Many of you will know the confusion of finding the right nail file; you have to choose the right shape, grit and type, which can be quite confusing. The Pedicure team has rounded up all the important information about nail files so that you can start filing with the best nail file for you!
There are different nail files for different uses; the four main types we will explain are buffing blocks, double sided emery boards, glass/crystal nail files, and metal nail files.
– Buffing blocks – have different grits on the different sides, which is helpful because you don’t have to buy them individually, and instructions on how to use each side
– Double sided emery boards – these come labelled with different grit levels so you can choose the appropriate emery for you
– Glass/crystal files – have higher grit levels than most emery boards, which are easier on natural nails, however you could just purchase a high grit emery board for a fraction of the cost
– Metal file – these are very common, but if you have on you should throw it away immediately! Metal files are too hard on natural nails and cause more damage than good. They weaken natural nails and should never be used unless you have acrylics.
The different grit levels in nail files are similar to those of sandpaper, i.e. the smaller the number the coarser the grit. The main grit sizes of nail files are:
80 grit – is very coarse and should NEVER be used for natural nails, as it is far too rough! A file this coarse should only be used on artificial nails, but even then some consider it too rough
100 grit – is less coarse than 80 grit but should still NOT be used on natural nails only on acrylics
180 grit – the lowest grit appropriate for natural nails. Good for filing both finger and toenails down and into your desired shape, however if you have weak or damaged nails then you should probably try a finer grit
240 grit – a great size for buffing natural nails to a smooth finish or buffing away stains, it’s also good for filing down and shaping weaker or damaged nails
500 grit – is soft and normally is only used to polish the nail itself and not for shaping/filing
The Pedicure team’s go-to file is a double-sided emery board with a 180/240 grit, as it’s strong enough to remove length but not so strong that it will shred your nails. Remember you should never file your nails back and forth as it will weaken the nails, instead file in smooth strokes in one direction.
– Mette Jorgensen
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