Determining what capabilities or level of tuning you are after will help decide on tuning or other tools. What level tuner are you and want to be; Leisure, Performance or Serious? (See poll
If you looked at building a tool kit whether it's files, diamonds guides, brushes, waxes, etc as you looked at building your quiver of skis, you wouldn't necessarily get everything you can to start. There are simply too many variables to grasp without time and experience, cost and other considerations. As with skis and other gear, you can always buy more and there are various grades or calibers of tools. For the recreational skier and tuner, getting the every one of the finest tools may be overkill and an unnecessary expense. But if you appreciate fine tools, and start out purchasing them, it's hard to go back to lessor caliber as you become spoiled. (Carvemeister's cherry is popped now
For the 'all mountain' capabilities for main files & diamonds which you can build on, I'd suggest:
1) bastard or 2nd cut file-for edge sharpening, beveling and setting edge geometry, coupled with guide. The coarser the file, the faster the cut and filings stream off easier.
2) panzer/body file-for removal of side wall (edge off-set), quick removal of edge when establishing edge geometry or removing excess base material. Also great for plexi scraper sharpening.
3) 200 or 400 grit diamond-for deburring, maintenance sharpening, finishing and polishing edge
4) aluminum oxide stone-inexpensive 'beater' stone for knocking down case/work hardened edges, deburring, knife sharpening, misc tasks
5) gummy stone-detuning and rust removal
6) base and side edge combination guide-used to secure files, diamonds and stones accurately to set edge geometry (bevel angles) and can be used for maintenance sharpening with diamonds or stones
For starting out and I'd bet for the majority of recreational tuners (and if you'll also need other tools), a Deluxe Tuning Kit
or Tuning Station
, coupled with a diamond and gummy stone will be more than adequate, can be built upon and is a great value. The 3 in 1 Xact
in our kits are solid and highly versatile. Later, if you decide to purchase more angle specific guides, the 3 in 1s will still be a nice tool to keep handy.
(The EpicSki Supporter 20% discount is still in play.)