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Important nuances and common mistakes in the work with nail drill bits

Brand Manager STALEKS.
I can tell you a lot about diamond nail drill bits and different pushers (manicure, pedicure, cosmetology).

Hardware or combined manicures are relatively new techniques in the world of nails. It is a quick way to remove cuticles and prepare the nail plate for gel polish. With all the speed, this method is available to nail stylists of a certain level: you need to get qualifications and experience with the device, understand the differences between drill bits, and correctly select the nozzle’s shape.

It is essential to follow specific rules and be careful, but even all of the above does not guarantee perfect work without mistakes. Forewarned is forearmed, so we will tell you about all the main problems a nail technician may face while working with nail drill bits.

Nuances in work with nail drill bits

  • The quality of the device

And first, let’s not talk about the drill bits themselves, but the devices, since this is the basis.

The quality of the nail drill machine directly affects the quality of the manicure. The low power and “hitting”  the hand devices does not allow you to feel the drill bits’ contact with the nail. It is fraught with cuts and poor handling. Therefore, you should take a serious approach to choose a device and buy only proven options (not made in China, but reliable brands with a “name”).

Professionals who work in salons need a powerful nail drill machine (60-100 W) and capable of operating at a speed of about 40-60 thousand revolutions per minute. A good device does not jump in the hands. Vibration should be minimal and comfortable.

It is essential for the nail technician’s health that the device is equipped with a vacuum cleaner; it will protect the lungs from a cloud of nail dust in the air. For customers’ health, the device must switch speeds – thin and weakened nails need to be treated with care; otherwise, you can leave a burn.

  • The angle of work with nail drill bits

Now, we are going to the processing of nails and cuticles with drill bits.

There is only one rule: you should not put the drill bit at a specific angle (30, 40, 45 degrees). It is essential to put the drill bit with the “working part,” while the plane of the drill bit and the nail must be in contact.

At a certain angle (namely, 45 degrees), it makes sense to put only a pusher if you use it to push back the cuticle. When creating a “pocket,” it is essential to use the pusher’s optimal position and movements.



  • Defect

Buying drill bits “by weight” (like sunflower seeds, joke) on Chinese websites for cheap things, you can stumble upon a defective one. Defective drill bits have unevenly applied powder, asymmetric, non-centered (which hangs in the machine handle and rotates with different amplitude), interspersed with large particles. You should not work with such a drill bit because the risk of injury increases to heaven.

STALEKS takes every stage of production seriously, and at the final stages, EVERY drill bit undergoes quality control. We test all drill bits on special standardization equipment. The risk of buying a defect is minimal because a drill bit is not allowed for sale, even with a slight aberration.

  • Drill bit condition

The drill bit is in contact with the smallest particles of the skin and the nail plate, so it is essential to control its condition. Not only the accuracy of the manicure depends on this, but also the health of the client.

The drill bit will not do clean and tidy work if it is poorly cleaned after disinfection and has pterygium residues on it. It will stroke the nail, which will have to increase the speed and create pressure, and with this, the risk of injuries will increase.

  • Drill bit movements

A manicure in half an hour is super only if the nail stylist KNOWS it and all movements are improved to automatism. For work in the sinus zone, lightning speed is not entirely appropriate. It is better to spend more time but not cover the entire trajectory from the cuticle’s center to the lateral nail fold in one motion. The result of this rush is injured sinuses, redness, and wounds. Do not do like this.

The drill bit should move slightly, in small intervals by a millimeter, and its movements should repeat the cuticle’s bend. An essential piece of advice is not to repeat after the instructor, but to approach individually to work with a specific person’s hands.

Mistakes in the work of the drill bit

  • Incomplete cuticle opening (if the cuticle is lifted at an angle less than 90 degrees).
  • Incorrect finger grip during work with a drill bit.  You need to keep your finger on top, working on the right side of the nail, and grab it from below when moving to the left side. It is essential to support the finger with your right little finger to ensure precise movement. It is also recommended to push back the pad with a pinky finger to gain wider access to the lateral cuticles.
  • Incorrectly chosen drill bit or cuticle opening. The first stage of manicure is worth choosing a taper-shaped drill bit (cylinder, taper, needle). A ball, flame, bud, and similar rounded drill bits should be used after the cuticle has been opened and the “pocket” has been prepared.
  • Incorrect processing technique with a “ball” drill bit. Correct work with a ball drill bit should be a two-step process. First, you need to turn out the cuticle with a ball (easily go over it with a nozzle and lift it at an angle of 90 degrees), then gently peel off the skin. Only after that it can be removed easily and neatly. Without the first stage, you can leave the client with burrs, pterygium pieces, and microtrauma.


  • Wrong choice of abrasive density for a ball drill bit. Abrasiveness (hardness) is one of the drill bit characteristics. Many nail stylists mistakenly think that a soft abrasive drill bit (with a red or pink notch) is suitable for accurate work. It is not so, since work efficiency will decrease significantly, and you can tear the skin with a drill bit. For strong natural nails and hard cuticles, it is better to use a drill bit with a blue notch, for artificial nails and thickenings – with light green or green, and it is better to leave a pink or red notch for soft nails and thin skin.
  • Drill bit speed too high or low. It is optimal to work at 10,000 – 12,000 rpm for professionals and at 4,000 – 6,000 rpm for beginners.
  • The incorrect sequence of performing the stages of hardware manicure. There are only 4 of them: lifting and opening the cuticle with a conical cutter of high abrasiveness (blue notch); cleaning of the lateral sinuses and the area under the cuticle with a rounded drill bit; peeling off the raised cuticle with a ball; grinding the cut with a polisher.
  • Prolonged work with the nail drill bit in one place (DO NOT stay in one area for more than a second).
  • Hardware manicure on injured skin or wet nails.
  • Lack of hand and nail disinfection.

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