Fret Tang Nipper

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Fret Tang Nipper For Narrow Fretwire

For Narrow Fretwire

Item # 1604
In stock, ready to ship!


Fret Tang Nipper For Medium Fretwire

For Medium Fretwire

Item # 1626
In stock, ready to ship!


Fret Tang Nipper For Wide Fretwire

For Wide Fretwire

Item # 1649
In stock, ready to ship!


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Fret Tang Nipper

About This Item

Undercuts fretwire, fast and easy.
Fret Tang Nipper speeds fret jobs on bound necks, and helps save the lacquer finish at the edges of unbound fretboards.

Bill Collings (of Collings Guitars) inspired this clever tool for undercutting fretwire to fit over neck bindings. Insert the fretwire to the desired depth in the guide notch, squeeze the handle, and the wire is quickly and cleanly undercut—no bending or crimping.

For unbound fingerboards, too: try nipping the fret tang to length before installing the fret. Now you'll only need to cut and file the overhanging crown, and the fret will be less likely to twist and unseat.

    A repair shop favorite!
  • Hardened-steel cuts clean and stays sharp
  • Rubber coated handles for a comfortable, non-slip grip
  • Tool is 5.5" long (140mm)

#1604 for narrow fretwire, 0.053" to 0.080" (1.35mm to 2.03mm) wide.
Narrow fretwire is typically used on banjos and mandolins.

#1626 for medium fretwire, 0.075" to 0.095" (1.90mm to 2.41mm) wide.
Medium is the most popular size of guitar fretwire.

#1649 for wide fretwire, 0.100" to 0.120" (2.54mm to 3.05mm) wide.
Wide is found on many modern electric guitars and basses.

Fret Tang Nipper is one of the few StewMac tools that is not recommended for stainless steel frets.

Trade Secrets!

Trade Secrets!

Binding and fretting a Red Diamond mandolin fingerboard

Don MacRostie shows us his methods for fingerboard binding and fretting on a Red Diamond vintage model mandolin.

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  • 4.67 average rating from 67 reviews
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(Customer's Reviews)

As announced and excellent quality!


Indispensable and a bit it while you can

(Customer's Reviews)

This is by far the best tool for under cutting fretwire compared to mor manual cut and file methods. Its' not perfect though. Using it well is an art form. It still requires filing a small stub of tang which takes forever and is very hard to do without introducing other visible evidence at the fret end. The problem is that most guitars have a radiused fretboard. It is common to trim the tang AFTER the fret is radiused and cut to length, but the blade Is straight. You have to take very small bites 1/4" to 1/3" of the cutter to work around this. If you try to take full length cut it will bend the fret or leave a nub in the middle of the cut. I don't know anyone trimming the tang when the wire is straight like the sample photos unless they're building a classical.

The tool is a bit pricey. It is well known and clear from markings on handle that this is a popular US made industrial sheet nipper which has had an aftermarket modification. That US manufacturer recently discontinued the sheet nipper. If you are on the fence I recommend buying this before it becomes unavailable.


Works good.

(Customer's Reviews)

Works good. Used for refretting bound fingerboard mandolin. A bit expensive.

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StewMac PDF Catalog, page 13 See Fret Tang Nipper
on page 13 of our StewMac Catalog PDF

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