Files and rasps are efficient woodworking tools because they’re quick to use and have numerous uses. From erasing tool marks, removing excess stock, smoothing curves, and filling metal bits, files and rasps come in handy. When you invest in a wood file, you want one that will serve you for a long time.
The best woodworking file is the double-sided Saw File S. The file’s coarse side makes fast, aggressive, but clean cuts while the fine side delivers an 80 grit smooth wood surface. It’s lightweight, sturdy, and durable to let you get more work done with less effort for many years to come.
Files and rasps have a relatively short learning curve, and you get to use them fresh out of the package. Therefore, you must make the right choice when buying a file or a rasp. To make sure that you end up with files and rasps that get the job done, we’re going to review the six best files and rasps for woodworking.
Bohai Safety Tools Saw File S
Our top pick for the best woodworking file attests to why Japanese steel is held in high regard in the woodworking sector. What’s great about this wood file from Shinto is that you get two tools rolled into one. The course side is the rasp for heavy stock removal, while the smooth side is the file for refining curves. (Check out the current price on Amazon here)
The first thing you’ll notice about this tool is its aggression. The rasp makes quick work of any wooden piece you’re working on. Even heavy hickory wood is no match for Saw File S and will turn into sawdust in minutes.
The smooth side files away the small saw marks leftover by the rasp side to leave you with an 80 grit smooth surface. A few strokes are all it takes to shave off excess wood, get the shape you need, and move on to sanding.
Woodworkers love the sharp teeth on the rasp because they get you a clean cut without gouging or tearing out the grains as you file. Be sure to wear gloves when using a two-handed grip to avoid blistering your hands. The ergonomic handle fits perfectly into your hand to let you work on tricky angles without straining your arms.
- Dimensions: 15.75 x 2.1 x 1.18 inches (40 x 5.33 x 3.0 cm)
- Weight: 7 ounces (198.45 grams)
- Material: Hardened Steel
Shinto 9” Saw Rasp
The 9-inch Saw rasp is another fine and aggressive woodworking tool from Shinto. The saw rasp comprises ten hardened teeth saw blades bound by rivets to give it a grater-like appearance. Like the Saw File S, the 9-inch long file is double-sided with a coarse and fine side. (Check out the current price on Amazon here)
The hardened steel teeth give this rasp an aggressive bite that lets it deliver a quick and clean cut with each pass. The crisscross teeth pattern enables the rasp to cut on the push stroke, so the tool never stalls mid-stroke as you file. Despite their rough appearance, the teeth on this rasp tear away the wood without leaving unsightly directional gouges.
The fine side picks up where the coarse side leaves off to give you a smooth surface that’s ready for sanding. At almost half a pound (200 grams), this rasp is a tad weighty, which, coupled with its shortness, makes it easy to use and control.
- Dimensions: 14.05 x 2.8 x 1.2 inches (35.69 x 7.11 x 3.05 cm)
- Weight: 0.44 pounds (199.58 grams)
- Material: Hardened Steel
Shinto Planer Type Saw Rasp
The planer saw rasp comes with a handy handle, giving this woodworking tool a plane-like appearance and handing. The raised handle makes the rasp convenient to use and affords you better control while letting you work on larger areas. (Check out its current price on Amazon here)
The rasp is double-sided and comprises joined bandsaw pieces to give it the Shinto brand’s characteristic diamond patterns. The coarse side is exceptionally aggressive and cuts through wood like a hot knife in butter. The hardened teeth enable you to cut through waste wood quickly and effortlessly.
The open design and long teeth allow the rasp to expel wood shavings with a quick blast of air.
The fine side delivers a clean, smooth surface that’s at par with 80-grit sandpaper, reducing the amount of fine sanding you need to finish the job. A hand locking mechanism allows you to attach the rasp blade and switch between the coarse and fine sides seamlessly.
- Weight: 11.2 ounces (317.52 grams)
- Dimensions: 16.05 x 5.5 x 1.7 inches (40.77 x 13.97 x 4.32 cm)
- Material: Iron
Nicholson Farrier’s Rasp and File
It’s not the most aggressive double-sided rasp file we’ve seen, but this 14-inch rectangular tool packs a punch. The rasp side features rasp-cut American pattern teeth for aggressive wood removal. (Check out its current price on Amazon here)
The coarse side boasts an American pattern, double-cut teeth to deliver a quick but rough finish. Also called the bastard cut, this side allows for quick wood removal when a smooth finish or precision isn’t a primary concern.
The file’s edges feature single-cut teeth to clean up the surface when working on a project that calls for a smooth finish.
Unlike most wood files we’ve featured here, the Farrier comes with a handle on each end for a two-handed grip. A two-handed grip allows for powerful strokes when aggressive wood removal is needed.
- Weight: 1.65 pounds (748.43 grams)
- Measurements: 18 x 3.9 x 2.4 inches (45.72 x 9.90 x 6.10 cm)
- Material: Steel
Kapoua Needle File Set
This set comprises six hardened alloy strength woodworking files in various shapes to let you work on a project that calls for precision work and small details. (Check out its current price on Amazon here)
The half-round and round files are ideal when working on the inner arc surface, while the flat warding, flat, triangular, and square files are ideal for angular surfaces.
These files are durable and robust due to their high carbon steel composition and will serve you consistently for a long time. With their tough, sharp teeth and strength, these small files work on various materials, including wood, metal, plastic, ceramics, and more. Each file comes with a dipped, non-slip rubber handle for added comfort and excellent control and handling when working on small details.
Each file is 4.2 inches (10.7 cm) long, while the file’s total length, including the rubber handle, comes to 6.2 inches (15.9 cm).
You can choose a small set of six files in a plastic case or the Combo Set. The Combo Set comes with an additional three large files – round, half-round, and flat file – a wire brush, and a roll-up canvas bag.
- Weight: 3.2 ounces (90.72 grams)
- Package dimension: 6.1 x 3 x 0.5 inches (15.50 x 7.62 x 1.27 cm)
- Material: Stainless Steel
Four Uncles 20 Pcs File Set
If your woodworking projects cut across the board from huge to micro-pieces, you’d do well to get the 20 pieces set from Four Uncles. The set comprises files of various shapes and sizes to let you undertake any woodworking project. (Check out its current price and reviews on Amazon Here)
The set comprises 14 needle files, four large files, a scratch brush, and a 4-way wood rasp file.
Each file is forged from high carbon, low steel alloy to increase its strength and durability. The files, which come in different shapes, including warding, round, square, and triangle, maintain their cutting and boring edges for a long time thanks to a superior finish coating.
Both microneedles and files boast an ergonomic rubberized handle for smooth handling and advanced control. The soft contoured handle fits snugly in your hand to help tackle even the smallest projects with intricate details.
The 20-piece file set ships in a portable compartmentalized storage case. Each piece fits in a custom slot to keep them from rubbing against each other to prevent chipping and scraping. The storage case makes it easy to organize and carry all your tools and comes with a handy dy carry strap.
- Weight: 2.94 pounds (1.33 kg)
- Package Dimension: 13.4 x 6.9 x 1.5 inches (34.04 x 17.53 x 3.81 cm)
- Material: Carbon Steel
Files and rasps are crucial tools in every woodworking workshop as they make it easy to shape and smoothen the finished item. To get the best woodworking file and rasp, get one that:
- Removes heavy stock quick and effortlessly
- Delivers a smooth finished surface that’s ready for sanding
- Cuts through both hard and softwoods with minimal effort
- Forged from iron, stainless steel, iron, or carbon iron
- Has indestructible teeth that will last for years.
Depending on the scope of your work, you might need more than one rasp and file. In that case, you might want to buy a set that comprises both microneedles and larger files.