The rasp is an ideal tool to use when there is a lot of stock that needs to be removed, particularly on convex or concave surfaces, or where you need to quickly bevel or chamfer an edge.
Not only do rasps cut quickly, they also provide a high degree of control and precision. Smooth cutting rasp (those with smaller, more numerous teeth) provide a relatively clean finish, with minimal tear-out, even on highly figured wood. And, they’re quiet in use, which is an important consideration for anyone who works in a fairly small shop.
Once you’ve tried a rasp, you’ll find it indispensable for shaping chair legs and arms, spindles, guitar necks, oars, bows, tool handles, the edges of table tops, and sculptural pieces. Though it excels for work on convex and concave surfaces, you can also use a rasp for quick removal of stock on flat surfaces, for example, final fitting through tenons on trestle table legs.
Check out our review of 7 top-of-the-line rasps.