Fret End Dressing File

  • 127 Reviews
  • Write a review

The first thing a player feels is the fret ends, so always shape them with this file. Smooth, non-marring edges glide on the fingerboard while the fine-toothed sides deburr and round the fret.

Read more

Fret End Dressing File

Item # 1175
In stock, ready to ship!


Total: $0.00
Quantity: 20


Fret End Dressing File

Dan Erlewine shows how to use this small file for shaping fret ends.

Subscribe to StewMac's channel on


The first thing a player feels is the fret ends, so always shape them with this file. Smooth, non-marring edges glide on the fingerboard while the fine-toothed sides deburr and round the fret.

For rounding, shaping and deburring.
This specialized file dresses the ends of the frets after they've been installed, trimmed flush and beveled.

One thin edge is ground "safe" to help protect the fretboard, and the other rounded over. This file cuts only where it needs to: on both sharp corners of the unground thin edge, and on both of the wider toothed cutting surfaces.

The cutting surfaces smooth the fret end bevel, and the sharp corners nip off the sharp burrs at the edge of the fret bevel where it meets the edge of the neck. With the safe edge facing down, the cutting surfaces of this little file do a good job of rounding over and shaping the fret ends.

File dimensions are .062" x .125" x 6", with 3" cutting surfaces.

Essential for fretting
This item is one of seven tools included in our Essential Fretting Tool Kit, a compilation of tools you'll need for the fundamentals of fret work. Kit also includes our book, Fretwork Step By Step by Erick Coleman with Dan Erlewine.

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

Fret End Dressing File

  • Based on 127 Reviews
Displaying 1 of 13 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Write a review

smoothest file ive found.

By guitarnoob from Seattle, WA
(Customer's Reviews) Monday, September 29, 2014

its like 300 grit sand paper

buy this file

By Parker Guitar Guy from Parker, CO
(Customer's Reviews) Tuesday, August 12, 2014

One of the first things I ever bought from StewMac, and one the most essential.

You can do it with a triangular file. But, the sharp edge-rounded edge combo, and the "fineness" of this file make it a perfect tool for the purpose. Also good for polishing the bevel, after you've roughed it a mill file.

The difference

By Jose Braga from Port Orange, FL 
(Customer's Reviews) Tuesday, July 15, 2014

It's incredible how a small tool can make such an enormous difference to finishing and client's happiness!

Another "must-have" for the set-up/fretwork tool kit.....

By John R. Frondelli from New York, NY
(Customer's Reviews) Monday, July 14, 2014

This is yet ANOTHER one of the wonderful "doo-dad" tools that I impulsively tacked onto another Stew-Mac order one day, that has served me in ways I didn't think possible. Sure, it's made for shaping fret ends, which it excels at. But it's also great for nut shaping (especially rounding-off those pesky corners), saddle shaping, and almost anything else where you need a small profile with fine teeth and a quick cut. Since setups often require the repair of "fret sprout", especially here in the climate changes of NYC, this file comes out of the toolbox on just about every setup.

Perfect tool!

By DMan from La Mesa, CA
(Customer's Reviews) Saturday, May 24, 2014

I didn't have a file that would smooth the end of the frets without filing the wood of the fingerboard. This file is perfect for the job. Small, fine filing action.


By psaltis john from greece
(Customer's Reviews) Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Nice tool, a little too delicate, but it does what it promises!

Worked great

By SavageBeatLabs from Marion, AR
(Customer's Reviews) Friday, April 18, 2014

I ordered this to fix the ragged fret ends on a neck I got from Stew Mac. I'm new to filing fret ends but this little wonder made it easy. I smoothed everything out and made it as smooth as butter without any damage to fingerboard.

Great file

By DGreen from Colorado
(Customer's Reviews) Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Ideal for rounding fret ends. Flat side down allows you to easily round the ends without damaging the fretboard and round side down to roll the ends works great. A great addition to my tool rack? THanks.

Everyone needs a fret end dressing file

By Sky King from Cincinnati
(Customer's Reviews) Sunday, March 16, 2014

The fret end dressing file is a must have for every player or repair person. Despite keeping all of my instruments in a humidified room, I inevitably have 1 or 2 guitars that have fretboards shrink and need a little dressing. Used to take them to my guitar MD (no or little charge) but now I can fix them at home in 5-10 minutes with no worries or care.

File it under "okay"

By Guitartec from Coventry, RI USA
(Customer's Reviews) Saturday, March 15, 2014

This file works okay and does a nice clean job, however, the only problem I have with it is that my prior fret end file worked better and it was less expensive. That file slipped off fret less and had a slightly more aggressive cut. Some may say this is a technique issue, but I'll tell ya... I've been doing frets since the 70's. I've had every fret end file made. I know what I'm doing and I work fast to remove sharp, unruly fret ends. This StewMac file slows me down a bit compared to my old file. It also feels (speculation) like it won't last as long as it already feels worn out after a month. I may send it back.

Displaying 1 of 13
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

Shown on page 11 of our latest catalog.