Finger Rest

Finger Rest

When checkering with standard checkering tools, is a finger rest necessary? The short answer is no.  It is not necessary and for over two decades I had never used one. You can call me young and stupid. 


A pile of finger rests straight off the machine.


Father time has caused a bit of change in my thinking and nowadays you will find me making the recommendation to craftsmen to add a few finger rests to their checkering tool kit. Years of detailed hand work has taken its toll in my hands, and I often wonder what I could have done to stave off and ease the stress that checkering can put on your hands.


The idea started simple enough. One day I thought I should just try a finger rest while I was checkering.  We had been offering them for about 5 years on our website and I had yet to even try one while doing my own checkering. I put one on my go-to work horse tool, a 3/16th 90-degree cutter with a right-angle bend that cuts on the pull. I use this tool to do the majority of my edge work after I have cut most of the checkering pattern to depth with The Titan power checkering machine. I immediately noticed that it felt like I needed less pressure to get the tool to engage and cut.  I know it didn’t really take less pressure but having distributed the pressure required across the finger rest made it seem less. I observed that when I finished the pattern, my finger didn’t ache as much.

The back side of the Finger Rest addition.

There was also an added benefit that I didn’t expect, better control! Having the finger rest on the checkering tool gave me better control of the cutter.  It aided in keeping the tool perpendicular to the work and provided better command of the tool as I applied downward force and began to pull the checkering cutter rearwards.  I also find that it is a great aid to my small 3/32nd cutter when using them to trace around a Fleur-de-lis pattern.

Suffice to say, I now have finger rests on all my carbide single line cutters that are not attached to a ClearView handle.  I find myself sometimes lamenting over why I did not do this sooner as it has added that little extra bit of quality that we all are looking to achieve.  Head on over to our website to grab a couple finger rests for your cutters today.

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