Choosing the best nail file is simple once you determine the type of file you prefer and how you primarily intend to use it. While some nail files are flat and offer only two filing surfaces, others are three-dimensional and offer multiple surfaces for many functions, including buffing and shining. In addition to varying thicknesses, files also vary by design, length and texture. No matter the style, the best nail file to use may be one that is the easiest to operate and hold on to, such as an over-sized file.
The best nail file for everyday use is often a common emery board file. It features a rougher, more abrasive filing surface on one side for fast shaping. The other side has a finer grit surface for smoothing and finishing touches. Ceramic stone nail files are gentle on weak nails and are typically the best nail file if you want a long-lasting device.
Metal files are often durable and geared toward use on toe nails as well as fingernails. In addition to a filing surface, metal files often have additional features. Many metal nail files have a cuticle pusher on one end and a nail cleaner on the other end. Metal nail files are available in straight, bar styles and foldable, pocket styles, and selecting the best nail file will depend on your personal preferences.
Crystal glass styles of nail files are also available. The benefit of glass is that it does not tend to tear the nail as it is filed; instead it glides and smooths the nail. Glass nail files are available clear, colored and even embellished with crystals. The best nail file for gift giving may be a custom creation featuring hand-painted symbols, such as angels, cats or flowers.
For natural, shining nails without polish, the best nail file choice may be a multi-use tool. In addition to a filing surface, multi-use nail files feature surfaces for buffing and polishing. The multi-use tool is typically the best nail file when using one tool is preferable to using several different tools. Multi-use manicure tools also include nail clippers that feature a fold-out nail file. The file may even feature a nail cleaner on one end, and some pocket knives also feature retractable or foldable blades that are nail files.
Some types of nail files are designed to last a lifetime. These lifetime files typically are made of a durable material, such as ceramic or glass crystals. The only maintenance they usually require is occasional cleaning with soap and water.