Files are rather like knives or chisels or any other cutting tool
that you can name, in that if you just throw them in a drawer or a
box, they will dull each other. Solution, get a canvas storage wrap
with pockets and keep them in the pockets. Keep the wrap rolled up
and tied off when your files are not in used.
Files are one way tools. They are intended to cut in one direction
only. If you rub your finger on one it will tell you immediately in
which direction to cut with it. Never drag a file backwards across a
surface. Such action will dull the file, even when you are working
with soft materials.
Use the largest file you can use on the job. This is important, but
hard to believe, so I’ll say it again. Use the largest file you can
for a given job. If you will just follow this rule you will have far
less trouble using files.
Use a coarse, fast cutting file first, then use a smoother, slower
cuting file to finish.
And, as it is with all the other tools you own, practice makes
perfect. Look for opportunities to use your files so that you can
practice using them. Don’t think, “Oh, God! I’m gonna hafta file
this!” Think, “Oh, goody! I get use my files.”