Electric Filing Avenues

Safety, how to go about purchasing an electric file, and other helpful tips are important things to keep in mind when it comes to drills. Not only will you be up to date, it’ll also assure clients you’re giving them the best service possible.

Purchasing Power

So you’re interested in purchasing an electric file but aren’t sure what to look for. What’s a nail tech to do?

First and foremost, go with an electric file that feels comfortable in your hand. Make sure the bit turns true so it doesn’t wobble or hammer on the nail. If the bit vibrates, it can damage the client’s nail matrix. And, just as important is a good warranty and repair service. After all, if you spend hundreds of dollars on a machine only to have it break down and there’s no repair service, you’re stuck. Most machines come with one-year warranties.

Variable speed is also important. It’s nice to be able to turn the machine slower when doing delicate, intricate work or faster when doing bulk reduction.

Also think about purchasing an electric file with standard size shanks. If you buy a machine that doesn’t take standard size bits you’re limited to purchasing what that manufacturer has to offer.

Here are other things to consider:

  • Look for handpieces that do not vibrate excessively.
  • Make sure the electric file has enough power. When a machine lacks power it forces the nail tech to work at a higher speed.
  • Ask about the manufacturer’s technical support. A good support system means you’ll have quick answers to any problems.

Getting Technical

Here are some tips to help simplify your electric-filing techniques.

  • Do not push the bit too hard when cleaning the underside of the nails. Doing so can damage the hyponychium.
  • In general, use a lower speed for the cuticle area, a medium speed for backfills and refining the concave/convex shape at the tips, and a faster speed on top for shaping. Speeds in excess of 15,000 RPM can be potentially dangerous.

  • Always angle the client’s hand instead of maneuvering the electric file around the nail.
  • To determine how much heat is building up, put your thumb on the hand that is holding the client’s nail and as you work periodically feel the top of the nail. The nail is hotter on top than underneath, so you’ll be able to lift the bit before your client becomes uncomfortable.

  • Have a firm grip on your client’s fingers. This will eliminate any unnecessary vibrations from the electric file that can cause some discomfort. Proper balancing requires that you use your pinky or ring finger braced against your other hand for balance as you work. This is often referred to as a “fulcrum finger.” 
  • Remember to apply the proper amount of pressure. If you use too much pressure, the nail can be affected. Also remember to periodically lift the bit from the nail to prevent heat build up.

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