Author Topic: Best file for keeping tools sharp  (Read 418 times)


Best file for keeping tools sharp
« on: December 22, 2018, 07:43:50 PM »
Hello everyone and Merry Christmas! I requested to Santa for a good file, or better yet a set of files, for Christmas but he asked which ones or brand? So was wondering if anyone had a recommendation? I've seen cheap sets at Harbor Freight or Northern Tool, but didn't want to waste any money. Basically, I'm most interested in being able to sharpen hand saws, and the like. I've got methods for axes, knives, and machetes, but sawing wood with a dull saw is a bear. I'd really like to have this item in stock when the wall goes down. That is when we plug into the wall and there is no power. BTW, and my apologies if it's been mentioned already, but did anyone see the new DHS statements about potential power grid attacks which seemed to emphasize the hacker threat and the need for food storage?

John Galt 1

Re: Best file for keeping tools sharp
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2018, 12:13:01 AM »
If you're looking for a file for a chain saw.     While expensive ($40) I like the PFERD chain sharp files.      It's bigger than a single rats tail file,; probably weighs a pound and has 3 files in it.

It has a built in guide that makes hand sharpening angle more accurate and file down the clearing teeth if needed in the same stroke.      Usually I use the electric sharpener in my shop but if away from the house the PFERED sharpener works well.      Back in collage I made money cutting trees and the more experienced guys kept a file to touch up their blades during lunch break and I've found it worth bringing along when cutting away from my property.   

I use the 3/16" size because it fits my 14" saw chain which is the saw I'd probably be using the most if SHTF happened.      I'm not interested in splitting 36" logs with a maul and wedges.

If you've only got a few gallons of gas you'll cut a lot more wood with a sharp blade.

I've sharpened axes with a large bastard's file and it's work. Now days I just use this.
A few swipes at the end of the day and the blade is sharp.

If you're trying to file a hand saw I sometimes hand sharpen my large (over 1") drill bits by hand.        I do better with a narrow little file kit than a larger bastards file.     I suspect the same would apply to sharpening a hand saw.

Didn't see the DHS video but read about the announcement about storing food and water.      Shame that it hasn't made the local news.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2018, 12:47:34 AM by John Galt 1 »


Re: Best file for keeping tools sharp
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2018, 09:52:21 AM »
Thanks John, good recommendations and I'll keep them in mind. For chain saws I bought a Sthil sharpening system, but haven't used it yet. Will probably break it out this spring. I will check out your ax sharpening recommendation. My question was really centered on sharpening hand saws for cutting 2x4's and such. Imagine having to board up windows, fabricate an animal enclosure, or make repairs in a grid down environment with only using a dull hand saw since there is no power for tools. Maintaining noise discipline could be important as well. Thanks again though, good suggestions.

As far as the DHS goes, I'm guessing they know something is up and wanted to put it out there so they could say we were warned and they did their job. I remember a couple of years back it was reported a massive Carrington size solar storm missed Earth by a week, and it was reported had it hit it would have put us in the dark ages. FEMA was asked about it and the reply was that we should prepare for it like any other disaster. There they told us! Job done. Really no emphasis or public campaign to prevent an estimated 90% mortality though or even funding to protect the grid which the article pointed out could be done rather cheaply.


Re: Best file for keeping tools sharp
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2018, 11:40:10 AM »
Every machine shop iv worked at has used Nicholson files and that is all that i use in the garage. I have tried the cheap sets and find them worthless for removing metal.


Re: Best file for keeping tools sharp
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2019, 10:20:51 PM »
Thanks Hogjowlhomsteader! I bought a Nicholson file (interestingly it was made in Mexico) but looks to be a good file.  Alongside the Nicholson was also a collection of Husky brand files (made in China) which I figured for the price I might as well purchase as well since I couldn't find any American made files. Pictured is a once favorite hand saw until I caught children sawing on a cinder block with it. Also pictured are my sthil files as well.  I will test the files soon and see if I get good results.