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Files: details, differences and where to buy?

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Files: details, differences and where to buy?

Old 08-04-19, 07:30 PM
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bobmarteal
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Files: details, differences and where to buy?

I am setting up a shop and need I am trying to track down some files. The course i just completed is a do it by hand operation and that is the way i'll get started. So i'm trying to track down files. I pretty-much know what i'm looking for as far as size etc. My questions:


1) hat brands to people recommend/is there a noticeable difference?

2) Any recommendations of a place i can go and pick and choose what i'm after? Most sites I've seen are a bit obtuse.


Thanks so much for your time.


~bob
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Old 08-04-19, 09:09 PM
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Bob- Where are you? USA or elsewhere. As you're just starting out I might suggest that you'll be running through your files at a faster rate in the beginning then after a few years of skill building. Not sure that file quality will make a big difference yet. I suspect a wider range of file shapes and sizes will be a greater value starting up then real nice ones but of only a few shapes/sizes.

Here in the USA we have industrial suppliers like https://www.mcmaster.com/hand-files and others to source files from. Although I have done the local hardware store many times before. Andy
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Old 08-04-19, 10:53 PM
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unterhausen
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The newer Nicholson seem to be a lot better than the ones they sold when they first moved production out of the U.S. I have bought them at Home Depot and Northern Tool
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Old 08-05-19, 10:47 AM
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Try finding used files. You can get lucky, I know I did. A neighbor of mine back around 95 was selling his tools. He was a home builder that got his start in the 40's and had some really nice hand tools. I picked up a hand full of files, C clamps, and a Miller miter saw. All of the files except one has held up perfectly. 4 frames have been built plus several frame repairs.
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Old 08-06-19, 02:00 PM
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Doug Fattic 
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My favorite file brand Is Bahco. They are made in Portugal and can be bought online from PTS in Detroit. In decending order of quality is Simonds next and then Nickolson below that. Nickolsonís quality has been a bit uneven since they started production oversees. The ones from Columbia are now better than when they were made in Brazil. But neither are as nice as when they were made in the US. I donít like Grobet American Pattern files at all. They seem to dull quickly. However their Swiss Pattern files are quality. I have a variety of those in various file cuts in both 6Ē and 4Ē.

My favorite file handles are Scroo-zon. I like the feel of a wood handle much better than plastic. And with the threaded inserts, files donít come loose. The suggested sizes they have in catalogs never fit the files they say they are supposed to fit. I can email you a chart that will get the right handle on the right file because I have tested them myself.

A sharp file can save lots of time and frustration and allow you to do better work faster. I hate it when they get even slightly dull. You didnít ask but in case someone else is looking for file advice, I recommend a size run from 4Ē to 12Ē of both round in a bastard cut and half round with a 2nd cut.
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Old 10-22-19, 06:00 PM
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Thanks for the info Doug. I’m shopping for files now and was curious in sizes to get.
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Old 10-22-19, 06:12 PM
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Doug Fattic 
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Originally Posted by Roger Bloom View Post
Thanks for the info Doug. Iím shopping for files now and was curious in sizes to get.
If you can afford it, I would recommend getting a size run of American Pattern half round bastard cut files. More specifically that would be a 4", 6", 8", 10" and 12". In addition I would suggest getting the same sizes (from 4" to 12") in round files that are also American Pattern but instead get 2nd cut. Other specific files can also be useful for example I like the Grobet Swiss Pattern 6" half round with a #1 cut for shaping lug edges.
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Old 10-22-19, 08:02 PM
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Roger Bloom
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Thanks! Much appreciated!
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Old 02-25-21, 12:11 PM
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This thread is a bit old now but are there any new thoughts on what files are good quality? Anyone buy some recently that you're happy with? Thanks.
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Old 02-25-21, 01:49 PM
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Did anyone mention Bahco last time? I think they purchased a decent brand of files. I can't imagine files are going to be improving, the main market for them really disappeared now that deburring is done with cnc machines.

I have been happy with the Nicholson files I can buy locally. I have been known to abuse files.

Last edited by unterhausen; 02-25-21 at 03:18 PM.
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Old 02-25-21, 04:45 PM
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Bahco is a good brand. I broke one of our mechanics files and got him a Bahco to replace it and he is quite happy, he got me hooked on Snap-On and Bahco is a Snap-On brand so it made sense. I like the handles of them that is what attracted me to it.
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