Can anybody recommend a decent set of files these days?

Discussion in 'Other Tools' started by Skeptiksks, Aug 27, 2017.

  1. Skeptiksks

    Skeptiksks Green Haired Weirdo Supporter

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    Does anybody know of a decent file manufacturer? I have a set of Nicholson files that I got for Christmas years ago, I haven't used them heavily until recently and lets just say, they aren't holding up well at all.... Go figure. If anybody has a line on some good files I would appreciate it a lot.
     
  2. Badey

    Badey Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    I asked the same question a couple of years ago, and someone on here recommended Grobet files. I picked one up, and it works great!
     
  3. Skeptiksks

    Skeptiksks Green Haired Weirdo Supporter

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    Awesome, I will look into those. How is the price on them?
     
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  4. Badey

    Badey Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Not too bad, I got mine (10" bastard Mill file) for about $15 including shipping on eBay.
     
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  5. Skeptiksks

    Skeptiksks Green Haired Weirdo Supporter

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    Okey doke, hopefully its not too bad for a set. I'm looking to totally replace the crappy Nicholson files. Maybe I will turn them into strikers or knives.

    Actually, I wonder if I can regarded them in a forge and maybe make them less junk like.
     
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  6. Holmesmade

    Holmesmade Supporter Supporter

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    They may be surface hardened, which explains their far less than acceptable performance... only way to find out is chuck one in a fire, then sling it in a bucket.
    At least you won't lose a good tool in the process and you have the possibility of making one a skwish better.
     
  7. EternalLove

    EternalLove Scout

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    I have good things about Balcho files made in Spain.
     
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  8. Tye

    Tye Scout

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    Shop yardsales and flea markets I've found some Nicholson made in USA files in good shape.
     
  9. Skeptiksks

    Skeptiksks Green Haired Weirdo Supporter

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    I don't have much time for that sadly, plus I want a source of decent files that I can order a new one from when the old one is worn out. But I will try to check more.
     
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  10. Jim L.

    Jim L. Scout

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    Meanwhile, you can soak them in citric acid for a few hours. It won't sharpen them but that will make 'em a bit more aggressive.
    Try soap stone instead of "chalking" to prep the file first when in use. It is essentially talcum powder and provides a dry lubrication that isn't hydrophyllic and slows fowling way down. Unlike chalk, it doesn't promote rust and I believe helps to prevent it.
     
  11. Skeptiksks

    Skeptiksks Green Haired Weirdo Supporter

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    I will look into the acid and the use of soap stone. Usually I just take a few passes with my file cleaning card once it starts to get fouled up though. Pretty much all the files now have trouble biting brass though, so they are pretty hosed...
     
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  12. Jim L.

    Jim L. Scout

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    I put forth the money for a file card and was disappointed, big time. Use a simple stainless brush fom the dollar store along with the citric acid solution. The brush will scrub out debrie while the citric acid will clean the oxides off the metal.

    I wonder if any one can say if case hardened files can be rehardened in a forge and cold oil quench?
     
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  13. Skeptiksks

    Skeptiksks Green Haired Weirdo Supporter

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    I will give that a shot. I havent had any problem with the file card, I also havent used citric acid before so I need to try that.

    As for rehardening the files, I will throw one into the fire next time I have access to the forge and see if it helps at all.
     
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  14. Ptpalpha

    Ptpalpha Supporter Supporter

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    Keep me posted on the fire & quench results.
    In the meantime I'm going to try the stainless brush and citric acid cleaning.
     
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  15. Gruntinhusaybah

    Gruntinhusaybah Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    For new files Grobet is about the only option
     
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  16. J. Pierce

    J. Pierce Supporter Supporter

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    Case hardening is a way of introducing carbon to the surface of the steel, usually a mild or low carbon steel, it increases wear resistance.
    In files it's done because it is cheaper to make them.
    I don't think there would be anything to gain with trying to re-heat treat a file.
    Also a crappy file will make a crappy tool if you try to repurpose it, it's low carbon steel.

    I've searched for a consistent supply of good files.
    I found a few European companies that make some very interesting files, but I haven't tried any of them.
    They are expensive, and availability in the US is non-existent.
    Unfortunately I'll keep nursing along my current supply of files for when needed, and use powered options for everything else.
     
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  17. WhisperInThePine

    WhisperInThePine Wubba lubba dub dub Supporter

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  18. Jim L.

    Jim L. Scout

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    I forgot about the surace only hardness with case hardening.

    You can always heat the the rat tail tip to non-mag, water quench, .then hammer strike on the edge of your anvil.

    If it breaks, carry on. If it bends, crap.
     
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  19. boisdarc

    boisdarc Scout

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    I second Tye. I buy older files at resale shops regularly. I always say I'm a file-ophile. If they still have good teeth and not beet up they can be resharpened with a vinegar bath. After a day in vinegar I give them a water and baking soda bath to neutralize any acid. Then dry off well, sometimes a little lubricant. I have tried using dry powder on files too. Some people use graphite.
     
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  20. mangkukhan

    mangkukhan Supporter Supporter

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    Ill second Bahco files. Been using their bastard files extensively for years on steel and aluminum without fail. Best files ive ever used, and priced well.
     
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  21. Jim L.

    Jim L. Scout

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    How do you get them?
     
  22. mangkukhan

    mangkukhan Supporter Supporter

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    I randomly will see their products at various hardware stores so typically i bypass searching stores and go straight to ebay. I like their saws, hole saws, files, and bits. They use good steel, source their tools from all over europe, i believe they are scandanavian in origin, but are american owned by way of Kershaw knife company.
     
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  23. Jim L.

    Jim L. Scout

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    Thanks
     
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  24. Black Raven

    Black Raven Supporter Supporter

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    When I go to estate sales I look for Simonds brand files. They were probably the best. And they are not that hard to find. Occasionally someone will have an entire box of them in original brown paper. Vintage Nicholson's are ok, but in my mind, second tier to Simonds. Look for the red painted tang.

    Estate sales....go straight to the garage or to the basement of the home. Files don't normally sell very fast, but you do have to root around a bit sometimes to find them. Last sale I went to, I got about 40 Swiss made needle files a few high end rifflers, (mostly Grobet) for about $5, as I recall.

    I don't believe that domestic made files have been much good since perhaps the 1980's. I don't buy new files anymore, no way.
     
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  25. Skeptiksks

    Skeptiksks Green Haired Weirdo Supporter

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    I have been searching more and more for vintage files. Every time I'm out where old tools are available I look for them.
     
  26. cbrianroll

    cbrianroll Scout

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    Pferd have a good following. I am poor though.
     
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  27. Skeptiksks

    Skeptiksks Green Haired Weirdo Supporter

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    I feel your pain brother. That's why I go to garage sales and second hand stores.
     
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  28. cbrianroll

    cbrianroll Scout

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    I choose my poorness lol, I actually use sand paper for alot of things now.
     
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  29. Jim L.

    Jim L. Scout

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    Good sandpaper on a hardwood block works quite well for removing metal. Start with a 50 grit and move on up with the grits. I call it "hand grinding".
     
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