The seller of these Japanese Iwasaki carving files claims that they’re significantly more accurate — i.e., they make cleaner cuts — then “Western-style” files due to their uniquely-shaped teeth:
“The key is in the way the face of the tooth is formed to make a mini chip-breaker. It breaks the shavings off and forces them up and away from the face of the file. This helps keep the teeth from getting clogged up.”
The inset picture above (from their website) shows what they mean. Check out the site for a detailed picture of the individual tooth shape when it incorporates a little divot into the edge of the tooth to kick out material as you file.
I have no idea if the claims are true, but I’d love to hear from any of you who might have tried these or files like ’em. Pricing varies based on specs, but most of them run in the $40 range. Bad news: You’re shipping from Germany. Anyone know of closer sources?
Iwasaki Carving Files [Dieter Schmid]