Tsubotama Saw Files
Sharpening Western style saws is a skill that is easily developed and important to having a complete woodworking skillset. Because Japansese saws are hardened to a higher level, and the teeth tend to be finer and more sharp, they do require greater care to sharpen. However, if you have mastered the sharpening of Western saws, it is a logical next step to start sharpening Japanese saws. The files that we offer, Tsubotama brand files, are the finest quality Japanese saw files made today, and are the very same ones that are used by Hishika in their factory. Many of the cheaper Japanese files are really made in China and only finished in Japan. They will not cut as well or last as long as Tsubotama files. We only sell "safe-sided" files, meaning that one side is smooth, because they are much easier to use and we think are the best choice for most people. Tsubotama files are hardened to Rockwell 67-68. That is really hard!
Please note that to sharpen any saw properly, you need a good quality saw vice. We are not aware of any new saw vices that are as good as vintage cast-iron American saw vices. We try to keep one or two in stock at all times in our vintage tool section, although this is not always possible.
Note: As of the summer of 2016 Tsubotama has ceased production of files in Japan, citing the price pressure from cheap Chinese files. We have bought in a large stock of these files, since we don't beleive that any other files of this quality are available today. We will continue to offer this stock until we run out. Yet another sad story of quality succumbing to price.