Electric Filing Techniques: Backfills

Doing a backfill with an electric file can help you achieve faster and more accurate results.

Doing a backfill with an electric file can help you achieve faster and more accurate results. Backfills should only be done along a client’s natural free edge.

Type of bit to use: French-filled diamond, carbide straight barrel, or specialized backfill


1.  Use the inside portion of a nail form and a pencil to draw a smile line. This is especially good for beginners. Use the drawn line as a guide for where to drill on the nail.

2.  Using a speed between 5,000-9,000 RPM, position the hand at a 10° angle and cut a new smile line. White acrylic dulls in color as it ages. The new white tip powder is whiter in color and will make a strip of lighter white if you do not remove the entire white tip when doing your backfill. Remove a minimum of 80%-90% pink and 60%-70% white.


3 Instead of a diamond barrel bit, you can also use a carbide straight barrel bit. If you do use this type of bit, start at the right side of the nail and go toward the left side, holding the bit parallel to the nail. Hold the electric file securely without too much pressure on the nail. Do not cut too deep. You can always go back over the area if your cut isn’t deep enough.

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