How Do You Know If Your Guitar Needs A Refret?

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Whether you’re a beginner or a more advanced guitar player, at some point you will ask a really popular question: how do you know if your guitar needs a refret? Although it may seem complicated, the answer is actually pretty straightforward. What’s more, this knowledge is particularly useful when you’re buying a used or an old acoustic guitar. So how to tell if it’s the time to see the luthier?

If you notice that your frets are significantly worn out, it’s time to think about refretting. You may also see little divots – worn spots that your strings have made. These tiny damages of frets result with buzzing strings – and that can really lower the quality of your guitar tone. If you see any of these issues, find a local luthier to get a refret.

Still, if your guitar is relatively new and you notice some buzzing, it doesn’t necessarily has to be caused by worn out frets. Sometimes it’s only a result of a high string action. On the other hand, if your guitar is really old, refretting may be the only solution for that problem. If it causes you problems, try to find a specialist who can get it fixed.

How much do new frets cost?

The cost of refretting a guitar depends on the country you live in. Still, whether you’re from the United States, Europe or Australia, you have to be aware that a full refret can be really expensive. It can cost you anywhere from $150 to up to $500 or even more. Is it worth it at this price? Well, it depends on the guitar. If you have a really interesting and vintage model, having new frets can only add value to it. On the other hand, if a refret would cost more than an actual guitar. In this case, it’s probably better to save up that money and buy a new guitar instead.

How long does it take to refret a guitar?

A professional luthier should be able to do a full refret during one working day. On average, refretting a guitar takes from 5 to 10 hours. Still, luthiers tend to spread their work for a few days, so don’t stress about it too much and don’t expect that your guitar will be ready to go on the next day. Trust your luthier and don’t rush him – in the end, it’s all about your guitar sounding as good as possible.

You can see the whole process on the video below. But let’s be clear: it’s not recommended to do it on your own! Especially if you’re a beginner when it comes to string instruments. It’s always better to trust a qualified specialist. Still, if you know that your guitar needs a refret, feel free to have a look how luthiers do it.

How many times can a guitar be refretted?

If you use services of a trained and skilled luthier, there is no limit for that. Still, once you refret your guitar a few times, the luthier will most likely have to widen the slots cut for frets. From that point, your frets will have to be glued to the neck. It won’t affect the sound of your guitar though. Without the glue, it would be difficult for a luthier to efficiently do the refretting.

What causes fret dents?

If you notice them on your guitar, it usually means that you practiced! To be honest, it’s a good indicator that you did your job and you played the hell out if it. The more you play, the more you press your strings against the frets. As a result, the frets become more and more worn out.

Although they can be considered as “battle scars”, they can significantly affect the sound of your guitars. No one wants to hear buzzing strings, right? Still, it’s worth mentioning that if it happened to your guitar, it’s totally normal. Some parts just have to be replaced from time to time and there is nothing wrong with that.

How to fix a dent in your guitar fret?

Replacing frets is useful when most of your frets are damaged. If you notice a dent in only one place, there is a way to fix without replacing the frets. Although it’s always safer to give your guitar to the luthier, some people prefer the DIY approach. In case you need to fix a dented fret really quickly on your own, here’s a great tutorial on what to do. Although it’s not perfect a perfect solution, it will definitely improve the overall comfort during playing the guitar. Feel free to have a look.

How to find a good luthier?

To be honest, finding a good luthier is not an easy task. Although there is probably a few of them in your area, there is a chance that some of them aren’t actually good enough to efficiently fix guitars. Still, there is a few ways to find out if the luthier is good or not. Most importantly, ask around friends for recommendations and read online reviews. In my opinion, the community of musicians usually supports each other, so if someone had a bad experience with a specific luthier, they will definitely post about it online. Try local facebook groups and do your research. You will definitely find someone good enough who’s capable of doing a professional refret!

Alternatively, you can use this luthiers directory.


As you can see, refretting a guitar is not that expensive and it can significantly increase your enjoyability of playing. How do you know if your guitar needs a refret? It just sounds and feels weird! As simple as that, it’s a really good indicator that something is wrong.

Thanks for checking out Best Guitars Now. I hope that today’s article was really helpful! What’s your experience with refretting a guitar? Let us know in the comment section below! Additionally, if you enjoyed this article, you may also like:


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