Poll: Files and Rasps

spiral-raspFiles and rasps can be handy to have in the shop. Initially, a tool like a rasp can be intimidating as there are no fences or stops. You just plop it on the surface and go. But once I broke the barrier of straight and dove head first into the world of curved, the rasp soon became one of my favorite tools to use. You can see my rasps in action in this recent video.

So how about you? What do you think of files and rasps?

This poll was created by Tom Iovino at TomsWorkbench.com.

Category: Poll of the Week


  1. Doug Menning July 30, 2013

    use them all the time for finetuning crown moulding copes

  2. John Fitzgerald July 30, 2013

    How about another option – “don’t have any but definitely want to get some and try them out”

  3. Lone_Wolf July 30, 2013

    OK, I admit I am new to the world of hand tools. Maybe one of my fellow woodworkers could shed a little light on a question I have regarding rasps. What is the difference between a Pattern Maker’s Rasp and a Cabinet Makers Rasp?

    Second question: I believe my lack of love for the rasp is due to the lack of owning a quality rasp. Any suggestions on one or two general purpose rasps for woodworking?


    • Roger July 31, 2013

      A pattern makers rasp is smaller and finer. they are generally used for cleaning up. a cabinet makers rasp will be larger and be better for stock removal and general shaping. If you can afford a starter set of liogier rasps from lee valley you will not be disappointed. It’s also worth noting that hand build rasps handle and work fare better than machine built. Do some research on liogier and aurora rasps on you tube and you should learn what you need.


      • Lone_Wolf July 31, 2013

        Thanks Roger.

  4. Dave Jenkins July 30, 2013

    Think it’s missing an option which is never used one but would give it a try :-) so checked someone can buy me one :-)

    Coincidentally for any one in the uk that’s not on the rutlands mailing list they have 25% of rasps and files – it landed in my inbox this morning :-)

  5. Dean in Des Moines July 30, 2013

    I love using a good one. Those from the dollar bin at the local hardware are marginally useful for cleaning lawn mower blades. And the price of these nice ones! I’ve spent less on power tools. Wish there were a middle road, but I can’t find one.

  6. Luke sellers July 30, 2013

    Ariou are great. I have a large and small in various stiches and the are fantastic, truly expensive though.

  7. Jeff July 31, 2013

    When my parents sold their house, some years ago, my father gave me a wooden box with a dozen files and rasps in it. Round, flat, coarse and fine, they were of many sizes and forms. He told me “take care of those, they are good woodworking tools”. I stashed them at the bottom of my workbench and forgot about them, until my wife asked me to build coffee tables with Queen Ann legs… I THEN realized how useful those are to shape and refine anything that is not square and flat. I bought some more. :-) They are also really useful when finishing holes or rounding difficult to reach edges. Hint: have a soft steel brush close to keep them clean, they will work better and longer. And yes, there was one in my father’s wooden box…

  8. Ed du Toit August 2, 2013

    When I’m using a really course & really sharp half-round rasp it’s such a great feeling I have to hold myself back. I just want to keep going.

  9. Robert Cashman August 9, 2013

    Nicholson #49 and #50 are great and far better priced than the high end hand stitched models.I have used both and prefer the Nicholson.

  10. Mike agathright January 10, 2014

    Is liogier still in business? They do not respond to emails. I’m trying to order but would like to know shipping cost.

    • Mike Gathright January 11, 2014

      Liogier update. I did get a nice response and a offer to email my needs instead of using their web order form. I still don’t know the freight cost but will include this question again when I order.

  11. Warren Thwaites March 29, 2014

    Couldn’t do without them when making barley twist legs.

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