Nail care is often overlooked, especially if you are a busy person. Even so, it is important to have a nail care kit to help you maintain some sort of nail care routine until the next time you can go to the salon for a proper manicure. Having a nail file around is especially handy, so you can get rid of any rough edges and keep your nails smooth and healthy.
With so many nail files currently available in the market, it can be difficult to choose. But worry not, as our buying guide will discuss the points to consider when making a nail file purchase, and our list will show you the 10 best options out there. Also, for tips on how to care for your nails at home, stay tuned!
Our fingernails are made up of layers of a protein called keratin. Healthy fingernails are smooth and free of pits or grooves. But sometimes, due to various factors like age or certain skin conditions, we develop ridges that run across the nail or from the base to the tip of the nail.
Using a nail file to shape and correct deformations help to keep them strong and prevent splitting or breaking. Choosing the correct file for your needs mainly depends on the level of abrasiveness you want. Nail files possess what is called grit value, which tells you how rough or coarse a file is.
The important thing to remember is, the lower a file’s grit value is, the coarser it will be. This, among other things, will determine how well or how efficiently you will be able to shape your nails.
Below you will find the main points to consider when buying a nail file, such as the material it is made of, its shape, and the level of abrasiveness. These factors will influence how well a nail file performs in different manicure or pedicure situations.
Nail files come in different types of materials. Each type has its own pros and cons, and ultimately, it comes down to whether you will be using them for natural or artificial nails, as well as their effects on nail health.
Manicuristas or nail technicians nowadays prefer to use glass or crystal files. Glass nail files smoothen rough edges and seal the keratin layers of your nails together, helping to protect them from splits and breakages. This is especially useful for nails that are already weak and brittle.
Glass nail files also last much longer than the common emery board. They are not porous, so they don’t wear down over time, and if you handle them with care, they can last a lifetime and are more environmentally friendly. Even though they are more expensive than emery boards, in the long run, they will actually save you more money.
They are much more hygienic, too, since you can wash them with soapy water and even sterilize them. Being a stickler for hygiene is important to avoid the spread of germs and bacteria, especially during this pandemic.
Since they have been around forever, emery boards are probably the type that we are all most familiar with. These are pieces of cardboard covered with rough material or tiny grains of sand. The texture is similar to sandpaper, although they are considerably less rough.
Emery boards whittle the rough edges of your nails away with a tearing action that can be damaging to the nail. To minimize damage, it’s best to file in only one direction. In contrast to glass files, emery boards leave the tip of the nail open, which means that water and tiny dirt particles can enter the nails and cause cracks and flaking.
Nonetheless, emery boards are certainly the most affordable option and are pretty much disposable since you can’t wash them clean. However, they take a long time to decompose, so they're not a very eco-friendly option.
Buffers are cushioned or padded files that can take you from the first step to the final step of your nail care routine. If you're fond of DIY manicures, they are good investments since you get to have different levels of abrasiveness in one tool. They usually come in chunky blocks with the sides labeled according to the order in which they should be used.
There are also nail buffers that come in flat stick forms. This type is suitable for both natural and acrylic nails. Their greatest advantage lies in their buffing properties. Buffing involves running the block over the nail bed and files down ridges in the nails. They help prevent peeling and prepare the nail for the application of nail polish.
But even if you don’t use nail polish, your nails will love the tender loving care that a nail buffer can give them, particularly, smooth and shiny surfaces and increased circulation. Some nail buffers are also washable, so you will have to check their labels to know more about their longevity and sterilizing instructions.
When dealing with acrylic nails, it is necessary to use an electric nail file. This type is more commonly used in a real nail salon than in a home setting because it takes a lot of skill to use one correctly.
Many nail technicians favor electric nail drills because they can remove a lot of product quickly and save around 30 to 50% more time. However, they must be used properly, or they might cause damage to the nail plate.
Nail experts are divided on the use of electric files on natural nails. Some believe that it causes damage, while others believe that you can, but only to prep or finish it. According to them, it’s just a matter of proper usage to be able to get real value from electric nail drills.
Metal files have low grit value, so they are not recommended for natural nails. They can cause real damage and splinter in natural nails because of the harsh metal composition. However, they are very effective and safe to use with acrylic, gel, and other types of artificial nails.
Nail files used to be in a simple straight stick, which works out just fine, but now there are also newer innovations such as the boomerang and S-shaped files. These curved files are designed to follow the curve of your natural nails and make filing quick and easy.
As mentioned earlier, grit value is one of the most important factors that determine the effectiveness of a nail file. Generally, there are four basic grits used in salons. Coarse grit (100 or less) is best for shaping and filing acrylic nails.
Medium grit (180-220) is ideal for shaping and smoothing artificial nails and for shaping natural nails. This is also a good level for filing toenails. Fine grit (240-600) is best for shaping and finishing natural nails.
Ultrafine (600 and above) is for buffing and polishing the nail surface. As you can see, the finer a nail file is, the better it is for buffing and polishing your nails. Natural nails are softer and need a higher grit than artificial nails to avoid damage.
After finding out the things that you have to look out for when picking a nail file, let's move on to the 10 best nail files available online. No matter what you're looking for, you're bound to find something for you!
**Prices may vary depending on the website and their campaign period.**
Pack of 2
|Grit||6 Drill Bits|
|Grit||Coarse to Ultrafine|
|Grit||Coarse to Ultrafine|
|Grit||11 Frosted Heads, 6 Grinding Wheels|
Pack of 5
|Grit||Coarse, Medium, Fine, Ultrafine|
Pack of 10
Pack of 3
|Grit||Coarse to Medium|
Nail Drill Machine
Electric Nail Drill Set
Nano Glass Nail File
Four-Sided Nail Polishing Tool
Bend Nail Files
Nail Care Emery Board
Glass Files in Beautiful Ombre Shades
Professional Manicure and Pedicure Drill Set
Has a Wide Range of Abrasiveness Levels
Eco-Friendly and Multifunctional Nail Buffer
A Slim and Elegant Drill With Adjustable Speed
A Contoured File That’ll Help You File Hard-to-Reach Areas
Pocket-Sized and Effective Crystal File
A Fun and Practical Buffing Block With 4 Grit Levels
A Durable Emery Board Suitable for All Types of Nails
An Affordable Option With Three Abrasiveness Levels
|Price Starts at||₱75||₱1,241.09||₱53||₱240||₱685||₱1,060||₱41||₱51||₱294.99||₱20|
|Type||Glass File||Electric Drill||Padded||Nail Buffer||Electric Drill||Padded File||Glass||Nail Buffer||Emery Board||Emery Board|
|Grit||Medium||6 Drill Bits||Coarse to Ultrafine||Coarse to Ultrafine||11 Frosted Heads, 6 Grinding Wheels||Medium||Not Specified||Coarse, Medium, Fine, Ultrafine||Not Specified||Coarse to Medium|
Now that it's difficult to go to our favorite salon and have ourselves a relaxing nail spa session, the next best thing is to have our own nail care routine at home. Here's a great video from nail artist Jaunty Juli which shows us how we can take care of our nails the natural way!
You don't have to stop at a basic nail care routine. If you want to go the extra mile and get yourself some trendy and sophisticated nails, check out our article reviews below of the best nail care products in the market!
Your hands are one of the first things that people will notice about you. It's important to keep them looking neat and well-groomed. During this pandemic, it can be difficult to maintain the polished look that nail spas can give us, but choosing the best nail file is certainly a step in the right direction!
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