A Comprehensive Guide to Nail Files

A Comprehensive Guide to Nail Files

Choosing the right nail file can be like picking the perfect pair of shoes. I’m sure all your shoes are amazing, but the pair you pick depends on what you’re going to do for the day. Same with your nail file. There are different options and each material has its own strengths and weaknesses. Let's delve deeper into three of the most common options: emery, metal and glass. 


This is the most common nail file around. They are budget friendly and easy to use. Emery files are typically composed of a thin, abrasive material like emery paper affixed to a rigid backing. They can also be purchased in different grit, depending on what types of nails you’re filing. However, the rough texture can snag and tear delicate nails, leaving behind jagged edges. So if you have brittle or soft nails, an emery file may not be the best option. 


Metal nail files are practically indestructible, making them ideal for taming super-strong nails or artificial tips. Depending on the material, some can easily shred natural nails, leading to chipping and breakage, so be mindful of your natural nails’ condition before using a metal file.

Because they are made from metal, they don't wear down as quickly as some other materials, making them a reliable choice for those who file their nails frequently. Metal files are also a great choice for someone who needs a quick nail filing experience (think, filing artificial nails before application). 

The Luxury at its Finest manicure nail tool set includes a nail file made from real gold and titanium. It has a long lifespan, due to the titanium, and its hypoallergenic. 


Enter the elegant yet mighty glass file. Glass nail files are crafted from tempered glass, making them resistant to wear and tear over time. So while they may cost a little more initially, unlike traditional emery boards glass nail files have a longer lifespan. A glass file glides effortlessly over nails, preventing snags and tears. If you have brittle nails, the gentle touch of a glass file may be for you.  

Glass files are non-porous and can be easily cleaned, making them more sanitary than some other types of files, which can be especially important in professional settings like salons, where sanitation is a top priority.


Which is best?

Ultimately, the best nail file is the one that keeps your nails happy and healthy, no matter its material. But which one you chose depends on your nail type and priorities. For quick touch-ups on strong nails, emery boards work wonders. Metal files work great too, but with caution. For everyday nail care and long-term nail health, glass files reign supreme. 

Remember, always file in one direction with light strokes, and choose a grit suitable for your nail thickness.