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 5 of 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
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Great Tool!

By Wilmer Gingerich from Jamesport MO
(Customer's Reviews) Saturday, December 17, 2011

Wow! What can I say? Ingenious device! Makes filing the string slots at the nut completely fool proof!!

excellent tool!

By guitarmanpercy from Canada
(Customer's Reviews) Wednesday, December 07, 2011

The nut slotting guage is well worth it. It takes the guessing out of how deep to cut the slots and is far more accurate than feeler guages. Worked wonders for me.

This is an absolute must

By dsteiner from Mechanicsburg, PA
(Customer's Reviews) Wednesday, November 09, 2011

If you are eyeballing your work and are happy with the results, think again. You will be amazed at the level of perfection you can achieve with this gauge. From building nuts to setting the relief in the neck to setting string height it is amazingly accurate. I can't think of a job I have done where I didn't use this gauge. For some reason the first one I received was broken. I sent it back and received another broken one?? I almost gave up on it but decided to have it replaced with another one. I'm glad I did. it is just so accurate!

A little confused.

By Eggy from Pembroke, Va
(Customer's Reviews) Monday, October 17, 2011

Being left-handed and thinking as such, I would have thought that the readings would go from 0 to 100. That would of made sense to me. Instead, it goes from 100 to 0. Also, trying to zero this thing seems harder than it does in your video. After every measurement, I would have to reset back to zero. Taking 3 readings and then averaging them together seems not quite as accurate has reading down to 1/1,000 of an inch. Perhaps, instructions that are more articulate. Keep on Trucken

Must have for pro work.

By Gabriel's Guitar Repair from Dallas, TX
(Customer's Reviews) Friday, October 07, 2011

This tool is great, I almost do not want to recommend it, because it gives me a leg up on the competition. I can copy action heights and not guess when I do setup work. Quality product that will last a life time. I wish base for bass was sold separate from the gauge.

very handy dial indicator

By jerry banfield from chatham,il
(Customer's Reviews) Saturday, July 09, 2011

This is a well designed indicator, and is a great tool for accurate setups. Someone engaged their brain wisely when they designed this one.

Brilliant, accurate tool!

By John H from Southeast PA
(Customer's Reviews) Saturday, May 21, 2011

Not only did it work great for filing a new nut, but I found it works great for measuring string height at the 12th fret for action adjustment. I'm picky about getting the last few thousandths of an inch possible in lowering my action, so the gauge works great for logging slight changes to my set up.

Fast and accurate height setting

By Kevin Swaim from Heyworth, Illinois
(Customer's Reviews) Wednesday, April 27, 2011

This tool is great, it gives you ultra precise string height. If you just want to be accurate, it does that, but it also is so fast to use! If you do work at all for pay, this tool will make back it's money in no time!

Interesting tool...

By Dr H from Earth
(Customer's Reviews) Monday, April 18, 2011

...I'm still trying to figure out how useful it actually is. Given the instructions that come with the gauge it would make more sense to have the dial calibrated counter-clockwise to give a -positive- string height reading, rather than the negative reading that's the norm. But StewMac tells me that getting such a "reverse" dial would triple the cost (really?) of the gauge, and others here have posted adequate work-arounds, so I can live with this.

A couple of other points would perhaps make this device more useful:

1) The smaller dial on the gauge is essentially useless, since it can't be zeroed by the procedure given. If it -were- possible to zero the small dial with the large one, this gauage would have a wider range, making it useful for checking action in more places on the neck than the nut, and usable with more kinds of guitar-like instruments.

2) The feet on the brass block the gauge is mounted in appear to be level in the photos, but they are not. They're cut on slant, to more easily work on radiused fingerboards, StewMac says. OK, but what about those of use who are setting up classical guitars, cuatros, bajo sextos, and other instruments with essentially -flat- fingerboards? Seems like offering an option of interchangable flat- or radiused- bases with this guage would again make it more useful.

Still, it basically does what they say it does, and it does it well, once you get used to these quirks.

Great tool...very fragile!

By Tom O. from Fincastle, VA
(Customer's Reviews) Sunday, March 20, 2011

This is an awesome tool and a valuable piece for anyone who regularly sets up guitars. I didn't give it five stars because of it's delicacy. I hadn't finished setting up my first guitar when I accidentally knocked it off my workbench. The dial completely locked up and no longer works. CAUTION: Be careful when using this tool and put it in a place where you can't accidentally damage it. It's too expensive to replace on a regular basis.

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