As small as they are, very often they are not small enough. So if
one wants to be ready for everything, they have to be modified even
further. But even with modifications, they can still be too big.
At one point, a couple decades ago, a vendor I used carried
inexpensive sets of small needle files. By small, I mean a total
length of about 2.5 to 3 inches or so. They came in cuts from quite
coarse to a number 6, very fine, with a set of six being about seven
bucks or something like that. Not sure where they were made, but
probably china or india, or the like. Despite being cheap, they were
well made, good steel, and being cheap, I felt no qualms about
trimming them as needed, either for metal, with the medium and fine
cuts, or for wax work, with the coarse ones. I still have a number of
those, such as a former barrette shape that’s been flattened on the
back and narrowed some. Now springy, and thin enough to fit into the
kerf of a coarse saw blade. Really fragile though… I’ve not seen
these files for sale in a long time though. Pity.
The a few years ago, I stumbled upon some really neat tiny files
that Tevel, the owner of Alcraft, had brought to a SNAG convention.
they were made for watchmakers, to file out the hole in a watch hand.
Roughly the size of a sewing needle. THOSE were small files. Only
round and square shapes, but still, pretty neat. The only trouble
with them is that being so small, they were really easy to misplace.
And one student/friend of mine who I’d let borrow my bench for a job
she wasn’t equipped to do at her own, not even realizing that that
piece of rough looking scrap wire she saw on my bench was a file,
proceeded to hold it in a pin vise and use it as a solder pick…