View Full Version : Frets - Average Life and Replacement Cost?

Mar-03-2004, 10:44am
What's the average life of new frets? I bought a nearly new instrument 8 years ago. I'm just having the frets dressed for the second time. Looks like I could expect 2-3 dressings on a set.

I'm buying another (older) used instrument from a highly reputable shop. It's frets have just been dressed for the sale but the next time they'll need replacement. The replacement price from the same shop is around $300-350 for a bound fretboard. That includes everything - nut, setup, etc. and is probably on the high side. What's the going rate or what have you paid?

Mar-03-2004, 12:46pm
That sounds cheap http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

I've done a complete refret myself and it is a very time consuming job, but oh so nice when you get it just perfect.

Think about looking at www.frets.com and the refretting pages under "mandolin owners manual". #You might be able to do the bad frets youself without having to redo the whole board.

It's a pretty rewarding project to see everything come together nicely.


Big Joe
Mar-03-2004, 2:56pm
We charge about $350.00 for a plane and refret and will only do complete refrets not partial. That includes complete setup also. I believe that to be about the average price for a refret currently.

Mar-03-2004, 3:44pm
I've always wondered about fretwire life...I have one mandolin (an older Flatiron F5 Master) I have played the same strings (J74's) for years, I've played every day and I play hard (shell pick also) and the frets are just now beginning to show wear under the firsts and seconds strings. i wish all my instrumetns had frets that would last that long. Then I have seen new mandolins in shop where people have tried them out, and they /already/ need attention...

I know that the guy that builds the Parker "Fly" electric guitars uses stainless steel frets...other than having to change strings a little more often because of premature denting on the undersides of them, this seems like a good way to go...sorta like having 500,000 mile tires or something.

JD Cowles
Apr-07-2004, 12:29pm
i just paid 200$ for the first 9 frets, crown/dress, and setup on my mando. man was it worth every penny.


Mando Medic
Apr-08-2004, 8:37am
In my shop, partial refrets run about $20 per fret, this includes nut shim, and set up plus strings. A Fret level, crown and polish run $125 plus strings and a $25 setup fee. A complete refret on a bound fingerboard with setup is $350 plus strings. Kenc