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 Post subject: Fret nippers
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2021 8:13 pm 
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First name: Chris
Last Name: Pile
City: Wichita
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The fret nippers I've been using since forever (probably purchased from Intl. Violin Supply in Tulsa) are getting pretty near the end of their life. I ground the face of them flat decades ago so they were hella sharp.

I don't like the look of the StewMac ones - and LMI is no better. Any useful suggestions?

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 Post subject: Re: Fret nippers
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2021 8:24 pm 
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Cocobolo
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I bought a Sears branded end cutter decades ago and ground the end flush with the edge. It has worked fine. A couple of years ago, StewMac had their nippers on sale, so I bought one as a backup. It‘s a bit better made than the Sears cutter, but functionally equivalent. I see nothing wrong with it. Remember that StewMac will replace a tool if you wear it out.


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 Post subject: Re: Fret nippers
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2021 9:24 pm 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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Chris Pile wrote:
The fret nippers I've been using since forever (probably purchased from Intl. Violin Supply in Tulsa) are getting pretty near the end of their life. I ground the face of them flat decades ago so they were hella sharp.

I don't like the look of the StewMac ones - and LMI is no better. Any useful suggestions?


No and we have scoured the world for a suitable replacement.

The original StewMac nippers had a decent angle on the jaws with the flat face so you could register the flat face on the fret board and simply the act of closing the jaws would gently lift the fret upward and out using the bevel angle as a ramp of sorts. The next generation nippers seemed to have forgotten how the original tool was intended to work and the bevel angle is much less. They still will lift a fret but only about half as much.

Both gens cut stainless with reckless abandon and no dents in the jaws.

Dave has originals and I have the second gen. We both want a replacement too like his originals and nothing out there that we have found duplicates the utility and intent of the first set from about 25 years ago or so.

What they have now I don't like at all. Sorry no suggestions but I did want to share that we did not find a good solution here and looked.

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 Post subject: Re: Fret nippers
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2021 10:11 pm 
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Koa
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I bought a pair of the Summit brand angled nippers a while back from Jescar and have found them to be very good. They are extremely good even with stainless and the jaws are very flat allowing you to cut right up to the fingerboard.

https://www.jescarguitar.com/shop/summi ... ed-handle/


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 Post subject: Re: Fret nippers
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2021 11:10 pm 
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Okay, so the luthier tool world is out.
Like Alton Brown - headed to the hardware store.

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These users thanked the author Chris Pile for the post (total 2): dbbrantley (Mon May 23, 2022 7:18 pm) • Hesh (Wed Oct 27, 2021 4:41 am)
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 Post subject: Re: Fret nippers
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2021 12:26 am 
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I like these Fastcap nippers. Best I ever used. Their fret puller looks interesting too.

Attachment:
fastcap.jpg


https://www.fastcap.com/product/flush-cut-trimmers

Select the stainless fret nippers.


You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

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These users thanked the author Pat Foster for the post (total 2): Hesh (Wed Oct 27, 2021 4:43 am) • Chris Pile (Wed Oct 27, 2021 2:30 am)
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 Post subject: Re: Fret nippers
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2021 2:30 am 
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Wish they had more detailed pix...

Found a video (and Pat, we may have a winner!)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRGhagV ... el=FastCap

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 Post subject: Re: Fret nippers
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2021 4:54 am 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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Pat Foster wrote:
I like these Fastcap nippers. Best I ever used. Their fret puller looks interesting too.

Attachment:
fastcap.jpg


https://www.fastcap.com/product/flush-cut-trimmers

Select the stainless fret nippers.


There are several things that Dave and I don't like about these "fret pullers" and the first thing is the name. We should never "pull" frets that's how you chip the heck out of the board. Instead frets should be gently lifted with the tool face firmly in contact with the board for a goodly span, perhaps 1" where the closing jaws of the tool and the inside bevels lift the fret. Heat first as well. So that's one thing, the name.

The second thing we don't like about these is the bevel angle of the cut is too shallow to lift frets by the act of closing the jaws. It will lift a bit, much like the current Stew Mac ones but not like the original StewMac ones that we also have and Dave won't let me have. :)

The third thing we don't like about these is the narrow face of the nippers. That broad face we see on the Stewmac nippers is intended to keep chips in place for a goodly span and this needs to happen.

Anyway this is what we came up with too lots of alternatives but no one seems to remember the true intent and how the originals from the 60's and early 70's were intended to work with the closing of the jaws and the bevel causing the fret lift while the ground face is firmly registered on the fret board to avoid chips.

Dan E. and his lovely wife are coming to visit us in late November I'll be sure to ask him what his take on why we can't find nippers like the originals is and report back here.

We have both the originals from Stew Mac and the offering 15 years ago which is different and when used side by side the difference is crystal clear.

Chris what is stopping us from making our own these days is a suitable starting point. The current iteration of Channelock nippers lack the original bevel angle that I keep harping on and what they have is too shallow for our use.

Our nippers cut stainless fine now only if my old hurting hands could do the same.

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 Post subject: Re: Fret nippers
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2021 5:22 am 
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My beat up old nippers are fine for pulling frets - wide and flat. And I've used heat for a long time when doing so. They are even okay for cutting to length. But for notching the ends and then cutting off the stub once seated - I need some new metal, and the small rounded one made of stainless should be terrific (3rd from right). It won't be as clunky as my old ones, and it appeals to my tool maker sensibility. It just looks nice... I already ordered one.

If I like it, I'll order one of the wide flat ones, too.

Again, Pat - good call. I'll make a report once I've used them a bit.

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 Post subject: Re: Fret nippers
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2021 7:13 am 
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Koa
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[quote="Chris Pile"]Okay, so the luthier tool world is out.


Did I miss something where you specifically don't want something from luthier suppliers?


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 Post subject: Re: Fret nippers
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2021 11:19 am 
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Just nippers, Dan.

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 Post subject: Re: Fret nippers
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2021 11:30 am 
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Koa
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Chris Pile wrote:
Just nippers, Dan.


Ok. So what is wrong with the summit ones? There are more luthier suppliers than just lmii and sm.

Knipex makes nippers of many different varieties. I had a pair of the 67 01 140 ones for a while but found them to be a little short in the jaws.

There was a company called Keiba that makes a pair of high leverage nippers that work well stainless. The jaws are a little thick but can be easily ground down a little to make them cut closee.


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 Post subject: Re: Fret nippers
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2021 1:18 pm 
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I didn't like the look of them - call me a picky old bastard.
Truly, more detailed photos would aid in my decisions...

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 Post subject: Re: Fret nippers
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2021 2:10 pm 
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I bought the Summit fret tools and love them, worth the money. They do a great job and I've found nothing that comes close in cutting frets close the the FB.

Pulling frets is different and have a variety of modified end nippers for that, since they are not cutting the metallurgy isn't critical.

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 Post subject: Re: Fret nippers
PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2021 6:03 pm 
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Those nippers I ordered? The seller disappeared into the ozone, and eBay is NOT helping.

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 Post subject: Re: Fret nippers
PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2021 12:22 pm 
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Walnut
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DanKirkland wrote:
I bought a pair of the Summit brand angled nippers a while back from Jescar and have found them to be very good. They are extremely good even with stainless and the jaws are very flat allowing you to cut right up to the fingerboard.

https://www.jescarguitar.com/shop/summi ... ed-handle/



I can attest to this as well. they are good even for stainless.


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 Post subject: Re: Fret nippers
PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2021 12:23 am 
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I ordered one of the Fastcaps from Amazon as mentioned by Pat. Cost me a few extra dollars, but they were on my door in 2 days. Already did some cutting with them, and I like them. Tomorrow - pull a few frets and see how they perform.

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