E-File Training for Beginners(from
Our E-File training is flexible and self-guided, with a mix of pre-recorded and live educator-led components.
It’s suitable for everyone from complete E-File beginners through to experienced Nail Techs and Beauty Therapists who want to refresh their knowledge or upskill their previous training. Just make sure you meet the pre-requisites before you enrol!
Note that this course is online by default, however, you can convert any online lesson into an in-person lesson for $45 + GST per hour.
A note from Penny on why we choose to offer E-File Training…
“I was trained to file (both hand and electric), in a time when E-Files (or ‘Drills’ as they were more commonly called) were available, but not great quality. As a result, I’m a bit of a purest – I’m quicker at hand filing and I don’t agree with people training in E-Filing as a way to avoid having to perfect their application or hand filing skills. I’ve owned and used an E-File for many, many years but I really only use it to thin out acrylic and dip before removal, or to remove gel polish from enhancements before a backfill.
And so, for awhile, I refused to offer E-File Training. I wanted our students to hand file first and foremost. BUT – what upsets me is when those students then go and choose a 1-Hour Efile ‘Course’ and start E-Filing with only an hours training. That to me is a MUCH worse outcome.
Therefore, in mid-2017 myself and my Educators upskilled our existing E-File knowledge with advanced training and put together this beginner workshop with the help of Katey Laurenson, who has been teaching E-File skills for years.
This course covers more than any other beginner workshop I’m aware of, with Monaco’s trademark attention to detail and real-life examples thrown in for good measure.”
What will I learn?
- What to look for when choosing an E-File and the Bits to go with it
- The difference between common bit materials, shapes and grits
- Using an E-File to remove Gel Polish from both enhancements and the natural nail
- Using an E-File to remove enhancement lifting and prepare for backfills
- Using an E-File to reduce the length of an enhancement
- Using an E-File to contour/surface file a new enhancement
- Using an E-File to clean under an enhancement
- Using an E-File to rebalance a French enhancement
- Using an E-File during a Removal services
- The pros and cons of using an E-File over a manual hand file for each of the techniques we teach you
- How to clean, disinfect and maintain your machine and bits
You will not learn –
- You will not learn to use an E-File on the natural nail – no product with today’s technology should require more prep than a brief, light buff with a 180-grit buffer of softer
- You will not learn how to complete cuticle work with an E-File – working on skin is an advanced skill that requires experience and confidence with an E-File that goes beyond beginner capabilities
Your fees include –
- 2 x 3-Hour Lessons – These can be completed online via our Virtual Classroom video link. They are run by a Mentor (a high-scoring Graduate who we trust to work with our new students). The Mentor will demonstrate the skill you are learning that day and work with you to master it on your model. You can convert any online lesson into an in-person lesson for $45 + GST per hour.
- 4+ Hours of Video Content to complement all lessons
- Online manuals to complement all lessons
- 7-Day access to Educators in our Student Facebook Group
- The opportunity to repeat classes for free for 12 months, subject to availability.
An exam is required to be completed in order to achieve certification in this module. Different from how we run assessments for other modules, the E-File Exam is one-on-one, either online or in-person. During the exam, you are required to complete a full backfill service on 10 nails of either BIAB, Acrylic, Hard Gel or PolyGel applied 2 weeks prior to the exam and with a minimum of 2mm growth. You are required to use the E-File to remove gel polish, remove lifting, shorten the nail and contour the nail as applicable to the full service being provided. One attempt at the exam is included in your course fees for free. If you need to resit your exam, you will need to do so at an extra cost of $45 per hour.
Only once you complete all online pre-recorded and written content, both live online lessons, and pass the one-on-one exam will a certificate be awarded for this module.
For those of you who have done other qualifications with us, this course does not require a portfolio component as we are unable to evaluate E-File competency through photos alone.
What do I need?
- Everything you need to do an enhancement from start to finish –
- Cuticle Pusher
- Prep if applicable
- Primer if applicable
- Anything else required to do a normal full set or backfill client in your preferred system (BIAB, Acrylic L&P, Hard Gel or PolyGel). As an example, for Acrylic you would need Monomer, Powder, Brush, Brush Wipes, Dappen Dish, Forms/Tips.
- Your own E-File. For a good E-File, expect to pay between $400-1200 but for training, as long as an E-File is 30,000 rpm, light weight, vibration free and doesn’t have a bulky hand piece you will be in safe hands. This E-File meets all requirements without breaking the bank and is a suitable E-File to learn with or until you decide whether using an E-File is right for you. When you’re ready to upgrade, we love this one. Kupa, Young Nails, and Max Estrada also manufacture great E-Files.
- Your own E-File Bits – however, don’t rush out and buy them now. During the first few lessons of this course, you will learn the pros and cons of various types and materials and will form an opinion on what will work best for you. Prices vary between $20-$50 per bit. It is also worth noting that if you are left-handed, some bits are multi-directional but others are intended for right or left-handed use only so please check with the supplier if you need left-handed bits.
Please be aware that E-Filing creates more dust than hand filing and that dust is lighter and therefore stays in the air longer than hand-filing dust. The best option is to install a dust extraction unit in your table but we also recommend swapping towels and aprons throughout the day to minimise dust exposure, as well as using nitrile gloves, a dust mask and wearing long sleeves. Please make sure any mask worn is suitable for this activity – cheap masks may actually trap fumes that would otherwise be extracted, and keep them close to your face. Open windows also aren’t a great idea as a breeze keeps the dust from settling.
How does it work?
Within 2 business days of enrolling, you will receive access to the online components of your course, which you can access by logging into this website. Start working through the content in the order it appears. You will occasionally see markers that say ‘It’s time to book a Lesson’ (which refers to a 3-Hour block with an Educator or Mentor via our Virtual Classroom). There will be instructions on how to book.
Lessons can be booked with complete flexibility around your own needs and availability. You might choose to attend only mornings, only afternoons, only Mondays, or a total mix and match – it’s entirely up to you. Lessons are most frequently available from 10am-1pm and 2pm-5pm but we do also have a small number of sessions available on weekends and evenings (6-9pm).
You can also see a breakdown of all lessons by downloading a Lesson Guide from our Student Resources page.
What is a Virtual Classroom?
Essentially, a direct video link to a mentor. You tune in with a link we provide using the camera on your phone. We can see what you’re doing. You can what we’re doing. We can see your mistakes and show you in real-time how to fix them. If you live near another student – get together at the same house/salon and stream in together!
To get the best out of your Virtual Classroom experience, I would also suggest getting an Octopus Tripod from Trade Me (they’re under $5), attaching your phone to it, and attaching the Octopus to your overhead desk light so that your phone camera is facing down over your workspace. Make sure your phone can be plugged into its charger from your desk and that you have a good wifi signal.
Humm’s ‘Big Things’ programme allows you to pay off up to $6,000 over up to 12 months, meaning you can enrol in the full Foundation Certificate in Nail Technology course AND get the optional kit and pay them off interest-free.
Create an account with them before clicking Enrol on your course for an easy checkout.
Lesson Guide and Housekeeping
- How we are approaching E-File education
- Backfill Steps – Sanitise, Cleanse, Remove Gel Polish
- Backfill Steps – Remove Lifting and Blend
- Backfill Steps – Cuticle Prep
- Backfill Steps – Buff, Cleanse, pH Prep, Primer, Application
- Backfill Steps – Reduce Length, Perimeter Filing
- Backfill Steps – Surface Filing
- Backfill Steps – Clean Under the Nail, Top Coat and Finish
- Backfill from Start to Finish
- How the Backfill Steps Apply to a Fresh Full Set
- Rebalance from Start to Finish
- It’s Time to Book A Lesson! (Please read this carefully)
- Super Important Peer Advice
Builder in a Bottle Services
Gel Polish Services
After a Service
FAQ and Troubleshooting
- FAQs about Choosing an E-File
- FAQs about Bits
- FAQs about Cuticle Prep
- FAQ – What are the best uses for an E-File?
- FAQ – Can I use an E-File to buff the natural nail?
- FAQ – What products are best to use an E-File for?
- FAQ – Are there certain situations, products or clients where you would never use an E-File?
- FAQ – How is using an E-File better or worse for the Nail Tech?
- FAQ – How do I convince clients that E-Files are safe if they’ve had a previous traumatic experience?
- FAQ – What are the specific health and safety issues that relate to inhaling the finer dust created by E-Files
- FAQ – How do you know when your E-File needs to be serviced?
- FAQ – How do I clean and store my E-File Bits?
- Troubleshooting – What do I do if the bit is clogging?
- Troubleshooting – What do I do if the bulk isn’t decreasing?
- Troubleshooting – What do I do if I can’t get to the spot I’m trying to get to?
- Troubleshooting – How do you prevent an E-File from causing heat for the client?
- Troubleshooting – How do I avoid that scary catch thing that happens when the bit grabs the edge of the nail?
- Livestream – A tour of Erin and Penny’s E-File Bits