Drills a neccesary evil or not?


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I had been doing hand filing for rebalances for a year and broke down and bought a drill. I was TERRRIFIED of the thing at first, but now that I am getting the hang of it it cuts 1/2 hour off my fills for rebalances. I have been using a 2 week carbide bit and just got my flying saucer bit and cant wait to try it. I heard they are quicker yet. I dont use my drill for anything else other than the free edge and under the nail. I want to take a class before I do that. The only thing I wish I had done, was get asmaller handpeice. Mine is a Medicool protouch, which is inexpensive but works awesome. Just a little hard on my little hands when I work with it for a long period of time.
Mar 30, 2003
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Are drills neccesary?
Ive not used one and as a newly trained creative tech I can do a full set of french in 2 hours with liquid/powder.
We were taught scult with your brush not with your file.
If that is the case why do we need a drill?
Perhaps Ive put the cat among the pigeons but whats your view?
I went on a course this week to learn how to use one, have been using it in the salon for 2 days and it does cut my time down by approx 30 mins on both maintenance and full sets.
Are drills neccesary?

Nope. Nor are they unneccesary.

What I mean is... As long as you are properly trained to use one... and NEVER EVER use it on the natural nail plate... I dont particularly see too much of a problem with it...

You do ahve to be aware though...

A drill will weaken your product substantially more so than abrasive filing (thats because most people dont file at 15,000 rpms)

As a result... your product will have to be much thicker.
Drills also create the finest dust particulates that float in the air much longer than dust from a file... therefore its much easier to breathe in and have respritory problems.

If you are just starting... I dont advise it... heck.. you seem to be doing pretty good with your time so far...

Give it a year... then make an informed choice. The majority of the top techs that I know dont use them... but many good techs do. The secret is in education.

Hope this helps
i've been a nail tech for 2.5 years, and it took me about 1.5 years to get my time down for rebalances to about 40 mins -1 hour. I toyed with the idea of a drill, and now i'm glad i didn't, as it just comes with time and patience, and as i was reminded in a class the other day, keep 'em thin, and your rebalances will be much easier and quicker!

I have a small hand piece with my drill,& I only use it on the F/E. And to cut down for Back fills. Never use it on the natural nail or in the cuticle area. I do sculpt & make a thin nail, with my Big Boy, then use buffer to finish. I only need my drill for less hand filing, saves my wrist & arm from strain. I was self taught,& I have a very light touch. Drills have their place,
if you know how to use them properly. I had to retrain my cleints to it, they where petrified of being burned, rings of fire, you know the story on that. Thats another reason I never use it on the top of the nail. My ladys trust me now. I couldn't do a back fill without it.
Barb :flower:
Had a new client in the other day, had been going to a 'you know what' sort of salon :rolleyes:

Anyway, she goes on to tell me that they may have got slightly carried away with the idea of removing the surface shine from her natural nails...........they actually used an e-file to do this :shock: :shock: I couldn't believe it when she told me, no wonder her nails were so pitifully thin :!:

I once raced a nailtech friend of mine who assured me she saved loads of time using a drill.

We each did one hand of the willing client, she preparing for a rebalance and finishing with a drill, me just using my normal techniques. I beat her by 7 minutes!!

Why?? Because I always apply the finished nail with my brush (finished thickness and finished shape and smoothness) so I don't have to do much filing to finish (only to refine and buff to a high gloss shine with my trusty Girlfriend buffer.

To me fileing of any kind is boring (both for me and the client) and can also be a window for future problems so I learned the techniques to help me avoid it as much as possible. Made sense to me!
yes but.... how do you and your friend compare when you're BOTH hand filing Gigi? Presumably you're more than 7 minutes faster than her under those circumstances. Presumably she does a full set quicker when using a drill than when she hand files.
I dont use a drill, cause you dont need one with the F/glass, Silk and Gels systems that I use. :D
But I am learning L&P a home. I dont feel that I need a drill, I try to get the nail finished with my brush and then just need to smooth it out with a buffer. 8)

I find EMA products are soft enough to handfile :!: . I also prefere the manual finishing process, a bit like a master craftsman who usualy finishes his prime masterpiece by hand :thumbsup: No need for speed, need for expertise more like :!:

I have been a Nail Technician for many years now and have seen more drill damage and hardly any over handfiling damage, and all those clients have complained about the heat, that is created when the drill speeds across their little nails. :fire:
Maybe I am a bit old fashioned and some might say "eh Ruth you need to move with the times", but I believe I am moving with the times and making the most of the products and the way they have been developed. :thumbsup:

But then again if people are propperly educated on the drill and all the Health and Saftey that goes with it, then I dont have a problem with them using it. What ever floats their boat lol :sunny:
But I am sticking to my rubber dingy method so to speak.
I do appreciate the fact that we are all , also need to make a living, but I feel that my profession is not all about bums in seats, and a quick turn a round in clients, it's about service, ability,skill and above all the comfort of my clients.
Love Ruth xx :flower: xx
I too am an old hand Ruth, and I wholeheartedly agree with the final part of your post. I've never subscribed to the 'bums on seats' approach; quite the contrary in fact. It's very important that every client who leaves my salon feels that she's had an enjoyable and relaxed time whilst there, and naturally client safety is paramount.

I personally like to use hand filing for most of the service, but I do find my drill invaluable for p&w maintainance and also for cleaning up behind the nail ~ something which is impossible with a hand file.

As someone who has taken the trouble to pay for tuition in the proper use of a drill I find it quite irksome that the notion that drills in themselves are dangerous still lingers. As you and I know, drill damage is caused by ill-trained technicians and that is where the blame should be fairly and squarely laid. In the hands of a competent technician the drill is a perfectly safe piece of equipment.

As far as the issue of time is concerned, it's likely that an experienced tech who makes much use of her drill does complete each service faster than she does when hand filing, and as you say, if speedier appointments are her objective... then fair enough!
I appreciate both sides of the debate on this topic.
My main concern about hand filing is RSI. I would prefer to spend a few hundred £££'s on an e-file & PROPER training than have to get my wrist operated on, or be constantly on anti inflamitory medication, by the time I'm 50 (arthritis runs in my family).

This is my main reason for showing any interest in them at all, as, like others have said, i too only need to lightly buff my fininshed nails to refine & gloss up.

I think I would only use an e-file to help reduce wrist strain when doing rebalances. I note some of them have chamois buffing bit's too. Does anyone have an opinion on these particular "bits"? are they any goos? Have any of the maturer filers out there found painful wrists to have been a problem?
I do have CT (carpel Tunnel). I have had release on the right one, Luckly,
the left one is not that bad. I have been in this beauty biz, for 45 yrs ! :D Had to give up hair "do-in" quite a few yrs ago, I couldn't hold the razor,or scissors. There was no way to roll & snap perms.So, I took
a sit down job, Nails ! Worked out good till a few yrs ago, big flare up. Lots of pain, swelling,whole arm & hand was a sleep, throbbing. After over a yr of that, I opted for surgury. Not so bad now, but, I have a weakness,and days when it kicks up. Thats where my drill comes in real handy.gets the job done when I can't file. No way am I giving up my work. :revolve: As for the chamois,depends on how a stickler you are for
sanitation, :D I use Ez Flow miracle Shine, incrediable shine.There are down side to this work, but , if you are aware,and take the precautions, you are good to go for as long as you want.
Barb :D
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