An electric toenail file is commonly used for smoothing and shaping the toenails. It can also be used on the fingernails, but electric fingernail files are available for that purpose. An electric toenail file typically uses an electric cord that can be plugged into an outlet, or it may run on batteries, usually the AAA or AA type.
One appeal of an electric toenail file is that it is easy to handle, and takes less time to file the toenails than a manual file. Generally, manual toenail files are either stainless steel or the emery board type. Although more expensive than traditional nail files, the electric toenail file may be especially helpful for those with arthritis or other painful conditions of the hand.
When used on the fingernails, electric toenail files are effective for filing down natural nails or acrylic artificial nails. The operator, however, may need to change the attachments of the electric toenail file when alternating between natural nails and artificial nails. This is very simple to do, and the units are usually packaged with easy, simple-to-follow operating instructions.
When someone decides to get acrylic nails, the natural nails need to be prepped. Part of this preparation includes filing the surface of the natural nail so that the acrylic material will adhere well. Although emery boards are typically effective in producing this effect, an electric file can be faster and more precise. These tool work fast, so even the professional manicurist needs to monitor how much of the natural nail is being filed in order to prevent permanent damage to the nail bed.
Filing and shaping acrylic nails has typically been an arduous task, however, since the advent of the electric toenail file, it has become almost effortless, and the preferred method in most professional salons. Maintenance of the electric toenail file is generally easy. Users should wipe off the handle with a damp cloth and disinfect it with a small amount of rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.
Although electric nail files can last for years, battery-operated nail files can lose power and become sluggish. When this occurs, users should replace the batteries, and the unit will again perform like new. These instruments can usually be purchased at beauty supply stores and occasionally at big-box retailers. It is important to note that children should not operate an electric or battery-operated nail file because they can easily injure themselves or even get an electrical shock.