Fret Tang Nipper

  • 61 Reviews
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Undercuts fretwire so the fret ends fit over neck binding.

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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!


Total: $0.00
Quantity: 20


Undercuts fretwire so the fret ends fit over neck binding.

Undercuts fretwire cleanly.
There's gotta be an easier way to trim the ends of the frets to fit over the neck bindings, right? Our friend Bill Collings (of Collings Guitars) had an idea that inspired us to produce this simple and precise tool. It's become a repair shop favorite. It does an outstanding job of undercutting fretwire to fit over neck bindings, speeding up fret jobs on bound necks, and helps save the lacquer finish at the edges of the fingerboard. Just insert the wire to the desired depth in the guide notch, squeeze the handle, and the wire is quickly and cleanly undercut. No bending or crimping!

The Fret Tang Nipper is useful 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.

#1626 is for medium-width fretwire, .075" to .095" (1.90mm to 2.41mm)

#1649 is for wide fretwire, .100" to .120" (2.54mm to 3.05mm)

The Fret Tang Nipper is 6" long (152.40mm), including 4" (101.60mm) rubber-sleeved handles.

Not recommended for stainless steel frets.

Ratings & Reviews

Fret Tang Nipper

  • Based on 61 Reviews
Displaying 6 of 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
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Indispensable tool!

By BlackMesaGuitars from Florida
(Customer's Reviews) Monday, January 24, 2011

I can't imagine ding this by hand! I do wish, however, that the cutter was available as a replacement part. Makes sense to make a hardened steel version for stainless frets as well; never mind how much as I hate doing them, I'm getting more and more requests for them.

Great little tool

By RiveraInstruments from Walkersville, MD
(Customer's Reviews) Thursday, December 23, 2010

After nipping the fret tangs using other plier types not necessarily for the job, this fret tang nipper, while a little pricey, it did a great job. I was able to quickly complete the job. Even as good as this nipper is, you still have to grind or file down the remaining bur to have a nice flat surface underneath the fret.

Holy Schlamoly

By Bernard Ugalde from Guatemala
(Customer's Reviews) Thursday, December 23, 2010

I don't think i can live without this tool anymore. Its made refretting so fast that i can now refret in 2 1/2 hours instead of 2 days, by sanding by hand. PIECE OF ADVICE, works better on radiused fretwire, instead of straight. Straight fretwires leaves a tiny bit of leftover.

Can't handle Stainless Steel Frets

By Sfguitars from Rocklin, CA
(Customer's Reviews) Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Fret Tang Nipper is an incredible tool when used on typical frets. Our first one got ten years of use. That's a lot of fret nippin'.

Unfortunately it broke apart while using it on stainless steel frets. I really dislike stainless steel frets. They destroy crowning files,fret cutters and now the fret tang nipper. A line of carbide tipped fretting tools would be great for those who must have stainless steel frets. Regardless, this is a "Must Have" tool if you want to do a "Masters Job" quicker and make more money.

How on Earth did I get along without this??

By Scott "scOOter" Davis from St. Petersburg, FL
(Customer's Reviews) Wednesday, November 17, 2010

This terrific little gem has saved me at least thre hours labor in the first week I have had it. I had been doing the undercutting by hand forever thinking this tool was a gimmick. WRONG. NEVER AGAIN. Thanks Stew Mac!

Shop staple

By GuitarRepairShack from Calgary, Alberta
(Customer's Reviews) Sunday, November 07, 2010

I've done it old school and I've done it with this tool. There is no going back.

Glad I didn't wait.

By Dick Hutchings from Warwick, RI
(Customer's Reviews) Friday, October 08, 2010

I have only fretted one bound board without this tool. I hope I never have to do it again. This tool works perfect and is very easy to use. I can't find anything to complain about.

Good one!

By Dan Minard from Canada
(Customer's Reviews) Thursday, September 23, 2010

This little tool does everything asked with no argument. Leaves no damage on the edge of the fret & cuts the tang off cleanly. Definitely worth the bucks if you do a lot of fret work

You get what you pay for

By Steve Ruhl from New York, NY
(Customer's Reviews) Wednesday, September 08, 2010

In an effort to save a few bucks, I picked up a copycat version of the nipper from an online retailer. It worked well enough on medium size wire, but it chewed up the crown on jumbo wire (there were no alternate sizes - it was billed as a one-size-fits-all tool). So I ended up picking up the Stew-Mac version for jumbo wire and was reminded of why I buy almost all of my tools from them. It's high-quality, compact, simple, durable and precise. I'll be buying the medium version as well and tossing my eBay bargain in the recycle bin.

I would second the other reviewer's suggestion that a version for mando/banjo wire would be a great addition to the catalog.

Time Saver

By Richie Dotson from Chesterfield, Virginia
(Customer's Reviews) Thursday, September 02, 2010

I perform a lot of refrets and I use these for all of them. I recently set up a mobile repair shop and left my fret nips behind. I really like them after having to go to the old school method! I had to modify one of mine so that I could use them on the mandolin and small banjo frets. It would be nice if you added this size to your catalog.


Richie Dotson

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Shown on page 13 of our latest catalog.