Learning to Use an Electric File Safely

For the novice tech, learning how to use an electric file safely takes practice. Here are a few pointers on balancing the electric file so you can become more comfortable and confident about adding electric filing to your services.

Hand-Balancing - Good control is the key to using the electric file with confidence.

Hold the handpiece like you would hold a pencil.

Place your hands and forearms on the table as you work for stability.

Always balance your hands with the “fulcrum finger.”

Fulcrum Finger - Balancing your fingers against each other as you work will give you more control and take the pressure off the tip of the bit. Place your forearms on the table and use a firm grip while holding the handpiece like a pencil.

Using Bits at the Correct Angle - Using the entire bit in three different sections will make your electric filing more productive and you will wear down the bit more evenly. As you work watch where the dust collects on the bit and you will see exactly where you are making contact with the nail.

Use the bottom section of the barrel bit for shaping the tip of the nail.

Use the center of the bit for the center of the nail.

Use the top of the bit for the top of the nail — toward the cuticle area, but not the actual cuticle.

Practice Techniques - I suggest practicing on dowels or round clothespins. Glue a tip to the end and shorten the tip to a normal wearable length. Do not apply any acrylic to the tip at first. Using the electric file on a soft nail tip will teach you how to use very light pressure. You can overlay it later and practice your backfill.

A dowel is your perfect practice tool and you can hold it like a finger without worrying about hurting anyone. First, you must beome comfortable with the handpiece and the power of the electric file. As with everything, practice takes time. Don’t get discouraged. You will be on your way to mastering the electric file in no time. 

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