Stewart-MacDonaldEverything for building and repairing stringed instruments!
Your order cart Your order | Account | Saved list
Sign in
800-848-2273, 9AM-6PM EST, M-F
Home Free catalog Quick order International Customer service

Home : Fretting supplies : Pullers, nippers, sizing : Chip Stoppers

Chip Stoppers

Read 14 Reviews   |   Write a Review

Fewer chips, cleaner refrets, less work. Tired of gluing back fingerboard chips after pulling up old frets? Our steel Chip Stoppers™ work with our Fret Puller to minimize chip-out.

See details below

Email a friend
Chip Stoppers

Play video

Item# Description In stock Price Quantity
1158 Set of 2 Yes

Selected currency  


Related items

Fret Puller

Teflon Fret Dam

Refret Saw and Fret Slot Cleaning Tool Set

Fret Slot Depth Gauge

Solomon SR-965 Soldering Iron

Fret Puller
Teflon Fret Dam
Refret Saw and Fret Slot Cleaning Tool Set
Fret Slot Depth Gauge
Solomon SR-965 Soldering Iron

Chip Stoppers are a clever solution from Don MacRostie here at StewMac, and a big hit in our shops.

The problem with refrets is, any pulled fret might yank a piece of fingerboard up with it. Then if you're lucky, you'll manage to glue each chip back in.

Chip Stoppers press down on the fingerboard as the Fret Puller takes frets out. You get fewer chips, and cleaner refrets. Too bad we didn't think of this twenty years ago — imagine the hours we all would have saved!

Here's how they work:
Heat the fret as usual, with a chisel-tip soldering iron to soften glue under the fret.

Now lift the end of the fret, getting under it with the jaws of the Fret Puller. As soon as it starts coming out, slide the Chip Stopper into place; the .033" x 3" slot fits around the fret tang. Now you can walk the Fret Puller down the length of the fret, lifting it out as the Stopper protects the wood underneath.

Most often, you'll use the .020" Chip Stopper. Sometimes the .010" will suit you better, and you can also combine them for a .030" total thickness.

/\ Top of product page
 Ratings and reviews
Chip Stoppers
Chip Stoppers
4 out of 5 stars
Based on 14 ratings Write a Review
Sort reviews by
Displaying 11 – 14 < 1  2
3 10-01-2013

First of all you have to round off the edges because they dig into the fingerboard and scar the wood. You can use a little sandpaper to round off both sides. Your fret pulling pliers have to be really really flat and sharp in order to get under the frets with the chip stoppers under the frets. They do help though but not 5 stars worth. Probably half way worth the money.

preetcher  Beaufort, NC Read my reviews (48)
1 9-29-2013
nice idea but not an improvement

These seemed like a good idea but did'nt really make any difference apart from slowing me down. They made a normal refret more awkward. It might be an idea to make them out of some very thin pfte or other hard heatproof thin plastic as a fingerboard protector instead.

Andrew Maz  Austria Read my reviews (2)
2 9-24-2013
Disappointed with these

I love new tools and gadgets and when I saw these on the SM website I added them to my existing order. They arrived just in time to try them on a re-fret job I had on the bench. I found these to be a good idea in theory but disappointing in real use.

I like to run my soldering iron down each fret just behind the nippers as I remove frets. It isn't possible to hold the iron, the nippers, and the chip stoppers all at the same time. Using the chip stopper requires heating the frets and then putting the iron down. Using the nippers and the chip stoppers didn't seem to produce any better results than just using the iron and the nippers. In the image, the slot on the right is from my usual method. The slot on the left is using the chip stoppers. Same results except the normal method is twice as fast when you factor in putting down the iron, sliding the chip stopper under the fret, and then working both the nipper and the chip stopper under the cooling fret.

I rarely get chips anyway, so I'll save the stoppers for a future job with a really dry, brittle fretboard and maybe they'll help. But for my average re-fret jobs I'm sticking with the tried and true method that works well for me.

Dogwood Guitars  Kansas City, MO Read my reviews (26)
Customer supplied image for review
5 9-19-2013
Chip Stoppers..... Two Thumbs Up!

I'm always looking for easier ways to do things (and who isn't, especially when it comes to tedious fret work?), so when I saw these inexpensive little gadgets, I just placed them on my existing order, and boy, am I glad I did. These Chip Stoppers really help to minimize chipping when pulling frets. In the picture,notice just a few areas where I needed to use filler (and some of these were pre-existing wear divots and workmanship flaws on this old Dano neck). You need to develop the knack of pushing the tool through under the fret while you are simultaneously lifting it with your pullers (and I HIGHLY recommend heating the frets first, to loosen up sap resins and finger-funk), but once you do, and see the results, you will be pleasantly surprised with only a few chips here and there, instead of a "fretboard jigsaw puzzle". Just get these and put 'em in your toolbox for your next refret. You'll be glad you did.

John R. Frondelli  New York, NY Read my reviews (3)
Customer supplied image for review
Displaying 11 – 14 < 1  2 /\ Top of Reviews

Shown on page 11 of our latest catalog.
Select your items, then click ADD to order

To add items to your order, select the check box next to the item you want. You can edit the quantity you wish to purchase here, or in Your Order.

Select your items, then click Save for later

To add items to your saved list, select the check boxes next to the items you want. You can edit the quantity you wish to save here, or in your Saved List.

Toll-free order line:   800-848-2273   9am-6pm Eastern Time, M-F

Your order | Your account | Trade Secrets E-mail Newsletter
Home | Free catalog | Catalog Quick Order | International | Customer service
Our guarantee | Shipping | Security & Privacy | Contact us
Site map | About Us | Employment
© Copyright 2014 Stewart-MacDonald
Your shopping is secure with VeriSign! Trusted Commerce