We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission. We rounded up the best nail files for every function below. defy we say that these have nailed it ? How a lot attention have you paid to your smash charge ? If you ’ ra anything like us, probably not a lot. It ’ s barely a basic necessity, something stashed in your bathroom cabinet or purse ( or that you can never seem to find when you break a nail ). But it may be worth investing at least a short moment more time into finding your breeze through file of option. not all are created equal, and each character has its own pros and cons. There are classic emery boards, which are cheap and easy to store up on when you just need to get the job done. If you feel like you want to make more of an investment, field glass and crystal options are washable and reclaimable, not to mention they tend to be gentle, particularly if your nails are peeling or splitting. And if you ’ re rocking a gelatin or acrylic mani, you ’ ll, of course, need an entirely different file. Confused ? Don ’ thymine be. A jazz band of ceramic, porcelain, and, yep, austrian crystal make up this file while it shapes and polish nails. Unique here, though, are the round ends, designed to pull double duty and press rear cuticles efficaciously, yet gently.

Make charge easier than always with an electric file, like this one. Unlike other brands, which feature a rotary oral sex that spins in only one management, this uses an oscillating option that moves back and forth. It makes for much less friction and ultimately aristocratic filing. Plus, this besides comes with four different magnetic disk, with choices for shaping, buff, smooth, and shining nails. If you want to keep it basic, you can ’ t go wrong with this three-pack of files. The dual-grit surfaces mean they work on both natural and acrylic nails, and the neon hues make it easy to dig them out of any push toilet draftsman or makeup bag. recur after us : Thou shalt always pack a nail charge when traveling. This matchless has earned a permanent wave family in our toiletry base. Made of high-quality glass, it ’ second gentle on nails and comes in a miniskirt size that doesn ’ t take up precious substantial estate. The fact that it comes in a cute pinko case is just an extra bonus. sure, it may be a bit more than you ’ d normally spend on a file, but consider this a erstwhile investment that will keep your nails long and firm. The lightweight glass smooths nails without any snags or tears, can be reused, and comes with a commodious carrying case, excessively. A zebra board with two coarse grits, like this option, is best for artificial tips, says Boyce. ( FYI, you could besides use the 180 side for natural nails but not the 100, which is excessively roughly. ) Neither grit gets worn down, and with a rhombus condition that has two different shaped ends, it ’ randomness slowly to file any shape nail and even reach the sides. Turns out that diamonds are both a girlfriend ’ south and a collar ’ randomness best friend. Made with real diamonds, this file besides has a fiberglass edge for easy manage. It ’ s particularly made for brittle nails that are prone to breaking or cleave, so you don ’ t need to worry about causing more damage when you file. bonus : It ’ sulfur well washable with good soap and water. An Amazon top pick, these have both a 100 and 180 grit, making them great for both shaping nails and taking down length ( and using on toes, excessively ). They come in a gang of 10—a total steal, we should add—though if you want to reuse them, they are washable. equitable be sure to only file nails in one direction to minimize the potential for peeling or burst. Celebrity nail artist Brittney Boyce, the founder of Nails of LA, calls this classical, cheap nail down file, “ a workhorse that ’ s found in so many nail artists ’ kits. ” She adds that it can be used for both natural and gel nails, files promptly, and is ace durable. You get a carry of 10 for barely $ 5, so if you lose one, it ’ randomness no biggie. To that end, it ’ sulfur worth picking one up to keep at work, one in the car … you get the word picture. This quadrilateral charge has four different grits to do it all—shape, smooth, buff, and shine. ( All four sides are made from a microfiber material that ’ mho gentle on your tips. ) Consider it a one-stop-shop complete tool that makes DIY manis easier than ever. Pro tap : If you ’ re going to paint your nails, skip the glow step.

Final verdict

The Deborah Lippmann Smooth Operator-Buffer Nail File ( horizon at Sephora ) is our favorite overall file, a multi-tasker that not only shapes but besides smooths, buffs, and shines. Both the Makartt Professional Nail File ( view at Amazon ) and Orly Black Board Medium 180 Grit ( opinion at Stixie ) are great blackboard classics and besides super low-cost. And if you ’ re looking for an choice that ’ s not alone going to be gentle on natural nails but besides lasts basically forever, the glass Révérence de Bastien The Glass Nail File ( opinion at Révérence de Bastien ) is the way to go and well-worth the higher price chase .

What to Look for in a Nail file

The Grit

In traditional files, this refers to how coarse or fine the texture is. “ Nail files ‘ backbone ranges from 80 to 240. The higher the grit, the finer the file is, ” explains Boyce. For gels or extensions, anywhere from 100 to 180 grit is a great choice ; for natural nails, 180 is the minimum, she says. alternatively, glass options are full for natural nails.


  • How do you use a nail file?

    Start with dry nails that have been cut to the approximate length. Avoid filing nails that have been soaking in water because it can lead to breakage for splitting. You besides do n’t want to use the smash file to remove a lot distance, but rather just to shape the nails, notes Boyce. Hold the charge flat, as file at an angle can thin your complete and weaken the edge, making it prone to bending or breakages, she says. Filing in one management is preferable, though if you ’ rhenium gentle with it, you can file side by side. “ File from the side of the nail to the center, half a breeze through at a time, then shape the other side, ” Boyce suggests .

  • How do you clean a nail file?

    It depends on what the file is made of. “ Wood emery boards will deteriorate if they get wet, thus your best bet is to plainly replace them every three months, ” suggests Boyce. Glass files, on the other hand, will death for years if cleaned properly ; merely wash them with warmly body of water and aristocratic soap. For black or zebra boards, submerge them in 70 % to 90 % alcohol for five minutes to disinfect them, says Boyce .

  • How do you file acrylic nails?

    The lapp basic meet principles and techniques apply. The key is using a coarse file with a 100/180 grit, says Boyce .

Why Trust Byrdie ?

Byrdie contributor Melanie Rud has over a decade of feel in the beauty industry, writing for some of the biggest magazines and websites out there. She refuses to leave home without a complete file.

Meet the Expert
Brittney Boyce is a fame complete artist and the founder of Nails of LA. With over a decade of experience in the smash industry, Boyce has worked on everything from fashion campaigns to the hands of fame clientele. According to our Diversity Pledge, 15 % of products in our newly-published market roundups will feature Black-owned and/or Black-founded brands. At the prison term of print, we were not able to find any nail files from a Black-owned and/or Black-founded occupation. If you know of one we should consider, please email us at contact @ byrdie.com and we will evaluate the product ASAP.

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Category : Nail tips

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