17 Types Of Files Tools [PDF]

In this article we will discuss about the file tools and its types, parts and applications in detail. Let’s start with the definition of files tools first.

What are Files Tools?

A file, made from high carbon steel, shapes metal or wood by cutting, trimming, or finishing to meet specific needs—round, square, or angular. It has multiple cutting points, producing small particles when used on metal. Files provide final touches for a smooth finish, especially after chipping metal. They also resize machine parts and are employed where other cutting tools are impractical. Additionally, files are used to sharpen the edges of various cutting tools.

What are the main Parts of Files Tools?

Following are the main types of Files Tools:

  • Handle
  • Tang
  • Heel
  • Face
  • Edge
  • Tip or Point

A wooden handle attaches to the tang, and teeth on the face and edge enable cutting. The toothless part is the heel, while the thick side is the edge, and the lower end is the tip or point.

What are the main Types of Files Tools?

Different files tools are used for different jobs. Following are the main types of files tools:

  • On the basis of length
  • On the basis of shape
    1. Flat file
    2. Round file
    3. Half-round file
    4. Triangular file
    5. Square file
    6. Hand file
    7. Knife file
  • In the basis of grades
    1. Rough File
    2. Bastard File
    3. Second cut File
    4. Smooth File
    5. Dead Smooth File
  • On the basis of cut
    1. Single Cut File
    2. Double Cut File
    3. Curved Cut File
    4. Spiral Cut File
    5. Rasp Cut File

1. Classification on the basis of Length

A file’s measurement is based on its entire length, excluding the tang. In the fitter trade, files ranging from 100 mm to 450 mm are commonly used.

2. Classification on the basis of Shape

Following are the main types of files tools based on shape:

Flat File

Flat File

This rectangular file is slightly tapered in width and thickness, featuring double-cut teeth on the face and single-cut teeth on the edge. It is used for filing and finishing to reduce flat surfaces.

Round File

Round File

This round-section file is designed for rubbing or finishing small-diameter keyholes.

Half-round File

Half-round File

It’s a curved file with double-cut teeth on one side and tapering, similar to a round file. This file is effective for restoring damaged holes to their proper condition.

Triangular File

Triangular File

Triangular in shape with 60° angles, this file, also called a three-square file, is used for filing “V” slots, square, and rectangular jobs with angles above 60° and below 90°.

Square File

Square File

This square, somewhat tapered file is used for filing rectangular shapes, square grooves, slots, and keyways.

Hand File

Hand File

Similar to a flat file, this file is used for filing the internal right-angle side of a job and is also known as a safe edge file.

Knife Edge File

Knife Edge File

Resembling a knife edge with a thin edge at about a 10° angle, this file is used for filing small grooves and slots with angles less than 60°. Commonly employed in the lock industry for key making.

3. Classification According to Grade

Following are the main types of files tools based on Grade:

Rough File

Rough File

This file type has large, sparse teeth, making it suitable for cutting soft materials due to its rough cutting nature. However, it is not suitable for hard metals.

Bastard File

Bastard File

The teeth of this file are smaller compared to the rough file. It is primarily used for quickly removing a large quantity of metal through filing.

Second-cut File

Second-cut File

This medium-grade file is commonly used in the fitter trade to adjust the job to the proper size. Compared to a bastard file, filing with this file results in a smoother surface.

Smooth File

Smooth File

This file not only achieves precise sizing through filing but also renders the surface remarkably smooth.

Dead Smooth File

Dead Smooth File

With closely spaced teeth, this file removes metal in small quantities, ideal for bringing shine to a finished job.

4. Classification of Files On The Basis of Cut

Following are the main types of files tools based on Cut:

Single-cut File

Single-cut File

This file features diagonal parallel lines of teeth on its face, rubbing off metal in small quantities, resulting in a smooth surface. It is primarily used for finishing and suitable for hard metals.

Double-cut File

Double-cut File

This file features two rows of teeth intersecting at 40° to 45° and another row at 70° to 80° angles. Due to its double teeth, it cuts metal rapidly but doesn’t produce a very smooth surface, making it suitable for general filing purposes. Also known as a coarse type file, it has one row at 30° to 35° and another at 80° to 87° angles.

Curved-cut File

Curved-cut File

Also called the Vixen file, this curved-cut file is designed for filing wide surfaces of soft metals such as aluminum, zinc, copper, and brass, featuring circular teeth as illustrated in the figure.

Spiral-cut File

Spiral-cut File

Round or semi-round files feature teeth shaped like threads.

Rasp-cut File

Rasp-cut File

This file has specially thick, triangular-shaped teeth in a bulging state, suitable for woodworking, plastic, fiber, hard rubber, and jobs involving horns and hooves of animals.

What are the Methods of Filing?

To achieve the desired surface through filing, consider the following points:

  1. Select the appropriate file type for the job.
  2. Ensure a properly fitted handle on the file tang, matching the file size.
  3. Hold the file handle with the right hand and balance the file end with the left hand.
  4. Maintain the correct stance: left leg forward, right leg slightly behind, as shown in the illustration.
  5. Apply pressure on the file while moving it forward, not during the backward stroke.
  6. Keep only your hands in motion with the file; minimize movement in the rest of your body.
  7. Maintain a filing speed of 30 to 35 strokes per minute.

What are the precautions that you must take while using files tools?

You must consider the following precautions while working with files tools:

  1. Choose the appropriate file for the job.
  2. Always use a file with a handle, ensuring proper sizing.
  3. Initiate a new file on soft metal before using it on solid metal.
  4. If dealing with substantial material, start with chipping before filing.
  5. Secure sheet metal jobs in a vice using wood on both sides; ensure the sheet is not higher than the vice.
  6. When filing a sheet, cut it lengthwise.
  7. Use chalk to prevent the job from pinning; clean metal particles from the file with a brush.
  8. Store files separately from other tools; avoid stacking them together.
  9. Avoid heating the file.
  10. Refrain from applying oil or grease to the file.

What are the main applications of Files Tools?

Following are the main applications of Files Tools:

  1. Files provide the final finishing touches to metal or wood jobs.
  2. After chipping, metal jobs often become rough, and files are employed to achieve a smooth finish.
  3. Files are used to resize machine parts that are larger than the required size.
  4. They are essential in places where other cutting tools cannot be utilized.
  5. Files serve the purpose of sharpening the edges of various cutting tools.

That concludes it. Thank you for reading. If you have any questions about “Types of Files Tools” feel free to ask in the comments.

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