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How much does it cost to refret a guitar?

How much does it cost to refret a guitar?


Guitars, cherished instruments that create beautiful melodies, often require maintenance to maintain their playability and tone. One of the most common maintenance tasks for a guitar is refretting, which involves replacing worn-out frets to ensure optimal playability. However, understanding the cost of refretting a guitar is essential for musicians and enthusiasts. In this article, we’ll explore the expenses associated with guitar refretting and provide you with useful resources to help you make informed decisions about maintaining your instrument.

Unveiling the Costs of Guitar Refretting, How much does it cost to refret a guitar

Refretting a guitar involves removing the existing frets and replacing them with new ones, enhancing the instrument’s playability and tonal quality. Let’s break down the potential costs involved in this process:

Basic Refretting Cost:

The cost of a basic refretting job can range from $150 to $300, depending on factors such as the type of guitar, the complexity of the work, and the region in which you live. This cost includes labor, materials, and setup adjustments.

Premium Fret Materials:

Some guitarists opt for premium fret materials, such as stainless steel or exotic woods, to enhance durability and tonal characteristics. Choosing premium materials can add an additional $50 to $100 to the total cost.

Fret Leveling and Dressing:

Fret leveling and dressing are additional processes that ensure the new frets are properly aligned and polished for optimal playability. Expect to pay an extra $50 to $100 for fret leveling and dressing services.

Custom Inlays or Binding:

If you desire custom inlays or binding on your guitar’s fretboard, the cost can increase significantly based on the complexity of the design. Custom inlays can add anywhere from $100 to $500 or more to the total cost.

Setup and Intonation:

After refretting, a professional setup and intonation adjustment are necessary to ensure the guitar plays in tune and feels comfortable. Budget an additional $50 to $100 for setup and intonation services.

Useful Resources Links

  1. Guitar Maintenance Guide: Learn about various guitar maintenance tasks, including refretting, in this comprehensive guide. Guitar Maintenance
  2. Local Luthiers and Guitar Shops: Connect with local luthiers and guitar shops to get cost estimates and recommendations for refretting services in your area.
  3. Online Guitar Communities: Engage with online guitar forums and communities to learn from fellow musicians’ experiences with refretting and maintenance. Guitar Forums
  4. Guitar Repair Schools: Explore the option of attending guitar repair schools to learn how to refret and maintain guitars yourself. Repair School
  5. DIY Refretting Tutorials: Find step-by-step tutorials and videos that guide you through the process of refretting a guitar on your own. DIY Tutorials
  6. Fret Material Suppliers: Discover suppliers that offer a variety of fret materials for refretting projects. Fret Supplies

FAQs (How much does it cost to refret a guitar)

Q: How often should a guitar be refretted?

A: The frequency of refretting depends on the guitar’s playability and the wear of the frets. In general, it may be needed every 10 to 20 years for average use.

Q: Can I refret my guitar myself?

A: Refretting requires specialized tools and skills. While some experienced guitarists attempt it, professional luthiers are recommended for the best results.

Q: Are there any alternatives to refretting?

A: Yes, alternatives include partial refretting (replacing only worn-out frets) or fret dressing (smoothing and leveling the existing frets).

Q: How can I prevent the need for frequent refretting?

A: Regular maintenance, proper string care, and using lighter gauge strings can help prolong the lifespan of your guitar’s frets.

Q: Will refretting change the tone of my guitar?

A: The choice of fret material can have a subtle impact on tone, but a professional refretting job should not drastically alter your guitar’s tone.

Q: What is the average turnaround time for a refretting job?

A: Turnaround times can vary, but expect the process to take anywhere from one week to a few weeks, depending on the luthier’s schedule and workload.


Refretting a guitar is an investment in maintaining the playability, tone, and overall performance of your instrument. By understanding the costs involved and exploring the resources provided, you’ll be better prepared to make informed decisions about refretting your guitar. Whether you choose to work with a professional luthier or explore DIY options, maintaining your guitar’s frets ensures that you continue to create beautiful music for years to come.

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