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Hornbeam

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i am looking to buy a new set of general files. Looking at Vallorbe or Tome Feteira. Any recommendations on these or other makes
Thanks Ian
 

Trevanion

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I can't knock the Bahco files, they're very good. Although I've never tried a Vallorbe or Tome Feteira file so I don't really have anything to compare the Bahco ones to except for old Stubs and Nicholson ones.
 

ED65

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What metal(s) will you want to use them on Ian, how heavily and/or how frequently?
Will you want to use some of the files on wood?
Any sizes/cuts/coarsenesses you know you want?
 

ED65

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This may sound like a joke but I'm going to recommend you try Powerfix Profi before forking out for anything better; this is on the basis of a large set of files and rasps I got in Lidl approximately 10 years ago. If they're still the same quality they represent some of the best value out there, sort of like the file equivalent to the Aldi chisels.

I've accrued a very large collection of quality vintage files, but in terms of files bought new these are the ones that impressed me the most, not the Blu-Dan, Swix, or NOS made-in-America Nicholson that I've purchased since (each of which individually should have cost more than the entire Powerfix set).

The double-cut hand file from that set has been my primary metalworking file for all large jobs and it only started to show its age after years of irregular use, mostly light but occasionally heavy. It was noticeably blunted after a big job shaping something in tool steel that wasn't fully annealed so I'd been asking quite a bit from it. I vinegar sharpened it at that point to give it a second lease on life and while it wasn't like new again it was pretty good, and I've had another two years from it since. It just did some major work on a beat up London-pattern turnscrew and it's time for another sharpen, see if I can't get one last stretch out of it before I convert it into a scraper.

However, if you don't have to buy new, don't need a set of files all at once, and don't mind them not matching, buying vintage is the way I'd go to build up a good set. You can get files for next to nothing that if still made would cost an arm and a leg. Even if they need cleaning up I think you can't go far wrong, not at a quid or less per file.
 

AES

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+1 for Bahco, Vallorbe, and (if you can find 'em) Baiter - all new.

Also +1 for just about old makes, again if you see any at flea markets, etc, and provided they're not completely shot (so also a +1 for the vinegar treatment).
 

Droogs

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very much recommend the Tome ones. They have an exceptional range of files and rasps and the cost is very good for what they are. I have the following from them:
116 taper regular
118 slim
119 xx slim
135 bandsaw file
383 dreadnought type
381 single cut fine tooth
415 needle file set
210 212 201 rasps
and a full set of standard machinist files.
I use them a lot and as long as you clean them with a bit of scrap wood/bamboo they seem like they will last me a few years

currently saving up to get a full set of their riflers.
 
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