Three-corner Fret Dressing Files

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Erick Coleman demos these three versatile fret files.

Video Transcription

[on-screen text reads: Erick Coleman - Stewart-MacDonald]

Erick Coleman: These three-corner files have cutting surfaces on all three sides, and the corners are ground smooth so they won't cut the fretboard while you're working on a fret.

Small 3-Corner Fret Dressing File

We have these files in three sizes, and each size has its own advantage. The small 3-corner file has fine cut teeth. It is the best one for just kissing the top of the frets to remove marks left over by more aggressive files or sandpaper. It does a great job on fret ends too. Its small size allows for more delicate work, and you can see your results better than you can with a larger file.

Medium 3-Corner Fret Dressing File

Dan Earlywine has liked the medium 3-corner file, ever since seeing it used at the Gibson factory back in 1965. It's the first file many of us learn with, and it's also the first file that I grab when rounding freshly leveled frets. The teeth are a medium cut and plenty aggressive, but they leave a smooth surface. And the safe edges won't cut through the mask and mark the fretboard. If you were to buy just one fretting file, this should be it.

Large 3-Corner Fret Dressing File

The large 3-corner file is the most aggressive one, and it's the fastest cutting of the three. Its flattened triangle shape gives a different, steeper cutting angle at the side of a fret. It's sometimes called a can't saw file because it was designed for sharpening teeth on big saws used in cutting timber. You can also hold it on end for rounding the fret tops and shaping the ends. Used either way, this file removes a lot of metal in a hurry.

The three-corner file set is versatile, inexpensive, and works on all sizes of fret wire.



Erick Coleman

StewMac Senior Technical Advisor