A nail practice hand is an on-demand client who lets you do whatever you want, never fidgets or complains, poses for perfect photos, and has infinite patience. Honestly, we all need that. These are some of the best nail trainer hands for upping your nail game. It’s a great way for new nail artists to hone their skills with their new nail extension kit or nail builder gel before jumping in on real people.
KnowU Pair of Silicone Trainer Hands
- Pair of left and right hands
- Available as singles and in different skin tones
- Inset nails with cuticle slots
- Bending fingers
- Realistic look
- Nail tips can be soaked off
- Great for photoshoots
- No stand
- More expensive
- Cuticles are a little fragile
For the most realistic look you can get without a real person, you need a silicone hand like this Pair of Silicone Practice Hands by KnowU. They have a realistic skin texture and squish, complete with wrinkles around the knuckles and lines on the palms. Unlike clip-on nail designs, these silicone hands have slotted cuticles so the nail tips slide in place underneath the cuticle and look as though they are actually growing out of the finger instead of sitting on top of it.
It’s a much better set up if you’re trying to practice application before moving on to real people. The cuticle slot isn’t meant to hold the nail in place on its own so you need to apply a little bit of nail glue to the tip before sliding it in place. Make sure you’re using soak off acrylic nail glue and not using UV gel nail glue. Nail glue can be soaked off these trainer hands with acetone, just like you would soak acrylics off of a real hand, but UV gel glue must be filed off–something you won’t be able to do underneath the cuticle and you could ruin your hand.
Do keep in mind that because the silicone has a skin-like consistency, be careful when filing down your extension near the cuticle. They don’t grow back like on people so make sure you don’t let your nail drill get too close or you could rip the cuticle slot.
The fingers have an internal poseable skeleton that will stay in the position you place them in. They don’t come with a stand but most gentle gooseneck clip stands can work.
I love that this set comes with two hands so you can practice with both the right and left hands. To save some money, you can also buy either just the right or just the left hand. There are six skin tones to choose from as well.
Find more KnowU Pair of Silicone Trainer Hands information and reviews here.
Flexible Trainer Hand & Adjustable Stand
- Jointed fingers
- Easy to remove and replace nail tips
- Adjustable vice-grip stand
- Comes with 200 nail tips
- 100 dual forms
- Silicone fingertips
- Choice of colors
- Nail art extras
- Nails aren’t as stable as glued-down tips
- Nail is taller than cuticle
- Doesn’t look realistic
- Hard plastic fingers and hand
If you’re on a budget, check out HoMove’s Nail Trainer Hand and Stand Set. It’s an affordable hand and stand set which comes with 200 replacement nail tips, 100 dual forms, nail files, and a tin of 3D nail art gems. The hard plastic hand has jointed plastic fingers with silicone fingertips and is pre-mounted on a flexible gooseneck stand with a crank vice grip base so you can attach it to nearly any tabletop.
This is a great choice for people who don’t want to deal with putting in a lot of work to remove and replace the nails every time they want to do a new design. The tips clip onto the fingers and clip back off so there’s no need to file or soak off your gel or acrylic at all. Acetone could damage the plastic hand but because they tips come right off you won’t ever need to use it. All you do is give the nail a pull to unclip it and replace it with one of the 200 included nail tips. (More nail tips are very affordable too.)
The downside to this design is that because the tips aren’t glued in, they can pop off if they’re subjected to a lot of movement like shaping your artificial nail with an e-file. Also, since the clip-on nail sits above the cuticle you don’t get a very realistic canvas to practice on. For that reason, this is probably best for home nail artists who are looking to practice nail art designs or learn artificial nail sculpting for themselves, but not necessarily to apply them on others.
It’s also available as a light pink hand with 100 included nail tips.
Find more Flexible Trainer Hand & Adjustable Stand information and reviews here.
Lion Vision Silicone Practice Hand
- Realistic silicone
- Bending, poseable fingers
- Slotted cuticles
- Nail tips can be soaked off with acetone
- Comes with 100 nail tips, files, and a set of clippers
- Great for photos and videos
- Only right hand
- More expensive
- No skin colors to choose from
- Hair and dust can stick to silicone
This Silicone Trainer Hand by LionVision is a good choice for nail techs in training and people looking for a model for their social media or video tutorials. The hand is realistically modeled with skin-like texture and padding. The internal structure allows the fingers to bend and stay posed how you want them.
The hand has cuticle slots for inserting nail tips and it comes with a box of 100 to start. It says that glue is optional when installing your tips and this is true if you’re just painting the nails but if you plan to file them or use a nail drill, you’re going to want to apply a little bit of acrylic nail glue (not UV gel) to the back of the tip before inserting it into the cuticle slot.
These slotted fingers have a much more realistic surface to them as you have to allow for the curve of the cuticle compared to the trainer hands with clip-on nails that sit on top of the fingers.
Being silicone, when you’re done with your design you can soak the fingertips in acetone to remove the nail start over again. The set comes with 100 nail tips, three glass nail files, and nail tip clippers.
Find more Lion Vision Silicone Practice Hand information and reviews here.
Wooden Jointed Practice Hand
- Easy to remove and replace nail tips
- Stands on its own flat base
- Jointed fingers
- Unique wood
- Comes with 100 nail tips
- Not as stable as glued-in tips
- Not realistic
- Nails sit above the cuticle
- No stand
The wooden material of this Jointed Trainer Hand really stands out from the other plastic, rubber, or silicone options. There’s something really satisfying about this wooden hand and its more natural feel.
It uses the same slot and slide method of nail tip replacement so you don’t have to deal with filing off or soaking off your work every time. This design is also great for saving your nail designs for later instead of destroying them for later. The hand comes with 100 nail tip replacements and more replacements are available cheaply and in other colors like clear.
Tips that slide into place are never going to be as secure as tips that are glued into place but for many, it’s worth it to avoid the hassle of removing them.
Keep in mind that these types of tips sit above the cuticle area of the finger but, on real hands, the nail is recessed into the cuticle. Working on this type of hand won’t give you the most realistic practice of working with real, live clients.
I like that the hand can stand upright on its own but it doesn’t necessarily give you the most realistic angle for clients either so this one might be best for home nail artists and not professionals.
Find more Wooden Jointed Practice Hand information and reviews here.
40-Piece Practice Fingers Set
- Sticky base to secure in place
- 40 fingers
- Good for displaying your designs
- Kind of creepy
- Not realistic
- Can’t soak designs off
- Don’t come with extras
- No skin color choices
- Only one finger type and size
If you’ve got next to no budget, you can get 40 Reusable Practice Fingers for cheap. They aren’t attached to hands so they don’t set up a realistic practice environment but they’re more convenient than swatch sticks or asking your significant other. They’re also pretty great for people who want to display their designs on their manicure table or counter for clients to choose from.
Each finger is on a plastic stand with an adhesive base so you can peel the decal off the bottom and stick the finger wherever you want it to live or stick it to your silicone nail mat to keep it steady while you work.
It already has a decent nail tip for polishing and nail art but if you want to practice your nail extensions, you can use nail glue or a small bead of acrylic to attach a nail tip and go from there. Keep in mind that you can’t use acetone to remove your polish or extensions so whatever you put on there will need to be filed off. If you have trouble getting the nail tip to stick, try roughing up the faux fingernail surface before applying the tip.
Find more 40-Piece Practice Fingers Set information and reviews here.
Plastic Poseable Nail Tech Hand With Stand
- Comes with 300 nail tips
- Tips in three different colors
- Nail are easy to clip on and off
- Cute purple color
- Attached vice grip stand
- Flexible gooseneck stand
- Jointed fingers
- Not realistic looking
- Nail sits above the cuticle
- Clip on nails aren’t as secure as glue-in
- Can’t use with acetone
If realistic isn’t for you, consider this Purple Practice Hand by Aonolovo. It has a cute purple color with white fingers and peach-toned silicone fingertips. Replacement nails easily clip on with a slot-and-slide motion so you never have to worry about soaking or drilling off your designs. Keep in mind that because the hand is plastic, you can’t soak the fingers in acetone or you’ll damage it.
I like that this set comes with 300 replacement nails, 100 in clear, 100 in white, and 100 in a natural, almondy tone. It’s attached to a flexible, skinny, chrome gooseneck stand so you can get a more realistic angle of working with a client. This chrome neck is much more attractive than the thicker, black plastic-covered models.
The clip-on nail design is great for not having to deal with the hassle of removing your work when you want to keep practicing but the nails sit on top of the fingertip so that the cuticle is actually below them. This isn’t a realistic set up so if you’re practicing to eventually work on real people, you might want to invest in a hand that has a more true-to-life inset nail.
Find more Plastic Poseable Nail Tech Hand With Stand information and reviews here.
N/N Flexible Practice Hand
- Realistic size
- Inset cuticles
- Two color choices
- Works with or without stand
- Includes free nail art glitter
- Can’t use with acetone
- Pretty floppy
- Harder to attach and remove nails
Get the flexibility of a hand that works on a stand or on its own with the N/N Practice Hand. You can prop it up on a wrist rest and it has a loop on the end that fits into a special vice-grip stand that holds the hand out level the way a client would.
If you’re looking for a hand that has inset cuticles but don’t want to shell out for a silicone hand, this trainer is a great way to try the design out and see if it’s worth investing in higher quality one later.
The rubber fingers have inset cuticles but no cuticle slot. Your artificial nail tips don’t slide underneath the cuticle so you’ll have to attach the nails some other way. If they don’t need to be super secure, you can use double-sided tape or even poster putty, but if you’re going to be using an e-file on them, you’ll want nail glue or a small bead of acrylic.
Because you can’t soak rubber in acetone, you’ll need to file off your nails if you’ve used glue to affix them. Being a softer rubber, that can get a little dicey so this one is really best for lower-impact nail art like nail stamping, painting, or practicing your polish application.
Find more N/N Flexible Practice Hand information and reviews here.
How to tell which is the best nail trainer hand for you.
Social media queens looking to use your hand for videos or taking photos, will want a more realistic, silicone practice hand is a better fit.
Nail techs in training who are working toward working with real, live clients, you might want a hand with a stand because it gives you a more realistic angle than a single finger type or limp hand.
Beginners might want to get something on the cheaper side before really investing in a higher-end hand. And I highly recommend beginners work on a practice hand first before experimenting on real nails to get your technique right. Make sure you’re studying wherever you’re getting your instructions carefully. Mayo Clinic highlights some of the issues that can come up if artificial nails are applied incorrectly.
How to put a nail tip on a practice hand.
Everyone has their own method of applying tips to their trainer hand and each hand is a little different.
Some have nails that are built to snap on and off making it a super easy process.
Some have flat nail beds that need secure adhesive to apply your tips.
And others have a cuticle slot to slide your tip into for a more realistic look. These still need adhesive to keep your tips from moving.
Nail tip adhesives.
If you’re going for ease of removal, you can try things like poster putty or clear adhesive stickers. Some hands or bundles of nail tips come with stickers designed for this purpose and those are one of the better temporary methods.
These will get your tip to stick, but since the idea is that it’s easy to remove, it’s also easy to accidentally remove while you’re working on it, especially while filing.
More secure methods of applying tips include nail glue or a small dab of acrylic.
How do I get acrylic nails off fake practice hand?
In theory, all of these hands should be reuseable and how easy it is to remove your acrylic or hard gel is going to depend on how your type of hand and how you applied it.
With the less secure methods you can just pop the nail off, but if that nail is stuck on there, it’s going to take a little more work–and what type of work depends on what the hand is made out of.
Plastic nail tech practice hand.
You can’t use acetone to remove the tips of your plastic hands because it will melt your practice finger right along with it so you have to use a nail drill to file off the nail.
Orange buffers are good to finish with here because they help you easily distinguish between what’s acrylic and what’s plastic.
It’s helpful to use clippers or brute force to snap off as much of the acrylic nail tip as you can first to cut down on time and nasty dust.
Silicone mannequin hand for acrylic nails.
The higher-end silicone hands are great because they aren’t affected by acetone so you can soak off your tips just like a real hand.
Follow all the same steps you would with a normal hand like drilling or filing down the surface and removing the excess tip. Then you can just dip the hand in some acetone and leave it.
Nail tech practice hand helpful tips.
Trainer hands that have a vice stand are great for getting realistic angles but be careful when setting it up. As Suzie from Nail Career Education warns that if you have a glass-top table, you can crack your table surface if you make the vice too tight.
She also suggests lightly filing the sides of your plastic finger if you’re having trouble getting your form stickers to stay in place.