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Having beautiful and polished nails can make a world of difference in your overall look. How can you choose the right nail drill?

How To Choose A Nail Drill?

Having beautiful and polished nails can make a world of difference in your overall look. However, achieving salon-quality nails at home can be challenging without the right tools. This is where a high-quality nail drill comes in handy. A nail drill (sometimes called an e-file) allows you to shape, buff, and polish your nails precisely and efficiently.

Choosing the best nail drill for your needs can be confusing, given the many brands and models available today. In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss the key factors to consider when selecting a nail drill as a beginner. We’ve also rounded up our picks for the best nail drills for beginners to help you shop smarter.

What Is A Nail Drill?

A nail drill, or e-file, is a handheld tool that uses a gentle rotating motion to shape, clean, and buff nails. Nail drills use removable bits that attach to the head of the device to perform different nail care tasks efficiently. Most electric nail drills offer variable speed settings to suit different types of nails.

Corded electric nail drills are the most common, requiring you to plug them into an outlet to operate. Cordless or rechargeable battery-powered options offer more flexibility and portability. Modern nail drills also include helpful features like LED lights to aid visibility as you work on your nails.

Benefits Of Using A Nail Drill

Using an electric nail drill offers many advantages over manual nail filing:

  • Saves time – Filming and shaping nails using a drill is much faster. You’ll cut your nail care time significantly.
  • More precise shaping – The fast rotational spinning motion of a nail drill allows more accurate and consistent nail shaping.
  • Smoother finish – E-files provide a salon-quality smooth, shiny finish after buffing and polishing.
  • Easier cuticle care – Safely push back and clean up cuticles faster with specialty drill bits.  
  • Longer polish wear – Smoothing the nail surface first helps polish and gel manicures last weeks longer.

With the right techniques, an electric nail file can help you achieve picture-perfect nails in minutes. Plus, they are gentle on your nails when used properly.

Key Considerations When Choosing A Beginner Nail Drill

With a better understanding of how nail drills work, let’s explore the key features to evaluate when shopping for the best nail drills for beginners:


The operating speed of an electric nail file is measured in rotations per minute (RPM). Most offer variable speed settings ranging from 5,000 to 30,000 RPMs or higher.  

Beginners should look for nail drills with a maximum speed of around 25,000 RPM or less. Higher speeds may be too harsh for new users. Also, choose a model with adjustable speed settings, starting under 10,000 RPMs, then work your way up as you improve your technique.

Operation Type

The two main options are corded electric or battery-powered cordless nail drills. Corded models offer continuous runtime but limit your mobility by being tethered by a cord. Cordless is more flexible for use anywhere, but battery life is limited before recharging.

For most beginners, a consistent power supply makes corded electric drills the best choice when starting. Opt for a longer power cord to give yourself ample working room.


Pay attention to the size, shape, and weight of a nail drill when selecting one. You’ll be holding the tool for extended periods, so you want something lightweight and comfortable in your hands. Most nail drills have a pencil-like shape with adjustable holding angles.

Noise Level

Nail drills require high-speed rotation that emits some noise. The loudness varies by model though from low hum to high-pitched drilling sounds. If lower noise is important to you, look for drills explicitly labeled as quieter options.

Attachments Included  

The best beginner nail drill options come equipped with multiple attachments and bits to take care of a range of nail care tasks. Ideally, you want coarse and fine nail shaping and buffing bands. Other handy attachments include cuticle trimmer bits, tapered silicone polishers, felt buffing wheels, and precision nail drill bits. Kits with 10+ attachments give you the most versatility.


When it comes to nail care power tools, brand names and reviews matter since they equate to quality and safety. For beginners, we recommend considering top-rated brands like MelodySusie, Beetles, and Makartt. Check reviews of nail drills before buying as well. Reputable brands manufacture using high-quality motors and materials for smooth, reliable, and long-lasting performance.

Nail Care Tips For Beginners

Investing in one of the best nail drills for beginners above helps recreate salon nail looks from home. But even the finest tools take practice and skill. Follow these tips as you get started on your at-home manicure journey:

  • Watch video tutorials first – Learn techniques like choosing appropriate bits, proper drilling angles, and applying gentle pressure.
  • Start slow – Select the lowest speed setting under 10K RPMs and work in short intervals till you get the hang of the spinning motion.
  • Visually inspect nails first – File down lifted edges or excessive length before shaping with the nail drill.
  • Use light pressure and keep the drill moving – This prevents heat buildup that can damage nail beds.
  • Focus on problem nails – Use the precision of a drill to specifically target uneven nails that are challenging to manually file.
  • Refine with buffing bands – Finish your shape by gently buffing around each nail with medium and fine grit bands.
  • Take breaks – Pressing and holding an e-file takes stamina. Give your hands intermittent breaks to prevent cramping.

With repeated practice, using an electric nail drill becomes second nature. Don’t get discouraged if your initial attempts don’t mimic professional results. Creating gorgeous nails is an art that takes time to master.  

FAQs About Nail Drills For Beginners

Here we answer some commonly asked questions about buying and using nail drills as a beginner:

  1. Are nail drills safe for at-home use?

Yes, with proper usage, electric nail files and drills safely and efficiently file natural or acrylic nails. The risk comes from applying too much pressure causing excess heat that can damage the nail bed. Always start conservatively on the lowest speed setting and with light pressure.

  1. How do you avoid nail drill damage? 

To prevent nail injury when using a drill, maintain control by keeping the bit constantly moving and not holding it in one area too long. Applying too much pressure is another cause of harm – let the tool do the work. Routinely pause to allow your nails time to cool off preventing heat buildup.  

  1. What RPM do professionals recommend for beginners?  

20,000 RPM or less is ideal for first-time electric nail file users. Choose a model with adjustable speeds and slowly work your way up over time. Variable speed capability between 10,000 to 25,000 RPMs gives you plenty of range as your experience level grows.

  1. Do I need a dust collector attachment?

Yes, a dust collector helps capture most of the nail debris generated from shaping, buffing, and drilling to keep your work surface tidier. Some nail drills have a built-in dust collection compartment or allow you to attach a collector accessory. Activating dust control is recommended each time you use an electric nail file.  

  1. How can I extend the life of nail drill bits?

Take proper care of drill attachments by wiping bits clean after each use and storing them safely in a protective case. Never immerse them fully in liquid, which can damage the material. You’ll also prevent premature wear by maintaining gentle pressure – forcing the bit excessively shortens its lifespan. Plan on replacing them after about 20-30 uses for best results.


Achieving picture-perfect nails is now possible in the comfort of your own home thanks to today’s high-quality electric nail drills and files. Choosing the right nail drill kit doesn’t have to be complicated for beginners once you understand the key features that impact functionality.

Focus your search on corded or rechargeable tools offering beginner-friendly speed settings below 25K RPMs. Kits with multiple shaping and buffing attachments prove most versatile for handling all your manicure needs. Brands like MelodySusie, Makartt, and Beetles rate well for ease of use while staying gentle on natural or acrylic nails. 

While a nail drill does take some practice to master control and techniques, our tips and FAQs help you minimize risks. Stick to safer pressure levels, slower speeds, and routine cool-down breaks as you handle this powerful nail tool.  

In no time, you can flawlessly shape, buff, and polish your nails better than any local salon could. So go ahead and invest in one of the best nail drills for beginners we recommend. Your fabulous fingertips will thank you!

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