First off, keeping your fingernails and toenails at just the right length can mean the difference between a comfortable camping trip and one marked with a lot of unnecessary pain. Just ask OutsideOnline.com's Joe Jackson, who at one time had toenails so long that they cut deeply into his toes during one ski trip. They bled through his socks, and he very nearly sawed them all off with a multitool until his friend stepped in with his own pair of nail clippers. You do just about everything with your hands and feet, from trekking across terrain to setting up camp to preparing food. The last thing you want is for you to be unable to do any of these because a too-long toenail or fingernail got ripped off by a branch. Plus, short nails are less likely to contain dirt and germs that spread infections, so nail clippers can help you stay healthy too. (Related: The 6 unhealthy habits that are dirtier than a toilet bowl.)
But before you go crazy with a nail clipper, make it a point to avoid cutting them too short. Doing this exposes more of the skin on your fingertips, which in turn makes it increasingly vulnerable to the elements. As alpinist Steve House explained: “I see this especially in Alaska, where people know they’re not going to shower for three weeks and they do the mega cleanse, thinking, I’m going to cut my toenails and fingernails short so I don’t have to take this pair of clippers up Denali’s West Buttress. But it’s a classic beginner mistake, because you get into a cold, dry environment and your hands are constantly getting wet then drying, leading to horrendous, excruciating splits.”
Second, nail clippers can have other applications too. Need to shorten your fishing line or have a knot that needs untying? Use a nail clipper. Eyeglasses too loose because of a wonky screw? Use the nail file of your nail clipper. Forgot to pack your pocket knife? Your nail clipper will do in a pinch. Basically, a nail clipper can be used to make a lot of jobs a little easier.
When it comes to purchasing nail clippers, there are many factors that you have to take into consideration. Quality is an obvious one, but according to AskMen.com, you should also keep blade edges (curved for basic clipping, straight for pesky ingrown nails), gap (the blades should fully meet when closed), leverage (long handles for tough nails, short handles for quick trims), and tension (a nail clipper that needs too much pressure is bad for your nails and hands). With these in mind, here are some of the best nail clippers money can buy:
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