nail tools: clippers and nippersThese days many people aspire to be nail technicians but don’t really know where to start when it comes to equipment. Here we have compiled a list of essential supplies that beginners and students should have in order to create their own kit and start on their manicure and nail art journey. We also give you some useful info on how and where to buy the things you need.

What is a Nail Tech?

A nail tech, also known as a manicurist or nail technologist, is a professional who specializes in shaping and styling people’s nails. They also provide nail treatments like nail care, pedicures and others. Most states and provinces require nail professionals to be trained at school and licensed by the local authorities. Caring for nails is also part of most cosmetologist training. As with most beauty work a manicurist needs some physical implements and such to do their work.

A nail professional can be self-employed, travel to the clients to offer them services, or work from home. Usually, though, they work in spas and salons whether on dry land or on a cruise ship.

Important Supplies for Nail Technician Beginners

It is very important that beginners in nail art get all the necessary tools and supplies. While it might be difficult to purchase all the nail tech equipment you need at once, you may start with some of the basic items before you take the plunge and buy all the professional equipment.

It is necessary to know that many of the consumables — like acetone and nail polish — used in the business are hazardous substances and should be handled with due caution.

Basic Essential Manicure/Pedicure Tools and Supplies for Nail Tech Students & Others

Basic nail services — manicure and pedicure — are among the most common procedures that a beginner needs to know and offer. To perform these functions some tools are necessary:

  1. Nail Clippers – Used to reduce the length of the nails. The technician should have both fingernail clippers and toenail clippers. As a professional you should get a good quality set. (Amazon link)
  2. Nail Files and Emery Board – These are used to smooth the free edge of the nails. However, an emery board is rough compared to a nail file and focuses on the nail surface, i.e. where the nail polish will be applied. Its purpose is to smooth the tiny ridges for a shiny appearance and will need to be disposed of after each client. Used alongside this is a dusting brush for dust removal and a clean, smooth finish. See example sets here on Amazon.
  3. Buffers – Various types of block buffers, sanding sponges and shiners with different shapes are required.
  4. Cuticle Pusher – Used for removing the skin from the nail plate. A high-quality one on Amazon.
  5. Nippers – Used to clip off the dead cuticles. Example on Amazon.
  6. Glue – Used in some nail art but is mostly for the dip system where it’s applied to tips. What is monomer anyway?
  7. Cuticle Oil, Cream, or Lotion – Used to soften dry nails and cuticles. It is applied after every treatment. You may also sell it to your customer for daily application.
  8. Sanitizers – For hygiene purposes, this is used to protect yourself as well as your customers from germs which are mostly carried by hands.
  9. Soak Off Solutions – Non-acetone solutions for the removal of nail polish, as well as acetone used for soaking off acrylic, gels and gel polish. Try to find one with nourishing ingredients.
  10. Nail System – You must also have a nail system like the acrylic, gel and dip systems. Along with this, you must also have their accompaniments like acrylic powders and resin activators among others. These make the systems work effectively, providing quality nail art services.
  11. Enhancement Kits – Enhancement kits are a great start for most beginners in the nail art industry. These kits provide the essential tools required and at a lower cost before purchasing the main products, which is more economical. This is ideal for those looking to learn more about how to work with silk, gel, fiberglass or acrylic nail enhancements. Here is a high-quality kit on Amazon.
  12. Practice Hand – A plastic hand that you are able to use for practicing purposes is an effective tool when aiming to learn quality nail art for your customers. You can work on the nails with the enhancement products, applying various nail artwork, as well as trying out new ones to get the feel for them. Take a look at this example on
  13. Smock – creates a professional appearance and stops liquids from damaging your regular clothes. This one (Amazon link) has convenient pockets for tools and polishes or just your phone.
  14. Nail Polishes and Art – A variety of nail polishes are required for use use on your customers. Buy a paint kit and glitter for nail art, gel polish and lamp, as well as acrylic polish and a base coat. The gel polish should be followed by a good top coat that dries up well or else, purchase some finishing wipes or alcohol swabs to finish off the application.
  15. Pedicure Separators for the Toes – Essential to keep the toenails apart so that polish, etc., doesn’t get smeared on the neighbouring toes.
  16. Dappen Dish & Manicure Bowl – the bowl for soaking the nails and a dappen dish for acetone and nail polish remover. These are usually pretty inexpensive so you can afford a crystal one easily (amazon link)
  17. Nail Tips – Think of these as tiny canvases for your artistic expression. Info
  18. Fine-Haired Brush – Usually people opt for a sable hair brush since they are durable and natural. They give a perfect streak-less appearance to whatever’s applied to the nail surface. Check out a nice set of six that is capable of beautifully detailed nail art on Amazon.
  19. Electric nail file – very handy (lol, pun intended) if you are seeing many clients: saves time and energy. This is a highly recommended one on Amazon.

Every school seems to be a little different in the kit they require, however you can count on needing the things listed above. It is recommended that you buy the best you can afford since the professional products last a lot longer and perform better as well.





Electric Nail Filevogue nail pro drill
Vogue Professional My Manicurist Electric Nail Drill Kit
pure nail manicure system
PureNails 7-piece Professional Manicure & Pedicure System
belle electric nail file drill
Belle Electric Acrylics Nail Art Drill File
Cuticle Nippersklip pro cuticle nippers
KlipPro 1/4" Jaw Cuticle Nipper
stainless steel cuticle nippers
Cuticle Nipper Cutter - Stainless Steel
cuticle cutters
1/2 Jaw Single Spring Cuticle Cutter
Nail Clipper Settoenail fingernail clippers
Clipper with Nail File, Case and Emery Board
Manicure nail clipper set
Harperton Klipit Nail Clipper Set
Seki clipper kit
Seki Edge Craftsman 2-piece Clipper Kit

Best Place to Buy Nail Art Supplies

Many people debate about where to buy nail art supplies, especially with the rise of many online sites offering fake reviews so as to get customers. Purchasing nail products from a nail product supply house enables you to acquire them for close to half the retail price, saving you a lot of money.Amazon sells everything you need to be a nail tech. Start with clippers 🙂

The Benefits of Online Sourcing of Your Inventory

amazon interior with nail art supplies maybe?Pretty much everything you need is available at such online stores: nail art supplies, japanese nail art tools, inventory for 3D nail art creations, etc. Buying online is especially handy for people who don’t live in a big centre like NY, Houston or LA. If you live in a less populated state like Iowa or TN it can be difficult to find a physical shop or store to buy you stuff. Problem solved if you use an online supplier.

There is a lot of money in it for large sellers of manicurist products so the market is quite competitive and you can get good deals.You may purchase nail art supplies from vendors like Born Pretty, on eBay and Amazon – among others.

Consider Born Pretty

However, Born Pretty has a wide variety of nail art designs, ranging from nail stickers, nail art jewelry and more, perfect for boosting your salon business. They also offer wholesale prices and you get to enjoy top quality nail art supplies, free shipping and more.

If you do decide to use Born Pretty here’s a good tip. Search for the name of the category of products you want and then use the “Hot Specials” link to find things on sale.

How to Make Your Own Kit

The nail art industry has grown and advanced to the extent that nail professionals can now blend together different types of nail polishes and designs to create new nail art. With the supply and availability of various glitters, pigments, nail polish bases and other tools, endless new creations can be discovered.

kit of rhinestones etc used for nail decoration
By DIYNailArtDesigns [CC BY 2.0]
As you begin your nail tech career you need to know that creating your own kit is possible and not only easy, but fun and very addictive as well. Even kids can make their own kits and use it as a learning platform to nurture their nail art skills.

How To Keep It All In One Place & Organized

You are able to make your own kit by purchasing the tools and ingredients listed above in bulk from the store; this will save you money. After purchasing all the necessary nail tech equipment you must get a large box that can accommodate all the items.

The most ideal would be a tackle box, which is made of thick plastic and will be durable. Tackle boxes are also economical, since they have minimal damage. Some come with compartments too, which are great for organizing your items. After this, you should be ready to start your own mobile nail art service.


Whether you are a beginner in the nail art industry, or are looking for new ways of making new creations, use different styles and tips from the kits to see which will be your best fit. Try them on your practice hand and finally on your customers and build your salon business.