Nut Slotting Gauge

  • 67 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 67 Reviews
Displaying 2 of 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Write a review

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.

Getting it right the first time.

By axe fixr from Richardson (Dallas) Texas
(Customer's Reviews) Thursday, June 06, 2013

With this gauge I was able to set a brass nut to the correct groove depths. With the help of Dan Erlewine it was easier than I thought, and my fears went away!

Not quite what I expected.

By old time Stew Mac customer from USA
(Customer's Reviews) Thursday, May 16, 2013

The gauge works ok but there are some potential improvements that seem very obvious. 1) The gauge is marked up backwards. If the scale markings were oriented in the other direction you could simply read the dial. If you use the gauge as per instructions you have to do math in your head to arrive at the value you are measuring for. That seems silly. I have tried setting my dial to zero when the string is pressed down, which allows me to read the dial when I release the string and see the measurement value first hand. The problem with this is that it takes 3 hands to do this effectively. 2) The curvature on the bottom of the brass bass seems goofy. It makes the tool sit on most fret boards at an angle that makes it appear as if the brass block was machined incorrectly. The fact that you have to rotate the base for use on the outer or inner strings makes the angle on the foot seem like its either a bad fit or a really bad fit. A straight flat bottom seems like the best all around choice. I may machine my base to reflect this opinion. I am normally very pleased with Stew Mac tools but this particular tool seems to include unnecessary compromises that could be improved. Thanks.

Love it!

By Beth Mayer from Tucson, AZ
(Customer's Reviews) Sunday, May 12, 2013

This gauge made nut setup incredibly easy. More accurate than a ruler and faster than feeler gauges. My only criticism is that the brass feet will mark up your finished fingerboard a bit. I put little cork feet on it, but you could also use painters tape on each side of the first fret to prevent having to go back and polish the board again.

Nut Slotting Gauge

By Rod Jacobs from Indianapolis, IN
(Customer's Reviews) Monday, April 15, 2013

Great tool! I used it to slot the nut, set the action, and adjust neck relief on all my guitars. It's nice to have a measurement instead of eyeballing it.

Valuable tool

By Tim Skau from Norway
(Customer's Reviews) Monday, March 18, 2013

This gives me great accuracy when measuring the nut string height. I might have to do 2-3 measures for each string, mainly because of quality control. I would like to have only one tool that works with bass and guitar, That's why I only give it a 4.


By Phillip Jones from Jackson, tennessee
(Customer's Reviews) Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Don't even try to set your string height without this tool.

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