From Coarse to Fine: The Different Grades of Nail Files

From Coarse to Fine: The Different Grades of Nail Files

The use of nail files is a common practice in the grooming routines of individuals. Nail files serve the purpose of shaping and smoothing the edges of nails. However, there are different grades of nail files available in the market that cater to varying levels of coarseness and fineness. Knowing about these different grades can be beneficial as it can help individuals choose a file that best suits their needs.

The grading system for nail files ranges from coarse to fine, with each grade being assigned a number based on its level of abrasiveness. Coarse-grit files have lower numbers and are used for shaping thicker nails, while fine-grit files have higher numbers and are used for smoothing or buffing thin nails.

Additionally, understanding the different materials that make up these nail files can also impact their effectiveness and durability. As such, this article aims to provide an overview of the different grades of nail files available in the market and their respective uses, allowing individuals to make informed decisions when selecting a nail file for their personal grooming routine.

Understanding The Grading System

The grading system of nail files is an important factor to consider when choosing the right tool for your needs.

The different grades of nail files range from coarse to fine, and each grade is designed for a specific purpose.

Coarse nail files are typically used for shaping and shortening nails, while medium-grade files are used for smoothing out rough edges and removing ridges.

Fine-grade files are best suited for polishing and finishing the nails.

Understanding the grading system can help you choose the appropriate file to achieve your desired results without damaging your natural nails.

It is important to note that using a file with a higher grade than necessary can cause unnecessary damage to your nails, and it is recommended to start with a lower grade before moving on to a finer grade if needed.

Different Materials For Nail Files

Understanding the grading system of nail files is crucial in achieving a well-manicured look. After grasping the concept of nail file grading, it is essential to know the different materials used to make them.

Nail files can be made from various materials such as sandpaper, glass, ceramic, and metal. Sandpaper nail files are the most common and affordable ones out there; they come in different grades and are suitable for natural nails.

Glass nail files are gentle on natural nails and can last longer than sandpaper ones. Ceramic nail files are ideal for shaping acrylic nails as they have a coarse surface that works well with artificial nails.

Metal nail files are not recommended for natural nails because they can be too harsh on them but work well on acrylics or gels. In conclusion, selecting the right material for your nail file depends on personal preference and what you intend to use it for.

Coarse-Grit Files

Coarse-Grit Files are the first grade of nail files that are used for shaping and shortening of natural nails. These files have grits ranging from 80 to 100, which makes them very abrasive and suitable for rough work.

Here are some important features of coarse-grit files that you should know:

  1. Suitable for thick nails: Coarse-grit files are perfect for thick and hard nails as they can easily file them down.
  2. Quick results: Due to their abrasive nature, coarse-grit files produce quick results, making them ideal for people who have little time to spare.
  3. Not suitable for thin nails: Coarse-grit files can damage thin and delicate nails as they are too abrasive.
  4. Regular maintenance required: Coarse-grit files tend to wear out quickly due to their abrasive nature, so regular maintenance is required to ensure their longevity.

Overall, coarse-grit files are an essential tool in any nail care kit as they provide a quick and effective solution for shaping and shortening natural nails. However, it is important to use them with caution and follow proper maintenance procedures to avoid any damage or injury.

Medium-Grit Files

Medium-grit files are an essential tool in achieving a smooth nail surface after using a coarse-grit file. These files have a grit range of 180-240 and are ideal for shaping the nails and removing any rough edges left by the coarse-grit file. They are also useful in preparing the nail surface for finer grit files, which will help to achieve a polished finish. Medium-grit files should be used with moderate pressure to avoid over-filing or damaging the natural nail. It is important to note that medium-grit files should not be used on thin or weak nails as they may cause splitting or peeling.

Grit RangeIdeal UsePressure Required

In summary, medium-grit files play an important role in achieving smooth and polished nails. They should be used with caution and only on healthy and strong nails to avoid any damage. The following section will discuss fine-grit files, which are necessary for a perfectly polished finish.

Fine-Grit Files

Fine-grit files are the next level up from medium-grit files and have a grit range of 240-600.

These types of files are ideal for smoothing out any rough edges on your nails after using a medium-grit file, as well as shaping and refining the nail.

Fine-grit files are often made with materials such as glass or ceramic, which allow for a more gentle filing experience without causing damage to the nail bed.

It is important to note that even though fine-grit files are less abrasive than medium-grit files, they should still be used with caution and not overly filed to prevent thinning or weakening of the nail.

Overall, fine-grit files offer a more polished finish to your nails and are an essential tool in achieving a professional-looking manicure at home.


The grading system of nail files is crucial in achieving the perfect manicure. It’s important to understand the differences between coarse, medium, and fine-grit files to achieve the desired result.

Coarse-grit files are used for shaping and shortening nails quickly. Medium-grit files are best for smoothing out rough edges and preparing the nail surface for polish or acrylics. Fine-grit files are used for buffing and creating a polished finish.

Different materials also play a role in the effectiveness of nail files. Metal files are durable but can be too harsh on natural nails. Glass files are gentle but can break easily if not handled with care. Emery boards are affordable but can wear out quickly.

It’s essential to choose the appropriate grit and material based on your individual needs to avoid damaging your natural nails or artificial enhancements.

In conclusion, using the right grade of nail file is akin to being an artist who uses different brushes to create a masterpiece. Each brush has its unique purpose and function, just as each grade of nail file serves its specific purpose in achieving a flawless manicure.

Like an artist’s delicate touch, taking care when selecting your nail file will ensure that you achieve perfect results every time.