For work, I use a set of Gotoh's nut slotting files. It's the 10-piece set (original recipe) with sharp handles meant for a file holder which I've never obtained. My problem is wear issues. My .013 and .016 are dead smooth, so I might as well be slotting with dental floss. A few questions regarding nut slotting files:

Are all created equal? Are they all just tool steel with an abrasive edge? From my searching, most people jump to Allparts and say avoid Stewmac? Any validity? Is there a consensus on good ones?

Does anyone notice their files wearing down faster from Graphtech nuts? It's almost all we use for nuts, with a rare bit of corian thrown in. Do the lucky people who use bone have wear problems?

I read that some people put a tooth on feeler gauges, but after trying to re-tooth my .013 file today with a dremel, I found the results dismal.

Am I just crazy(nuts...?) here? Do they, like every other abrasion-loving tool wear out, or do some just have the same ones they've had since they got their training wheels/files? If so, what is the usual life on a set?

Any knowledge would be great.

Tags: files, nut, slotting

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I buy my files from Stewmac and have never had a problem with them. I have been using these for years with no disappointment at all. That's just my opinion. Opinions very.
We have three different kinds in our shop, and each has its own devotees. I like the Grobet ones myself. They all seem to wear out too fast. . .
I don't think they are wearing out.

I think that the teeth are filling up with material.

I lube mine wit a wipe across the hair on the back of my neck.
It lubes so it cuts better and doesn't fill the teeth .

I got some stuff from L.M.I. years ago, and just recently used it....It's shark something or other.....A green acid type thing that you suspend the files in over night....It definatly put a better cutting edge on the old files....Wish they still sold it, altho I do have a big jug of it left....
They're definitely wearing out. No questions about it. At least 50-80 graphtech nuts worth since I got them in February.

My boss asked why they don't make them out of a better material, and it just doesn't seem lucrative for filemakers to make something like that. I would absolutely love it if they were a harder steel, less flexible, and held an edge for longer - as would everyone. Oh well, we can't have our cake and file it too.

Thanks for the responses, everyone.
I dunno, Ron... sometimes they do clog-up but there's definitely wear going-on as well. It seems that the thin ones (.010 to .015) tend to go first, altho' maybe just because they get used more frequently around here.

These days, I just bite the StewMac bullet and quietly get a couple of replacements as needed. What's interesting is how well the fresh ones work, indicating how slowly the old ones had worn.
Hey Jeremy-- All of my files (including flat bastard files) I take and rub them with common school house chalk first and I don't have a problem with them loading up with what ever you are filing.
Just my two cents...
I use a white, plastic-friendly buffing compound on files that I worry about clogging due to it being a large block, it's hard to lose, and it has no abrasive qualities to it. It's basically just a heavy wax which works pretty well. Makes the fret-end files from stew-mac last a few strokes longer, but nothing beats a good file brush.

Still, clogging is not the problem. It's just wear, and I'm still looking for the best possible files. I'd invest in diamond coated ones if such a beast existed.


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