I have a set off Amazon of the "Cheeky" brand ones which came in a 5-pack for ~$10. I have been using a single one for over a year at this point and it shows no signs of any wear. I have gifted the other 4 away as I'm a firm believer in them and think everyone needs one.
I have never been prone to weak nails, but after switching to these I can't even imagine my nails ever chipping. They file better than anything I've ever used, come with individual slip-on plastic covers, and if you rinse them off they look brand new but don't smell like some metal ones do.
Overall, I highly recommend giving these a shot if you file your nails at all.
i got a no name "genuine czech" listed that it was by mont bleu (not sure about that though) set on amazon. there are 3 files a mini, a regular sized and a big pedi file. I personally like using the pedi file to take down length and the regular sized file to smooth everything out.
I LOVE these files. I wish they had sturdier sleeves for protection but i've been keeping them in the box they came in.
these are supposed to last forever and honestly... i am in love with them so i will use them forever and if they somehow get broken... will be replaced!!
Please just buy this. You will not regret it. I ordered a set on Amazon that said it was "genuine Czech etched glass", trying to avoid the ones just coated in some sort of grit that comes off, as I had read in other reviews. There was a mini one for touch-ups, a regular sized one, and a large one for pedicures, all for about 9$-expensive for a nail file, but the description said they last forever, so I figured it was worth a shot. The first time I used one, I was hooked! I could not believe how softly it glided over my nails, but how quickly it filed them into just the right shape! I have always filed my nails in both directions because I'm lazy, and this is the first time I have been able to do so and still end up with a soft, smooth end to the nails. It is soft on the skin too-I even felt comfortable trying it on my baby's nails, because he hates having them trimmed! Unfortunately it was a little too thick for that, but it works just right for me. Some people complain that these files feel/sound like nails on a chalkboard...I personally think they must be pushing too hard. I find that just a little pressure is all you need, and I actually enjoy the feel of it and hardly notice any sound at all. They are also super easy to clean, just rinse them with a little soap and water! I can't yet judge the longevity of these files, as I have only had them a few weeks...but I am very impressed so far. In summary, I am a believer, and I will never ever use another type of file on my nails again!
I purchased a generic no-name brand off of eBay a few months ago for $0.99 and is the best file I've ever used as it's completely changed my nails. My nails no longer peel, chip, or tear easily and the edges look so smooth. I've recommended this file to many friends and family. The glass file is durable and washes easily, but the down side is it is glass therefore could break/shatter if dropped.
EDIT 01/Jul/2012: I bought the Sephora one to carry in my handbag. Let me just say that all glass files are not created equal. The Sephora one does not hold a candle to the Leighton Denny. It is still better than emery or -yikes!- metal files, but it feels more coarse and I do not get the smooth, plastic-like finish I get with LD.
I have the "Leighton Denny Crystal Nail File - with case" and I am very satisfied. It files my nails very fast, there is so much white dust when I file them, but it is also very easy to control.
It is completely glass, milky in colour, with a gray-coloured handle. It works both sides. I think that the closer to the handle the grit is rougher, and the closer to the end the grit is finer. The file if a little "fat" but it is not a problem so far. I can file even short nails. Also it is very easy to clean, just let it under water, pat it dry if you can't wait and its ready!
So far (about 2 months) I have not had one nail peeling. I should note that I do office work (a lot of keyboard) and all the household works without gloves. Also, I used to have rough growing nails on the sides, and they would always begin to split. I think it was caused by my filing ending there. Now I do not seem to have such problem, my nails grow strong. I must mention that I do not file only in one direction, as I should. I am too bored. But so far everything works fine.
After I am done, I "seal" the nail as per directions, really easy, and then my nails are so smooth that I think I am touching plastic nails, not real nails.
I am VERY careful when I use it, I always use it on bed so even if it falls from my hands (DH calls me "butterfingers" for a reason!) it wont shatter. I understand it is crystal and needs attention, so if I ever break it I am willing to repurchase in a heartbeat.
I am not so thrilled with the case. Although it holds the file securely, it appears very poorly made. Cheap, plain plastic with a silly lining that comes off every time I extract the file and a questionable closing. For the Rolls-Royce of nail files I would expect the seats to be leather...
QVC crystal nail file claims to leave your nails smoother but it actually makes them rougher. This is the worst nail file I've ever used, clearly not all crystal nail files are good.
After using this, my nails never chip anymore. It is so gentle yet a million times more effective than traditonal cardboard files so you can file both ways and it's not a problem. I will never ever use another nail file again. The edges of your nail are so smooth compared to when you use a cardboard one. Mine is from the brand La Vaque and I got it at HEB for $8...it's really pretty. Its black at the tip then fades into clear toward the end. Very easy to clean, looks brand new every single time and works like new every single time. I also heard they last forever so we shall see :)
I got a generic drugstore brand crystal nail file in the UK. Brand is QVS I believe. It cost around 10 pounds. Always shied away from this because I thought it was an unnecessary expense. I'm reformed--it's a must! I used to get snags eventually after cutting my nails. Now I don't. Also if you have problems with peeling and nail breakage--using a crystal nail file will solve your problems.
I got an A.S.P. brand crystal file. Its pink in the middle, fading out to white on the edges. The shape is odd... Its a flat rectangle with edges that are wider than the middle, almost like a stretched out hourglass.
I grabbed this one because it was three dollars cheaper than the more traditionally-shaped file. Its larger size makes it easier to handle and if you hold it correctly, its easy to use.
If I ever break it, I'll definitely buy another.
OK, try another brand than A.S.P. if you're in the market for a crystal file. I'm recanting my praise of this brand. There's a lot I do like about it, however, I was just filing my nail and a chunk of the grit FELL OFF... I thought it was ground glass, but its actually just a thin coating! It wore down like any cardboard file, rendering the entire edge of it useless.
I've used a number of glass files and they're all pretty much the same to me, so this is a general endorsement for these tools.
If you have weak nails, my advice to you is to stop cutting them and ONLY file with a glass file. This alone has saved my nails and made them very strong, when they're normally splitting, tearing and shearing off like mica.
It's also always much better to buy something reuseable, both economically and to reduce trash. I think these Essie files come with a case to protect them, which gives them a one-up over the Sephora ones or some others I've seen.
An absolute necessity.