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Auriou Rifflers

Let me say preface this by saying, unashamedly, that this is a 'promotional video' - but I'd never promote something I didn't love.

Here's the story:

I occasionally use rifflers in my carving, for example in tight recesses; texturing or preparing for completely smooth surfaces. And there are 4 riffler shapes to which I always seem to return - my favourites as it were. In the past these most useful of shapes have been scattered among the 24 different rifflers made by Auriou at Forge de St. Jeury, France who make - and I truly believe this - the best rasps and rifflers you can get. But now I've been able to work with Auriou to gather these shapes in just 2 rifflers and have them make them for you, which is heart-warming. Additionally, I've had one of these shapes, the 'laurel leaf', widened to what I believe is a better design.

I think these rifflers are terrific, beautifully made tools, and that's why I have no hesitation about showing them to you here.

These rifflers should be available from:

Australia Lie-Nielsen Australia

France Forge de Saint Jeury - Home of Auriou Toolworks

Germany Magma Fine Tools

Germany Dictum


Sweden Hyvlar

UK Classic Hand Tools

USA Tools for Working Wood

USA Lie Nielsen Tools

USA The Craftsmans Choice


| 03 January 2020 21:30

Jof - Gouges are always my first option. Make sure your edges are really keen, use slicing cuts and those quite light. (You can sharpen a pencil 'backwards' with this approach!)
The other thing to remember is that carving ACROSS the grain with a slicing cut will deal with pretty much all tricky grain.

Having said that, there's nothing wrong as such with using a riffler, especially if your final surface is going to be really smooth. The thing is, it's a very different tool and technique compared to a gouge. A riffler is slower and tears the wood rather than carving it and the result is always different. Your choice as a maker.
It's just a small rasp after all and definitely something that would come between a faceted, cut surface and sandpapering.

| 03 January 2020 14:47

Hi Chris. Lately I’ve been having a go at sculpting people and a common task is to round the square-section geometry coming from the initial bandsaw surface into rounder-section shapes recognisable as limbs. I’m noticing that due to the grain direction this can sometimes be an almighty pain with gouges so I’ve been using very rough sand paper instead - which seems to do the job after a fashion. But I’m wondering; is this a good use case for rifflers? Or should I instead better hone my skills with the gouges?

| 15 August 2015 07:27

O.K. thanks Chris. Have now found your set.

| 14 August 2015 09:41

David - There are only 2 rifflers from Auriou that have my name on them, the rest are ones they make as part of their normal catalogue. and these 2 only come in on size and grain. I think this is your best starting set: See how you get on with them and when they don't do what you want, work out the next size or shape you need from there. That way you build up tools you need rather that a 'set' of which some ends might be redundant. The larger the size by the way, the fewer the teeth. These rifflers do indeed seem expensive relative to industrially-made ones but when you consider that, never mind the skilful shaping and tempering, each tooth is picked by hand and you have to add all the business costs, it amazes me that they don't cost 10 time as much! But they are a joy to use and will last a very long time - what do they say, 'The quality remains when the price is forgotten'? So, back to the beginning, the 2 that I show you here are the ones I use almost every time I need a riffler, so I'd recommend just these as a good place to start.

| 13 August 2015 11:49

Hi Chris, I've been looking at the rifflers you mention here, but going to the links for UK supplier, and Ariou itself I find that not only are there are 6 designs and four lengths, but also four different grades of abrasion (grain).
These are indeed expensive tools, so I'm anxious to get a good starting set and not spend on the 'wrong' ones.
I cant seem to find a set 'as recommended' by you on the sites, i.e. 'Chris Pye's set of rifflers', so could you specify which of the tools you have on your video a bit more exactly?
I understand the size and shape combinations you recommend, but its the grain, and the extended width one you have got them to produce, that I'd like to get right before I order.

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