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- It’s important to understand your nail type before choosing between a glass, metal, or emery board file.
- Our top pick, the ClassyLady Professional Glass Nail File is long lasting and suitable for most nail types, with a sleek case that makes it perfect for travel.
Nail files seem like the kind of thing you absolutely do not need to overthink. Doesn’t everyone have like 10 patterned emery boards you can’t even remember purchasing gathering dust in some bathroom drawer? There’s always a nail file within arm’s reach.
But if you’re ready to take nail care from being an afterthought to an integral part of your routine, start by upgrading your nail file selection. A better file doesn’t have to cost a lot of money or be a complicated addition to your lifestyle, but there are way more options out there than you might imagine.
From a glass file to a good old fashioned emery board, you have choices no matter your nail type. There are even salon-level electric nail files with multiple attachments that you can pick up if you want to become a pro at-home manicurist. Don’t know where to begin? Read on to learn about the best nail files you can buy on the Internet.
Here are the best nail files you can buy:
- Best nail file overall: ClassyLady Professional Glass Nail File
- Best emery board nail file: MAKARTT Professional Nail Files
- Best metal nail file: Revlon Compact Emeryl File
- Best electric nail file: Beurer Electric Manicure & Pedicure Kit
Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.
The best nail file overall
Classy Lady Beauty by Design
Why you’ll love it: The durable ClassyLady Professional Glass Nail File will convince you that it’s worth it to spend more than 50 cents on an emery board once you feel the difference.
Traditional nail files are among my least favorite things in the world, falling somewhere on the list before mayonnaise and behind snakes. I hate the gritty, scraping sensation of pulling a rough emery board across the tops of my nails. It’s a very literal nails on a chalkboard situation.
The most frequently recommended option is the ClassyLady Professional Glass Nail File. With a 4.6 out of 5 star rating on Amazon and more than 2,000 shopper reviews, this is as close as you’re gonna get to a cult favorite nail file.
It’s durable and long-lasting, so you don’t have to worry about it wearing down or snapping in half after a few weeks, and it comes with a sleek case for easy transportation.
Marie Claire, BestReviews, and Best Products all consider ClassyLady to be the best out there when it comes to nail files. The glass surface is a bit gentler on nails than metal or emery board materials, so if your nails are brittle this could be a great pick.
Pros: Long-lasting, comes with a case, washable, pointed edge
The best emery board nail file
Why you’ll love it: MAKARTT Professional Nail Files are a cut above your average emery board, with two different grits on each end for a customizable filing experience.
If you’re attached to an emery board, try a 10-pack of MAKARTT Professional Nail Files. Each board has two different grits so you can tailor the experience to your individual nail needs. The 100 grit is great for filing down your nails, while the 180 is ideal for smoothing and shaping.
Each set of 10 emery boards costs less than $8, making this a super affordable option. You can use them on acrylics and they are safe to wash and reuse. They’re also gritty enough to help with at-home gel polish removal.
BestReviews describes these as having "sturdy construction" that "outlasts similar nail files" but cautions that they may be too rough for thinner nails.
"I have recently had bad luck with nail files where they would be no good after just one use, but these finally turned my luck around. I’ve used one of the nail files a few times already and I don’t just shape my nails, I use files to take them down in length once they’ve grown out considerably, and it’s still working like new," writes one Amazon reviewer.
Pros: Affordable, pack of 10, two different grits, good for artificial nails and gel polish
Cons: Might be too harsh for thin nails
The best metal nail file
Why you’ll love it: The Revlon Compact Emeryl File is strong enough to stand up to artificial nails and stubborn polishes, but gentle enough not to shred your nails.
Metal nail files have a bad reputation for splitting and shredding and being altogether entirely too harsh for most nails. But the Revlon Compact Emeryl File strikes a good balance between grittiness and gentleness.
It claims to be made of a "unique emeryl material" that "helps control splitting." The file is fairly thin and comes to a point at the end that can be used to clean dirt out from under nails. They come in a pack of two for $6.45, making this a great value.
Absolute Health recommends metal nail files for very strong nails like acrylics or those that have been painted with gel polish. If you have thin, natural nails, this material might be too harsh, especially for long-term use. But if most nail files don’t have enough grit for you, this could be a great option. It has a 4.5 Amazon rating based on 200+ reviews.
"I’ve used these for many years and they last almost forever. I just use it to shave down the sharp bits after cutting my nails. They are sturdy and easy to carry around without fearing they will snap in half," writes one Amazon shopper.
"Good long-lasting nail files. Far superior to traditional disposable emery board – the metal file is thinner than a disposable emery board and this makes it easier to file the edges of the nails," says another.
Pros: Pack of two, affordable, strong, long-lasting
Cons: Metal might be too harsh for brittle nails, same grit on both side
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Source: Business Insider