Rasp Hand Tool


The rasp is similar to a file but has sharper and coarser teeth to quickly trim the wood you are shaping. The tool leaves a rough surface which can either be smoothed by a file or sanded finely.

There are 3 types, most common is the half round which is curved / convex one side and flat the other.

The flat types are from about 1" to 2" wide, flat both sides with often a single row of teeth on one edge, the other being smooth.

Swearing Teeth

Their coarse moon shaped cutters ( now don't be offended ) are called bastard teeth. Not how I would have described them but maybe the chap who designed the tool had an accident.

For any file/rasp stockists I have a supplier for bulk buys if you would use the Contact Coach form, found via the Navigation Bar to the left of this page.

As well as shaping wood, I have used the shaper to sculpture Plaster of Paris and they are the choice tool for trimming alabaster stone. Plaster of Paris needs to be fully dried otherwise those .... teeth will become clogged rapidly.

A handy tool to accompany these tools is a wire brush which will remove wood fibres from the teeth but to keep this to a minimum try to make sure the wood is dry.

The teeth cannot be sharpened, however when used purely on wood will keep a good cutting edge for many a day.

If I fancied having a horse between my legs I would have become a farrier who use the tool to remove excess hoof, particularly when the horse is shod.

And there we may have the answer.

Then there is the round which slightly tapers towards the end.

All have handles made from either wood or plastic and the overall lengths are from 8"to 12". I would buy the 12" to allow for hand room when applying pressure on the blade.

Modern Variation

Dry wall rasp

A similar but newish tool and rather like a surform is the Dry wall rasp. This is used for trimming the edges of dry wall boards.

I'm not about to buy one of these, my surform is adequate enough and after 50 yrs might, if replaced, get a little bit upset.

Follow this link for a selection of the above surform and rasp

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