View Full Version : Sources for good files?

08-16-2014, 08:40 AM
Has anyone had some good experience with a new file lately? What did you buy and from where?
I'm looking for mill bastards and 60 deg triangle files.
Thanks, Abner

08-16-2014, 01:41 PM
I recently bought some Grobet hand files from www.riogrande.com. They sell Grobet, Valtitan and Frederick Dick brands, all top quality Swiss made. Rather pricey, but they are the best available. I have seen 3-square ( 60 deg triangle) on the site but I don't believe you will find a mill bastard since the patterns are all European and are available in multiple cuts.


08-16-2014, 03:04 PM
While of little use for the majority here, for eastern Ontario residents Cardon Tools (#7 Hwy, south side, just east of Perth) , www.cardontools.com sells new, old-stock of several old-name file manufacturers. Usual disclaimers here! Stock varies daily but should have a good selection.

08-16-2014, 04:56 PM
Or if you are in the UK try Proops (http://www.proopsbrothers.com/acatalog/Online_Catalogue_Files_39.html) nice files cheap prices.


08-16-2014, 09:14 PM
I like Nicholson files. Seem to work just fine. I dont see a need to spend more money than they command. After all, they are just files. And yes... No doubt. There are bad files, like the inexpensive type found at harbor freight.

I posted this pic before, its my stash of old USA Nicholson and Simonds (die filer machine files) files, all new. I hear they are made off shore now but they are prolly just as good, its just a file :) JR

http://i1183.photobucket.com/albums/x461/_GLE_/HSM/files1_zps8a96bdba.jpg (http://s1183.photobucket.com/user/_GLE_/media/HSM/files1_zps8a96bdba.jpg.html)

http://i1183.photobucket.com/albums/x461/_GLE_/HSM/files2_zpsf9062146.jpg (http://s1183.photobucket.com/user/_GLE_/media/HSM/files2_zpsf9062146.jpg.html)

http://i1183.photobucket.com/albums/x461/_GLE_/HSM/files3_zpscafd444e.jpg (http://s1183.photobucket.com/user/_GLE_/media/HSM/files3_zpscafd444e.jpg.html)

08-16-2014, 10:44 PM
File porn!!!!!

08-17-2014, 02:47 AM
If you doubt the wisdom of buying a good file, for whatever 'premium' it might command in price, then buy a chinese made one and be prepared to learn a lesson that costs you the price of the file. Then buy a swiss or american made one (not imported by an american company, actually made in america) Nicholson files were good, might still be. I have a simmonds file which is awesome, seem to recall having a sandvik which worked well also.

Deus Machina
08-17-2014, 04:50 AM
I still like my Nicholson files, but have found that you need to be able to inspect them first.
I bought a Handi-file a long while back--it's just a single-cut on one side and double on the other, with a handle as part of the steel instead of having a tang--and couldn't live without the thing. Then went to buy a second more recently, and found that the double-cut side had one cut strong, and the other barely scored in and distorting the edges of the other. On almost all the files in stock.
If they're cut well, they'd hard and sharp. But you have to take a look first.

08-18-2014, 09:47 AM
There is talk online of nicholson files produced since the buy-out having improper heat treat that makes them not last. I do have a recent example that did not hold up when filing common steel. I don't know if that is a widespread issue but it is always something to be wary of.

08-18-2014, 03:23 PM
I buy them by the coffee can for <$3, toss or repurpose the worn out ones and either keep or give away the rest. Ive been given a few new ones and also bought an oddball or two new, cant tell any difference in most cases new/old in the sharpness, plenty of new ones I see have some funny color to them tho.

08-18-2014, 03:58 PM
Nicholson files are now made in Brazil and not nearly as good as the ones they made in USA. I got lucky and was given two of these sets of Nicholson files, all of which are marked "made in USA" and they are still as good as new. I gave one set to a friend.


I don't know where Simonds files are made now, but I believe they moved manufacturing offshore long before Nicholson did.

P.S. - When I got the two sets one file was missing from one of the sets. Hemly Tool's Connecticut store had an exact replacement in stock, made in USA. They still have a good many of them there.

08-19-2014, 12:34 AM
For what is worth: In the late 60's, I could get my body Files re sharpenned at about 1/2 price of new. I "think" they used an acid dip. So, for $2.00 a file, I got a good file that worked well. Any of you guys ever do this? This was in Vancouver, BC. Wayne.

08-21-2014, 05:24 PM
http://i1183.photobucket.com/albums/x461/_GLE_/HSM/files2_zpsf9062146.jpg (http://s1183.photobucket.com/user/_GLE_/media/HSM/files2_zpsf9062146.jpg.html)

So I always wondered what they made files out of, so obvious now I don't know why I didn't think of it. they are made from file bar stock. :P

08-21-2014, 05:56 PM
I have a whole drawer full of files, all the same brand and NOS, I have only ever used the same 5 since forever and they still look like new. I really see no need for the other 10-20 copies of each file shape and size ever in my lifetime.