Do You Clip It? Or Do You File It?

Nail Clipping Vs Filing

Straight up, I’m not a fan of nail filing. Never have been, probably never will be. Right, that’s the blog post done then, eh?

No? Damn. 😛

Nail experts will be screaming their heads off when they read this because most if not all of them say that it’s better to file your nails than to clip them. Filing them prevents nail breakage and they’re easier to control compared to clipping. Clipping can also cause stress to nail beds.

My mum used to clip my nails for me when I was growing up. I absolutely adored this little routine that the two of us shared. When she needs to clip or file her nails, she’d ask “Tine, do you want to clip your nails too?” and it will always be met with a resounding “YES!”. What I loved about her clipping my nails for me is that she’d leave the clipped part of the nail hanging by just a thread and she’d leave it to me to pull it off. In hindsight, it wasn’t a good idea because there were many times when I over-pulled, broke my skin and suffered from sore fingers for days. But man, how I loved it. Even with sore fingers, it never stopped me from really enjoying that little mother-daughter moment.

Personally, I’m a nail clipper (tee hee!) mostly because it’s tough for me to stand nail filing. The sound and action of my nails getting filed is like running one’s nails against a blackboard or running metal cutlery on a glass plate. It’s excruciating. Even writing these actions right now is making me shudder. I dislike the smell of nails getting filed too. Is that what keratin smells like?

That’s the reason why I rarely get manicures. It’s not the worry of chipping my nails right after I’ve had them done. It’s the filing part that gets on my nerves. I’ve had nail technicians going a bit too gung-ho on the nail filing and they go in too deep, which can really hurt.

I haven’t had long nails in many years. My nails are short. In fact, as soon as there’s a hint of lunula (the white crescent bit of the nail) showing, I’ll trim it with a nail clipper. Very dark nail polish looks good on short nails anyway. At least, that’s what I like to tell myself. 🙂

Having said all that, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t file your nails. It’s just my personal preference that I prefer mine clipped. By all means, if that’s the way you like to trim and shape your nails, go for it. If you do file your nails, instead of using emery boards with rough grit, I highly recommend glass files. It’s the only way of filing that doesn’t bother me. Glass files have the softest grit and don’t sheer the nails, which emery boards often do. They are slightly more expensive than emery boards but they’re reusable and sustainable.

So, are you a nail clipper or filer?

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4 comments… add one
  1. Kate

    I’m a nail clipper too! I used to file my nails after clipping it down to the desired length but meh, I don’t have the luxury of time or patience to do so now.

    Clip clip clip it away!

    I always leave about 3mm of lunula so I still can pry open stuff using it, I know I shouldn’t be doing this but I still do it anyways. Heh.

    1. Tine

      Hahaha I can’t be arsed to file my nails too, but more for the fact that I don’t like the filing sensation, sound and smell. As for the last part, I think a lot of us do that even though we’re not supposed to. 😛

  2. Issy

    I clip too! Usually because I try to grow my nails long, and they get fairly long before one breaks and I have to even them out. It takes far too long to file them all down, so I clip them shorter then file to shape and clean them up.

    I also can’t stand to use a glass file for all my filing – I only use them to fix up small snags or to smooth out and seal the nail edge once I’m done shaping. For shaping I use a standard padded file from Manicare or similar.

    1. Tine

      Have you used one of those electrical filing things by Scholl? I’d just gotten myself one; haven’t given it a proper go yet. It might take less effort and time to file your nails! 🙂

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