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The Best Fret Crowning Files

The best 4 fret crowning files in 2021

Are you looking for a fret crowning file for your guitar to sound as good as new? This article will provide some useful pieces of advice for your consideration.

After a long time of playing, due to regular wear and tear, your frets on the fingerboard might be flattened or unevenly leveled, creating sharp corners on the frets, which may result in buzzing or distorting intonation. What is necessary is to level the fret tops? You can handle this with a fret crowning file, which can grind the fret’s tops to the excellent rounded shape as new as it leaves the factory. Furthermore, the critical point is not just crowning but beautifully crowning to form the thinnest landing strip (contact point between the guitar string and the fret) so that the guitar will play in tune. They are different in the cutting method, the cutting surface, and the file shape. So what are the strengths and weaknesses of these mentioned fret crowning files?

The Best Fret Crowning Files of May 2022 – Reviews and Top Rated

Rank No. #1
FretGuru Fret Crowning File °Dagger 2.0° Professional Guitar Luthier Tool Electric Acoustic Bass
  • Dual Sided - the IDEAL SIZE and SHAPE for ACOUSTIC and VINTAGE ELECTRIC GUITARS (Medium/Large side), and MODERN ELECTRIC GUITARS, or those with JUMBO and SUPER JUMBO frets (Large/XL side)
  • FretGuru Exclusive D.I.A. (Dual Integrated Arc) cutting geometry gives you more precise CUTTING CONTROL and leaves a FINER FINISH than any other fret file - GUARANTEED! Gives you CONTROL, ACCURACY and FINISH that no other file (especially diamond files) can touch
  • PROFESSIONAL GRADE file with PREMIUM quality HARDENED EUROPEAN TOOL STEEL gives LONGEST LIFE, with perfectly formed and RAZOR SHARP TEETH leaves a clean, ready-to-be-polished cut
  • Contoured and beveled inner and outer edges to PREVENT DAMAGE TO YOUR FRETS and FINGERBOARD, and allow maximum clearance between the file and wood
  • PERFECTLY FORMED teeth shape and cutting groove geometry = PRECISE FRETS = YOUR GUITAR PLAYS LIKE BUTTA and SOUNDS EVEN SWEETER
Rank No. #2
Baroque Guitar Fret Crowning File, Fret Repairing Tools, 3rd Generation, Luthier Tools With 3 sizes Design and Excellent Quality for Guitars,Ukuleles,Bass,Banjo,Mandolin.
  • Diamond is the most hardness material available in the earth. Three gauges grooves on the carbon steel body and coated by large amount diamond particles, Everything is as soft as butter when face with it.It will substantially improve efficiency about guitar frets work.
  • Three gauges grooves are provided in 1mm,2mm,3mm. The 1mm slot works for extra narrow frets, likes ukuleles; The 2mm slot works for all standard guitars, bass, banjo, mandolin, cigar box guitars; The 3mm slot works for jumbo frets. That means it'll work on most stringed instruments.
  • Every groove's radius is designed to matches the frets' crowning radius. Fret crowning and both side of it will be synchronous reduced nearly a concentric arc if use correct action.
  • The hand shank is made of solid wood: excellent grip and smooth operation. An Oxford bag included, not only convenient to carry, but also provides excellent protection for your fret tools.
  • Baroque diamond abrasive way to coarse for this application, use baroque fret erasers makes the frets as smooth as buttery.
Rank No. #3
Baroque Diamond Guitar Fret Crowning Dressing File Narrow/Medium/Wide 3 Edges Guitar Repairing & Luthier Tools(Improved 3rd Generation)
  • This is the 3rd generation Baroque fret crowning file that upgrade with deeper grooves and finer grits.
  • Made by high quality carbon steel&coating with diamond grits. Concave in center design makes it very efficient&time saving for crowning the fret.
  • 3 in 1 size:The file has 3 different sizes grooves.The small slot is use for Ukulele fret.Medium slot is use for normal Guitar/Bass fret which for most regular use.Large slot is use for Jumbo frets.
  • Wood handle for convenient and comfortable use.Packed with individual Nylon Oxford Bag,very portable.
Rank No. #4
StewMac Z-File Fret Crowning File, Original Z-File - Two Diamond Edges - Shapes Both Sides At Once -Speeds Up Work!
  • A WHOLE NEW IDEA FOR CROWNING FRETS - Z-Files won't mess up your carefully-leveled fret tops because they only touch the sides of the frets.
  • WON'T CAUSE STRING BUZZ - After you've leveled the frets for uniform height, your crowning file restores their rounded shape, leaving the thinnest possible line of leveled surface on top. This is when other crowning files can accidentally scrape the fret top, creating a buzzing low spot. Z-Files don't have this problem—because they don't touch the top of the fret.
  • Z-FILE SPEEDS UP YOUR WORK - this fret crowning file shapes both sides of the fret at once - a great choice for busy shops.
  • UNIQUE DIAMOND ABRASIVE CUTTING EDGES - The Z-File features fast cutting 300-grit diamond abrasive and unique angled cutting edges that work the sides of the fret, not the tops.
  • RUBBER COATED HANDLE - Gives firm, comfortable control for the job.
Rank No. #5
Guitar Luthier Tool Kit Included 1 Pcs Guitar Fret Crowning Luthier File, 1 Pcs Stainless Steel Fret Rocker, 2 Pcs Fingerboard Guards Protectors and 2 Grinding Stone for Guitar
  • Guitar Luthier Tool set Includes - 1 x guitar fret crowning file, 2 x fingerboard guard and 1 x guitar fret rocker leveling,2 x Grinding Stone, Suitable for Luthier, String Instruments User, Guitar, DIY for many fret works.
  • FRET FILE - Made of stainless steel, with ergonomic rubber handle for comfortable holding. Size: filing surface is 4 inches in length, rubber handle is 3.2 in length; which is applied to narrow fret crowning after leveling
  • FRET ROCKER - Made of stainless steel and has 4 flat and straight edges, which can help your to detect any discrepancy existing in frets height
  • FINGERBOARD GUARD with Grinding Stones - Designed to protect your guitar or bass fretboard from scratching or damaging while filing and polishing
  • Good Customer Service - If you have anything unclear about these Guitar Clean and Polish Tools Set, welcome to contact us at anytime. Here we commit that we will make the full refund or send a new replacement, if there is any problems with the products you received. Meanwhile, there's no need for you to return the original packing.
Rank No. #6
Baroque Fret Crowning Files Diamond, Guitar Fret Crown Dressing File, Fret Repairing Tools, Luthier Tools, Improved 3rd Generation, with 3 Sizes for Guitars, Ukuleles, Bass, Banjo, Mandolin
  • [IMPROVED]: This fret file is an improved version of 3rd generation. 0.01mm DEEPER/ 100 grit HIGHER than the original groove, which means it can better fit the frets and file marks more finely. Make your frets coronation easier and more detailed.
  • [WIDELY APPLICABLE]: Baroque Fret Crowning File has three kinds of groove. 1mm for extra narrow frets, likes ukuleles; 2mm for all standard guitars, bass, banjo, mandolin, cigar box guitars; 3mm for jumbo frets. A very useful luthier tool.
  • [EFFICIENT&EFFORTLESS]: High strength DIAMOND electroplating process brings a longer service life, sharper filing, and higher working efficiency. The hand shank is made of SOLID ROSEWOOD, excellent grip and smooth operations and save effort.
  • [EASY TO CARRY]: An oxford bag included, not only easy to carry, but also provides excellent protection for your frets file tools. The package also includes a high-quality user guide. Please read the user guide carefully before dressing fret crown.
  • [SUGGESTION]: Use with Baroque Fret Erasers makes the frets very very smooth. For all files, the grit is relatively coarse. After using the file, the fret will not be so smooth, so it needs to be polished with a higher grit fret eraser.
Rank No. #7
4th Generation Rectangle Baroque Fret Crowning Files with 3 Crowning Grooves and 1 Fret End Dressing Side Repairing & Luthier Leveling Dressing Tool for Electric Acoustic Guitar,Ukulele,Bass,Banjo
  • 4th generation Baroque fret crowning file has upgraded with more deeper grooves than 3rd generation, it will not easy to crowning the top of frets any more.
  • It have 3 different crowning grooves and 1 full side with grit that use for fret ends dressing and fret leveling.The small slot works for extra narrow frets, likes ukuleles; Medium slot works for all standard guitars, bass, banjo, etc; Large slot works for big jumbo frets. That means it'll work on most stringed instruments.
  • Rectangle body and handle makes it easier to apply pressure on frets and much more convenient to use than round version.
  • It is made of high quality carbon steel& firmly coated with diamond-like grits. That ensure the long life service of this file.
  • Please don’t forget to use Baroque fret erasers to polish the fret after crowing file.You can get a fantastic results!
Rank No. #8
FarBoat Guitar Fret Crowning File Tool Dressing File Narrow/Medium/Wide 3 Edges Fret Repairing Tools Luthier Tools(Blue)
  • 🎸FarBoat Guitar Fret Crowning File with Blue Rubber Handle.
  • 🎸Material: Metal, Rubber. Solid, rustproof, sturdy and durable.
  • 🎸3 Sizes of Edges: Equiped with narrow/medium/wide groove, convenient to use, cater to your varieties of requirements.
  • 🎸Easy to Grip: With a layer of rubber on the end, anti-slip and comfortable to grip.
  • 🎸Great suited for guitar frets, also can be used for bass,ukulele and so on.
SaleRank No. #9
Gurian Three-in-one Fret File, File handle with 3 Burrs
  • When we're asked to recommend just one fret file, it's gotta be this 3-in-1 file, popular since Michael Gurian designed it over 20 years ago
  • The angle in the shaft lifts the handle up away from the guitar, protecting the top
  • Works on both traditional nickel-silver fretwire, and stainless frets, too
  • Comes with steel shank, wooden handle, and 3 interchangeable burrs (one narrow, one medium, one wide)
  • Overall length is 7" (178mm), and each burr is 1-7/8" (47.63mm) long
Rank No. #10
Upgrated Baroque Guitar Fret Crowning&Edge Dressing File 3 Slots Size & 1 full Grit Side Improved 4th Generation Repair Luthier Tools for Guitars,Ukulele,Bass,Banjo,Mandolin etc (4th Generation File)
  • This is the 4th generation Baroque fret crowning file that upgrade with more suited grooves and finer grits. It has been optimized in terms of shape, function, material, and user experience.
  • The fret-top file’s main body is designed as a square. Each plane side can be used as a reference to observe if the file and the frets are parallel when filing the frets.
  • The new square handle is more suitable for human hand gripping. It fits more and won’t slip. It is easier to apply pressure.
  • The innovative square file design can be not only used to level the top of frets, but it can also be used to file some sharp fret ends.
  • High strength emery electroplating process brings a longer service life, sharper filing, and higher working efficiency. Use with baroque fret erasers makes the frets very very smooth.

Last update on 2021-07-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Broque diamond-coated concave file

From Broque, this crowning surface is a radius, which helps to reshape the fret as you slide across it. However, this method may require multiple files to match the different fret sizes. You do not need to worry because this package includes three size grooves: 1mm width for extra narrow frets like ukulele, 2mm width for standard guitars, 3mm width for jumbo fret. Therefore, it works on most stringed instruments. Each type is coasted by diamond grits as aggressive as 200 sandpapers, designed to match the frets’ crowning radius. Then it will grind both sides of the fret evenly and nearly reduce a concentric arc so that there will be no instance that the fret crowning is eaten away. The diamond coating enables your file to last longer, works better for harder frets, and increases the efficiency of cutting compared to the 3-corner file, but the tradeoff may leave some gouges on the frets. It is quite reasonable because this crowning file cannot polish like the fret eraser is.

This file, like other straight files, to some extent, will scratch the fingerboard, especially the steep board; however, this weakness can be eliminated by careful workmanship.

  • Pros:
    • Efficient cut due to diamond grits
    • Radius cutting surface for even shape
  • Cons:
    • Some gouges on the frets
    • May scratch the fingerboard

Verdict: This option ensures accuracy and efficiency for your crowning work, compared to the traditional 3-corner file, which may challenge your patience. However, it may leave some unnecessary stains on the guitar you may not want.

Smart design and carefully engineered crowning file

By FretGuru, this file stands out for its accuracy due to its exclusive Dual Integrated Arc cutting geometry, which enables precise cutting control. Each stroke is also not labor-intensive and more efficient. The dual size is available for medium frets such as acoustic and vintage or modern electric guitar, and wide frets for jumbo and super jumbo. The toothed grit is razor-sharp, leaving a clean and polished stroke, but compared to the diamond grit, the commonly toothed grit will eventually get dull faster. However, the premium quality hardened European steel guarantees this file’s most extended life. It also prevents damage to the fingerboard due to the beveled and contoured edge, distinguishing between the file and wood.

  • Pros:
    • D.I.A cutting geometry for accuracy
    • Do not scratch the fingerboard.
  • Cons:
    • Only potent on pushing stroke

Verdict: This carefully crafted crowning file will worth every penny. With smart engineering, it can eliminate the weakness of the previous option and avoid damage to the fingerboard.

iLuiz’s lightweight but effective fret crowning file

This economical choice from iLuiz is made of stainless steel with 4 inches filing surface and 3.2 inches rubber handle, which is an excellent proportion to balance and support your grinding hand power. Furthermore, with the weight of 2.6 ounces, it guarantees to make your crowning work much more effortlessly. The toothed crowning surface of 0.12 inches width is quite sharp. However, this ‘one size fits all’ feature may risk taking metal off the top of the fret and lowering the entire fret, which may result in your re-leveling all the frets. Thus, this tool is recommended for medium-sized fret only, meaning most guitars on the market: electric guitar, acoustic guitar, bass, or ukulele.

  • Pros:
    • Lightweight
    • Effortless handle
    • Affordable
  • Cons:
    • May take metal off the fret

Verdict: Though this Iluiz file is, to some extent, not as useful and versatile as the two mentioned above files, it might be the economical and smart option for professional crowners with several experiences in navigating the file.

Original Z-file StewMac – the innovative and effortless tool

This Z cut surface is the newest, also the high-end option for a crowning file. With the great idea of unique angled cutting edges, it ensures never to hurt the fret top and rescope only the fret’s side, leaving the thinnest line of the leveled surface on the fret top. The cutting method is diamond grit coated with a generous amount of diamond – 300 grits. It will remarkably increase the accuracy of each stroke and make your crowning work much less labor-intensive. The Z-shaped razor edge is all covered by diamond to speed up your work due to its asymmetrical cutting surface. It will remove two different angles off the fret simultaneously, and all you need to do is flip it over the opposing side to even it up for the perfectly rounded fret. The rounded dull edge on the bottom is another safeguard to your fretboard. Thus, this tool has accuracy from the traditional straight edge file and efficiency from the diamond-coated concave file.

  • Pros:
    • Efficient and accurate crowning
    • No damage to the fret top
    • No damage to the fretboard
  • Cons:
    • Quite expensive

Verdict: It worth your investment and work for both professional to save time and assist you non-professional if you lack confidence in your crowning skill

In summary, these 4 recommended fret crowning files above, with their pros and cons, may meet different users’ needs from non-professional to professional. They can crown the fret, but some pain points while fret crowning can only be fixed by tools of higher price and more innovative design. Therefore, you can consider the recommendations before deciding to buy for your best sake.

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Fabian Walker

Data Scientist, Lab Researcher, Founder of RelinkLabs.com