Fret Tang Nipper

  • 64 Reviews
  • Write a review
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!


Scroll to Top

Fret Tang Nipper

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!

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.

Customer Reviews

Write a review
  • 4.67 average rating from 64 reviews
Sort by
Displaying 7 of 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Good one!

(Customer's Reviews)

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

(Customer's Reviews)

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

(Customer's Reviews)

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


A little expesive but very nice

(Customer's Reviews)

This tool is a little expensive but if you like fretboard binding you cannot live without it. Highly recommended

Displaying 7 of 7
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

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

16MB File

View with Adobe Acrobat Reader 4.0 or higher.
Download Adobe Acrobat free from Adobe.