They are hard enough to be also used for stone, plaster, soapstone, alabaster, marble or limestone. If you've never used files or rasps before, you can get a 4 way combination file/rasp, (or four-in-hand) which gives you four different shapes and types of cuts. Using a rasp or file in both directions will eventually wear and ruin the teeth. The usefulness of this rasp is first that it is flat, and secondly that it has two filing faces. These rasps from Italy with a high carbon content are cut by hand in the traditional way. "Riffler rasp" might be the better term to use. The file is used to shape, refine and to smooth out surfaces, the rasp is used to take larger shavings of material off. Rasps, as with metal files, are designed to cut or plane on the stroke away from the body. You can use these rasps used for filing down horses hooves lest they grow too long. Rasps cut very rapidly and are excellent tools … They are very sharp and hold their edge a long time. Both files and rasps are meant to be used between the rough cut of a saw and the smoothing of sandpaper — not instead of either one. Whereas the file is used on both wood and metal, rasps are used mainly on wood and stone but never on metal. We use the term "riffler rasp" or "riffler" to describe a type of rasp with teeth cut in both ends, with an area to hold onto in the middle. The file and rasp are used in a similar way to each other for different tasks which can lead to confusion. However, this type of rasp finds its way into several woodworking applications today. The small rasps have a fine cut, the larger a coarser cut. One side is flat, with a rasp cut at one end and a file cut at the other. Chances are if you were to go into a general tool store and ask for a "riffler," they would sell you a riffler file. The primary job of a rasp is to help the user create nice flowing curves and shapes in timber but it can also be used to cut … Rifflers can be either "file cut," with long lines of teeth, or "rasp cut," with pointy teeth. Special files called rasps, for use on wood only, feature individually raised, extremely rough teeth. The other side is round, cut in the same manner. Because of all the possible combinations of teeth patterns, coarseness, shape, and thickness, there are countless kinds of files and rasps made for every common material and need. We use a horse rasp or hoof rasp primarily to file horses’ hooves during the process of shoeing. A modern variation on this concept is the Microplane.