced at a premium, but reviewers rave about its surgical steel, hand-sharpened edge, and precision rivets from Switzerland’s clockwork industry. This is the Rolls Royce of nail clippers.

10. Victorinox Nail Clip 580 Swiss Army Knife

Speaking of Switzerland, these nail clippers are made by Victorinox, the company that makes Swiss Army knives. This product is an actual Swiss Army Knife with scissors, a nail file, a knife, and a nail clipper built-in. I can’t count the number of times I’ve needed a nail clipper in a pinch to cut a hangnail, cut fishing line, take off a product tag, and ton of other things. This seems like the perfect solution.

Like all of their other knives, these are made in Switzerland.

If you’d like more of a traditional nail clipper, Victorinox makes those too out of Switzerland. This model isn’t just a nail clipper, but doubles as a screwdriver and a nail file. It’s made of the same high quality stainless steel the rest of their products are made of.

If you’d like an actual Swiss Army Knife with a nail clipper built in, they make those too.


Overall, I was pretty pleased with this category. On the one hand, it’s exactly the kind of cheap product that American corporate executives don’t think twice about sending to China to maximize their profit margins; their philosophy is to sell it as cheap as possible, and get even cheaper manufacturing.

On the other hand, I love the fact that craftspeople from cities such as Seki and Soligen aren’t giving up without a fight. Their gamble is that if they continue to innovate their products and use the highest quality materals—materials generally reserved for high-end cutlery—then customers will come.

It’s a big gamble, and one that many companies have lost. And yes, it is disheartening to search Amazon for “nail clippers” and see a page full of China-made junk when treasures like this are also available on their site. Even more disturbing, China brands absolutely dominate Amazon’s organic results, even though many of these American, South Korean, Japanese, and German brands have far more positive reviews and sales. Something is really rotten at Amazon, but the only way we can fight it is to get the word out that you don’t have to live with a “disposable” nail clipper, but one crafted with pride and the best materials.

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