Nail files and buffs: the ultimate guide

Nail files and buffs are a must-have in every nail technicians kit. They are essential in creating a beautifully shaped, elegant manicure. Although most nail techs have their favourites, are we making the most of these unsung heroes? Well, we have put together the ultimate guide to our files and buffs so that you can become an expert in shaping and shining. 

Back to basics 

One of the most frequently asked questions during manicure training is 'what grit should I use?'. Grit is how we rate the size of abrasive materials on files. The amount of abrasion caused to the nail is determined by how many abrasive grains are in one-inch square. To put this simply, the lower the number the more rough or abrasive the file is, the higher the number the less rough and smoother the file is. 

Shape and size 

Like most things in life the variety is vast, and they come in almost every shape and size possible. Here at RE:NEW, we have whittled it down to create our very own selection of files and buffs that will truly complement you during any treatment. Let’s look at these and how each of them can be used.

Buffs Vs Files  

Buffs are used to smooth over the top of the nail or your gel. They tend to be more cushioned than a file. Files help you to reduce the length of your free edge. They tend to be thinner to make manoeuvring around the nail easier. 

File Name, Pack size, Shape & Grit (where applicable) 

Uses 

BLACK TEARDROP FILE - 100 / 180 GRIT 

Perfect for removing the top layer of gel during a gel removal treatment. Or shaping strong, hard natural nails or nail extensions and tips.  

SMALL BLACK FILES - 150/220 (PACK OF 10) 

A small easy to manoeuvre file used to shorten the natural nail or for refining on the surface of the gel.

FINE / MEDIUM - SPONGE BUFF - 100/180 (PACK OF 5) 

The perfect buff to prep the natural nail before gel manicure  application, eliminate ridges on nails, refine gel extensions and blend them to the natural nail and shape and refine the barrel of the nail after base gel application. 

FINE / MEDIUM - COFFIN SPONGE BUFF - 100/180 (PACK OF 5) 

 

The perfect coffin shaped buff ready to help prep the natural nail before gel application as well as eliminate any ridges on nails. Great at refining and blending gel extensions and to shape and refine the barrel of the nail after base gel application and before colour application. 

MEDIUM / COARSE - SPONGE BUFF - 80/100 (PACK OF 5) 

Perfect for refining the base layer application before your colour application. It can also be used for refining gel extensions and blending them to the natural nail. Can be used to remove the top layer of gel during a gel removal treatment.

GREY SPONGE BUFF - 180 / 220 (PACK OF 5) 

Can be used to prep the natural nail before Bio Sculpture or Evo Gel application. It will eliminate ridges on nails. Additionally, use it to shape and refine the barrel of the nail after base gel application and before colour application. 

BRIGHT PINK SPONGE BUFF - 180 / 220 (PACK OF 4) 

Practical and pretty, this pink sponge buff is great for prepping the natural nail before Bio Sculpture or Evo Gel application and  will eliminate ridges on nails. Can be used to shape and refine the barrel of the nail after base gel application.

POWER FILE - 100 / 180 GRIT (PACK OF 5) 

Use to break the top layer of gel during a gel removal treatment. Can also be used to shape gel extensions, tips or extremely hard, strong natural nails.

VERSAFILE - 150 / 240 GRIT (PACK OF 5) 

A nail technician staple used to shape natural nails. It is lightweight and small making it easy to move around the nail. 

COFFIN SHAPE ZEBRA FILE - 100 / 220 GRIT (PACK OF 5) 

Great to shape natural nails with it's handy coffin shape. Our Zebra File is coated with zinc stearate powder which acts as a lubricant this reduces friction and clogging from nail dust. This then helps the longevity of the file. 

COFFIN SHAPE ZEBRA FILE - 150 / 240 GRIT (PACK OF 5) 

Coated with zinc stearate powder our zebra coffin file is perfect for shaping natural nails.

ZEBRA FILE - 100 / 220 GRIT (PACK OF 5) 

This zebra file is great to create shape in natural nails, gel extensions or tips. This file is coated with zinc stearate powder. 

HYGIENIC FILE HANDLE & 9 PATCHES 

With hygiene as a priority, this wonderful file allows for versatility. The handle has multiple file patches that stick onto it. When finished, the file patch can be replaced with a new one suited to the task. Included is 3xBlack, 3xBlue & 3xWhite file patches.

COLOURED SHINER 

 

Used for final gloss finishing and the best way to leave a shine on natural nails.

 

Quality pays off 

It can be tempting to go with the cheapest option when shopping for files, but price is often a reflection of quality. Cheaper, poorly made files and buffs can often shed their grit, wear out, crease, fold, become too flexible (as they often require extra pressure and effort to achieve the same result), and even cut fingers. In many cases, higher quality files will last longer and ultimately save you money, not to mention provide your client with a superior treatment experience. 


What to do next? 

We hope this guide has helped you better understand the wide world of files and buffs. Even if you are a diehard fan of our small black file or perhaps our bright pink buff, we encourage you to try out our new products, experiment with our current lines and find a system that suits you best.