Monthly Archives: June 2021

Choosing instruments for your practice

Choosing instruments for your practice is largely a personal decision. However, the vast array of nippers, files and probes can often be daunting, especially for newly qualified practitioners. There are a few key considerations which will help you select the most suitable instruments to meet your individual needs.  

Which nail nippers should I choose?

The first thing to consider is for what purpose will you be using the nipper?  Fine pointed nippers are designed for ingrown nail trimming and general-purpose nippers for nail cutting.

Fine Pointed Nipper

Podopro 13cm Angled Ingrown Nipper
Available for £20.95 (ex VAT)
Code: SW632

General Purpose Nipper

Podopro 14cm Straight General-Purpose Nipper
Available for £23.95 (ex VAT)

Code: SW79415

Fine Pointed Nippers are sometimes used incorrectly for general purpose work as some practitioners find them easier and lighter to handle. Using a fine pointed nipper for general purpose work will reduce the longevity of the nipper and cause it to quickly become blunt. If you are more comfortable handling smaller or lighter nippers, we recommend you consider the PodoPro Petite Nipper Range. At only 12cm and up to 40% lighter than equivalent full size general purpose, Petite Nippers offer the strength and pattern of a standard general purpose nipper but in a smaller size which is easier to grip if you have smaller hands.

Petite Nippers

Podopro Petite Concave General-Purpose Nipper 12cm
Available for £23.95 (ex VAT)
Code: PET794

When selecting ingrown nippers, think about how many different sizes you will require, ingrown nippers are available in 4 different lengths with a variety of patterns from very fine for delicate work up to regular size ingrown nippers. Most practitioners will have at least 2 different sized ingrown nippers within their instrumentation.    

General Purpose Nippers are also available in a choice of options but there is not really a need to hold different styles as they will all fulfil the same purpose. There is the option of a straight or concave head plus smooth or patterned handles, but your selection here can be made purely on personal preference. Cantilever General Purpose Nippers are also available, these are designed for use with gryphotic or dystrophic nails and will cut through these larger, thickened nails more easily than standard general-purpose nippers, putting less sprain on the practitioner’s hand and wrist. 

Are Solingen nippers worth the extra investment?

If you are used to working with Solingen nippers and take good care of your instruments, then they are undoubtedly worth the additional investment.  Solingen nippers are manufactured to a very high level of workmanship, offering a more refined instrument that you should find smoother and more comfortable to use. To preserve the more pleasant user experience of Solingen nippers it will be essential to ensure your instruments are well cared for and maintained. 

Whichever nippers you choose whether they be our Cutlass Solingen or our competitively priced PodoPro range proper maintenance and cleaning is vital to ensure the longevity of the nipper. A set of instruments will often go through in excess of 1,000 sterilisation cycles per year and they are therefore some of the most heavily used items within your practice equipment. As part of your decontamination process, the following should be carried out:

  1. Pre-soak to remove tissue residues
  2. Clean in an ultrasonic cleaner or manually scrub
  3. Lubricate prior to sterilisation to protect joints and hinges using specialist medical grade lubricant
  4. Steam sterilise in an autoclave
  5. Remove from the autoclave as soon as the cycle ends (leaving instruments in a damp autoclave will cause staining on the instruments)

What other instruments will I require alongside nippers?

This will depend on the treatment being offered.  Most practitioners will have instrument sets comprising of a nipper, blacks file, blade handle and diamond deb foot file.  For more complex procedures such as nail surgery a wider range of instruments will be required.  Many practitioners opt to use reusable instruments for general treatments and use Sterile Single Use Procedure Packs for Nail Surgery.  Alongside our extensive range of reusable instruments, DLT also stock Susol Single Use Nail Surgery PNA Sets.

Susol single-use Nail Surgery (PNA) Set
Available for just £9.50 (ex VAT)
Code: SUSDP03

How many instruments will I need?

After determining which instruments you feel most comfortable working with its time decide how many sets you think you will need. This will largely depend on how many patients you intend to treat per day, how often you plan to run your autoclave and where you intend to work. As a guide we recommend purchasing 10 to 12 sets of instruments per practitioner when starting out, as this should normally provide sufficient instruments for a day in practice. As your practice becomes busier it is likely you will need to run at least one sterilisation cycle within the working day or alternatively purchase additional sets of instruments.

Here is an example starter package based on the most popular instruments we sell.

General Purpose Nipper either Straight or Concave12
Fine Pointed Nipper Regular 13cm4
Fine Pointed Nipper Delicate2
Blacks File Standard6
Blacks File Fine6
Dressing Scissors2
Swann Morton No 3 Blade Handles12
Diamond Deb Foot Dressers12
Diamond Burr12

If you treat a large number of patients off site in one session such as in a nursing home, you may find Sterile Single Use Procedure Packs more convenient.  It is also handy to have a few of these sets in clinic in case of autoclave breakdowns or last minute patient bookings.  DLT stocks the Susol Single Use Nail Care Sets. 

Susol single-use Nail Care Set
Available for just £3.90 (ex VAT)

DLT offers a large selection of instruments including our competitively priced Podopro range and premium quality Cutlass Solingen range. If you require further help and advice in selecting podiatry instruments or would like a quotation for starter sets, please contact Sales on 01484 641010 or email