What is a Swiss pattern file?
Swiss pattern files earned their name from the Swiss inventor and toolmaker F. L. Grobet, who invented the first precision file making machine in 1836.
Swiss pattern files are most often used for fine shaping and finishing tasks, such as working on machine parts and musical instruments.
Unlike American-pattern files, Swiss pattern files are produced and made in very small sizes.
Swiss pattern files are generally regarded as being better at precision filing tasks than American pattern files due to the fact they are produced in smaller dimensions, and because they have been used in the watch and jewellery making industries for over a century.
Some examples of Swiss Pattern files include pippin, barrette and crossing files. Crossing files are used for deburring and finishing the insides of watch gears and teeth.
For more information, see:, and
Swiss pattern files usually come in grades from 00 (the roughest) to 6 (the finest). Very rarely, you may find a grade 8 Swiss pattern file, which will be exceptionally fine. However these only tend to be produced in the form of needle and escapement files.
The different grades of coarseness are named after the numbered settings that were used in the original file-making machines.
Riffler files are double-ended files with a plethora of differently shaped heads, for use in mould and jewellery making.
They are also made with Swiss pattern cuts, whether they have conventional file teeth or rasp teeth.
For more information, see: