Before selecting the right nail file for your nails, it is important to understand what differentiates nail files from one another. The surface of a nail file is referred to as its grit and this tells us how coarse or how fine the file is. The smaller the grit number is, the coarser a nail file will be and vice versa. We’ve put together a list of the basic nail file types available to assist you when selecting the best nail file for your nails.
Metal nail file
Although the metal nail file comes in most manicure sets and is easily accessible, it is not the ideal nail file to use on your nails. Unless you have acrylic nails, the low grit is damaging, as it can weaken and cause splintering.
Basic nail file
The basic emery board is the easiest nail file to find in stores. Its biggest downfall is that it cannot be cleaned as the base of the file is cardboard and it is, therefore, unhygienic to get it wet. The grit on a basic emery board is usually rather low which makes it less than ideal to use on natural nails, as over time it could cause damage. Be sure to file your nails in very gentle movements when using a basic nail file to ensure you don’t cause any splitting or breaking.
Double-sided nail file
This is the most popular nail file as it is available in most department stores and salons and it is reasonably priced. These nail files usually have two grits, a lower grit for filling down nails and a higher grit to smooth down edges. When purchasing a double-sided emery board, opt for one that has a minimum grit of 180; anything less than that could damage your nails.
Glass / Crystal nail file
A glass/crystal nail file is the ideal file to use to smooth down your nails. As these files can be cleaned, they are extremely hygienic and therefore ideal for use in beauty salons. A lower grit nail file is still necessary to file down nails, however, the glass/crystal file is the best file to use when smoothing your freshly filed nails and sealing the nail edges.
Buffing blocks are useful as they provide a selection of grits, allowing you to file down, remove ridges, smooth and polish your nails. A buffing block usually has four different grits ranging from a low grit to file nails and an extremely high grit to polish your nails. As the buffing block is rather bulky, some may find it impractical to use, however it is a fantastic addition to any manicure kit.