As you know I posted recently on Nicholson’s retrograde step in forsaking their US roots and reputation in pursuit of exploitation of cheaply produced files and in the process compromised their world-renowned quality. Their files are regularly produced bent and fractious, rendering the files useless for any aspects of work and especially saw filing and sharpening. This sad reality marks the demise of Nicholson as a viable entity in the industry and for the art and craft of file making. Now it is only a matter of time before indeed we see them, US and Mexican jobs disappear. Of course this is not just jobs and livelihoods but damaged families and wellbeing too.
This week I bought and tested a Bahco saw file street cost £11 About $16.50 USD. Pretty hefty price at first glance, but in the case of the now diminished quality of Nicholson files at around£4 sterling or $6 USD, these files actually fare pretty well. If a Nicholson saw file fractures in use after say three saws, that makes sharpening £1.33 or $2 per saw. The Bahco saw file sharpened 15 saws but has two files in one saw file and I only used one of the two. I will test the other half next, but that means I get 30 filings for $16 making each sharpening 38 pence (sterling) or 53cents USD; about a quarter of the price of the Nicholson files I tested.
Now I must also say that I got much smoother cuts with the Bahco files and that means crisp steel cutting that produced a very clean, sharp, chatter-free (vibration) edge to every tooth. All six faces of the file remained in tact throughout the 15 saws and I can actually sharpen more saws with that file, probably another 5.
Though generally I do not like plastic handles on any tools, this handle was indeed comfortable in use. This handle was part of the price, which of course means another saving on handle purchase. Unfortunately, I don’t need a new handle with each file I buy and would rather be able to buy the files handle free beyond my initial purchase. As I said, the handle was indeed very comfortable and really gripped the file positively with no slippage. Probably the most comfortable handle I have ever used, this file made the sharpening an unwaveringly solid and vibration free experience.
I made a comment in my previous post that Bahco to exported its manufactory to Portugal for production so whether that means Swedish steel or not I will never know. I must say, Well done, Portugal! You make a great file and I hope that Bahco is passing on the savings and paying you decently for your production quality. Nicholson has held its file price pretty much the same, but I wonder if that means they are paying Mexico well or taking care of their own wellbeing only.
These files are available in the UK from Toolcity http://www.toolcity.co.uk/contact.aspx and all the files are less than £9 and many around £5.