Katie Barnes
Katie Barnes

E-files: Why is direction so important?

By Katie Barnes | 23 October 2023 | Feature, Technique

E File Stock Image Nails

Most professional E-files will come with two directions, forward and reverse. I always recommend investing in an E-file with both directions, to allow for enhanced performance and safe results.

This type of E-file is sometimes mistakenly referred to as left and right-handed, but this is not always the direction that the tech would work. There is also a need to work in both directions, so from both left to right and right to left, depending on the direction you need to work for results.

When referring to the direction of forward and reverse, this refers to the rotational directional that your E-file hand piece rotates the bits. The forward direction will rotate the bits in the correct direction, when working from right to left.  The reverse direction will rotate the bits in the correct direction for a left to right, or for a left-handed tech.

Whichever is your dominant hand, it does not mean that you have to work in that direction, and you can work in whichever direction suits you. However, you must follow the rule of:

Right to left = forward

Left to right = reverse

It is important to seek an electric nail file that offers both directions. It may be necessary to use the other direction to get better success, such as one side to the centre and repeating on the other side, than just from one side all the way to the other. It is also beneficial for working on your ‘wrong hand.’

So, do you really need left or right-handed bits?

Most E-file bits are created universally. This means that the teeth face straight out from the centre. Directional bits have the teeth machined so that they are most effective in one direction. However, at the scale these are used, the effect will be negligible. You are best purchasing high quality universal bits.

As a left-handed user, I find no superiority using a left-handed bit. If choosing directional bits, you can only use these in the direction designed. While advertised as left and right-handed bits, this is forward or reverse rotational direction. If purchasing these, there will be a need to purchase both due to the need to work in multiple directions for various techniques.

If you ever find that your e-file bit is not getting the contact you would expect with your nail surface, skipping or any other issues – it might be worth checking that you are not working with a directional bit in the incorrect direction.

Love Katie B xx