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What are slitting and slotting files?

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Image showing a slitting file and a slotting file Slitting and slotting files are machinist’s files that are characterised by a diamond-shaped cross section.

What are the characteristics of slitting and slotting files?

Diagram of a diamond cross section

Cross section, profile and cut

Slitting files are diamond-shaped, blunt and cut on all faces.

Image of a triangular groove illustrating a use for lozenge files and slitting files As diamonds have two obtuse angles and two acute angles, this makes slitting files versatile when it comes to creating grooves narrower or wider than those you would be able to cut with a triangle file.
Image of a metal lattice, illustrating material with confined spaces and acute angles. Slotting files and lozenge files can be used to deburr the insides of this type of material. Slitting files are used for deburring inside acute angles with limited space. These files tend not to be as wide as knife files, and can often fit into more confined spaces.
Image of a lozenge, which has changed shape since its invention but was also named after the same heraldic symbol as the lozenge file They are also known as lozenge files, as the lozenge in heraldry was diamond shaped. Throat sweets also used to be shaped this way, which is where they got their name, too!
Image of a slotting file, showing its safe faces and outline Slotting files are similar to slitting files in all respects, but for the fact that they are only cut on their edges. All of their faces are safe.
Image of a slotting file creating the slot in a screw head Slotting files are used to create the slots in heads of screws. Their safe faces allow for slots to be filed to a specific depth and to keep a rectangular shape.
A screw head, which is where the slotting file earned its other name For this reason, they are also known as screw head files.
An indication of the range of lengths in which slitting files are usually available

Size

Slitting files are usually available in lengths from 137mm (51/2 inches) to 162mm (61/2 inches).

An indication of the length in which slotting files are usually available Slotting files are smaller, and are usually 100mm (4 inches) long.
Flag of Switzerland - home of the Swiss pattern file invented by F. L. Grobet in the 19th Century

Swiss or American?

Slitting and slotting files are Swiss pattern files.

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