What Kind of Nail File is Best to Use?

The best type of file for each person largely depends on the individual's nail type.
It is a good practice to trim fingernails before filing them down.
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  • Written By: Erika Peterson
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 11 August 2014
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Some people use cheap emery boards, some expensive glass or stone varieties, but when it comes to the perfect nail file, it really depends on a person’s nails. There are many different kinds of files and each works well on a certain type of nail. Some are simple and inexpensive, while others are more elaborate and will last a long time.

A basic nail file is similar to sandpaper and can be made of both natural and synthetic materials. Cheap files are grainy and rough. They can only be used a few times before they are destroyed.

The best nail files to use are professional grade files. Professional grade files are made from natural minerals and other materials that are found in the earth. These natural materials include: glass, stone and other minerals. Some of the best files to use are made from crushed stone. Crushed stone files are known as both professional and permanent files. They are strong and will usually last a lifetime with the proper care.

Crushed stone nail files are available in different types or grits. The grit is marked on the file or file package as a number. The higher the number is the finer the grit. There is often a different grit on one side of the file as there is on the other. The level of grit that a person should purchase does not depend on preference, but it depends on the type of nails that the individual has.


Natural nails require a finer grit. A fine grit is gentle and easy on the nails and the nail beds. Most people use a nail file with a finer grit that is meant for natural nails. On the other hand, artificial nails; such as, acrylic, gel or silk require a courser grit on a file. This course grit is marked by a low number on the nail file or file packaging.


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