How to Choose an Electric Nail Drill or E-File

How to Choose an Electric Nail Drill or E-File:

A Comprehensive Guide for Nail Technicians

In the world of nail care, having the right tools can make all the difference. If you’re a professional nail technician working with clients every day, investing in a high-quality electric nail drill, also known as an e-file, is essential. But how do you choose the best one? How do you know if it’s strong enough, reliable, and won’t break after a few months? This guide will help you understand what to look for when selecting an electric nail drill, so you can perform at your best and provide excellent service to your clients.

Why a Good Electric Nail Drill Is Important

A professional-grade e-file is crucial for several reasons:

  • Efficiency: A high-quality electric nail drill can save time, allowing you to serve more clients without compromising on quality.
  • Accuracy: A reliable e-file with the right specifications can improve your filing accuracy and reduce errors.
  • Durability: Investing in a well-engineered e-file means you’re less likely to experience malfunctions or breakdowns, leading to reduced downtime.

Our Expertise and Experience

As an established nail supplier for over 20 years, we’ve seen many nail file brands come and go. We’ve tested a wide range of products, from generic re-branded files to top-of-the-line drills from renowned manufacturers like Saeyang, Marathon, and Urawa uPower. As a certified distributor and repair center for Urawa, we’ve had extensive training in e-file mechanics and have taken apart many nail drills to repair and service them.

Key Specifications to Look For

When choosing an electric nail drill, the quality and power mostly depend on the handpiece, which accounts for approximately 70% of the entire cost. Here are the three critical specifications to consider:


Torque is the e-file’s ability to continue spinning at the desired RPM (rotations per minute) despite the friction from the drill bit pressing against the nail. If the torque is too low, the RPM may fluctuate or even stop, leading to inaccurate filing, hand fatigue, and reduced confidence in your ability to file accurately. We recommend a torque of 2.5-3.0 Newtons per cm for hands and 3.0 or more Newtons per cm for pedicures.

RPM (Rotations Per Minute)

RPM is the speed at which the drill bit rotates. The required RPM varies based on the type of bit used and technician preferences. For diamond bits, you may need 12,000-18,000 RPM. Choose an e-file with variable RPM settings to suit different tasks.


Power determines how long your e-file can reliably work without overheating. Most premium e-files have power starting from 45 watts. A high-quality power supply is crucial to prevent overheating and premature wear and tear.

Handpiece Construction

The handpiece’s construction is another critical factor. Quality handpieces are built to withstand wear and tear, with better weight balance, thicker stainless steel, and a screwless design to prevent loosening due to vibration. Premium handpieces also feature replaceable bearings and carbon brushes, extending their lifespan.

The Control Unit

A good control unit should have overload protection and a feedback function. The feedback function, controlled by a microprocessor, regulates the electric current to the handpiece as resistance fluctuates, fine-tuning the torque in real time. Korean and Japanese e-files excel in this area, drawing from their engineering expertise in medical industries like dentistry.

Understanding the Limitations of Cheaper E-Files

While cheaper e-files might seem appealing due to their lower cost, they often lack the durability and reliability of premium brands. Many low-cost e-files use copy components and inferior hardware, resulting in unsustainable torque and eventual burnout. These types of e-files are more suitable for home use or for technicians just starting out. We provide a 12-month warranty on most of the electric equipment we sell. Because of the frequent repairs typically needed with lower-quality nail files, we choose not to sell them. This aligns with our commitment to offering reliable, long-lasting products to our customers.

For professional use, we genuinely believe it’s best to invest in a high-quality e-file to avoid frequent replacements and repairs. However, we do stock some e-files that balance affordability with quality, like the DND Portable File or the Gelish Go File. These models use components similar to those in premium brands and may last you several years. Nonetheless, it’s important to remember that they aren’t designed for long-term servicing or repair. This means that while they’re a good option for those on a budget, their move-able parts will eventually break down and are unable to be replaced.

Longevity and Maintenance

A good nail e-file is an investment in your business, and with proper care, it can provide reliable performance for years. Having repaired and serviced numerous e-files over the years, we offer the following tips to help ensure your e-file functions optimally and remains trouble-free. These maintenance tips are applicable to all nail e-files since they share common operating principles:

  • Regular Cleaning: After each use, clean any dust or debris from the head of the handpiece.
  • Dry Drill Bits: Ensure that drill bits are completely dry before securing them in the collet shaft to avoid rust or damage.
  • Handle with Care: Avoid dropping the handpiece, and be cautious not to accidentally impact the collet shaft.
  • Remove Drill Bits: Always remove the drill bit from the collet shaft when not in use to prevent unnecessary stress on the handpiece.

With proper care and maintenance, a quality e-file should last you for many years. For example, with an e-file from a reputable brand like Urawa that offers serviceable parts, you can expect to use the same unit for over a decade.


Choosing the right electric nail drill or e-file is crucial for professional nail technicians. Consider the torque, RPM, power, control unit, and handpiece construction when making your selection. Investing in a high-quality e-file ensures you can deliver the best service to your clients and enjoy a longer-lasting tool.

If you’re looking for top-of-the-line electric nail drills, visit our website to explore our range of premium e-files from trusted brands. Our team is here to help you choose the perfect e-file for your needs.

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