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What is an ignition point file?

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Image of electrical contacts which are often filed with an ignition point file Ignition point files are used as an abrasive for cleaning electrical contacts in tight spaces, generally for the removal of rust.
Image of car ignition points, which are the most usual target for ignition point files The components that they clean are found in car engines, and are usually coated with tungsten, which is how the file earned its other name.

What are the characteristics of an ignition point file?

Diagram of a slim rectangular cross section

Cross section

Ignition point files, also known as tungsten point files, have a narrow rectangular cross section to allow them to fit into small slots and between casings for electronic components.

An ignition point file, used to dress electrical components inside a car

Profile and cut

They are blunt, but their points are chisel-shaped. They are double cut on both faces.

Image of an ignition file in use in a confined space Their chisel-shaped tips make them ideal for reaching inside small gaps and slots.
Image showing the length of an ignition point file

Size

These files are produced in relatively small sizes, usually around 131mm (51/4“). They have an integrated handle instead of a pointed tang.

The American flag, representing American pattern files

Swiss or American?

Ignition point files are American pattern files.

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