Nail techs: how to choose the right speed and grit for your e-file

Published 07th Jun 2024 by PB Admin

Using an electric file in your nail services can greatly enhance efficiency and precision. However, with various speed settings and grit options available, it’s essential to understand how to choose the right combination for optimal results and client safety, explains nail educator Katie Barnes.

These are the factors you should consider when selecting the speed and grit for your e-file, allowing you to work confidently and to always deliver exceptional nail services for clients.

E-file speed settings

E-files typically have multiple speed settings, known as RPM (rotations per minute), ranging from slow to high speeds. While these settings may vary depending on the brand and model, it is crucial to understand the general guidelines for choosing the appropriate speed:

E-file slow speed (1,000-10,000 RPM): This speed is ideal for delicate nail procedures, such cleaning the cuticle area with diamond cuticle bits from 5,000-10,000 RPM or nail prep with a sanding band from 1,000–5,000 RPM.

E-file medium speed (10,000-15,000 RPM): This speed range is commonly used for general filing and shaping of both natural nails and thinner enhancements such as gel polish or builder gel.

E-file high speed (15,000-35,000 RPM): High speeds are mainly applied for quick product removal, such as gel or acrylic extensions. Additionally, high speeds are suitable for bulk filing and reducing thickness as well as callus removal on the feet to prevent heat build-up.

Different electric file grits and their uses

The grit of your e-file bit refers to the coarseness of its surface and determines its level of abrasiveness. The following grit ranges are commonly available:

Diamond cuticle bits

• Coarse grit: equal to a 140–170 grit nail file.
• Medium grit: equal to a 200–230 grit buffer.
• Fine grit: equal to a 400–grit file or buffer.
• Extra fine grit: equal to a 600-grit file or buffer.

Unlike carbide bits, diamond bits and sanding bands have an exact grit, meaning you can calculate exactly the level of abrasion you are using on the skin or nail plate to prevent damage.

Carbide and silicone bits

Unlike a sanding band or diamond carbide bit, the grit standard of carbide bit is divided according to the number of teeth at the bottom of the drill bits. This differs when the flute size and shape is different.

Our standard medium-grit, five-in-one straight cut bit has a 5.35mm flute size with 26 teeth on top and bottom. The bottom has wider spaced teeth for medium grit, while the top has closer teeth for a fine grit tip.

Sanding bands

• Coarse grit (150): primarily used for quick and efficient product removal.
• Medium grit (180): ideal for refining the nail surface, these grits work effectively on both natural and enhancements. They can be used in the natural nail for prep, but a 240 is preferred.

Katie Barnes is an award-winning nail professional, competition judge, educator and owner of the Katie Barnes Tool Range.

PB Admin

PB Admin

Published 07th Jun 2024

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