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What files do you recommend?


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Hey everyone i was going to buy some files today but there are so many brands I was a bit overwhelmed. So I figured I would try and get some input on brands and types...thanks everyone

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The only files I've ever been satisfied with are Grobet files.

I got this set and they're really great. I use all of them constantly and they all still cut well.
http://www.amazon.com/Piece-Assorted-American-Pattern-File/dp/B003QBI4NK

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I have a bunch of Nicholson files and they have lasted a long time. Simonds are decent too. I got mine from MSC direct a number of years back, and while I don't use them as often as some, they have seen some decent use with minimal wear.

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Somewhere around here there is a long discussion of this, but the short version is that Nicholson no longer makes files, they make file-shaped objects. A sad commentary on moving industry out of the country. IF you can find made in USA Nicholsons, especially the industrial ones (twice as thick), they are good files. If they say "Mexico" on them they're crap. Same steel, but poor cutting and lousy heat-treatment. You can actual file down a Mexican Nicholson with a USA Nicholson.

 

So: do what John says, go to MSCDirect and order a few Simonds multikut mill files, as big as they have. You'll want mill bastards in 14" or as big as they have, and a set of three 6" mill files in bastard, second cut, and smooth. you'll also want a couple of xx-slim tapers and a half-round or two. Grobet are the best there are, but they are not cheap.

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You can actual file down a Mexican Nicholson with a USA Nicholson.

 

 

Amazing....

 

I was lucky enough to get a few US made Nicholson files from MSC and they are great... I was also unlucky enough to spend the same amount on Mexico made Nicholsons which truly are useless for filing steel. They are okay for non-ferrous.

 

I agree with John and Alan about MSC, the files are the same price or a little more there, but they are the industrial version which are much thicker and last longer.

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  • 5 years later...
On 5/12/2015 at 9:21 AM, Alan Longmire said:

...

So: do what John says, go to MSCDirect and order a few Simonds multikut mill files, as big as they have. You'll want mill bastards in 14" or as big as they have, and a set of three 6" mill files in bastard, second cut, and smooth. you'll also want a couple of xx-slim tapers and a half-round or two. Grobet are the best there are, but they are not cheap.

 

Found this thread while researching file suggestions. Look what I made in my super-freezing-cold-should-be-heated garage today.

 

20201214_131451.jpg

 

I am planning on doing most of my charcoal chopper shaping using files after the hot work. I only have big box store files and not many at that. Next project is a filing jig, but in the mean time I need to expand my file selection. (Look at all those empty spaces!) Is your above quote still a good file lineup for utility blade work, Alan?

 

 

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That's still what I use, although good files are even harder to find now than they were in 2015.  I managed to score a few NOS 16" USA Nicholsons off ebay in 2015, haven't seen one since.  I am trying out a Pferd 14" coarse file for the same purpose, and it works well.  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000ZELWAS/ref=biss_dp_t_asn  It leaves a rougher finish than the mill bastards, but it cuts fast.  I still recommend MSC for the other files, and now that some Nicholsons are being made in Brazil they aren't as bad as they were for a while.  Still not as good as the old USA ones, but better than the Mexican ones.  Again, it's all in the cutting and heat treatment, and the shop foreman in Brazil seems to understand that better than the one in Mexico did.

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i have a few mercer files from this place https://www.empireabrasives.com/brands/Mercer.html?_bc_fsnf=1&category=54 and i am pretty happy with them, i havent used higher end files like grobets but these are a very very good deal and i will get more soon. they have all cuts and sizes and shapes for around $1 an inch. they last much longer than new nicholson files and came sharp enough to cut me.

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He had to condense it for page continuity purposes.  If it were shown actual-size, you wouldn't be able to see the other circles at all and you'd miss the Venn diagram joke. ;)

  • Haha 1
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