Short guide to nail files

How many times did you return from a beauty supply shop with a nail file that is simply bad?
It’s to rough or it doesn’t file your nails at all.

Well maybe it’s becouse it’s not nail file suitable for your needs. Here is a simple guide to some common types of nail files.

Metal nail files

They are made from metal and are probably the most known from all of the nail file types. They are mostly used for natural
nails. Good things about metal nail files are that they are long lasting and easy to clean. On the other hand they can cause allergies to people allergic to some types of metal. If you want to buy a good one, look if it’s not too rough because this type of nail file often causes splintering and chipping of the nail edges. When water gets into cracks in the nail ending its slowly destroying the nail and after a while you can see that your nails are in a bad shape. Metal nail files are recommended for those whose nails are strong and hard.

Emery boards

Are widely used in nail salons and at home. They are suitable both for natural and artificial nails. They are really cheap. Emery boards are difficult to wash or sterilize so usually they are used only once and then thrown away. This is very good for nail salons becouse they can dispose file after one use so it’s hygienic. What tells you which emery board is for your needs it’s grit. The lower grit the more sharp and coarse the file is. Usually you can find emery boards in those grit:

  • 80 grit – sharp and very rough, used for removing outer gel or acrylic overlays. It’s too rough for natural nails.
  • 180 grit – medium sharp and medium rough, used for preparing nail plate before applying gel or acryl and for shaping artificial nails.
  • 240 grit – not so sharp and rough, for final filing artificial nails. This grit can be used for filing natural nails.

You can find emery boards with another grit like 100, 120, 150 and so on, but really don’t go under 180 if you want it for your natural nails. If you cannot decide what grit is best for you, buy emery board with different grit from two sides f.e. 180/240 means that file will be medium sharp from one side and mild from second.
If you want to remove your gel or acrylic nails and you don’t know how to do it just go to a nail saloon instead filing them off. If you will do it by yourself you may damage your natural nails or cuticles.

Emery boards are available in many shapes. If you want to use them for natural nails the best choice will be simple a straight one. Other shapes are mostly for working with artificial nails. For example bended ones are excellent for filling, those with square edges can reach every place on the nail plate. You can find also cute emery boards shaped like fruits, flowers, cakes and so on. They are not so good to use so I treat them more like sweet gadgets which I can always have in my purse.

Glass nail files

They are very fine. Glass nail files sometimes have bad reputation because many people don’t know for what these files are acually are. Use them after cutting nails or using more rough files. Glass nail files will smooth the edge of a nail and ‘close’ it so there will be no splintering or chipping and water will not destroy the edge of a nail. Glass nail files are easy to clean so they are higienic and they don’t cause alleries like metal nail files can. Main disadvantage of glass nail files is that they are easy to breake. You can find them in different colors so sometimes they looks very cute. Glass nail files are very good for thouse who have delicate, not so strong and easy to break nails.

Ceramic nail files.

They often have different roughness from opposite sides. One side is for filing the nail, second for smoothing it so you don’t need to purchase two different files to make your manicure. Ceramic nail files are easy to clean and long lasting. They don’t couse allergies like metal nail files can.

3 thoughts on “Short guide to nail files

  1. Hi Jay,
    I read that Crystal Nail Files can be used for artificial nails, but I did not try it. I use them all the time, but for the natural nails.

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