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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys. I read up on some searched threads regarding nut files. It seemed at the time of those threads, the best place to get files was either japarts.ca the Uo-Chikyu files or the files from Stewmac.

I e-mailed Josh at japarts but he informed me that the files are being changed, they used to be hardened steel but now they are being shipped as stainless. He said if I were to order a custom set I might get a mix of the two. If I think of a stainless kitchen knife vs carbon steel, I don't really see the stainless ones being very good. I'm sure they are fine on plastic but quality files should be able to cut brass, bone, all sorts of things. Does anyone know why they are switching the metals? The ones at Stewmac are listed as "chrome-alloy" so it sounds like six in one half a dozen in the other between Uo-Chikyu or Stewmac.

I'm not opposed to spending the $$$ on good files but I've heard excellent things of Grobet files, does anyone know a place to get those in Canada? Or even a USA source with decent shipping costs. From people who have compared all types of nut files they seem to agree the Grobets are great but they are becoming hard to find.
 

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I got my sets from Philadelphia Luthiers Supply. The price was right and the shipping across the border very decent. The bigger, double-sided ones are Hoscos and I believe the single ones are, too. They do a very fine job on bone, which I'm using 99% of the time.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thanks for the replies guys. dtsaudio that's what I've heard from anyone who has used Grobet files and compared them to many of the other nut files being praised on forums or internet reviews. I checked the Grobet USA website and it's fairly overwhelming lol. I've heard the Stewmac chrome-alloy files cut a good nut for a while but in the opinion of luthiers using them everyday, they say they don't have very good durability. I'm not going to be cutting a nut everyday but my objective is to spend whatever the cost is now, and hopefully have that set for life.

Smylight do you know if they are made of steel or some other alloy? I will see if I can find any info on Philly Luthier Supply, or Hosco files. Thanks for the information.

Edit: For anyone interested, it's easily searchable on a search engine but I found this thread informative. David Collins on post #12 took the time to evaluate the different nut files, take pictures of them up close and how they cut a nut. Anyone taking the time to document this sort of stuff has to have an opinion that holds a bit of weight I think. I re-read the thread quickly and Hosco files were recommended as well
Cheap(er) Nut Files?
 

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I don't know about the exact alloy, sorry. I got mine a year ago and find them quite adequate for everyday nut slotting, easy to clean and still cutting like they did when brand-new. I just checked and the single gauge files are Hoscos too. They look quite identical to StewMac's.
 

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As Steve Jobs used to say... one more thing. Philadelphia Luthiers Supply are glad to combine shipping on multiple purchases from their eBay account as well as their website. So it can be quite a bargain on Canuck purchases. ;-)
 
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I'm not going to be cutting a nut everyday but my objective is to spend whatever the cost is now, and hopefully have that set for life.
I thought about getting a set too.
It's tough to compare the cost of how many nuts that I think I'll need over a lifetime,
or have a luthier cut them for me when I need them?
Then again, we do love buying tools, don't we?

 

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Discussion Starter #8
laristotle the Tim Allen .gif cracked me right up, nice one.

If I have to compare purchasing nut files to guitar wiring. I remember spending $70 back 10 years ago and it dawned on me if I learned how to do it myself, that's half a set of premium pickups right there. I tried it with those shitty Radio Shack soldering irons for a bit and thought I was shit at soldering lol, when I upgraded to a nice Weller station it's been a breeze ever since. I think nut cutting usually costs $65 or $80 depending on who you go to, doesn't it? If I spend $150 seems like I could cut quite a few before they'd be dull or worn. I have also heard from experienced luthiers they come to prefer their half-worn set of files because it gives them a bit of leeway before cutting a nut too deep. Right now nuts are the only thing that keep me from doing a perfect set up on my own electrics. I never really liked working on acoustics much as I don't own many just a cheap Takamine. I know I'll probably have to cut 10 blank nuts to get the hang of it, but the blanks are cheap and it'd be a new experience. From the sounds of it if you pick a quality set and use them once a year or every two years, they should last a long time. Then the only thing I'd ever need from a luthier would be fret work and I may eventually look into that but not for a while lol.

The Hosco files are looking like a great deal right now. When I checked japarts.ca I wanted to get 2 sets, so I could do 10-46 strings on my regular electrics, and 13-56 for a guitar I tune down to C standard or B standard. The whole low tuning is what got me into wanting to cut my own nuts to begin with. Guitar I have right now set up for C standard has 12-54 but the strings get caught in the nut and the tension is too low for how I prefer the action. I kind of started rambling but I meant to mention that the Hoscos come in a set of 10 and it looks like you could do both string gauges with that set.
Guitar Nut File Set, 10 files

When I had the quote from japarts.ca it was $70 for the 10-46 set and then $100 for the custom set or whatever files were big enough for 13-56. Haven't checked the shipping or the conversion from USD to CAD but the Hoscos seem like a better deal, and I don't think they are stainless/chrome. I may be mistaken
 

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The Hoscos I got are certainly not chrome nor stainless. Ask japarts or Philly LS before ordering so you get what you want.
 

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I don't do a whole lot of nut work, but if you're working with standard size precut nuts like tusq etc. ; I manage to get by with a good calipher and a set of "welding tip cleaners" available at the local hardware store for about $3.

They would be less than ideal for actually cutting nut slots and that jazz, but the tip cleaners come in a bunch of different sizes that are comparable to standard sized string gauges. Just an option for some "once in a while" nut work.

Another option I've come across but haven't tried myself is to cut up an old set of roundwound strings and hot glue them to the side of a popsickle stick or similar object. The hard edges of the string act as a file, and lets you cut the slot to that gauge. I haven't tried this one myself though.
 
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