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I had to think how I wanted to word this and that is why I chose "great files"! I have always bought what I considered to be "good files". The problem is there are no good files any more in the US that I know of.

 

I had the privilege of making a new broach saw today and went through two Nicholson, Slim Taper File, 6 In, Triangular, American, 2A505_AS01.JPGfiling the teeth into the saw.

 

Since Nicholson went to Mexico they aren't worth a crap! I cleaned every few strokes with a file card and both finally just got to where they wouldn't cut anymore.

 

1. What kind of files are you all buying to do file work on your knives and where are you getting them????

 

2. Do I have to resort to buying Swiss or something like that and if so are they going to cost an arm and a leg or my first born???

 

 

Before someone says the one I got pictured is one of the cheap ones I know that! I just borrowed a pic. I have heard it said that the companies like MSC and ENCO are carrying the good ones.

 

Is this true or just another internet rumor????

 

 

I guess my biggest thing here is I don't mind spending the money for good files but before I drop $40.00 apiece for small files I got to know they are good and worth the dough. After all at that price you can tie up some serious money and if I used one of them once and had to chunk it I would be slightly :angry: . so any advice shared here and or links to direct products will be greatly appreciated. After all good file work on a knife requires a great file! :rolleyes:

 

A couple of other things what is the difference between a Swiss pattern and American pattern on a file? Here is two both by Nicholson, one is American pattern and the other Swiss pattern. So can someone lend me some knowledge here.

 

Also are Simonds files good files??

 

AMERICAN PATTERN NICHOLSON: https://www.mscdirect.com/product/details/80761141

 

SWISS PATTERN NICHOLSON: https://www.mscdirect.com/product/details/97111280?item=97111280&fromRR=Y

 

Feel free to school me because the more research I am doing the less I am beginning to think I know about ordering good files, anyone!!!

Edited by C Craft
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62 views and no advice!11.gif54.gif Guys I am not looking for anything but info here. Nicholson used to be the best file out there in the US but, since they went to Mexico, they ain't worth bringing home.

 

Is there stuff that is being sold by the big companies like MSC and Enco the good stuff, or is that just another internet fable??

 

Are the Simonds files any good??

 

What is the difference between a Swiss pattern cut on a file, and an American pattern cut when it comes to buying files??

 

The reason I asked for links to great files is I do not want to throw hundreds of dollars at buying files that are no good! Also a direct link will keep you from pounding the keys of the ole PC forever. If you have the knowledge to answer these questions please feel free to share! One reason I put this here is that files and lack of good ones has been a problem every since I started this obsession years ago. I do realize files are on the expendables list, like sandpaper and belts, and I do know what to do to extend the life of a file. Problem is I don't want to throw one away as often as you do sandpaper!

 

Last thing those that are doing file work your knives please let me know what kind you are using. So far I haven't found a source for needle files that will hold up and I have purchased some of them from the large companies like MSC and Enco, etc. Any help will be appreciated!35.gif

 

I realize it takes good tools to do a great job and that is what I am looking for in this thread!!

Edited by C Craft
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I'm in the same boat regarding what to get now. I wouldn't take a new Nicholson if you gave it to me, they no longer make files as far as I'm concerned. The saw-filers have a forum like ours in which they had this discussion a while back, and one of them said he had a Brazil-made Nicholson that was better than the Mexican ones, but still not as good as the old USA Nicholsons. They recommend Bahco (formerly Sandvik), made in Portugal. I couldn't find any in the sizes I wanted, though, and even then I only found them for sale in boxes of a dozen.

 

Simmonds are pretty good, and are still USA as far as I know. They just don't make the ones I need. I was thinking about going to Grobet, but the sawfilers said most of them are now made in India and not worth it.

 

My biggest issue if finding the sizes I like. I like to use the biggest file I can find for roughing out hawk heads, and nobody seems to make one bigger than 12" anymore. I have two 16" mill bastards (old Nicholson and Mexican Nicholson) that I have used to death (6 years out of the USA Nicholson, one month out of the Mexican one) and one of these days I'm going to send my USA ones to those guys out in California who offer a file-sharpening service. The Mexican ones are trash as far as I'm concerned, I won't even attempt recycling them into blades. I may run 'em through an oroshigane furnace, but I may just toss 'em.

 

Now then: Swiss pattern versus American pattern is mostly about the teeth, although you'll have noticed the shapes are a bit different as well. American file teeth are usually single cut and come in three grades of fineness of cut: Bastard, second cut, and smooth. Swiss pattern are always double-cut and come in eight grades of smoothness, ranging from 00 on the coarse end to 6 on the fine end (00, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). 00 is about as course as American bastard, #3 is about as smooth as American smooth. #6 is very fine indeed.

 

I've never used Pferd or that other German brand.

 

It sometimes sucks to be among the last people who actually use something, doesn't it? Once there were thousands of file shapes and sizes, now there's about 25.

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I've mentioned Boggs Tool here a few times for file sharpening. I resist being over-enthusiastic, but it is to me an invaluable resource. Often files come back sharper than new. There is a limit to how many times they can be resharpened depending on size and cut.

 

I'm not sure why it doesn't seem to catch on here.

 

They also sell quality resharpened files and new files.

 

I've always had good luck with Grobet. Didn't know about being made in India.

 

So I'll say it again. Do yourself a favor and send your tired but favored files off for a trial.

 

http://www.boggstool.com

Edited by Jim Kelso
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Alan thanks for the info on the difference between the American and Swiss cut! I think I am going to try some of the German made files and see what I think of them. I have yet to find any needle files worth a darn.

 

Jim I am going to have to run a few of mind out to have them re-teethed, thanks for the link.

 

It is just a shame as too where the quality has gone to here in the American products anymore, everything has went overseas or at least out of country, to produce a cheaper product and that is just what they end up with a cheaper product that will eventually put them out of business!glare.gif

We use be among the best in everything and now.......................................what China doesn't already own we are buying right back from them and it ain't worth bringing home!!!23.gif

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Thanks, Jim, as I said I've been meaning to send Boggs a load of old files for years. I just haven't gotten the stars in the proper alignment to get off my butt and do it. :wacko:

 

And about Grobet, apparently not all of them are made in India, but some of the cheaper and more common shapes are. There's some kind of loophole in Swiss law that allows them to stamp "Switzerland" on something as long as the company is headquartered in Switzerland. It has to say "Made in Switzerland" or "Swiss made" to be actually made there.

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Thanks, Jim, as I said I've been meaning to send Boggs a load of old files for years. I just haven't gotten the stars in the proper alignment to get off my butt and do it. :wacko:

 

And about Grobet, apparently not all of them are made in India, but some of the cheaper and more common shapes are. There's some kind of loophole in Swiss law that allows them to stamp "Switzerland" on something as long as the company is headquartered in Switzerland. It has to say "Made in Switzerland" or "Swiss made" to be actually made there.

Alan thanks for the info on the Swiss made! :blink::lol:

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I'm getting ready to make a file purchase so I've been looking into this subject as well. At one time I swore by Nickolsons, but they have seriously disappointed me over the last few years. If you can find old stock made in the USA, go for it, otherwise don't bother, you'd be better off buying files made in China.

 

Simonds have yet to disappoint me, every file I've owned made by them has been well worth the money. A Simonds Multi Kut is on my list of files to buy.

 

I came across this thread at bladeforums, Grapevine's post in particular is of value....

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I do have a 12" Simmonds MultiKut that works well, especially after I ground one safe edge on it. I also have a 14" Vixen that will happily tear your thumb off if you don't pay attention, in fact I have to wear a heavy glove on my left hand to use it without getting a series of cuts. It removes steel like a banshee on meth riding the devil's own racehorse across a freshly plowed field, with the resulting finish to equal that mental image. It is a heavy stock removal-only file, in my opinion, but still has its place.

 

I have two Warrensburg long-angle lathe files that are excellent, and one Mexican Nicholson that was so poorly cut I had to grind a full eighth-inch off both edges to get close to the teeth. The Mexi-Nicholson mill files are so poorly cut the teeth don't even meet on the corners, so they had to be ground safe-edged as well. But I think we've established Nicholson no longer makes actual files. Incidentally I have an older USA Nicholson 16" magicut that wore out very quickly, but it left a beautiful finish while it lasted.

 

I probably own over 50 files of all sizes and shapes, but only a few brands. Gotta try some Pferds, Bahcos, and Grobets before I can consider my file rack complete. :lol: What I really want is a 24" or 28" mill bastard with one safe edge in proper hardness and sharpness, but I don't think they've made those since the 1930s. Saw one once, that monster was half an inch thick and weighed five pounds. :ph34r:

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I currently use Kobalt files, most have worked well and generally last for a time appropriate to their cost, but none are what I would consider great.

 

 

I found a 24" Mill Bastard in my woodshed when I first moved into my current house. It was a beast, unfortunately, it had more rust than teeth, so I cleaned it up and forged it into 3 knives and a center punch. I sold or gifted the knives, but I still use the center punch. It actually does double duty as a scribe because I can put a needle fine point on it, albeit with a steep angle, and it will still punch steel without breaking or distorting.

Wish I had that file back when it was new...

James

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About that Boggs deal I have an amazing amount of antique files my dad and grandad used as machinists can the be sharpened even being well over 40 and some 60 years old?

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I know you're asking for information about purchasing quality files from a distributor but I've had great luck at finding quality files at the flea market. Not too long ago I found 12 MADE IN USA Nicholson files of all different shapes and sizes. All in perfect condition. Looked like they had never been used. Often I would find them to be rusty and need a good cleaning but still tend to cut better than the files you can buy nowadays at sears. Anyhow...Thanks for the Boggs information! I'm going to look into that. And good luck C Craft with finding quality files to purchase! I just wanted to throw out what has worked for me lately. Btw...those files were purchased for $1 a piece. :)

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I too have had a lot of luck with used files at estate sales. Picked up ~20 nice needle files, a leather bound set of 3 grobet files and a half dozen old american made files @~12 in, all for about $20. You can also get on ebay and search for "new old stock (NOS)" files to get any remaining US made files lying about. I really like the Nicholson super shear files for heavy stock removal; I get them as NOS on ebay and work well.

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I have had luck on ebay. I bought like 50 pounds of files over the course of a few months before i ever bought a sander. Found a lot of nice gems, including an 18" black diamond. Every shape, size and coursness from needle to the 18" ones. Some are dull but a good majority are still sharp. The old black diamonds before nicholson bought them are among the best. Ever.

 

Simmonds are really good and so are some japanese files i found in my purchases. Infact the longest lasting abd quickest metal remover in the 100+ files ihave is a japanese one.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just bought two files for doing stock removal.


I went to my local tool shop (normally trustworthy and professional), and showed them a product code from Bacho.


Bacho single-cut bastard millsaw file 1-143-12-1-0.


The reply was, yes we have a box of single cut files, I bought one to see what it was but it did not say Bahco, but
Hindustan India, the teeth look like they have been flattended (not hardened enough) and are difficult to clean.


I then ordered the Bahco file from an ebay seller, and received what I expected - this looks and feels like a high
quality product with much sharper teeth than the first one. The stamp says Bahco (made in Portugal).


I am going to make two identical knifes by stock removal so both files will get a proper workout.

 

Top one is the Bahco

P1030098.JPG

and a closeup

P1030099_small.jpg

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