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How to choose the hand file

Posted on Aug. 23, 2019

                                                           How to choose the right Hand File?

Although there are numerous sizes, shapes and types, files generally fall into one of the categories listed below. Within these categories, there are standard variations, each with a particular design. Remember, don’t feel limited by the listed applications—use whatever file works for your project. Check out our file identification chart to see how many different files are available.


American Pattern Files

Machinist’s Files
Generally, machinist’s files are double cut for rapid, maximum stock removal. These files are used in numerous applications and on most metals and are available in a variety of profiles and cuts.

Saw Sharpening Files
Saw files are usually single cut to deliver a smoother finish. They are suited to sharpening saw blades and dressing tool edges, especially where a finer, sharper edge or smoother surface finish is desired.

Special-Purpose Files
These are file-like tools that have been developed over time for specific applications or materials. Examples of special-purpose files include wood rasps, foam files and body filler files. Shape, tooth pattern and other material-specific criteria determine the optimum use for these files.

Swiss Pattern Files

Die-Sinker Files
Mini versions of machine and knife files, die sinker files are designed to dress and finish  dies. They’re available with tangs for small handles and often come in sets that include a variety of profiles.

Die-Sinker Rifflers
Somewhat resembling dentists tools, rifflers have uncut middle sections, making them safer and more comfortable to handle. Rifflers have slender, narrow ends to facilitate fine detail work. There are two types of riffler files—die-sinker rifflers and silversmith rifflers, both available in a variety of patterns and shapes. Die-sinker rifflers tend to be smaller and finer—the tools of die-sinkers, jewelers and instrument makers. Silversmith rifflers have longer middle sections and wider ends.  
Needle Files
Needle files feature a double cut pattern. Used by jewelers, die makers and other detail craftsmen, needle files come in 12 different shapes and feature long, knurled handles. Because of their diminutive size, some needle files have integrated plastic handles to decrease finger cramping, cuts and abrasions.


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