There are many types of nail files that can be purchased from all different suppliers, but how do you make the right choice for you or your salon?
Let me walk you through the different types you can buy, and determine if they are right for you.
Basically, there are three different types of nail files.
- Wooden core files
- Rubber core files
- glass or diamond files
Wooden Core Files
These files have a core made of predominantly wood. The grit on the outside can vary from fine to course, but as a general rule of thumb, they are for single use only.
Because the wood will be affected when washing the files, they are unable to come in contact with water or steam and may not be sanitized.
It is most likely that the cost of these are minimal, and may be either disposed of, or given to each new client at the completion of his or her service.
Rubber Core Files
Like wooden core files, the rubber based files come in all different grits ranging from fine through to course.
The core of these files are a spongy, rubbery compound and may come in contact with water or steam, allowing the technician to was and sanitise between each client.
These files may be used multiple times by the technician and come at a slightly higher cost.
Glass files are the most permanent of all files on the market. They can be used for several months or even years.
They are particular smooth tho the touch and are very useful for natural nails, as well as refining smile lines when performing reverse applications.
Glass or diamond files are usually graded from fine to medium grit.
So what do the numbers on a file mean?
The numbers denote the particular grade of a file.
The lower the number the courser the grit is.
These numbers range from an 80 grit, right through to a 2400 grit. Depending on the job task you are to perform, your decision is made by the grit.
The way that this is measured, is that every centimeter squared, there are a certain number of particles contained within that centimeters perimeter.
So a 150 grit file, would have approximately 150 particles of fiber within that centimeter square. Where as a 1200 grit would feel more like a rubber sponge as many many fine particles need to fit within the centimeters perimeter.
How do I know what number I choose for each job?
Generally speaking, you would not use a file with a number lower than 180 grit on a natural nail, as this would be way to abrasive to use on a natural nail, and it will compromise the nails structure and integrity.
On the nail surface, we only need to eliminate shine for any service we perform, therefore a 240 sponge grit file would be more suited for this task.
However when we are refining a hard gel or acrylic extension, it is necessary to use a 150 grit file to minimize the work load on the technician, and allow the task to be performed efficiently.
Even new acrylic that is still polymerizing for up to 24 hours needs to be considered between using a 150 or 180 grit, depending on the speed of its setting time. ( the company of product will best advise you as the proper grit selection for their products).
I hope that has allowed you to properly understand file choices and their specific functions.