StewMac Ultimate Scraper

  • 57 Reviews
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It's the best scraper we've ever used!
Revolutionary tools, unsurpassed for smoothing wood surfaces, arched instrument tops, bindings and more.

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StewMac Ultimate Scraper Original


Item # 0631
In stock, ready to ship!


StewMac Ultimate Scraper Mini


Item # 0632
In stock, ready to ship!


StewMac Ultimate Scraper Rectangle/Concave


Item # 0623
In stock, ready to ship!


Total: $0.00
Quantity: 20


StewMac Ultimate Scraper

Al Carruth shows how to use and sharpen the Ultimate Scraper.

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It's the best scraper we've ever used!
Revolutionary tools, unsurpassed for smoothing wood surfaces, arched instrument tops, bindings and more.

For an ultra-smooth wood surface, nothing beats a good sharp scraper. Veteran luthier Al Carruth has given the simple scraper a revolutionary makeover, with practical improvements for stringed instrument work: the original Ultimate Scraper. We added a second mini version that's popular for working in tighter areas.

Go for the rectangle/concave scraper when you need to keep a good, tight, square corner in binding channels and neck pockets. Also great for smoothing bindings and many steps of making a new neck. Thanks to renowned bass luthier Michael Tobias for suggesting this new shape!

  • Refined shapes are superior for arched tops and flat or curved surfaces.
  • 1/8" thickness adds stiffness and greatly reduces chatter.
  • Two working edges for scraping with both pull and push strokes.
  • Durable tempered steel edges, for smoothing harder woods.

At 1/8" thick, Ultimate scrapers are much beefier than standard scraper blades. Two cutting edges let the tool work in both directions, without flexing and with less chattering. That saves a lot of time and effort! The tempered tool steel holds a more durable edge, too. The shapes are specially refined for hand-contouring and graduating arched instrument tops and backs, as well as smoothing bindings and flat surfaces.

#0631 Original: 3-3/4" x 1-11/16" (95.25mm x 42.86mm)
#0632 Mini: 2-1/2" x 1-1/2" (63mm x 38mm)
#0623 Rectangle/Concave: 3-7/16" x 1-13/16" (87.31mm x 46.04mm); three straight edges plus 20"-radius concave edge

From luthier Al Carruth:
"In Il Segreti di Stradivari, violin maker Simone Sacconi wrote 'scrapers were made from blades of sabers. Since they were of very hard steel one could not turn the edge and therefore they were used like a knife.' When I began working with violin maker Carleen Hutchins she used such a scraper. This is, in my estimation, the best possible scraper for builders of arched instruments.

"It works on the same principle as scraping with a broken piece of glass; a common technique among carpenters. A very hard material can take an exceedingly keen edge and when it is perpendicular, as it is in broken glass, it can last for a long time even if the material is brittle. This tool has the advantage over glass of having a shape that is well defined and re-sharpenable."

How Al sharpens his scraper:
Sharpen the Carruth Ultimate Scraper on a grinding wheel"I find it easiest to hollow grind the edge perpendicular to the centerline of the scraper. Simply set the tool rest on your grinder perpendicular to the wheel and grind all around. Use as fine a wheel as possible and don't apply too much pressure. If desired, the edge can be further dressed on a fine stone with or without a guide block.

"In use, this scraper will give an extremely smooth cut even on soft or highly figured wood. It has little tendency to chatter due to its weight and does not heat up. It is much easier on the thumbs than a "normal" scraper as it is not "sprung" in use. To re-sharpen simply lap the surface on a fine stone and re-grind the edge."

Watch the video! Al Carruth shows how to use and sharpen the Ultimate Scraper. Watching Al, you'll see how easy this is.

Product Instructions

StewMac Ultimate Scraper Instructions

Scraping and sharpening instructions.

Ratings & Reviews

StewMac Ultimate Scraper

  • Based on 57 Reviews
Displaying 2 of 6 1 2 3 4 5 6
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Ultimate scraper

By Rob Schnapf from Los angeles
(Customer's Reviews) Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I love this thing. Made shaping way faster and easier.

OK But Not Great

By The Lefty Luthier from Spring Branch, Texas
(Customer's Reviews) Friday, September 13, 2013

The scraper does scrape when very sharp but actually is no better than the thin blade ones in terms of holding an edge and it is more time consuming to refresh the edge. The only application that I have found to be very good is profiling the recurve of mandolins.

Small step for scraper, giant leap for mankind

By Roger Hausmann - Bulldog Guitars from Johnson City, TN USA
(Customer's Reviews) Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I was never a friend of traditional thin scrapers and the whole bit about sharpening and turning the burr never appealed to me. The new super scraper is so much easier to use that I'm enjoying scraping bindings now. My entire shop is now covered with the thin, clingy shavings, but my instrument bindings have never looked better! Thanks for a simple way to improve quality.

Stewmac Original scraper

By Stuart1958 from Ipswich U.K.
(Customer's Reviews) Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Though long and hard about spending this much on a scraper. Was it worth it? You bet it was. Scraping bindings is very easy with this tool, and shaping maple caps too. I'm sure this tool will last a long time, but I would gladly buy a new one for every build, it IS that good.

One Really sharp and handy scraper

By Sharpest scraper I have ever used from Staten Island, Ny
(Customer's Reviews) Thursday, July 18, 2013

I own the larger scraper. It is absolutely great. I actually have two, one I use just to scrape binding. The first one I purchased, with good care is just as sharp as when it arrived, from StewMac and I have used it constantly over a year now. I think I own about 75% of all the specific luthier type tools (as opposed to say screw drivers or such), sold by StewMac and this is probably the most used of all of them, including tools I have made and ones purchased over the years from other luthier supply vendors. Try one, very reasonable price and handy, I always have it in a little holster I made on my belt when I am in the shop. Take care all and happy building.

Stewmac ultimate scrapers

By furynut69 from Germantown,WI.
(Customer's Reviews) Friday, July 05, 2013

Purchased the original and the mini. They say you get what you pay for and believe it you get all that and then some with these scrapers. Worth every penny!!! Well made and designed. Even if you're not a full-time luthier, these are a great addition to anyone that uses tools often. Many, many uses!!!!

Best scraper I've ever used

By rchapman from Montreal Quebec
(Customer's Reviews) Sunday, June 02, 2013

This scraper is fantastic. It has changed the way I work.

Incredible Worksaver!

By MJ Franks from Rochester Hills, MI
(Customer's Reviews) Friday, May 17, 2013

How do I like my Ultimate Scraper? Let's just say that if my shop ever catches fire, my Ultimate Scraper will likely be the first thing I grab before I haul butt out the door.

M.J. Franks Guitars

Best Scraper by far!!

By Keith R from New York
(Customer's Reviews) Wednesday, May 08, 2013

This is by far the best scraper I have ever used. I purchased the "Original"..When I first saw it here on Stewmac I thought it was a little pricey. Well after using it to shape my 59' Carve top I can say it is worth every penny and more. Excellent tool!!

Ultimate is right

By John L from Kalamazoo, MI
(Customer's Reviews) Sunday, April 28, 2013

None better. Few as good.

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