Accessories

Choosing an American Pattern File

Selecting the proper file for your application is essential if your going to achieve the desired result for your job. When selecting the proper file you most consider its shape, size, tooth type, and coarseness. The size and the coarseness of the file are directly related. Larger files will remove more stock but will also leave your project with a coarse finish, while smaller files will remove less stock, but will leave a finer, smoother finish.

Parts of the File
Coarseness
Kinds of Teeth
Shape

Parts of the File

  • Length is measured exclusive of tang, from point to heel,unless specified otherwise
  • Desired stroke length, type of material and size will determine length required
ClassicPlain ×

Kinds of Teeth

    SINGLE-CUT

  • Single set of parallel, diagonal rows of teeth
  • Single-cut files are often used with light pressure to produce a smooth surface finish or to put a keen edge on knives, shears or saws
ClassicPlain

    MAGICUT

  • Single cut teeth divided by angular serrations into shorter cutting edges, which free themselves readily from chips and perform roughing and smoothing at the same time
ClassicPlain
      • DOUBLE-CUT

      • 2 sets of diagonal rows of teeth
      • Second set of teeth cut in opposite diagonal direction and on top of the first set
      • First set of teeth is known as the overcut, second is known as upcut
      • Upcut is finer than overcut
      • Double-cut file is used with heavier pressure than the single-cut and removes material faster from the workpiece
      ClassicPlain

        CURVED-CUT

      • Teeth arranged in curved contours across the file face
      • Curved-cut file is normally used in automotive body shops for smoothing body panels
      ClassicPlain

        RASP-CUT

      • Series of individual teeth which are formed by a single-pointed tool
      • Produces a rough cut that is used primarily on wood, hooves, aluminum and lead
      ClassicPlain

Coarseness

  • Work to be accomplished, whether roughing or finishing, will determine type of teeth and coarseness for each application
  • Most American pattern files are available with 3 grades of cut: bastard-cut, second-cut and smooth-cut
ClassicPlain

Shape

  • Area to be filed will determine specific cross-section (round, square, flat, etc.) to be used
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