Bahco Files

I just purchased a Bahco file set from workshopheaven.  I chose this set because it was cheaper to buy as a set than individually plus you get a tool roll with it with an additional two pockets to fit my other two files.

I usually avoid sets of any type as you don’t get what you want, but I was very lucky that they offered exactly what I wanted.

The set comprises:

  • 150mm Smooth Cut.  A high quality double-cut smooth hand file, made from alloyed high-carbon tool steel. 6″ (150mm) from shoulder to tip, 15.7mm wide, 4.0mm thick, with parallel sides, one safe edge and one single cut edge.
  • 150mm Engineering Second Cut Round.  A true rat tail file, straight for 1/3 of the toothed surface at 6mm diameter, and then gently tapered for the remaining two thirds, down to about 4mm diameter at the tip. Second cut toothing provides rapid material removal and, with care, a surface that requires little or no further finishing.
  • 150mm Engineering Second Cut Half Round. Possibly the most versatile file you will ever own, for flats, hollows and sneaking into corners, the perfect combination of efficient cutting and a clean finish.
  • 150mm Smooth Cut Feather Edge File.   Strictly speaking the Bahco ‘wasa’ feather edged file is designed for sharpening saws, but it is one of those tools for which you soon find a multitude of other uses. The combination of shallow profile and very fine teeth create a superb finish in places that other files cannot reach.


Each file is fitted with a wonderfully comfortable Holtzapffel pattern Walnut handle with solid brass ferule.

Free 6 pocket Canvas Tool Roll to keep your files clean and tidy, with room for a couple more.

What interested me was the feather edge file aka “wasa” what ever that means. The seller claims it’s designed to sharpen saws. What type of saws? It got my eye when I browsed through his website and am lucky it appeared in the set.  It looks interesting and I’m looking forward in seeing first hand as to how it performs.  It has very fine teeth and they claim it gives and unbelievably smooth finish.  I wonder?   The only file I forgot to add to the list was a square cut.  Oh well next time I suppose.

Files are really one of the most useful tools in the shop and not just for metal work.


It cost me with shipping around AU$85 (British pounds 52). I noticed PayPal currency converter isn’t correct or they choose to charge you more.  I took a gamble and used my card’s currency converter as they didn’t state how much it would be. Ironic isn’t it?  It paid off as I saved $5.

It’s a shame I cannot locate individual Bahco files in Australia.  Bahco files are as good as the old Nicholson’s once were.  Nicholson today produces rubbish.  I bought some over a year ago and not only didn’t they perform well, but blunted very quickly.  After Paul Sellers recommended Bahco I never looked backed since.

The sad state of many tool shops and probably this is a worldwide epidemic of the uneducated clueless salespeople, is that they don’t know the quality of the tools that their selling.  If they did, they wouldn’t stock Nicholson and therefore it would force Nicholson to improve their standards.  Clueless salespeople mislead clueless people and if a clued on person challenges them, then they’re ignored and brushed off to the side.

I could of kept my money within Australia but instead I was forced to go overseas. Financially it’s a loss for both, materialistically I got the best.  I will always buy the highest quality tool I can afford, and if I can’t afford it now then I will patiently save up for it and buy it when I can.  I will never settle for second best, those I leave for everyone else.


8 thoughts on “Bahco Files

  1. Hi Salko
    I’ve heard mixed reviews about bacho files.
    So would love to hear more from you once you have had a chance to use them.
    Please keep posting, love reading your journals.

    Cheers Matt


    1. Hi Matt, I’ve been using two Bahco files for 12 months.
      1. 100-12-2 for rough work
      2. 143-10-1 second cut for smoothing
      I’ve most therm mostly on metal – O1, Aluminium and Brass.
      There ok for wood especially the 2nd cut but excel on metals. The 2nd cut leave a nice smooth surface with a finish that is similar to using 400 grit wet’n’dry sandpaper.
      On Brass it leaves the same finish. Brass dulls your files quicker than other metals. I’m not a metal worker so my work is limited to shaping plane irons.
      Both files hasn’t gone blunt yet. I can’t say how long they will last until they do go blunt, I suspect the second cut will die faster than the first as that is mostly used.
      I do expect at my current rate usage to replace them maybe twice in my life time or not again I don’t know but time will tell.

      How they feel in use?
      When you put it to metal you can feel the bite and after 12months I still have that same bite. The file is dead flat, feels good in my hands and it’s long so it’s easier to file square. Well I make it sound
      easy but filing square is something I’m constantly battling with. It removes metal quickly so it’s very easy to file out of square. Light touches and patience is all that’s required.

      I don’t know what negatives have been written about them as I’m sure there are most probably or without a doubt better ones on the market and if you know of any please let me know.
      But so far I have no regrets as I have had with the Nicholson’s. Both brands cost me the same.

      I know it’s not much of a review but my work is limited so I can’t say anymore about them. I doubt they wouldn’t excel in other things too, but just how long they would last in a metal working shop, would probably be less than what it has for me. Either way they come highly recommended.


  2. I believe ‘feather’ files are for hand sharpening Japanese pull saws. The relatively recent popularity of ‘Japanese’ saws came about after the Japanese developed diamond coated cutters for those fine teeth that would work in automated machinery, then exported the equipment somehow believing that the recipients would not start producing Japanese style saws with the new equipment.

    The result was mass produced saw blades at a reasonable cost, so reasonable that most pull saw are now designed with throw away blades – which can make excellent filleting knives or other tools with a bit of thought.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello Salko,

    The ‘wasa’ is similar to the feather-edged files that I use for my Japanese saws. It’s single-cut, right?
    In that case, I think you will be very happy with that file, which has found its way into many uses in my shop.

    I use mine also with Western felling and bucking saws. In general, I find that for big timber saws, you cannot sharpen both front and back of the teeth simultaneously — you often have to work on forming each tooth. These slim, but wide-faced, files are very good at this.

    The hardened tip is a very precise metal scraper. E.g. for scraping rust/pitch from the sides of teeth.

    You can use the feather edge very efficiently to cut slots in metal, or to sink the bottom of the groove between saw teeth. Following the Paul Sellers method of lengthening the teeth with a hacksaw, you could drop this down to widen the narrow groove.
    Just remember to keep a firm (but not hard) and constant pressure on the file when using the feather-edge. Too little pressure can cause the file to ‘skip’ which readily takes chunks out of the sharp arris.

    I am sure that someone interested e.g. in brass fittings or machinery would find several other uses for them.

    I don’t know about the quailty of Bahco files these days — but I have been very happy with most of my purchases from them over the years. In any case, I think it sounds like a very good deal with the walnut handles and tool roll included!


    Liked by 1 person

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