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View Full Version : Best Metal Files (hand powered)



smyrna5
02-22-2007, 04:57 PM
I am not sure how many of you still use plain old hand powered metal files, but if you do, what brands and types do you recommend to people as a sort of basic kit for those don't necessarily want to be throwing sparks and wearing ear plugs all the time with our grinders?

Aerometalworker
02-22-2007, 05:51 PM
Aluminum or steel?

If Aluminum I love supershear files frol england

For steel Nicholson makes fine files in different cuts. They can even be sharpened when dull.

-Aaron

coalsmoke
02-22-2007, 05:54 PM
I love Nichelson (sp?), and always have a few real good ones handy:cool:

smyrna5
02-22-2007, 06:01 PM
Best place to buy em?

BillC
02-22-2007, 06:03 PM
Best place to buy em?I've seen them at either Home Depot or Lowes or maybe both...

smyrna5
02-22-2007, 06:06 PM
I've seen them at either Home Depot or Lowes or maybe both...

I was at Lowes today. They had a really awful selection of metal files.

1990notch
02-22-2007, 06:46 PM
I've always bought & liked Nicholson files myself. They've been owned by Cooper Tools for a while now. Cooper also owns Crescent and several other familiar brands. I sometimes see packaged assortments of Nicholson files or other Cooper Tools at Costco. I'm not certain because my memory is not as good as it used to be, but I seem to remember looking at the package and being disappointed that it said "Made in China". Or maybe it was on a package of Crecsent brand tongue & groove pliers. It was one of them though.

Monte55
02-22-2007, 07:13 PM
Aluminum or steel?

If Aluminum I love supershear files frol england

For steel Nicholson makes fine files in different cuts. They can even be sharpened when dull.

-Aaron

How do you sharpen a file?

Aerometalworker
02-22-2007, 07:34 PM
How do you sharpen a file?

With a chemical etching, provided the teeth arent all bent up from people back-stroking them.

-Aaron

BillC
02-22-2007, 07:36 PM
I was at Lowes today. They had a really awful selection of metal files.Then it must be Home Depot...

TJJ
02-22-2007, 07:58 PM
Nicholson is the best. IMHO

Use the right file for the job and keep them clean. I also oil them down regularly. Rust will ruin the cutting edge quick. Light coat of oil will make the chips clear the teeth easier. Use a file card often.

I get them at the local machine tool supply store or from MSC.

brianpgriset
02-22-2007, 09:25 PM
I've only ever used Nicholson but results have been good.

The big box stores do carry them, but I think for more of a selection you'll have to go to an industrial supply store like Fastenal, Enco, or McMaster-Carr, etc...

LarryL
02-22-2007, 10:04 PM
The Tin Man (Kent White) sells steel files for working aluminum at his website:

http://www.tinmantech.com/

Blacksmith
02-23-2007, 06:02 AM
You also may want to consider "chalking" the files. This fills the teeth with soft chalk that will encapsulate the metal filings, reducing the chance of scratching your work and making it easier to clean the file with a file card. This is something that gunsmiths do all the time since they are often using files as a step towards a finished polished surface. Buy quality files, use chalk, don't backstroke them, keep them clean dry and rust free and you will be amazed at how well they work. And you don't need an outlet or cord!;)

1990notch
02-23-2007, 10:58 AM
You also may want to consider "chalking" the files. This fills the teeth with soft chalk that will encapsulate the metal filings, reducing the chance of scratching your work and making it easier to clean the file with a file card. This is something that gunsmiths do all the time since they are often using files as a step towards a finished polished surface. Buy quality files, use chalk, don't backstroke them, keep them clean dry and rust free and you will be amazed at how well they work. Andyou don't need an outlet or cord!;)

I learned sometihng new today, thanks for the post!

Planet X
02-23-2007, 11:10 AM
1. PFERD
2. Simonds
3. Nicholson

usmcpop
02-23-2007, 12:17 PM
This place has all kinds of weird files. They even have a "Milled Curved Tooth File". I have an old one around that I love, but I never knew what it was called. And I didn't realize a new one costs around $50!

http://shorinternational.com/Files.htm