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Looking for a type of file but I don't know what it's called.

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Chris Dancer

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I recently moved my workshop and a very useful tool went missing. I'd like to buy another but I have no idea what it's called. I've always called it an abrafile but apparently that's something completely different. Here's a description, I hope this will ring a bell with someone...
It is basically a round file with a rough abrasive coating, tungsten carbide maybe. The cutting part is about 4mm in diameter and about 150mm long, and not tapered. It's very useful for making holes in metal panels for D connectors and mains inlets using the method: drill a load of holes, use this tool to cut between the holes, then use proper files to tidy up the shape. The core of the file is made of some soft metal so it's bendable (not that that helps its function). I have a feeling the one I had came from RS components, it had a plastic handle, yellow I think.

Help in finding a replacement would be much appreciated!
 

Gordon Tarling

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Well, Permagrit fits your abrasive description, but I think those with the flexible core disappeared a long time ago, though someone else might be able to prove me wrong. I've a few Permagrit tools and can highly recommend them.

G.
 
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Orraloon

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Look for tilers files. Come is all shapes and sizes. I even have a round carbide coated blade that fits the hacksaw. Cuts ceramics and glass.
Regards
John
 

MorrisWoodman12

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An abrafile to my mind is a straight round blade held in a hacksaw frame with an abrasive coating as you describe. I don't know what the yellow handled jobby is called though I may have one. If I still have one I'll see if it has a brand name on it and post again later.
Martin

Edited: corrected abrasive to abrafile. Thank you @Limey Lurker. Blasted auto-correct.
 
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AES

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Personally I'm having some trouble picturing your tool Chris.

AFAIK, Abrafiles are still around but rare (here anyway - look in model & craft shops, the brand Xacto have a range of different diameters) but at 150 mm long and not just "a flexible wire"? That has me stumped (the Xactos that I have/have seen are much shorter).

You do see "survival saws" (or similar names) sometimes that MAY work (I don't have one) which really are just an abrasive-coated flexible wire, but beyond that, I'm lost, sorry.

Why not just use a needle file, swiss file, or warding file?
 

Fergie 307

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Look at diamond coated files, very similar to your description. Like a needle file but coated in diamond. They come in numerous grades and sizes. I have always associated Abrafiles with the flexible wire type that fits in a hacksaw type frame for sawing tiles and so on, never seen a rigid one. Might be worth googling ceramic tile file and see what comes up.
 

Limey Lurker

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An abrasive to my mind is a straight round blade held in a hacksaw frame with an abrasive coating as you describe. I don't know what the yellow handled jobby is called though I may have one. If I still have one I'll see if it has a brand name on it and post again later.
Martin
You've used "abrasive", where I think you meant, "Abrafile".
 

Chris Dancer

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Look for tilers files. Come is all shapes and sizes. I even have a round carbide coated blade that fits the hacksaw. Cuts ceramics and glass.
Regards
John
I found tile files but couldn't find one that's narrow enough. I have some of those tile saw blades, they do the job but you have to drill a hole large enough to take the end of the blade, thread it through, then fit it to the hacksaw, which can be very fiddly.
 

Chris Dancer

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Personally I'm having some trouble picturing your tool Chris.

AFAIK, Abrafiles are still around but rare (here anyway - look in model & craft shops, the brand Xacto have a range of different diameters) but at 150 mm long and not just "a flexible wire"? That has me stumped (the Xactos that I have/have seen are much shorter).

You do see "survival saws" (or similar names) sometimes that MAY work (I don't have one) which really are just an abrasive-coated flexible wire, but beyond that, I'm lost, sorry.

Why not just use a needle file, swiss file, or warding file?
The difference between this tool and a needle / Swiss / warding file is that it is used for cutting a slot rather than shaping a hole. It's sort of a thick, one-ended Abrafile!
 

Bod

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The difference between this tool and a needle / Swiss / warding file is that it is used for cutting a slot rather than shaping a hole. It's sort of a thick, one-ended Abrafile!
I've had one of these, many years ago, had a blue handle, bendable round file, almost as rough as a rasp.
When it wore out, couldn't find a replacement.
Switched to using Chainsaw sharpening files, not as rough, but parallel sides.

Bod.
 

AES

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Yup, that looks like the type of Abrafile I was referring to - found in modelelling & craft shops and made/marketed by Xacto.

Only difference (compared to my own) I can see is no handle , and I think, more likely to snap if you bent it as shown in the pic.

I was also interested to see on the big pic of the handle that Abrafile is a registered trade mark. Didn't know that.

Will the OP please let me/us know if you manage to get one, and where?
 

Inspector

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Kutzall make some files but none are round. Same idea though.

US company has one.

Maybe a little too small but they are UK based. They have other bigger sizes.

Another US company.

Pete
 

Keith 66

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Abrafile was the blade it went into two holders that fit a standard hacksaw frame, we used to use them in schools, I was told that they are no longer manufactured which would be a shame as they were very handy.
 

Stevekane

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Initially thought of a Tile file and then saw the pictures and the description of it being bendy and Im failing to grasp why anyone would want a file that bends,,
Is it so that it could be curved out of a electrical metal box?
 

MorrisWoodman12

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Initially thought of a Tile file and then saw the pictures and the description of it being bendy and Im failing to grasp why anyone would want a file that bends,,
Is it so that it could be curved out of a electrical metal box?
I had my Abrafile so long ago that I can't really remember why I bought it but as I was mildly into getting the best out of my cars & motorbikes I'd guess I used it to clean & smooth the inside of the induction & exhaust ports within the head casting. I didn't have an electric drill back then. (The Wolf drill I eventually found blotted out the neighbour's TV two doors away. Cheap skate should have bought himself a modern one 😁)
Martin
 

Chris Dancer

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Why not just use a screw panel punch, they make them for 9 and 25 way D type connectors as well as many others.
I have punches for 9, 15 and 25 way D connectors. They are great on sheet steel or aluminium up to 2mm thick. I sometimes have to cut holes in 2.7mm thick aluminium.
 

Chris Dancer

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Found it! My Preciousss!!
As I thought, it was sold by RS Components. it was probably made by Abrafile, back in the day RS used to rebadge everything they sold. I'll have to take more care of it in future.
Abrafile.jpg
 
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