Pferd File Handles

Reduce hand fatigue when filing

Tools (Recommended):
PFERD 11131 Plastic File Handle For 4″-6″ Files

PFERD 11132 Plastic File Handle For 8″-10″ Files

PFERD 11133 Plastic File Handle For 12″-16″ Files


Hi, I’m Sean Michael Ragan, and this is Cool Tools.

If you’ve got a toolbox full of files that look like this…well, I won’t say shame on you, but I will say shame on us, because you’re looking at most of the files I own right here, and they all should have handles on them, and so should any of yours that are currently without them. Why?

Number one, safety. Files are made of dense, hard steel and the tangs are pointy. Especially if you ever use your file around any kind of rotating machinery like a lathe, drill press, or grinder, you’ve absolutely got to have a handle on it.

Number two reason is control. Even if you never work around rotating machinery, you can’t really use a file properly unless you have the right grip, and you really can’t get the right grip on a bare tang.

Finally, the handle helps to prolong the life of the tool itself. With a handle on a file, it’s easy to hang up; without one, it isn’t. If the file’s not hanging up, chances are it’s knocking around in a drawer with all the other files, and because they’re all made out of hardened steel, they can scratch each other up.

Fortunately, in the age of plastics, excellent file handles can be had for very little money. These blue guys are made by Pferd, which is a 200-year old German company, out of rigid injection-molded plastic, and they cost about $3 apiece.

They come in three sizes: Papa Bear for files that are 12 to 16 inches long; Mama Bear for files that are 8 to 10 inches long, and Baby Bear for the little 4 to 6 inch puppies. Files, by the way, are measured from here to here. So, you don’t include the tang in the nominal length.

These handles look good, they feel great in the hand, they’ve got a nice big loop at the end for hanging them up, and they’ve got a flat-sided profile at this end so they won’t roll off the bench.

And to install one, you just do this. Done. That is not coming off of there. At least not under normal use conditions.

I got curious about what the inside of this cavity looks like, so I decided to sacrifice one of these handles to cut a cross section, which I’ve got here, and this view does make it a lot easier to see how this opening is designed to grab the file’s tang and not let it slip back out.

Now that I can see how it works, I thought it might be fun to try and design a 3D-printed handle that works in the same way. And this is what I came up with. It’s not an exact duplicate of the Pferd design, because their version is designed for injection molding while mine is designed for fused-filament printing without support material.

Here it is coming off the printer.

And here we go. OK, it’s not a great print, but on first blush, this handle does seem to work just as well as the commercial product. And If you want to try printing one of these yourself, you can find that file on my Thingiverse page, and I’ll put that link down in the description field.

All right, thank you for watching. As always there are affiliate links in the description field below the video. If you’ve seen anything you like, please do check those out, as well as our blog and our podcast over at We’ll see you next time.

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-- Sean Michael Ragan 03/31/20