How Steel Quality Affects Sharpness & Precision Of Manicure Tools

Date Posted:15 December 2022 

Today, most manicure sets are made of stainless steel, so it's easy to believe that any stainless steel nail kit is decent quality. However, there are over 3,500 grades of steel which determine strength and durability of the cutting edge. Only stainless steel of particular quality can guarantee sharpness and precision of manicure tools so they last a lifetime. Let's learn more about types of steel used in the best nail instruments.

How Steel Quality Affects Sharpness & Precision Of Manicure Tools main image How Steel Quality Affects Sharpness & Precision Of Manicure Tools image


What Is Steel

Let's start by understanding what steel is. Steel is an alloy that consists of iron and carbon. Iron, the major component of steel, is naturally unstable and is prone to corrosion when it comes in contact with water or oxygen. Acidic or salty environments also cause steel to revert to its original form – iron oxide - which is susceptible to rusting.

To resist its ability to rust, modern technologies offer various solutions.


Rust-Proof Steel

The most popular solution is when chromium is added to iron to produce stainless steel. Chromium is known for combining with oxygen and forming a fine invisible layer on the steel. Even if a metal is scratched or cut, chromium is able to repair the exposed surface by forming more oxide and protecting the steel from corrosion. This makes steel stain “less” and allows wider use, from kitchen knives to manicure tools.

Plated steel is another popular solution commonly used in nail instruments as it allows cleanability and improves wear. Nickel, gold or chrome-plated manicure tools can be as effective as stainless steel nail clippers and scissors. However, never leave these manicure tools in wet or humid environment (e.g. on a bathroom bench) because they can rust.

Also, make sure you are not allergic to these elements since nickel and chrome can cause reactions on sensitive skin.


Hot Forged Or Cold Forged Steel?

You may have come across the terms “hot forging” vs “cold forging” describing the quality of steel. Forging is a metal shaping process and depends on the temperature used to mould a metal piece into a certain shape.

With hot forging, the metal is heated almost to its melting point so it changes its molecular structure. The extreme heat increases the hardness of steel and makes it less likely to fracture. The higher the hardness, the longer the instrument will retain its sharpness of the cutting edge without the blades becoming dull.

Hot forged manicure tools are considered to be of the highest quality.

In cold forging, the process is done at (or nearly) room temperature and does not cause any structural changes of steel, thus maintaining its original characteristics. Cold forging production involves several mechanical processes, such as bending, coining and punching, which are most often performed by industrial machines. Therefore, cold-forged steel is more economical but less strong.


All That Glitters Is Not Gold

Stainless steel is a generic name for many corrosion resistant alloys used in steels. Therefore, not every stainless steel quality guarantees great performance of the product, whether it is nail clippers, nail scissors or nippers. What is important is the quality of steel, the amount of carbon and combination of other elements, such as nickel, titanium, molybdenum and others. They define properties of individual steel grades and determine how long the product will last without losing its initial characteristics.

High quality stainless steel from Solingen, Germany, has been known to the world for centuries. Using such quality steel in manicure sets ensures their durability and ultimate performance. It contains only fine raw materials and is made according to very rigid manufacturing standards as per Solingen Decree.

Thus, when you buy a German manicure set or pedicure tools with the label “Made in Solingen”, be confident that you are buying the finest quality that exists.

Unfortunately, manufacturers of cheap manicure sets rely on limited public awareness about stainless steel and often use low-grade materials in their steel production which results in quick loss of cutting properties. So even if their packaging claims “stainless steel”, this does not necessarily translate into decent performance. Nail clippers, manicure scissors and nippers made of poor quality steel become blunt after just a few uses, tear the nails and cuticles making them prone to dangerous infections.

Investing in the best manicure tools made of high quality stainless steel is worth an extra dollar. Such instruments will work perfectly and keep their original sharpness and precision, so you don't need to replace or re-sharpen them frequently. They can be sterilised and professionally cleaned, so they become good friends to your nails and you’ll enjoy your purchase for many years.


View our collection of the finest manicure sets and nail grooming instruments made of fine steel in Solingen, Germany.


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