When you enter a Nail store, you will be surprised to find out how many types of files and buffer blocks there are. Why are there so many? What do they all do? Want to find out? Continue reading!
You are probably used to using cardboard files or metal ones without having paid attention to the grain on each sides. You have to be careful because some are rougher and some are softer and they do not do the same thing. In the professional nail world, you will find that most files go from 80 to 240 when it comes to the grain.
80 grain files
The smaller the number the rougher the grain. 80 is usually the rougher you can get in a file. It is mostly used for false nails, acrylic or nail with a thick layer of polish or gel on them. It can also be used on the feet. It is not recommended to use that grain on natural nails because it is too rough and it can hurt you and damage the nail .
100 grain files
The 100 grain is also one of the roughest, but less than the 80. It is also used on acrylic and false nails. This grain is still too rough to use on natural nails.
180 grain files
This type of grain is the middle ground. Not too rough but not too soft. It might be too soft for false nails and acrylic but perfect for gel, UV polish, regular polish and natural nails.
240 grain files
The 240 grain is the softest and the best for natural nails. You can use it to remove regular polish or to shape the natural nail and smooth the surface. It is too soft to work with other types of nail enhancements.
For blocks, there are also different types of grains, going from 80 to 220. Blocks can replace files, it just depends on what you like to hold and manipulate with your hands. Some people prefer holding files, others, block. In general, blocks are softer than files so they are less likely to be painful. Their bigger surface makes them perfect for sculpting the surface of the nail and smoothing it too. Blocks are mostly use to prep the surface of the nail before applying, gel, resin, acrylic or PolyGel. If you are only using regular polish on natural nails, you don’t absolutely need a buffer block.
This block is mostly used to prep the nail before enhancement. It’s going to take all the shine off of the nail surface and make it ready for products to adhere. It is moderately rough.
This block is softer (220). It is usually the second step of nail prep. It is going to take away file marks and can smooth the surface before aplying your top coat at the end of your manicure.
This file or block is used to polish, like the name suggest. It is going super soft and is going to make your nails shiny and polished. It is the ideal tool to keep in a purse when you always have bare, natural nails. It gives a beautiful finish to the natural nails.