The file is a hard steel instrument that is very useful in a woodworking or metal-smithing workshop. It is commonly used to finish a job by cutting or shaping a piece of metal or wood to become the desired finish.
A set of files are also quite useful for knife making. After the rough shape of your knife has been created, you can take on more detailed shaping using a metal file. After the knife has dulled, a file can also be used to sharpen the edges to restore the knife to its original sharpness.
What are the best files for knife making? Files come in dozens of shapes, sizes, and styles of cuts, but the most useful file would be a flat double-cut bastard file, which has so many different applications. In addition, you can also get a set of files that can be suitable for various purposes.
In this article, you’ll learn about the various styles of files and how you can take advantage of them in your knife making practice.
Why Files Are Useful For Knife Making
Knife making requires plenty of fancy equipment and tools, so having a set of files may seem unglamorous. However, having a good set of files in your toolkit is quite essential to help you create beautiful, sharp results.
Since files can be used on both metal and wood, you can use them to profile the blades as well as the handles. In addition, you can also use the files to sharpen your blade by creating beveled edges.
Many files allow you to add decorative touches to your knife’s blade or smooth out the blade and the handle for a polished look. You can also use the files in combination with various other tools to shape your knife to achieve the desired finish.
Types Of Files
Files can be classified in so many ways, and the classification can be used in combination with one another to become very specific. The classification is according to length, shape, number of teeth, as well as the cut it can create.
While the length classification is pretty self-explanatory, you’ll also need to know the classification according to shape, a number of teeth, and cut.
Types of Files Based On Shape
- Flat File – The flat file has a rectangular cross-section shape and has teeth that are cut on both the face and the edge. These are often used to reduce the flat surface of the piece. It’s also often called the hand file.
- Round File – In comparison, the round file usually has a rounded edge, and it’s useful for finishing smaller keyholes and rounded details.
- Half-Round File – A half-round file is curved on one of the sides. Like a round file, it also has double-cut marks, and the file is slightly tapered. This file is also very useful for creating or finishing rounded designs.
- Triangular File – This file usually has a triangular shape and a 60° angle. It can be used to file various types of jobs, such as V-slotting and square and rectangular shaping.
- Square File – The file has a square shape and can be used to file various types of jobs, such as slotting and rectangular shaping.
- Knife Edge File – The knife-edge file is similar to a knife in that it has a thin edge. It is commonly used to file small slots and ridges whose angle is less than 60°. Because of this, it’s usually popular in locksmithing.
Types of Files Based On Number Of Teeth
- Rough File – You can easily identify a rough file because it doesn’t have a lot of teeth, and the teeth are bigger in size. This type of file is mainly used to cut soft materials because its rough-cutting makes it unsuitable for hard metal.
- Bastard File – The bastard file has teeth that are smaller than those of the rough one, which means they are quite efficient at filing and shaping metal. This design is also quite versatile and very useful in knife making.
- Second-Cut File – The second-cut file is more refined than the bastard file, and it is often used to make the surface of the piece plain.
- Smooth File – The smooth file has smaller teeth and is designed to shape a job quite nicely while making the surface very smooth and plain.
- Dead Smooth File – The dead smooth file is also commonly used to add a shiny finish to a job after it has been done, mainly because it has teeth that are close to each other and are quite inefficient at filing away material.
Types Of Files Based On Cut
- Single-Cut File – The single-cut file has parallel lines of teeth that are cut in one direction only. This type of file is commonly used for hard metal and finishing since it can achieve a very smooth and polished surface.
- Double-Cut File – The double-cut file has two rows of teeth. On one side, the teeth have an angle of 40-45°, while on the other, the angles are 70° to 80°. Thanks to this design, the double-cut file can chop away at your materials very efficiently, leaving behind a coarse surface.
- Curved-Cut File – The curved-cut file is also known as the vixen file. It has circular teeth that are commonly used to file the wide surfaces of various soft materials, such as copper, brass, and aluminum.
- Spiral-Cut File – The spiral-cut files have rows of tiny spiral-shaped teeth that are cut in the round.
- Rasp-Cut File – The rasp-cut file is a special type of file that has thick, triangle teeth. It is commonly used to file various types of materials, such as plastic, wood, and rubber.
Best Files For Knife Making
When it comes to choosing the right file, you should always consider the right file for your material and for your project. Filing metal to shape the blade requires an efficient, strong file while filing wood to polish the handle of the knife will need a smoother file.
That said, most knife makers recommend having a flat double-cut bastard file on hand because this file comes in handy in various types of applications. You can use it to shape the blade, the bevel of the blade, as well as the handle of your knife.
Let’s take a look at some great options for knife-making files below.
|1.||Corona Bastard Cut File||12" flat bastard file|
|2.||Bahco Second Cut Hand File||8" second-cut hand file|
|3.||Preciva File Set||18 pcs file set|
|4.||Delihom Metal File Set||9 pcs file set|
|5.||Husky Pack of Assorted Files||8 pcs file/rasp cut file set|
1. Corona Bastard Cut File
Designed for all facets of knife making, the Corona Bastard File offers superior performance and quality. The file’s unparalleled strength, durability, and cutting performance make it a must-have in every metalsmith’s toolbox.
This file is created with precision and quality in mind. Made of high-grade carbon steel, it works efficiently against a wide range of materials, including metal.
With an impressive hardness of HRC 60-70 and chromium content of 1%, your file will continue to outperform and last you longer than other brands.
This bastard file is the right choice when creating an heirloom blade or repairing old blades, and the flat, 12-inch size makes it quite efficient and simple to use in various applications.
2. Bahco Second Cut Hand File
The Bahco hand file is designed with efficiency in mind. This is a second-cut 8-inch file that’s very easy to use, and thanks to the 23 TPI (Teeth Per Inch) construction, it’s highly efficient at sharpening a knife and to also refine it.
On one side, it features a double-cut that’s great at filing away (roughly) at edges, and if you want to smooth out the surface, you can flip the file over and use the sing-cut side to smoothen and refine the blade.
Made from rust-resistant and abrasion-resistant steel, this file is ideal for shaping a variety of tools. It is perfect for filing hardened steel and can be used on soft metals such as copper and aluminum.
3. Preciva File Set
The Preciva 18-piece file set is a must-have for all knife-making enthusiasts. It comes bundled with 16 files, including four large files (flat, triangle, round, and half-round) and 12 needle files, all in one bundle.
These top-quality, durable carbon steel files are great for shaping, cutting, and polishing metal, and you can find a great use for each of these tools in every step of the process.
The large files have double-cut teeth that are amazing at shaping both wood and metal, while the needle files are suitable for detailed work.
This set also comes with a scratch brush and an organizing case to keep all your tools in one place for the next use.
4. Delihom Metal File Set
The Delihom Set is a set of 9 high-carbon steel files, including a total of 6 needle files and three large 8-inch hand files.
The drop-forged alloy steel makes them durable with a long lifespan and keeps the sharpness of the files, which means they can perform effectively for a long time.
In addition, this durable material also allows the files to perform well on various jobs, including metal and wood.
The comfortable non-slip rubber handles give you good control when filing down metal objects to ensure your knife-making process is smooth and easy. Thanks to the set’s comprehensiveness, you can enjoy these files in every step of the knife-making process.
5. Husky Pack Of Assorted Files
This set of eight files features all the files you need to fine-tune your creations. Each file is made from rust and corrosion-resistant steel and includes interchangeable handles that allow you to use the files flexibly and comfortably.
This set includes four hand files and four needle files, perfect for shaping, sharpening, and finishing your work. Each knife also features a wide range of teeth and cuts, which means you can have quite a wide range of options in this small 8-piece set.
This is a dependable companion for those who are just starting in the art of knife making and perfect if you want to enjoy its versatility and as well as functionality.