Admittedly, nail drills are a valuable investment to boot up a nail routine. But not for a beginner or an average nail doer who has never worked a day at a salon. For a pro nail junkie (maybe you), buying the best nail drills or electric files available in the market may seem easier.
For a beginner, it may seem like a nightmare in the candy world. So, if you have no clue whatsoever regarding nail drills or electric files, you can get back to your standard file and clipper. They are more than sufficient.
But if you are a pro DIY manicurist or if you want to try a nail drill with the mani-skills you possess, there are several nail drills to buy in 2021. Keep reading to get your list!
Nail Drills Or Electric Files For Polished Manicure
Manicure procedures are heavy on pockets. Especially the endless trips to the salon for the maintenance of tidy polished manicures you adore and protect at all costs. Any sane person would think of buying a nail drill to cut down the expense and inconvenience of going to a salon whenever you please.
But first, let’s make the air clear here: using a professional nail drill machine is not a walk in the park. When you see those professional manicurists at the salon use nail drills so effortlessly on your nails(1), you may think it is as easy to use as it looks. I hate to break it to you, it’s not easy as professionals handle. Those professionals have experience using them countless times, unlike you. You can watch tons of videos of failed attempts on YouTube, just to be sure what you are getting into.
If you still want to give them a try, go ahead and buy any of the 10 best nail drills listed below. I would tell you this: proceed with caution. These professional nail drill machines are not regular nail files you are using at home.
Why Should I Buy A Nail Drill?
If you are adamant about trying a nail drill, here’s what you should know. Though using this powerful tool by a beginner seems risky, you cannot ignore the uses of a nail drill. While regular nail files you use at home are enough for touch-ups, a nail drill machine can do so much more.
Essentially an electronic file, nail drills can smooth, clean, cut, and shape nails on both hands and toes and buff off calluses and cuticles. But clearing cuticles is not advisable (especially for a beginner). Unless you are a professional, clearing cuticles at home is a big no from the professionals.
Nail drills are pretty much a necessity for acrylic manicures as well. While some are gentle enough for natural nails, others are sturdy enough for acrylics. You can smooth and shape an acrylic overlay as well as clean underneath the free edge.
With a high level of precision at a faster pace, the chances of anyone who tries a nail drill at home going back to regular nail files are pretty low. If you decide to do your nails on your own, a nail drill with multiple drill bits that work at various speeds could be essential.
Factors To Consider Before Choosing Your Nail Drills
It is easy to choose just any nail drill and start using it on your own. But things could get ugly if you do that without considering anything before buying. Not to mention you will find a wide range of nail drills with different features, power levels, and even designs. How do you decide which one is right for your nails?
Which one suits your needs? The needs of someone doing nails at home are different from the needs of a professional nail tech. To avoid the overwhelming hassle of confusion, I have broken down the most common features along with other factors to consider.
Power Level and Needs
Nail drills come with different purposes and power levels. Some may use them for shaping and polishing their nails while others may use them for filing, clipping, and backfilling. When you choose a nail drill for yourself, choose according to your needs. Nail drills with high power work wonder on acrylic nails, even from home. If you intend to use only natural nails, a drill with low power will be more than enough.
Also, frequency of use plays a vital role. How often are you going to use it? If you are a professional nail techie at a salon, you may need a nail drill with more power and durability. You may use it for hours every day so you need one that will last, though a bit expensive. On the other hand, if you are a home nail artist, a nail drill with less power and durability can work for you. Pick your nail drill depending on your purpose.
To calculate or rank their speed, electric nail drills are rated on their revolutions or rotations per minute (RPM). They generally run at varying levels from 0 to up to 20,000 to 30,000 RPMs.
Professional nail drills range from 25,000 to 30,000 RPM to effectively work with builder gel and acrylics. It means the higher the number, the more powerful it will be. You can adjust the speed based on the amount of filing you intend to do.
If you plan to use your drill frequently or use it on acrylic nails, you need a drill that reaches 30,000 RPM. For basic use on natural nails, a nail drill with a range between 10,000 to 15,000 RPMs will be fine for shaping, smoothing the nails, removing gel nail polish, or general manicures. But drills with lower RPMs indicate lower power. Unless your nails are thick, you can use any drill with quality filing.
Number of Bits
These nail drills often come with other nail tools. Generally, nail drills are compatible with a standard 3/32” size. So you need to make sure that the drill you choose accepts universal replacement so you can replace bits with new ones as they wear out.
If you are a beginner, stick to bits you are familiar with. Once you get more familiar and improve your skills, enjoy other bits! You can choose a nail drill for you after considering the types and number of bits it comes with. They include:
- Natural nail bit – Cylinder-shaped bit buffs for buffing the surface of nails, prepping for polish or acrylic manicures, and cuticle removing. Most appropriate for natural nails, these are considered the most gentle bits.
- Barrel carbide bit – With multiple sizes, these diamond-shaped bits are ideal for preparing and shortening acrylic nails or for backfilling them. No worries about splitting the nails either.
- Pedicure bits – A diamond-shaped bit that removes calluses and rough skin from your feet, toes, and balls of the feet.
- Under-nail cleanser – To clean under the nail and to assist in shaping nails, this thin bit does its job well.
- Mani/Pedi attachments – This bunch may include callus removers and polishing bits.
There are two types of design: corded and cordless drills. Corded drills are the most powerful, consistent, and affordable drills but keep you tied to an outlet. The best part? The corded drills never run out on you in the middle of a manicure session. These are highly recommended for professionals since they are more powerful.
While cordless drills are way more convenient than corded models (especially for travelers), they can run out of battery at any time. Their qualities (compact and portable) do not come cheap either. Some nail junkies possess both —corded ones for full manicure sessions and a cordless drill for touch-ups.
Some premium quality electric nail drills come with a foot pedal for hands-free operation. These save you time because they allow you to control the speed and change direction, resulting in a perfect transition between filing phases.
The best nail drill would be one equipped with an anti-vibration feature or that has a low vibration. With anti-vibration settings, a nail drill can give you a steady drill and hand, which in turn gives better control while filing. This is a feature to consider before buying, especially if you are a professional.
Filing with an electric nail drill results in a considerable and concerning amount of dust. This is not great to be routinely breathing if you are a professional. Or if you are allergic. To protect your eyes, face, and even the drill (from coarse particles), some brands offer nail drills with dust shields.
They help to keep the dust confined to a small area for easy cleaning as well. If the drill you choose doesn’t have one, buy a dust collector. In salons, exhaust vents with filters and masks are recommended to prevent the inhalation of dust.
Weight and Size
Using a heavy nail drill will eventually make your hands sore. Especially if you are a professional who has to do it all day, for hours. So choose a lightweight handpiece. Also, picking a nail drill with the right size can help you do your manicure session more comfortably. Choose one that can fit right into your workstation or wherever you are planning to do your manicure sessions.
Other factors you must consider are price, ease of use, comfort, and how easy it is to clean. You can buy nail drills from $35 to $400. The features, durability, and power change with the price range. So it depends on your needs.
Some drills have to be cleaned properly with soaking bits in disinfectant, some in acetone, some blown with canned air, or removed with a brush. If you rather not go through the hassle, you can choose a nail drill with disposable bands. Because cleaning them is necessary. Dirty manicure tools are deadly and the textured nature of drill bits indicates: it is time to clean!
10 Best Nail Drills To Buy In 2021
A nail drill comes with a handpiece and replaceable drill bits. With the right drill bit, they can do more than just remove nail polish. Shape nails? Backfill nails? Clean nails? An electric nail drill can do all. Just choose and insert the right nail drill bit, lock it, and you are good to go!
Ahead, find a list of the best nail drills you can buy to keep your nails tidy and polished!
MelodySusie Portable Electric Nail Drill
A cult-favorite nail drill with numerous benefits, giving no reason to wonder why MelodySusie’s portable nail drill is often listed as the best of best. It is an ideal choice for gel and acrylic nails and it works well. It comes with six bits along with six sanding heads and its 3/32” shank fits all standard-sized metal bits.
Its speed is adjustable from 0 up to 20,000 RPMs. The drill rotates in both forward and reverses directions. With 2.2 oz weight, its portability and right weight overlook the requirement of a cord (a con: short cord).
Though it is easy to use (as guaranteed by the brand), the directions are not precisely clear to check the box of user-friendly quality. But any of its users have reviewed that it is an excellent choice for newbies. What the users love the most about it is its whisper buzzing. You can work with it without any noise and without it heating up as it is designed to evenly dissipate heat.
The stay-cool mode together with its ergonomic grip helps newbies to get comfortable using it. If anything, Amazon’s five-star ratings from more than 2,100 reviewers prove its efficiency. No wonder why it is one of the best nail drills on Amazon.
PureNails Express Cordless Manicure and Pedicure System
PureNails offers cordless nail drills with seven interchangeable drill attachments made of durable (sapphire-coated) metals. These drill bits can be reused for a year. From filing acrylic nails to removing dead cuticles, this drill with two (high and low) speed settings work on both acrylic and natural nails alike.
You can file, buff, shape, and polish your nails clearly with the help of the built-in glooming LED light. Its bi-directional rotation also helps in comfortable working with consistent speed. This sleek, sophisticated nail drill comes with a travel bag, making it easier to carry when traveling. The two cons are its tendency to heat up and the lack of proper direction to use for a beginner.
Makartt Nail Drill Electric Nail File JD700
For a professional, or if you want salon experience, this corded, high-powered electric nail drill won’t make you regret buying it. In addition to all of the impressive features and qualities its users praise, the nail drill tackles acrylic dips so effortlessly.
It can hold standard 3/32” drill bits and has an adjustable speed with a maximum speed of 30,000 RPMs. It comes with a ventilation system to avoid overheating while in use.
Though intense, the nail drill with bi-directional rotation does not make too much noise or vibration. The additional feature of the foot pedal gives you full control over its power and it is often listed as the best nail drill with a foot pedal. You can not only file and shape acrylic nails but also remove them.
The only drawback to the drill is that it only has three drill bits and one sanding head. Nevertheless, Makartt’s offers the best professional nail drill machines and best nail drill bits for professionals.
AIRSEE Portable Electric Nail Drill
Known as one of the best cordless nail drills, this streamlined, pen-like drill from AIRSEE is easy to carry or store anywhere. Unlike many others you know are familiar with. It only weighs a little more than two ounces. You may think that it’s not powerful enough due to its lightweight factor. But that’s not right.
With 11 different drill bits of all shapes, adjustable speed setting from 0 to 20,000 RPMs, this all-in-one nail drill shapes and smooths acrylic nails as well. You can easily do manicures, pedicures, remove gel nail polish, dead skin, cuticles, and calluses with this professional speed-bearing drill. This portable electric drill’s motor does not make a loud noise nor does it give out irksome buzzing. But its heat dissipation is poor.
JEWHITENY Professional Electric Nail Drill Machine
Made of copper with high-speed bearing for brilliant precision, this nail drill can polish your nails with ease and comfort. Its adjustable speed goes up to 30,000 RPMs and it works with low heat and minimal vibration. Unlike some affordable drills, Jewhiteny gives numerous disposable sanding bands too!
The corded drill has everything you can expect from a budget-friendly drill. Bi-direction rotation? Check. Different drill bits? Check. Easy to operate? Double-check! But its unique feature is the swap between foot pedal control and hand-held control, according to your preference.
Cons: corded, not portable, and only sit bits available.
TOUCHBeauty Nail File Electric 5-in-1 Set
Being the best nail drill for beginners, TouchBeauty’s 5-in-1 manicure and pedicure set rotate at 9,500 RPM. It is fast enough to be effective at what it does but also slow enough for a newbie to avoid any damage.
With five different attachments, this small, battery-operated electric file has a built-in mini UV light to speed up dry time. The cordless drill also comes with a unique storage stand to store it and the drill bits safely. Since it is lightweight, you can carry it wherever you travel to.
ECBasket Rechargeable Electric Nail Drill
This best rechargeable electric nail drill offers more power than pen-shaped drills. Yes, it is bulkier. But still small and lightweight enough to carry around if necessary. Thanks to its two hours of battery life when fully charged.
Designed with low vibration and noise, you can easily buffer, grind, sharpen, sand, and polish acrylic nails, remove gel nails, artificial, or natural nails. What’s more, the drill also comes with a foot pedal function to work at your convenience.
Belle Professional Electric Nail Drill
Designed for both professional and at-home nail junkies, Belle’s nail drill comes in six colors. It has a heat-resistant sleeve with two-direction rotation. Both right-handed and left-handed ones can use this drill with ease and comfort.
Its drill bits have a 3/32” shank size, and you can fit them on any other professional nail drill. The adjustable speed (with speed control knob) reaches up to 30,000 RPM. Though it works with a slight buzzing, it runs smoothly and relatively quietly. However, it is not believed to last long.
Bestidy Cordless Electric Nail Drill Kit
Another budget-friendly nail drill for those who need a small, compact, and cordless drill. It recharges with an included USB cord. Of course, it leans to a bit heavier side because of the battery. But the cordless feature sure makes up for that. This one is only for at-home purposes because it lacks salon settings.
But its maximum speed of 20,000 RPM can tend acrylic nails to some extent. You can file natural nails, grind the top layer of dip nails, and file calluses (but on lower settings). It comes with six bits and a few sanding bands. But you may not want to overlook its con: can get overheated with long use.
Medicool’s Turbo Nail Drill
With a powerful motor that runs smoothly, Medicool’s Turbo nail drill is lightweight and easy to carry while traveling. It has 20,000 RPMs speed with variable control but no vibration. All 3/32” bits can fit this drill, so you replace them any time. Also, both right-handed and left-handed ones can work smoothly. The only drawback is that it generates more dust than any other drill.
These are 10 of the best nail drills you can buy in 2021Q Some worry that an electric nail drill may damage their natural nails. But if you stick to lower drill speeds and avoid over-filing, your nails will be fine. Because over-filling can strip away too many layers of nails and cuticles.
Nail Drills: Tips On Safe Use And Maintenance
Since nail drills are pretty much reserved for the pros, using them safely and maintaining them after use may require assistance from a guide. Fret not, here I have listed a few tips that will help you with safe use and its maintenance.
- Learn how to use the nail drill in the right way. You cannot afford any wrongs on your nails, right?
- While buying one, choose the right type of nail drill for your needs.
- Choose a nail drill with low vibrations because the lower the vibration, the better.
- Disinfect and dry the tools before you start using them.
- Operate the nail drill at a slow speed if you choose to work on the cuticles. Although it is highly advised not to tend cuticles on your own.
- When using natural nails, maintain the speed between 2500 and 6000 RPM.
- Use the drill in a medium space while doing backfills.
- When shaping the nails, keep the pressure on them gentle.
- Use a buffer and buffing cream after you are done with your nails.
- Do not switch the direction of the drill while still in use. You have to turn off the nail drill first to change the direction of rotation.
- After using the tools, don’t forget to remove the debris and dirt with a brush. Wipe the tools and keep them dust-free.
- Clean the tools regularly. You have to practice good hygiene when it comes to nail drills. For proper cleaning, soak the drills in disinfectant or soap.
- Never soak the handpiece in disinfectant or soap water.
- Try to keep a proper angle while holding the drill to avoid bending the cord too much.
- Don’t apply any kinds of lubricants to the drill.
With these tips for safe use, you can use a nail drill yourself at home. But before you pick any of the 10 best nail drills mentioned above and start to use it at home without assistance from a pro, take time to learn. Because you don’t want to hurt your nails or fingers. Though it takes some time and talent, there is a learning curve for all. Even for a beginner. And don’t forget, follow the directions closely!