How Are Needle Files Used in Jewelry Making?

Needle files are small files used to finish and shape metal. They come in various shapes - round, half round, square, triangle, flat and barrett.


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Needle Files

Needle files are small files used to finish and shape metal. They have a smooth edge on one side so they don't mark the metal when you are filing in tight spaces. They come in various shapes - round, half round, square, triangle, flat and barrett. They come in coarseness of fine, medium, course and extra coarse. Make sure to at least have one in fine and one in coarse. Buying a set of various shapes is a good place to start and additional ones can be purchased as you need them.

  • Gesswein offers starter sets on their website in packs of the desired shapes. Perfect for students and professional jewelers alike.
  • Amazon carries a less expensive set of needle files.

Purchasing handles for your needle files is recommended. The file handles are small and hard to grip. Buying handles for the file ends will make them easier to hold.

needlefile handles
Needle file handles

Gesswein also has a nice selection of needle file handles. Graver-style handles are inexpensive and effective, but any handle is better than none.

Jewelry Needle Files Recommendations

PhotoNameTop Reviews on Amazon
Needle File Set|6...image Needle File Set|6 Piece

"Often, when I use wire and a mandrel to make my own rings, I use these files on the cut ends, so that when I close the rings, they will be as flush as possible. These files are easy to handle and small enough to adequately file the small ring closures without marring the rest of the ring. I love them! Also, Hazlo Homeowner Tools shipped the files right out, no delay, and I quickly received them. Moreover, you can't beat the price! A bargain!" read more

10Pcs Needle File...image 10Pcs Needle File Set

"I purchased these small files to help me detail small projects that I prototype.

They are pretty small, very suitable for detail work. They come in a plastic sleeve to keep them together and to protect them. They have a vinyl handle which makes gripping them easier. The file edges are pretty good, flat and even. They are not too aggressive in filing, it takes a bit to remove a lot of material.

This combination set gives me many filing options, so I can choose the best for my needs...

Overall, I am happy with my purchase...
" read more

10-Piece Mini Diamond...image 10-Piece Mini Diamond Needle File

"These are nice for getting into tight spaces and filing tiny jewelry components and small wires. It's great to have an assortment which fit different situations."read more

Mini Needle File...image Mini Needle File Set

"I am a jeweler and these are fantastic tools that are an integral part of my finishing kit. In fact, I have found them so useful that I have purchased 2 more sets to have available for my travel and backup setups. They are very handy files that do a fantastic job and get into all those hard to reach places. Highly recommended!"  read more

SE Tapered Diamond...image SE Tapered Diamond Needle File Set

"These are the best files for the price I have found. They have given me the confidence and the capability to complete several very fine modification projects recently.

My only gripe...there's no reason to use the yellow handled files. The red grips are coarse, but they're not so coarse that you couldn't do most of your work with them. Once you get to the point where you need to finalize your project you can easily jump to the green handled files. So there's no reason to use the yellow ones...and they're the same shapes as the red files. It would have been much better if the yellow files were different shapes--like triangles, squares, or ovoids. The only ovoid file you get is a green file, and that can take a while to work on a peep hole.

I'd give it 4/5. -1 star because the yellow files are basically useless and you only get four basic shapes out of ten files.
read more

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Megan Coward, Graduate Jeweler Gemologist, GIA, Graduate Gemologist

Megan Coward is a graduate of the GIA with Graduate Jeweler Gemologist and Graduate Gemologist accreditations. She has 20+ years in the retail jewelry industry in various roles including as a diamond buyer and gemstone appraiser.

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