Complete Guide to Nail Drill Bits: Materials, Shapes & Usage

Still thinking electric nail drills are too difficult and for professional use only? It’s time to get rid of this idea. Once you learned how to work with it, you will definitely say why you don’t use this wonderful tool earlier.

When you are ready to know about nail drills, bunches of drill bits in various shapes and what are they exactly used for can be confusing.

In order to help all the beginners, we made a specific guide for almost all kinds of drill bits that mostly used. Let’s meet them one by one.

What materials are drill bits made of?

Basiclly, all the nail drill bits on the market right now are made of these 3 materials.

Carbide Bits


Carbide bits are made of Tungsten Carbide, which are very hard and long lasting. They are suitable for professional use and perfect for removing polygel and acrylics, cutting the smile line, shaping and refining your acrylics surface. Just remember don’t use coarse carbide bits on natural nails, because they can damage your nails in seconds.

Ceramic Bits


Ceramic bits are made of ceramic, which are also strong as well as gentle. They are very popular among manicurists. Because of the nature of ceramic, they reduces heat when filing. What’s more, they are more soft and less likely to hurt your skin and nails. Ceramic bits are ideal for people who have sensitive skin and thin nail beds.

Diamond Bits


Diamond bits are made of metal and have diamond particles on the surface. Compared with the other two materials, diamond bits are finner and can create more dust and heat when filing. Due to the dense diamond particles, they are mostly used for cuticle removing.

There are various of sizes and grits of bits made in all kinds of materials, divided into fine, medium and coarse grits. A finner bits will be slower than a coarser one, but comes to a smoother result.

What’s the different usage of every shape of drill bits?

Mandrel Bits & Sanding Bands


Mandrel bits are working with sanding bands in different grits. The paper sanding bands are perfect for beginners to practice and they are usually used to remove shine for a better adhesion of your nails and products. Unlike any other bits, sanding bands are one-time-use only.

Barrel Bits


Barrel bits have flat and sharp top, which are best for shortening and shaping the acrylic or polygel to your ideal length. Cutting a smile line with this shape will be super easy.

Needle Bits


Needle bits are also called under the nail cleanser bits. They are very pointy and slim which enable them to go to a narrow place such as under the nail. If you need to make a design with a hole on your nails, a needle bit will be your choice.

Cone Bits


Cone bits resemble the shape of cones, which works greatly with the natural curve of your nails. They are great for removing acrylics and polygels.

Ball Bits


With a ball shape on the head, ball bits are using for trimming the edge of the cuticles to remove the dead and hard skin.

Flame Bits


Flame bits are usually small and perfect for cuticles and sidewalls cleaning. It’s pointed head can clean the corners easily.

Safety Bits


Safety bits are the ones with rounded tops so they won’t cut your cuticles and skin when filing close to the cuticle area. They are in various shapes and great for beginners to practice without hurting yourselves.

As a beginner, you don’t really need to have all of these shapes. Here are five must have bits for you to practice with:

  1. A mandrel bit with sanding bands to prep your nail beds.
  2. A ball bit to clean cuticles.
  3. A barrel bit to shape and refine your nails.
  4. A needle bit to clean the underneath.
  5. A cone bit to remove nail products.

How often should a bit get replaced?

If the bits get dull, you will spend more time and pressure to file. It is time wasting and can cause your wrist pain. Except sanding bands which are one-time use, metal and ceramic drill bits usually can last up to 6 months’ everyday use.

However, when to change a new one is totally depending on how you feeling when you work with it. Just change it when you think it’s time to work with a new one.

How to clean, sanitize and store the drill bits?

Cleaning and sanitizing your drill bits is very important to prevent infection and spread of disease and bacteria, especially you are using them on your clients’ nails.

Every time after using the nail bits, you should clean it with soap and brush, or soak the bits in acetones for 6-7 minutes and turn it on to get rid of the dirts before taking it out.

Next comes to the sanitizing step. Soak the bits in 75% alcohol or other disinfectant for several minutes and take out to make them dry.

For the storing, you would better put them in a box to make sure them are not eroded by other chemicals.

Tips for you:

  1. Buff the top of a new flat head bit first to make it smooth and avoid cutting.
  2. Always keep your e-file in motion, don’t use it in one place over and over again.
  3. Use the drill in one direction towards yourself, don’t use it back and forth.
  4. Try the file in your own nails at first to feel the speed and working process can help you understand it better than using in a fake hand.
  5. Choose a suitable speed. If the speed is too slow, it will stop when you touch the nail. If it is too fast, it will heat the nail and cause damage to your nail.

After reading all the details above, you must have an idea on how to work with an e-file now. Here is our best seller mini LED portable nail drill pen for you to starter with. Grab it with limited 50% off discount right now!

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