nail salon equipment list

Top 40 Nail Salon Equipment List

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When starting your nail business,  there are some practical tools and equipment that you need to invest in. This article lists 40 must-have tools and equipment for your nail salon. Some of them I use personally, others I recommend to you, and intend on getting in the future.

Chairs

This chair is similar to the ones I use in my own salon. They are functional and very comfortable. They don’t have armrests so your clients won’t be tempted to remove their arms from the table. I also love the wheels because you and your clients can be repositioned very easily like when doing pedicures.

It has a curved back, so it helps a lot comfort-wise. As a nail technician back support is very important. 

The height adjustment setting on the chair is great seeing that everyone has a different height and build. Plush upholstery really makes long sitting sessions a lot more comfortable. It’s also great in the winter. No one wants a cold backside.

Another good option for salon chairs is this pack of two. They come in a variety of colours so you can make a decision depending on your salon’s theme.

Similar attributes as the top mentioned chairs, but it has a slightly higher backing, which offers even more back support and in turn, is more comfortable for both you as the nail technician and your client. Having a set of matching chairs is great for the aesthetics of your salon.

Tables / Workstation

This table is sturdy and will perfectly fit two chairs on either side of the table. A glass top or a plastic protector can be added to the top of the table for easy cleaning and to protect the tabletop from stains and chemical damage.

I make use of a regular office desk. There is no need to buy a desk that is specifically sold as a nail station. They are usually very overpriced, and not really high in quality.

No drawers allow for more chair movement and foot space. You can always add small storage racks to go underneath your table. 

An optional add-on if you don’t have a glass table and can’t afford a glass top. This will add a protective layer to your table protecting it from harsh chemicals. It also makes the table easier to clean after each appointment.

Being relatively cost-effective, it can be replaced when needed. Seeing that most tables are made out of wood, I would definitely list this as a necessity in any nail salon. It’s always better to replace the protective cover than having to replace your entire table.

Remember, no matter how amazing your work is, your work station is the first thing people notice. So keep it clean and well taken care of.

Storage

I make use of similar storage in my salon for all of my products. It is easy to assemble and to move around. Cleaning is also made easy and it is relatively stain-resistant.

Having storage with wheels makes it a lot easier to relocate your containers. You won’t have to clean out the container every time you have to move it around.

Smaller drawers on top can be used for things like acrylic and glitter containers, whereas the deeper drawers can be utilized for bigger products like monomer bottles and acetone.

This storage drawer is classy and elegant. It can easily be moved around by the wheels on the bottom. It has five spacious drawers to store all of your supplies in.

Seeing that the drawers aren’t as deep as the storage container listed above, it won’t be ideal for storing big products like tall monomer bottles.

However, this gives a large variety of options to you, as you can add more tiny storage boxes inside of each drawer, wherein you can store all of your art, acrylics, glitter, etc.

Display all of your gel polish bottles on this stylish wall-mounted rack. It’s the perfect addition to any salon. It gives an organized feel to your space and also displays all of your available colours to your clients.

If you don’t like hanging portraits or posters on the walls of your salon, this is the perfect way to decorate and make the salon come alive.

As your gel polish collection grows, you can easily add more storage racks. They are classy and sleek, and will definitely look good in any salon setting. 

This container is perfect to store things like brushes, lint-free wipes, and cotton pads. There is also space to store small nail art pieces if you wish to do so.

The top containers are perfect to organize all of your nail art brushes, and to keep them at arm- reach. 

It is very important to keep your nail table clutter-free, and this container will definitely help you achieve that.

It is absolutely perfect for things you use on a day-to-day basis in your salon.

This nail drill bit holder is a must-have for any nail technician. It easily sorts up to 30 drill bits and seals with a cover so that no dust will get into hard to reach places.

This will allow you to properly arrange your drill bits in the order that you wish them to be.

Losing drill bits along the way will also become more unlikely as each one will have a designated space.

It comes with a lot of holes, so it can accommodate quite a few drill bits. And seeing that it is small and compact you can add more of them as your drill bit collection grows, seeing that it doesn’t take up too much space.

It also makes travelling a lot easier as well, as you can close it securely and pack it away.

E-File

My e-file has been my saving grace. It runs at high speeds and is easy to use. This has saved me so much time and has also kept my wrists from getting overworked from filing. The e-file includes 5 diamond drill bits as well as a sanding band bit with 6 sanding bands.

It is a definite must-have for any nail technician. The drill stand also helps a lot when working with clients as it prevents the drill from rolling around and off the table.

The forward and reverse setting is great for both right and left-handed people. This also helps a lot when you are doing your own nails and have to file from the opposite side.

Thinking ahead is a must in this industry.  Investing in a rechargeable e-file is a good idea. Power outages shouldn’t keep you from doing your job.

This is also an asset when you have a mobile nail business, and go to your clients and do their nails from their homes.

It is small and compact unlike the above-mentioned drill, which is quite bulky and heavy. Having to move around a large drill like that also increases the risk of breaking it or accidentally dropping and damaging it.

LED Lamp

I absolutely love my sun 5 LED lamp. It cures most gels within a minute and has multiple timer settings for flash curing purposes. I also really like that you can see the time remaining on the LED screen.

It has three different time settings so it’s great for flash curing. If you don’t want the amount of time displayed you can just pop in your hand. It has a sensor inside which will automatically activate the LED lamp when it senses movement. This will also start the timer which will count upwards.

Having a Removable cord makes it a lot easier to travel with. It also has a removable bottom, which is just perfect for doing pedicures.

Just like with the rechargeable e-file, a rechargeable LED curing lamp is a great investment for your business.

It might not be as strong as a regular LED lamp, but it does the job. This is a very good asset to add to your salon for a backup plan.

With dual forms becoming a new trend in the nail industry, this flash curing lamp is super useful. Especially when doing your own nails seeing that you have to press the tip onto your nail. You won’t have a free hand to hold the flashlight as well.

It can be attached to any surface easily with its clamp, and the movable head is a definite bonus. You can easily manoeuvre it to fit your needs.

Seeing that it has a USB cord, It can be powered by a power bank when needed.

LED Desk lamp

There are so many reasons that I love my lamp. It has USB power, Adjustable brightness setting and I can bend in any direction which makes taking photos a dream.

The lamp is fastened to the table by an adjustable clamp so you can use it on tables of different thicknesses. This has come in handy so many times!

When you have to travel with it it can easily be bent to fit in a small bag or container. 

Towels

I use large bath towels for my clients. This ensures that they are comfortable and can place their whole arm on a soft surface while I’m working. Dark coloured towels are better to prevent gel stains from showing clearly.

I would recommend getting at least two different colours when you do pedicures as well. Have one set of towels that you strictly use for manicures, and others that you use for pedicures.

It is also advised to stock up on towels as you should use a clean towel for each client. Having a stockpile of towels will ensure that you never run out and that there are many in rotation while others are in the wash.

Pedicure stool

Doing a pedicure can be murder on your back. I make use of a pedicure stool with an adjustable footrest for my clients. This makes doing pedicures so much more enjoyable.

Having your clients sit in front of you with their feet up higher will make your life so much easier. Just remember to always ask your clients what height they prefer. 

It is very easy to clean in between clients and is not very bulky, so it can be stored with relative ease.

Foot spa

A foot spa is a must when doing pedicures. It’s not only more hygienic and odour-eliminating, but it also ensures that you will be able to get rid of any dead skin on your client’s feet with ease and without the risk of hurting them.

It is good to invest in one with a massaging option as well as a heat regulator. 

Having a portable foot spa makes it easier to clean and is great when travelling.

PPE

Let’s talk face masks. Not only does it give protection against the Coronavirus, but it is an absolute necessity for any nail technician. It gives protection against excessive nail dust and chemical fumes.

Investing in a couple of high-quality cloth masks is a must. It’s not only more economical than using disposable masks, but it’s also much more eco-friendly.

They come in a variety of cute designs so you can rock a different look each day. Another option is engraving your salon’s name on a set of identical masks, for your salon identity. This is also a great idea when you have employees.

With the Covid-19 pandemic, a whole new range of products has been created. This screen is one of my favourite additions. It can be used even after a pandemic. For hygienic purposes. Remember, nail technicians, do not get sick time off.

Not only does it stop any unwanted droplets from reaching you, but it also keeps your clients mostly free from dust when filing.

Nail tools sterilizer

Sterilization is a very big part of being a nail technician. This nail sterilizer and disinfection machine are perfect to ensure that your tools will be clean and ready for the next use.

 You have to sterilize any equipment after each client. Preventing the spread of harmful bacteria and diseases is very important. 

Invest in a high-quality sterilizer that you can use in-between clients with ease. 

Nail Dust collector

When filing acrylic nails, dust can become a real problem. Having a quality dust collector will help to prevent excess dust buildup and minimize your clean up time.

It collects the majority of dust in a reusable filter. You can also purchase separate filters so that you can change them out once it’s time for one to be washed.

Nail swatches

Gel polish colours aren’t always the same shade as on their bottles. Using swatches are a great way to give your clients a comprehensive idea of the shades that you own.

Just remember to mark the back of each swatch with the colour code of your nail or gel polish colours.

The ring is great for adding individual swatches, or for attaching it to a universal space that you have dedicated to your swatches, where your clients can simply go and pick out their own colours.

Manicure edge trimmer

The manicure edge trimmer ensures that you will be able to create the perfect smile lines with ease. No more spending hours filing. Symmetric smile lines are so satisfying to look at.

This set has three different smile line cutters. Each one can be used for different types of smile lines.

One for classics, the other for a stiletto, and the final one is great for that coffin-shaped smile line.

Soaking dish

My soaking bowls have made my life so much easier. Make sure to get two to save soaking time.

It’s easy to clean and seals in warm water so that it won’t cool down quite as fast.

I will not be able to live without my soaked bowls. I used to hate soaking nails, but this definitely makes the process a lot easier and a lot less messy.

Nail art palette

When creating nail art using a palette for your gel polish will make your life a lot easier. This palette is cute and trendy and will be a great addition to any nail salon. 

It comes in a variety of colours so you can choose the one that fits best with your style. 

It makes colour mixing and marbling an absolute dream. This is a definite must-have for any freehand nail artist. So if you are into nail art, This is for you!

Pedicure set

When doing pedicures you’ll see those nail clippers aren’t always the best tool to use. Invest in a good set of tools like a sturdy nipper and sidewall cleaners.

Having tools to help with ingrown toenails won’t hurt either. This pedicure set is absolutely perfect.

Everything you’ll need to give the best pedicure is right there in a small pouch! It’s compact and great for travel situations. Being stainless steel makes sterilization a lot easier as well.

Nail dusting brushes

I personally use two main colours of nail brushes. One colour for fingernails, and one for toenails. Get a couple of different brushes so that you’ll never run out while your brushes are being cleaned.

It is an inexpensive add on and something that I would definitely recommend. Getting more nail brushes is always better seeing that they do wear out after a time. So switching between a couple is best.

Nail art brushes

Investing in a couple of good nail art brushes is a must. Even if nail art is not your speciality these can be used to create straight lines and minor art that anyone will be able to do.

I personally don’t know what I would do without my striping brushes. They make nail art so easy and drawing a straight line has never been easier. 

These are great as they come in a set of 5 brushes, which are all different sizes. Therefore they can each be used for a different purpose.

cuticle pusher

A cuticle pusher is something to invest in from the get-go. Being stainless steel means that it can be disinfected and reused. No nail technician should be without one.

This specific cuticle pusher comes with a nail plate scraper, which is great for removing dead skin from the nail plate. 

This is one of the first nail tools I purchased, a definite step up from an orange wooden cuticle stick.

Orange manicure sticks

I personally use orange sticks when doing pedicures. Each client has their own stick.  This assists in cleaning the cuticle area when applying gel polish.

It’s inexpensive and something to consider when you start doing pedicures. They can also be used for manicures when you do gel application on fingernails.

It’s great for cleaning cuticles. It is also a more disposable option if you don’t want to buy a stainless steel cuticle pusher.

cuticle nippers

Cuticle nippers are the easiest way that I personally remove dead skin from the nail. Invest in a sharp nipper and consider having a second one for removing rhinestones, seeing that this will dull your nipper.

Larger cuticle nippers can also be used for removing toenails. It’s relatively easier to use than nail clippers as it can easily get into hard-to-reach places. 

Being stainless steel, it can also be sterilized with ease.

Tip cutter

A false nail clipper is one of the first things you’ll be presented with when starting your nail course.

There’s no harm in investing in a second one for a back-up.

This specific one is great as it comes with a spare blade, so if something happens to yours you don’t have to replace the entire clipper.

Nail pinching tool

A pinching tool is a must-have to create strong nails with pleasing c-curves. This pinching tool is one I personally own.  It comes with a cuticle pusher and nail scraper on the back.

I absolutely love the holographic look and design! 

Dip powder recycling tray

Whether you’re interested in doing dip applications, or you like the idea of sugaring.

This dipping container is a must-have to prevent any of your products from going to waste.

It has a removable scoop to make application easier, as well as a removable dispenser that catches any left-over product.

kabuki brush

When doing sugaring or applying pigment to the nails you want to be able to remove any excess carefully.

Using regular nail dusting brushes might be too harsh and remove some of the product.  Soft kabuki brushes are perfect for this purpose.

Having two is good so that you have one for manicures and another for pedicures. Having a back-up is also always a good idea.

Nail display stand

Whether you’re practising nail art or doing nail tutorials,  These sets are amazing. Just apply the tip with some double-sided tape or prestik and get started.  

I love my display stands. They make doing nail art so much easier! Your fingers will never again be in the way when applying polish to the tip. It’s very affordable and a definite must-have!

dotting tools/silicone tools

Dotting tools are one of my favourite tools to use. You can create a variety of simple nail art with ease.

This set in particular is great seeing that they come with silicone tools on the back that can be used for pigment applications.  

Having dotting tools in different sizes makes it so much easier to create a variety of designs in different sizes.

dappen dish

Invest in a spare dappen dish. I personally had the misfortune of dropping my dappen dish.  Thankfully I had a spare.

I personally prefer using a smaller dappen dish, as a bigger one will allow for more monomer liquid to be wasted.

Nail files

I prefer to use 100/180 nail files.  Each of my clients has their own files for hygiene reasons. The 100 side is perfect for debulking and the 180 side is amazing for removing scratches and shaping the nails.

It’s inexpensive and they can be purchased in bulk.

Looking to start your own nail salon or just trying to figure out what to do next. Here are a few articles on how you can improve your nail business and yourself as a nail tech. 

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