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11 Best Manicure Sets for You: An Easy Buying Guide

best manicure kit

123rf.com (Anton Samsonov)

Unkempt nails will bring even the best look down. A personal manicure set can make you appear and feel more put together, confident, and professional. These are perfect for those looking to do their own manicures at home. See the end of the article for tips on how to choose the set for you. If you have difficulty using traditional clippers, consider a nail drill machine.

What Are the Best Manicure Sets of 2020?

Manicure tools in leather case Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Highest quality German-made steel
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Ethically made
Price: $176.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Black nail tools set Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Japanese steel
  • Gender-neutral
  • Sharp tools
Price: $110.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Orange case with manicure tools Amazon Customer Reviews
  • German-made steel
  • Choice of colors
  • Durable
Price: $109.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Large manicure kit with lots of tools Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Variety of tools
  • German-made steel
  • Choice of colors and patterns
Price: $69.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Black leather manicure kit Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Masculine look
  • German-made steel
  • Durable
Price: $149.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
steel manicure tools in leather case Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Attractive presentation with Italian leather
  • Great as a gift
  • Handmade in Solingen, Germany
Price: $104.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Black manicure kit case with tools Amazon Customer Reviews
  • German-made
  • Affordable
  • Nice selection of tools
Price: $37.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Dark brown zipper case of manicure tools Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Affordable
  • Nice variety of tools
  • Comes in gift box
Price: $28.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Brown leather case with black manicure tools Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 16 tool variety
  • Affordable
  • Stainless steel
Price: $9.69 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Zwilling manicure kit in black leather case Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Top of the line
  • Long-lasting German-made
  • Includes gift box
Price: $194.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Black and grey manicure kit Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Made in Solingen, Germany
  • 13 tools
  • Real Nappa leather case
Price: $199.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Best High-End Manicure Kit: GERmanikure 7-Piece Matte Stainless Steel Manicure Set

    • Highest quality
    • Made in Solingen, Germany
    • Lifetime warranty
    • High carbon stainless steel
    • Great selection of tools
    • Leather case
    • Some may prefer more tools
    • Pricier than others
    • Hard to keep in stock

    Here is your high carbon stainless steel set. This is made with the highest quality materials by an ethics-oriented company based in Solingen, Germany.

    The GERmanikure Seven-Piece Matte Stainless Steel Manicure Set is made to last you the rest of your life. And if that seems unlikely, don’t worry–they have a lifetime warranty.

    Most of the cheaper sets you come across are made in China, and if you have ethical concerns there whether it’s labor laws or environmental, GERmanikure is your man. These tools are all handcrafted in an environmentally conscious factory by artisans making a fair wage, and never using child labor.

    It comes with nail clippers, toenail clippers, nail scissors, cuticle nippers, tweezers, glass cuticle stick, and glass nail file. 

    The gorgeous finish and solid feel of these set them apart from anything you’ve picked up from the corner store. Everything neatly tucks into a supple, leather rolling case. If you’re looking for top of the line, this is it.

  2. 2. Best Durable Set: Seki Edge Takumi No Waza 9-Piece Grooming Kit

    • High quality, twice-tempered stainless steel
    • Long lasting
    • Sharp tools for precision
    • Gender neutral even though geared toward men
    • No toenail clipper
    • Too large to be travel-friendly
    • May be too sharp to give to children

    This set is made by Greenbell in the town of Seki in Japan, a place historically known for incredible craftsmanship, sought after katanas (samurai swords) and, more recently, its top of the line chef knives.

    The Seki Edge Takumi No Waza stainless steel tools will last you for decades. If you’re used to cheap sets, the enormous jump in quality you’ll see in this set will have you wondering how you ever got by using those tinny, dull clippers.

    A word to the wise, these things are sharp–which is great and exactly what you want, but they are sharper than anything you’ll find at the drugstore so maybe best not let kids play with these.

    The genuine leather case holds fingernail clippers, nail nipper, cuticle nipper, cuticle remover, cuticle pusher, nail and cuticle cleaner, nostril scissors, and tweezers. My biggest problem with this set is that it doesn’t include a toenail clipper, but again you can make that happen a la carte.

  3. 3. Best Manicure Kit for Women: Niegeloh 6-Piece Set

    • High quality
    • Nickle-plated carbon steel
    • Long-lasting
    • Made in Solingen, Germany
    • Choice of color
    • No nail clippers
    • Only metal nail file
    • Has tools some folks might not need

    Niegeloh is a company out of Solingen, Germany known for its top of the line blades. These manicure tools are hand-crafted from the highest quality nickel-coated, C45 carbon steel and built to last a lifetime–with a lifetime warranty to back it up.

    This Seven-Piece Kit comes with manicure scissors, cuticle scissors, nail file, cuticle pusher, cuticle nipper nail cleaner, and slanted tweezers. If you’d prefer a set with traditional nail clippers, their unisex Six-Piece Set might be for you.

    It comes in a full-grain nappa leather case with stylish belt closure and you can currently get this case in the featured red, black, or green.

  4. 4. Best Mid-Range Set: 3 Swords 16-Piece Manicure & Pedicure Kit

    • German-made stainless steel
    • Great variety of tools
    • High quality craftsmanship
    • Long-lasting
    • Choice of colors
    • Synthetic leather case
    • Not everyone needs this many tools
    • Some tools too sharp for kids to use

    This larger Three Swords set is also made in Solingen, German but offers a larger set of tools than the first Three Swords set. It has about every tool you could need in nickle-plated stainless steel.

    You get fingernail clippers, toenail clippers, cuticle scissors, nail scissors, sapphire-coated nail file, cuticle nippers, nail nippers, slanted tweezers, pointed tweezers, hoofstick, nail stick, blackhead remover, nail cleaner, nail knife, and a double instrument nail pusher/cleaner.

    The quality of the pieces is very high. They feel sturdy and made to last. The case is a synthetic leather which doesn’t live up the expensive feel of the tools, but is well organized and secure. You get a choice of three colors: black, brown, and burgundy.

  5. 5. Best Manicure Kit for Men: TopInox ‘Imantado XL’ & Leather Case

    • High quality
    • Made in Solingen, Germany
    • Long-lasting
    • Sharp
    • Real leather case
    • Case has no closure
    • Too rugged looking for some
    • Seriously sharp so be careful

    Another set by Niegeloh made in Solingen, Germany, the TopInox “Imantato XL” has a more rugged, masculine style.

    These matte finish stainless steel tools are handcrafted by a company that opposes forced and child labor and is ecologically conscious of its impact on the environment. I always prefer it when my money goes to support these kinds of practices.

    Like all German-forged steel, these are built to last with a lifetime warranty. The genuine leather case feels very opulent but it doesn’t have a closure however so you’ll want to keep that in mind.

    The seven-piece manicure kit comes with fingernail clippers, toenail clippers, nail nipper, nail file, facial scissors, cuticle scissors, and tweezers. These are some of the sharpest tools in the list and offer serious precision.

  6. 6. Most Attractive Gift: Nippes 7-Piece Solingen Manicure Kit

    • Stainless steel Solingen, Germany tools
    • Handmade
    • Attractive presentation
    • Italian leather case
    • Essential everyday tools
    • Matte brushed steel looks expensive
    • No traditional clippers
    • Pricier than others
    • Not for vegans

    If you’re looking for a gorgeous set that will impress as a gift, go with this Seven-Piece Nippes Solingen Manicure Kit. The stainless steel tools are handmade in Solingen, Germany and come with this beautiful Italian leather case.

    Every part of the set is attractive down to the matte brushed steel finish on the tools. The handles of the tools have a unique shape that is wider and flatter than most making them more comfortable to hold. The tweezers have a textured edge that makes them easier to grip.

    You get nail scissors, cuticle scissors, sapphire nail file, cuticle nipper, tweezers, and a dual-end nail cleaning and cuticle pushing tool.

  7. 7. Best Cheap German-Made Manicure Set: 3 Swords 8-Piece Manicure & Pedicure Kit

    • Made in Solingen, Germany
    • Nickle-plated stainless steel
    • Sharp
    • Lots of color choices
    • Great variety of tools
    • Nail clippers not made in Germany
    • Not as long lasting as high carbon steel
    • Too sharp for young ones to use on their own

    This Three Swords eight-piece manicure & pedicure kit is about the most affordable you’re going to find good German steel.

    Across all professionals that use tools that need to be metal and sharp, from chefs to tailors to surgeons, German-made steel is known worldwide as the finest available. Specifically, steel forged in the city of Solingen, Germany has been internationally famous for generations as the best around.

    The tools are nickel-plated stainless steel. They are sharp, quality-made tools, and the file is coated in synthetic sapphire crystals to give it a grinding edge that your emery board could never compete with.

    You have a choice of seven different colors so people of all genders can find something they like. I’m featuring the genuine leather black case.

    The set includes nail scissors, cuticle scissors, fingernail clipper, toenail clipper, tweezers, sapphire nail file, nail pusher/cleaner, and a hoofstick which is a tool to tidy and shape your cuticles and could probably use a new name. The one thing is, in order to keep the cost of this kit down, the nail clippers are not German-made.

    There are complete German-made kits below, but if you’re trying to save a buck, it might be worth getting this set and picking up a separate Three Swords Nail Clipper set to swap out.

  8. 8. Best Set for Beginners: Familife 11-in-1 Stainless Steel Manicure Set

    • Great variety of tools
    • Sharp for the price
    • Cheap
    • Stainless steel
    • Comes in gift box
    • Not as high a quality as others
    • Won’t stay sharp for years
    • Case feels cheap

    The Familife 11-in-1 Stainless Steel Manicure Set comes with tweezers, nail file, cuticle remover, cuticle pusher, ear pick, cuticle shaper, nail clippers, toenail clippers, cuticle scissors, nail nipper, and cuticle nipper.

    These Chinese-made tools won’t be as strong or long-lasting as the other kits on the list, but with the number of tools you get for the price, it deserves to be here.

    The faux leather case is a gender-neutral dark, royal purple and while it doesn’t feel expensive, it’s a secure case. While this isn’t salon-quality, it would make for a great home kit or a gift for a teenager.

  9. 9. Lots of Tools: Aiwogep 16-Piece Manicure Kit With Case

    • Affordable
    • Comes with 16 tools
    • Matte black color
    • Faux leather case is very soft
    • Quite sharp
    • Too sharp to give to young children
    • Scissors aren't great
    • Kit is larger than shown in pictures

    If you’re on a budget and want a wide variety of tools, this Aiwogep Set is a good choice.

    You get fingernail clippers, angled fingernail clippers, toenail clippers, tweezers, nail file, eyebrow scissors, double-ended cuticle pusher, double-ended nail cleaner, three callus scrapers, cuticle nipping fork, ear pick, callus blade, cleaning brush, and double-ended acne needle with blackhead loop.

    All the tools are black stainless steel and fit neatly into their organized slots. The compact, soft faux leather case is perfect for travel as it fits into any bag and there’s no worry of your scissors snagging on your clothing.

    I was sent a media sample of this kit to try out and all of the tools are nice and sharp and work very well except for the scissors, but one dud out of 16 for this price is acceptable.

    The tools themselves are sturdy if not luxurious to work with, but they’ll get the job done for a couple of years–and you can’t beat the price for this many tools. The matte black color definitely makes the kit stand out. It’s a good travel kit or a gift but not something for professionals or to bring to a salon.

  10. 10. Best Luxe Gift Kit: Zwilling J.A. Henckles 5-Piece Elk Manicure Set

    • Luxury quality and look
    • Top of the line stainless steel
    • Trusted company
    • Good choice of tools
    • Long-lasting
    • Travel-friendly leather case
    • Comes with gift box
    • No toenail clipper
    • Unique “twin S” nail clipper design might be strange at first
    • Pricey

    This Five-Piece Zwilling J.A. Henckels Grooming Kit is German-made, high-quality stainless steel, and has a gorgeous satin-matte finish. The lines of the tools and smooth and rounded giving it a unique, elegant look that sets it apart from cheaper kits. It’s beautiful as well as practical–luxury at its finest.

    Zwilling J.A. Henckels is a top of the line company that has been making blades since 1731. That’s back when Benjamin Franklin was still a citizen of the British colonies.

    The kit includes nail scissors, cuticle scissors, nail file, slant tweezers, cuticle pusher and nail cleaning tool in a compact yak leather case with a metal frame and velvet interior. 

    The set arrives in a heavy Zwilling J.A. Henckles box perfect for gifting. This is luxury through and through and a set that will last you decades, if not longer.

  11. 11. Luxury Set With Most Tools: Erbe 13-Piece Solingen German Kit

    • Compact case good for travel
    • You get lots of tools
    • Tools made in Solingen, Germany
    • Case is real Nappa leather
    • Nickel-plated steel
    • Pricier than some others
    • Too many tools for young folks or beginners
    • Case isn't flexible

    This Erbe 13-Piece Manicure Kit is a good pick for someone looking for lots of tool options from a luxury brand. The tools were all made in Solingen, Germany with hot-forged steel that has been nickel-plated to help keep their sharp edges longer with use.

    You get a metal nail file, crystal nail file, nail scissors, cuticle siccors, nail nipper, cuticle nipper, angled tweezers, precision tweezers, and five cuticle pushing, shaping, and cutting tools.

    The rigid case is slim for travel and storage. Its interior is made of soft real suede with an organized slot for each tool and the exterior is real Nappa leather.

What Should I Look for In a Manicure Kit? 

The most important detail to note is what the tools are made of. You're never going to have these things sharpened and nail clippers that aren't sharp are basically just pliers--ouch.

These are the most common metals you'll find and their pros and cons.

Stainless Steel
This metal won't rust on you so that's plus. It's the most commonly used material in quality sets, probably because it's the most affordable. Stainless steel is better than cheaper metals, but it will still go dull after a year up to a decade depending on the manufacturer.

High Carbon Stainless Steel
The best tools are made of high carbon stainless steel which is durable, resists rust, and will stay sharp about as long as you could ask it to. High carbon steel is more expensive to produce, but if you only have to buy the one set for the next 25 plus years, it's worth it rather than buying a $10 kit every year or two.

Carbon Steel
This is the best metal to keep an edge sharp for a very long time. However, carbon steel is prone to rust and it won't matter how sharp your kit is if it turns a gross orange from sitting in your bathroom.

Nickel-Plated Steel
One way to ensure your steel tools stay sharp longer while keeping the cost down is by using nickel plating. This coating of nickel makes your tools harder, rust-resistant, and slows the dulling process.

What Makes for a Good Travel Manicure Set?

If you're shopping specifically for travel, for a smaller manicure kit that was manufactured in Germany. Yes, that does sound oddly specific but sets made in Asian countries are more likely to contain acne tools as well as nail tools and those can look very dangerous (like a giant needle with a handle) and are more likely to be confiscated by TSA.

Make sure the case as plenty of secure sheathed slots to hold tools as that's the only way TSA will allow things like small manicure scissors. 

For more information see the TSA website.

What's the Difference Between Women's Manicure Sets and Men's?

Nothing. The only difference is in the packaging and that some organizing cases are more masculine and some are more feminine, but they're all the same tools.

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