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Have You Ever Gotten Shavings From a File?

I added a new toy to the tool cabinet this weekend. An Iwasaki Carving File purchased during the big Woodcraft sale. These files are extremely sharp as they have been chemically etched. Their diagonal tooth pattern cuts much like a plane would cut including a form of tiny chip breaker which actually clears the chips from the file and prevents clogging.

I chose the medium cut, round file since most of the time I reach for a file is when trying to refine a curved surface. The edges are safe so that you can cut right up into a corner which I really like when trying to clean up a sharp corner.

My first impressions are that this file cuts really smoothly and just glides across the wood. I grabbed a scrap of hard maple to put the file to the test and before I knew it I was pulling long curly shavings off the wood with little effort. The stock removal was really fast and still left a clean surface that wouldn’t take much to clean up.

I am really impressed with how easily and quickly these files work and I am anxious to try out the fine and extra fine versions to see how clean they leave the stock. The file I currently own will be invaluable for rough shaping and I imagine I could knock out some cabriole legs pretty quickly with it.

The concerns I have at this point is how durable the teeth are over time. At around $30 a piece they are not super expensive but not throw away either. I’ll have to report back on that in time. For now I have some cool shavings to make with my new file.

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