Glass Nail File (The Definitive Guide to Czech Nail Files)

Glass nail files

Glass nail files

You have probably heard about them. Maybe you have considered buying one. Or maybe you already own one and want to know more about it. Here is everything you need to know about glass nail files:

1. So what’s a glass nail file?

It’s a nail file or ’emery board’ made of glass. You use it to shape, shorten and take care of your nails in general. Simple as that. If you use an emery board or metal, sapphire, ceramic or diamond nail file, then you know what a glass nail file is and what it’s used for.

Glass nail files infographic

Glass nail files infographic

Here are the main parts of a glass nail file:

  • Easy-to-hold handle – which you use to hold the nail file while using it.
  • Body – an abrasive surface, which is used to file, shorten and shape the nails.
  • End/Tip – it’s pointed to clean under nails, or rounded to take with you on a plane and/or for baby nails.

2. How do I use a glass nail file?

If you have ever used an emery board or other types of nail files, then you know how to use it. There are no special instructions, just some general recommendations:

  • file in one direction from side to tip (you can file in both directions; however it’s best practice to file in one direction for better control, and less friction when shaping your nails)
  • use the tip to clean under the nail

You don’t have to worry about applying pressure to the file when filing if it’s a high-quality glass nail file then it was hardened and won’t break when in use under normal circumstances. Mont Bleu glass nail files are the double tempered and are the toughest with 198 MPa glass toughness.

3. Are there different sizes and types of glass nail files?

There are, and they differ in length, thickness, ends, and surface. Small for the purse, medium-all-purpose and large for professionals. The foot one is for a pedicure.

Czech glass nail files sizes and shapes

Czech glass nail files sizes and shapes

Most popular lengths are:

  • Small 90 mm or 3.54” inches – to carry in your purse
  • Medium 135 mm or 5.32” inches – to carry with you or for an at home manicure
  • Large 195 mm or 7.68” inches – for professional use, pedicure & home manicure
  • Foot 165 mm or 6.5” inches – extra rough surface for callus and hard skin, used for removing them from your heels, used for pet grooming as well

Thickness can be:

  • Small and medium files come in 2 or 3 mm (0.08” or 0.12” inches) thickness.
  • Large files come in 3 or 4 mm (0.12” or 0.16” inches) thickness.
  • Foot files come in 6 or 8 mm (0.24” or 0.32: inches) thickness.


  • Pointed – classic shape for small and medium lengths, easy to clean under the nails
  • Rounded – used on larger files and on small and medium for baby nail care, or to use them solely for filing, not cleaning under the nails


  • Classic smooth, but effective surface – ideal for natural nails
  • Scraper nail file has 2 different sides, one classic smooth, and the other a rougher side.

4. How do I take care of my glass nail file? How to clean/wash it?

The first rule would be: avoid dropping them, even with high-quality files there is a chance of breakage. For the inexpensive ones, they can break in a heartbeat.
Second rule: while in the purse or bag try carrying them in a sleeve or protective case. It will help prevent accidental breakage.
Third rule: after several uses or after each, clean them under water, as water will remove the nail dust that’s left on it after filing. Brush the surface with some sort of brush to make it like new. The glass does not absorb anything, so if you are the only one using it, there is no need to sterilize it using some special techniques like UV light, alcohol or antiseptic spray. But it’s recommended to do it once in awhile.

5. Is it safe to use it for baby’s nails?

It is, but only adults must file their nails and do not leave them unattended with a baby. Use files with rounded tips. More on filing baby nails here.

6. Are they ok for dog and cat grooming?

They are, we suggest using large Scraper files for this purpose.

7. Can I take one with me on a plane?

Yes, you can, in fact, most people carry them when traveling. But as we were told by Airline officials, the security control can take away any object if they consider it a threat. Try rounded glass nail files to make sure no one takes your precious nail file from you.

8. Are they good for natural and gel/acrylic nails?

In general, glass nail files are better for natural nails. Sure they will work with gel and acrylic too, but will take a longer time to file. And the main reason for using glass nail files is that while filing it doesn’t destroy the nail, which makes sense if they are natural.

9. Is there a difference between crystal nail files and glass nail files or crystal glass nail file? Which are better? What they are really made of?

Glass nail files set of 3

Glass nail files set of 3

Basically different names for the same thing, and there are no guarantees of quality.
Here is the thing: there is Crystal, then there is Float Glass, and also there is Crystal Glass, also called Lead Glass.

Here is a little insight into what each means:
A crystal or crystalline solid is a solid material whose constituents, such as atoms, molecules or ions, are arranged in a highly ordered macroscopic structure, forming a crystal lattice that extends in all directions. – According to Wikipedia

Float glass is a sheet of glass made by floating molten glass on a bed of molten metal, typically tin, although lead and various low melting point alloys were used in the past. – According to Wikipedia

Lead glass is a variety of glass in which lead replaces the calcium content of a typical potash glass. – According to Wikipedia

As you can see crystal, crystal glass and glass are different kinds of materials. The original glass nail files are made of Float Glass, not crystal or crystal glass. So why all the different names? Well, its marketing to differentiate products.

10. So since they are made of glass do they break while using?

Mont Bleu Czech made glass nail files do not break while you are using them. The glass is tempered twice: first when the glass is made and secondly when the nail files are made. A 198 MPa glass toughness is achieved, the best among any glass nail files.

Glass nail files can break, as any other glass product, even bullet resisting glass can break. Just try not to throw it with force on a hard surface, and it should be fine. The Mont Bleu nail file will serve you for many years.

11. Do glass nail files really last a lifetime? Do they go smooth or dull?

Czech glass nail files

Czech glass nail files

The Mont Bleu Czech glass nail file – filing surface, will last forever. Long story short: the surface that files your nail is made in such a way that it’s technically the file itself and it can’t go dull.

There are other types of glass nail files, most of the time they are very cheap, but the price is not always the factor of high quality.

There is a very nice opinion on that from Ellie on, Ellie tried several different brands, I suggest you checking it out. On such files the surface is sometimes very rough and gives you goose bumps, sometimes it’s too smooth and not filing the nail, sometimes they just go dull after several uses, and sometimes they are a combination of several. If your glass nail file went dull, throw it out and get yourself a proper glass nail file. Don’t be disappointed by the first glass nail file you had, just do some research on your next one. A simple “glass nail file review” on google should be enough.

12. I saw a cheap 1$ or 1€ or 1£ nail file? Is it the same glass nail file?

Green glass nail files set of 3

Green glass nail files set of 3

I think you know the answer. No, it’s not the same as Czech glass nail files by Mont Bleu.
How come similar items can have such different price ranges? Manufacturers tend to cut expenses, by reducing quality, by doing one or few of the following:

  • Non-tempering, sometimes lead is used that can make them break while you use them, potentially cutting yourself and exposing broken glass to more cuts. The file needs to be made from hardened glass and go through additional tempering process, to make sure it will not break easily. We’ve compared Mont Bleu file and a Chinese one in this video.
  • Surface going dull, the process of manufacturing an original glass nail file is changed in such a way and as a result you can get sprayed or glued glass crumbs that will go dull after several uses. Sometimes the base of the file is not even glass, it can be plastic with glass dust on it.
  • Not effective surfaces, are used, so when it’s so smooth it does not file the nails, so you file so fast and with so much force, you might as well use any surface to shorten your nails.
  • The surface is sprayed or glued glass dust, or cheap acid. All of these and other methods can make a very rough surface that will give you goosebumps and writing on a chalkboard like feeling. Not only it, not a pleasant way of filing your nails, such surfaces will go as far as damaging the nails, eliminating all the advantages of using original glass nail files.

The glass nail file needs to be a high-quality one, not a cheap knock-off for it to be effective, easy to use, and help make your nails healthier, only a durable, real – Mont Bleu Czech glass nail file delivers that.

13. What’s the difference between glass nail file and other files (like an emery board, metal, ceramic, diamond, sapphire, and others)?

The biggest difference is not how they look, but how they file your nails. The glass nail file abrasive (working or filing if you wish) surface structure allows it to file the nails without snagging, cracking, breaking, chipping, splitting and peeling. It makes the nails stronger, and because of that healthier.

One more thing, the glass nail file filing surface will last a lifetime. That’s right, no matter how many times you use it, it will file the nails like it was bought yesterday.

14. So are they better than emery boards or whatever nail files?

Mont Bleu glass nail files

Mont Bleu glass nail files

Glass nail files are definitely better than other types of nail files. They prevent nails from splitting and peeling, leaving them much smoother after the filing. With continued use, nails tend to become stronger and healthier.

Here is what people have to say about Czech glass nail files by Mont Bleu:

Lisa from Polished Elegance: “They are without a doubt the best glass nail files I have ever tried, or just the best nail files I’ve tried period. I used them to file down my nubbins, and it was so quick and easy! Only thing is to be careful when you’re filing so you won’t do too much, they are so effective”.

Tailor from My Lucite Dreams: “I had a wonderful experience using Mont Bleu nail files. They are a great option for those with fragile nails or anyone who want a great nail file that is easy to use and lasts.”

Here are a few more glass nail files reviews & glass nail files video reviews.

15. Where do I buy a glass nail file?

Czech made Mont Bleu glass nail files

Czech made Mont Bleu glass nail files

Since we know so much about glass nail files, here is where to buy glass nail files:

Mont Bleu Official E-shops:

English –
German –
French –
Italian –
Portuguese –
Spanish –
Russian –

Our official Amazon Storefronts:

US –
UK –
Canada –
Germany –
Italy –
Spain –
France –
Japan –
Mexico –

For wholesale trade, OEM and private label:

Don’t forget to follow Mont Bleu on our social media sites:

You can also try and find one in a store near you, just type the name of the city and “buy glass nail file”. I do strongly recommend reading reviews about the brand you want to buy, just to avoid bad experiences.

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