Over four months, a huge panel of testers tried out all the current callus removers on the market. The testers had one simple goal; to find and crown best callus remover.
And what a disgusting four months it was. I don’t even like looking at my own feet, let alone that of a stranger. But for the sake of the a good review I got down and dirty, comparing calluses before and after and getting coated in a good amount of skin filings in the process. Yuck.
Over the four months we got to know all the callus removers very intimately. We learned how they work, the best way to use them as well as their shortcomings.
So I present to you, the most up to date guide on callus removers that you will find on the entire internet. And it is continually being updated. Even as this guide gets published a further two electrics callus removers are in the process of being tested.
This guide is BIG. Use the links below to jump to your preferred section.
- Callus remover 101 – An introduction to the different types of callus removers.
- Best electric callus remover – Which electric callus remover is best?
- And the rest… – The electric callus removers that didn’t make the cut.
- Best manual callus remover – Which manual callus remover is best?
- And the rest… – The manual callus removers that didn’t make the cut.
Callus remover 101
This section will quickly get you up to speed on the exciting world of callus removers.
What is a callus remover?
A callus remover is any product or device that wears away at the dry layers of skin to expose the healthy softer skin underneath.
Different types of callus removers
There are three different types of products that are commonly used to treat calluses and other rough and thick patches of skin. Let’s take a closer look at each:
1. Manual callus remover
A manual callus remover is essentially a coarse surface that you move back and forth across your dried skin to remove it.
If you think that is a broad description then you are right. Manual callus removers come in all different shapes and sizes; from handheld cheese graters and coarse pumice stones to rasps and even razor blades.
Because you can pause to examine your calluses after each swipe, manual callus removers allow you to retain the most control over just how much skin you remove.
Manual callus removers can be quite aggressive. Unless care is taken it can be easy to remove too much skin. Removing too much skin can lead to sensitivity, soreness or even draw blood.
- Gives you the most control when it comes to skin removal.
- Effective removal of tough and stubborn skin.
- Each product is generally only designed for one area of the body (e.g feet).
- Care is required so that you do not remove too much skin.
- Not suitable for those with wrist injuries or similar disabilities that would prevent use.
2. Electric callus remover
Think of an electric callus remover as a cylinder of sandpaper that spins really quickly. This cylinder is called a roller. When the roller touches your dried skin, it will buff it down.
The key advantage of electric callus removers is that they are incredibly easy to use. Whether you are exhausted after your week of work, have a limited range of movement due to injury or disability or are just plain lazy, you will be pleased to know that your electric callus remover will do all the work for you.
Electric callus removers are generally more gentle than their manual cousins and some models can even be used on multiple parts of your body. Pressing down too hard will cause the device to stop, to prevent you from removing too much skin.
Do not buy an electric callus remover thinking that it will be quicker than a manual one. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The benefit of an electric callus remover is that it is gentler, not quicker.
As the callus remover scrapes at your dry skin, it will grind it into small grains of skin dust. The dust is so fine that beginners often confuse it with smoke coming out of their device. Because this dust can cause a lot of mess, you will want to use your electric callus remover in a location where the dust can be collected for easy disposal.
With continued use, the roller of your electric callus remover will begin to wear down. If you wish to continue using your electric callus remover you will need to purchase replacement rollers, which will be an ongoing cost.
- Easy to use
- Gentle on skin
- Can be used on multiple parts of the body
- Skin dust can be messy
- Locked into buying roller refills
- Takes longer than a coarse manual callus remover
3. Callus removal Gel/Cream
You may have come across callus removal gel at your day spa or nail salon. Callus remover cream is applied directly to the patches of dried skin. It is then left to sit before being washed off, hopefully leaving your skin soft and callus free.
I say hopefully because during our testing; results fluctuated wildly from person to person, even when using the same brand. While some people would notice visible improvements immediately after use, others required repeated applications before any improvement could be observed.
More often than not a manual or electric callus remover was still required after using the callus removing gel to see satisfactory results.
It is for this reason that we did not pick a winner when it came to callus removing creams and balms.
Your Mileage May Vary.
- Easy to apply
- Not suitable for cracked skin
- Can contain harsh chemicals
- Can require multiple applications to see acceptable results
- Can cause burns and irritation to those with sensitive skin.
Important note: Callus removers do the hard work in removing the dead skin, it’s the follow up treatment, such as moisturizer, that keeps them soft and smooth. Also, unless you remove the cause of the calluses (sandles, going barefoot etc.) you can expect your calluses to return. A callus remover on its own will not leave you with baby soft skin.
Best Electric Callus Remover
There were two brands that tied equal first for the title of best electric callus remover. Amope and Emjoi. Both brands have multiple models available on the market at various price points.
Surprisingly the basic models from each brand performed well enough that we would only recommend jumping up to the higher models if you find one of the features particularly attractive.
Amope Electric Callus Removers
Amope is perhaps one of the most well known makers of callus removers. Amope has stuck with a quality not quantity approach and essentially only offers two different electric callus removers in it’s Pedi Perfect range.
The Amope Pedi Perfect are sleek and colorful callus removals that look as good as they perform. Roller refills are readily available both online and at major retailers like CVS, Walmart and Target.
Amope Pedi Perfect
If you are looking for an effective and easy to hold callus remover the Amope Pedi Perfect is our top pick. We particularly liked that the roller head was not recessed. This allowed more of the roller to make contact with the skin, making it suitable for large areas of dried skin, like the heels.
There are two different models of the Amope Pedi Perfect, The standard model (blue) and the Extra-coarse model (pink). The only difference between the two is the roller head. If you have particularly stony skin then we recommend choosing the extra coarse model. But don’t worry, if you are unhappy with your choice you can always buy the other roller head separately.
For more information, check out our detailed review of the Amope Pedi Perfect.
Amope Pedi Perfect Wet & Dry
The Pedi Perfect Wet & Dry is the Rolls Royce of callus removers. It takes everything that the Basic Pedi Perfect offered and improves upon it. A sleeker handle, rechargeable battery and the ability to use it in the bath or shower.
As you might expect, these luxurious extras do not come cheap. The Amope Pedi Perfect Wet & Dry is one the most expensive at-home electric callus removable available. While these extra features may prove to be tempting, it removes calluses equally as well as the basic model.
For more information, check out our detailed review of the Amope Pedi Perfect Wet and Dry.
Emjoi Callus Removers
Emjoi has taken a completely different approach to Amope and offers more varieties of electric callus removers than any other brand.
While the Emjoi Micro-Pedi range is seriously ugly compared to other electric callus removers, they get the job done. The main benefit of Emjoi callus removers is the wide variety of rollers available to choose from. While most brands only offer one or two grades of coarseness, Micro-Pedi offers 5 as well as a number of precision rollers to help grind down much smaller calluses.
The selection of rollers make a big difference to the experience. If Emjoi did not offer the wide variety of rollers then we would have outright awarded the title of best electric callus remover to the Amope Pedi Perfect above.
For more information check out our guide to Emjoi Micro-Pedi rollers.
Emjoi will often offer their models in both a battery operated and a corded model. The key difference between the two is that as the batteries begin to drain, the roller will spin slower and slower. The corded models plug directly into your power outlet and do not suffer from this problem. The downside is that the corded models are less portable.
Emjoi Micro Pedi Nano
The cheapest and smallest Emjoi Micro Pedi packs a powerful motor into a small portable size.
The Emjoi Micro-Pedi Nano comes in three different styles:
- Nano – The basic battery operated model
- Nano Man – Same as the basic model but comes with a coarser roller
- Nano Corded – Requires a power outlet to use
Despite each model varying slightly, all offer identical performance with the same roller installed.
For more information, check out our detailed review of the Micro-Pedi Nano.
Emjoi Micro-Pedi Callus Remover
The Emjoi Micro Pedi Callus remover performs identically to the Micro Pedi Nano above. The key difference is the handle being twice as long. This can make reaching the calluses on your feet a simpler task, especially if you have flexibility issues.
We broke the battery cover on one of our test units a little too easily when removing it. We suspect this is a common problem since Emjoi actually stocks replacement battery covers for this model.
Micro-Pedi Pro Rechargeable
Looking near identical to the model above, the Micro-Pedi Pro is rechargeable and spins at a 50% faster rate. Despite spinning faster we did not notice that the Micro-Pedi Pro removed calluses any quicker than the lower models.
There is also a corded option available but given that it is equally as powerful and has to be used near a power outlet we do have to wonder why you would bother with it.
Another rechargeable option. This time Emjoi Adds an elbow exfoliation roller and precision roller kit into the mix. The entire head can be removed from the body for ease of cleaning.
Despite the extras, the handle feels like a step backwards and was much more difficult to grip than the previous models. Not recommended.
Emjoi Seal Micro Pedi
A 2-in-1 Epilator and Micro-Pedi. While this may seem like a great deal, the Emjoi Seal doesn’t really excel at either job. Throw in the uncomfortably chunky handle and the expensive price point and you have an Electric callus remover that we do not recommend.
And the rest…
As you can see, Emjoi’s product offering gets worse and worse the more expensive it gets. But they still managed to beat out the other electric callus removers on the market.
Let’s take a closer look at the other models we tested and why they fell short.
Silk’N Callus Care
One of the most stylish electric callus removers on the market. The rollers come in two grades of coarseness and effectively removed tough dry skin. Over all we were satisfied with the workmanship and effectiveness.
The minor gripes were that skin dust had a bad habit of building up behind the roller head and the replacement rollers are somewhat expensive relative to other brands.
For more information, check out our detailed review of the Silk’N Callus Care.
Overall this is a great performing electric callus remover.
Dr Scholl’s DreamWalk Express Pedi Foot Smoother
Dr Scholl’s is well known for it’s callus and corn fighting foot products. Their attempt at an electric callus remover is essentially a better looking Emjoi product.
But while the Dr Scholl’s DreamWalk Express Pedi Foot Smoother (horrible name by the way) feels like a more solid product, it is let down by only offering a single coarseness of roller.
For more information, check out our detailed review of the Silk’N Callus Care.
UTILYZE CR700B Electronic Foot File
The UTILYZE CR700B claims to be of the most powerful callus removers on the market. And on paper, it is. The motor can spin the roller over 50 times per second.
Unfortunately, the UTILYZE CR700B simply does not live up to the hype. Despite the faster spinning roller we actually found it was less effective at removing calluses than models that spin at 30 times per second.
The roller head also stops with far too little pressure, the lack of a safety switch on the power button and a protective cover that comes off with little effort saw this callus remover drop to the bottom of the pack.
One of the cheapest electric callus removers on the market. The small recessed roller head was our least favorite type out of all the electric callus removers we tested.
You may have noticed that the Pursonic CR360 looks near identical to the UTILYZE callus remover above. To put it simply, they are made from the same mold. The roller heads are even interchangeable.
This design is commonly found cheap, generic callus removers. Every callus remover we tested with a similar design failed to impress.
We were amazed that Pursonic was able to squeeze a rechargeable battery and light into the CR400R and still price it at under $20. If you think that sounds too good to be true then you are correct.
While the light and battery worked surprisingly well, the problems can be found with the roller. Only one grade of coarseness is available, and to call it coarse is being generous. The roller also wore down at a much quicker rate than other brands.
The handle also smells strongly of uncured plastic. Even when left to air, the smell lingered.
The newest Pursonic callus remover is essentially a clone of the Amope Pedi Perfect. At half the price. Even the image of feet on the front of the packaging is identical.
For some odd reason Pursonic has decided to replace the easy to grip rubber handle found on the Pedi Perfect with glossy plastic which makes the experience suffer.
While the Pursonic CR500 could effectively remove calluses, replacement rollers were not readily available.
Ped Egg Power
Cheap and nasty. The plastic finish has sharp burs, the motor is underpowered and it isn’t very effective at removing calluses. The Ped Egg Power has no redeeming qualities.
The worst brand name electric callus remover we tested. Avoid it.
For more information, check out our detailed review of the Ped Egg Power.
Ped Egg Powerball
With the bar set low by the Ped Egg Power, it is unsurprising that the Ped Egg Powerball is in every way it’s better.
Packing in a rechargeable battery, an LED light and a pivoting head, the Ped Egg Powerball aims to dazzle you with features. Unfortunately the LED light and Pivoting head are worthless.
Surprisingly, the roller was actually quite effective at removing calluses, however this is likely because the design imitates roller head of the Pedi Perfect. In fact, you can use the Pedi Perfect replacement rollers on the Ped Egg Powerball, which makes finding replacements much easier.
An effective callus remover hampered by poor design.
For more information, check out our detailed review of the Ped Egg Powerball.
Taiff SoftFeet Professional Callus Remover
The Taiff Soft feet is the most expensive electric callus remover we tested. At over $100 this product is designed for to be used by professionals with many clients.
While the abrasive pads were effective at grinding off dead skin, the unit is too bulky to be comfortable used on your own feet. As you might have guessed, this product is designed for one person to use on another’s feet.
For professional use, the SoftFeet is in a league of it’s own. Rather than rollers, abrasive stickers are used. The replacement stickers are cheap enough that it is cost effective to change them for each client.
Best Manual Callus Remover
As we touched on earlier in this guide, manual callus removers come in all different shapes and sizes. As you would expect, performance varied wildly from one type to the next.
There were two clear winners.
1. Microplane Collosal Pedicure Rasp
Best Manual Callus Remover For Cracked Heals
The first standout manual callus remover is from Microplane and case the name didn’t give it away, this callus remover is big. The large size makes it perfect for removing hard cracked skin from your heels.
Think of the Microplane Collosal Pedicure Rasp as a cheese grater for your feet. The Metal piece is made in America and removes skin in both forward and back motions.
Now I must warn you, the Pedicure Rasp is quite aggressive. Skin bits and dust will fly off your feet like a buzz saw. It’s almost too effective. If you are using this callus remover for the first time I recommend removing a bit of skin over a few nights since it is very easy to remove too much skin, leaving you with painful throbbing feet.
The only downside to the Microplane Collosal Pedicure Rasp is that the handle gives off a strong plastic smell when you first open the packaging. Fortunately if you leave the Pedicure Rasp to air the smell will quickly fade.
Oh, and it’s also available in pink.
2. Opi Callus Foot File
Best Manual Callus Remover For Hands and All-round Comfort
Sandpaper foot files are much less aggressive than the cheese grater types and are a better option for moderate cases of dry skin or for touch ups once you have removed your calluses with a more aggressive option.
When it comes to Sandpaper foot files none could outdo the Opi Callus Foot File. The sandpaper head is double sided. On one side is a medium-coarse head and on the other is a finer grained head.
While the Medium-coarse head of the OPI worked wonders on the feet and underside of the toes, the finer head is gentle enough that you can use it on your hands and elbows.
In fact, out of all the manual callus removers we tested, the OPI was the only one that didn’t leave our testers red raw when ran across the hands and elbows. Still, a light touch is required when grinding over these sensitive areas since removing healthy skin can still be painful.
And the rest…
But what about the other manual callus removers?
While the remaining callus removers we tested were all capable of removing dead skin, they were outclassed by the callus removers put forward by OPI and Microplane.
Below I will quickly cover the other manual callus removers and where they fell short.
Sof Feet Callus Reducer
One of the more popular manual callus removers out there. We were impressed with how well the Sof Feet Callus Reducer performed at removing built-up dried skin with it’s coarse screen, particular from the heels. Don’t be fooled by it’s looks, this callus remover is surprisingly aggressive.
Unfortunately, the Sof Feet Callus Reducer was let down by it’s handle. The handle is thin, slippery and the least comfortable to hold out of all the manual callus removers we tested. While the clear plastic does look striking, it scratches easily, especially if you accidentally drag the screen across it.
The screen will wear down over time and need to be replaced, and the sof feet replacement sheets of screen are not cheap given what it actually is.
The screen is essentially the same medium screen used to sand back drywall. For cheap replacements we recommend going down to your local hardware, buying a sheet and cutting it to size.
Tweezerman Safety Slide Callus Shaver with Rasp
A double sided callus remover with a razor blade on one side and a rasp on the other.
The razorblade is used cut off those small deep calluses on your feet that cause pain, like a pebble in your shoe. The razor blade is protected by a metal lip to stop you from cutting the tender skin beneath your callus. However, care must be taken and if you angle the razorblade incorrectly the you will leave yourself with a nasty gash.
We noticed that the razor blades dulled quite quickly on testers with tougher than normal calluses. When the blade becomes to blunt to use; you will need to purchase replacement blades, sold separately.
The small size of the razorblade head makes it unsuitable for shaving off large areas of calluses. The rasp end is equally narrow and despite it’s looks is surprisingly gentle.
If you have small pebble-like calluses on your feet that rapidly grow back then you may appreciate the callus shaver. But for the majority there are better options out there.
Dr Scholls DreamWalk Exfoliating Stone File
We actually really liked the Dr Scholl’s Exfoliating Stone File. Think of it as a more aggressive pumice stone with a handle. The curved shape made it easy to remove calluses on the arch of the foot.
Using the narrow edge of the stone allowed for more precision. You can really focus in on trouble spots or under the toe.
Unfortunately, the heads are largely inconsistent We bought three Exfoliating Stone Files to test and while two worked just fine, one had a few grains that were sharp enough to draw blood.
The head of the Dr Scholls DreamWalk Exfoliating Stone also loses it’s coating rather quickly. After our testing period the Dreamwalk Exfoliating stone had suffered from very noticeable wear.
The Ped Egg pedicure Foot File
Probably the best known callus remover we tested and if you recognize the name then chances are you have seen the cheesy infomercials.
Lifting the lid of the Ped Egg reveals a miniature cheese grater and a compartment that catches the dead skin that gets filed off your foot.
Unfortunately it just didn’t live up to the hype.
While the grater adequately removes calluses from the bottom of your feet; in comparison to that of the unbeatable Microplane Colossal Foot File it fell short. Thick patches of skin that were worn down in moments by the Microplane seemed to take forever with the Ped Egg.
By the end of the testing period it became brutally apparent why Ped Egg sells replacement grater pieces in packs of three. The grater had considerably dulled on all of our units. While performance was never amazing, it noticeably got worse and worse over the testing period.
Then there is the body. It just feels cheap and flimsy. Not recommended.
The Classic Pumice Stone
A pumice stone is a type of volcanic rock and it’s abrasive properties have been recorded since roman times. Pumice stone are surprisingly effective at sloughing off dead skin and gentle enough to be used on any area of your body.
Because pumice stone is naturally occurring, no two will be the same. All our purchased pumice stones differed from each other and some were noticeably coarser than others. You cannot be guaranteed the same performance with each purchase.
The Pumice stone is also somewhat awkward to hold and as we learned breakable. When one of the testers dropped the pumice stone it broke into smaller pieces.
While we loved the idea of a completely natural callus remover, the pumice stone was less practical than our top picks.