13 Helpful Tips for E-file Users

There are so many things you can do with your e-file, from getting nails to the perfect length and shape to backfill trenching and even a little callus filing. Nail techs share their most common e-file maneuvers.

Amanda Schison
Outerimages Studio & Academy
Brampton, Ontario, Canada

10. Cuticle Prepping

For hard-to-reach corners, I like to use a flame point silicone stone to gently remove stubborn pterygium from the nail plate in the cuticle area. To prepare the plate during natural manicures/pedicures as well as for artificial applications these bits are great to safely and gently remove the shine. At a very low speed, about 3,000 RPMs, gently start from the right side of the nail at the groove wall and slowly work your way around the cuticle and top of the nail until you reach the left side of the cuticle.

Tip: Turn the client’s hand, not the bit, to file around the sidewall and cuticle area.

Tip: Too much pressure or speed will damage the nail and cause heat, but not enough pressure will get you nowhere — find a happy medium.


11. Toenail Shortening

When performing a dry pedicure, I like to shorten toenails with a Sapphire Pedicure Disk. This is very helpful to use if the nails are brittle and tend to crack in the wrong direction when using toenail cutters/nippers. Hold the bit at a 90-degree angle using a medium RPM, turning up the speed only as needed. High speeds tend to shred the edge of the nail. For clients with thick toenails, the Sapphire Cone can also be used on the tip of the nail to taper down the edge. Remember not to apply too much pressure and always use short strokes, removing the bit from the nail often as you work to avoid causing heat build-up.


12. Shortening Enhancements

Make sure you keep your bit straight up and down vertically (a 90-degree angle) when shortening the free edge to avoid skipping. Skipping can cause the product to weaken and break down. With medium speed, hold the bit against the tip of the nail, and start from the left side and work your way to the right. Turn the speed down if needed. I prefer to use disposable sanding bands with a mandrel over diamond bits. I feel that carbide bits are not the best choice for shortening the nail.


13. Callus Filing

Pedicure bits are excellent to use for dry pedicures or to just add extra smoothness. The use of a cone or barrel pedicure diamond bit is great to smooth dry and hardened skin on the heel, ball, and side of the feet as well as to reduce the appearance of cracked heels. It also makes my pedicures easier and quicker to perform with less wear and tear on my hands and arms. It is best to use a medium to high RPM, and make sure you do not leave it on one spot too long, as it can get very hot and uncomfortable for the client.

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capable of causing rapid and sometimes irreversible damage to human tissue and/or other surfaces
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