How Much To Refret A Guitar: Expert Cost Guide

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The cost to refret a guitar typically ranges from $200 to $400. Refretting involves replacing the frets on a guitar neck to improve playability and tone.

It is a common maintenance procedure for worn-out frets or to customize the guitar’s fretboard to suit the player’s preferences. Whether you are a professional musician or a passionate hobbyist, investing in refretting can significantly enhance your playing experience and extend the lifespan of your instrument.

Understanding the cost and process of refretting a guitar can help you make an informed decision when considering this important maintenance task. We will explore the factors that influence the cost of refretting a guitar, the benefits of this procedure, and what to expect during the refretting process.

How Much To Refret A Guitar

Guitar Refretting Cost Insights

Guitar regretting costs can vary depending on several factors, including the type of guitar, the material of the frets, and the complexity of the job. Factors influencing regretting costs include the quality of materials used, the experience of the technician, and any additional services required, such as fret leveling and dressing. The average price range for re-fretting a guitar is between $200 and $500, with custom builds or specialty instruments potentially costing more. When comparing the cost of DIY regretting to professional services, it’s important to consider the expertise and tools required for a successful refret. While a DIY approach may seem cost-effective, it can lead to costly mistakes and potential damage to the instrument. Ultimately, investing in professional regretting services ensures a high-quality result and long-term playability of the guitar.

Determining Refret Expenses

Material Costs: Refret expenses depend on the type of fretwire used. Standard Nickel-Silver frets are more affordable, whereas Stainless Steel or Gold EVO frets are pricier but more durable.

Labor Charges: The time and complexity of the refret job will affect the cost. A straightforward refret on a flat fingerboard is less labor-intensive, while a compound radius or scalloped fingerboard will require more time and skill, thus increasing the cost.

Shop Reputation and Location Effects: A reputable shop with skilled luthiers may charge higher prices. Additionally, geographic location plays a role, as costs can vary between regions or countries.

Signs Your Guitar Needs Refretting

Fret wear and impact on playability: One of the most common signs that your guitar needs refretting is visible fret wear, which can affect the playability and tone of your instrument. Over time, the frets can become worn down from regular playing, causing issues such as buzzing and uneven notes.

String buzz and intonation issues: When your guitar experiences string buzz or intonation problems, it could be an indication that the frets are worn down and need to be replaced. This can affect the overall sound and tuning of your guitar.

Visual indicators of fret deterioration: Visually inspect the frets for signs of wear, such as flat spots, divots, or grooves. These visual indicators can signal that your guitar requires a refret to restore its playability and performance.

Breakdown Of Refret Services

Refretting a guitar involves several steps, each requiring specific skills and attention to detail. The initial assessment and diagnostics are crucial to determine the extent of the work required. This includes evaluating the condition of the existing frets, identifying any underlying issues with the fretboard, and planning the necessary repairs. The process of removing the old frets and prepping the fretboard is a delicate task that demands precision and care to avoid damaging the instrument. Installing and finishing the new frets is the final stage, where expertise in fret placement, leveling, and crowning is essential to ensure optimal playability and intonation. Each of these stages contributes to the overall cost of the refretting service, reflecting the skill and labor involved in restoring the playability of the instrument.

Enhancements During Refretting

Refretting a guitar often involves various enhancements, including nut replacement, which can vary in cost depending on the type of material used. Additionally, fretboard conditioning is a critical consideration to maintain the longevity and playability of the instrument. Upgrades such as installing new fretwire or altering the fretboard radius can significantly impact the overall expenditure of the refretting process. These enhancements can contribute to the final cost of the refretting procedure and should be carefully evaluated in conjunction with the specific needs and desired performance of the guitar.

How To Save On Refretting

When it’s time for a refret, seasonal discounts and offers can save you money on the overall cost. Maintaining frets regularly through cleaning and use of fretboard oil can prolong the life of your existing frets, minimizing the frequency of refretting. Additionally, carefully choosing the right luthier can provide you with the best value for your money, ensuring long-lasting results.

Look out for seasonal promotions, such as discounts during off-peak times.
  • Regularly clean and condition your frets to prevent wear and tear.
  • Use suitable fretboard oil to keep the frets in top condition for longer.
  • Research and read reviews to find a reputable luthier with a track record of quality work.
  • Compare quotes and evaluate the expertise of the luthier to determine the best value for the refretting service.

Refret Or Replace: Making The Choice

Many guitarists face the decision of whether to refret their instrument or invest in a new one. The cost-benefit analysis of refretting versus purchasing a new guitar can be significant. Refretting is often a smart investment for guitarists who want to maintain the playability and character of their instrument. Although it requires a financial commitment, the long-term value of professional refretting can outweigh the costs. By carefully considering the condition and sentimental value of the guitar, as well as the expertise of the luthier, guitarists can make an informed decision that aligns with their musical needs and budget.

Frequently Asked Questions On How Much To Refret A Guitar

How Much Does It Cost To Refret A Guitar?

The cost of refretting a guitar varies greatly depending on the quality of materials and the experience of the luthier. On average, it can range from $200 to $400, but this can go higher for custom work or special requirements.

When Should A Guitar Be Refretted?

A guitar should be refretted when the frets show signs of wear such as divots, buzzing, or uneven wear. If the frets are causing intonation or playability issues, it’s time to consider refretting the guitar.

What Are The Signs That A Guitar Needs A Refret?

Signs that a guitar needs a refret include buzzing or fretting out, uneven fret wear, divots in the frets, or difficulty achieving proper intonation. If the frets are causing playability issues, it’s a strong indication that a refret may be necessary.


The cost to refret a guitar can vary based on factors like the type of guitar, materials used, and the skill level of the luthier. It’s important to research and consult with experienced professionals to ensure quality work and a fair price.

Overall, investing in a refret can revive your guitar’s playability and extend its lifespan.

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