New (to the USA) Source for Hand-cut Rasps

In a recent post, I talked about using rasps and in a response to one of the comments, I mentioned that I was watching my mailbox for the arrival of a package from France. Yesterday the box arrived, containing two hand stitched rasps from Liogier. Until about a month ago, I wasn’t aware that this company existed, but they’ve been making rasps and rifflers for four generations. There is a video on the company’s website that shows the process, and when you understand the work that goes into making a great rasp, they begin to seem like a bargain instead of an extravagance.

I took some time yesterday afternoon to put the 250mm #9 grain, and 200mm #11 grain into action in shaping this walnut handle, and was pleased with this short test drive. Both rasps were sharp, removed material expeditiously and left a nice surface, everything I would expect in a first class rasp. These also had a great feel to them, nicely balanced and with a great deal of control. Some tools feel like they are part of your hands, and these are in that class of tool.

Liogier has an almost overwhelming selection of shapes, sizes and grains available. One of the nice features of the website are charts that indicate common configurations of size and grain. Right-handed stitching is standard, but the option of left-handed is available on request. There are also three variations of tempering available. The two tempering upgrades are harder than the traditional to allow for longer life and less clogging of the tools. I’ll be using these more in the weeks to come, and there will be a full review in an upcoming issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine.

At the moment, Liogier does not have a North American distributor, but the tools are available directly from the company’s website. Prices (in Euros, at the moment 1 Euro = 1.35 US dollars) are in line with comparable tools, and International shipping is reasonably priced.

–Robert W. Lang

13 thoughts on “New (to the USA) Source for Hand-cut Rasps

  1. MikeDoughty

    Have been trying to place an order but their web site refuses to allow choices and darkens the screen every time I try to make any choice of grain or size. I’m sure I’m missing something here. Any solutions?

    1. Robert W. Lang Post author

      I would check to make sure your browser is up to date. I don’t have any issues with Firefox. It could also be a problem with an “adblocker” software or plugin.

      You can also send Liogier a message through the “Contact” tab on their website.

    2. Liogier

      I have heard some people using IE 6 or IE 7 could face some “compatibility” problems. To fix it you have to click on the “compatibility view” button located just to the right of the URL entry box (the icon is of a torn sheet of paper).

      Or, as Robert said, just email me if this does not work (contact at liogier-france.com)

  2. mitchellm

    How do you find they compare to the Auriou rasps? They look very similar and maybe a little cheaper. I’m not sure if that would hold true after shipping. Also which hardness of finish did you get? I’ll be anxious to see the review in the magazine but not sure I can wait.

    1. FenceFurniture

      Mitchell, there’s a direct head to head comparison at
      http://www.woodworkforums.com/f152/rasp-road-test-141118/
      if you can’t wait for Robert’s review.

      So far our Aussie guys have ordered 60 rasps, and of those they chose 55 Sapphires, 3 Titans and 2 Traditionals. We figure that if we are going to get not-so-easy-to-acquire tools then we want them to last as long as possible.

      Dealing with Liogier is an excellent experience, and our members are delighted with their rasps. Currently, we have a few guys collaborating with Liogier on developing some new shapes for specific (but reasonably common) uses.

  3. Eric R

    I like my Nicholson #49 & #50.
    I’ve tried hand stitched rasps and they are nice, but not THAT much nicer.
    You can both the Nicholson’s for the price of one hand stitched.
    Plus, I’m trying to keep more money in America
    Nicholson is owned by Cooper Tools out of Houston, and Nicholson’s headquarters are based out of Raleigh.

    Thank you anyway.

  4. Niels

    Hey robert, all of the hand stitched rasps I use are light years ahead of machine stitched rasps. All the rasps all have “regularly-irregular” spacing of the teeth just like the ones in the images above. Just like hand filing add small variation in rake and fleam that give it smoothness the subtle variation of the rasp teeth keep teeth engaging the material all at the same time (causing chattering, more effort, and a rougher surface). The only thing that has come close for me is Japanese milled-tooth files ( which behave alot like floats).

  5. robert

    I thought the whole deal with hand stitched rasps was that they had a random (or pseudo-random)stitching pattern? Those look like the pattern is pretty uniform (the stitching appears to be in rows diagonally). Do these really work better than machine made rasps with uniform stitching?

    1. Robert W. Lang Post author

      The stitching needs to be regular for the tool to be predictable and controllable. If you click on the last picture, you can see a larger version. There is a slight variation that keeps the tool from digging the deep furrows it would if the teeth in each row lined up precisely with the teeth in the next row.

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