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Which type files to get

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by Railrider1920, Dec 25, 2010.

  1. Railrider1920


    Dec 14, 2010
    Hi Folks,
    I have searched through several pages and haven't found the right answer. I got a gift card for Lowes for Christmass so that is probably where I'll go to to buy some files for stock removal.

    What kinds of files should I be looking at? Bastard, ball, mill, rasp, straight, common...... names I have seen used for different types of files. I have read that Nicholson files and simmons(?) are two of the better brands, but what next? I don't know if they have Nicholson, but I did see Kobalt brand (lowes brand I think). Are they made by Nicholson? Are the kobalt files good to use?

    What types of files should I be starting off with? I was thinking of one that is long and wide of a "coarse" type "grit" and one of the same grit that is narrower and shorter. Then a medium "grit", same sizes as above.

    Would someone please let me know the proper names for the files I should be buying?
    Why is a bastard file called bastard? Always wondered about they........

    Forgot to mention, Hope everyone has a merry christmass!!
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2010
  2. 12345678910


    Jul 13, 2009

    If you are buying at Lowes, the selection will be limited to what the "normal" people buy

    I like half round files for working radius, but they are not at all common in a hardware store.

    Get a couple of the ones you do buy.
    then take one to the grinder and grind the small edge smooth.
    This is a safe edge and will let you file up into a corner on one side without removing material from both sides.

    This is especially helpful on guard fitting in small files
    Grind one file safe on the short edge, one edge safe on the flat side.
  3. SBuzek

    SBuzek KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 7, 2006
  4. Railrider1920


    Dec 14, 2010
    Thank you gentleman. I don't really ever use wickipedia and didn't even think about googleing types of files. I guess I'm in the "I don't want to look, just tell me" mode. I need to get out of it.........

    The lowes website has nicholson files listed. If they do in fact have them in the store, would they be the ones to use use, if they have bastard, second cut etc?

    Bastard then second cut. After the second cut, should I move to a smooth to get rid of the scratches made by the second cut file? Wouldn't that help out in the sanding process?

    Incase anyone else is interested, it's called a bastard file because:
  5. RJ Martin

    RJ Martin

    Oct 26, 1998
    Sears Craftsman files are reqlly quite good, and, if you wear them out, they will happily replace them for free......Forever.

    They usually have a nice selection of larger flat files in smooth and bastard cut, as well as round chain saw files.

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