46850eb37aaa37102b66 nail file tips

All nail files are not created equal. From glass to medium-grit, it can be difficult trying to figure out which files will work best on your nails. Read on to get schooled on the best types of files out there, plus easy tips to boost your file style.

Emery Board

Pretty much the standard file that first comes to everyone’s mind, emery boards are usually dual-sided with two different grit values. Grit refers to the level of coarseness. A good rule of thumb: The lower the grit level, the more coarse the file will be on the nail. Always use the correct grit value for your type of nails.

            - 80 grit

            These types of files are very coarse, so it’s best to leave them to the professionals. Without proper training, this file will wreak havoc on both natural nails and extensions.

            -100 grit

            Usually used on acrylic or hard gel extensions. Do not use on natural nails.

            -180 grit

            Best for shaping and refining natural nails. Steer clear of this grit level if your nails are damaged.

            -240 grit

            Perfect for buffing natural nails.


Glass File

Perfect for those with thin or damaged nails. Glass files offer little abrasion to the nail, but they do a great job at smoothing and refining the free edge. Plus, they can be easily disinfected with soap and water.


Made with super fine grit for extra softness, buffers are designed to smooth ridges and restore shine. Always file in an “X” formulation in downward strokes. Just be sure not to buff your nails too often as that can weaken the nail.

 For more nail inspiration and step-by-step designs, be sure to check out more articles, here!