A toolkit is not complete unless it contains an assortment of files. There are a number of different types of files in common use, and each type may range in length from 3 to 18 inches.


Files are graded according to the degree of fineness, and according to whether they have single- or double-cut teeth. The difference is apparent when you compare the files in figure 1-37A.

Single-cut files have rows of teeth cut parallel to each other. These teeth are set at an angle of about 65 degrees with the centerline. You will use single-cut files for sharpening tools, finish filing, and draw-filing. They are also the best tools for smoothing the edges of sheet metal.

Files with crisscrossed rows of teeth are double-cut files. The double cut forms teeth that are diamond-shaped and fast cutting. You will use double-cut files for quick removal of metal, and for rough work.

Files are also graded according to the spacing and size of their teeth, or their coarseness and fineness. Some of these grades are pictures in fig. 1-37B. In addition to the three grades shown, you may use so me DEAD SMOOTH files, which have very tine teeth, and some ROUGH files with very coarse teeth. The fineness or coarseness of file teeth is also influenced by the length of the file. (The length of a file is the distance from the tip to the heel, and does not include the tang (fig. 1-37C).) When you have a chance, compare the actual size of the teeth of a 6-inch, single-cut smooth file and a 12-inch, single-cut smooth file; you will notice the 6-inch file has more teeth per inch than the 12-inch file.

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January 18, 2017