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So what is a good brand of files now? I know the big box store ones are crap, so what do you guys use for hand filing? Ive looked in to simmonds and their maxi-sharp ones look good, but I dont know for sure

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Grobet files are the best if you're looking for new ones. I've also heard that you can get "New Old Stock" Nicholson files off of ebay.

Edited by Collin Miller
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Simmonds are good. Grobet are the gold standard, although thier quality has gone way down in the last couple of years due to a sneaky shift of production to India using a loophole that still allowed them to stamp "made in Switzerland" on them. The prices are also higher than ever. I have heard good things about Sandvik and Pferd as well.

 

I have not tried the Brazil-made Nicholsons, but they are supposed to be better than the Mexico-made ones. That wouldn't be difficult, though.

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Pferd files are my favorite (haven't tried Grobet, but I hear they are excellent). I use a 14" Pferd Chip breaker for rapid material removal. Simonds are 2nd in line, with their 14" Multi-Cut. NOS Nicholson files are excellent as well...but make sure they are NOS (new old stock). The new Nicholson files are being made in Mexico and Brazil, and QC is out the window.

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