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.
Ever since I transitioned into using soft gel only, more specifically, Japanese soft gel, I quickly learned that to get long-wearing results, I did not need to aggressively prep the natural nails.
An abrasive bit is not needed to shape soft gel enhancements, I 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.
With that said, here are the bits I have been using for years on natural nails and Japanese soft gel nail enhancements.
4 types of bits you need…
These are 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, minor buffing, 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 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 a universal fit to any or most electric files. Especially, If you buy them on non-pro sites, you’ll need to look at pictures and the measurements.
What can happen if they are not this specific size?
Your efile’s handpiece will not make the right contact with the bit and may make more vibration than normal or it will not rotate at all. This is like a golden piece of information, take note.
Sadly, some bits (especially on 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 to avoid these annoying issues.
The best part is that it is almost impossible to cut your client with these bits, 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. A smaller portion will be somewhere in between!
When we say cuticles we are talking about dry, sometimes invisible, dead skin on the actual nail plate.
The stuff you see people usually nipping away is called eponychium.
Ok! Here are my 5 favorite efile bits.
Favorite Bit #1
For thin cuticles, I use Erica’s Sciver bit.
This bit is sold in a 2 pack case. (Great if you are like me and accidentally throw away your bits often… oops hehe).
You can safely use the Sciver bit to not only remove the cuticle off of the nail plate but also to push back eponychium after loosening it up with a pusher tool.
Favorite Bit #2
My second favorite efile bit is the Nail Labo baby barrel.
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 cuticle bit, but believe me, it does the work for you better than anything else other than the Sciver bit.
I like this bit because I don’t have to dig into my clients’ sidewalls for me to have the perfect canvas without any cuticle left on the nail plate.
With this bit by Nail Labo, you can 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.
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.
I recently created a video for you on Russian manicure mistakes so make sure to watch as soon as you can, for more of my 2 cents on this topic.
Favorite Bit #3
The Nail Labo Yellow Silicone Bit.
This bit is my absolute favorite for prepping the natural nail for gel base application. It is nowhere near as abrasive as a sanding band, all you have to do is tickle on the surface to remove the natural nail shine.
Favorite Bit #4
The pink diamond bit from Exclusive Nail Couture.
If you get them here you 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. I think I favor the flat one, but not by a lot.
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 carbide or titanium bits are usually too abrasive for the type of touch-up shaping you need with soft gel nails.
On that note, you need to know that ceramic bits do typically last a little bit less than carbides. I do not mind because for me they are the perfect grit/ texture for touching up my soft gel nail overlays, very gentle.
even though with regular use they last only about 3-6 months, they have lasted me a year to 2 years instead.
Ceramic bits are great for removing soft gel products completely, just know that if you use them for this purpose at max you’ll get 6 months of 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.
This one is my new favorite for removal. This bit just recently launched, one of the reasons it is now my go-to for removals is because it replaced the work of 2 bits.
Also, because it is metal, it will last a little bit longer than ceramic. Especially for gel removal continuous servicing clients.
Before using this bit I was using Erica’s Piranha Flame to remove most of my soft gel applications. This bit was super quick and effective; however, because I don’t do soak-offs, I would then transition into one of the aforementioned ceramic bits, so that I could make 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.
When you use this Erica’s tapered barrel on the natural nail, use the least amount of contact on the nail and very little pressure.
Metal bits shave a lot faster than ceramics so be very careful. If you need to start with a ceramic bit until you feel like you have more efile control, then do so.
They will keep you safer when working directly on natural nails.
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.
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.
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Thank you for reading and I’ll see you next week.
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