Nut Slotting Gauge

  • 63 Reviews
  • Write a review

A revolution in guitar setup! Precisely measures string heights, so you can cut accurate nut slots for consistent playability.

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Nut Slotting Gauge For guitar and most instruments

For guitar and most instruments

Item # 2003
In stock, ready to ship!


Nut Slotting Gauge For bass

For bass

Item # 2006
In stock, ready to ship!


Total: $0.00
Quantity: 20


Nut Slotting Gauge

Dan Erlewine uses the Nut Slotting Gauge: the most accurate measure of nut slot depth.

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A revolution in guitar setup! Precisely measures string heights, so you can cut accurate nut slots for consistent playability.

This device that will revolutionize the way you set up a guitar.
The Nut Slotting Gauge quickly and precisely measures string heights over the first fret. When filing nut slot depths, you see your results more accurately than ever before. No more guesswork or "eyeballing" the string heights, and no more searching for elusive combinations of feeler gauges. You can custom-tailor the playability with consistent, repeatable results.

At last! A precision tool for establishing string heights!

The Nut Slotting Gauge was designed by Don MacRostie here in our R & D shop. It features an easy to read dial indicator with adjustable zero point, and it's super accurate to .001". The machined brass base fits over the strings to rest on the fingerboard, and it works with most acoustic and electric guitars, mandolins and banjos. A larger brass base is machined to fit bass string spacings. Both have gently arched bottoms to follow most any fretboard radius. Instructions are included.

The Nut Slotting Gauge is included in this money-saving set:
Nut Slotting Gauge and Neck Relief Gauge Set

Trade Secrets! Newsletter

Putting the new Nut Slotting Gauge to work on a "burn victim" guitar

Dan Erlewine shows a before and after of a 1958 Gibson that's (barely) survived a house fire. It needs a new nut, and he's using the Nut Slotting Gauge to get it right the first time.

Product Instructions

Nut Slotting Gauge Instructions

How to determine nut slot depth with the Nut Slotting Gauge.

Ratings & Reviews

Nut Slotting Gauge

  • Based on 63 Reviews
Displaying 1 of 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
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clumsy and inaccurate (not me, the gauge)

By Marc Terreur - Marcus Gtrs & Basses from Sint-Niklaas, Belgium
(Customer's Reviews) Friday, August 08, 2014

Over the years, I've bought many tools from StewMac and I'm really happy with most of them. Some, though, just gather dust in my toolbox. This is one of them.

For any setup job to be accurate, you need to have the guitar in playing position. Of course, the nut slotting gauge only stays in place when the guitar's resting on your workbench. So you have to put up with guesswork (horizontal position), or won't have enough hands (vertical position).

Furthermore, I find the measurement to be slightly different with each reading. And worse than that: when I use feeler gauges instead, the difference between the two measurements is substantial, regularly reaching .010"

Instead, I use the Safe Slot Nut Guard or just plain old simple feeler gauges.

Essential Must Have

By Tim Nolte from Chesapeake Beach, MD
(Customer's Reviews) Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Love this gauge and I've gotten to the point I would hate to be without it. Use it for not only nut measurements, but relief, string height, etc. Seems like they should be more durable, or at least fixable. But again, this is my go-to for setups and adjustments. Love it!

Nut slotting gauge

By Jas from Florida
(Customer's Reviews) Friday, January 17, 2014

This gauge makes the job so much easier. I have found that pushing down on the stem works well with repeatable results.

Easy enough, even for a Novice

By Tmc from Trinity Ala
(Customer's Reviews) Sunday, January 12, 2014

I'm a Novice repairman, not in any way a professional repairman, that I know comes with years of experience, but this device makes it easy enough that even I can set the nut the way I want it..with more accuracy,, a lot easier than feeler guages.. Good Product

Good tool

By Fredpistacchio from Sparks, NV
(Customer's Reviews) Friday, November 22, 2013

It's a good tool

Nut Slotting Guage

By Simon K from Darwin NT Australia
(Customer's Reviews) Friday, November 15, 2013

I tried to use my nut slotting gauge to file the nut slots on my Strat to the correct depth, one thing I noticed was that the accuracy was a bit out, I discovered this by using the gauge to file a string slot so that there was 0.018" clearance between the top of the first fret and the string, then I used a 0.018"-thick feeler gauge blade to check, the string clearance was actually more than the feeler gauge, as far as I knew, I was using the nut slotting gauge correctly, also the dial being marked back-to-front makes it hard to read so you need to do some mental gymnastics to interpret the reading.

Stew-Mac Nut Slotting Gauge, two thumbs up!

By Rory from Youngwood, PA
(Customer's Reviews) Monday, October 21, 2013

The Stew-Mac nut slotting gauge is an awesome tool for dialing in the exact string height your after. I run 13-56's on all my guitars, (regardless of scale length) for all my standard E & Drop D tunings. With the gauge and a set of nut files, I can set my string height exactly where I want it (15/1,000th). The gauge couldn't be easier to use. It didn't scratch, ding or leave the slightest mark on my fretboards. I highly recommend this tool for anyone who runs heavier than 10's, and enjoys doing their own work.

Great Tool!

By Fred I from Virginia
(Customer's Reviews) Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Worked great! Wish I would have had this long ago. No more feeler gauges. Took the time to measure all of my instruments that played great and now I can see why. I'm now in the process of adjusting the action on my other guitars. Not sure why others have had a problem with the dial reading backwards. Just count it off as you push down on the string, 10, 20, 23. Sure the dial reads 77, but who cares, just count. And yes, if you take three readings you will get a variation of .001 to .002, but then you are not building a rocket, this is close enough.

simplified elegance

By LJKelso from Bakersfield, Ca.
(Customer's Reviews) Saturday, July 06, 2013

elegant , well engineered tool. No more fumbling around with feeler gauges and the fly by night, guessing game action set up. 40 years of running by "feel" is over thanks to this fine tool. I am happy!!

Game Changer

By Allan L. from OKC
(Customer's Reviews) Wednesday, July 03, 2013

I realized something after using this, , I HATE feeler gauges! This takes all the guess work out of the job.

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