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Does filing the sides of the natural nail weaken it?

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Filing the sides of the natural nail

Question:

Does filing the sides of the natural nail really weaken the free edge? I’ve been given this myth as a reason for using the square shape too many times, so I had to ask!

Answer:

This is a myth. It doesn’t make any sense that filing the sides of the natural nail would weaken the free edge.

However, I have to say that square-shaped nails are more likely to break than those that are rounded. What causes this? A rounded free edge doesn’t have a corner that can break off. A square nail has two corners that can break or chip. The square corners increase the potential that the nail will be snagged on something and break off. Also, an oval shape is inherently more resistant to certain types of breakage. That’s why Romans invented the arch, to support their bridges. Arches more evenly distribute the weight, as well as other forces such as sudden impact. The force of impact would be better distributed by a rounded shape than one that was square. Keep in mind that the lower arch of the nail must also be kept intact for strength, not sacrificed for the shape when choosing a non-square option.

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