I have a collection of files, rasps, and rifflers gathering dust in a drawer. Get into the habit of lifting the tool at the end of each stroke and returning to the start position. is that rasp is a coarse file, on which the cutting prominences are distinct points raised by the oblique stroke of a sharp punch, instead of lines raised by a chisel, as on the true file while surform is a tool with which one grates, rasps, planes, or shaves material, especially wood, to form its surface. I’ve used the WOOD magazine “Drill Press Speed Chart” (woodmagazine.com/charts) for years, trying... read more, Subtle distinctions separate files, rasps, and rifflers. Available in various coarseness grades, rasps perform superbly in controlled-cutting tasks, such as shaping cabriole legs or gunstocks, carving, easing edges, and tuning joinery. Here’s a list of my go-to tools. A smooth level stroke with a sharp bastard file will leave a surface every bit as fine as a handplane. , difference between woodworking rasps and files, 19 Types Of Woodworking Files -Woodworking Tools Guide, 8 Types Of Woodworking Rasps -Woodworking Tools Guide, Hammer vs Mallet - What's The Difference? Rasps, from finest to coarsest, come in BASTARD, CABINET (or MEDIUM), and WOOD. Send your woodworking questions to askwood@woodmagazine.com. Better rasps have randomly spaced teeth, as shown below, that help give you smoother surfaces and better cutting control. Their teeth, shaped like tiny mountain peaks, cut wood aggressively, but with little tear-out or clogging. A file is meant to shape metal, and a rasp is meant to shape wood. ■ Rifflers, also known as riffler rasps because they have teeth like those on rasps, have variously shaped cutting surfaces at each end. Do I need all three in my shop?—Tim Farley, Marshall, Texas. All of these tools give you great control when removing small amounts of material, Tim, but each is so different from the others that it makes sense to have all three types in your shop (as well as different versions of each type). Here’s what you need to know: Although both of these tools perform similar tasks, each one performs a specific type of function. ■ Files have long teeth running across their width. What's the best bevel angle for my chisel? Can you describe the best applications for each of these hand tools, and how to use them? Subtle distinctions separate files, rasps, and rifflers. Files work best with metal, while rasps and rifflers serve only to carve wood or soft stone. A common misunderstanding we make while discussing hand tools is to consider a file and a rasp as the same thing. © 2020 Meredith Corporation. ■ Store them so they don’t contact each other and become damaged. A rasp has very aggressive teeth, and a file has smaller, harder teeth. Files are often disregarded as tools for woodworking, but they are actually extremely useful. 1. The primary difference between a rasp from a file is that rasps are primarily for wood, but files are for metal. Those with only parallel teeth are known as straight-cut or single-cut files. ■ File and rasp handles increase comfort in holding the tool and controlling it. All Rights Reserved. File teeth, from finest to coarsest, come in SMOOTH CUT, SECOND CUT (or MEDIUM), and BASTARD CUT. A file will shape wood, but not as effectively as a rasp. File and Rasp Starter Set. You hold them in the middle when finely shaping hard-to-reach and concave surfaces. ■ For longest life, clean rasps with a bristle brush, not a file card designed for files. Send your woodworking questions to askwood@woodmagazine.com Coarseness is relative — a large file is generally coarser than a small one, even if both are labeled the same, and a rasp is always coarser than a file. ), 5 Types Of Wood Glue – Woodworking Guides, 10 Best Types of Wood for Carving (Spoons, Bowls, Walking Sticks & More), A finer cut resulting in a smoother finish, Files tend to clog up easily while working on wood, Rasps are the ideal choice for woodworking, You get a rough cut, but without ripping the material, you are working on, A variety of different types and cuts for various jobs, You cannot use a rasp on metal and other hard materials, Limited range of rasps available compared to files.

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