How to Shorten Nails With an Efile

I often do this. Start off strong with my nail game and then a week later… I am over them!

In today’s video I will be showing you how to shorten artificial nails with an efile. 

Now because I never like to miss an opportunity to multitask, I am going to be treating myself to a hand mask while I shorten these nails. This will provide for a wonderful moisturizing session as well as keep most of the dust off of my skin. My hands have been so dry from having recently painted a wall in my home, and so they are really going to like this.

And these Keratin gloves were compliments of Bodipure. If this is your first time hearing about them, Bodipure creates luxurious spa hand and foot masks that are ultra-moisturizing. They instantly eliminate dead skin cells with the combination of plant keratin, urea and vitamin E. A total treat, visit them at to grab yourself a pair or 2!

Now I’m cutting the fingertips from off of mine because I want to multitask, but as a salon or home service you do not want to cut them off as the keratin in this mask is also beneficial for your nails to absorb. By the way there is no need to wash-off the excess left on the skin, it is perfectly ok to massage and let the skin absorb it. I’m going to go ahead and was mine off as it is a little contaminated with the nail dust.

Ok now as far as our tools today. We’ll definitely need an efile, a dust collector… this is always a non-negotiable at the nail table, and also a carbide bit and a couple of hand files.

Now I got  a little lazy, and just worked with the efile handpiece on my Melodysusie dust collector. It was fine, but the torque was a little lower for this kind of job, I should have used my professional Nail Labo. I find the Melodysusie brand a bit DIY, entry level quality, but it’s a good start… again it did the job.

OK, next you’ll need a carbide bit. For shortening length you don’t want too fine, so try a medium or even a coarse if you’re comfortable. My favorite source for efile bits is from, and I’ll go ahead and link you down in the description box. 

So dust collector, efile, and carbide bit, the last item we need is a hand file or 2. I’m going to use both a 180 grit and a 150 grit because I’ll need that coarse grit on my dominant hand since I already know I’m going to be scrappy with my efile while shortening the length on my dominant hand. But if I was super ambidextrous 180 would be sufficient.

So step 1: Turn your dust collector to high, gel dust can be rather fine and so you want your capture power at its highest. Now you’ll also want to crank up your efile to at least half of the way. Do not be timid or you will catch/bump the nail and it does not feel nice.

And if you’re a total efile newbieand wondering which way your efile bitshould be spinning towards… the bit should be spinning away from you but you’re swiping your hand piece towards you, and when I work with my left hand in order for the bit to still rotate towards me I flip the witch on my machine to reverse and again file towards me.

Press your efile bit into the nail and push it where you want to.

Also pay special attention to all of the areas you are using to support yourself. Notice how my wrists are not floating in the air. If you were working on a client, totally fine, but when efiling on yourself always anchor your wrists or arms somewhere, and don’t forget also about your pinky! Now, I always assume people know what efiling is, no it’s not that thing you do when tax season comes, it is short for electric file manicuring.

So your efile, is at nothing lower than 15,000 RPM if you’re not sure if you are working at the right revolutions per minute, and this does not feel strong enough for you go ahead and increase the speed. 

A few things to note when using an efile for removal. Because you can actually learn so much about your efile during this type of procedure.

If you feel like you’re doing most of the work, and you’ll know this if your hands feel sore or you find your grip way too tight, 2 things… you’re working at a low RPM, or your efile does not high torque. And I’ve talked about this in a previous all about what to look for when buying an efile machine, it is super informative so make sure you check it out after this video, you’ll learn a lot! 

Low quality feels may rave about high RPM but they do not have high torque. Torque is a little bit difficult to describe, and easier to experience. So it is a resistance force. So when you put your handpiece to the nail and that bit touches the nail, if your efile feels like it slows down and your initial feeling is to immediately crank the speed and beore you know it you’re at max speed, your machine is sounding mean, but it doesn’t feel as mean once it touches the nail, tha is an efile with low torque. But if you’re at 20,000 RPM for example and once you set your efile to the the nail and everything as far as power continues as is you have a quality efile with strong torque.

If you’re used to a professional grade efile and then down-grade you should feel the difference right away. I’m telling you as soon as I got started with this shortening service and kept cranking the speed I realized I should have switched efiles… but I thought also. Nope, lets put this Melodysusie under pressure literally, an it was fine.

However, can you imagine if you’re working with 4-8 clients per day with a machine under this type of stress? You shouldn’t be surprised if it needs fixing within the year.

Now sorry I’m going into this topic in detail, but I get asked often what efiles I recommend so I thought it would be worth it to just kind of take you through this talk while I shorten these nails. But I also created a comparison guide guiding you through all of efile, bits, and implement recommendations. It is completely free, and you can download it using the link in the description box below.

Alright so the last step after shortening these artificial nails to more of a natural nail length is to finish the free edge smooth and to do so I’m going to go ahead and use my Stalek’s disposable peel and stick file with a 180 grit. Again in a little bit I’ll use a coarser file for my domiant hand as I didn’t do a lovely job with my efile using my non-dominant hand.

Lastly I’ll remove the debri, strip the Bodipure keratin gloves off, massage the excess cream and just rinse with water, no soap, as I want to leave my hands moisturized.

And there you have it, the way I shorten my artificial nails with an efile at home.

I recently also launched my very own electric filing manicure course, detailing my signature dry manicure prep, full gel removal with a bit, and rebalancing soft gel natural nail overlays. All step by step in 9 video lessons.

Thank you so much for spending your time with me today, I post videos every week on either Japanese soft potted gel, natural nail care tips, and electric filing so make sure you subscribe and hit the bell notification button below. To stay in the know. See you soon, bye for now.

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