Are Your Acrylic Nails Too Thick? Here’s What You Need To Know

Acrylic nails are a popular and stylish way to make your hands look better than ever before. To make your acrylic nails look the best, you need to make sure that the nail thickness is ideal. Are your acrylic nails too thick? If they are, what can you do about it? Read on to find out how you can perfect your acrylic nail game.

Are Your Acrylic Nails Too Thick?

 How thick is too thick for acrylic nails? Even though nail thickness should be a matter of personal preference, we strongly recommend keeping your acrylic nail thickness within 1mm or 2mm. Some experts, like Greg Salo from Young Nails, suggest keeping the nail a bit thicker. We are talking about something slightly thicker than a regular credit card.

The apex of the nail should be the thickest part. If the apex is not distinctively thicker than the rest of the nail, there is too much enhancement in those areas. You must trim the extra acrylics using the proper tools and techniques. For competition-grade nails, the thickness should be lower than 1mm, somewhere in the ballpark of 0.6 mm-0.8 mm.

Why Should You Care About Acrylic Nail Thickness?

Even if you don’t mind getting a chunky set of nails, it might not be a practical choice. In the worst-case scenario, you might experience excruciating pain in your nails. Why would that happen? Heavier acrylic nails would put more pressure on your nail plates. If the weight is too much, it can cause pain. 

The risk is higher if you go for an acrylic overlay rather than getting a full-on acrylic nail makeover. Acrylic nail is a coating that sits on your natural nail. So, you can imagine how painful it could be if the layer feels too heavy on the nails. Excessively long and heavy acrylic nails can limit certain activities like buttoning clothes, grabbing something, etc.

Heavier nails put heavier pressure on the nail plate. Therefore, it makes the nails more susceptible to damage. You might end up breaking it while trying to lift or grip something. There’s a high risk of permanently weakening your natural nail bed by putting on overly thick acrylic nails. So, it should be a good idea to keep the nail thickness within a modest range.

How To Fix Thick Acrylic Nails

Thankfully, bulky acrylic nails are not beyond saving. The most obvious thing to do is to go to a salon and have a professional take care of it. However, if that’s not possible now, here are some things you can try out at home to reshape your acrylic nails:

File The Nails

Use a coarse file with a high grit number to file down your thick acrylic nails. At first, use a file with a grit count of 80 to 100. You are going to have to file down the surface of the nail carefully. Begin at the base of the nail and slowly work your way up to the tip. Remember not to put too much pressure.

You also need to stay attentive, so you don’t file down too much. Unsurprisingly, excessive filing will damage the acrylic coating beyond repair. So, you might have to do it all over again. Take your time to trim the nail. Don’t try to do this when you are in a hurry. We can assure you that you will regret it.

After whittling down the nails, you need to shape them the way you want. You would need another file to do this. The new one should have a higher grit number than the first one. 180 should be perfect. Use the new file to file around the edges of the nail to get the desired shape. It could be round, square, or pointy, like the tip of a pyramid.

Now, take a fine grit file and smooth the edges. The grit count in these files should be within the 240-600 range. Then, use a nail buffer, which is basically an ultra-fine file that has anywhere between 600-2400 grits. After that, apply some cuticle oil to put the finishing touch and moisturize the skin surrounding your nails.

Use A Nail Drill

Using a nail drill would be way more efficient at resizing your acrylic nails than filing them down naturally. There are many types of nail bits to choose from. You will need a Typhoon drill for trimming down acrylics. These drills have rounded tips. Go for a coarse bit to get the best results. 

Clean your nails before you start working with the drill. You can choose to soak them in warm and soapy water for a few minutes beforehand. However, don’t forget to wipe them with a towel beforehand so that they stay 100% dry when you put the drill on them. This should help soften the acrylic. You can also use cuticle oil around the nails. 

Set the machine to low-speed mode. For acrylic nail work, we recommend a starting RPM of 15,000. You can slowly increase the speed as you proceed. However, don’t go beyond the 25,000 RPM mark at any point. Gently move it around the edges and the acrylic extension to trim it down.

To finish up, use a nail buffer and smooth out the nail. If you don’t have any prior experience operating a nail drill, you should not do this on your own. Ask a friend to do it for you, who knows how to handle a nail drill if you don’t want to go to a salon. Don’t know anyone like that? Then, you must make an appointment with a nail technician.

Final Words

If you feel your acrylic nails are too thick, you need to make them thinner using a suitable tool. It’s not a difficult task, but you should consult a technician for the best results. However, if you want to do it by yourself safely, make sure to follow our guidelines precisely. All it takes is a bit of patience and skill.


My name is Maria and I am a beauty blogger and writer. I am passionate about all things beauty, from skincare to makeup. On my blog, I share product reviews, tips, and tricks to help others feel confident and beautiful in their own skin. I strive to create a positive and inclusive space for everyone. Join me on my journey as I discover my unique beauty brand and share it with you.