Sorry if this has been covered 1000 times before but I was unable to quickly find a discussion on this. Anyhoo <sic>, I was looking into purchasing fret wire for a project but realized that they come in SO many widths and depths...how does one determine which one to use for what?
Just by taste. Also some buy their frets for the ease of nipping and installing like the low narrow frets; they are easier to nip than wide jumbo frets.
I buy gold medium frets when going all gold hardware, even the nut is polished brass.
Most times I buy the wide jumbo silver frets because it looks badass, but nipping them takes the strength of Hercules. Really hurts my hand by the 10th fret, but the results is worth it. You can shove it in people's faces and yell "blood, sweat and tears baby!" Which is why I put up with jumbo frets :)
But the easiest frets I ever handled were the gold narrow ones. Nippers cut them like butter but they are sturdy frets.
Buy a few sizes and check whats best for your building skills.
Everyone has their preference.,.,I dislike tiny fretwire unless it is on a Uke., To make life easy I use Stew-Mac #148, medium/medium for fretting, and Stew-Mac #150 widest/highest for my zero frets.,.,for fun sometimes I use the #150 for the frets, and Dunlop 6000 or Jescar Super jumbo for the zero fret.,,.I find using at least medium wire makes it easier to level the frets.,.,if tiny wire needs leveling it can disappear .,.
I admit some folks like tiny wire and no fret leveling.,., I prefer jumbo wire on a dead flat fingerboard.,.,