So, this nail grinder is pretty awesome. It’s my go-to grinder for most animal nails. I won’t use it on tiny rodent or small parrot nails, but it’s great on the smallest of dogs nails to the biggest, thickest, hardest of dogs nails, and every kind in between. You could most certainly use it on cats and other nailed or clawed creatures down to about the size of a rabbit’s nails, but I wouldn’t go smaller than that. On the highest speeds, 3 and 4, you get something of a loud(ish) whine. I say “loud(ish)” because it’s not that bad compared to many other rotary grinding tools I’ve had the privilege of trying out. On the lower speeds, 1 and 2, which is all you’ll ever need for animal nails, it’s plenty powerful and quiet. The lowest speed (1) is VERY quiet, yet still powerful enough for most nails, yet, if you have the misfortune to catch it, it will “bog down” (stop spinning), only not as readily as some weaker rotary tools. I compared this grinder at the same time to the Dremel 8220, and the Hitachi is actually quieter. But keep it in perspective that this is a power tool, and animals often need to be (edit for active link to how-to) desensitized and counter conditioned to it’s use.
The light on the business end is very useful to see what you’re doing and the anti-vibration technology helps cut down on discomfort in your hand and on the animal’s nail, but I still recommend gently but firmly holding the nail between your thumb and forefinger so that you absorb the vibration instead of your animal getting the brunt of it.
It’s kind of bottom heavy, but once you get used to it, it counter balances well in your hand for a stable, non-fatiguing hold(picture in hand). Sometimes I rest the bottom half on the ground, if the angle of the nail grinding is compatible with this. I don’t use this with a “flex-shaft attachment” (edit picture), but it could be done. It also has a fold out hook (picture) if you want to hang it from something. The unit (not the grinding bit) never overheats in hand because of the internal fan and vents to allow for air circulation. These are strategically placed and don’t blow in the animal’s or your face. Yet, they’re well protected by a foam filter and haven’t ever sucked in hair/fur. (Close up shot, no open gaps)
The battery charges fast (show battery) (if you’re a professional groomer, I would still recommend getting a second battery to switch out) and it’s lithium-ion! This means no battery memory (I think?). I don’t run into any progressive weakening issues with this battery like I have with NiCad types on other rotary tools. The light on the charging unit changes colors to let you know when it’s done. (picture)
Changing out the bit is quickly and easily done without any wrench, you can just use your fingers. (pic)
It gets nails done fast! But it would be even better with 60 or 80 (rough) grit sanding bands or stones. You can get a single, overgrown nail done in just a few seconds with rough grit. Currently, I’m using a fine grit, diamond grinding drum. It seems to additionally cut down on the vibration over the rougher grits. (pic of bits)
It comes as a 47-piece kit with a hard or soft (it appears they offer both options) case. (pic)The attachments (bits, wrench, etc.)(pics) are all of high quality and stand up to your use and abuse. The bands actually stay put on the drums. These are the common universal size attachments, so you need not buy Hitachi brand name replacements!
I’m not going to lie. I treat this machine rough. I use it for a lot more than just nails and it’s a good little soldier.
It’s slightly cheaper (on Amazon) than the Dremel 8220 and has a longer warranty. Check out your local hardware big box and small box(?) stores. I’ve seen this model on sale for a little under $50.
So, to reiterate:
-Counter balances in hand
-No sucking in hair to the motor
-Ease of use
-High quality accessories
-You can find it at a very affordable price
-Lithium ion batteries, reliable performance
-Charger has charging status indicator light
-Batteries charge fast
-Has light near the bit end so you can see nails
-Comes with a storage case
-(Body) Doesn’t overheat in hand
-Is expensive from some places
-Doesn’t bog down as readily as weaker grinders
-Bottom heavy, can be awkward to hold until you get used to it
Pictures and video to come.