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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At one time I used to carve my own handle but then I bought a Pioneer pistol grip handle that I've used for decades and really like it. I've have not seen another one like it since. I have arthritic hands and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome so the large ergonomic handle helps. Recently I bought a small saw that uses an 11/64th file and did not want to swap files on the Pioneer handle so I carved one instead.

A lot of folks trash talk file handles that are not round saying it puts wear in one particular spot on the sides of the file. Of course, one could remove the file and turn it to even out the wear although I've not had the urge to do so. The other thing is you cannot set the file in the handle by hammering on the back of the handle. You need to just stab it in.
 

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I say as long as you have a comfortable grip and can feel the bite of the file into the chain you should be able to adapt for anything. Rotating the file is what I do as well.
 
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I have a couple of the various green/orange/blue round handles that seem to come with saws or the file guides. I like the hand "carved" one you showed, but I like to turn my files every couple strokes, so the round ones work better for me. Very interesting.
 

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I don't have a preference as to the shape of the handle, as long as it's comfortable. My only requirement is that it must be florescent orange. I seem to have a tendency to put things on the ground when outdoors, then I can't seem to find them.😮
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I like to turn my files every couple strokes, so the round ones work better for me.
Some folks twist their wrist as they stroke. Different strokes for different folks.

If you use a file guide, it's not so easy to turn the file.
2504913
 

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At one time I used to carve my own handle but then I bought a Pioneer pistol grip handle that I've used for decades and really like it. I've have not seen another one like it since. I have arthritic hands and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome so the large ergonomic handle helps. Recently I bought a small saw that uses an 11/64th file and did not want to swap files on the Pioneer handle so I carved one instead.

A lot of folks trash talk file handles that are not round saying it puts wear in one particular spot on the sides of the file. Of course, one could remove the file and turn it to even out the wear although I've not had the urge to do so. The other thing is you cannot set the file in the handle by hammering on the back of the handle. You need to just stab it in.
Isn't that the way it always seems to work out? I have a racheting screw driver that takes bit inserts and it is shaped perfectly to fit my hand. I sincerely wish I had bought 6 of them. I got it at Sears 30 some years ago and have never seen another one. I must have 5 or 6 different hand tools like that. Nothing really special or expensive, but they just fit so perfectly in my hand or function perfectly in the way I use it. The thing is, how do you know a tool will be like that until you use it a couple of years and a duplicate is no longer available?
 
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Some folks twist their wrist as they stroke. Different strokes for different folks.

If you use a file guide, it's not so easy to turn the file.
View attachment 2504913
I don't have any problem spinning my file in my guide. And, this is an example of one of the free handles I referred to:

2505049


Cleaning up and sharpening a couple saws that worked the sawing mission at the cabin this past weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I don't have any problem spinning my file in my guide.
I've never used one so I wouldn't know but it looks like you would need to loosen those knurled screws. Maybe they can be left loose enough to turn? Also, it looks like those gadgets would shorten your stroke.

Granted, the round handle shown if used without the guide, probably would allow for longer strokes, the length of course depends on how deep the file's tang gets inserted, but if not all of the tang is in the handle, it has a propensity to bend. That tang bending was a problem with my pistol grip and I had to enlarge the hole losing some of the stroke length.

One of the negative feedbacks I read about the "free" handle you show is that since they are not round, they don't facilitate less than 180 degree turns, but as I mentioned, I have no urge to turn the file.
 

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First, I have to report I'm no expert on hand filing, so my technique should be of no guide to anyone else. Second, I use a file guide for the file I use on most of my chains, and carry it in my saw box for in field touch-ups while sawing.

2505103


That's it there in the picture of the contents of my saw box. I suppose it does shorten the length of the stroke, but not shorter than my typical stroke anyway. I file with right hand on the handle and left fingers on the tip which I hope provides an even force through the stroke. FWIW, this guide does not have the knurl screw, rather just spring clips and they ride on the two ends of the file that are not file surface. So, mine turns relatively easy. I don't rotate in a stroke, rather I rotate after a couple cutters.

The free handle has a smaller file mounted that I only use on my smallest saw chain. While the handle is not round, it is not hard to grip anywhere around the 360°.
 
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Idk about saw filing, haven't done any. Yet.
But, I cannot even begin to know how much hand filing i've done, and i've made more than a few file handles. From wood, nylon, delrin, all kinds of materials, both round and square.
 
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