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7 Best Nail Files For Acrylic Nails In 2022

by Gabbi

We all know nails can be the extension of our personalities. Nails can be creative and exuberant. A lot of people choose to showcase their characteristics through acrylic nails.

Acrylic nails can serve various purposes, like concealing short nails or even preventing nail-biting. They help so many people achieve long beautiful nails in all shapes and sizes.

One thing to know about acrylic nails is that they require an abundance of maintenance. For some, it’s not a problem. It’s who they are and it increases their confidence. Others want tools to ease the process. 

An essential tool for maintaining acrylic nails is a nail file, or even an electric nail file, or nail buffer. Nail files can do everything from helping to remove acrylic to shape the nail or even to care for the cuticle. But will any old nail file, electric or regular, work?

What are the best nail files for acrylic nails? The best nail files for acrylic nails have a low grit, making them coarser and more abrasive. Opt for nail files that are 80/80 or 60/60 grit or nail buffers that are 220/280.

What should you look for in a nail file? It depends on the purpose of the nail file. Is it for removal? Shaping? Nail files come either with different attachments or in different grit levels. We’ll discuss what you need in a nail file and also share some of the best products on the market in this article.

Let’s get started!

Acrylic Nails 

In case you’re new to the nail world, acrylic nails are a specific type of fake nails. They are made when you mix a powder polymer and liquid monomer to form a bead. That bead is then placed on the natural nail and is sculpted to create a long nail extension. 

It can take a nail tech years to truly master the art of acrylic nails. It’s not as easy as it looks. It takes practice to mix powder and liquid monomer into the perfect consistency.

It is also a pain to work with a perfectly made bead of product on the nail and sculpt it into the desired shape. Acrylic nails are known to be more durable than gel nails. 

While both gel and acrylic can be soaked-off with acetone (depending on how it was manufactured by a brand); acrylic nails will need solid and long-lasting nail files

Best Tools For Filing Acrylic Nails

Not just any nail file will work for acrylic nails. They are durable and require the right tools for shaping or removing them from the nail bed.

Let’s look at the two basic types of tools you should look for when filing acrylic nails:

Coarse Grit Nail File

When it comes to nail files, the grit often refers to how rough or harsh the nail file will be on the natural nail. Non-electric nail files have a sandpaper-like texture. Depending on the abrasiveness will determine the outcome. 

Because acrylic nails are durable, you will need a low-grit nail file. A tip to remember when shopping for nail files is the lower the number; the more coarse a nail file will be. 

The higher the number on a nail file, the more delicate and soft the grit will be. So for acrylics, it’s best to opt for a 80/80 or 60/60 grit nail file. These are made to take a lot of product off. 

Medium/Fine Grit Buffer

Buffers are similar to nail files, but they are more gentle, and they have a different purpose. They can bring shine to the nails, and they can smooth the nail out after a coarse nail file.

A 220/280 buffer is an excellent second nail file to have on hand. It will smooth out ridges and even out the nail before a polish application. A 600/4000 buffer can also be beneficial to use.

These soft buffers are the best for shining the nails. This, along with the 220/280 buffer, are great to remove scratches and imperfections from acrylic nails. 

7 Best Nail Files For Acrylic Nails

Everyone should have a few different nail files on hand, especially when working with acrylic nails. As a summary, here’s a look at the essentials you need for acrylics:

  • Coarse grit nail file/drill bit (80 or 60)
  • Medium grit buffer block/drill bit (150)
  • Shine block to add shine and remove scratches (600/4000)
  • Optional: acrylic nail clippers and attachment(s) for cuticles

If you’re looking to take care of those pretty acrylics, here are some great nail files to try out:

RankProductKey Features
1.BTArtbox Professional Portable Nail DrillPowerful, precise, easy to use
2.MelodySusie Portable Electric Nail DrillLow heat/noise, 6 drill bits, 6 sanding bands
3.JEWHITNEY Professional Nail Drill30,000 RPM, low heat/noise, 110-240V
4.YaFex Electric Nail DrillLow heat/noise, 6 drill bits, 5V/2A
5.Belle Professional Nail DrillCordless, sanding bands & bits, quiet
6.Tachibelle Coarse Nail FilesFor natural/acrylic nails, 80/80 grit, made in Japan
7.Makartt Nail File KitFor natural/acrylic/gel nails, glossy finish
BonusMorary Nail Buffing BlockMedium grit, 4-sided, sanitizable

We also have a full review of each, so check out each one below to find the best for you and your nails.

1. BTArtbox Professional Portable Nail Drill

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If you’re looking for a serious heavy-duty option for tough nails, you can’t get any better than this electric nail file.

Not only is it powerful, precise, and easy to use, but it’s wireless, rechargeable, and portable as well.

You may think an electric nail file would be too loud and distracting, but this machine is actually very quiet and produces little heat or vibration.

While this product is professional-grade, it is more than suitable for home use as well. And don’t be intimidated if you’ve never used an electric nail file; this one is very easy to use.

2. MelodySusie Portable Electric Nail Drill

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This nail drill is practical and versatile. Its portability makes it easy to use and set up. It comes with six different drill bits that each serve their purpose. It is specifically designed for acrylic gel nails. 

This nail drill also has an adjustable speed rotation of 0-20,000RPM. It makes it easy to start slow and alter the speed while using. It is excellent to go slow and polish or quicker if you need to break down the product. 

It is not annoyingly loud, and its aluminum body allows the drill to work diligently while distributing heat. It is recommended only to use this for 20 minutes at a time, but this should be fine for working on your nails.

When the drill is working at a high speed, it will generate heat more quickly, so it’s best to stop using it when it gets to be too hot to handle. It can operate in various directions, and the drill is also comfortable for left-handed people. 

The drill is portable. All you need to do is plug it in and file away. The different drill bits allow you to break down acrylics, tend to cuticles, and smooth the natural nail. 

Overall, this option is perfect for beginners who are starting out with acrylic nails. The drill can achieve salon-quality nails at home. If you need to take it to the salon, no worries; its portability makes it a breeze. 

Key Features:

  • Portable
  • 6 different drill bits 
  • Built to work with acrylic nails 
  • Adjustable speed
  • Perfect for salon or at home 
  • Affordable

3. JEWHITNEY Professional Nail Drill

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This is an entire nail drill machine perfect for home use or the salon. You get all the bells and whistles in this nail drill. 

You receive one main machine, one handle, one-foot pedal, one nail brush, one nail buffer, 56 sanding bits, and six metal drill bits. This will cover all your needs for dealing with acrylics.

You will be able to grind, cut, polish, and tend to cuticles with this one machine. There isn’t a loud motor, and you don’t have to worry about the machine overheating. 

There is also an adjustable speed option of 0-30,000RPM. It helps when changing the rotation of the nail bit. It’s also suitable for those who are left or right-handed. 

This machine offers a foot pedal feature allowing you to adjust the speed with your foot. If you want a hands-free speed adjuster, then this is the electric nail file for you. 

This machine is perfect to have at any desk or working space. It is not as easy to take on the go, but it is well equipped with all the bits you need to provide a high-quality service. 

Great to replace a regular nail file, or if you are looking for a more professional setup. 

Key Features:

  • Can use the foot pedal to adjust speed
  • Six different drill bits available
  • Lightweight machine
  • Low heat, vibration, and noise

4. YaFex Electric Nail Drill

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What makes this nail drill different from the rest is its standard USB interface. It can connect to any USB device. It is portable, easy to plugin and use. Also included is a nail clipper for fake nails. 

You can, of course, alter the speed of the drill (0-20,000RPM), and it can also rotate in different directions. It is manufactured to work with acrylic nails specifically.

This set includes six 3/32in shank drill bits, 30 sanding bands, and an acrylic nail clipper. Great for the removal of acrylic nails or to prep the natural nails for an acrylic application. 

The different sand bands you get are 180 fine, 150 medium, and 80 coarse grits. This trio is essential for eliminating products in bulk, taking care of the natural nail, and tending to the cuticles. 

This electric nail file comes at an affordable price point suitable for beginners or those who just want to experiment with acrylic nails. It’s not a significant investment if you’re going to get started in nails. 

If you are always on the go or don’t want a high-maintenance nail drill machine, this option is the way to go. The best part is you won’t break the bank.  

Key Features:

  • USB port can be connected to a power bank
  • Acrylic clippers included
  • 6 drill bits
  • Portable
  • Beginner-friendly

5. Belle Professional Rechargeable Nail Drill

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The only way you can make a portable electric nail file better is by making it cordless. This one is cordless and portable. It even comes with its battery-powered control box. 

This nail drill can be used for 8-10 hours, and has a 2 hour charging period. It is just as good for salon use as home use and it is made to work with acrylic nails. It is high-speed (0-35,000RPM), and it can be altered with ease.

Due to the high-speed features of this nail drill, it can overheat quickly. Please don’t use it for more than 15 minutes at a time. Before you use it for the first time, charge it for 10 hours, then every 2-3. 

This set includes 3/32 in bits, twenty 150 grit sanding bands, and removable nail drill transparent case with a  2-in-1 hand piece belt clip and cradle. It can be used for both manicures and pedicures.

This electric nail file is ideal for salon use and should be used by nail students or nail technicians. There is a higher price point, so it will be an investment if you are looking to upgrade your nail file. 

The carrying case is lightweight and compact. It’s great if you make house calls and need something easy to throw into your bag. It removes acrylic from the nail like butter. 

Key Features:

  • Rechargeable
  • Cordless
  • Portable
  • Made to work with acrylics
  • High-speed
  • Can cater to manicures and pedicures

6. Tachibelle Coarse Nail Files

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Sometimes you don’t need any fancy nail drills or electric nail files. Regular nail files can get the job done, even if you need a little extra push. This 3-piece set provides excellent quality while working with acrylics. 

These nail files, in particular, are made in Japan. These are manufactured with durable adhesive, high-quality foam and sandpaper. There is an 80/80 grit on both sides of the nail file. 

While it states that the nail file can be used on natural nails, because it is so coarse, it’s best to use it for acrylic nails. The abrasiveness of this file will help remove a bulky amount of product. 

The middle of the file is cushioned, and the design of the file is easy to use. You’ll be able to file and shape in a flash. It is also easily washable, and it can be sanitized.

If you need a classic, coarse grit nail file, look no further. This simple, but high-quality set will take good care of your nails.

Key Features:

  • 80 grit that is coarse
  • Washable and sanitizable
  • Made up of high-quality materials
  • Affordable price point

7. Makartt Nail File Kit

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A set that has every nail file you could ever need. Perfect when it comes to working with acrylic nails. It’s a great option for you to refresh your nail kits or for those who are interested in working with acrylics. 

This set includes six different grits of nail files, their FLEX files, and Shiner files. They are made with high-quality emery board materials that are also double-sided. 

Each nail file executes a specific function. That can be removal, shaping, polishing, and more. All the files are sturdy and durable, which can help provide a salon-quality manicure at home. 

Key Features:

  • 6 different nail files
  • Complete set for beginners
  • Affordable price point
  • Portable

Bonus Product: Morary Nail Buffing Block

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After you file down your nails with a coarse grit file, it’s time to smooth the nail and remove ridges from the nail bed. There is no better way to do that than with a medium grit buffer block. 

These buffing blocks, in particular, have a four-way, 150 grit salon-grade sanding block. The sponge itself is flexible to contour to the shape of the nail while still remaining durable. 

These buffers are foam-based making them lightweight and easy to take on the go. They work well for fingers and toes. These blocks don’t cause damage to cuticles or the skin around the nails.

Medium grit is perfect to create an even nail base while prepping for acrylic nails. They are also easy to clean and keep sanitized for whenever you need them next. 

Key Features:

  • Durable, washable, and portable blocks
  • 150 medium grit 
  • Affordable
  • Perfect to prep for acrylic nails

The Takeaway

A nail drill or electric nail file is quick and efficient. It makes it easy to remove large amounts of acrylic from the nails. There are different attachments that can cater to other areas like the cuticles. 

Regular nail files are always helpful to have on hand, too. You might need to put in a little more effort filing the nails, but it will still get the job done. 

Thankfully it’s now easy to get your hands on all the tools to make dealing with acrylic nails a breeze. Whether you work at home or in a salon, there is an option for you. 

Acrylic nails just got so much easier to maintain and work with. 

Up Next: 7 Best Nail Files For Thick Toenails

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