Blunt versus Tapered Saw Files

Discussion in 'Saw Makers Forum' started by Dusty Shed Dweller, May 15, 2017.

  1. Dusty Shed Dweller

    Dusty Shed Dweller Most Valued Member

    A question that is often posed is, why are saw files tapered, when back in the day one could purchase non-tapered ("blunt") saw files. To my knowledge, nobody makes blunt saw files today. Note; blunt in this context refers to shape, not a lack of sharpness.

    Fortunately, Mari, my saw file enabler, procured some boxes of Wiltshire 4-1/2" regular blunt files for my use. To give an idea of their rarity, the boxes are stamped 2 March 1966 on the bottom. Short files like this are a pain in use as they do not promote a long even stroke but this seems to be the predominate size in the old file catalogues.

    I have only used these files on a couple of 6 and 7 point cross cuts and the difference between blunt and tapered files can be summed up with the comment... tapered files are easier to steer side to side, kind of like using a saw with a wide set.

    What this means is that when refurbishing a tooth-line in which the tooth spacing needs some regulating, a tapered file is easier to lean left or right to preferentially remove metal and size the teeth. However, with a blunt file, the file removes the same amount from both sides of the gullet which greatly assists producing evenly spaced and sharpened teeth.

    So if the teeth spacing is very regular blunt shaped files come into their own for fleaming, but I'd recommend sticking with tapered files if any spacing discrepancies exist.

    Attached Files:

  2. TraditionalToolworks

    TraditionalToolworks Most Valued Member

    I'm a bit confused here. Normally a blunt file is one that has the sides and width parallel to each other. I don't see how this would work well for sharpening saw teeth.

    In your PDF it looks to have one tapered edge. What is the advantage of having only 1 edge to sharpen if in fact that is tapered, it's not clear from the pic if it is or not.

    I have never had a problem with triangular files, which essentially have 3 tapered edges on them. That's 3 cutting edges vs. the 1 you get with your blunt files, AFAICT.

    A better explanation would help.