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What is a long angle lathe file?

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DIYer using a long angle lathe file to smooth a cylindrical object that is spinning on a lathe Long angle lathe files are used exclusively for lathe filing, which involves mounting a workpiece on a lathe and rotating it at speed. For more information, see: What is lathe filing?

What are the characteristics of a long angle lathe file?

Image of a long angle lathe file to show cross section and shape of outline

Cross section and profile

A long angle lathe file is blunt, and rectangular in cross section.

Image showing the location of the safe edge on a hand file

Cut

It is single cut on both faces and safe on both edges, which prevents accidental damage to raised sections of the workpiece during filing.

Diagram to illustrate the way that debris is pushed out of a long angle lathe file's teeth by a lathe The long angle of the teeth allows filing without snagging and also causes chips to be cleared during the lathe filing process, as the rotation of the workpiece pushes any chips or waste material back along the teeth with less chance of pinning.
Image to illustrate the difference between normal cut files and long angle lathe files

What is a ‘long angle’?

In this case, the term ‘long angle’ refers to the fact that the file’s teeth are tilted more towards the handle of the file, which means each individual tooth is longer.

An indication of the range of lengths in which long angle lathe files are usually available

Size

Long angle lathe files are usually available in lengths from 200mm (8 inches) to 350mm (14 inches).

The American flag, representing American pattern files

Swiss or American?

Long angle lathe files are American pattern files.

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