File Tool

*We may earn a commission for purchases made using our links. Please see our disclosure to learn more.

A file tool is an essential hand tool that workers use for shaping and smoothing materials such as wood, metal, plastic, and many more. It consists of a hardened steel or tungsten carbide blade with abrasive teeth or ridges. 

Files are common in woodworking, metalworking, and jewelry making, among others.

Pros of Using a File Tool

Here are some advantages of using files for woodworking:

  • Material Removal and Shaping: Files are great for removing excess material and shaping wood.
  • Precision: The tool also provides woodworkers with a high level of precision and control.
  • Removing Imperfections: FIles are useful for removing imperfections on wood such as splinters, burrs, and rough spots.
  • Tool Sharpening: Woodworkers can use a file for sharpening woodworking tools such as chisels and saw blades.
  • Handcrafted Look: Lastly, files also allow crafters to achieve a level of detail and precision that makes handmade wooden products unique.

Types of Files

  • Rasps: Basically, rasps are course files with individual teeth or ridges that are typically used for aggressive material removal and shaping tasks. They are ideal for roughing out curved or irregular shapes in wood.
  • Flat Files: Flat files are used for general material removal and smoothing flat surfaces.
  • Round Files: Round files are ideal for enlarging round holes or shaping concave surfaces.
  • Half-Round Files: A half-round file has a flat and round side for versatile shaping.
  • Triangular Files: A triangular file tool is suitable for precision work and for getting into tight spaces.
  • Diamond Files: These variants come with diamond-coated surfaces that are suitable for hard materials such as glass, ceramics, or certain types of wood.
  • Mill Files: Mill files have a flat, rectangular shape and are used for general purpose filing and smoothing tasks. In addition, mill files also come in various sizes and cuts (coarseness levels).
  • Cabinet Files: Cabinet files are thinner and narrower than mill files. They are suitable for fine detailing and finish work, making them a great choice for cabinetry and other fine woodworking projects.
  • Needle Files: Needle files are small, precision files with fine teeth. They are ideal for delicate and intricate woodworking tasks, such as shaping small components and fine detailing.
  • Floats: A float is a long, flat files with rounded edges. This file tool is suitable for smoothing and leveling large wooden surfaces, such as tabletops and panels.
Avatar photo

John Friedenbach

My initial goal, to provide a selection of tools, education and plans to the Beginning to Advance Woodworker has not changed. I continue to search the web to find new products and services. To bring those products and services to your attention.

More to Explore

Tape Measures

A tape measure is a flexible ruler used to measure distance or length.

Center Finder

A center finder is a tool or device used to locate the exact center of a circular or cylindrical object.

Bowl Sander

A bowl sander is a tool used for sanding concave or curved wooden surfaces.