What’s That Silver Metal Bar On Dog Nail Trimmers For? And How Do You Use It?

I’ve been trimming my dogs’ nails for years

Still, I could never figure out what that little metal bar (on one side of claw-type dog nail trimmers) was supposed to be for.

Wondering what that little metal bar is on the one side of claw-type dog nail clippers? Learn what that is for...

Call me crazy, but it just always seems to be in the way.

I must be the last person on earth to figure out what that sliding silver metal piece on a nail trimmer is for!

Location Of The Little Metal Bar

Don’t know what I’m talking about?…

If you’re holding a pair of claw-type dog nail clippers in your hand, then you should notice a little metal spoon-shaped bar that’s wider on the farthest outside edge and gets narrower at the base where it attaches to the trimmer itself (via a big bolt or screw).

nail trimmer for dogs - safety quick sensor

Does It Get In Your Way, Too?

If you use this type of nail clipper, then perhaps you’d agree with me that little bar just gets in the way more than anything else. It seems to have a mind of its own, doesn’t it?… It always seems to be rotating from left to right for no reason whenever I’m trimming my dog’s nails.

claw type dog nail clippers - the silver metal bar is a safety bar / nail quick sensor

Well, come to find out, I wasn’t exactly doing it right.

Yep, that tiny little piece plays a very important role in the process of trimming a dog’s nails!

It’s called a safety stop bar. It’s also known as a quick sensor and a safety guard and a quick guard sensor.

Here’s how to use it…

Instead of pushing it to the side so you can have full view of the dog’s nail from both sides of the trimmer (like I usually do), you’re supposed to keep the metal bar perfectly aligned in the center “open” space between the 2 blades — perpendicular to the dog’s nail — so you don’t cut off too much of the dog’s toenail.

Who knew?!

You Don’t Have To Use The Safety Bar

nail trimmers for dogs with silver bar - quick sensor

Obviously, you can use a claw-type nail trimmer for dogs without taking advantage of this nifty little safety stop bar / nail quick sensor.

I would venture to guess that most people do like me and just push it to the side.

But, if you’re new to trimming a dog’s nails, then it only makes sense to try using it — so you don’t cut too close to the quick.

My problem with the safety stop bar:
Toenail length isn’t a standard measure. All dogs’ toenails are different lengths — especially at different times of the year and depending on how recently they had their nails trimmed prior to this.

So it’s different for any given dog on any given day. And no toenail trimmer — safety bar in place or not — will perfectly “measure” the amount of nail you need to cut off. For me, I’d rather just “eyeball it”.

To play it safe, I always do very small snips — sometimes, up to 7 or 8 times — until I get close enough that I can see the quick inside the nail. I find this the safest way to make sure you don’t get too close.


So… I guess, since I keep my dog’s nails fairly short and trim them on a regular basis, that bar really does get in the way more than it helps — in my case.

Hmmmm, maybe I wasn’t so crazy after all!

Did you know what that bar was for?….