choosing a mid priced rasp

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Forum topic by daddywoofdawg posted 07-07-2015 03:43 PM 1845 views 1 time favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1028 posts in 2138 days

07-07-2015 03:43 PM

I’d like to get a rasp and gather the only way to get a rasp that will stay sharp for a while is to go at least mid range in price,I do cherish the Idea of paying 50.00 for a rasp I’ll only use once in a while.if that’s what I have to do then I will.
Can I get some brand recommendations? 100.00 rasp is out of the question and 20.00 would be great!

14 replies so far

View jmartel's profile


8634 posts in 2713 days

#1 posted 07-07-2015 03:51 PM

I don’t have any experience, but I’ve heard good things about the Iwasaki files. I was probably going to buy one shortly, actually.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1311 posts in 2276 days

#2 posted 07-07-2015 03:55 PM

For the prize nothing beats a Japanese sawfile like this:
Different size teeth on the two sides and stays sharp forewer. Downsides are they only come in flat profile. Use mine a lot.
The “normal” rasps i own, ranging from cheap to semi-expencive, tend to tear out the wood more and are harder to control. For the super expencive Ariou etc I have no experience

Good luck!

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View DrDirt's profile


4600 posts in 4305 days

#3 posted 07-07-2015 04:24 PM

I use the Nicholson 49.

Lee Valley for $41.50

Heard their quality has gone down now that they have moved production to Brazil….. But I have the old one, and no need to buy another, so I don’t know if new “actually” is bad.

Aurio is popular but pricey

I have the Japanese sawfile that kaerlighedsbansen describes, that I got from Tools from Japan, along with sharpening stones… but the nicholson is still my go to rasp.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View toddbeaulieu's profile


842 posts in 3567 days

#4 posted 07-07-2015 05:34 PM

I’m very happy with my pair of Dragon rasps from Stewart-MacDonald. $48 ea.

#4151 – Dragon Hand-cut Rasp, Large, Course #4152 – Dragon Hand-cut Rasp, Large, fine

They also sell an awesome scraper unlike any other I’ve seen that I like so much I bought one for a friend. After rasping cabriole legs and scraping I barely needed to sand.

#0631 – StewMac Ultimate Scraper, Original ($30)

View MrFid's profile


897 posts in 2467 days

#5 posted 07-07-2015 05:40 PM

I use my shinto saw rasp a lot, too. The downside, as mentioned, is that it only comes in flat profile. Very nice tool, though.

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1332 posts in 2498 days

#6 posted 07-07-2015 10:25 PM

I have experience with those Iwasaki files. I would advise against them. They sort of work, but clog often – especially the half round profile. They also don’t work with all grain orientations and will sometimes cause shipping and tearout. They are really more like microplanes than rasps.

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 3550 days

#7 posted 07-07-2015 10:32 PM

These are very good for the price.
They may be more aggressive than you want though.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View Tim's profile


3859 posts in 2524 days

#8 posted 07-08-2015 12:04 AM

Scott do you know approximately what grain those are equivalent to?

I’ve got a vintage rasp like the Iwasaki’s and it does clog like Oyster said but I’ve been able to clean it with a stiff brush. Besides that it does work well, but he’s also right you do have to consider the grain. I’ve also been meaning to try chalking my files. Apparently that helps keep them from getting clogged but I haven’t tried it yet.

View daddywoofdawg's profile


1028 posts in 2138 days

#9 posted 07-08-2015 12:56 AM

kaerlighedsbamsen: Shinto ‘Saw rasp’, 250mm ‘rasp’ style, ¥1,895 =350.00 us, ya I’ll pass.
Paul sellers says that the new Nicholson’s are [email protected] now.
I see a lot of good possibility’s.
About nicholson’s

View jmartel's profile


8634 posts in 2713 days

#10 posted 07-08-2015 05:23 AM


Not even close to $350. How about $18.

I have it as well. It’s very good, but only comes in flat.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View waho6o9's profile


8801 posts in 3140 days

#11 posted 07-08-2015 05:26 AM

This Shinto rasp rocks
one side fine the other side rough:

View daddywoofdawg's profile


1028 posts in 2138 days

#12 posted 07-08-2015 05:30 AM

View jmartel's profile


8634 posts in 2713 days

#13 posted 07-08-2015 05:40 AM

1,895 Yen is $15.53 based off of my googling.

But you can find the rasp on Amazon, at Rockler, and at Woodcraft. No need to buy from the website.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View AHuxley's profile


874 posts in 3885 days

#14 posted 07-08-2015 11:37 AM

I use a lot of rasps, files and rifflers and honestly the mid-priced quality rasp has just about gone the way of the dinosaur. The options (new) are either getting by with the decent 20-30 rasps (Shinto is the best in the range), the Dragon rasps from Stew Mac are better but still not quite what a rasp “should be”. One can track down NOS Nicholsons that are made in the US but the prices for the ones when people know what they have tend to be too much for what they are compared to the best hand cuts available, I bought a dozen each of the 49, 50 and coarse cabinet makers rasps when they moved production but I tend to use my Liogier and Auriou rasps more now. I would suggest anyone who uses a rasp much at all bite the bullet, even if it means saving the pennies and getting at least one Liogier or Auriou , yes they are expensive but they are one of the tools that when you first use it you have the epiphany that this is what this tool is supposed to be. It is one of the tools that will make most peoples work better. Rasps are an often overlooked tool that most think should be a $10 item but cheaping out prevents one from ever feeling and seeing the magic of a rasp.

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