Last updated: August 8, 2021
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Welcome to our big nail care set test 2022. Here we present all the nail care sets we have tested. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the internet.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best nail care set for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a nail care set.




Summary

  • Nail care sets enable you to conjure up optimally groomed and attractive nails according to your wishes.
  • We distinguish between manual and electric nail care sets, each of which has its advantages and disadvantages. Depending on your needs, one set will be more suitable for you and your nails than another.
  • Electric manicure and pedicure sets give you more options than the classic nail scissors. For on-the-go use, however, the manual set is more flexible and can be used at any time.

The Best Nail Care Set: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a nail care set

How does nail care work and why should I put a lot of effort into it?

Well-kept nails, especially on the hands, are almost indispensable nowadays (even in most professions). Of course, you can regularly go to a nail salon to get pampered, but there are cheaper options for at home that still let you do all the work steps and thus allow you to care for your nails comprehensively.

You can create beautiful nails with just a few tools and the usual home remedies. Sometimes, even if you don't have much time, the basic nail care steps are sufficient: Shortening and filing. Filing and shaping is indispensable, especially for nails that tend to tear.

Nails, whether short or long, should be shortened because the gentler, the less likely they are to break and split. For soft and brittle nails, use a fine file with a padded core.

If you want to invest more time, the manicure and pedicure include further steps such as treating the cuticles, removing calluses, caring for the skin around the nail and the nail itself with creams and oils, and sometimes also treating cracks in the nail, nail fungus or corns.

Of course, you can go even further than the range of applications of nail care sets and paint or otherwise decorate your nails or provide them with artificial nails.

Regular care of your hand and toenails can also prevent unpleasant nail bed infections or painful ingrown nails.

What products do I need for manicures and pedicures?

For manicures and pedicures, the selection ranges from instruments and care products for beautiful, healthy nails to varnishes, stickers and stamping for nail art for special embellishment.

The most commonly used tools are the following:

  • Nail scissors / nail nippers
  • Cuticle scissors
  • Nail file (made of glass or coated with sapphire)
  • Tool for pushing back cuticles
  • Cuticle nippers

With these tools, you can easily and properly trim your nails as well as remove those annoying cuticles. Some sets also include nail hardener.

Did you know that cuticles should never be trimmed with nail scissors?

The cuticle should never be cut, but only pushed back with a stick. This is because it provides an important protective function against bacteria, fungi and viruses.

If you want to make your hands a real eye-catcher, you can also use various forms of decoration. Common methods include:

  • Nail polish
  • Nail sticker
  • Nail foil
  • Stamping Tools
  • Nail Art Pen

In addition, you can prepare your nails for decoration by sanding them with a so-called buffer. This smoothes the surface of the nail in several steps so that the polish can be applied without any unevenness.

To make the decoration last well, you can use a base coat and a top coat. The base coat protects against discolouration and smoothes out any unevenness. The top coat fixes the lacquer or the stamping, for example, and provides better hold and protection.

Nowadays, you can also do artificial or gel nails at home cheaply and without a studio. There are numerous offers in drugstores and online. Glue-on artificial nails or gel nail polish create a special finish.

What do nail care sets cost?

The price range is enormous, even within manual and electric nail care sets. Of course, electric nail care sets are more expensive for the same quality.

Simple nail sets of the most basic equipment and quality are available in drugstores for as little as four euros, including a case for storage. The higher the quality and exclusivity (brand products) of a set and the more accessories included, the higher the price. The scale seems to be open towards the top. A manicure set in an electric version can therefore occasionally cost a few hundred euros.

Decision: What types of nail care sets are there and which is the right one for you?

Basically, you can distinguish between two types of nail care sets:

  • Electric nail care sets
  • Manual nail care sets

Nail care sets are generally designed to intensively care for the hand and toenails and to keep them looking healthy. They are used to clean the nails and nail beds, as well as to shorten them and bring them into the desired shape.

Good nail care sets contain very good, high-quality products or durable utensils to ensure an optimal manicure or pedicure. A distinction is made between electric and manual nail care sets, each of which has its own advantages and disadvantages.

In the following paragraphs, we would like to illustrate these and show you the differences between the two types so that it is easier for you to make the right decision. This will make it easier for you to find the set that is right for you.

What is an electric nail care set, what does it contain and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

An electric nail care set essentially consists of the so-called cutter, which makes the biggest difference to the manual set. With such nail cutters, different attachments can usually be changed. This means that you can do all the work steps with one device, for which you always have to change the utensil with the manual set.

With the right attachments, you can file and polish nails as well as remove calluses without any problems. Electric nail care sets basically consist of the main device, to which the various attachments can be attached, as well as a charger or power supply unit.

Among other things, there are attachments for shortening and shaping the nails, for filing and smoothing, for polishing, for removing cuticles and calluses, for nail design, for treating an ingrown nail or for removing corns. As you can see, the electric set offers you a wide range of care options.

A care set especially for feet usually includes attachments such as the felt cone, the sapphire disc, the sapphire cone and the sandpaper attachment.

Advantages
  • Special attachments
  • Versatile use
  • Spot and precise work
  • Fast work
Disadvantages
  • Bulky
  • Battery/power operation
  • Injuries

Working with an electric set is faster and less power-intensive than manual cutting and filing. Concentration is just as important, however, so that you don't slip with the tool and possibly injure yourself.

There is also a danger of underestimating the power of the cutter and cutting your nails more than you intended. To avoid damaging your skin, be careful not to apply too much pressure when removing calluses.

The many different attachments for different uses are a great advantage of the electric nail care set. Relatively precise work is possible, which in turn is guaranteed by the matching attachments.

When working with an electric model, you are probably faster than when working with a manual one, but the risk of injury is higher with the former. For many, the power supply is a point of criticism of the electric set, as you need either a power socket or ready-to-use batteries, which can often be inconvenient, especially when travelling.

What is a manual nail care set, what does it contain and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

A manual nail care set is a product that, as the name suggests, is operated by hand and force. A classic manual set consists of nail scissors, nail clippers and a nail file.

Basically, the more utensils, the more possible uses. Good sets often contain several variants of the same product, such as the nail scissors for fingernails and the nail nippers for the somewhat more robust toenails.

Advantages
  • Cheaper than electric sets
  • Less risk of injury
  • Precise and accurate work
Disadvantages
  • More time-consuming
  • Greater effort

Furthermore, tweezers (removal of annoying hairs on the fingers), pushers, cleaners and scrapers (nail cleaning and smoothing of the nail surface) and cuticle nippers (removal of excess cuticles) are often included.

Manual nail care sets are usually cheaper to buy than the electric version, simply because no special battery plug is needed. The risk of injury can be considered lower with the manual version, but you should always work with concentration and not allow yourself to be distracted too much.

Did you know that cutting the nails too deeply can lead to ingrown nails?

If a nail is cut too short, the edge of the nail may push into the nail bed when pressure is applied, e.g. from shoes. This problem can even lead to inflammation.

With the manual set you can work selectively and precisely, but you will probably need more time and more force than with an electric set.

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate nail care sets

Here we would like to show you which features you can use to find the right nail care set for you and what you should look out for when buying. Not every feature is exclusively good or bad - it rather depends on what suits your needs.

Important factors are:

  • Type
  • File
  • Mode of operation
  • Revolutions / speed regulation
  • Running direction
  • Attachments
  • Integrated lighting
  • Storage case
  • Suitable for artificial nails
  • Suitable for diabetics

Below we will explain each of these to help you make your decision.

Type

A basic distinction is made between manual and electric nail care sets. Manual nail care sets work without the aid of electricity and usually consist of classic nail care equipment such as files and scissors.

In addition, there are usually clippers and tools for pushing back and/or removing the cuticles. These are often made of metal. Although this is effective, the sliders often have sharp edges that can easily scratch the nail.

Electric nail care sets, on the other hand, are particularly versatile and are similar to the devices you can often find in professional studios.

Nail clippers vary in width and are more or less curved. This allows you to trim each of your nails optimally. Clippers are often used by men who don't want to achieve a specific nail shape and want to finish quickly. (Photo: saulhm / pixabay.com)

File

The enclosed file is usually a sapphire file, where the sides should have different grits, a "coarse" and a "fine" side. You can use the coarse side for shortening and the fine side for smoothing out unevenness in the next step.

Depending on the quality, the blade of the sapphire nail file is more or less flexible. To be able to apply even pressure when filing, an inflexible blade is better suited.

An alternative to the sapphire file is the glass file. It also usually has two different sides. A clear advantage of the glass file is its durability: it is much more durable, so it does not become blunt as quickly. In addition, the grinding surface of glass files is much finer, which prevents microcracks in the nail.

Cleaning a glass file is easier and more thorough, as you can rinse it with water or even treat it with disinfectant. Due to its hardness, it cannot be bent and because the glass has been specially treated, it will not splinter if the file should fall or break.

Files can not only be made of different materials, but also have different shapes. The following table classifies the types of files by shape.

Shape Function
Curvy Perfect for smoothing the outer edges of nails to create an oval or curvy shape.
Straight Ideal to shorten the nails and achieve any shape.
Half moon The files with this shape have a curved and a straight side, so they can do the functions of both types.

Mode of operation

There are different ways in which an electronic set can be operated - batteries, rechargeable batteries as well as mains operated units can be found on the market.

One of the advantages of using batteries or rechargeable batteries is that you can take the device with you and use it easily when you are on the move. However, you must always remember to charge the batteries in good time or to take spare batteries with you.

With mains operation, you need a power outlet - you cannot use the instrument on the road. However, the performance of a mains-powered model is often better.

There are also instruments that have an additional foot pedal with which you can regulate the power supply and thus, for example, the speed. However, it takes a little practice to be able to regulate the higher power and especially the foot pedal.

Revolutions / speed regulation

The ability to adjust and vary the speed is an important prerequisite for accurate working and grooming. This is particularly advantageous for inexperienced users so that not too much of the nail is filed or milled off in one go.

There is either stepless regulation or several fixed levels, which can usually be set by pressing a button or using a slider. The more revolutions per minute that can be achieved, the faster a larger amount of nail can be removed.

Running direction

Some models offer the possibility to change the direction of rotation, i.e. to turn the attachment either to the left or to the right.

This option is not absolutely necessary to achieve a good end result. However, it can, for example, optimise the polishing or smoothing of the nail surface, as it ensures more uniformity.

Attachments

The attachments of electric nail care sets differ in size, material and grit depending on their intended use.

There are attachments for removing calluses and cuticles, for shortening and grinding or for milling the surface. Within these, they also differ in the intensity of the granulation.

Depending on your wishes and intended use, you may have a greater need for attachments. If, for example, you intend to mill off gel nails, you must of course first make sure that the attachments are suitable for this. If the supplied attachments are no longer sufficient, it is possible to order additional attachments from many manufacturers.

The following table shows a few examples of different attachments and their function.

Attachment Function
Needle cutter Treatment of ingrown nails.
Sapphire cone removing calluses and calluses.
Drainage loop Removing thicker hornaut
Felt cone To polish the nails
Sapphire disc To shorten the nails

Integrated lighting

Some electric nail sets are equipped with a small LED light above the attachment. This is to ensure that the nail is directly illuminated during the process.

With simple models, however, the LED light is relatively weak, so that together with the dust that is created during the routing / filing process, the nail is still not very visible. In addition, the LED is also positioned sub-optimally on some models, which is why it is not the nail that is illuminated but, for example, the finger above it.

Overall, it seems easier to simply work in sufficiently good lighting conditions in the room. Many professional devices also do not have integrated lighting.

Storage case

Manual sets are usually packed in a case, these can be made of leather, imitation leather or fabric. Electric nail care sets come together with the attachments and accessories in small cases or boxes.

The attachments and accessories are either in holders provided for them or in a small bag enclosed. This way, you always have all the tools at hand. These storage options not only serve to keep things tidy, but also to protect the individual parts.

It is therefore not only advisable to use an appropriate box for the sake of simplicity, but also to guarantee the longevity of the equipment.

If you want to transport your set often, the packaging should be sturdy but not larger than necessary.

Suitable for artificial nails

Some electric nail care sets can also be used for gel nails. The cutter allows them to be shaped as well as removed by abrasion.

Please note that artificial nails are less flexible and harder than natural nails. Therefore, the electric nail set needs a correspondingly higher power and preferably also a higher speed to make the work easier.

However, whether the device is suitable for artificial nails does not only depend on the power, but also on the attachment. Some machines come with a special attachment, while others can be easily ordered separately. In some cases, attachments for working on artificial nails are also included without being specifically advertised for this purpose.

The fine dust that is produced when cutting artificial nails is unhealthy in the long run. For this reason, protective equipment (such as a vacuum cleaner or respirator) should be used if possible.

Suitable for diabetics

Diabetics are advised not to cut with scissors to avoid severe inflammation. Instead, instruments such as nail files are recommended.

The material used also plays a role. It is important whether bacteria can attach to it and whether the tool can be cleaned thoroughly. For these reasons, manual nail care sets are only recommended to a limited extent for diabetics.

Facts worth knowing about fingernails

Are artificial nails harmful?

There is an increasing assumption that artificial nails have a harmful effect on our body - but in principle, artificial nails are not harmful.

When used normally, no toxic substances, for example from the gel, enter the organism. However, when removing gel nails, toxic fine dust can be inhaled due to the milling process. We therefore advise you to suck in the fine dust directly so that this does not happen in the first place.

How do I remove artificial nails?

This differs depending on the type of glue and gel nails. Stubborn glue nails can be removed with a special acetone solution. You can usually just peel off the plainer versions.

If glue remains, you can remove it with soap or acetone solution without leaving any residue. Many nail polish removers contain acetone and are ideal for this purpose. Acetone-free removers may be too "weak".

Gel nails are much more difficult and cumbersome to remove. This requires a special instrument, the so-called cutter. This grinds the gel layer down to the natural nail underneath. However, it is primarily recommended to let the gel layer grow out with the natural nail.

Pixabay.com / Bru-nO

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