File handles are made in a variety of shapes by a number of different manufacturers. The key thing to remember when selecting a file handle is that it should be one that you can grip comfortably!
File handles are made of either wood or plastic.
What size handle do I need?
To begin with, it would be helpful for you to know the length of your file, as this is the measurement that will be referred to by the file handle manufacturers.
The only exception to this rule is chainsaw files, which are usually measured by gauge (diameter, or the widest measurement across the point of the file) rather than width. Their dedicated handles will be listed using the same measurement.
All of the other types of file use standard handles.
Some handles are also designed to fit onto any size of file. These handles may come with inserts that plug the space in the base of the file to make a smaller opening for smaller files, or they may have tapered holes that will fit any width of tang.
You’ll find that if you fit a large file into a small handle, or even one that’s one size fits all, that the handle may not be flush with the heel. If this is the case, worry not! As long as your file is secure in the handle, this doesn’t matter at all.
You can even use a golf ball with a hole drilled into it as a gimmicky handle. The most important thing is that the tang is not exposed during use.
Wooden handles are sturdy and can be visually appealing. They are more commonly found than individual plastic handles.
They are usually cheaper than plastic handles by a small margin.
They tend not to include integrated hanging holes, which means you will need to think of an alternative way to store them.
Wooden handles are prone to cracking unless they have a ferrule, which reinforces the base of the handle.
Most files are now sold with plastic handles already attached.
When bought separately, they are usually a little more expensive than wooden handles.
Many of them come with integrated hanging holes for ease of storage on racks, although this is not always the case.
They are durable, and may be rubberised to protect from potential damage through wear and tear.
Rubber grips on the file handle make the tool comfortable to hold, which is an important consideration if you will be using your file for extended periods of time.
Can come with pre-moulded hanging holes for ease of storage
Include rubber sections for increased grip and comfort
Sometimes more expensive than wooden handles
Ergonomic handles are designed to hold a file at 35°, which is the natural angle of the human wrist. While this makes the filing experience a little more comfortable in the long run, these handles are only available in America.