Longer Life For Your Hoof Nippers

A little careful file work and scheduling rebuilds will help you get more horses out of this important hoof-care tool

When hoof nippers lose their sharp edge and develop small nicks, the blades are showing signs of wear. A widened gap between the blades and rounded corners are from normal wear. It’s natural for farriers to look for a way to resharpen their nippers.

Before you grab a file and start filing the edges and the stops, here are a few dos and don’ts to help extend the life of your hoof nippers.

What You Want

With new chrome vanadium hoof nippers, the blades are level on the top of the heads and the cutting edges have a small shoulder to back up the leading edge. The blades have a gap of just about .005-inch to keep them from touching.


Figure 2. To touch up the stops, use a 6- or 8-inch smooth-cut file. Keep the file level with the stops.

The handles are set to a specific width to help the farrier load them up for smooth cuts. Hoof nippers are aligned and sharpened by hand, and will cut a business card with a clean, crisp snap across the cutting edge.

The initial cost of some hoof nippers is offset by every-time precision cuts. The extra money spent gives you a reliable, high-quality tool.

Touching Up

This pair of hoof nippers (Figure 1 Above) has seen a lot of use, but has been taken care of. The cutting edges show normal wear. While a diamond file could be used to touch up the edges between rebuilds, these stops have…

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