I recently read a thread on a builder forum where one builder proudly proclaimed that stainless frets once installed require no leveling/dressing and never will.....

Silly me - I thought that stainless fret wire was simply harder but had I known that it would improve my lutherie chops to the degree that no leveling or crowning would be required after installing the frets I might have jumped on the stainless bandwagon too.

To top it all off the assertion that when stainless frets are installed no fret dressing will EVER be required made me feel like I missed out even more.....


So what do you guys (men and women) think of using stainless frets and the assertion that it eliminates the need for leveling, crowning and future fret dressing? 

And if you can't stop laughing because you only thought that stainless would last longer I know how you feel...... ;)  Such magical properties for this stainless wire - who would have thunk it.....


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 I  like this idea, I think I'm going to put stainless steel necks on all of my guitars. How about a saddle and bridge combo? I'd never need to worry about adjustments again! 

I heard if you use nylon strings on ss frets, they nylon crowns the fret for you, faster than any file! Does not work on nickle, thought. Does work faster on those really really really cool pink(only pink) quartze frets.

On another forum one reply that I have received so far indicates that stainless frets will also cure ED.....  ;)

Who knew!

Can you imagine the possibilities if one also glues in their stainless with HHG? 

In fact the vast majority of ALL frets will never need dressing in the foreseeable future.  Relatively few instruments get enough playing do develop much in the way of fret wear.  That said, it's obvious enough that stainless, being harder, will wear longer, but not forever.  Stainless steel frets seem like a really good option for instruments that will get a lot of use, and particularly those old Gibson mandolins, with their .040" wide frets.   Also, for those active string-benders, stainless frets give a more slippery feel, and presumably will last quite a lot longer in that application.  Heavy capo users, and bluegrass banjo players tend to grind into low position frets, too, so I've done a fair number of refret jobs for those players.

That's a sad commentary on how many guitars get played enough to require service to their frets in the future.

I completely agree that stainless frets will last longer and even feel better to me as well having played them for about a decade on a Parker Fly Deluxe.  Where I found this assertion humerous is the notion that no leveling or crowning is required if one elects to install stainless now or ever....

Self leveling frets - what a concept.....

I'm sure that no leveling or crowning is needed if you are INCREDIBLY talented with a fretting hammer. I mean, who wouldn't spend two weeks meticulously installing new frets to such tight tolerances that an hour of dressing is unnecessary.

Arber press can do that alot quicker and faster than a hammer, if care is taken.

who is ED?

Thats Mr. Ed, the incredable freting horse.


Ever since I got my letter from Hogwarts all frets are ss, self installing and never need dressing..

I'm impressed, John, I understand the sapient pear wood is particularly hard to get to hold still while you shape it.

Nice thing about that sapient pear wood is that the old phrase "that guitar practically plays itself" would probably be a literal phrase. :)


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