Thinking of going stainless. Tried it?

arthur rotfeld

Silver Supporting Member
Eventually everything I own will have SS. The best for feel and durability. Sound too, because there's no more "grind" on quiet bends.

Dave M

Silver Supporting Member
I've been wondering to. ...being an ex metal worker... I know that stainless "galls" readily and doesn't do "smooth" very well in other applications. While Nickel based products often stay very smooth. For those reasons I've not tried SS frets... but unsure. I see no real advantage unless you worry about wearing frets out fast...
since the exact opposite is true of ss and nickel frets, i have to assume there's other mechanics or chemistry involved.

It's not because they are frets. It's mostly the simple fact of material hardness.
Some SS alloys can have a tendency to gall under certain machining/working applications. But SS is machined/worked and used in many applications everyday without galling issues.
Whether frets are SS or NS they still have an inherent hardness and potential surface finish. The hardness is the main physical characteristic that resists the wear that we see in frets. Both SS and NS can, and are, filed sanded and polished to nice smooth & polished surface finish. The hardness of the SS alloy is the main reason they keep their smooth polished feel. I love 'em. :aok


Had SS frets on my Carvin Bolt. They were leveled and beveled just fine. At low volumes or playing unplugged, you could hear a 'plinkiness'. It was not an issue at higher volumes and I certainly got used to it and ignored it. Gawsh, it was awfully nice not having to steel wool my frets every so often during string changes.

That guitar had an ebony fretboard with a tung oiled, maple neck and it played like a monster. It was insanely easy to play.


Silver Supporting Member
Some really split hairs here and can pick apart nuances in all aspects of gtr.
I personally couldn't tell you if I didn't know if the gtr I was playing had SS frets, I just like them because I have a strong grip and they last longer.


I prefer SS frets because bending is easier and they last about 5x longer. I did noticed on my single coils, maple neck and fingerboard strat with basswood body the tone got brighter when I refret the nickel to SS frets. But I use a tone knob on my guitar or amp to lower the tone so no problem there. All my guitars will eventually get SS frets and I'm not going back to nickel because I would wear out the frets within a year for sure. I'm not even going to bother with EVO frets. Nickel is I think 200 hardness, EVO about 250 and SS is 300 I think. EVO is easier to work with though.


Silver Supporting Member
SS frets are the best innovation in the world of guitars since the advent of the CNC machine.

I love them, and they are on every new guitar I buy.

Every time I see a neck leave our shop with SS frets on it I think to myself "Somebody chose wisely!"
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