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Types of Nail Files - Which Is the Best One?

November 17, 2018

Nails are one of the first things people notice about us so it is no surprise to see many manicure and pedicure salons around Australia. After all, who does not want to make a good impression?


Apart from the social function, there are a few other reasons why we should take good care of them. They do not only help us to perform daily activities such as scratching our self or picking up coins, but also protect our fingers and serve as a reliable indicator of our overall health.


This does not mean that you have to go to the beauty salon and get a manicure every week. If you think it is wasted money or time, you can still take care of your nails at home. It is less expensive, saves your time and if you have the right tools, it can provide additional benefits from regular salon treatments.


With all the nail file options available on the market it can sometimes be difficult to choose the right one for your nails. We would like to shed some light on the different types of nail files and their pros and cons. In general, there are three different types of nail files you can find on the market: emery board nail files, metal files and glass files. 


Emery Board Nail Files

Emery board nail files are the least expensive and the most common. Unfortunately, price is pretty much the only advantage. If not used well, these files can even damage your nails. Let me explain:


The file has small grains of sand glued to the surface (basically it is the equivalent of sandpaper) and when filing the nails, the emery board tears the end of the nail and leaves the nail edge open - this can cause splintering of the nails. When using this type of nail file, it is very important to file only in one direction to minimize damage to your nails. Unfortunately, they are often used incorrectly.


Another disadvantage of the emery board files is the fact that they cannot be easily cleaned and can support growth of fungus and bacteria as dirt and debris can penetrate the cardboard. Fungi and bacteria can then be spread on and under your nails increasing the risk of infections. That’s why professional salons use emery board files only once making them the least environmentally friendly files.


Metal Nail Files

Like their cardboard counterparts, metal files can also leave the nail edge open and cause splintering. Both types of files are very harsh on natural nails and can do more harm than good during the filing process. The main advantages of metal files are that they last longer and are easier to clean. If not cleaned properly, dirt and debris can still stick to the metal surface making them a breeding ground for fungi and bacteria. In terms of the environment, they score better than the emery board files (no trees are involved in the production process), but some specialists recommend to throw them out after several uses in order to prevent bacteria spreading.


Glass Nail Files

Glass files also known as crystal files are the highest quality files you can use on your nails and will cost more than their metal or cardboard counterparts. But not all glass files are made equal. The quality depends on the manufacturing process. There are a few ways glass files can be manufactured having an impact on cost and quality. Cheaper methods include gluing tiny glass filings to the glass surface or using cheap acid to create the abrasive surface. These files may not ensure gentle filing, can cause nail splitting and may go dull after a while.


The best quality files are manufactured using hardened glass to ensure durability and dull edges in case the file breaks. The abrasive surface can be either created through acid roughening the surface or baking silica into the surface (used in the Sakury Nail File). The final steps include polishing the edges and tempering in the oven to ensure durability. The whole production process is more complex than described, but these are the basic steps taken to make a glass file. The best quality files come from the Czech Republic which has a long glass-making history and is internationally recognized for its high quality crystal products.


The filing surface is very fine, it does not tear the nail like the emery or metal files. In fact, it seals the keratin layers together at the edge of the nail, leaving your nails incredibly smooth. They work very well on both hard and soft nails. Having smooth nails also means that your manicure will last longer. Why not get it right if you are already investing your money and time into it?


Another benefit is that the glass is nonporous, so it does not support bacteria growth and therefor glass files are very hygienic. They are great for professional use as well – they give excellent performance and are easy to sanitized and sterilized (with disinfecting liquids, UV lighting, or heat). The glass surface is permanent, the files can last years if you do not break them and they are recyclable! Out of all the three types of file, glass nail files are the most environmentally friendly and the most gentle tool to your nails, so you get plenty of value for the higher price.


The Unique Silica Technology used in Sakury Files



Sakury files are designed and manufactured in the Czech Republic using the traditional glass-making techniques which enable the production of different grades of coarseness. There are no chemicals such as glues or acids involved in the manufacturing process. Unlike the other glass files available on the market, Sakury files are unique due to their ergonomic shape (which allows better handling) and the use of Quartz in the abrasive surface (99.7% Quartz purity).


A key benefit of the Quartz abrasive surface is its positive effect on nails and skin around the nails. Quartz / silica penetrates the nails during the filing process strengthening and nourishing them. The file is designed as a 3-in-1 manicure file – you can use the handle for cuticle treatment, the tip for nail cleaning and the long abrasive surface for filing. The edges of the file are also abrasive and can be used for the bottom part of the nails.


Different types of coarseness are used for different types of files. Fine abrasive surface is used for nail file, while rougher surface is used for pedicure file (Sakury Pedicure File).


Best of all, the files have antibacterial and antimycotic properties making them ideal for people with diabetes who should be extra careful to prevent bacterial infection.

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