A good rasp is a simple tool that performs a multitude of tasks: tweaking the fit of a mortise and tenon, rounding an edge or shaping a curved form. It’s the sort of tool that can change from “never heard of it” to “can’t live without it” the first time you use one. The best ones have the teeth formed by hand, leaving a random pattern of scratch marks that can be removed with a stroke or two of a scraper.
A couple of years ago we tried the French-made Auriou rasps and were quickly sold on them. The only drawback we could see was the price. It’s justified by the labor-intensive way they are made, but out of reach for many of us. Gramercy Tools has just introduced hand-cut rasps at a more reasonable price.
The set of three rasps I tested had progressively finer teeth as they decreased in size, which makes them a good combination of tools to go from rough shaping to fine work. Compared side by side with the Aurious there was no significant difference in performance. I’ll pocket the savings and buy another Gramercy rasp or two.
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