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Difference Between Wood File and Metal File

Difference Between Wood File and Metal File

Files are a common tool in the hardware and metalworking industries. Files are a handy tool in the form of long bars with many teeth or cutting edges that are used to smooth out fine bits of a surface from the material, as the name implies. Wood and metal files, often known as rasps and metal files or mill files, are the most frequent types of files.

The similarity between wood and metal files has commonly been misunderstood The terms "wood files," "cabinet maker files," and "rasps" are all interchangeable. Metal files are known as mill files, and woodworking tools are known as rasps.

Rasps have rougher teeth that are better for cutting wood. A rasp would not work well against a hard metal surface, however, a file would.

Wood File or Rasps 

Wood files, popularly known as rasps, are mostly used for woodworking. Rasps are a useful tool that is widely used in the woodworking industry. Rasps are used to shape and smooth a wood's rough edges or surfaces. Rasps come in various shapes, including long, bar-shaped, half-round, and round. It has cutting teeth that help in the coarse cutting. Rasps are naturally aggressive and hence produce a smooth finish (without ripping the surface).

Rasps are not suitable for use on metals or other hard surfaces. Unlike wood, the results will vary. A rasp will not clog as easily.

Metal File or Mill File

Mill files are hand tools majorly use for sharpening metals. Mill Files (Bastard Cut) are flat files with a single bastard cut design on one side and a rectangular tapering point on the other for detail work (Two square edges).

For removing metal, a double-cut design is suitable as they are more aggressive. The degree of cutting aggression is determined by the tooth cut. Smooth, second cut, bastard, and coarse are the four grades available. As a result, depending on the nature of your job, you can choose the file profile and size that best suits your needs. Mill files can be used on wood, but they rapidly become clogged.

Differences Between Wood File And Metal File




Suitable for



Teeth& cuts

Distinct or randomly-spaced

Close cuts or parallel cuts

Clogging tendency

Very less

Very high

No. of variety

Limited or very less

Large, depending on work

You now have a clear understanding of the differences between wood and metal files after reading this article. Choose files intelligently based on the tasks you require to work effectively and efficiently.

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