Hand stitched rasps might be the most overlooked hand tools. There are plenty of cheap machine-made rasps around, but hand-stitched ones are a revelation in comparison. Because every single tooth is cut by hand in a controlled semi-random pattern, they can remove wood quickly and with amazing control. The resulting finish is excellent too - because they are very sharp so cut fibres cleanly.
Noel Liogier is one of the last makers of hand-stitched rasps in the World, and no-one makes them better.
His workshop is south west of Lyon, in an area which has been famous for tool-making for centuries. There he works raw steel in his forge to form the blanks that will become the finished rasp. Every stage of production is undertaken by Noel and his small team of skilled craftsmen.
Liogier makes rasps for demanding surgical applications (the only maker to do so), he also makes the hardest and sharpest rasps in the World - the 'Saphir' range, with a hardness way off the Rockwell scale.
In an age when tool-making forges have almost disappeared, it is encouraging to see that international demand for Liogier rasps has never been greater. The future looks bright.