Settle a disagreement. How do you cut your toenails?

My wife and I disagree about how to cut our toenails.

I cut my toe nails in a rounded fashion, in the same way I cut fingernails. They are rounded, short, and smooth.

My wife, however, says that you are supposed to cut them in a straight line(which she does using those large toenail clippers). Actually, she says that the real correct way is to cut a V shape on your toenails, so they grow towards the middle. A foot doctor told her this was the right way.

Is there a right way to cut your toenails, and if so, what is it?

How do you cut your toenails? Is one of us right and the other wrong?


No, this isn’t an argument; we’re just curious.

Straight across is how I do it. That’s how they always do it when I get a pedicure and how I’ve always done it.

Rounding seems to cause more ingrown toenails from what I understand. Thankfully I’ve never had one, I’ve heard they are painful.

I guess it makes more sense to cut them straight because it would probably cut down on ingrown toenails. That said, I cut them round and haven’t had an ingrown toenail.

Rounded, like fingernails.

I’ve been told by one GP and one podiatrist to cut them straight across. This matches “Fixing Your Feet” (foot care book for endurance athletes) - the author also recommends keep the edges nicely smooth with a nail file or emery board (all this is to help prevent toenail injuries and loss). Cutting them curved so that the sides are shorter leads to ingrown nails according to my doctors (I used to have that problem all the time).

Straight across: recommended for diabetic foot care as well.


Stick 'em in my mouth and bite them down, same as my fingernails. Why?

Only if you also gnaw off and eat the excess callous on the edges.

Etiquette, people, please.

I’ve always been told to cut in a straight line, but my partner was told to do the V in the middle cut to prevent ingrowns. So she’s not the only one who’s ever heard that advice, but it sure does look funny when they’re cut that way.

As long as you do it in private, I don’t care.

(Straight across, with the notch if you tend to ingrown.)

If you smooth the edges of the “V” and paint them bright red, it’s kind of cute.

Takes off sock

Rounded on the bigger toes and straight on the smaller ones that can be easily cut in one motion.

Vox Imperatoris

I don’t know who the PR firm was who instilled in me as a kid (1970s) to cut my toenails straight across or Adolf Hitler would be riding shotgun in my car! but it appears to have worked.

Or something like that.

Uh, I just cut off the white part, whatever shape it is.

I had to have ingrowns removed when I was a teenager. It’s not pretty. My big toenails have strangely straight sides. My podiatrist said the ingrowns will happen again unless I cut straight across forever.

I was told every time I cut my nails when I was a kid that I’d get ingrown toenails. 15 years later haven’t had a one of them.

My toenails are actually rather brittle, so I don’t generally get a chance to cut them…as soon as enough to cut grows past the base, it snaps off. Except for my left big toenail, which I have to cut off, because it doesn’t break off evenly, and tries to stay attached at the inside, so it ends up in kind of a ‘check mark’ shape.


I’ve had a recurring ingrown nail on the big toe on my left foot for about 30 years. ‘Recurring’ only when I don’t cut the ‘V’ notch in the middle of the nail, and holy crap, an ingrown nail is painful. Like, can’t wear a sock, can’t let the bedsheet rest on my foot, painful. I try to be vigilant, and as an adult I’m pretty good about it, but there have been a few times that I figured, nah, it won’t happen this time. Then it does.

So straight across on all my toes, but a notch in the big toes.

Right now I have my fingernail clippers and my toenail clippers both in front of me.

The blades on the fingernail clippers are concave (curved inward) somewhat, which allows me to cut my fingernails roundedly.

The blades on my toenail clippers go straight across, or are very slightly convex, allowing me to cut my toenails straight across.

I think that settles the question.

I’ve had an ingrown toenail surgically removed. Not a pretty sight.
Straight across is the way to go.