Files are inexpensive, handy tools which can be used for dozens of different jobs around the home and in the workshop. They are indispensable for many shaping and smoothing jobs on metal, wood and plastics, and they are often required for sharpening tools and garden implements.
Though files are made in dozens of different sizes and styles, the home handyman need only concern himself with a few basic types. These vary according to size ( length) , shape ( cross section) and coarseness of cut (the kind of teeth it has) .
The teeth on most files are cut at an angle across the face. Files which have a single row of parallel teeth are called single-cut. Those which have a second row of teeth crisscrossing the first are known as double-cut. Single-cut files give the smoothest finish. Double-cut files will cut faster, but they do not leave as smooth a surface.