The Nicholson combination rasp/hand file (also called 4-in-hand) has a half-round shape with American pattern rasp-cut teeth on half of the round and flat sides, double-cut American pattern teeth on half the flat side, and single-cut American pattern teeth on half the round side. The rasp-cut teeth are for aggressive removal of wood or soft materials on straight and curved surfaces. The double-cut teeth are for rapid removal of material on straight surfaces with a rough finish. The single-cut teeth are for finishing, sharpening, and deburring on curved surfaces. The file has teeth on both ends to accommodate the variety of styles.
Hand files are used to remove material and smooth and shape workpieces. They have forward-facing cutting teeth and cut when pushed over either a stationary or rotating workpiece. Single-cut teeth are single rows cut diagonally across the width of the file. Double-cut teeth have two sets of rows cut in opposite directions. American pattern files have three coarseness grades. Coarse, also known as bastard cut, is suitable for efficient, heavy material removal where finish is not a concern. Medium, also known as second cut, offers average material removal and finish quality. Fine, also known as smooth cut, provides the smoothest finish. Swiss pattern files have eight coarseness grades, from 00 (coarse), 0 (medium), and 1 to 6 (fine to finest), offering a smoother finish than equivalent American pattern files. For Swiss pattern files the length of the tool is the length of the blade, not counting the tang, which is the pointed end fitted for a handle; for American pattern files the length of the tool is its entire length, including the tang.
Nicholson manufactures hand tools and power tool accessories. The company is headquartered in Sparks, MD.