Files

Kev

Well-Known Member
What is the best place, and best brand of files to buy? I am a novice filer, and am looking to up my game. Mostly looking to improve my finish/detail work.
With finishing in mind I most likely need to be looking for first and second cut files correct? Are there any of the shapes that are better than others? Or just used more?
 

Chris Railey

KNIFE MAKER
WhenI used files years ago I used nicolson but they are more than likely not the best. They are likely to be the best you can buy at a big box store though. Now I mostly use HF files but that is just to do hot work on blacksmithing projects.
 

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
Ed has a post floating around about Husky files. What makes them a deal is they have a lifetime replacement warranty. So basically it’s buy once and then unlimited replacement from Home Depot.
 
Mmmmm files deep question.. i personally use any file that works, as of now i use nicolson files. I work at a hardware and industrial store. When i started there 7 years ago I invested in some files, 90%% them where MADE IN USA, the store been in business for 130 years so they have a big inventory, step forward now that i am a "knifemaker" I have purchased every single USA made file we had in stock, my file collection is in the 100's I have every kind file you think of, have as many as 3 of each, I learn care for them very well. I have used a few make knives But personally there to nice being NOS stuff, I roam the flea markets for files for knives.
I have used HF files ther ok but dont cut as good as Nicholson files do, I have a few Husky, Oberg, Kfk, etc but always go to my NOS
 

C Craft

Well-Known Member
Nicholson used to be the best, they are crap now! The Mexican stuff won't even last for one use. They say the stuff made in Brazil is better but I can't testify to that as I haven't seen any of the Brazilian stock. It is an absolute shame that an American company that has been around forever, has killed itself like they have. Unless things change they will be by the wayside before long.

I have old stock files and card them often. A good file can be re-cut for teeth. I have a bookmark for a company I will look it up and post it later!

Grobert files are supposed to be good! They carry both American patterns as well as swiss patterns!

http://www.grobetusa.com/

http://www.grobetusa.com/files-american-pattern/

Simonds files are good as well, I am told
http://www.simondssaw.com/handfiles/Pages/default.aspx
 

Jason Volkert

Well-Known Member
check on flea(e) bay. Look up old/new stock Nicholson files. You can find never used Nicholson files from back when they were good.
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
There was a time when the only serious file to buy was Nicholson, but even that company has bowed to the "profit above all" mindset. Meaning that they have "cheapened" the materials and methods used in their files in order to realize as much profit margin as possible. The ONLY Nicholson file that I still consider "good" are the one's marked with "Black Diamond". They are harder and harder to find, and tend to be about 1/3 more expensive then the standard Nicholson files. Several years ago I had one of those analyzed, and the results were identical to 1095, with the exception of carbon content.....that came back as 1.27%. That doesn't mean the material hasn't changed, as companies are constantly seeking ways to reduce production costs, and increase bottom line profits.

In general, expect just about any/every file that can be commercially obtained to be case hardened material..... unless you can prove it otherwise. About 2 years ago I was wondering through Home Depot....and noticed that the Husky brand files were marked with "Lifetime Warranty". This got me to thinking, and I went to the service desk, and asked about the warranty..... to include "Does the warranty cover the files wearing out?" The answer I got was "If you are not satisfied, for any reason, return them with the receipt, and we will replace them." I purchased two sets of the following: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-Multi-Purpose-File-Set-10-Piece-H10PCFS/206313272 Since then, I have returned/replaced a total of 12 sets under the warranty. I simply cut a slot in the packaging, and store the receipt there, so I can find it when I need to return/replace. I've had some folks who question me doing this, saying that I am taking advantage, but in my mind, if the labeling states "Lifetime Warranty", then that's exactly what it should be.
 

Robert66

Well-Known Member
Listen to the experts on here Kev and you will benefit greatly.

Nicholson files are ace but in the UK where I dwell most old files made in Sheffield are really good IMHO, so we have good options.

I started with old used files and struggled before discovering this forum, I still struggle sometimes but always get shown a fix.

The lads on here persuaded me to buy some 1080+ which to myself is ace.

Good luck

Robert
 

Chris Railey

KNIFE MAKER
There was a time when the only serious file to buy was Nicholson, but even that company has bowed to the "profit above all" mindset. Meaning that they have "cheapened" the materials and methods used in their files in order to realize as much profit margin as possible. The ONLY Nicholson file that I still consider "good" are the one's marked with "Black Diamond". They are harder and harder to find, and tend to be about 1/3 more expensive then the standard Nicholson files. Several years ago I had one of those analyzed, and the results were identical to 1095, with the exception of carbon content.....that came back as 1.27%. That doesn't mean the material hasn't changed, as companies are constantly seeking ways to reduce production costs, and increase bottom line profits.

In general, expect just about any/every file that can be commercially obtained to be case hardened material..... unless you can prove it otherwise. About 2 years ago I was wondering through Home Depot....and noticed that the Husky brand files were marked with "Lifetime Warranty". This got me to thinking, and I went to the service desk, and asked about the warranty..... to include "Does the warranty cover the files wearing out?" The answer I got was "If you are not satisfied, for any reason, return them with the receipt, and we will replace them." I purchased two sets of the following: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-Multi-Purpose-File-Set-10-Piece-H10PCFS/206313272 Since then, I have returned/replaced a total of 12 sets under the warranty. I simply cut a slot in the packaging, and store the receipt there, so I can find it when I need to return/replace. I've had some folks who question me doing this, saying that I am taking advantage, but in my mind, if the labeling states "Lifetime Warranty", then that's exactly what it should be.
Husky files it is...thanks Ed. P.S. I agree lifetime warranty means lifetime...
 

J. Doyle

Dealer - Purveyor
My experience with husky files is that they are not very good quality.

To clarify...they cut okay but they are crooked, warped and have uneven cutting faces and edges. The 3 square and knife edge files don't have even or straight cutting edges and the cutting teeth don't come all the way to the edge.

Files like this may be fine for rough/hogging work but the OP indicated wanting files for fine finish/detail/precision work. I have several husky sets for home depot but use them only for rough work.

For my fine detail work, the husky sets stay on the shelf.
 

Chris Railey

KNIFE MAKER
Did not think about crooked files...which ones do you use J.Doyle? Then again, if I file crooked with straight files maybe I will file straight with crooked files.
 

J. Doyle

Dealer - Purveyor
I use F. Dick brand but there are plenty of other brands that are high quality. But you have to look outside of the walk in chain/big box stores.

Really good files aren't cheap, but if you compared a good one to a Nicholson or a husky or whatever other box store brand, its like night and day.
 

Robert66

Well-Known Member
Now, in the UK we are bombarded with cheapo rubbish files with coloured plastic handles from everywhere aabroad it seems.
Any file from Sheffield was good but I do not REALLY know nowadays.

BTW, Sheffield was a major class steel producer of yesteryear
 

CMS3900

Well-Known Member
I have a handful of files I use for rough work, and a handful of files I use for finer work. For the rough work I tend to use Nicholson files. For fine work I use Grobet (riffler and needle files), Pferd's, or a few good Nicholsons I have. The Pferd Corinox files are expensive but will cut a hardened and tempered blade. They are HT'ed to HRC70 and are made for stainless applications. I purchased all of those files from MSC or Fastenal.
One file that hasn't been mentioned that I like to keep around is a chainsaw blade file. They cut well and can get into tight spots.
 

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
A chainsaw blade file is fantastic for starting an inside radius, too. Then progress to larger round files. Super handy file to have.
 
Top