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After buying a few sets of cheap import files that really tended to incite frustration followed by anger, I decided to purchase some new files (post-hoc).


If if anyone is looking for upgrading files, I'm very happy with the following purchases.


http://www.ottofrei.com/Habilis-Vallorbe-Files-Set-of-5 - Extra Coarse 00


* These are $67 but work excellent as roughing files and have a nice balanced feel and are designed for use without a handle.  Basswood causes the files to not bite if too smooth it seems.  The 00 Habilis grab nicely on basswood and the extra weight seems to aide in the cut.  The 3-square works well in cutting slots, it fit horn timbers.

* I've been using them for roughing work on filler blocks.  These gave me some much needed tooling between a dremel and the cheapie diamond grid needle files, which turns out is something I desperately needed.

* Highly recommended.  A little pricey but given how much I use them now.




http://www.ottofrei.com/Glardon-Vallorbe-LA2483-Swiss-Made-Needle-File-Set-Of-Twelve-6-1-4-16-cm?custcol_of_xc_file_cut=1 - Course 0


* Very nice set of files.

* I haven't used these much yet (i've only had them for a week) but I suspect they will be used very often as I progress through the build (and take on more metalworking projects).

* $84-93








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Are these meant to be for wood? Since it's on the Otto Frei web page, I imagine they are more meant for metal, specifically jewelry and watch making.





Current build: Schooner Mary Day (scratch)


Previous builds:  Model Shipways Pride of Baltimore 2, Amati HMS Endeavour, Midwest Muscongus Bay Lobster Smack, Bluejacket America, Midwest Sharpie Schooner



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I suspect most users of these are for fine metalworking however the coarser cuts are quite useful for wood and other soft materials such as plastic.  I've had better luck getting better quality tools from jeweler supply companies over hobby shops.


I think part of the wood/metal file distinction is that it seems many vendors often categorize rasps as files.  Lee Valley does sell a tool called a milled tooth file that look pretty interesting as they function more like a saw instead of an abrasive.


I could totally be wrong on this!

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  • 4 years later...

For Ben752


I too am looking for a better set of needle files. I have 3 Xacto files, but I need other cross section shapes for some detail work on basswood( model sailboat)

My needs are not for roughing work. Is coarse a better choice?





Edited by Steve116
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Steve, I have a set of Glardon-Vallorbe 5 1/2" needle files that I use a lot.  These are the #2  cut, which is a medium cut.  I recently received a #0 cut of these files which is a course cut, but have not really used them yet.  I was surprised at how often I use these files.





Member - Hampton Roads Ship Model Society

            - Ship Model Society of New Jersey

               - Nautical Research Guild



Current Build - Armed Virginia Sloop, 18th Century Longboat

Completed Build - Medway Longboat

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hands down the Vallorbe files are the best I've ever found. If you are looking for larger files for any reason check out this series of files in various sizes


Vallorbe Swiss Machinist-Engineers Files-Hand LQ5010 | OttoFrei.com


Also this Italian Co. also carries quality products and offers some great rasps etc. 


CORRADI Shop - Italian made, high quality files and rasps


I hafted some handles on 18 a few weeks back. Mostly all swiss Vallorbe. 




Edited by aaronc
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On 8/19/2017 at 7:50 PM, jdbondy said:

Are these meant to be for wood? Since it's on the Otto Frei web page, I imagine they are more meant for metal, specifically jewelry and watch making.




I want great quality for whatever I'm working on. I rarely work  with metal. Usually powder horns and wood,..and some plastic in the future as I piddle with scale a little more.....but this files can be used on whatever. Just choose the coarseness that suits you best. 

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