When visiting NAILS a couple weeks ago, I was lucky enough to cross paths with Vicki Peters. I can remember reading advice she would post on BeautyTech when I was a newbie and absorbing her knowledge and experience. I am not personally an e-file user, but I am quite aware that she is an avid e-file user and educator. Vicki gave me a few pointers so I could help with basic questions and she was kind enough to answer some questions for me that I hope will help those of you who already use an e-file or plan to do so in the future.
Holly: I’ve seen you referred to as the e-file queen for many years. When did you first embrace e-filing as a salon service?
Vicki: It’s diva not queen! I bought my first Dremel in 1983, way before there were professional electric file companies. Kupa was the first and I invested in a UPower in 1989. I still have it all these years later. I was a hand filer at heart because of my nail competition background, and I forced myself to use the e-file more when I went to work for Kupa. Now I am happily dependent on it!
Holly: What qualities should someone look for in an e-file?
Vicki: A small comfortable handpiece that is quiet and does not have any vibration. It must be attractive for the table, easy to maintain, good torque and go up to at least 20,000 RPMs. If a new e-file user is looking to purchase a machine I highly recommend they purchase a good one. A cheap one will vibrate and you will eventually upgrade, so why not get a good one from the start?
Holly: In your opinion what are the top five e-file manufacturers?
Vicki: Kupa, Urawa, Medicool, Atwood and Young Nails.
Holly: Classes on e-files are hard to find. Are there any online resources you would suggest?
Vicki: A lot of people don’t remember but I was the original AEFM director who offered electric file education. Now that the AEFM is no longer around, Simmy Bredal-Bell and I have taken that education to another level, The EFC – Electric File Certification and it is offered at most trade shows. The next one is at Premiere. Kupa has also stepped up to the plate and now offers a similar certification program;with two new educators I have trained. Kupa also has a technical how-to video for every machine and bit on their website, www.kupainc.com. I will be offering an E-File Certification on the next NTP Cruise in 2013 and in the future Kupa will be offering online visual classes, so stay tuned.
Holly: What do you feel the top three advantages are of using an e-file?
Vicki: I say it’s about the three “Ps”.
1. Performance. Using a good electric file can make your life easier. It’s a tool that I feel every tech should have, no matter much or how little they use it. It also plays a part in how hard your hands have to work as well; using an electric file can ease that work.
2. Precision. Clearly an electric file can do tasks a hand file cannot such as defining C-curves. It also can be faster once you have perfected your skill. My number-one favorite usage is beveling the cuticle area. It takes me five seconds a nail and I can get a bevel that is far superior to a hand file with a safety bit. And of course cutting backfills.
3. Professionalism. Every professional should have a high-end e-file on his or her station. It sends a message that you are a quality tech. It is also important that you educate your client on how you use it safely and practice expert sanitation with your bits. Put them at ease as any professional electric filer would.