How To Sharpen Tools With A File: 6 Steps To Sharp Your Tools

Sharpening your tools is not only a way to keep them in good condition and working right, but it also makes the work go faster and with less effort. Read this article for more information on how to sharpen tools of all types. 

Steps To Sharpen Tools With A File

Step 1. Start With A Clean File 

It is important to have a clean file to avoid contaminating your tools with dirt or debris. To clean your file, soak it in hot soapy water for a few minutes.

Once it is soaked, use an old toothbrush to scrub away any dirt or grime. Rinse the file well and dry it off with a clean cloth before you start sharpening. 

Step 2. Use The File To Remove Any Burrs From The Tools 

Use the file to remove any burrs from the tools. Start by holding the file at a 20-degree angle to the tool.

Work the file back and forth across the edge of the tool, moving from one end to the other.

Be sure to keep the pressure even as you work. When you are finished, turn the tool over and repeat on the other side. 

Step 3. Use A Back-and-forth Motion With The File 

Use a back-and-forth motion with the file to sharpen your tools. The number of strokes will depend on the size of the file and the amount of metal you need to remove. 

Step 4. Use A Light Pressure 

One of the most important aspects of filing is using the right amount of pressure. On one hand, using too much pressure can cause the file to “skip” across the surface of the metal, creating an uneven finish.

On the other hand, using too little pressure will not remove enough material and will make the job take much longer than it should.

The best way to find the right amount of pressure is to experiment on a piece of scrap metal before beginning work on your project. 

Step 5. Avoid Using The File On Wet Tools 

Although most people think of using a file on woodworking projects, files are extremely useful for sharpening all kinds of tools, including wet ones.

However, it is important to avoid using the file on wet tools, as this can damage both the tool and the file. Instead, wait until the tool has dried completely before beginning to sharpen it. 

Step 6. Finish With A Honing Stone 

To finish, use a honing stone to create a razor-sharp edge. Soak the stone in water for 10 minutes, then rub the blade of the tool back and forth against the stone.

Start with a rough grit (100-200) and move to the finer grit (400-600) until the blade is sharp and produces a clean cut. 


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