How Did They Cut Their Toenails in Ancient Times?

Have you ever wondered how people in ancient times took care of their personal hygiene? One particular aspect that comes to mind is toenail care.

How did they cut their toenails without modern-day tools? Let’s explore some of the methods used by our ancestors.

The Ancient Egyptians

The ancient Egyptians were known for their advanced civilization and incredible inventions. They used a variety of tools to take care of their personal hygiene, including nail clippers made from bronze or copper. These clippers were shaped like small scissors and had two curved blades that could easily trim the nails.

The Ancient Greeks

The ancient Greeks also had a fascination with personal hygiene and grooming. They used a tool called an “onycholeptes,” which was similar to modern-day nail clippers. It consisted of two blades connected by a hinge that could be squeezed together to trim the nails.

The Ancient Romans

The ancient Romans had a more sophisticated approach to personal grooming, including toenail care. They used a tool called a “volsella,” which was essentially a pair of forceps with curved blades that could grip and trim the nails.

The Middle Ages

During the Middle Ages, people did not have access to metal tools for grooming due to limited resources and technology. Instead, they used knives or other sharp objects to cut their toenails. This was not only dangerous but also ineffective as it often resulted in uneven cuts and even injury.


In conclusion, our ancestors used various tools and methods to take care of their toenails in ancient times. From nail clippers made from bronze or copper to forceps-like volsellas, these early civilizations had an incredible understanding of personal grooming techniques that still influence our practices today.

It’s fascinating to think about how far we’ve come since then in terms of technology and modern-day tools. Today, we have access to a wide range of nail trimming tools that make the process quick, easy, and safe. But it’s important to remember that the methods used by our ancestors were just as effective in their time and a testament to their ingenuity and resourcefulness.

  • Ancient Egyptians used bronze or copper nail clippers
  • Ancient Greeks used onycholeptes similar to modern-day nail clippers
  • Ancient Romans used volsellas which were essentially forceps-like tools
  • People during the Middle Ages used knives or other sharp objects for grooming