Caitlin Iley

E-file bits: Understanding types of bits, their uses & how to keep them clean

By Callie Iley | 01 December 2023 | Expert Advice, Feature, Products & Treatments

Efile Bits Feature Header Light Elegance

E-file bits come in a range of materials and grits, with a variety of different uses.

Some types of E-file bits include:

  • Diamond bits – not for use on the natural nail. Used for exfoliating or polishing skin and pushing back the proximal nail fold.
  • Carbide & ceramic bits – not for use on the natural nail. Used to remove or debulk overlays and extensions, shorten length and cut or pierce designs.
  • Silicone bits – for polishing both natural nails or enhancements. Cannot be disinfected or sterilised.
  • Mandrel bits – used with sanding bands to smooth surfaces, prep the nail and remove gel polish.

“Nail bits have developed over time to become more specialised, beginning with the mandrel bits that were first used in the 1980s, with nail techs using woodworking tools to shape enhancements to save time when filing,” shares founder of Katie Barnes Tool Range & Education, Katie Clark.

“Soon, the first dedicated E-files were developed, offering greater control over RPM with more aesthetically pleasing looks for the salon. Nail bits come in many shapes and sizes, but the most common are barrel, cone, cuticle cleaner, safety, flame, ball and 5-in-1.”

Here are some examples of bits for different uses…


KB The Erin Cuticle Push & Lift E-File Bit,

Glitterbels Classic Carbide Mandrel Bit,

Glitterbels Black Sanding Bands in Fine 240-grit,

Light Elegance Z-Bit in Preppy,

HD Pro Flat Top Tapered Cuticle Sciver Bit in M,



KUPA Carbide Bit 3/32 in Typhoon,

KB 5 in 1 Cross Cut E-file Bit,

Light Elegance Z-Bit in Lefty Lu,



Light Elegance Z-Bit in Smoothie,

HD Pro Ball Bit Exfoliator & Polisher in 4mm XF,



The GelBottle Inc Featherfast Removal Bit,

Magpie Beauty Carbide Bit in Boss Bit,

Glitterbels Volcano XC Bit,

Light Elegance Z-Bit in Speedy,

Willow The Original Kit in Silver,



Willow E-pedi Kit,

KB Pedi E-file Bit Kit,

Light Elegance Z-Bit in Pedi Betty,

HD Pro The Pedi Bit in C,

Keeping E-file bits clean

“Remove dust and build-up within the grits or flute cuts on your bits,” recommends Katie Clark. “Use a wire brush to do this or soak the bits in a cleaning solution to help dissolve the acrylic material.”

“After disinfecting your E-file bits, ensure that they are thoroughly dry before you put them into your handpiece,” highlights Jennie Nippard, Glitterbels deputy head of education.

“If there is any liquid left on the bit, it can travel down into the handpiece and affect the motor.”

Magpie Beauty Wire Brush,

“Bits should be removed from the device, then washed in clean water using a product with rust inhibitors, such as Mundo Power Plus Ultra,” comments Nigel Rouse, owner of Mundo Professional.

“Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the use of any disinfectant product, as they all have specific guidance.”

Mundo Power Plus Ultra,

KB E-file Bit Cleaning Brush,

Willow Spray & Go 2 in 1,

Lead image courtesy of Light Elegance.