When undercutting the fret wire on a bound neck, I have used a jeweler's saw to make the cuts, and a fine pillar file to clean up the cuts.  It has been a laborious and time consuming process, but with good results.  I finally decided to splurge and buy one of StewMac's tang nippers.   When I called, they told me that the manufacturer was no longer making them, and that they were not available.

Does anyone know of a substitute tool?  Or perhaps a more efficient process?

Thanks for the help.

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Allparts also sells them but I see they're currently 'backordered'... so maybe it's a case of a sole manufacturer that's decided to cease production?

I can vouch, however, for LMII's fret tang removal tool, designed by our own Frank Ford!  They're very accurate and work wonderfully with stainless frets.  

Having said that, they seem strangely absent from LMII's catalog now, replaced by another fret tang filer? ;

Not too sure why they switched, since FF's tool works beautifully.

Regardless, there are tang tools out there and, hopefully, the original squeeze-handled versions will be stocked again soon.

I just saw this yesterday and it may be an option:

I have the old FF tool from LMI. Works great!

Not long ago I got the Summit fret tang undercut tool from Jescar  -  it's a really superior tool, and beats anything I've used.

Nice tool. Seems to be specially made for Jescar frets. How critical is the match between the fret size and the guiding plate?

HI George,

We have used both the Stewmac undercut nippers and for the last couple of years the heavy duty stainless steel nippers from Allparts.  The Allparts nippers are the only ones that will do jumbo stainless day in day out but they absolutely murder narrow wire and we use the Stewmac ones on the finer stainless wire ok.

However, our next set will be the Jescar nippers with the interchangeable plates simply because of the economics of doing a lot of undercutting and the need to be accurate and consistent each and every cut with all types and sizes of wire.  Otherwize I recommend the Allparts nippers if you are going to do stainless.



Thanks to everyone.  I especially liked the Jescar undercut nippers, but the price tag of $108 plus shipping brought me back to reality.  As a non-professional hobbyist, it looks like I'm back to my jeweler's saw and file again.

Well, some good news.  I was telling my lovely wife the above sad story, and she said, "If that tool will give you more time to spend with the grandchildren, then get it." It is on its way.  Again, thanks to all!


The StewMac tool is a Klein 76011B sheet metal nibbler that they modify by making a groove in its "anvil" work surface, and covering up the Klein name with a plastic sheath over the handle.  They are no longer in production at Klein.

Here is a similar and inexpensive nibbler that likely would work with the same modification of filing a groove for the fret wire.  I have not seen the tool in person, however.


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