3-Corner Fret Dressing Files

  • 34 Reviews
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Specially made for traditional fret crowning and shaping.

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3-Corner Fret Dressing Files Small, 7-3/8"

Small, 7-3/8"

Item # 1601
In stock, ready to ship!


3-Corner Fret Dressing Files Medium, 8"

Medium, 8"

Item # 1602
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3-Corner Fret Dressing Files Large, 9"

Large, 9"

Item # 1603
In stock, ready to ship!


Total: $0.00
Quantity: 20


Three-corner Fret Dressing Files

Erick Coleman demos these three versatile fret files.

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Specially made for traditional fret crowning and shaping.

Smooth corners protect the fretboard.
These special files are for those who prefer a traditional method of fret crowning. Their smooth corners won't leave scratches in the fretboard, and they're great for shaping the ends of the frets.

The small fine-cut file has 3" x 1/8" tapered cutting surfaces, and the medium-cut file has 5" x 1/4" tapered surfaces. The large file is known as a cant saw file, and is a favorite of our fret expert Dan Erlewine and many other well-known luthiers. It has a versatile flattened-triangle shape, with a 4-5/8" x 1/2" and two 4-5/8" x 5/16" cutting surfaces. All files have comfortable rubber-coated handles.

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 and Fret Cutters. 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.

Trade Secrets! Newsletter

Fixing fret ends that stick out in dry weather

This week, Erick Coleman answers a wintertime question: What to do about fret ends that stick out of the sides of the neck?

Ratings & Reviews

3-Corner Fret Dressing Files

  • Based on 34 Reviews
Displaying 2 of 4 1 2 3 4
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great file

By Ivan Souza from England
(Customer's Reviews) Monday, September 10, 2012

working with fret you should have one this make great job, i put it together with my fretkit i m happy with this file

Old School

By Darryl Stevens from NB, Canada
(Customer's Reviews) Thursday, August 30, 2012

As I novice I wanted to learn how to crown and shape in a traditional way.

The 3 corner medium file is an absolute must have.
High quality tool, comfortable and just the right size.
As mentioned from others, the safe edges need a little attention.
They're not 100% safe so I did a little polishing just to remove the light hash marks left from the manufacturing process. No big deal though.

Although I did purchase the Double-edge Fret File as well, the 3 corner can do any size fret, has 3 cutting edges so the tool will last longer, dresses fret ends, smooths out marks from double edge file and the list goes on.
This is an invaluable tool.

Thanks Stew-Mac for an excellent quality tool!

Med Dressing file - Nice tool

By tb from Portland OR
(Customer's Reviews) Wednesday, August 01, 2012

The medium file fills a nice gap between too small and too big - works well for crowning after leveling, small enough to bevel fret slots, and works well on fret ends. Good multi-purpose file.


By Tim Gospodinov from NYC
(Customer's Reviews) Monday, June 04, 2012

I learned dressing with those and it took 5 frets to really get comfortable with it. I LOVE the files -- quality, size, everything. If I had to suggest something about them is just "breaking in" the safe edges which do have some very minuscule edges, just enough to leave a mark.... Those have become the go to files for a lot of tasks at my place :) ... Btw, somebody was mentioning about the handles -- I have to say that for me it's perfectly sized as it lets me rest the hand in the middle of my palm towards the wrist and get more personal with the working area :)

Old School

By Lenawee Lutherie from Tecumseh Michigan
(Customer's Reviews) Thursday, May 31, 2012

Some of the most highly revered repair folks these days still use a "safed" three corner file in their fret dressing routine which is what motivated me to try a three corner file.

Uses so far for me include but certainly will not be limited to dressing very low frets, taking the hard edge off that is sometimes left from dedicated crowning files, and a fast and easy way to take the bite out of sharp fret ends when you just want to add extra value for your customers.

My Stew-Mac three corner file is a great addition to my tools of the trade and as such I now use it nearly daily.

The quality of the files, like all things Stew-Mac, is excellent and pricing when one considers how very small our market is is very good and represents great value as well.

My only complaint, which is not really a complaint but I would have preferred a more substantial handle, perhaps wood, and larger too. But nothing is stopping me from retro-fitting the files on my own. The only other comment which is also not a complaint is that I spent some time, very little..., safing the edges ever further than they were to prevent making groves on the fret board. It's fast and easy and once done the files leave a very slight visible line from burnishing the board but this line disappears very quickly when freshening up the board after fret work. You do freshen up your boards after fret work don't you??? ;)

Thanks again to Stew-Mac for providing great tools that represent great value and are always very useful to those of us in the trade.

Fret Files

By Steve jazz guitar maker from canada
(Customer's Reviews) Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Just tryed out my fret dressing files and they worked great. They were very comfortable to use and made the process really speed along

Takes a lot of practice

By Kris Reese from Fishers, IN
(Customer's Reviews) Thursday, April 19, 2012

It is a good tool, but I found it difficult to use in shaping frets. You watch people in videos and they make it look effortless, but they have probably been using it for a long time. I could almost use it, but gave up and found that I could do just as well with a dressing stick, which isn't saying much. I am returning this and ordered an Offset Diamond Fret File, it's expensive for personal use, but when you have several guitars it should pay for itself.

3 Corner Fret File

By Mike Darling from Killen, Al
(Customer's Reviews) Friday, March 30, 2012

Does a great job of dressing and topping the frets with minor dings or digs. Great stuff from Stewmac.

Medium 3 corner file

By Ramer from S+úo Paulo, Brazil
(Customer's Reviews) Saturday, February 11, 2012

I'm always amazed by the quality of Stewmac tools. I'm using this file primarily to the first passes on rounding the fret ends.


By Rob K. from Saskatchewan, Canada
(Customer's Reviews) Thursday, January 05, 2012

Worked perfectly for me dressing up some frets.

Like the handle! Very comfy!

Displaying 2 of 4
1 2 3 4

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