Nail File Grits 101

February 26 • Nails

If you're new to performing professional manicures, there's one very important numbering system you'll want to memorize as a nail tech: grit numbers.

We came up with a quick and easy lowdown to help you remember.

Professional manicurist filing a nail.

What’s Your Number?

Grit Goals:

High Number = Fine Grit

Low Number = Coarse Grit

80 Grit = Very Coarse

• Best used to remove polish, gel, or acrylics
• Not to be used on the natural nail

100 Grit = Coarse

• Used to shorten the length of nails with or without acrylic
• Or to shape side wall and free edge

150 Grit = Medium Coarse

• Used to shape the nail bed or blend tips onto the natural nail

180 Grit = Medium

• Used to shape the entire nail or nail enhancements such as acrylics
• Used to prep the nail before applying products
• Or to shorten or shape free edge of natural nail

220-280 Grit = Medium Fine

• Used to prep nails before UV gel polish
• Soft enough for natural nail and creates a smooth shine

400-900 Grit = Extra Fine

• Used for finishing
• Removes ridges and stains
• Preps for buffing/shining

Time to shine! Go file and buff those nails ‘til they sparkle!


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