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What is a vixen file?

What is a vixen file?

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Image of a car that may eventually need to be worked on by a mechanic with a vixen file Vixen files are used most often to file aluminium, particularly car bodywork, as well as other soft metals such as brass, bronze and white metal.
Image of a DIYer taking advantage of a vixen file's clog resistant teeth to shape a wooden saw handle

However, their rapid removal rate and clog resistance lends them well to filing other soft materials such as wood and plastic.

What are the characteristics of vixen files?

Diagram of flat and c-shaped cross sections

Cross section and profile

Vixen files can be flat or half round, although half round vixen files tend to be C-shaped. They tend to be blunt.

A file cut with curved teeth, known as a vixen file


Vixen files, also known as dreadnought files, have curved teeth.

Close up of a vixen file's curved teeth, which clean themselves during the filing process This undercut, curved tooth configuration makes the file clog resistant, as any chips and debris are forced along the gaps between the teeth and out of the side of the file by the movement of the stroke.
Image of a DIYer removing material quickly using a coarse carving float The apex of the curve on the teeth cuts aggressively, allowing for rapid removal of material.
An indication of the range of lengths in which millenicut files are usually available


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

Image illustrating how a vixen file is measured for number of teeth per inch

Swiss or American?

The coarseness of vixen files is measured in teeth per inch, but teeth are only counted if they lie within the inch that is being measured in their entirety. They can also use the American pattern system.

What is a bodifile?

An image to show the curved face of a vixen bodifile A bodifile is a curved vixen file designed specifically for use on car bodies.
Diagram showing the location of the cranked tang on a vixen bodifile Its tang is cranked (bent to one side), which allows a DIYer to file a flat or gently curved surface without their hand getting in the way.

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