If you don't like the clippers, then why don't you just keep them filed down? You can keep them short with just a nail file.
I don't know why they are in poor condition. I had kinda weak nails that were slightly ridgey, my aunt suggested that I wasn't absorbing the protein I was eating, so I took digestive enzymes with meals for several months. That made an immediate, drastic difference, they became strong, hard, and smooth. I stopped taking them but they are still in good condition, and that was years ago.