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Tundra Twin Track
12-02-2017, 01:26 AM
I picked up some Wiltshire hand files a few years back,they seem to be very good.Have used them a lot and still very sharp,made in Australia.Any one else use this brand.

NiftyNev
12-02-2017, 02:50 AM
The old Aussie made one are excellent. Just got the last one out of the box of flat ones I picked up cheap many years ago.

bollie7
12-02-2017, 03:18 AM
Being an Aussie , like Nifty, I have a drawer full of them. (probably 99% of my files are Wiltshire) Some go back to when I started my apprenticeship in Dec 1974. Some I have are even older.
Made back when Australia had a good manufacturing industry.
peter

JRouche
12-02-2017, 03:23 AM
I dont know anything about the files or company. I am interested in Australian industrial products though. JR

CCWKen
12-02-2017, 11:28 AM
Kitts Industrial Tools has Nicholson files in their catalog stating "Made in USA". I thought Nicholson production moved off-shore five or more years ago. The prices are great. Almost too great for a USA product. Apex Tool Group now owns Nicholson. The same group that owns the old mainstays like Allen, Delta, Cleco, Jacobs, Wiss, Weller, SATA, Armstrong, Crescent and Lufkin. (And many more.)

BCRider
12-02-2017, 01:48 PM
Never heard of that brand but I'd just like to add that it's tough to find good files anymore.

I never really knew what a good file was until about 20 years ago I splurged and got some Sandvik files (yes, at the time they made files, no more though it seems). I'm still using the big lathe file. It still works well even though it's showing its age. But it's still pretty good and resists pinning quite well. Not as good as it was but still better than new cheaply made stuff.

Some recently bought Jet files are pretty good. Not as good as the Sandviks but pretty good and certainly better than the Indian made stuff I tried in the past. And offshore or not some Nicholson files were OK. Again not great like in the past but still better than the no name crap by a country mile.

In this age of power tools I suspect that files are just not seen as important enough to justify the cost for nice ones. But it's a shame because with good files doing good work is far more easy than some might believe..... there I go sounding all curmudgeon'y again.... :)

Who does make good files still? I figure if I can get one more lathe file that lasts and works like the Sandvik I've got I'll be set for life.

MattiJ
12-02-2017, 02:15 PM
Never heard of that brand but I'd just like to add that it's tough to find good files anymore.

I never really knew what a good file was until about 20 years ago I splurged and got some Sandvik files (yes, at the time they made files, no more though it seems). I'm still using the big lathe file. It still works well even though it's showing its age. But it's still pretty good and resists pinning quite well. Not as good as it was but still better than new cheaply made stuff.

Some recently bought Jet files are pretty good. Not as good as the Sandviks but pretty good and certainly better than the Indian made stuff I tried in the past. And offshore or not some Nicholson files were OK. Again not great like in the past but still better than the no name crap by a country mile.

In this age of power tools I suspect that files are just not seen as important enough to justify the cost for nice ones. But it's a shame because with good files doing good work is far more easy than some might believe..... there I go sounding all curmudgeon'y again.... :)

Who does make good files still? I figure if I can get one more lathe file that lasts and works like the Sandvik I've got I'll be set for life.

I think someone dared to mention on PM site that HF files are actually reasonably good.

Sandvik was same as Bahco at one point but since Snap-On bought out the Bahco part the files have not been the same. Todays Bahco files are made in Portugal instead of Sweden. They are not bad but nothing spectacular either IMO.
Finnish file maker Viiala went in the same crappola. Some Bahco/Snapo-on files are apparently still sold under Viiala name as it seem to have very good reputation in some circles.

Tundra Twin Track
12-02-2017, 02:19 PM
I will go back and see if they have more NOS,got some USA Nichilson NOS Machete Files at Princess Auto a few years back similar cut to Lathe cut but 3 sqaure work well.Just ordered some Pferd files made in Germany since 1799, they have excellent abrasives as well.Worked with friend that was Iron Worker for 30 yrs. and a hardcore Walter guy,after he used the Pferd zip blades was amazed at the qaulity and I get the 4-1/2" for $1 Can.

MattiJ
12-02-2017, 02:27 PM
Vallorbe and Pferd are about the only brand name files left beside Bahco/crap-on.

Grobet was quality Swiss made file but apparently now at least American market is filled with "Grobet USA" marked files that are made in china and not a quality you would expect.

softtail
12-02-2017, 02:42 PM
Too bad about Bahco.. have been a fan for years. I have some ultralight pruners and a bowsaw that amaze me everytime I use them.. guess they worked too well for too little money..some bean counter somewhere saw an 'opportunity'. Good thing I have a stash of blades.

MattiJ
12-02-2017, 02:58 PM
Too bad about Bahco.. have been a fan for years. I have some ultralight pruners and a bowsaw that amaze me everytime I use them.. guess they worked too well for too little money..some bean counter somewhere saw an 'opportunity'. Good thing I have a stash of blades.

Decline on files is not that bad as adjustable/crescent wrenches or some asian import socket sets sold under Bahco name ( they do sell US made Snap-on tools also under bahco brand so go figure..)

754
12-02-2017, 06:37 PM
Never heard of that brand but I'd just like to add that it's tough to find good files anymore.

I never really knew what a good file was until about 20 years ago I splurged and got some Sandvik files (yes, at the time they made files, no more though it seems). I'm still using the big lathe file. It still works well even though it's showing its age. But it's still pretty good and resists pinning quite well. Not as good as it was but still better than new cheaply made stuff.

Some recently bought Jet files are pretty good. Not as good as the Sandviks but pretty good and certainly better than the Indian made stuff I tried in the past. And offshore or not some Nicholson files were OK. Again not great like in the past but still better than the no name crap by a country mile.

In this age of power tools I suspect that files are just not seen as important enough to justify the cost for nice ones. But it's a shame because with good files doing good work is far more easy than some might believe..... there I go sounding all curmudgeon'y again.... :)

Who does make good files still? I figure if I can get one more lathe file that lasts and works like the Sandvik I've got I'll be set for life.

For the BC and Alberta guys, I always got good ones from Thomas Skinner..
The wavy cut ones were excellent, can't remember the brand.

RichR
12-02-2017, 08:17 PM
For those less file savvy individuals on this forum, how does one tell a great file from an OK file? How do you determine whether any of those
files you found at the garage sale are worth buying?

754
12-02-2017, 08:26 PM
Run them between thumb and forefinger, with light pressure sed how grabby they feel.
Worn out files can be a real time waster?

softtail
12-02-2017, 08:45 PM
For those less file savvy individuals on this forum, how does one tell a great file from an OK file? How do you determine whether any of those
files you found at the garage sale are worth buying?

How they are stored/shipped (ebay) is a big indicator. They can't be rattling around against each other, or the bottom of a tool box. I'm a bit overboard on files.. some male neurosis akin to collecting vises, anvils, sharpening stones, etc etc. Most files found in second hand/used arenas are trashed unless nos. Looking at files under magnification is instructive as far as seeing what can happen to the teeth. Silver streaks running the length but thinning towards the ends are actually where the teeth have broken off and the roots being thicker metal reflect the light better looking like silver streaks.

I've found some cool files.. many pre 1900 a few of which upon further research I found out were dental files.

754
12-02-2017, 08:58 PM
One of the coolest machines I saw was a machine for putting the teeth on files, one at a time on the one I saw.
It was in the Deutsches Museum, and I think around 100 years old. .

BCRider
12-02-2017, 11:46 PM
For the BC and Alberta guys, I always got good ones from Thomas Skinner..
The wavy cut ones were excellent, can't remember the brand.

Skinner is where I bought my Sandvik files many moons ago. Paid way more than the usual hardware store prices for them but in the end the quality came through and all of the Sandvik files lasted far better worked so much better during the lifespan that they turned out to be only slightly more pricey in the long run and infinitely more rewarding to use. It's not an exaggeration that they converted me into a more staunch believer in filing as a valid and valuable machine shop skill.


For those less file savvy individuals on this forum, how does one tell a great file from an OK file? How do you determine whether any of those
files you found at the garage sale are worth buying?


Run them between thumb and forefinger, with light pressure sed how grabby they feel.
Worn out files can be a real time waster?

Along with this same "grabby" test I also check for light reflected off the tips of the teeth. If the file was dragged over other files or other hardened surfaces they'll still have that grabby feel but will also show a line of fine silver lines on the teeth from rubbing together. And that ruined them. Or at the very least greatly reduces there ability to function. Those lines of light act like you just rubbed away the clearance rake on a cutter.

Files as sold by proper makers in bulk come in boxes with layers of the brown anti oxidation paper between them to both fight rust and to keep the teeth from rubbing against each other. Stores commonly remove that paper by grabbing an edge and zipping it out of the box while all the files bang around against each other. It's freakin' crime and enough to make a tear come to my eye.

I bought some files one time from Acklands-Grainger. The guy came out from the back with the files already wrapped in newspaper with each file having paper between it and the others. I felt really good about that and complimented them on their product knowledge.

Obviously from all this it should go without saying that files should not just be tossed in a drawer or otherwise handled in any manner where they slide and clank against each other.

I also cringe when I see folks use good files to check that a piece of metal managed to harden correctly and they run the whole length of the file over the metal. That one simple operation just killed that file if it was any good to begin with. They may as well stick it into the forge next and make something useful out of it because it's not worth anything as a file any longer.

wierdscience
12-03-2017, 12:00 AM
Kitts Industrial Tools has Nicholson files in their catalog stating "Made in USA". I thought Nicholson production moved off-shore five or more years ago. The prices are great. Almost too great for a USA product. Apex Tool Group now owns Nicholson. The same group that owns the old mainstays like Allen, Delta, Cleco, Jacobs, Wiss, Weller, SATA, Armstrong, Crescent and Lufkin. (And many more.)

They did,Kitts doesn't set the world on fire updating their catalogs,I have one from 20 years ago with the same page in it,just slightly cheaper prices.

MattiJ
12-03-2017, 01:23 AM
Speaking of files amazingly many people abuse their files and hacksaw blades. I want to punch them in face every time I see someone putting full body weight on file or hacksaw on the backstroke.. :p

A.K. Boomer
12-03-2017, 09:38 AM
Decline on files is not that bad as adjustable/crescent wrenches or some asian import socket sets sold under Bahco name ( they do sell US made Snap-on tools also under bahco brand so go figure..)

I used to buy those Bahco hand saws damn were those things sharp --- I remember cutting through an entire 2X4 in under 4 strokes,,,

last time I was on a snap-off truck I tried to get a broken ratchet and a couple split sockets replaced as that's one of the main reasons I bought snap-off was life time replacement - guy on the truck says "im not going to cover any of that"

my tools are starting to get some off brands mixed in - I don't care they all work, I will do anything before I have to give snap-off another dime,,, and im spreading the word too :-)


Edit; I looked into this thread because of the name of the files, did not know they were aussie --- tell you the truth they sound like something SJ had tucked away in some of his file drawers - i would pay three times the cost to have something 1/3rd as sharp if it were something he used, or if I at least knew it was his brand would purchase one as I know it would remind me of him every time I used it,,,

tools like that are very special - I have a little 1/4" drive cornwell ratchet that was my Dads,,, it's my prize possession by far...