Stainless Steel Frets

Nearly all guitars come with nickel fret wire, which wears quickly under regular use as the strings, especially the steel plain strings, cut ruts into the nickel frets and flatten their crowns. Nickel also oxidizes so that the frets actually rust and have to be polished repeatedly. You probably already know what steel strings do to nickel frets because it is there to see on your guitar. Because of such issues, stainless steel frets are becoming the player's choice.

Stainless steel frets play with great smoothness. When installed properly and polished, they shine like mirrors and will remain shiny for decades because they are stainless. They play very slick and have a silky feel, and make string bending incredibly easy. They far outlast nickel frets and are virtually permanent -- in most instances, you will never wear them out and so your guitar will have a permanent, enduring fret job. They will also transform your experience in guitar playing and in most cases "spoil" you to their smooth feel -- you will want all guitars to have them and wonder why they don't.

And why don't they? Several reasons as far as manufacturers and techs. First, steel fret wire is difficult to work with and very hard on tools. Fret working tools will have to be replaced more frequently with steel fret work simply because the steel is so tough for cutting and dressing. Another reason techs avoid steel fret work is to have you as a returning customer for multiple fret jobs on your guitar, due to the nickel frets that continually wear out. Some techs and luthiers make up negative ideas about stainless steel frets (watch my video on this page) because they either don't want to bother with them or they want you to keep coming back for a refret or both. In some instances, techs have limited their skills to nickel fret work and shy away from the extra skills and hard work that stainless steel fret jobs demand. I can say from much experience of working with them that stainless steel frets are sweat, muscle, concentration, time, and patience. But, the BENEFITS of stainless steel frets for players are well worth all the additional effort.

Folkstone Guitars specializes in professional stainless steel fret installation. We refret acoustic and electric guitars, electric basses, mandolins and even banjos with nickel or steel frets, but stainless steel is vastly superior. Our stainless steel fret wire is available in a variety of sizes from small to medium to jumbo to super jumbo. If you have never played a guitar with stainless steel frets, come by the shop and try out one of my guitars refretted with stainless, and experience the frets you have longed for since the first day you picked up a guitar.

Prices for stainless steel refret include a new bone nut (if needed to raise the nut).

Guitars with bolt-on necks and unbound fingerboards (such as Strats, Teles, etc.) = $275.

Guitars with bolt-on necks and bound fingerboards (such as Fender Jazzmaster, etc.) = $305.

Guitars with set necks and unbound fingerboards (such as acoustic guitars like Martin D-28's and some Gibson electrics) = $300.

Guitars with set necks and bound fingerboards (such as Les Paul's, Martin D-35's, etc.) = $340.

Your instrument may be shipped here within the continental U.S. if you are outside Tallahassee or of another state. I recommend FedEx if possible. Wrap your guitar well insulated, especially around the headstock area, using bubble wrap and send it in a case if possible within the box. Email me the tracking number when it is sent and enclose all contact information, including phone number and email. When it arrives, I will contact you immediately and email you an invoice on the work. Upon completion of the work, you will be billed for the cost at your email address with a PayPal money request, which will contain instructions for payment. Your instrument will be immediately shipped FedEx upon payment transaction.

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Gary Hudson