We've GOT to do something about Saw Files...and we can

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Forum topic by FenceFurniture posted 06-24-2013 07:43 AM 4892 views 1 time favorited 95 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View FenceFurniture's profile


39 posts in 2577 days

06-24-2013 07:43 AM

Topic tags/keywords: sharpening traditional resource

G’day all

I have been running a thread over here in Australia, trying to get to the bottom of why Saw Files are so lousy these days (with a very few exceptions) and why it is so hard to buy good ones that will last more than a few strokes.

My research has been exhaustive, but is not yet finished. Currently I am receiving deliveries of various files from various suppliers from all over the world. What a sorry looking bunch they are so far! These will be sent to three testers for evaluation, and it will be a “blind” test, as i will be grinding off the logos and labels. I will also be chemically sharpening a couple of duplicate files in Citric Acid to see if there is any reality to the myth that a new file can be further sharpened better than as supplied from the manufacturer.

I do NOT expect these tests to go very well at all.

And this is why – these a pics of a brand new, never used once, currently purchased file from a LEADING MANUFACTURER:

This pic shows the poor grinding of the blank:

Which leeds to teeth being formed like this (it’s supposed to be a Single Cut tooth pattern, but looks more like a Double Cut):

That leads to potential fracture points of the edge teeth:

Do they look any good to you????

I have been in consultation with 15 of the world’s top Saw guys, and they are right behind this project.

Even if it emerges that there are one or two brands that are still worthwhile (and I suspect I know which brands they will be), the files that are currently being made are NOTHING like what they used to be. The most important thing to note is that the taper has been almost removed completely from Taper Files, with only the last 10-20% of the length of the file being tapered.

So, I NEED YOUR HELP! I have started an online petition to gather as many signatures as I can. This data will be presented to a manufacturer (I have two in mind) in an effort to once more go back to the quality saw files of the not so distant past.

You can sign the petition at the following address (it takes just a few seconds, but you can leave a comment as well – please do):

This might seem a bit radical, but I have just recently seen the power of a petition from that site. We have a radio presenter (Shock Jock) in Australia who is a disgrace to the planet. With a petition he was taken off air (for two months), and all his sponsors deserted him. He even had to hand back his Merc within a week or Mercedes Benz would have repossessed it – true story – big national news here.

A petition is a powerful tool, but it requires your support.

We could do a bit of networking with this – if you talk about this petition on your website or blog and provide a link to it we can make it grow into something that simply cannot be ignored. You can also link it to any other forums that you frequent.

Best regards


95 replies so far

View chrisstef's profile


17717 posts in 3181 days

#1 posted 06-24-2013 01:21 PM


-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View Buckethead's profile


3194 posts in 2043 days

#2 posted 06-24-2013 01:35 PM

I’m not an aficionado so I won’t comment on any technical aspects of this issue, but what I do see here is an opportunity for a group of like minded enthusiasts to take market share.

Our throw away economy has nearly run its course. Quality must come back into the market. Why insist others bring that quality? Why not take this opportunity to provide that quality and earn a profit as well?

I have not seen any discussion about the ready availability of quality saw files, but I’ve seen several just like this.

There is a demand. There must be a price point which that demand will support. It seems the larger companies have not reconciled the two.

Maybe look into becoming a provider yourselves? ( or maybe, our throw away culture won’t support the price point needed to supply the quality files?)

-- Support woodworking hand models. Buy me a sawstop.

View terryR's profile


7396 posts in 2483 days

#3 posted 06-24-2013 02:00 PM

Petition signed.

Yep, if I had capital to invest, I’d make my own files. This disposible society isn’t working well…seen the national deficit lately? Making a quality tool takes little more natural resources, uses the same amount of electricity and man hours, produces the same amount of waste and hydrocarbons, but saves all the above since the tool lasts longer, fewer are needed to be made.

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View FenceFurniture's profile


39 posts in 2577 days

#4 posted 06-24-2013 03:18 PM

There is a much, much easier solution, and I have a cunning plan my Lords.

I just need hard data (signatures on a petition) to get it happening, I reckon. (can’t tell you everything all at once now, can I?:-)


View chrisstef's profile


17717 posts in 3181 days

#5 posted 06-24-2013 03:19 PM

Love me some cunning plans. Thread watched.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View Wally331's profile


350 posts in 2200 days

#6 posted 06-24-2013 09:14 PM

Signed. Maybe we could get lie-nielsen to invest in some file making tools ;)

View waho6o9's profile


8482 posts in 2752 days

#7 posted 06-24-2013 09:23 PM

I like the way Wally’s thinking.

View Don W's profile

Don W

18989 posts in 2742 days

#8 posted 06-24-2013 10:43 PM

I signed. I’m thinking the current 58 won’t do it. Ate you putting it out to the other forums?

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View FenceFurniture's profile


39 posts in 2577 days

#9 posted 06-24-2013 10:50 PM

Sure am Don. It was always going to be 58 at some stage, even if it becomes 500 (which I think would be a good number, given the niche market) so don’t despair – spread the word. Email your buddies, yadda, yadda

Forums in mind are Woodnet & Sawmill Ck, and it’s already on talkFestool. I had a look at some UK forums, but there is little chatter about Saw Files, so motivating them could be tricky (or nigh on impossible, given the geography :-)

Any other suggestions?


View Stephenw's profile


273 posts in 2560 days

#10 posted 06-25-2013 12:09 AM

I really don’t think most companies care.

I think companies like Apex tool group moved production to Mexico, Brazil, and China purely to maximize profit.

They are looking at the next balance sheet and their bonus check, not the long term.

View FenceFurniture's profile


39 posts in 2577 days

#11 posted 06-25-2013 12:34 AM

Stephen, I’m not talking about big companies doing the manufacturing – I won’t bother with them for a moment – it was them that got us into this situation, so I hardly see the point in rewarding poor behaviour.

If a suitable current supply can’t be found (and I’m dead keen to see something from Tsubosan) then I will first be presenting the data to Liogier in France (who already make a range of “nearly there” saw files – but you won’t find them on the net, or anywhere else).

If they can’t be persuaded to make an extra €100k or more per year then I’ll go to Honauer in Switzerland. They currently do not have a range of saw files, and are willing to custom make to a standard of excellence.

It may transpire that even if the Tsubosan’s are good that another supplier is required because of language difficulties etc. To show what I mean, these are some quotes from their website:

“Conventionally, as the tip of the blade is processed by electrolytic polishing (PAT) and the sharp blade of the knife-like material is processed in advance, the concave part bosom is deep and suitable for the material that is easy to cause clog like stiffening plastic, bakelite, wood and other light metals.”

“It the industry first, we make both ends type file surface, made easy to guarantee the balance of suffering.”

I am also going to research if there would be any benefit in using Chrome Steel or not. I should think the additional cost would be irrelevant, as the cost of the steel would be a very small component in such small files.


View FenceFurniture's profile


39 posts in 2577 days

#12 posted 06-27-2013 07:24 AM

I posted this news on the petition site today:

Thank you all for signing the Saw Files Petition.

I had a very interesting talk with one of the manufacturers in France last night. They already produce a range of “nearly there” Saw files (I knew this), and really only need some adjustments & include some Double Extra Slim Files to have a TOP NOTCH RANGE.

The main thing they need to correct is the taper, and corner radius consistency on the smallest files (sometimes excellent, sometimes no good). I have developed other tools with this manufacturer, and the latest is their new range of Floats for Planes and Joinery. This will increase to a range of 12-15 Floats in the coming months.

The most important thing to come out of the conversation is that they will be very responsive to public demand (i.e. Petition Signatures).

post a link to this petition & give it some publicity on your Woodwork Forum(s) of choice, or your own Website/Blog.




View Brit's profile


7522 posts in 3017 days

#13 posted 06-28-2013 12:00 AM

Brett – I somehow missed this thread until Marv over on Woodnet pointed it out. Thank you for taking the initiative on this. I also feel very strongly about it and thoroughly support your efforts. Petition signed.

I’d like to give you a suggestion. If you have a video camera, record a 5 minute video stating your case. It will spread like wild fire on YouTube. I uploaded a video on saw sharpening 3 weeks ago and it has already had over 3000 views.

If you need any help editing/posting the video, please let me know. I’d be happy to help/post it on YouTube.

By the way, leave the UK woodworkers to me. :o)

-- - Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View FenceFurniture's profile


39 posts in 2577 days

#14 posted 06-28-2013 12:03 AM

View waho6o9's profile


8482 posts in 2752 days

#15 posted 06-28-2013 12:05 AM


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