When you see your nail tips have become snagged, most probably, your first move will be to reach for a nail file. Actually, different files are designed to meet different needs and also give different results. They include sandpaper or emery board, glass, a metal file, or ceramic nail files. For this reason, we compare glass nails vs. sandpaper files, which are both types of nail files, to help you understand how and when you can best use them.
While the emery boards are the regular nail files and have been in the market for a long time, there have been other filing developments like glass nail files that have entered the market. Wondering how a glass nail file compares or differs from the sandpaper file? Read on to find out. Below we’ll explain what a glass nail file is and how it compares to sandpaper ones.
Comparison Between the Glass Nail File and Sandpaper File
1. The Material
The glass ones are made using thick glass while the others are made using rough paper attached to a plastic or cardboard. The material in glass files is toughened so that the board remains steady, and some also come with mini crystals on the surface for more grit.
Glass nail file glides are designed in two main ways. Either tiny glass filings are attached to a glass stick using super glue combined with heat, or they are cut from actual pre-treated sheets of glass, and the surface is made is treated to get a roughened surface to be used as a filing surface. Unlike the metal nail files, the emery boards come in small grains of sand adhered to cardboard.
2. Longevity/ Durability
Crystal nail files have been designed to last for a lifetime. It has gotten high scores on the “green-o-meter” only because it has been made using recycled materials, and some companies also use environmentally friendly dyes. They are recyclable and last for a long time such that they will not be largely impacted by constant use.
The emery boards come in different grit levels, each with a grit number that helps you shape the nail, file it down in length, and work on the jagged edges. For example, our top pick, the MAKARTT Nail Files for Poly Nail Extension, has 100 and 180 grits for different uses, the 100 grit being for roughing up the hard fingernails and the 180 one smoothens the nail edge. The coarseness of the grit depends on the situation of your nails, for example, if you have hard and thick nails or thin and fragile nails.
For a crystal file, they have a fine grit that is gentle on damaged nails, and there are no different grit types, except for a pumice file. A pumice file has been made using a coarser top which you can use for dry skin, artificial nails, calluses, and toenails. The glass file tends to be more gentle on natural nails than the other nail files, emery boards, and metal files.
Glass or crystal types are the best nail files for brittle nails since they won’t coarsely roughen the nails, and the boards are gentler on the nail plate. While the emery boards can shape the nails a lot faster, you can excessively file down them without noticing. However, using an emery board file is great for working the right shape of both natural nails and artificial nails. For example, changing the square tips to become oval-shaped.
The Crystal nail won’t tear the nail as emery board nail files would, which means you can use both directions to smooth out the nail tip. With an emery file, it may tear the end of your nail as you slide it on the nail tip. It produces a rough edge and should only be filed in one direction to minimize damage caused to the nail during the filing process.
Using a glass file like our best nail file, the ClassyLady Glass Nail Files Crystal Nail File for Natural Nails, closes and seals the nail tip preventing debris and water from getting into your nail. Users have reported that they noticed a notable difference in their nails after using the ClassLady crystal nail file. Their nails became much stronger, and they won’t crack, peel or chip as much.
Crystal files are very hygienic and non-porous. This means that no debris or bacteria can grow on the filing surface or even get trapped on the rough surface of the crystal nail file. A crystal pumice file is also very hygienic, where you can leave it in the bathroom without the fear of finding bacteria, fungus, mold, or mildew has grown on it.
These crystal nail files also pass FDA standards. This means that they can be sanitized using alcohol, baking in an autoclave, or under UV light. They are perfect for people with certain sensitive conditions like diabetes because you won’t have to worry about injuring yourself while taking care of your natural nails.
When using metal files, or emery boards, you tend to leave the nail tip open, which may cause more harm than good. Leaving the nail tip open may cause water and dirt to leech in the nail, causing peeling, cracking, weakening, and chipping of the nails.
Due to the porous nature of the glue, sand granules, and cardboard in the emery boards, debris and dirt can get in the file, which may cause fungi and bacteria growth. When it comes to cleaning, there is no easy way to sanitize or clean it. This is why the FDA recommends throwing an emery board after every use.
However, this can be environmentally unfriendly because it takes very long to decompose fully. For this reason and others like the use of trees to make them, the emery board has a very low score on the “green-o-meter”.
Since the different nail file types are used for different needs, you have to choose the right nail file for you to easily apply a coat of nail polish. Hopefully, this short post will help you make a choice on which one to buy.