How to Use a File

How to Use a File. Files are designed to smooth wood, metal and plastic. You can remove burrs from corners and sharpen metal edges with one as well. A file cuts only on the push stroke and leaves marks on the surfaces that must later be smoothed with sandpaper.

Things You'll Need

  • Double-cut Files

  • Single-cut Files

  • Curved Tooth Files

  • Flat Files

  • Half-round Files

  • Round Files

  • Square Files

  • Triangle Files

  • Wood Files

Step 1

Match the file shape to the workpiece ' is it flat, round or angled?

Step 2

Make sure the file lies flat on the work surface.

Step 3

Use the file diagonally. Push with one hand on the handle and use the heel of the other hand to guide the file.

Step 4

Work from left to right along the work surface. Reverse direction when you reach the end and work your way back to the beginning.

Step 5

File until you're satisfied with the smoothness of the work.

Step 6

Clean the teeth often with a file card.

Tip

Keep the file flat to avoid rounding the corners of the work. Fit your files with handles for your comfort and protection.