Woodworking Crafts: Narex Rasps Reader Group Test

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Narex rasps are produced by Narex Bystrice, of Czechoslovakia manufacturers of quality handtools – mainly chisels and rasps. The rasps come in flat, half round and round varieties and in four lengths, from 150- 30mm except for the fine cut versions, which are 200mm long. They feature close spaced machine ‘stitching’ (teeth) and hornbeam handles left bare for extra grip and brass ferrules.

We asked the testers a range of questions, some of which were graded, others needed more articulated answers rather than just scoring. We asked what was their experience using the product and if they had any problems using them.

Greg McAteer: A gentle stroke can modify the aggressiveness of the rasp, so as to remove a small amount. Getting a good final finish using abrasives after using the Narex rasp was no problem at all. I liked the rasps and they were easy to use. Although in no way a problem, the handles are ‘workmanlike’ rather than attractive.

Colin Parr: I had previously used a standard half round file, but this was a very slow process. The Narex rasps removed material very quickly and efficiently. I tried sanding after using the Narex, using 120 grit and this was successful. The rasps come with an ergonomically-shaped handle, that allows you to control the movement effectively.

John Hodgson: Both the round and the half round rasps worked extremely well on acrylic, African blackwood (Dalbergia melanoxylon) and other hardwoods. Out of curiosity, I tried
them on bronze and aluminium with quite good results. The round rasp produced a very good finish when used to enlarge round holes and grooves. These are quality tools and I was not disappointed by their performance.

Ted Charlton: I own a very old 150mm half round rasp, maker unknown. It will get retired now. The Narex rasps were far superior; they removed material from all types of wood including maple (Acer saccharum), oak (Quercus robur), cherry (Prunus avium), sapele (Entandrophragma cylindricum) and several softwoods. My only concern was the quality of the ferrules on the handles. The ferrule on the half round rasp had split from top to bottom and was opening out. The round unit showed signs of a hairline crack but it had not opened.

Duncan Hooper: I haven’t used standard rasps or surform tools, but after trying these Narex rasps I will be thinking of something to make using them. Using Narex rasps has improved my working methods considerably. I got a good final finish using abrasives, using 120 grit to start, through to 320 grit.
SCORES – out of 10
Product Performance 8/10/10/10/8
Ease of Use 10/9/10/10/10
Product Overall 8/9/10/9/8

Editor’s Comment:

Narex are aware of some splitting ferrules and have checked their factory production to ensure this is just an isolated problem; the ones supplied to me were perfect. I’ve used Narex rasps and found them to be excellent quality tools at a reasonable price. Far better ‘stitched’ teeth than on most standard rasps, with real ‘bite’ and a reasonable surface finish before using abrasives.

Download the full Woodworking Crafts: Narex Rasps Reader Group Test PDF.

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