There’s also grit or coarseness to consider in emery boards, which can make or break weak or damaged nails. We promise this guide and our top ten picks will get your talons in tip-top condition! Moreover, we have partnered with Makeup Artist Marie Dancer for reviewing and fact-checking the article so that we can deliver the best information to our users.
As a professional make-up artist of ten years, Marie's job has taken her all over the UK working at top events, on TV shows and making up beautiful brides. For all her clients she loves emphasising their natural beauty by creating a flawless base that still looks like skin.
A recommendation service that carefully researches each product and consults with experts across many disciplines. We are constantly creating new content to provide the best shopping experience from choosing ‘cosmetics’ to ‘food and drink’, ‘home appliances’ to ‘kids and baby’ products, reaching users all across the United Kingdom.
The expert oversees the Buying Guide only, and does not determine the products and services featured.
Table of Contents
As a professional makeup artist of ten years, Marie's job has taken her all over the UK, working at top events, on TV shows and making up beautiful brides. For all of her clients, she loves emphasising their natural beauty by creating a flawless base that still looks like skin.
Find out more about Marie and what are her favourite makeup products are through her Instagram! She even shares some industry tips on makeup application too. And if you're interested in getting your makeup done by Marie, you can contact her via her email found at the top of her page.
On top of this, when you file with glass you are actively sealing the keratin layers on the edge of the nail, preventing chipping and splitting and boosting nail strength and growth. And finally, even if they’re a bigger upfront investment, glass files are more economical, sustainable and hygienic as they’ll last for years, and can be washed between uses.
Another way to maintain strong, healthy nails is by using cuticle oils - browse our top 10!
It is worth checking if the core is made from traditional cardboard, or a material such as EVA foam, as this will determine whether the file is washable and how long they last. Cardboard files are usually intended for use only a handful of times before they wear out and need replacing, and will not be able to be washed.
If you only need a file for occasional use you may find these perfectly sufficient, but otherwise, you can check the product description for the material and washability if you’d like something longer lasting.
For a professional manicure at home, an electric nail file - known as a nail drill or e-file - will give a perfect finish to both false and natural nails. Electric files are geared more to experts and should be handled safely and with care. Using one of the many attachments you're able to file, shape and clean up the nails as well as remove gel and acrylics.
Different settings and speeds will help you navigate using both your dominant and less skilled hand and to suit your different nail needs. Practice makes perfect with the electric nail file but once you learn you can save money on costly salon visits!
More durable than a cardboard file, they usually come in multipacks so you can choose as many as you see fit. Again, it’s worth checking whether they are washable for hygiene reasons, although their cores are commonly made of plastic.
Here are the best manicure sets for all-rounded nail care!
Some also have dual-sided grits, whereby the coarser is to be used for filing, and the softer for smoothing and shaping. Our advice is to ensure you use the appropriate abrasiveness for your nail type and condition, or you could end up doing more harm than good.
Here’s an explanation of the numbers to get you started:
You may prefer to stick to straight if that’s what you’re used to, or if you only require a basic file; either way, you will generally only find emery boards or padded files available in these distinct shapes.
If you're looking for a reliable pair of nail clippers, we got you covered too!
Click to purchase
Crystal Nail File
Award-Winning Crystal Nail File That’ll Last a Lifetime
Bona Fide Beauty
Glass Nail File Set
Glass Files That Are Gentle Enough for Weak Nails
Crystal Glass Professional Nail File
Medium Grit Tempered Glass File for Both Gel and Natural Nails
Professional Nail File Set
A Complete Set or Emery Boards Ranging From 100 to 4000 Grit
Neon Hot Buff Smooth and Shine Block
Practical Block for Filling, Shaping and Buffing
Professional Emery Boards, Soft
Gentle File Designed for Brittle Nails
Small Crystal Nail File｜3 pack
Pocket-Sized Crystal Nail File for Travel
The Edge Nails
Zebra Curved Emery Boards｜Pack of 5
Pro Emery Board Especially for Acrylics
Electric Nail Drill Set for Beginners
Electric Nail File Kit for Salon-Style Home Manicures and Pedicures
Professional Emery Boards｜120/240 Grit
Cheap Multipack for Shaping Acrylic Nails
An aluminium hard case is included too which is always welcome, and the brand even proclaim this as the toughest file on the market. This file has it all – it's pretty, it's washable, it’s reasonably-priced, and it’s just the right size for at home or on the move. We can’t fault it!
This file is highly rated for its quality finish and bacteria-shunning protective pouch, and even comes with a lifetime guarantee. You can also purchase a pack of three or six if you'd like to stock up or have one for every handbag!
An additional technique to add in: When using any nail file, it's essential to only file in one direction, changing direction where necessary. You shouldn't file back and forth like a saw because you can cause trauma to the nail bed, weakening the nail.
Written and researched by Natasha Dziubajlo
No. 1: Leighton Denny ｜Crystal Nail File
No. 2: Bona Fide Beauty｜Glass Nail File Set
No. 3: G.Liane ｜Crystal Glass Professional Nail File
No. 4: Teenitor ｜Professional Nail File Set
No. 5: Tweezerman｜Neon Hot Buff Smooth and Shine Block
View Full Ranking
When you purchase products mentioned in the article, part of the sales may be returned to mybest.
The descriptions of each product is referenced from the content available from the manufacturer, e-commerce sites etc.
PC and cameras
Home appliances and electronics
Cosmetics and skincare
Food and drinks
Kids and baby
Interior and furniture
DIY and tools
Sports and fitness
Books, CDs, DVDs
Cars and motorcycles
Housing equipment and renovation
Smartphones and mobile phones