StewMac Z-File Fret Crowning Files

StewMac Z-File Fret Crowning Files

StewMac Z-File Fret Crowning Files Original Z-File

Original Z-File

Item # 5082
In stock, ready to ship!

$98.18

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StewMac Z-File Fret Crowning Files Centered Z-File

Centered Z-File

Item # 5080
In stock, ready to ship!

$98.18

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StewMac Z-File Fret Crowning Files Safe Edge Z-File

Safe Edge Z-File

Item # 5081
In stock, ready to ship!

$98.18

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StewMac Z-File Fret Crowning Files, Set of 3

Set of 3

Item # 5083
In stock, ready to ship!

List Price $294.54
Your Price $276.87

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StewMac Z-File Fret Crowning Files

About This Item

Next generation fret files
A whole new idea for crowning frets. Z-Files™ won't mess up your carefully-leveled fret tops because they only touch the sides of the frets.

Won't cause string buzz
After you've leveled the frets for uniform height, your crowning file restores their rounded shape, leaving the thinnest possible line of leveled surface on top. This is when other crowning files can accidentally scrape the fret top, creating a buzzing low spot.

Z-Files don't have this problem—because they don't touch the top of the fret.

    Z-File features:
  • Fast cutting 300-grit diamond abrasive
  • Unique angled cutting edges work the sides, not the tops

Three versions for any working style:

Original Z-File
Two diamond edges speed the work, shaping both sides of the fret at once. Offset angles shape the fret higher on one side while the other side works lower. Use one side of the file, then flip it to the other side.

Safe Edge Z-File
Offset shape like the Original, but with a smooth, non-cutting safe edge to ride on the fret, guiding your strokes as you cut just one side of the fret.

Centered Z-File
Two diamond edges in a centered V-shape cut both sides of the fret at the same angle. Simple to use and fast working.

Sold individually or SAVE when you buy the set of 3 files.

Works on stainless frets, too!
All of our tools are suitable for use on stainless-steel fretwire, with the exception of our Fret Tang Nippers. Modern stainless-steel fretwire is known to be harder than the traditional nickel-silver blends, but our own shop experience indicates the wire does not cause premature wear of files or sandpapers.


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4.5
  • 4.69 average rating from 74 reviews
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5.0

Excellent!

By

Verified Buyer


I have another fret crowning tool and it works great. But the Z-File pretty much takes the guess work out of crowning frets. Fast, and easy to use. Works perfectly! I purchased the original Z File and would buy again. It's expensive no doubt, but if you are going to have one crowning tool, i think this would be the one to buy.

3.0

Good idea but......

By

Verified Buyer


Need a choice of a more aggressive grit because I have found that these take way too long to cut the crowns back on the fret. Gets extremely tiring and fatiguing as well. If I'm fretting a complete neck these files take forever to finish the re-crown. Obviously even much slower that that on stainless. Great idea, just need quicker rough cutting then finish with the finer grit.

5.0

Did the job well and quickly!

By

Verified Buyer


Even though I had never done a fret crowning job before I decided to do it on my nearly 50-year-old Gallagher G-50. I was able to learn enough on the Stew-Mac website to get the right tool (the original Z-file) and use it successfully on the first try! The two different bevel angles it offers along with the safe-edged bottom made it easy for me to crown the frets which had been badly leveled years ago. The guitar is totally playable now right up the neck! The tool is not cheap but the job it does is first-rate!

1.0

Not good.

By

Verified Buyer


Had this laying in the draw for ages and finally gave it a try today. Pointless as it's so narrow. Would be fine if you a uses very narrow fretwork but a complete waste of money if you are using chunky wire for a bass. Would have been a great tool if you had done as least one side wider to accommodate chucky frets. This think is about as useless as a chocolate teapot

Response from StewMac


Hi Adam,
Thank you for sharing your honest feedback with us. We're sorry to hear our Centered Z-File didn't meet your expectations. If you would like to speak with our Customer Support Team about a refund or replacement for this product, please give us a call at 1-800-848-2273. We look forward to helping you with this.

5.0

Excellent File

By

Verified Buyer


I've been teching my own guitars and others on and off for 25 years. I was also a finisher and tech at Taylor guitars, though I am not a luthier by trade these days. I'm still very touchy about fretwork, and I don't trust ANYONE working on my guitars besides myself. This because I have not run across a really great luthier that actually knows what they are doing. Though I know there's some out there, just not in my one horse town. This file was a godsend from the old days, where gauging fingerboards was a real threat. Literally a monkey could use this thing. Great results! I did find it, maybe.. just a hair tight for medium frets. If you have monster frets, this could be an issue for you. I also found the price quite high, but I have not seen a better product on the market to date. Nice file that makes life a whole hell of a lot easier.

1.0

Nope.

By

Verified Buyer


I got the centered version. The surface area of this file is quite small. I don't know what they're thinking with this, obviously someone thought it was great but at my shop we do several hundred fret levels a year and this file is useless to me. Again, I wish Stew-Mac would bring back the old longer diamond crowning file.

Response from StewMac


Hi James,
Thank you for sharing your honest feedback with us. We're sorry to hear our Centered Z-File didn't meet your expectations. We stand behind our return policy -- if you are not satisfied you may return it anytime for a refund or exchange. Please call us at 1-800-848-2273. In the meantime, I've placed your suggestion with our product development team -- customer comments like yours have been the catalyst to many changes to our products.

5.0

Best purchase in years

By

Verified Buyer


Could crown the frets with my eyes closed.
Enough said!

5.0

By Far My Favorite StewMac Tool I've Purchased.

By

Verified Buyer


This diamond coated StewMac Original Z-File for fret crowning is absolutely my favorite guitar tool that I have ever purchased. I'm an amateur "guitar tech," working on my own and friend's instruments. Arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome, primarily in my right hand, had stopped me from doing needed fret leveling and recrowning any more. I immediately saw the potential of this fret file when I first saw it. I agonized over paying the high price of this Z-file tool, and it IS a high price for a single file. I finally purchased the Original Z-file and used it on my own guitars, using only my healthy but uncoordinated left hand and the Z-file to carefully recrown leveled frets. I was able to slowly train my left hand by working on several guitars, to the point that I'm recrowning complete fretboards left-handed much faster and more accurately than good work I had done in the past with a traditional triangle file in my aching right hand. I love working on guitars and basses, second only to playing them, and my Original Z-file has allowed me to again do fret leveling and recrowning. The price of the file is steep for an amateur, but can see where it would pay for itself very easily in time saved for a guitar repair pro.

5.0

Simple to use

By

Verified Buyer


Bought this to try out on a job leveling and crowning the frets on a cheap old Squier (that way if I messed it up no big loss). Used the fret leveling file also from stew Mac, and then went to work with this. This was my first time attempting something like this, and it was really simple. I can’t really compare it to other files or methods, but I was really comfortable that it wasn’t going to let me really screw things up with one slip. All in all, that portion of the job turned out very well (especially for a first go at this)

5.0

Excellent crowning file

By

Verified Buyer


I received the centered Z file at lunch time today and was able to use it for a stainless refret and a fret level with nickel wire. Both were 47104 size wire. I have been using a mix of curved diamond crowning files, three corner and "can't saw" files for a long time. The 150 grit curved diamond files have been my go to for many years. They are fast and fairly accurate. Sometimes the triangle files come out as they are great for cutting precise areas of frets. Triangle fils are accurate but do not lend themselves to rapid work. The Z file seems to do a great job of combining the best features of all three types. The Z file is easy to handle, cuts fast and is very unlikely to come in contact with the fret crown or fret board. I think it is worth noting that you are not intended to make the fret conform to the shape of the file and end up with a triangle fret. The shape of the files allows great control of where you are cutting, much like a triangle file, but with the ease of handling of the curved diamond files. I was concerned with the file being straight rather than curved when working over the body; I am no longer concerned. I was not only able to work over the body a LP but did not need to flip the guitar to get the near side. Acoustic guitar will require flipping the guitar and working away from you for the frets over the body. I actually prefer the feel of this file to the curved file. That said; I would love to try this file with a nice Stanley 750 style handle. I am pretty sure I would pay an extra $25.00 to have a nice handle.

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StewMac PDF Catalog, page 12 See StewMac Z-File Fret Crowning Files
on page 12 of our StewMac Digital Catalog