As a guitarist, you know that the quality of your instrument can make or break your playing experience.
One factor that can greatly affect your sound and performance is the fret material. Stainless steel frets, for instance, offer unparalleled durability and a smooth, consistent feel that can enhance your guitar playing.
But with so many guitars on the market, it can be tough to know which ones come with steel frets.
In this guide, we’ll help you find the best guitars with stainless steel frets that will help you elevate your sound to the next level.
Best Guitars With Stainless Steel Frets
This guitar comes in a beautiful red dahlia color. It features an alder wood body and a maple neck. The guitar has a sleek matte finish that gives it a modern look. There are other color varieties that you can choose from apart from red dahlia.
The guitar’s roasted maple and stainless steel frets make it easy to play. In addition, this guitar is suitable for playing several genres of music; it has both humbucking pickups and single coil pickups. It has a coil splitting that allows the player to switch between humbuckers and a single coil to achieve different tones.
This guitar has a plastic pearl pickguard that not only adds a touch of elegance to the guitar but also protects the alder body from pickup scratches. With this guitar, you can adjust the height of the pitch of the string easily with the help of the roller tree strings on the guitar head.
Overall, if you are looking for an affordable guitar with stainless steel frets and standard guitar features, this is a good guitar for you.
- It is affordable
- Sleek matte finish
- Easy to adjust strings
- Can use humbucking and single-coil pickups
- Fret finishing is not beginner friendly
If you want durability and hardiness from your guitar, EART electric guitar is an incredible option. This guitar is made of the strongest wood and features the best finishing materials. It has a roasted maple neck and a roasted mahogany body.
This guitar’s stainless steel frets are hand polished to deliver durability and a smooth playing surface. In addition, the fret ends are hand-dressed to play comfortably. The guitar features a bone nut, which is stronger than natural material and gives great sustain.
The guitar features a unique U to C neck profile. This neck has thicker shoulders around the lower frets and a slimmer C to the higher frets. The neck profile, together with the 7.25” to 9.5” fretboard radius gives excellent playability for soloing.
This guitar has ceramic magnetic single pickups. The pickups are suitable for a variety of playing styles, particularly, they deliver a distinctive great sound for blues playing.
- Hand polished frets
- Features bone nut
- Great soloing playability
- Unique neck profile
- The Fretboard radius is small
This guitar features an ash wood body that gives it a warm and full-bodied tone. The guitar has a maple top that adds to its beauty and delivers strong high-midrange and brilliance. The fretboard material for this guitar is ebony, giving it slick smoothness.
The guitar is versatile and contains the classic humbucker tone and two single-coiled sounds. This guitar, therefore, delivers versatility, and a clean and controlled layout. The guitar is perfect for jazz, and metal. It can go from warm and deep to bright and clear.
The 5-way switch is custom-wired to give you an easy transition from humbucking to a single coil. This guitar also has superb tuning stability thanks to the locking machine heads. If you have gigs on dark or dimly lit stages, this guitar features luminary side dot position marks which makes it easy for you to see the fretboard position markers.
- High-quality workmanship
- Luminlay side dot marks
- Custom wired 5-way switch
- Easy to transition
- It is heavy
Ibanez is a popular guitar for musicians, and this Ibanez AZ242PBG guitar lives to its mantra.
This electric guitar is made of a basswood body and a maple neck, and it has a charcoal black blast color that gives it an outstanding stylish look.
If you are looking for a stainless steel frets guitar with maximum playability, this is a good option. The guitar features an asymmetrical shape and smooth oval neck grip that optimizes playability. The stainless steel frets have unmatched corrosion resistance capabilities.
In addition, this guitar is made for durability even in harsh conditions. The neck and fingerboard are water-resistant and work great in any humidity. The fretboard edge is finished with a smooth curve to enhance good grip and comfortability when playing.
- Has an elegant color
- Features a unique neck design
- Frets are corrosion resistant
- Has high durability
- Both humbucker and single-coil pickups
- It is expensive
Factors to Consider When Buying the Best Guitars with Stainless Frets
Stainless steel frets guitars tend to be more expensive than other traditional frets made of nickel or brass. Have a budget for your guitar before going to the store so as not to go way beyond what you can afford.
The feel of the frets determines how comfortable a guitar is to play. Stainless steel frets feel smoother and more consistent than others. Ensure you feel comfortable playing with stainless steel frets before buying your guitar.
What matters most is the features that are most important for the guitar to have. For instance, you could prefer brighter colors to darker colors, or U-necks to C-shaped necks. Consider trying out different models and brands to find the one that best suits your playing style and personal preferences.
Are Stainless Steel Guitar Frets Better?
Stainless steel frets are better than other frets because they are more resistant to wearing out and prove to be quite durable.
Can Frets Be Replaced?
It is possible to refret a guitar. However, refretting requires professional skills and might be expensive.
What Fret Size Is Easiest to Play?
Small to medium frets are great to play for beginners but jumbo frets are better for pros.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which guitar manufacturers utilize stainless steel frets in their instruments?
In the world of guitars, a number of prominent brands regard stainless steel frets as a top-tier feature, usually featured in some of their high-end guitar models. Some such esteemed brands include Jackson, Charvel, Agile Semi-Custom guitars, and Chapman’s Pro series. These brands tend to deal in high-end products, and stainless steel frets add to the allure.
But it doesn't end there. Even the revered Eddie Van Halen's EVH signature line of guitars have models deploying stainless steel. Additionally, Ibanez's RG series features models with stainless steel frets, although this is more the exception than the rule with Ibanez.
Another undeniable trailblazer is Parker Guitars. They have been using these stainless steel frets consistently for quite a long while, way before it became a trend among upscale brands.
It's safe to say that stainless steel frets have a dedicated fan base among manufacturers.
Are stainless steel frets truly worth considering?
As a guitarist, you may ask if it’s worth investing in a guitar with stainless steel frets. Absolutely! They are pure joy to play. Stainless steel frets are smooth and provide a glassy feeling that some players describe as playing like butter — an incredibly pleasant sensation.
But beyond the plushness of the playing experience is the unbeatable durability stainless steel provides. In my personal experience, I've seen nickel frets wear out within 3–4 short years during periods when I was frequently gigging. But with stainless steel frets, they hardly exhibit any wear and tear.
So when it comes to durability and maintenance, stainless steel is your best bet.
Can stainless steel guitar frets enhance my playing?
Undoubtedly, stainless steel is not just a more durable material but it also has distinctive playing characteristics that many guitarists truly admire. Although some players might find the slick feeling of the stainless steel frets off-putting, countless others are completely in love with the feel.
To provide some context, the stainless steel frets make bending and sliding efforts almost effortless. This real ease of playing can significantly influence your playing style making it more dynamic and experimental. I remember when I first switched to stainless steel frets, I found myself exploring new techniques and styles that I wouldn't have attempted on nickel silver frets.
So, to answer the question directly, yes, stainless steel guitar frets can definitely enhance your playing, opening up new avenues for creativity and expression.
Does Ibanez offer any guitars with stainless steel frets?
Ibanez is a brand known for its innovative approach to creating instruments. While many of their guitars traditionally employ nickel silver frets, some models in the RG series feature stainless steel frets. Particularly, their RG5000 series is outfitted with stainless steel frets offering bright tonality and long-lasting durability.
At the core, this particular Ibanez model features a robust 5-piece Maple/Wenge neck, a fretboard adorned with appealing wood grains, and state-of-the-art pickups. Further enhancing its functionality is its Made-in-Japan Luminlay side dots that bring an element of glamour along with practical visibility in darker environments.
So to put it succinctly, yes, Ibanez does indeed offer models with stainless steel frets, primarily in their RG series.