What are Some Essential Nail Technician Supplies?

Kerrie Main

Many women enjoy getting their nails done. There are several types of nail services, such as acrylic nails or standard manicures and pedicures. These nail services typically are conducted by nail technicians at beauty or nail salons. Manicurists and pedicurists generally use several common tools and equipment to complete a full manicure or pedicure. The most essential nail technician supplies include nail clippers, cuticle tools, files, buffers and paints.

A bottle of nail polish remover.
A bottle of nail polish remover.

Nail clippers typically are used at the beginning of a manicure or pedicure. They are essential nail technician supplies because most clients want their nails trimmed significantly. Nail clippers cut the nails cleanly and are found in most over-the-counter manicure or pedicure sets. After the nails are cut down, nail technicians usually work on the cuticles with specific equipment and tools. They include scissor cuticle clippers and cuticle pushers, usually made out of wood.

A nail technician may have an array of filing tools, including a steel nail file.
A nail technician may have an array of filing tools, including a steel nail file.

Manicurists and pedicurists typically have several types of nail files among their nail technician supplies. Technicians typically start out with a coarser grit file, which helps to file down the nail and shape it to the ideal nail shape, such as rounded or square. After attaining the desired size and shape of the nail, the nail technician uses a finer-grit nail file. This type of file works to even out the edges and tips of the nails without changing the size or shape of them.

A woman with acrylic fingernails.
A woman with acrylic fingernails.

Some other popular nail technician supplies are different kinds of buffers. Buffers work to create a smooth finish to the top of the nails and the tips of the nails. Sometimes the tips of the nails will feel gritty after filing, and buffers counterbalance that texture. Many buffers are gritty block tools, and others are soft file-like tools. Most manicurists use the gritty block buffers first and then end with the soft buffer.

A woman getting a pedicure.
A woman getting a pedicure.

After the nails have been groomed and prepared, nail technicians usually paint them. Clear base coats to protect the nails from yellow discoloration usually are applied first. The enamel nail polish color is applied next, and a final clear coat polish is last. The clear coat polish might help the nail polish dry quickly, but it also works to seal in the color and prevent chipping or flaking.

Nail clippers.
Nail clippers.

After completing nail technician school or cosmetology school and earning their nail technician licenses, many nail technicians go on to specialize in acrylic nails. They typically use nail technician supplies such as electric drill files, which usually have several attachments. Acrylic nails are very hard, so nail technicians need to use electric drill files with coarser nail file bits to cut down the length of the nail and shape it. In fills, when the customer already has acrylic nails, the drill is used to remove the top layers of the original acrylic materials so that the new layer won’t make the nails too thick.

A wooden cuticle stick is a basic nail supply that is used to gently push back cuticles.
A wooden cuticle stick is a basic nail supply that is used to gently push back cuticles.
Nail technicians typically have an array of different polish colors for customers to choose from.
Nail technicians typically have an array of different polish colors for customers to choose from.
A nail file is an essential tool for a nail technicial.
A nail file is an essential tool for a nail technicial.
Manicure scissors are an important tool for nail technicians to have.
Manicure scissors are an important tool for nail technicians to have.

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Discussion Comments

Raynbow

I think that all nail technicians should have both nail files and emery boards handy to use on their clients' nails, because most people prefer one or the other. I only use emery boards on my nails, and prefer to have them used on my nails when I go to a salon for a manicure or pedicure.

I use to go to a nail technician who only used files on her clients' nails. However, since my nails are very thin and brittle, I did not like the results of having my nails filed with these tools. Emery boards do a better job for me, but I didn't know how to explain this to the technician without feeling like I was telling her how to do her job.

Nial technicians can prevent this issue by having nail files and emery boards as part of their supplies, and by asking clients which they prefer when they are having manicures and pedicures.

Heavanet

Anyone who is going to be a nail technician should invest in multiple sets of nail clippers. Since this nail grooming tool comes in a variety of sizes, nail clippers are not a one-size-fits-all item.

Small nail clippers are great for people with small hands and feet, or for trimming delicate nails. However, medium sized clippers are better to use on nails that are longer and thicker. Neither type of nail clipper will work very well on very thick nails, such as toenails or acrylic nails. Only large, durable clippers will work on these types of nails.

If a nail technician invests in at least three different nail clippers, including small, medium, and large, he or she will be ready to trim all of his or her clients' nails. Without a variety of clippers, a nail technician could run into an issue in which the clippers that he or she has will not be sufficient for certain clients' nails.

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