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AndrewB

Experiment part 1 cutting an HF files in half

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So I found one of my HF in half with a chop saw.  I wanted to cut it with the band saw but amazingly even with cutting oil the danged thing didn’t want to bite so I went in for the chop saw.  Doubt you’ll be able to see the grain structure because I didn’t snap it.  Next part of this experiment will be taking my 3 pound Hf hammer to it and attempting to snap it.

44C294D5-0088-401F-807C-97A4909D6C6C.jpeg

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HF file test part two.  File snapped in half with grain structure.  Still not the best files to buy though I personally think.

695E079D-4215-45B9-A90A-2FFD19A09CD4.jpeg

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The grain looks good, oddly enough.

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I wasn't quite sure what to make of it maybe it's mild steel??

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Posted (edited)

Definitely not mild steel.  I have a 5 pc. set of HF files.  I still use the round, square, and triangle files with acceptable results.  The flat and half round did a decent job for quite a while until they dulled up (more operator error than anything else).  I think I definitely got what i paid for out of them.  The set of needle files that I bought from them, that's a different story altogether.

Edited by Alex Middleton

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I wound up snapping my round chain saw file from them out of that set some how lol.

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I've never gone after the HF (we are referring to harbor freight here right?) files because I've seen more than a few of them in the packaging cracked.  Not only their files but also a few other things here and there at my local store. 

I wore out one of my old half round files and got one of their really inexpensive ones with the rubber grip - it seemed to dull pretty quick in my opinion.  Since then, I've been piecing my file collection from the home depo's Nickleson pile. These are doing pretty well for my work. 

 

Guys in the area I work with remake a lot of tooling using HF hammers and axes, they don't seem to have a problem and in fact think whatever steel their using is pretty good.  The company may be over doing their heat treating a little bit.

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3 hours ago, AndrewB said:

I wasn't quite sure what to make of it maybe it's mild steel??

mild will not snap like that

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I'm not even sure it was just a guess.  I don't really know what Pittsburgh Steel uses for their files.  But they are cheap.  I'll give it that.  

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It would be nice to locate some info on what alloys they are using for some of their tools.  Or where it may come from. 

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You'd think they'd tell you what kind of steel they are made of on the packaging but no it doesn't.  It just says "Hardened Steel" on the HF file packages. 

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Once I get this new file I'm almost halfway tempted to snap my Nicholson file just to see what the grain structure in that one is.  Yea I know a waste of a perfectly good file.  How ever it would be interesting to compare the Nicholson to the HF grain structures don't you think?

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Snap the tip off so you can grind the end smooth again and it would still be usable 

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Well the only real thing I was using that nicholson file for was to check the hardness of the blades after I got done heat treating them.  Since I have a new file coming by the 8th I can afford to loose the nicholson file.  So I mean it still wouldn't really be a loss even though it is a good file.

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Okay so just for the heck of it I snapped the very tip off of my Nicholson file just for this experiment.  You can see an entirely different grain structure in this.  Yes fortunately the file is still usable.  Here is the Nicholson grain structure.

88BABB2B-EBA8-49B0-A083-754FE842158E.jpeg

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