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Poll

How important is it to have a file blade on your multitool?

7 -- A file is a 'must have' option for my multitools
12 (22.2%)
6 -- I like having a file, it would be great if more multitools had good files
24 (44.4%)
5 -- I think it is a nice option, but not important
11 (20.4%)
4 -- I can take it or leave it
3 (5.6%)
3 -- Not important, but I don't really use the file
1 (1.9%)
2 -- I would rather have other tools or a smaller multitool without a file
2 (3.7%)
1 -- Useless to me, I don't want a file in my multitool
1 (1.9%)

Total Members Voted 54

Multitool file blades: worth having? 1992

Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,371

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Multitool file blades: worth having?
« on: October 27, 2020, 04:13:34 PM »
In the Skeletool challenge, a question about the value of a metal file/saw arose.

My sense is that some people really value having a metal file blade. I don't.

I think a metal file blade could be handy, and I believe I've used a file blade to clean up a fish hook or clean off a battery lead. However, I don't think I've used a file blade more than a couple times in the past 40 years. This is partly because I don't carry a multitool with a file very consistently, but it is also because for me the need for a file doesn't arise much.

Moreover, in my experience, the files on multitools are not great. (To be polite and family-friendly)

Unless someone can demonstrate otherwise, I think multitool files are not hardened to more than 58-60 RHC. A dedicated bench file is typically hardened to 63-65 RHC (at least back when file were well made.)

Moreover, most multitool files are poorly cut. Some brands are more consistently decent than others, but it's my perception that the quality of most brands' files has declined.

My perspective: multitool files are small, soft, and badly cut. Most are not much more than a step or two above worthless. The possible exception would be the diamond file on some Leatherman tools. But....even those seem useful mostly for touching up an axe or knife blade...maybe knocking off a burr from something........ :dunno:

Still, there is part of me that likes the idea of having a small file close at hand. I guess a file could potentially be useful.

Aside from the poll above, I would like to hear if you guys have used your files and how effective they have been for the tasks you put them to. Was there a day when the file saved you proverbial bacon? Was there a sad day when the file let you down? Was there a day when you said, "I wish I'd brought my SwissChamp along! I'd have a file!" Is there a scenario where you imagine the file might be useful?

Obviously those MTo'er stuck in prison without benefit of their trusty escape files will not be able to chime in here. So our sample will be biased by hearing stories only from those who have survived through wits, whiles, and metal files.

another rat in a cage
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,371

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Re: Multitool file blades: worth having?
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2020, 04:22:32 PM »
Here's a nice little video from Felix on some multitool files (no surprise which brand comes out on top....):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEDdIaMpnio

another rat in a cage
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,371

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Re: Multitool file blades: worth having?
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2020, 04:28:41 PM »
Felix keeps it (mostly ) real here, but doesn't really do much with the file. I do like the cleaning and smoothing fingernails function.....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozXUZ3JXcY0

another rat in a cage
Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 29,416 Plumbers Know Their Crap!!
Re: Multitool file blades: worth having?
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2020, 04:34:57 PM »
The only thing the file has come in handy for is a nail file, so it’s really not a must, but has come in handy at times..
JR

"The-Mad-Plumbarian" The Punisher Of Pipes!!! JR
As I sit on my Crapper Throne in the Water Closet and explode in the Commode, I think with my Head, that my flush will always beat John’s or Jerry’s pair! But Jack’s ran for the Reading Room and tripped on a Can and bowed to the Porcelain God!
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,371

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Re: Multitool file blades: worth having?
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2020, 04:35:58 PM »
I think smoothing out a fingernail has been my number 1 use for a file blade.   :tu:

another rat in a cage
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 14,471
Re: Multitool file blades: worth having?
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2020, 04:42:36 PM »
Nails, burrs, sharpening a kitchen knife to something better than it was at my gran's,
Plastic cutting, prodding, ...

Buy now or regret later
No Life Club Posts: 4,644
Re: Multitool file blades: worth having?
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2020, 04:47:34 PM »
If it's good--all modern Vic, most LM, and most standard Gerber do. The diamond file is really great.

SOG files suck, as well as nearly all low-end tools due to cheap steel used, and often being stamped and not cut.
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 16,644 Little to the right...
Re: Multitool file blades: worth having?
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2020, 04:49:39 PM »
I've used the file on my Charge TTi quite a bit.  Most of the uses are on plastic though (3D printed parts mostly), just to widen an opening, smooth out some edges, radius corners, ect.  I have also used it on sheet metal after I've made a cut, and I have cut the odd screw or nail.  I just used the diamond file on the wheel hexes on my new SCX10 III so my new rims would fit on them as they had a tighter tolerance than the stock rims, and it worked a treat.

Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,371

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Re: Multitool file blades: worth having?
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2020, 04:58:26 PM »
That's a cool use!  :like:

another rat in a cage
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,371

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Re: Multitool file blades: worth having?
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2020, 04:59:26 PM »
If it's good--all modern Vic, most LM, and most standard Gerber do. The diamond file is really great.

I agree that the diamond file has some value.

What have you used your file(s) for?

another rat in a cage
No Life Club Posts: 2,064
Re: Multitool file blades: worth having?
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2020, 05:02:45 PM »
A very good question that got me thinking  :think: (never a good thing in itself  :ahhh )

If memory serves; the one and only time I had cause to use a file (MT based) was on my original Mini way back in about 1989  :dunno:

My bike was trapped in the back garden of a shared house. In my absence someone had put a padlock on the back gate and my little Kawasaki was behind it (the house was also devoid of anyone with a key, or knowledge thereof)  ::)

I hunted high and low for a suitably heavy implement to remove the offending article but to no avail then; inspiration   :pok:

I could use the file on my LM Mini  :tu:

It took me over 30mins of swearing effort but luck was a lady that night (so was the need to exit)  >:D
Success (two out of two) :viking:

That aside I used the one on my now defunct/lost Paratool, mid 90's, it broke (not approved usage  :whistle: )

They don't like it up 'em!
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,371

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Re: Multitool file blades: worth having?
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2020, 05:03:58 PM »
I just used the diamond file on the wheel hexes on my new SCX10 III so my new rims would fit on them as they had a tighter tolerance than the stock rims, and it worked a treat.


This brings up a question:

If I need a file, I usually grab a dedicated (properly hardened) file or diamond stone off the workbench. Did you use your multitool because you didn't have access to a dedicated file?  Was it more convenient?  Or did it seem 'just as good as' a dedicated file?




another rat in a cage
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,371

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Re: Multitool file blades: worth having?
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2020, 05:06:57 PM »

It took me over 30mins of swearing effort but luck was a lady that night (so was the need to exit)  >:D



Excellent use and great story!    :tu:

(Still.....one use every 30 years is about my average, too.....making it more trouble to carry than it is really worth?)

another rat in a cage
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 16,644 Little to the right...
Re: Multitool file blades: worth having?
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2020, 05:11:49 PM »

This brings up a question:

If I need a file, I usually grab a dedicated (properly hardened) file or diamond stone off the workbench. Did you use your multitool because you didn't have access to a dedicated file?  Was it more convenient?  Or did it seem 'just as good as' a dedicated file?
The charge was beside me, so that's what I grabbed.  The hexes are aluminium, so very easy to take material off, and the diamond file (IMHO) had the perfect amount of bite to do the job without worry of removing too much material.  I have a drawer full of different files, from ones that could reprofile the cutting edge of a dozer (well maybe not, lol) to ones that are a 1/4 the size of the LM file.

Holding the Charge and using the file was also very comfortable.  The smaller files that I have that would have been proper to use for this task would not have been as comfortable to use.  Bigger files that are more comfortable to use would have been harder to hold and control.

No Life Club Posts: 2,064
Re: Multitool file blades: worth having?
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2020, 05:23:04 PM »

Excellent use and great story!    :tu:

(Still.....one use every 30 years is about my average, too.....making it more trouble to carry than it is really worth?)
:hatsoff: Necessity is the mother of invention (and hormones)  :rofl: :whistle:

They don't like it up 'em!
Global Moderator Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,596
Re: Multitool file blades: worth having?
« Reply #15 on: October 27, 2020, 05:23:31 PM »
On a MT yes.  The compromise is there but the utility of having a file is what having a MT with file is all about.  I asked the question about MT files being like "real" files.  I recall the question being brought up a while ago.  I've used my file on my Wave and Charge mostly to knock down metal edges.  Materials like aluminum and sheet metal mostly.  These edges come up randomly so having a way to sand them down then and there is nice.  I've cut and shaped with it too.  Sure a dedicated tool is great but for me my MT needs to come off the bench and perform when called.  I don't know when those moments will arise but its why I carry my Charge, I'm usually ready for whatever. 

https://forum.multitool.org/index.php/topic,62745.msg1173362.html#msg1173362


Esse Quam Videri
No Life Club Posts: 4,644
Re: Multitool file blades: worth having?
« Reply #16 on: October 27, 2020, 06:53:56 PM »
I agree that the diamond file has some value.

What have you used your file(s) for?


I've used the SwissTool file for general filing, and cutting of non-hardened metals. I had to remove a rotted post, had forgotten my fence pliers, and the linesman's pliers I had were old, and wouldn't cut the thick wire. Had it cut through in just a few minutes by sawing through the staves with the ST file. Notching, as well as removing carbon from spark plugs and electrical contacts is another big use.


I've often used the diamond file on LM for hardened steel. I have ground down the kicks on several old, beat up traditional folders so the tip wouldn't stick up from the handle.  If I encounter a dull or chipped garden tool, I'll sharpen it up with the diamond file.
No Life Club Posts: 4,716
Re: Multitool file blades: worth having?
« Reply #17 on: October 27, 2020, 06:58:30 PM »
I don't use the file all the time, but it has been useful many times :tu: Mostly for adjusting fittings and deburring sheetmetal and sometimes I find them useful to file a socket that I have beaten so it won't fit my ratchet and usually the MT file is all that fits :tu:

Sent fra min FRD-L09 via Tapatalk

No Life Club Posts: 1,219
Re: Multitool file blades: worth having?
« Reply #18 on: October 27, 2020, 06:58:38 PM »
I wore the diamond file on my wave smooth in my last job as it involved fitting kitchens and building furniture both from scratch and flat pack. And I was always coming across machine screws that were too long that ether required filing down a fraction or cutting and then cleaning up the end with a file.

This is why I wish waves came with a replaceable file/saw.

My trouble is i never show initiative, but that's only because no one has told me to.
Global Moderator Just Bananas Posts: 63,057
Re: Multitool file blades: worth having?
« Reply #19 on: October 27, 2020, 07:16:44 PM »
I use a file (both MT and dedicated) quite often :whistle: I use them when we are working with smooth cut stones like Indiana limestone and the like :salute: I am the stone patcher on our jobs (among many other things ;) )and I have plenty of dedicated files, rasps, sandpaper and some other things for stone but having a small file with me is very handy if I am going through and just patching small chips :like: I use the regular file side, if using a diamond file, to smooth  :cheers:dges down and take burrs off as well :tu:

I use a file for many other uses as well. I use one as a fingernail file, the diamond side as a knife sharpener, debur tools and smooth things down in general at both work and home :salute:

I like the Vic files on both the 91mm and 74mm range but my favorite file is the Leatherman diamond file :like: it has a greater range of uses for me and that is why I included it in my Charge knife mod :tu:

I voted 6 because I do carry MTs sometimes without a file, so it isn't a total deal breaker for me but I try to have my Charge knife with me to make up for it :cheers: of course a challenge always makes that a part a bit harder if the MT in it doesn't have a file :whistle: ;)
Global Moderator Just Bananas Posts: 63,057
Re: Multitool file blades: worth having?
« Reply #20 on: October 27, 2020, 07:18:50 PM »
Also, I just really like files :whistle: :D
Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 20,787 Bored

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Re: Multitool file blades: worth having?
« Reply #21 on: October 27, 2020, 07:34:07 PM »
They are useful as it is one of the tools that you are not likely to have on you.

however, not all files are equal

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Global Moderator He Who Has The Most Nuts, Wins! Posts: 51,074
Re: Multitool file blades: worth having?
« Reply #22 on: October 27, 2020, 08:08:17 PM »
I vote 6 and 7  and get rid of the smurfing  can openers already  :D

Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,371

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Re: Multitool file blades: worth having?
« Reply #23 on: October 27, 2020, 09:07:05 PM »
Heresy!!!

another rat in a cage
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,371

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Re: Multitool file blades: worth having?
« Reply #24 on: October 27, 2020, 09:08:15 PM »
I use a file (both MT and dedicated) quite often :whistle: I use them when we are working with smooth cut stones like Indiana limestone and the like :salute: I am the stone patcher on our jobs (among many other things ;) )and I have plenty of dedicated files, rasps, sandpaper and some other things for stone but having a small file with me is very handy if I am going through and just patching small chips :like: I use the regular file side, if using a diamond file, to smooth  :cheers:dges down and take burrs off as well :tu:


How long does a multitool file last for you?   :think:

another rat in a cage
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 16,644 Little to the right...
Re: Multitool file blades: worth having?
« Reply #25 on: October 27, 2020, 09:40:57 PM »
I vote 6 and 7  and get rid of the smurfing  can openers already  :D
:o

:twak:

No Life Club Posts: 1,302
Re: Multitool file blades: worth having?
« Reply #26 on: October 27, 2020, 10:21:50 PM »
Voted 5; not much use other than the occasional fingernail filing, deburring, or smoothing edges on furniture, appliances wood, or soft metal projects. I like a lot the ST300, Rebar, or mp600 the most, followed up close by the Wave's.
Global Moderator Just Bananas Posts: 63,057
Re: Multitool file blades: worth having?
« Reply #27 on: October 27, 2020, 10:51:27 PM »

How long does a multitool file last for you?   :think:

The stone is soft enough that it doesn't really wear the files I use out.... so I will let you know when I wear one out  :whistle:
Global Moderator Just Bananas Posts: 63,057
Re: Multitool file blades: worth having?
« Reply #28 on: October 27, 2020, 10:52:07 PM »
I vote 6 and 7  and get rid of the smurfing  can openers already  :D

 :iagree: :woohoo: :like:

 :rofl:
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,371

Nix us

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Re: Multitool file blades: worth having?
« Reply #29 on: October 27, 2020, 11:01:20 PM »
Voted 5; not much use other than the occasional fingernail filing, deburring, or smoothing edges on furniture, appliances wood, or soft metal projects. I like a lot the ST300, Rebar, or mp600 the most, followed up close by the Wave's.

Thanks for voting and giving us a sense of your uses!   :like:

Your input made me think about this question: "Do MTo'ers (the smartest multitoolers in the world.  :D) choose a multitool based on the file?"  :think:

I can answer that question for myself, to a degree. I now avoid some brands of multitool in part....in part...because I know the files are poor quality. The nuanced version of my answer to my own question is this: if a manufacturer does n't care enough to make a good file, I believe they are not sufficiently concerned about the overall quality of their multitool. As a result, I suspect that their products are low-quality in general. And I won't buy them.

I find my response to be somewhat funny, because I don't value a file all that much in the first place. However, for me, a badly made file is the proverbial "canary in the coal mine", e.g. an indicator of the current level of overall quality.

So, for everyone else, do you choose a multitool based on the quality of the tool's file?    :think:

another rat in a cage

 

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