Respect your Tools: Cleaning your Hand Files

cleaning a file

Cleaning your Hand Files

stainless steel brush

File cleaning brush





Use a short bristle stainless steel brush or a brass brush to keep your files clean. It is a small hand held wooden tool with 100’s of little metal bristles. Place the brush at an angle to the tooth of the file and slide parallel to the clean into the teeth- go along the grain. It will take a few times across to cut into pattern.


Wooden file holder


It also works on rust. Also, try knocking the file on your bench pin every dozen or so strokes, to throw out little bits of clogged material.

Store your files so that they don’t touch. Wooden blocks with holes drilled in them intended to hold flex shaft tools and saw blades, but they work great for storing files.

Magnetic strip



You could try using a magnetic strip intended for chef’s knives in the kitchen. Just mount it in your studio and use it to hold your files.



Paint your file handles to help identify them.
You can paint them all one unique colour so you can quickly tell which ones are which in terms of shape or cut.

Never wash your files in water, because they’re steel and will rust if not dried completely.