Same scenario with my two favorite guitars, namely a Callaham Tele and a LsL Strat. Got them both exactly 2y ago, both around 10y old now (pretty much unplayed when I bought them), similar fret size, similar string gauge. Both got very similar playing time, the Tele was used more live and at rehearsals, the Strat much more at home and practicing. The Tele has significantly more playing wear on the frets, whereas the Strat looks almost new.I didn’t mention that I do have a guitar fourth guitar (An es-335) that I’ve had since 2004 where the frets look brand new still... I’ve played a crazy number of hours on it... I have no idea why its frets last so much longer for me.
TBH, the idea that I’d regularly go through frets so quickly is a “worst case scenario”. But that scenario happened with my nocaster, so it just got me speculating - what if it happened to my cheaper / backup instruments? Hence the thread.
I think there are two reasons for this. At home you play more relaxed, press less into the fretboard than you do at a show, where there is excitement and more movement with the guitar. On the other hand, each guitar feels different and thus you play different. My Tele is an absolute dynamic beast, it has crazy headroom and probably my best sounding guitar I have. I can dig in and the guitar just gives back. The Strat feels more relaxed and easy playing and is just sweet sounding. I do the occasional SRV-blues abuse, but overall, I play differently than on the Tele.
It's an interesting topic, been asking this very question myself too. I would for sure refret the guitars you love and trade the others if you think you get a similar replacement