Thursday, October 23, 2008

It's Electric!!

To E-file or not E-file? That is the question. A few weeks ago I devoted a blog about "don't blame the machine blame the tech that misuses it". However after a discussion on my favorite tech forum I decided it was time to give you all some much needed facts on an E-File.

Shopping: When shopping for an e-file there are many things that should be top of your list. Even before, "I want it cheap.". How the hand piece fits in your hand is most important. If you use a machine that extends quite a bit past your wrist with a huge, heavy motor you will end up with wrist problems from countering the weight constantly. Also, ask for a "micro motor" machine. These aren't like the older versions, in that you won't need to replace tiny "brushes" inside the hand piece. Little to no vibration is also important in your hand piece. The vibration is the cause of two concerns. First, it can cause cumulative trauma to your hands over the life of use. Second, the vibration can cause the filing bits to smack the nail causing micro shattering. This can lead to lifting and breaking of the artificial nail. Torque is super important. To test torque let your bit spin and slowly add pressure to the bit. How much pressure can you add before the bit stops? Torque is what keeps the bit spinning even when you apply pressure. If you intend to shorten long acrylic nails. You will need Torque to take that excess acrylic right down. Also, Torque is a substitution for speed. If you have good torque you do not need high speed. Speed will only make your bit skitter across the nail and not actually bite product. High speed and applying pressure to your filing = Intense Heat. Add torque, eliminate pressure and speed and your client will love you to pieces.

Bits. Carbide vs Diamond. I used to be a die hard carbide girl. I am now a die hard diamond girl. Diamond bits, when used in a side to side (yes they cut both ways) manner, create a beautiful, perfect nail surface. Carbides shave down and tend to leave many flat sections that you need to even out with a buffer. Diamonds, when used on the correct speed will take MUCH more effort to cause damage. With Carbides, one quick mistake can cost you so much! Good diamonds are important as well. Be sure they are applied electromagnetically and not with adhesive. Your bits will last much much longer. Also, hand detailing is important. One tiny grain being much larger than the rest will create a trench everywhere you lay that bit down. All of your diamond grit should be even and equally distributed.

Oil. I'm an e-file drilling oil addict. I can't FINISH file without it. When drilling oil is applied to finish filing (if you use it during prep you'll cause lifting), you eliminate any chance of friction/heat. You protect the surrounding skin. And a great benefit, it eliminates airborne dust particles that we inevitably inhale!

Here are a few tips. Do not let your bit extend too far out of the end of the hand piece. If you do, and you drop your hand piece (don't EVER drop your hand piece) you will likely bend the bit and collet that holds the bit. A bent shank doesn't have to be visibly bent to do micro shattering to the nail. If it doesn't spin concentric and is the slightest little bit off of concentric, your bit will basically smack the nail every time you touch it. This results in lifting, cracking, breaking, vibration and discomfort.

Do not use anything but oil made for use with the e-file. These drilling oils are made without fragrance or dyes. Both of which will cause damage to your machine as it gets into the hand piece. A pure oil will not cause problems.

In closing, please be a safe e-file user. Get the proper training. There have been too many techs out there that have misused this tool and given it a bad reputation. It is NOT the tool, it is the user! There are many companies and accredited schools that offer certification in the use of the e-file. Feel free to contact me for any suggestions on where to get the classes, machines or bits.

(writing from Valencia, CA today...and off to South Africa)

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