“I'm doing some wood binding today, and I pulled out a few pieces of curly maple I've had for a while that I bought from you. It never ceases to amaze me how LMI, above all my other suppliers, just consistently gives me materials that never fail to surpass my expectations. No matter what any picture on your site looks like, whatever I get is always better. Really appreciate it. I know that you supply many other people far beyond my volume and talent, but I am definitely a customer for life!"


Fretwire (from top):
nickel/silver, gold, stainless steel

Fretwire is sold in either 4 foot lengths (this is normally enough for one standard instrument if you're not wasteful, but please check your plans before ordering) or 100 foot lengths. For easier installation, fretwire is coiled with the tang toward the inside of the curve. 4 foot sections might be cut into halves for shipping purposes. All of the fretwire we carry will fit into a .023" slot, with the exception of the FW75 nickel/silver wire.

More and more builders are using stainless steel fretwire because of its resistance to wear and its playability, so LMI decided to carry stainless in our most popular sizes. More difficult to use due its hardness, stainless fretwire is not for everyone. Our experience is that it is much harder on your tools. There are two schools of thought on how to combat this: 1) Buy less expensive tools, and go through more of them. Or 2) Buy expensive tools and they'll last longer.

If working with stainless seems a little daunting, check out our Evo gold fretwire. It is a copper alloy (elemental composition: CuSn15Fe1Ti0.1) that has been used for years in the optical industry. It contains no nickel and therefore meets the"nickel free" European standard. It stands the test of time and can really dress up your guitar. With a Vicker's hardness of HV5/250, it is harder than our nickel/silver wire (HV5/200), but softer than the stainless (HV5/300). This wire is not plated; it is gold all the way through and retains the gold color once the frets are dressed. See gold fretwire testimonials.

Installation Tip: The juncture of the tang and the crown on fretwire is not a crisp 90º angle, instead it is slightly radiused (+/- 15º) We recommend slightly beveling the edges of the fingerboard slots with a needle file so that the fretwire seats properly. This beveling also makes it possible to pull out the fretwire, if necessary, without fear of tearing up wood. (A drop or so of water in the fret slot helps lubricate for easier tang entry.)

Fretwire comparison size chart

SKU Product Name In Stock Each 3+  
FW68 Fretwire, mando/dulcimer, 18% nickel/silver, 4 feet
Yes $4.59 $4.09
FWSS74 Fretwire, stainless steel, 4 feet
Yes $7.99 $7.11
FW37053 Fretwire, gold “Evo” alloy, 4 feet, straight
Yes $9.30 $8.28
FW74GOLD Fretwire, gold “Evo” alloy, 4 feet
Yes $9.98 $8.88
FW72H Fretwire, for nylon, 12% nickel/silver, 4 feet
Yes $5.62 $5.00
FWSS110 Fretwire, stainless steel, 4 feet
Yes $11.62 $10.34
FW9666 Fretwire, gold “Evo” alloy, 4 feet
Yes $8.79 $7.82
FW74 Fretwire, 18% nickel/silver, 4 feet
Yes $5.62 $5.00
FW75 Fretwire, 18% nickel/silver, 4 feet
Yes $6.63 $5.90
FW9665 Fretwire, gold “Evo” alloy, 4 feet
Yes $12.70 $11.30
FW47104 Fretwire, 18% nickel/silver, 4 feet
Yes $7.08 $6.31
FW27 Fretwire, 18% nickel/silver, 4 feet
Yes $6.86 $6.10
FWG110 Fretwire, gold “Evo” alloy, 4 feet
Yes $15.88 $14.13
FW57110 Fretwire, 18% nickel/silver, 4 feet
Yes $7.99 $7.11
FW55090 Fretwire, gold “Evo” alloy, 4 feet
Yes $12.70 $11.30

See also: