Technical Specifications and the Significance of Horse Hoof Nippers
Horse hoof nippers are an integral part of Farrier tools and equipment and used in the first step of trimming a horse’s feet. Trimming has a two-stage effect. Removing the part of overgrown hoof not only enhances foot health but also makes them look beautiful and well balanced. This one act of trimming ensures that the natural shape of the hoof is followed and the gait of the horse is true and natural. An overgrown hoof can lead to a horse being prone to lameness and having problems while walking.
Styles of Horse Hoof Nippers
Even though this tool is the foundation of hoof-care with the focus on removing the surplus growth of the hoof wall, nippers are not standardized tools and are available in different specifications. Generally, 12-inch nippers are used for show horses, racehorses, foals, and those with weak hand strength. Nippers that are 14, 15 and 16 inches provide more leverage while trimming and are used on dry hoofs and draft horses. Hoof nippers should be selected on what best suits you, the type of horses being trimmed, and the prevailing climate.
Apart from the size of the nippers, different grades of quality are available even though the styles are pretty much the same. There is not much change in the basic design. What set nippers apart from each other is the diverse methods of manufacture, the materials used and the technique deployed for heat-treating this equipment.
So how do you find your fit of nippers? It is all a matter of ergonomics that is, using a specific tool that matches the two key elements – man and animal. Nippers have to be of a size that is appropriate for the hands of the person using them, the size of the feet being worked on, and the amount of leverage required. Hence, size and leverage are critical in the design of nippers with the length being a matter of leverage vs. control.
Quality of Horse Hoof Nippers
It is very difficult though to differentiate between inferior grade nippers and those that look as good as a premium quality one. The only way to find out is to buy one and see how long it lasts. Cheap nippers will not have the sharpness to cut the hoof well and will not last long – about 25 horses if you are lucky!
The mainstay of superior nippers is the materials used to manufacture them. The reins should be light and springy. The nippers should not bend or collapse when a hard and dry hoof is being cut. The blades should be extremely hard with the benchmark being about 64 on the Rockwell hardness scale. Nippers with these specifications will last a long time and can be used repeatedly without the blades needing to be frequently re-sharpened.
Technical specifications of Horse Hoof Nippers
Top-of-the-line world-class nippers are made from chromium-vanadium steel, a hard material that ensures reliability and dependability. These are available in a range of versions with narrow to wide cutting edges and include the half-round nail nipper, half-round nail cutter, nipper trimmer cutter, and the hoof nipper.
What then should be the technical specifications of horse hoof nippers that are durable, have a strong finish, and will save you money on regular replacements?
Heat-treated handles and jaws – Heat treatment makes the metal exceptionally strong and is ideal as a tool for cutting the hardest part of a horse. The nippers, therefore last longer.
Flush ground and honed cutting edges – This type of treatment makes the horse hoof nippers very strong and sharp. They will accurately slice through any hoof in the world.
Plastic coated handles - This is an individual choice though and many prefer bare metal handles. But plastic handles make the grip more comfortable and warm. However, most nippers have all-metal handles.
Should open smoothly – High-quality nippers are very user-friendly and will open smoothly without sticking or jamming. This feature makes them very convenient to use.
- The weight – Heavy horse hoof nippers that weigh around two pounds might not suit everyone. But then, the lighter ones may not have the quality to cut through the toughest of hooves. This aspect is an individual decision.
These are broadly the common technical specifications that ensure that horse hoof nippers are of the highest quality.
A word of caution - you might have the best of nippers but do not attempt trimming if your horse has an injury or any other health issue. Call in a professional to do the work.
Finally, always buy horse hoof nippers from a reputed store. You will be assured of the best of nippers available. Browse the Farrier tools at https://easytrimlondon.com/