Stewmac Fretwire--who makes it?


Silver Supporting Member
I like Stewmac fret wire as well and it's much better than Dunlop. When my stash runs out I'll consider Jescar. That said I have some Jescar on hand the find it an excellent wire.

Janus Alfador

Better quality metal. Jescar is the only wire I have used for several years. I think Stew Mac may have changed suppliers in that time, but no reason to switch away from Jescar.
Cool. Does it have increased hardness? Is the tone and playing slickness impacted in any way?

Terry McInturff

40th Anniversary of guitar building!
Platinum Supporting Member
I remain a fan of highest quality "18%" NS fretwire (it is NOT all the same hardness, not by a long-shot), whilst also championing the positive attributes of SS fretwire too.

Jescar does indeed deliver a quality product, over a number of different specs, and this is good and a blessing. It's a delightful firm that also provides access to the Menzerna line of products for many folks. If you buff via buffing jacks, Menzerna is likely to be part of your basic buffing recipe somewhere in that routine. BTW I am not an official endorser of Jescar, etc

If you are doing small batch builds, or stocking a repair facility, you are going to buy straight (typically 2 foot) sections of fretwire and bend them to suit the job.

If a one-off fret-size request comes to me...that I do not have in house....I always order 12 feet of straight 2 foot sections in order to have one extra set of that size "in the bank". I never order the "pre-cut" lengths since the fret bending rigs are never accurate first 1"/last 1", and I am spoiled rotten=doan wanna hand-bend too much (have paid my dues baby)

If you are building for production, you will buy the fretwire in "rolls" which are measured in many pounds. In this situation another problem can rear it's head in the form of the twisting of the wire, which is not commonly seen when buying straight lengths (although you always inspect for twisting/other flaws before using). As an example I waltzed-along with the same 50 pound rolls of wire from the same mfg/supplier with no probs, no spec changes, many hundreds of builds, no probs at all until that source went out of biz....I went to a different (known) supplier and the rolls were twisted, meaning that along the course of a two foot length the wire was twisted....we are talking a rotated tang sort of twist.....

And so my true education about fretwire began.

Any educated personage such as our valued TGP friend @Husky can tell you all about occasional "fretwire-freakout" least, sometime in the past....

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A conversation with a Jescar rep some 10+ years ago gave me the 'unofficial' impression that Jescar was supplying Stew-Mac with their fretwire.

Of course, that could have changed, or been misinformation.



Silver Supporting Member
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John Coloccia

Cold Supporting Member
I gave up on StewMac wire years and years ago when they flat out refused to simply give me the specs for the wire. Maybe it's changed now, but they outright refused to just give me some basic measurements.

Jescar for the win. I love StewMac for a lot of things, but they suddenly turned into a bunch of clowns when it came to their fretwire.

Just to be specific
"Our fretwire is sized to fit a 0.023" (0.58mm) fret slot width."

Good luck getting out of them what the tang width actually is. It's my job to figure out what I feel is the appropriate size. It's very amateurish behavior, and apparently still not fixed. One of the very few negatives I've ever said about StewMac because otherwise they are so good across the board.
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I do not think the current SM wire is supplied by Jescar as none of the sizes line up. However, even if Jescar did supply it, why would anyone want to pay $50 more (per pound) to buy wire from SM over directly from Jescar?

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