20 Essential Tools Every Nail Tech Should Have

Key Takeaways
  • Every nail technician should possess fundamental tools to ensure quality nail care services.
  • The tools nail techs should be versatile and precise to cater to various nail styles and designs.
  • Maintaining proper hygiene and sanitization of tools is paramount to prevent infections and ensure clients’ safety.
  • Regular practice and skill enhancement are crucial for nail techs to deliver the best results and stay up-to-date with the latest trends and techniques in the industry.

Being a nail technician is not as straightforward as bringing out a manicure set and polish.

The nail industry is the pinnacle of beauty trends, so worthy nail technicians require the right tools to keep up with the latest designs and techniques.

Each day, social media is flooded with new nail art and ideas.

The 19 Must-Have Tools Every Nail Tech Should Own

If you want a full clientele list, you need to keep one eye constantly on the latest beauty news and trends, and ensure you have all the essential tools in your beauty arsenal.

There could be nothing worse than turning down a customer’s request for a dip powder nail because you don’t have the supplies in your kit.

Before You Get Tools

  • Discover the crucial tools every nail technician needs for successful nail services.
  • Quality tools are the foundation of excellent nail artistry and client satisfaction.
  • Equip yourself with various tools to handle a range of nail treatments and designs.
  • High-quality tools are a long-term asset that enhances your efficiency and reputation.

Fear not, for we have compiled this guide to make sure you have the 20 must-have tools in your nail station. We share each material, product, and tool required for you to nail it (sorry, not sorry), as the best nail technician in town.

1. The Work Station

Work Station tools for nail technician

Kind of essential, pretty obvious, and yet somehow, the workstation is often overlooked.

Whether you are a mobile nail technician or have a studio, having a nail station is a must.

Before you buy your station, make sure you take measurements of where it is going to be.

For those in need of a portable option, make sure it has enough space, all the requirements, and is sturdy enough to provide a professional treatment.

Also, your portable station should have wheels and be easy to transport.

2. LED Or UV Lamp

tools for nail technician

The soaring gel nail trend has meant a shopping trip for  every worthy nail tech in the business. This popular technique requires a UV or LED lamp to cure the nails.

Not having this vital piece of equipment is a sure way of losing a huge chunk of business.

Gel nails are one of the most sought-after nail trends. Your LED lamp needs to be at least 36 Watts, too.

3. Good Lighting Watts

tools for nail technician

No, you cannot rely on the bright sunshine. High quality lighting is crucial for a nail technician to deliver optimal results.

Nail designs and nail art requests can range from a straightforward mani to painting on the most intricate and time-consuming features known to mankind. Poor lighting is a big no-no.

4. Nail Polishes

Nail Polishes tools for nail technician

Every professional technician should ensure they can offer a wide variety of lacquers to meet every desire. This should be a given.

Quick Guide to Essential Tools for Every Nail Tech

  • Quality Instruments: Invest in high-quality nail clippers, files, and buffers for precision and client satisfaction.
  • Sanitary Standards: Ensure your tools are clean and sterilized before and after each use to maintain hygiene.
  • Versatility Matters: A diverse toolset, including nail drills and brushes, allows you to handle various nail treatments.
  • Maintenance Routine: Regularly clean, disinfect, and sharpen your tools to ensure optimal performance and longevity.

5. High Quality Manicure Set

Manicure Set tools for nail technician

Never skimp on your manicure set. It’s the backbone of your business. Without properly prepped nails, any design, polish, or technique will be doomed to failure.

6. Nail Drill

Nail Drill tools for nail technician

Artificial nail extensions cannot be performed easily without a nail drill. Using a drill will speed up the process significantly. Using other tools like a file is extremely time-consuming.

Also, backfilling and shaping require a nail drill. Do you research and make sure you buy a nail drill recommended by others in the industry.

7. Nail Drill Bits

 tools for nail technician

Image by @nailsmagazine via Pinterest

Obviously, there is no point having a nail drill and no drill bits. Check you have all the sizes to cover every possible nail extension need.

Electric nail drill bits come in different sizes according to the procedure you wish to perform.

8. Acrylic Powder And Monomer

 tools for nail technician

Image by @cameramakeup via Pinterest

Acrylic nails require the use of high quality, safe, and professional ingredients to minimize exposure to harmful chemicals.

You should always do your research, consult other professionals, and never buy substandard ingredients.

9.Hard Gel

9.Hard Gel tools for nail technician

Some customers prefer hard gels over the traditional acrylic formulations due to their more flexible feel of the finished result. The hard gel nail method requires a UV lamp like the gel nail process.

10. Buffer


You should have a good supply of buffers in your nail kit. Buffering nails is an important step for every kind of manicure – so it’s a good idea not to run out!

11. Disinfectant


High standards should always be maintained. You should use a disinfectant between every nail service you provide to ensure that your work area is always hygienic, and your clients are happy.

12. Dip Powders

Dip Powders

Instagram is flooded with images of dip powder nails. It is the newest nail technique, and it is wildly popular due to its long-lasting effects.

Dip powders do not require the aid of a UV lamp, which makes them even more appealing. This service should be available from any qualified nail tech.

Additionally, they need to have enough dip powder colors and pots. The use of one dip powder pot should be avoided due to cross-contamination.

The pot would become a breeding ground for bacteria. Yuk.

Keep In Mind

  • Client Comfort: Consider ergonomic tool designs to ensure client comfort during nail services.
  • Hygiene Priority: Adhere to strict sanitation practices to prevent the spread of infections and maintain a safe workspace.
  • Quality Over Quantity: Invest in a few high-quality tools rather than an extensive collection of subpar ones.
  • Stay Updated: Keep up with the latest nail tech tools and techniques to enhance your skills and offerings.
  • Tool Organization: A well-organized toolkit saves time and helps you work efficiently, ensuring you have the right tool at your fingertips when needed.

13. Base And Top Coats

Base And Top Coats

As a professional nail technician, you should have a variety of high quality base and top coat products, and also different base and top coats are needed for various nail techniques (dip powder).

14. Nail Tips And Glue

Nail Tips And Glue

A nail technician requires a good supply of nail tips and professional glue in their kit. Requests for nail tips for requires, the look of a longer nail is still a very popular choice.

Nail tips are frequently used in conjunction with acrylic, dip and gel nail manicures.

15. Alcohol


Alcohol solutions are a staple in almost every nail salon or mobile nail tech kit. An alcohol wipe quickly solves the problem of excess sticky residue left behind, after removal of a acrylic and gel nails.

Trying to get rid of this excess product can be an utter nightmare without an alcohol wipe to hand.

16. Nail Forms Or Nail Stickers

Nail Forms Or Nail Stickers

Nail forms are a genius invention that enables a nail tech to create the nail length and shape without the need of a nail tip.

They are like nail stickers – and they are indispensable to all nail professionals.

Nail forms can be disposable or reusable, but the nail tech should opt for the disposable form to avoid contamination. These are like gold dust and will prevent the creation of uneven nail extensions.

Pro Tip

Invest in a high-quality UV or LED lamp for curing gel polishes and nail enhancements efficiently, ensuring long-lasting, flawless results in your nail tech services.

17. Brushes For Acrylic And Gel Nail Procedures

tools for nail technician

It is crucial to make sure you have all the right tools for your nail trade, and this includes making sure you have the correct nail brushes.

You can’t use the same brush to provide an acrylic nail service as you would for a gel nail mani. Acrylic nail brushes come in a few different sizes, so make sure you have them all.

That goes for gel and dip powder manicures, too.

18. Nail Polish Remover

Nail Polish Remover

Acetone solutions are one of the most essential products a nail technician should own.

Attempting to remove any acrylic, gel, or dip powder manicure is going to be an impossible task without the nail polish remover to hand.

19. Cotton Balls Or Cotton Pads

tools for nail technician

Another favorite amongst all nail technicians is the cotton ball, Cotton balls and cotton pads are probably the most frequently used material in any nail salon.

They solve all manner of nail misdemeanors in an instant. Nail lacquer on the skin, you say? Where? Phew!


tools for nail technician

E-files and drill bits are indispensable nail technician tools for nail artists, revolutionizing the world of nail care and artistry.

E-files, also known as electric nail files, provide precision and efficiency in shaping and refining nails.

These handheld devices are equipped with adjustable speed settings, allowing nail artists to cater to various client preferences and nail types.

Complementing e-files, drill bits are the attachments that make intricate nail designs possible.

These small, specialized accessories come in various shapes and sizes, each designed for specific tasks like cuticle cleaning, shaping, or removing gel or acrylic layers.

For nail artists, investing in a quality e-file and a diverse set of drill bits is essential for delivering top-notch services.

They reduce manual effort and save time, ensuring a smoother finish and enhanced design possibilities.

However, nail artists must undergo proper training and practice to master these nail technician tools, ensuring the safety and satisfaction of their clients.

In the ever-evolving world of nail artistry, e-files, and drill bits are the dynamic duo that empowers creativity and craftsmanship.

Did you know?

Professional nail techs often customize and personalize their tools, creating unique, one-of-a-kind instruments to suit their specific needs and artistic vision in the nail industry.

Final Thoughts

Being a nail technician can be a very rewarding and fun career choice.

Providing wellbeing to the many is one of the best things people can do for each other – and let’s be honest, who doesn’t feel amazing with newly transformed shiny nails?

However, a good nail tech must be on the ball. This globally-loved beauty trend is constantly evolving.

Nail techs should check their social media accounts regularly for new trends and designs, and learn how to provide each one. A worthy nail technician needs to have all of the abovementioned materials in their work station.

Failure to do so will ultimately result in looking unprofessional. This will lose the nail tech customers.

Always ensure you have these essential products, materials, and nail technician tools so you are ready for any nail request.

Keeping an eye on nail ingredient updates and any change in regulations is also important. It is vital to make sure you always follow protocol and use high quality and safe products.

Not only will you ensure the perfect mani but your customers will know you are trustworthy. Gaining the trust of your clients is the most indispensable thing you can do as a professional nail technician.

With all this is mind, you have all the essential tools and knowledge to go out and be the best nail technician ever!

Ariel Coleman

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