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Cutters For Trimming Frets , What Do You Use?


sbskates
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I've always bought stock end-nippers and then ground them flush myself, but on the first 2 pairs, I over-ground and they didn't last long (well they did last for years, but had some places where the blades were trashed). One of those was channelock (however it's spelled). I guess those would have held up better if I wouldn't have used them for cutting other stuff that I shouldn't have been using them on.

Latest pair is Klein 8" long. Did a better job of grinding them flush, but the suckers were around $30.00, plus I had to do all that work grinding them.

Never bought any from StewMac, but seems their current cutters are a good deal at $29.00 and already ground and they finally bumped 'em up to 8" long (used to be around 6" long I think).

I imagine SS wire will still trash 'em though.

You could also do like Frank Ford and get the cheaper diagonal cutters and grind those flush.

Then there's always the Dremel cut-off wheel.

Just saw I have an old photo of the whole gang.

Edited by soapbarstrat
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I need to buy some cutters for trimming frets. i kinda thinkif i go to a good tool store i could save some money and get some just as good as the ones stewmac sells. any thoughts????????????

I use one's like these http://www.wihatools.com/300seri/326_EndCutters.htm I ground it down to cut closer. I need to find something that will cut stainless steel frets though I kinda messed mine up doing that.

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A while back I bought some flush ground cutters from LMI (Channel-lock) and they didn't even hold up for 1 neck using 6000 gauge nickel-silver.... The metal just peeled back, so I returned them... Also, If the cutters were held a certain way, they would make little crescent shapes on all the fret ends, which couldn't be filed away...

Then I got some stock channel lock diagonal cutters for ~$20 which held up to an entire neck of 110 gauge (almost as big as 6000) stainless steel. It cut nicely, and no signs of damage to the tool. However, they did not cut flush so I had to do about 5 min of filing across the whole neck with a course bastard file to bring them flush. I recommend this method.

Also, while I was buying the channel locks, I saw some big bolt cutters.... :D

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I need to buy some cutters for trimming frets. i kinda thinkif i go to a good tool store i could save some money and get some just as good as the ones stewmac sells. any thoughts????????????

I tried a bunch and finally bit the bullet and got the Stew Mac ones. Love 'em.

Have you tried them on stainless steel frets. I consider most of their stuff overpriced but I might get them if they would cut stainless steel.

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I cut SS all the time,but the important part for me is the tang nippers...I nip the tang with the proper stewmac tool(two of the type are in the pic soap linked to)then I use just plain high quality wirecutters to cut the crown...

It does leave a bit of an area to be filed away,as iliketoshred said...but I find it works well for me.

You are not going to find a magical cheap tool that will last forever on SS frets...I have had my tang nippers for about 4 guitars worth of SS frets,and they are ready for replacement.It is just the cost of using those frets...well worth it I think considering the longevity of SS frets.

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I have had my tang nippers for about 4 guitars worth of SS frets,and they are ready for replacement.

But just the little cutter bit is the only thing wearing out , right ? Well, I have seen places selling just the little cutting piece for those. Well, at least one place so far (I wasn't searching for every place that might have them, just happened to see them offered at some place I think I did buy some other tools from years ago), but right now I can't remember what that place is. Pretty sure I dealt with them over the net, though.

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Wow, the "tables" on mine are such hard steel, I don't see how they could ever wear. Maybe they did a sloppy grind when they made yours. I suppose laying some JB weld into the "groove" and then pressing a waxed fret into it would result in a nice fitting groove for half the fret crown.

Anyway, if you're interested in just the blade, google : Klein 76012B

(I remembered a place called Jayso Electronics, and found it there ( $10.65) )

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I gotta jump in here since it's a troubling subject to me as well...

I bought 2 chinese made end cutters from a local lumber store several years ago. Like the others here I ground the end flush on a water wheel. I bet I've made 500+ necks with them including stainless (subject to follow), and finally the rubber stuff on the handles gave in. Every now and then I would just touch up the end, because they do get dinged up a bit from use.

Being tired of no rubber on the handles, I order an LMI cutter (2 months ago) to see how they are. Did one fret job with them... after that, they looked worse than my old one!! LMI responded that they have been having issues getting suitable cutters and just gave me a refund. They told me Channel Lock was supplying the cutters.

I went and got a can of Plastidip and recoated the handles on my old cutter... It's like new again!

Right now, I still have one more unopened end cutter (thank god) I'll save for when this old on gives up.

It'd be great to know where to get real good long handle cutters for the stainless work. I have so far purchased 3 and all of them died almost immediately. They were all common brand names too. Once again, I revert back to my $5.99 cutter.

-Doug

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