The major issue with gel polish is the time it takes to take off the old gel polish from the natural nails and it could take up to an hour just to take it off.

A nail drill reduces the time it takes to remove gel polish by quickly thinning the gel polish topcoat or sealer and allows the acetone to penetrate to the gel polish below and break down the adhesive faster. Complete knowledge and proper training before actual use are necessary to ensure a removing gel polish a success every time.

Should you use a nail drill to remove gel polish at home?

A right nail drill with drill bit will reduce the time it takes for you to remove gel polish at home. If you practice, learn and take proper precautions about how to handle a nail drill which is essentially a power tool, you should be able to use it safely and effectively on nails.

Is it bad to take off gel polish with a nail drill?

Using a nail drill to file the entire gel polish off the nails is not recommended. You will file off your own nails and this will make them thinner and they will be susceptible to breakage, splitting or peeling.

If you do not know how to handle a nail drill, you will inadvertently ruin your own nails.

It is bad to take off gel polish with a nail drill if the operator does not have a good understanding of how to handle it.

Can you use a nail drill to remove gel polish at home?

For people who want to remove gel polish at home themselves, a nail drill is a time saver as long as they have a complete nail drill knowledge, go through proper training and practice before they can start removing gel polish on their own nails.

If you want to incorporate an electric nail drill in your taking off gel polish at home, you should learn what it can do and practice until you are able to handle it with ease and safely before you can actually use it.

Can you drill off gel polish?

Nail drill should only be used to break down or thin out the old gel polish top coat so gel polish remover or acetone will be able to go directly to lower layers of gel polish to loosen them quicker.

Do not try to remove or file off all the gel polish color layers because you will file off part of your own nails too.

What kind of drill bit is good to remove gel polish?

You must use a proper nail drill bit to safely remove the gel polish top coat. The drill bit should be medium coarse with a beveled or rounded edge at the tip. Carbide, metallic or ceramic type drill bit can be used.

I have written about how to pick out the right drill bit and how to practice before using it in detail here in this article.

How to practice using a nail drill to remove gel polish at home

If you are going to remove gel polish on your own nails by yourself, you must learn how to handle the drill with a drill bit with both hands comfortably first. You can find more information about how to practice with a nail drill bit in this article.Opens in a new tab. Remember that practice makes perfect.

How to remove gel polish with a nail drill at home

Keep in mind that you must alternate your hands to hold the nail drill to file off the gel polish top coat. If you are doing it for the first time, stop and practice holding and handling the drill on both hands before you attempt to work on your own nails.

Before you begin, have these items available first:

  • Things that you normally use to soak or wrap gel polish
  • A drill with a right drill bit
  • A 5 in. wide plastic container, a carton box or something similar to prop up the nails that will be drilled on. This aid will make the filing much easier.
  • Find a good place so you can sit down for 30 minutes
  • Protect your furniture because acetone might ruin the finish or plastic
  • First, insert the drill bit onto the nail drill


  1. Set the nail drill speed at halfway setting if yours has that feature
  2. Turn on the nail drill
  3. Bring the nail drill close to the nails on the other hand
  4. Start filing of the gel top coat by letting the running drill bit touch the nail surface and move the drill bit from one side of the nail to the other side using almost no pressure. Stop the drill bit at about 1/8 of an inch from the edge or sidewall of the nails. It is not necessary to go all the way because the acetone will do the rest and it is safer to do so or you might run over your cuticles or skin
  5. Repeat the above step for the whole nail surface
  6. Do it for all ten nails
  7. Make sure you turn off the nail drill before putting it down after you finish filing.

Now you can go ahead and use your favorite way to wrap or soaking off the remaining gel polish.

Do check out other methods wrapping or soaking gel polish, especially the best way to remove gel polish by using finger cotsOpens in a new tab. that I explained in great detail here in the article.

Which nail drill is best for removing gel polish?

There are so many models and styles on the market. It makes choosing one nail drill to use in removing gel polish a difficult one. The options concerning which one you should buy to remove gel polish are many.

Whichever nail drill you happen to own or thinking about buying one, you have to learn and practice using it comfortably and efficiently before working on your real nails.

I have used many kinds of nail drill and I recently came across a new model that I think is perfect nail drill for home use. It is compact, durable, easy to hold, cordless and strong enough for removing gel polish application at home. It is under $20. You can check out the latest priceOpens in a new tab. on Amazon here.

Nail salons typically charge $10 for gel polish removal. If you can do this at home with a nail drill, it will pay for itself many times over.

Even though it is a great choice, if you consider getting for your own use then you must spend enough time to practice before you can use it on your own nails.

Benefits of taking off gel polish with a nail drill at home

After you are able to use a nail drill with ease, you can remove gel polish at home yourself quickly and without ruining your own nails in doing so.

A nail drill will help you remove gel polish faster and better for your nails in the comfort of your own home. If you have your gel polish at a salon, a nail technician will always try to rush it and this might lead to the fact that the drill bit will file off and thin out your natural nails which is the last thing you want.

Not only it is quicker and safer but you will save money every time also.

Knowing how to remove gel polish yourself is not enough. Having a nail drill that can do the job faster will save you precious time too.

If you do not want to remove gel polish at home

If you prefer to let a nail technician remove gel polish for you, she would go through a similar procedure that might include the use of an electric nail drill.

First, a nail technician will remove the gel polish top coat by an emery board or a nail drill with a proper nail drill bit.

Since a nail technician is working on a customer, he or she and use the dominant hand to work on both of your hands.

After roughing up and thin out the gel top coat, she will wrap or soak your nails with acetone for 15 or 20 minutes. You might have to sit and wait longer if she is busy with other customers.

So why should you spend extra time and money to remove gel polish if you know and can do it yourself?

Related articles:

Want to know all the different way to remove gel polish so you can use? Do you also want to know the best way to remove gel polish?Opens in a new tab. Learn all about them here in this article so you will use one of them when you remove gel polish.

Does gel polish make your nails itch? Find out why.Opens in a new tab. Gel polish might not be the culprit but other ingredients might be the cause of your cuticle itch.

Learn what causes gel polish to wrinkle or bubbleOpens in a new tab. so you can avoid them.

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