Problem Solvers: File Cleaner

Problem Solvers: File Cleaner

Check out this tool tip to keep your files clean.

Does this have a place in your toolbox? You decide.

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*Disclaimer: TechShop Tool Showcase videos are offered to provide viewers with a brief overview of tools and equipment for professional independent repair technicians and shop owners. We are provided tools free of charge, however, we receive compensation for some videos we produce. Tool Showcase videos are not reviews and the descriptions and specifications of the products are provided by the manufacturer. All opinions expressed are intended for informational purposes only.

Read the full script below:

Hi, this is Eric with TechShop and another edition of Tool Showcase.

Have you ever gotten a tip from someone and said why didn’t I think of that? We love those kinds of tips and I’ve got an interesting one to share with you today about files; specifically, about keeping them clean.

This tip was sent in by Tom Nichols of Automotive Machine and Supply in Cleburne, Texas, and he shared with us how to prevent clogged files from marring your work.

What Tom does is fill the file’s teeth with chalk, children’s sidewalk chalk to be exact, and it prevents metal particles from lodging themselves in the teeth.

And for those files that are clogged, he’s come up with a method for cleaning them as well. We’re all familiar with file brushes, and the fact that they don’t always get all of the embedded particles out.

So, here’s something to try the next time. Take a piece of 3/8 inch or half inch copper tubing and flatten one end. Using the tube like a scraper, move it parallel with the teeth and it will quickly clear the clogs. It works better than a file brush and won’t dull the file.

You can fabricate a handle of sorts to protect your hand, and I found a perfect use for that broken ax handle I’ve been hanging on to for no particular reason. I just cut off the end, drilled a half-inch hole and glued in the copper tube.

This special tool is going to go in my file drawer, along with some sidewalk chalk. I’m going to try this tip out; thanks Tom for sending it in.

If you’ve got a tool tip to share, go to, look for the contact us link and drop us a line! We just might turn it into a video.

Ok, that’s it for today, don’t forget to go to for more tool showcase videos or subscribe to our youtube channel and never miss a single one!

Thanks for watching TechShop’s tool showcase. I’ll see ya next time. 

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