iGel Academy

The Drill Bit Ultimate Guide: What You Should Know

Here's the million-dollar question: What is a drill bit? For a newbie, it can be puzzling since you have to keep up with a lot of nail products and techniques. The beginning can be challenging. It's a heady mixture of excitement and cluelessness, especially when you're in the mood to work with a new e-file.

iGel Beauty is here to help you out on your drill-ema! We have already run through the ins and outs of an e-file. Now it's time for you to understand the essence of a drill bit.


What is a Drill Bit?


A drill bit is a rotating nail file that you place on your nail drill to function as an automatic buffing machine. It's a crucial piece to complete your e-file; it won't work correctly without the drill bit.

Drill bits are used to shave off or remove nail polish off your nails. It comes in a variety of sizes, shapes, and grits. Although you may be surprised at how a small piece of metal can make such a big difference in your nails, you must understand how it works.

Drill bits create friction, which helps remove nail polish quickly. Drill bits can remove nail paint 2-4 weeks old, depending on the pace and frequency with which it is used.

The drill bits from iGel Beauty are easy to disinfect because they are acetone-proof. The usual size is 3/32, but you can only use 1/8 for a specialized nail drill. Therefore, the 3/32 drill bit size is the most excellent option since it's the general size for e-files. Of course, with good care and usage, the drill bit can last a long time. 


There are seven types of drill bits:

1. Barrel
2. Typhoon
3. 5 in 1
4. L Smooth Top
5. Tornado
6. Cone
7. Mandrel


Drill bits have three types of coatings:

1. Titanium
2. Diamond
3. Purple


Drill bits have three basic textures:

1. Fine
2. Medium
3. Coarse


Types of Drill Bits:


1. The Barrels


Functions: It polishes nails to have a healthy shine, pushes back circles, and stimulates the growth of the nail.

· Edge: Blunt, can-shaped.
· Product removal: dip powder, gel, backfill cutting.
· Smoothing: surface for top application.

Large Barrel Coarse
 - It's a traditional barrel with a coarse texture.

· Creates a sharp C-curve
· Removes and cuts acrylic in French Tips, designs, and so much more. 

Large Barrel Fine - It's a traditional barrel with a Fine texture.

· For prepping the surface for top application
· For removing lifting areas without damaging them
· For thinning out thick layers of dip powder, acrylic, and backfill cutting.

    Large Barrel Medium - It's a traditional barrel with a Medium texture.

    · Similar to Fine, it is great for prepping the surface for top application.
    · The Large Barrel Medium is used for removing lifting areas without damaging them.


      2. The Typhoon


      Functions: This drill bit will remove any nail product that it will touch.

      · Edge: rounded tip, paraboloid
      · Product removal: dip powder, gel, and acrylic
      · Smoothing: surface for top application

        Typhoon Coarse
        · Use this drill bit if you want to remove products: dip powder, gel, and acrylic instantly.
        · The Typhoon Coarse is used for reshaping the nails.

          Typhoon Fine
          · Softest and safest way to remove dip powder, gel, and acrylic
          · Backfills with a Typhoon bit

          Typhoon Medium
          · Not as harsh as the Coarse Typhoon Drill Bit
          · It could clean cuticle areas and prep top application


          3. The 5 in 1


          Functions: It's a multitasking tool that removes gel, acrylic, and powder.

          · Edge: Rounded, can-shaped.
          · All in 1: Can clean the cuticle areas, prepare the nail bed, shape and shorten nails, smoothen the surface, and do under nail cleaning.
          · Features: It has a tapered/safety edge that can protect you from burning and cutting.

            Levels of Grit:
            · 5 in 1 Fine - The 5 in 1 Fine is the smoothest grit of all.
            · 5 in 1 Medium - The 5 in 1 Medium has a medium level of grit.
            · 5 in 1 Coarse - The 5 in 1 Coarse has the toughest grit of all.


            4. The L Smooth Top


            Functions: Protects skin and cuticle areas from damage and provides excellent c-curve contouring. 

            · Edge: Round, can-shaped (L-shaped)
            · Smoothing: surface for top application

            L Smooth Top Coarse
            · The Coarse drill bit is stronger than the others. It can be used to remove dip powder, gels, acrylic, and backfill cutting.

            L Smooth Top Fine
            · For shortening acrylic, dip powder, and backfill cutting.
            · For removing lifting areas on the nails.
            · For surface work such as smoothening and prepping for top application.

            L Smooth Top Medium
            · For removing gel nails, dip powder, backfill cutting, and excess products.
            · Preparing/smoothing the surface for top application. 

            L Smooth Top XXXC
            · Round top features skin protection, prevents damage to the cuticles, providing a sharp c-curve. 
            · Quickly removes and smoothens surface work, shaping, shortening, and backfill cutting. It's perfect for removing dip nails, gel, and acrylic.


            5. The Tornado


            Functions: This drill bit can remove three layers of nail products in a breeze.

            · Edge: Rounded Tip, paraboloid
            · Removes products quickly and efficiently.
            · Works well with higher RPM.


            6. The Cone


            Functions: The Cone Shape Medium is used for nail cleaning, shaping nails, backfill cutting, and sidewall work

            · Edge: Rounded Tip, cone (slimmer than paraboloid)


            7. The Mandrel


            Functions: Required to use with a sanding band. The sanding band slips over the mandrel bit. A sanding band is great for surface work such as prepping and smoothing nail beds. It’s easy to take off.

            · Edge: Curved, can-shaped
            · Two Types: Long Life Sanding Mandrel and Easy-Off Mandrel


            What is your preference, Coarse or Medium?

            The answer is based on what will best fit your needs and where you feel most at ease. Coarse is a superior option for speed for more experienced users. For safety, however, it needs skill and precision. We recommend using a Medium or Fine grit with rounded edges for safety for those just starting as a nail tech or training.

            For natural nails, we recommend the Fine bit if it's your first time. Professionals typically utilize the Medium or Coarse bit for natural nails because altering them can be time-consuming and inconvenient. More traditional methods, which use three to four distinct drill bits, may be used by nail technicians with years of experience.


            How do I connect the drill bit to the nail drill?


            1. Make sure the e-File is switched off and does not currently have a drill bit locked in.

            2. Add the drill bit to the top of the handpiece, leaving a small amount of room between the bottom of the bit and the barrel so that it does not rub against the e-File when powered on.

            3. Twist the center of the handpiece towards the right where the lock symbol should meet the arrow; however, listen for a “double click.” This shows it is securely locked and will prevent the drill bit from sliding in and out with a slight pull or on its own.


            What is the best way to clean my drill bit?

            When it comes to cleaning drill bits, you have two options. You can use our UV sterilization box to disinfect your nail tools properly and safely. Another option that you have is DIY sterilization by using disinfectant solutions which is easy and hassle-free. Here is the step-by-step process on how you can clean your nail tools!


            Option 1: UV Sterilization

            STEP 1: Acetone is used as a pre-soaking agent to eliminate the dust from your previous nail session. Best to soak the drill bit in acetone, then wipe the drill bit with a clean cloth afterward.

            STEP 2: Soak the drill bit in a disinfectant solution for the specified amount of time. Make sure your drill bit is dry before moving on to step 3 since it could dent your UV sterilization chamber.

            STEP 3: Plug your Sterilization Box into a nearby socket or power bank, then insert your drill bit into the device.

            STEP 4: Turn on the machine and close the chamber.

            STEP 5: Remove your drill bit and rinse it with alcohol to remove any dust or stains that may have remained after the UV sterilizing machine has made a small beep. 

            STEP 6: Take note that the UV light disinfects any nail item placed in the box; it's essential to make sure it's free of dust and grime before putting it in.


            Option 2: DIY Sterilize

            STEP 1: Rinse the Drill Bit by gently scrubbing the drill bit with soap and water, then rinse and dry the drill bit.

            STEP 2: Place the drill bit in a disinfection solution that is rated bactericidal, virucidal, and fungicidal, then mix the liquid exactly as indicated in the specific product's set of instructions and soak it based on the recommended time.

            STEP 3: Remove the drill bit with a gloved hand or tongs, then rinse and dry.


            How many nails can you file until you discard a drill bit?

            Drill bits are manufactured of high-quality materials. They can withstand hundreds of uses or up to six months of daily use, making them a long-term investment, unlike sanding bands, which are generally one-time use. You just have to take care of the drill bits, and as long as it's not damaging your client's nails or yours, then it's still good to go!


            Our recommendations:

            E-files are meant to gently smoothen up the natural nail surface to promote good adhesion between acrylics and natural nails, and they can be used on natural nails with tiny sanding band drill bits.

            Our recommendation for prepping the natural nails is with the sanding band. Run it gently on the natural nails. But for taking off gel, dip, acrylic, or other products, Drill bits that are Fine to Medium would be optimal since it is not directly on natural nails. The Fine to Medium may also be used to smooth the surface before applying polishes or topcoats.

            Remember that drill bits and speed (RPM) are two critical aspects to consider. Beginners should start with lower RPMs to gain a feel for the drill and then work their way up to get acclimated to the nail drill and bits.


            What are the best-selling iGel Beauty Drill bits?

            We highly recommend the 5 in 1 drill bits since it's versatile, and most iGel Beauties need bits that are flexible and easy to use! The multifunctional 5-in-1 drill bits are designed to be used in plenty of nail sessions.

            The 5 in 1 bit has a tapered edge, preventing a client's hand from being burned or cut. You can do a lot with this drill bit, from cleaning to shaping; it's perfect for those who need a multitasking nail tool on the go.

            You can check out other iGel Beauty nail products in our store and find the best drill bit that will suit your needs.


            DBIT 07 - TITANIUM - 5 IN 1 COARSE


            DBIT 33 - PURPLE - 5 IN 1 COARSE

            DBIT 20 - DIAMOND - 5 IN 1 COARSE

            That's the wrap on our bestselling iGel Beauty drill bits. We have plenty of drill bits for you to explore in our online store, don't be shy to check it out! 

            Drill Bits can be overwhelming, to begin with, especially if you're just starting on your nail tech journey. So whether you're a nail art hobbyist or a professional, it's essential to understand it. If you ever get confused again, then our iGel Beauty Facebook community could help you out! So come and join our army.



            Updated by Alyssa Bueno on May 9, 2024.