In order to have a beautiful hand, women are often interested in filing their nails to bring the nail shape that best suits them. In addition, how to file nails also shape your nails become more beautiful because most nail styles will have different nail shaping methods. Here are some tips Rachel’s Nails suggest you to have beautiful nail files simply.

How to file nails at home

Filing your nails to keep them healthy is an easy way to ensure good nail health at home. You may have shapely and strong nails by using the proper nail file, selecting a nice shape for your nails, and filing in the proper places and directions.

  • Step 1: Getting Your Nails Ready

Hands should be washed. Before filing your nails, carefully wash your hands with soap and water to remove any film or oil that may interfere with your filing.

How To File Nails

  • Step 2: Select a nail file. 

While there are numerous types of nail files available, emery boards are both inexpensive and efficient. To keep the edges from looking harsh or scraggly, use a file with a softer grit of approximately 180-200. If you wish to finish your nails with a different file, pick one with a high grit, approximately 300-600, to obtain the cleanest edge. At home, we recommend you to use the nail file with 240 grit.

Coarse grits, such as 80-100 grit, should only be used on artificial nails. They will break up your natural nails if used with them.

Metal files should be avoided since they might rip your natural nails.

Glass, or crystal files are highly effective and can be readily cleaned in the dishwasher, but they are more difficult to find and use than regular ones.

  • Step 3: Make a decision on the form of your nails. 

There are numerous different nail shapes to select from, but the most common are oval, square, and almond. The form you choose will be determined by your preferences and the type of nails you have.

  • Oval nails are ideal for growing out and keeping your nails. It’s the most practical since your nails are less prone to fall off in this form.The tip of oval-shaped nails is symmetrically circular. This nail style has an elongated, feminine appearance.
  • Square-shaped nails make a bold statement and look fantastic on those with long nails. The square form is achieved by filing the nail straight from the tip all the way across.
  • Almond-shaped nails are excellent for making your fingers appear slimmer. The design resembles the curvature at the base of your nail.
  • Do you have short nails that you can’t shape? It isn’t a huge deal. Use what you’ve got and apply cuticle oil to your nails every night to help them grow for future shaping.

Step 4: Shaping your nails

  • Oval shape

Make an oval form using your nail clipper. 

If your nails aren’t already oval, you might want to start by cutting them into the proper overall shape. To make a rough oval template, use a sharp, clean pair of manicure scissors to cut off angular corners and any extra length. Trim gently and carefully to avoid cutting into your skin. If you are unclear about the exact form you want to create, you can use an image as a guide. When you file, you will be able to refine the form even further.

Using a 240-grit file, file the edge of each nail straight across. 

This top edge of the nail is known as the “free edge,” and it finishes at the tip of the finger. Place the file between your thumb and index finger, at a little angle to the edge of the nail. Run the file across the free edge 3-4 times in one direction along yoủ nails, taking care not to file against the skin of your finger. Make sure to be gentle at first, do it slowly and control.

Hold the file under the corner of the nail, tilt it 45 degrees, and round the corner. 

Pull the 240-grit file over the corner in a smooth, rounding motion to create a rounded edge. Repeat 3-4 times, then double-check your work. The corners should be rounded rather than flat or pointed. If it isn’t rounded, file it a couple more times using the rounding action. Then, repeat on the opposite side.

  • Square shape

The first step is as the same as when you do with the oval shape

File your nails in a straight line

Once you have your nails to the desired length, you can start shaping them using the 240 grit nail file. First, file the top edges of the nail (the part that was just cut) in a straight line. In case the nail is too short and too close to the flesh, make sure that when filing you do not touch this delicate skin underneath.

Check the length of the nails

After you have cut and filed your nails in a basic square shape, check to see if your nails are straight and beautiful as desired. You can turn your hand upside down, point your palm towards your face, and see the length of your fingers. Pay attention to check the evenness between the fingers and adjust them like the 2 steps above.

File your nail edges

Place the nail file at a 45-degree angle to the edge of the nail, then start filing to shape them. Continue to keep the motion and pull the file up to the upper corner of the nail to create a square nail shape and smooth edge. At the same time, you also need to pay attention to the force of your hand when filing, to avoid causing damage and pain to the nail surface.

Round shape

Clip the Edges

It is recommended to build this nail form out of square nails. If you have long nails, just shape them into a square form. After you’ve created a square form, trim the edges until the nail resembles a very short coffin nail. Later on, you will file it into the right form.

File and shape your nails

After you’ve cut the edges of the nail, begin filing it into the desired shape. Begin from the side of the nail and file towards the middle in the same way. Make sure that you just go in one direction. Begin from the side of the nail and file towards the middle in the same way. When you see one side of the nail becoming rounder, switch to the other side.

Step 5: To smooth the surface of your nails, use a buffer.

With a vigorous back and forth motion, rub a nail buffer horizontally over the surface of your nails. This smoothes out flaws in the nails that a file cannot address.

Step 6: Moisturize your cuticles and apply cuticle oil. 

To promote healthy nails, apply cuticle oil to your nails on a regular basis and keep your hands hydrated. Apply cuticle oil and moisturizer to your hands after each wash. Keeping your cuticles hydrated will aid in the prevention of hangnails. Keep cuticle oil and moisturizer beside your sink as a reminder to apply them on a regular basis.

Step 7: Every couple of weeks, file your nails. 

You should only file your nails every two to four weeks. Filing your nails too regularly might harm them by not allowing them to grow correctly.

How to file nails at salon

At Rachel’s Nails salon, nail filing often comes with classic manicure. Besides the nail filing services, you can get your nails cared for by our talented manicurists. Your hands will be soaked in vitamin C in order to moisturize them. Then the nail technicians will push and tidy your cuticles so as to have clean nails, trim and shape your nails, and softly massage them.

We recommend you get your nails filed at the salon if you do not have enough proper tools at home. Nails filling at the salon will save your time because having someone shape your nails for you is always better than doing it by yourself. 

Some questions about how to file your nails at home?

Q: Is it okay to file my nails while applying nail polish?

A: It’s great if you can file your nails when they’re naked, since the polish may flake and split, making them look terrible.

Q: What is a hangnail? Can it be harmful for my hands?

A: Hangnail is a common phenomenon, nails are scratched due to dry cuticle skin or caused by cutting too close to the nail. This problem can be treated by softening the skin around the nail with oil and trimming the flaking skin with scissors. Hangnail is a normal disorder, but if you are not careful to get an infection, it will be very dangerous.

Q: How many tools do I need when filing nails at home?

A: The basic tools for nail filing at home include: nail clipper to cut your nails short, nail file to shape your nails and buffer. You can always add moisturizer into this process to smoothen your skin and nails.


Filing your nails is an excellent method to keep them at a consistent length and shape, and it can help protect your nails from breaking. However, improper nail filing can result in jagged, ragged nails, as well as nail bed or cuticle damage.

Rather than sawing back and forth with the file, it is preferable to file from the outside corner towards the middle of the nail and repeat the action on both sides.

If you do not have enough necessary tools at home, we recommend going to the salon so that you can get your nails perfectly filed without damaging your natural nails. When coming to the nail salon, the nail technicians can suggest the suitable nail shape for your hands.

We hope that this article will help you to answer the question: how to file nails properly both at home and at nail salons.

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