Category: Do It Yourself

DIY Adapted Nail Device

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An Adapted Nail Device can be a do-it-yourself project to assist individuals with arthritis, upper extremity, mobility, fine motor, or grasping disabilities in clipping their own fingernails. Some individuals may have difficulty clipping their fingernails because they lack the strength or coordination to use clippers. Because commercial devices vary in effectiveness depending on the individual, building an adapted nail device with an enlarged lever handle may provide a solution for many users. Individuals may use whatever materials work for them. Basic materials shown in Technical Specifications.

Technical Specifications: 


  • Nail Clippers of the user’s choosing
  • A 3 to 4 inch length of a 2 inch by 2 foot board
  • A firm material to extend the clipper lever (tongue depressor, paint stick, Popsicle stick, etc.)
  • Thermoplastic material (partner with a hand therapist if needed)
  • Non-skid material
  • Sandpaper (if needed)
  • Screwdriver or drill
  • Small screws (size will depend on clipper)


  1. Cut 2 by 2 board to the 3-4 inch length, sanding if necessary.
  2. Screw clipper to the board so that the clipping end is over the lip of the short end of the board. The clippers should be oriented so that the clipping action can be activated from above.
  3. Using the thermoplastic, attach the extender material to the clipping lever. Press the strip into the thermoplastic and use a thumbnail to push the edge of the strip deeper so it won’t peel off.
  4. To stabilize the gadget, wrap the whole board with non-skid material. More stabilization can be achieved by wrapping additional electrical tape where needed.


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DIY Adapted Nail Device