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Metal files used in jewelry making can be found in many styles, shapes, and sizes, each in a wide array of cuts. Choosing the right file for the job is important. Download a pdf of File Cuts, Styles, & Shapes. You can also read a text description of this information below.
Tapered in both width and thickness with only one cutting edge and safe sides that angle sharply back. The triangular profile allows this file to get into tight spaces to file one surface without effecting adjacent surfaces.
Rectangular profile with parallel sides and thickness. All four sides have teeth: double cut on top and bottom, single cut on both sides. This file is used primarily for filing slots and corners. It also makes a good general purpose file due to it’s wide, flat cutting surface.
Similar in profile to an equalling file, with four parallel sides. The hand file has a slightly tapered thickness and is cut on only three sides, leaving one safe edge. The top and bottom are double cut, while the side is single cut. This file has a wide variety of uses.
Parallel in width and tapered in thickness, like a hand file. The pillar file is double cut on the top and bottom and has two safe edges. It is typically more slender than a hand file and available in several widths. The safe edges allow precise filing without effecting adjacent surfaces.
With one curved and one flat surface, the half round file is well-suited for many applications, including: removing material from the inside and outside of curved surfaces. It is tapered in width and thickness and comes to a point, allowing it to get into tight areas.
Similar in profile to a half round file, but cut only on the curved surface, leaving the flat side safe. The sides and thickness are tapered, coming to a fine point at the end. The uncut flat surface makes this a safer file when filing inside curves.
Round profile gradually tapers to a point. This file is double cut along its entire length. The round file is used to enlarge holes, file a bevel on curved edges and to round off radii. Also available with a parallel (non-tapered) profile, perfect for filing seats for hinge knuckles.
Square profile gradually tapers to a point, with all four sides double cut along their length. This is a good general purpose file with many uses, including: scoring lines for bending 90˚ angles, refining slot corners, and making round holes into square holes.
Also called a triangular file, the sides of this file gradually taper to a point. All three sides are double cut. When used along a corner of the file, it will create a V-groove with a 60˚ angle. Useful for filing/refining seats in prongs.
This file is similar in profile to a half-round file and is used primarily for filing interior curved surfaces and compound curves. The crossing file has two curved surfaces, one having a larger radius than the other. Both are double cut.
The knife file is best suited for filing grooves and getting into narrow slots, keyways and acute angles. The sharp profile has teeth on two sides with a safe top edge. Width and thickness taper to a fine point.
Similar in profile to the equalling file, but with tapered sides that come to a point. Useful for removal of burs and for filing narrow slots. Double cut top and bottom with single cut edges.