The nail file you use matters. Here’s everything you need to know. 

Nail Files 101





When it comes to curating our at-home nail kits, color and care (in that order, typically) tend to take priority. Tools are the afterthought, forgotten until we need to fix a broken nail or once we finally realize the potential they bring to our at-home maintenance or DIY manicure routine. They’re not nearly as fun as Electric Summer, admittedly, but they’re certainly capable of elevating your nail game. Tools make the expert, after all—which is why the nail file you use can literally make or break your nails.

Here’s how to choose the best file for your nail type or manicure:











Emery boards are the most common types of nail file. In general, these tend to be the gentlest option on the market: they’re flexible, offer light shaping and smoothing, and are easy to travel with or replace on the go. 


  • Best suited for: Natural or weak, soft nails—or everyday shaping! 
  • #LondonTip: Do use these to shape your toenails, too! Our emery board nail file is large enough to make at-home pedicures a breeze; plus, its flexible nature makes betting to every edge easy.




Emery Board Nail File Londontown

Emery Board

Perfect for every day use to keep in your purse or at home










If you’ve gifted or purchased a manicure set at some point in your life, chances are that it came with a metal nail file. At first glance, they might seem like a great option: they’re sturdier than emery boards, easy to clean (if made of stainless steel), and because they tend to have thicker “teeth,” are incredibly effective at re-shaping nails quickly. For natural or weaker nails, metal nail files may be too aggressive: heavier grit actually grinds down the nail edge and leaves the tip vulnerable to splitting or breakage. For artificial nails, however (press-ons, gel or acrylic extensions, dip-powder), metal nail files are a great option to keep on hand.

  • Best suited for: Acrylic, gel, press-on, dipped powder, or natural nails with artificial extension











Glass nail files may seem delicate, but they’re perhaps the most resilient of all. Unlike emery boards or metal nail files, the surface doesn’t wear down as quickly—and even more importantly, a fine grit enables efficient filing without roughing up your nails. You can re-shape all nail types with ease and refine them with effortlessness. And once you’re done, simply rinse with warm, soapy water, let it dry, and store it in its pouch.


  • Best suited for: All nail types
  • #LondonTip: Make your glass nail file work in more ways than one! Because of their inherent durability, use them to help perfect polish application. If you ever get lakur on the skin surrounding your nails, dip the tip of your glass nail file into Strengthening Lacquer Remover and use it to remove that extra paint with pro-level precision.



White Glass Nail File

Glass Nail File

A professional quality glass file that gently shapes nail - also available in black.




    Which type of nail file are you stocking in your kit? Show us your go-to manicure essentials at @LondontownUSA


    With Love,


    Team Londontown

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