Almost $10 might sound pricey for a file, but this one lasts forever.

By Dana Points
Updated April 19, 2017
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Premium Glass Nail File With Case

I’m by no means a nail-care obsessive, but I am unnaturally attached to my glass nail file. It’s easy and comfortable to use—the grit is extremely fine, so it never feels uncomfortably abrasive. And, inexpert filer that I am, I find that it’s possible to manicure much more precisely than I ever could with a classic emery board.

A beauty-editor colleague clued me in to the joys of filing with a glass file years ago, and I’ve managed to use the file she gave me ever since (glass files never wear out; it’s the $9 beauty gift that just keeps giving). And because I have one file, which I keep in a case, I always know where it is. I haven’t bought a nail file in years—it’s a small thing, but it’s streamlined my life and feels unusually elegant all at once.

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If you want to try a glass file, I recommend buying one, like this one, that comes with a case. Or purchase a batch of four files and give them as gifts (they make a nice stocking stuffer). You can even buy an infant version for use on baby’s tiny fingers—it’s a nice shower gift. A glass file is also a safe and sanitary solution to caring for baby's fingernails. (And speaking of germs: If you like to carry your own equipment to a nail salon, pulling out a glass file is sure to start a conversation.) Just watch out for filing on the fly—the one thing a glass file won’t always survive is the fall to a hard floor.