A file will shape wood, but not as effectively as a rasp. A rasp has very aggressive teeth, and a file has smaller, harder teeth. ■ For longest life, clean rasps with a bristle brush, not a file card designed for files. ■ Cut on the push stroke; a pull stroke will prematurely dull the teeth. Four grades—smooth, second cut, bastard, and coarse—give you additional choices in cutting aggressiveness. File and Rasp Starter Set. Scrollsaw, Carving, and Decorative Projects, Enjoy big-time safety cutting tiny pieces. Send your woodworking questions to askwood@woodmagazine.com. © 2020 Meredith Corporation. A rasp is the same kind of tool but used only for shaping wood ■ Files have long teeth running across their width. From above left: files, rasps, and rifflers give you fine control over stock removal, and virtually no tear-out when shaping workpieces. , difference between woodworking rasps and files, 19 Types Of Woodworking Files -Woodworking Tools Guide, 8 Types Of Woodworking Rasps -Woodworking Tools Guide, Hammer vs Mallet - What's The Difference? For more related content, subscribe to our newsletter! Files are often disregarded as tools for woodworking, but they are actually extremely useful. Although both of these tools perform similar tasks, each one performs a specific type of function. Do I need all three in my shop?—Tim Farley, Marshall, Texas. Considering the different sizes and tooth configurations of files and rasps, selecting a starter set for shaping and smoothing can be downright dizzying, but don’t fret. The primary difference between a rasp from a file is that rasps are primarily for wood, but files are for metal. ), 5 Types Of Wood Glue – Woodworking Guides, 10 Best Types of Wood for Carving (Spoons, Bowls, Walking Sticks & More), A finer cut resulting in a smoother finish, Files tend to clog up easily while working on wood, Rasps are the ideal choice for woodworking, You get a rough cut, but without ripping the material, you are working on, A variety of different types and cuts for various jobs, You cannot use a rasp on metal and other hard materials, Limited range of rasps available compared to files. ■ Rasps get greater use in wood shops than files and rifflers. Rasps, from finest to coarsest, come in BASTARD, CABINET (or MEDIUM), and WOOD. 1. A file is a hand tool used to shape many kinds of material by cutting. Subtle distinctions separate files, rasps, and rifflers. Why? Push with one hand and guide the cutting surface with a finger or two of the other hand. 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