Health & BeautyProduct Reviews

Best Nail Files in 2020 – Reviewed

Another product that not many people put a lot of thought into is nail files. So many people run out to their local beauty store or their favorite online store and purchase the first set of emery boards that they see. Unfortunately, that’s just not the best way to do things. Like any other product available nowadays, there are good brands and not so good brands. We wanted to introduce our readers to the files that would help them bring their nails up the best, so we decided to not only write a guide on the subject but also review the best nail files available.

Quick Summary of Nail Files

 Best Overall 
Mont Bleu Premium Crystal Nail Files  (review)
 Best For Acrylic Nails 
Makartt Double-Sided Black Nail Files  (review)
 Best Glass 
Bona Fide Beauty Pastel Premium Czech Glass File  (review)
 Best Affordable 
Esowemsn 10-Piece Double-Side Nail Files  (review)

Reviews

Mont Bleu Premium Crystal Nail Files

 Best Overall 

When most people think of nail files, they think of the wood emery boards that can be found in just about any beauty or drug store across the U.S. Therefore, they can be pretty surprised when they first take a look at these files. That’s because they’re not made out of wood but are made out of lead-free glass. That not only makes them look different than traditional boards, but it also means that they file better than any product. It’s capable of achieving such a fine amount of filing because the crystal’s grains are finer and allow the user to hone down their nails quite well. And do it without the user having to exert a ton of pressure.

These files are made in the Czech Republic from high-quality crystal and feature a smooth surface that’s extremely smooth as the user uses them on their cuticles and nails. Because this glass is tempered, it’s designed to last a lifetime, and it’s even backed by a lifetime guarantee from the company that makes them.

If there was one complaint that we had about these files it’s that they’re a little bit thicker than we would’ve liked. Too thick for it to be used to clean under fingernails. Of course, this won’t matter to people who are using a separate metal pick for cleaning their nails, but only people who want to be able to use their file for both purposes. In our eyes, that’s a small point, and we feel these are the best nail files available.

PROS:

  • They do an excellent job of filing nails.
  • They look like a quality product.
CONS:

  • They’re too thick to clean under nails.

Makartt Double-Sided Black Nail Files

 Best For Acrylic Nails 

For consumers who’ve been using emery boards to file their nails, this product will be a familiar set. They look like some of the emery boards that can be found in supermarkets, drugstores and beauty stores, but in reality, they’re a lot stronger. Most drugstore files are capable of doing one round of nail filing before they get tossed into the trash.

These nail files are a little different, however. They’re designed to last a little bit longer than traditional emery boards. they’re designed to give the user multiple uses before they have to be tossed into the trash. They’re not as durable as crystal nail files, but they last longer than most wood emery boards.

Of course, the grit of these files might not be suitable for everyone. They have a 100/180 grit that’s a little too rough for most people’s natural nails. Unless their nails are thickened. No, these files are designed for acrylic nails and for that purpose, they do an amazing job. All it takes is a little bit of light pressure and these files will shape and hone nails in a great way.

These boards are also good for removing poly extension gel from nails. These double-sided boards are great for not only for people to use in their home, but they’re also good for nail shops as well. They also make excellent gifts for Valentine’s Day or Christmas.

PROS:

  • 100/180-grit is good for acrylic nails.
  • They last longer than drug-store emery boards.
CONS:

  • The grit is too high for natural nails.

Bona Fide Beauty Pastel Premium Czech Glass File

 Best Glass 

These glass nail files are designed to reduce nail splitting and help the consumer shape their nails efficiently. They’re made in the Czech Republic from glass, come in an assortment of vibrant colors, and if properly taken care of, they’ll last a lifetime. This alone makes them a worthwhile investment for most people, especially since drugstore emery boards tend to only last one or two sessions.

This product’s Bohemian glass is wear-resistant, stronger than most people would think it would be and has a beautiful look to it. Of course, if the consumer does drop these nail files, it’s quite likely that they could break. That’s something that every consumer should keep in mind.

These nail files do come with a protective hard case, however, that helps the consumer keep their file in good condition and protected from damage. This case can be easily thrown into a beauty bag or handbag, or packed into a suitcase so the consumer can take their file while traveling or vacationing.

Of all of the files we’ve reviewed, we think that these are probably ones that many consumers are going to enjoy using. Sure, they’re not the best nail files that we’ve reviewed, but we do feel that they’re worth mentioning, and we’re sure that this product is going to be enjoyed by all who use it.

PROS:

  • They are gentle and smooth.
  • They come in vibrant colors.
CONS:

  • May break if dropped.

Esowemsn 10-Piece Double-Side Nail Files

 Best Affordable 

The main reason that these nail files have ended up on our list is that they’re inexpensive but are still of good quality. Not everyone wants to pay $5 to $10 or more for single nail files, but instead, want files that are a little bit cheaper. For the same price of many of the high-end files, the consumer can buy ten of these emery boards at a time. That makes them great disposable nail files that consumers can use a couple of times and then throw in the trash. That makes them good for not only household use, but also for nail shops where a new file has to be used for each customer.

These files have rounded ends and are double-sided so they can be easily used for both toenails and fingernails. If there was any complaint we had about these files, it was the fact that they were a little bit rougher than we would’ve liked. They also tend to leave a little bit more board dust than we would’ve liked, but not as bad as drugstore emery boards tend to do. overall, we feel that these nail files are good for the price and customers will enjoy using them. These files are 7×0.78×0.11-inches in size, can be used in any direction, and won’t damage nails.

PROS:

  • They’re inexpensive nail files.
  • They’re double-sided.
CONS:

  • These files are a little bit rough.

How To Select A Nail File

Since we’ve introduced our readers to some of the best nail files available, we thought that it might be fun to delve a little bit deeper into the subject. One of the most frequently asked questions that we receive is how to purchase a new nail file. And that’s a subject that should be taken seriously, considering that there are so many different types of files available. To help our readers choose the nail files that are truly right for them and not files that are just recommended by the latest beauty magazine, we’ve decided to write this article. It’s our sincere hope that it will give all of our readers the tools they need to make an educated decision. 

Step One: Choose The Right Type Of Nail Files

The first thing that consumers are going to want to consider is the type of nail file they need. When it comes to these files, consumers have a few choices available to them. They can choose wood emery boards, metal nail files, and glass/crystal nail files. Let’s examine each one of these more closely to see the pros and cons of each type. 

Emery Boards

These are the nail files that are most commonly found in beauty stores and drugstores. They’re an inexpensive product, but they’re also a product that’s well suited for some people. They’re flexible, so they can be used for both toenails and fingernails, and they’re inexpensive because they’re made out of cardboard. Unfortunately, the fact that they’re made out of cardboard is also one of the reasons they’re meant to be disposable. If these files are used over and over again, the cardboard can be the perfect medium for bacteria and funguses to grow on it. Therefore, these nail files are designed to be disposable. 

Metal Nail Files

Another option that consumers have available to them are metal nail files. Because these files are metal, they aren’t as porous as emery boards, which allows them to be more easily cleaned after use. These files are also more durable than emery boards, and some people can use them for decades. Unfortunately, a big problem with metal nail files is that they can be kind of rough on fingernails, and to us, they seem more aptly suited for shaping toenails. These files also don’t meet FDA standards for use in professional nail salons, so most of these files are going to be used at home. 

Glass Nail Files

For many people, glass nail files are the way to go. Most of them are durable enough to last a lifetime, they don’t require trees to be cut down to make them, and they can even be recycled. Another thing that makes these nail files worthy of consideration is that they can be sanitized according to the requirements of the FDA. These files can be baked in an autoclave, sanitized using an alcohol solution or even sanitized under ultraviolet light. And because glass is nonporous, bacteria don’t thrive in them, which makes them a good choice for diabetics. And most of them are very gentle on a person’s nails and can file them down without damaging. That’s why we’ve like them so much. These files usually have a grit of approximately 180 to 240-grit. 

Step Two: Choose The Right Grit

The next thing that the consumers should consider is the grit of the nail files. Although some people may not realize it, most nail files are available in grits from 80-grit up to 500-grit, and each one of these grits is suitable for a particular purpose. Let’s examine each of these grit levels, so our readers can choose the one that’s most appropriate for them. As a reminder, few people are going to want to choose just not grit of nail files. Most people are going to want to keep several different grits around so they can gently hone and shape their nails as they go along. 

80-100 Grit: Suitable only for acrylic nails. Because they’re so coarse, they should never be used on natural nails. 

180-Grit: This grit is suitable for filing both toenails and fingernails into their desired shape. They’re also the lowest grit that people should consider for natural nails. Unfortunately, this grit isn’t suitable for people with damaged or weak fingernails.

240-Grit: This grit is suitable for honing fingernails into a smooth finish or for buffing out stains that might exist in the nails. They’re also suitable for people with weak or damaged nails to use.

500-Grit: This grit of nail file isn’t used for shaping or honing, but is only used for polishing fingernails. 

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