5 Must-Have Efile Bits for Soft Gel Users
When it comes to removal and prep for soft gel application, not all bits are created equal. My 5 favorite must-have efile bits for soft gel users and where to buy them… coming up.
So ever since I transitioned into strictly soft gel, and more specifically Japanese soft gel, I quickly learned that in order to get long wearing results, I did not need to aggressively prep the natural nails. I also learned that an abrasive bit was not needed either to shape my soft gel enhancements, and finally, I also realized that if I wanted to do full removals then a gentle safe gel removal bit would be crucial. One that could make minimal contact with the nail without causing damage. So with that said here are the bits I have been using for years on natural nails and Japanese soft gel nail enhancements.
So I’ll start by letting you know the 4 types of efile bits that you will need if you want to do your gel nail applications with only an efile from start to finish, and minor buffer and hand-file touch up here and there.
#1 Cuticle Bits
#2 A Buffing Bit
#3 A Shaping Bit
#4 a Removal Bit
Now I want to say this now so that you don’t suffer later.
Please make sure that all of your bits no matter where you buy them have shafts that are over an inch in length and 3/32’s of an inch in diameter or they will not be an universal fit to any and all electric files. If you buy them on non-pro sites you’ll especially need to look at pictures and these measurements.
What can happen if they are not this specific size? Your efile’s hand piece will not make the right contact with the bit and may make more vibration than normal or it will not rotate at all.
So this is like a golden piece of information, take note.
Now sadly some bits especially on like Amazon, will claim they are 3/32 in diameter, but they are a teeny tiny bit off enough to cause you issues. I speak from experience so do try and buy from the sources I mention and link you too to avoid these annoying issues.
So now let me show you my 5 favorite efile bits.
Personally, all these years no matter how many different kinds of cuticle bits I buy into, (and boy I’ve bought A LOT) I’ve always come back to these 2 and seriously will probably never buy anything else. Seriously after over 1000 thousand different clients served I’ve seen just about every type of cuticle area, and EITHER one of these will work for them.
And the best part, is that it is almost impossible to cut your client with these so they are excellent for newbies and pros alike.
My thinking behind cuticle bits after serving over 1000 different hands is simple…
You either have a client with thick stubborn cuticles or one with very little or thin cuticles.
And when we say cuticles we are talking about dry skin, sometimes invisible, on the actual nail plate. The stuff you see people usually nipping away, is called eponychium.
Favorite efile Bit #1
So for thin cuticles I use the Erica’s Sciver bit.
And it is sold in a 2 pack in case you’re like me and often accidentally throw away your bits.
You can safely use the sciver bit to not only remove cuticle off of the nail plate but also to push back eponychium after loosening it up with a pusher tool.
ANd don’t worry I’ll link you in the description box below if you feel this is the one for you.
My second favorite efile bit is the Nail Labo baby barrel. And this one I typically use for thicker, stubborn cuticles who refuse to be pushed out of the way.
Now I’m sure that at first glance this does not seem like the obvious cutible bit. But believe me, it does the work for you better than anything else other than the sciver bit. I really like this bit because I don’t have to dig into my clients side walls in order for me to have the perfect canvas w/o any cuticle left on the nail plate.
SO with the baby barrel bit by nail labo you can actually go over that thick cuticle, and cut out the perfect canvas. Again you wouldn’t think so but trust me, if you buy this and the scriver bit from Erica;s I truly believe you’ll be set for life. Just my opinion.
I know that with the popularity of the russian manicure you’re inclined to dive deep into more pointed and skinny bits, but I promise you, you don’t need those bits for the majority of your clientele which means that more often than not you create more work for yourself than you need to.
Now I recently did create a video for you on Russian MAnicure Mistakes so make sure to watch as soon as you are able to, for more of my 2 cents on this topic.
Favorite Bit #3
The Nail Labo Yellow Silicone Bit.
Now this bit is my absolute favorite for prepping the natural nail for gel base application. It is no where near as abrasive as a sanding band, all you have to do is tickle it on the surface to remove the natural’s nail shine.
Favorite Bit #4
The pink diamond bit from Exclusive Nail Couture,
And if you get them here you totally have options as far as what shape you’re most comfortable with,
I’ve owned 3 different ceramic shaping bits from enailcouture, the regular barrel, the smooth top barrel and the flame pink bit. And I personally think I favour the flat one, but not by alot.
You probably can’t go wrong with your enailcouture bit selection as the shaping you do with soft gel is very minimal, if at all needed.
Now, can you use anything else to shape your soft gel nail overlays? Sure, but usually I find carbides or titanium bits to be too abrasive for the type of touch-up shaping you need with soft gel nails.
And on that note also it is important for you to know that ceramic bits do typically last a little bit less than carbides, but I personally do not mind because for me they are the perfect grit/ texture for touching up my soft gel nail overlays. And even though with regular use they last only about 3-6 months because I use them for touch ups primarily, they have lasted me a year to 2 years istead.
I do think they are great for removing soft gel products fully also, but if you do use them for this purpose just know that at max you’ll get 6 months use out of it before you wear it out and it starts creating more heat than usual on your clients.
Favorite Bit #5
Is the Erica’s SAFETY SMOOTH TOP TAPERED BARREL. And this one is my new favorite for removal
Now this bit just recently launched, and one of the reasons it is now my go to for removals is because it replaced the work of 2 bits for me.
Prior to using this bit I was using the Erica’s piranha to remove most of my soft gel applications, It was super quick and effective, but because I don’t do soak offs I would then transition into one of the aforementioned ceramic bits by enailcouture, so that I could make a super safe and gentle contact with the nail.
With the new Erica’s Safety Smooth Top Tapered Barrel, I no longer need 2 bits to do the work of one.
Now when you use this Erica’s tapered barrel on the natural nail use the least amount of contact on the natural nail and very little pressure. I find that metal bits shave a lot faster than ceramics so be very careful, and if you need to start with a ceramic bit until you feel like you have more efile control, then do so. I do think they will keep you safer when working directly on natural nails.
Now you could use this Erica’s Safety tapered barrel for touching up and shaping the nail, so if you want to use it for both purposes of shaping and removal while saving a few bucks then do so.
Now I’m currently drafting up an efile course, on my signature techniques for nail prep, shaping, and removal using an efile only. Keep me accountable to get it done, and let me know in the comments… you’re waiting for the launch of this course.
Remember that I post videos on Japanese gel and solopreneurship in the nail industry and if you enjoyed this video, do subscribe and hit the bell icon to be notified as soon as my next video is published.
Thank you for watching and I’ll see you next week.