Nail 101: Choosing the right Nail Drill

Feb 15, 2021Shawna Gray


What does "RPM" stand for? What if I accidentally drill through to the nail? What type of drill is used for what purpose? Do I even need a nail drill to do my nails?

We know. We know all too well that it's incredibly confusing to any one who is just starting to do their nails at home and how overwhelming it is when you see different drills listed on our website. This is why I'm here!

Choosing a nail drill can be bubbled down to 3 main factors: Speed, Usage and Price. Read on to find out how to select your nail drill!

1. Speed: "RPM" stands for Rotations Per Minute

RPM stands for rotations per minute, which determines the maximum speed at which your nail drill can go up to. Anywhere between 30,000 to 35,000 is considered incredibly high and most of the time you won't be operating at your nail drill's maximum speed. If you are a beginner nail artist or someone who occasionally does your nails at home, picking a nail drill like the Stefy Portable Nail Drill that runs up to 25,000 RPM is enough to work remove or shape poly gel, remove gel polish or just simply just to file or shape your nails. If you feel uncomfortable knowing that your drill can go up to 25,000 RPM, choosing a drill that can go up to 18,000 is also sufficient in most use cases. 

If you are a professional nail artist or someone who is constantly working on your own nails or someone else's nails, selecting a high RPM can be beneficial to saving time. Makartt's Geneviere Nail Drill goes up to 30,000 RPM and the Stephanee can go up to 35,000 RPM. Drills that can run beyond 25,000 can be used for carving, which is a method used to shape acrylic, gels and other types of false nails that requires an incredibly high speed to achieve clean cutting.

2. Usage: Hand or Foot mode? Cordless? Base?

Nail drills come in all shapes and sizes, some that are made to sit comfortably on a nail technician's table, while others are designed to be on-the-go. Nail drills like the Stefy are made to be used at home or on-the-go and does not require a drill body to achieve its performance. The downside is that if you're looking for something with a higher performance, it'll need to come with a body or base to keep its power running.

Some professional nail drills come with extended features that are made to embody ease and access to professional nail technicians who work on multiple clients per day from a nail salon. The Stephanee drill comes with a belt buckle so that nail techs can attach it to their belt while working in a salon and move from station to station effortlessly. The Geneviere comes with a foot mode that allows the nail tech to control the power of the drill while working on intricate nail designs so that you don't need to put the drill down and move the dial to control the drill with your hands.

3. Price: How much should you spend?

The ultimate last question: price. How much should you spend on a nail drill? We've seen nail drills on the market go over $250 and we've also seen nail drills that are extremely cheap and under $10. The truth is, you get what you paid for, but there's no need to go crazy. Nail drills are a heavy investment but it's considered a spend that should only incur every few years. If you are purchasing a new nail drill more than once a year, something is wrong! Personally, I look for nail drills that I can see myself using for the next 2 years every time I invest in one. If you are someone that works on clients and you're thinking of investing in a nail drill, you can simply calculate the time you spend on hand filing a person's nail and multiple it by your hourly rate to determine how much more you could potentially be earning if you had a nail drill. Looking at the available options for nail drills out there and comparing it to your potential earning, you'll be able to get a better idea of what is a reasonable price to purchase your nail drill.

Makartt isn't a fan of extremely expensive nail drills. We tend to focus on creating and developing nail drills that range between $30 to $100. With that in mind, if you are a beginner, go closer to the $30 mark and if you are a professional, gear closer to the $100 mark and beware of spending too little on a nail drill and risking malfunctions that may look bad in front of a client or simply just waste your time!

That's all for now folks! Comment below on what you think is a reasonable price to spend on a nail drill!


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