Files have been used for metalworking from as early as the Middle Ages – and they’re still essential in metalworking today. But with so many files readily available, it can be hard to know which ones to use for your projects. So, if you’re struggling with figuring out the right types of metal files to use, we can help you out. Whether you’re making rings, pendants or stone setting, discover all the best files for metalworking in our guide below.
What are the best metal files for making rings?
With their intricate shape and delicate size, it’s important that you use the correct file when making rings or you could damage your design. So what are the best metal files for making rings? They’re undoubtedly round files. Easy and convenient to use, you won’t go wrong with one of these. Ideal for making PMC rings, effortlessly buff away any awkward shapes or lumps and you’ll be left with a professional piece of jewellery.
The best metal working files for stone setting
If you’re ready to take your jewellery making to the next level, you may be interested in trying stone setting. However, making sure you have the right finishing tools is key. The best metal file set for stone setting is a set of needle files. Needle files are essential in ensuring gemstones fit correctly in a bezel – just file down the height of the bezel and the inside of the prongs to make the gemstone fit in securely and neatly.
What are the best metal files for soldering?
Whatever you’re soldering, there’s always the possibility you’ll find unwanted blobs of solder on your design. But this can be rectified by simply filing the piece. The best metal working files for smoothing out solder is a classic flat file. Versatile and comfortable to use with a wooden file handle, easily refine the surface of your solder with a flat file. For the most commonly used type of flat file, opt for cut 2.
General filing tips
Now you know all the best files for metalworking, we’ve put together some tips and tricks for filing in general:
- Clean your files. In order to keep your files at their maximum efficiency, clean your files with a file brush at regular intervals – it’ll save you from spending money on replacing them too!
- File away from you. Filing back and forth will only take up your time, energy and potentially blunt your file. Make sure you only file in one, forward direction where possible or you could damage your design.
- Use the right cut. This is vital for preventing damage to your piece. The number of the cut is dependent on how heavy the filing needs to be and the type of file you’re using. For example, a cut 6 needle file is most commonly used for filing jewellery as a cut 2 needle file would be too coarse.
Feeling more confident about choosing the best files for metalworking? Now it’s time to give it a go yourself. Just make sure you have all the right files before you start. Still feeling uncertain? View our Metalsmithing For Beginners blog to find out more about the basic metal working files and techniques.