Lima or rasp, what’s the difference?

There are many professionals in the field of electricity who are not familiar with some tools that are extremely useful for electricians. Thinking about this subject we decided to talk about files and rasps, presenting the difference between files and rasps, as well as their main characteristics and applications, come on guys!

Files and rasps: What are they?

Both files and rasp are tools used for roughing and finishing certain materials, but the big difference between them is the material in which these tools are used.


A file is a hand tool, formed by a hard steel rod and with grooves, which is used to grind parts, and these parts can be of different types of different metals, be they aluminum, brass, or steel for example. In addition, files can be used for grinding other materials such as plastic.


A rasp is also a hand tool, consisting of a hard grooved steel rod, which is used for roughing. Compared to lime, the rasp has a superior grinding capacity, in addition it is used for grinding wood.

Lima or rasp, which is better?

Files and rasps: What’s the difference?

Both files and rasp are tools for roughing and finishing, the big difference between them is that the rasp is used on wood and the file can be used for other materials like plastic and iron for example, being very useful for electricians.

In this image that is appearing below, it is possible to see a file and a rasp, both are from Starret, it is easy to notice that there is a big difference between files and rasps, being able to identify each one easily. It is possible to observe that the file has very fine grooves and in the meantime, the rasp has thicker grooves.

Features of rasps and files.

Types of file lines.

There are several types of files, where each one of them has specific characteristics, destined to different services, the files can be differentiated according to the size, thickness, format, directions of their grooves and space between the lines.

Single file and double cut file

The image below shows two different types of files, the file on the left has grooves in only one direction, and it is called a single cut file, but when the file has grooves in both directions, such as the file on the right, this type of file is called a double-cut file.

Single cut file and double cut file.


There are spaces between the lines of the files, and these spaces can define the file between fences or bastards. The file with the smallest space between the lines is the murça file, which is used mainly for finishing.

Characteristic of withered lime.


Files that have larger spaces between their lines are called bastard files, they serve mainly to perform a coarser grinding in a piece.

Characteristic of the bastard file.

It is important to highlight that both files and rasps can be found in various formats, and this variety aims to serve and facilitate all types of possible work, with the most common file format being the rectangular file, like the file below.

Characteristic of the rectangular file.

Rounded file and half cane file

We can also find files and rasps in the round shape, and this shape is commonly used in roughing rounded holes, the half-shaped file has a flat side and a semi-circular side, it is used on convex, concave and flat surfaces.

Characteristics of half cane and rounded files.

Triangular file

We also have the triangular shape, which is widely used to sharpen certain types of cutting parts such as, for example, sharpening the teeth of a chainsaw and performing services on surfaces with angles above 60 °.

Features of the triangular file.

In many electrical jobs, we can and should use files and rasps to make the job easier! And a big advantage is that these tools are relatively inexpensive and it makes a huge difference to have them in the tool box.

The video below shows the characteristics of both files and rasps, showing the differences between these two tools, the types of files and where each of these files are used.