inexpensive nut files

telestrat77

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Are these nut files which you often see advertised on ebay and amazon for £12 any good?

"3pcs/set Guitar Nut Files Filing Luthier Repair Tool Kit"​

or are they complete rubbish.
They look like the hosco v type with numbers 1-6 stamped on the coloured plastic handles but no indication of the string gauge width.
I don't think they would be thin enough to do 10 or 13 but might work for the thicker strings
 

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john_cribbin

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That's your problem, they make work great, but not necessarily on the nut you have.

I had a set in a maintenance kit years ago. They may have been suitable for an acoustic, but no way on an electric.

That kit ended up being unused by me.
 

Wildeman

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Terrible. There are no inexpensive nut files that are worth a damn, trust me, I tried them. I bought a set of Hiroshima files for around $115.00 a couple years ago and kick myself for not doing it sooner.
I had that set you're looking at (nothing like real Hosco's) and threw them away, I didn't even want to give/subject anybody to them.😉
 

Freeman Keller

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What do the numbers on the files indicate? 1-4? 2-5?

In general I think cheap tools are worth what you paid for them. My SM files have served me well for 16 years, 30 guitars of my own and probably twice that many more that I've made nuts for.
 
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Wildeman

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What do the numbers on the files indicate? 1-4? 2-5?

In general I think cheap tools are worth what you paid for them. My SM files have served me well for 16 years, 30 guitars of my own and probably twice that many more that I've made nuts for.
I think the numbers mean which string they are for, it really is a bad set, they are not graded to any precision at all.
 

SuprHtr

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I bought a set of Ou-Chikyu files from Grizzly about two years ago and the price was around $80 but I see now that they're going for much, much more. Good luck!
 

Electric Warrior

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I have a set of Hosco files. They aren't as surgical as the Ou-Chikyu, which I stupidly sold. But they've still paid for themselves.
 

jman72

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Just got a set of the Stew Mac files this week for $118. I've been debating whether to go for a cheaper alternative for several years, but finally decided just to get the good ones. I probably won't regret it, since good tools are worth it in the long run.
 

takauya

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I have a set of Hosco files. They aren't as surgical as the Ou-Chikyu, which I stupidly sold. But they've still paid for themselves.
They are UO-CHIKYU 魚地球. I recently bought a set, and man it's really difficult to cut a slot nice and straight, especially a slot for high E. I need to practice.
 

bullfrogblues

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I just bought and received the Hosco mag holder for nut files not really paying attention that they are designed for the shorter Hosco files. I have an expensive set and broke the .010 so I thought this holder might be a good purchase to help keep the file from bending and breaking.
Though it doesnt fit like the Hosco files, I loosened the 3 screws just a little and was able to slide my much longer files in place, and the screws and magnets hold them nice and tight.
I've had my files for a few years so I might just order 3 of the thinner Hosco files to replace the flexible thin files I have now.
products_h-nf-h_02.jpg


products_h-nf-eg009_02.jpg
 

Boreas

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Welcome aboard!

Junk is junk. If you intend to use the tools for only 1-2 nuts, better to just have a luthier make the nuts. But for the same amount of money you could buy a quality set that can make hundreds of nuts. So what is the best option in the long run??

This of course assumes you have the skills to make a nut, or at least fit/tune a pre-slotted nut. You may ruin a couple when learning, but it isn't terribly difficult. Poorly-cut nut slots can kill any guitar.
 

LutherBurger

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Thanks to everybody :)
As I suspected, they are uncalibrated and therefore unusable.
It's not just that. I bought a set of those files a few years ago for some crazy low price, thinking, "Well, maybe they won't be too bad."

But they were. The cutting edges were awful and two of the blades were curved. When I attempted to straighten one, it snapped. And into the recycling bin they went.
 

Peegoo

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As wiith most all tools, the "buy once, cry once" rule is the Law of the Land when it comes to nut files. Cheap out--and you'll cry a lot because you'll work harder and your results will be terrible.

Go with Uo-Chikyu, Hosco, or Stooge-Mac. Yes, it's a chunk of change, but they will last forever AND they will yield great results.

Four rules for nut files:

1. Store them separately from one another. If they rattle around against each other and with other tools in a box or container, they will become dull over time. I keep mine in a leather tool roll I made; it contains a pocket for each file.

2. Keep them dry. They are high-carbon steel and they will rust if stored in a damp location.

3. Use them to cut only bone, plastics, and soft metals like brass and aluminum. Never ever ever use them on steel because it will dull them.

4. Keep a small brass-bristle 'toothbrush' with them. You use this to scrub the material from the teeth of the file; a clean file cuts faster and smoother. Do not use a steel-bristle brush on your files; it will dull them.
 




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