What You Need to Know About Nail File Grit Sizes

Whether you're someone who likes to do full manicures at home or just like taking care of your nails, you need to know the correct grit size for the job.

What You Need to Know About Nail File Grit Sizes


Nail files are essential tools used to shape and smooth a nail to ensure flawless polish application. Even if you aren’t someone who enjoys manicures or polish, almost everyone with a consistent nail care routine knows how much the correct grit can make a natural nail shine. So, whether you’re looking for beautiful, natural nails or creating the perfect blank canvas for your nail art, here’s what you need to know about nail file grit sizes.

60 to 80 Grit

This may go without saying, but for those who aren’t aware, the lower the grit, the coarser the file or buff will be. For example, 60 grit files are usually used to remove dead skin and callouses and, if used on nails, will cause jagged edges. However, it can be used to shape thick acrylics; the same goes for 80 grit. The difference between 60 and 80 grit is that 80 grit can be used on thick natural nails but be wary, as it is the sharpest fingernail file.

100 to 240 Grit

100 and 120 grit files are used to refine artificial nails, but this level of grit is where you start to find a middle ground. Anything lower than 180 grit will be used to remove a lot of nail at once and should not be used too quickly if you have thin nails. 180 grit is the perfect middle ground for most nail types to remove and shape nails without spending a lot of time filing and buffing. However, 180 grit is usually followed up by 240 grit to smooth out bumps on the nail bed and shape the very edge, and you should never use anything lower than a 240 grit file to buff the tops of your nails.

320 to 600 Grit

These grits are ideal for those looking to smooth out the tops of their nails without causing abrasion marks. While you want to start with a 240, just in case, you can always go higher. You can go up to a 600 grit file if you want to smooth the nail. Anything over 600 grit and into the thousands will be used to shine the nail slowly. While you can use these grits, keep in mind that the intention is less to remove and shape the nail but to add shine and a glossy look to the natural nail.

With this quick guide to nail file grit sizes, you can make the right choice whenever you want beautifully shaped nails.


Photo – RODNAE Productions

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