Re: Adventures in Finding Small Files—an update

Jack Burgess


I’ve purchased files from both McMaster-Carr and Otto Frei. I was easily able to look up my purchases at McMaster-Carr. I was also able to look up my past purchases at Otto Frei but they have changed the product numbers. I emailed them this morning asking for a cross reference but no one has gotten back to me yet.

Here is the email I started this morning:

I bought my everyday files from McMaster-Carr. ( ). Search for 4261A57 and you'll be looking at Swiss-made files made by Nicholson. In addition to the No. 0 file, I bought a No. 2 and a No. 4 which is the finest. I don't use the No. 2 that often. The No. 4 will give a smooth surface for working with styrene or resin but the No. 0 will cut faster. I also bought a round and half-round file from that same page of files, both No. 0 files. I haven’t used these files that much but remember that I like to buy tool.

I've also bought some Glardon-Vallorbe Swiss Escapement Files from Otto Frei ( ). These are really nice files but not as small as Bill wants. Search for

131.720 for the Equalling file 2 Medium

131.766 for the Three-Square file 2 Medium

131.715 for the Crossing File 4 Fine

131.746 for the Round file 6 Extra Fine

These product numbers are no longer valid but you might be able to find individual files with these specifications. Size-wise, the Equalling file (rectangle) is 5-1/2” long and the “file” portion of the file is 2” long. The blade is 3/16” wide and .3” thick.

Of these, I use the Equalling file (rectangle) and Round one the most.

Jack Burgess

From: []
Sent: Thursday, July 28, 2016 1:15 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Adventures in Finding Small Files—an update

Just an update, based on suggestions from a couple of you I did go to the Otto Frei website. They actually had measurements of the actual file "blade" (What should I call this, showing my ignorance?) and what I saw seemed to be about the same size of those I already have. I kept going and found something called an "escapement" file and kept going using this term. I have contacted a couple of suppliers requesting measurements and will report on the results.

As a bonus I have also seen some really small reamers or broaches using the term watchmakers use.

Bill Welch

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