A rasp is coarse form of file[1] used for coarsely shaping wood or other material. Typically a hand tool, it consists of a generally tapered rectangular, round, or half-round sectioned bar of case hardened steel with distinct, individually cut teeth.[1] A narrow, pointed tang is common at one end, to which a handle may be fitted.[2]


Rasps come in a variety of shapes - rectangular, round, and half-round - and vary in coarseness from finest, "cabinet", to most aggressive, "wood".[3] They are used in woodworking for rapidly removing material, and are easier to control than a drawknife. The rough surfaces they leave may be smoothed with finer tools, such as single or double-cut files.

Farriers use rasps to remove excess wall from a horse's hoof.

Rasps are used in shaping alabaster. Saws and chisels are used to rough out alabaster work.

See also


  1. 1 2 Facts about Files
  2. Lye 1993, pp. 12–13.
  3. Paul N. Hasluck (February 2011). The Handyman's Guide: Essential Woodworking Tools and Techniques. Skyhorse Publishing Inc. p. 119. ISBN 978-1-60239-173-4.

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