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View Full Version : Do you use diamond files?



AlexK
09-13-2010, 02:50 PM
Guys,

I've recently got a set of DMT diamond sharpeners and find it very useful in a shop.
Now I want to get a set of small good quality diamond files.
There is plenty of them on eBay $5 for a set of 10. I have serious doubts about their quality.

Can anyone recommend me a good brand/source for diamond files?
(Unfortunately DMT does not make small files)

Thanks,
Alex

planeman
09-13-2010, 04:23 PM
Just about all of the diamond files I have seen come from China as they are now the primary manufacturer of industrial diamonds. I have a couple of sets of Harbor Freight diamond jeweler's files and diamond Dremel-type burrs and fine them to be satisfactory. They cut a bit differently from regular files but just as effectively. One nice thing is they cut in any direction unlike a regular file. This helps when working in tight spaces as you can move the file in any direction and it cuts.

As inexpensive as they are It won't hurt to try them.

Planeman

Toolguy
09-13-2010, 04:25 PM
I use diamond files all the time. Save your money. Get the cheap ebay or HF ones. They work as well and last as long as the name brand ones for $60 - $90 a set. A diamond is a diamond. I've used em all.

Davidhcnc
09-13-2010, 04:33 PM
Love them

Get the cheap ones.:)

fredwillis
09-13-2010, 04:53 PM
I use them to hone the radius on my hand ground carbide lathe tool cutting tips, it helps get a nice Finnish.

davidwdyer
09-13-2010, 05:21 PM
If, when you use diamond tools, a little water or oil for lubrication will make them last a lot longer.

GKman
09-13-2010, 05:44 PM
I think that it's important to drag the diamond file off the sharp edge not onto it as it seems easy to scrape them off the substrate.

Black_Moons
09-13-2010, 05:56 PM
Iv only used the cheap ones.. Can't really see how expensive ones could be much better. Water/oil is very important to keep them from cloging up.. if you must do it dry, a damp rag is needed to clean the file up often.

I have seen some that use a resinoid bond and have a really thick (1/8"+) layer of diamonds, Not sure how well those work compaired to the one layer nickle plated...

As an intresting note, ebay sells industral diamonds from 40 grit to like 10,000 grit. Sure would be fun to coat some 'jewlery' with 100ct of 40grit! Wonder if women would go for it.. 'But it looks ulgy' 'yea, but you could use it to hone carbide!' '... I wanted a home with my engagement ring, Not a hone.'

Peter.
09-13-2010, 06:06 PM
I think that it's important to drag the diamond file off the sharp edge not onto it as it seems easy to scrape them off the substrate.

I think that must be the difference in quality. Diamonds are diamonds pretty much, though many nowadays are manufactured rather than natural. The wire I use for cutting concrete (and steel) has metal beads with diamonds coating it by electroplating. They are very hardy and you'll have a hard time stripping those off. I don't know what process the hand files use for coating but I have had cheap diamond burrs lose all their diamonds in one go, with them flaking off like sparkly foil.

davidwdyer
09-13-2010, 06:22 PM
There are several types of diamond tooling.

There is the cheap kind which has diamonds held onto the tool with some kind of metal plating.

There are "sintered" tools which have a thicker layer of what appears to be bronze or brass which is loaded with diamonds. This layer can be 1/8 inch thick or more.

The plated tools last until the diamond breaks off. The sintered tools will last for years of hard use if well lubricated and not abused. Of course, they are much more expensive.

Often, with use these tools, the embedded diamond tends to tilt in the direction of use since the metal which holds them is somewhat soft. You can correct this tendency by using the tool in both directions.

The sintered tooling tends to be less aggressive, so a coarser diamond grit is usually needed to get the same results.

There are also some "brazed" tools which fall in between the plated and the sintered in terms of durability.

Evan
09-13-2010, 06:42 PM
Thailand is the major supplier of diamonds at this time. This place has incredibly good prices on diamond wheels, laps and related items. They don't have files but they do have a complete selection of diamond grits, any size you want. They also sell gem quality diamonds with accurate descriptions and fair prices.

http://www.diamondtech.com/lapidary_products.html


There is the cheap kind which has diamonds held onto the tool with some kind of metal plating.

That is nickle electroplate. Those aren't necessarily "cheap". Electroplate diamond wheels cut faster and cooler than any other type and can be easily recoated when they are worn out.

This one was close to $1000 since it was a custom profile wheel. It is a steel core wheel. When the edge wore out the customer gave back to my wife who gave it to me. Sure does a nice and fast job on carbide tooling in my horizontal low speed grinder.

http://metalshopborealis.ca/pics/diamond1.jpg