String Spacing Rule

  • 119 Reviews
  • Write a review

Get accurate string spacing without calipers, calculators or shop rulers.

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String Spacing Rule

Item # 0673
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$20.95

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Product Video

String Spacing Rule

Dan Erlewine shows how to use the String Spacing Rule to quickly locate the strings on a guitar nut. He also explains the problem with using equal spacing.


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Product Details

Get accurate string spacing without calipers, calculators or shop rulers.

Our laser-etched stainless steel String Spacing Rule quickly finds the right spacing for just about any stringed instrument. It does all the math for you: proportional slot spacing automatically compensates for string diameters, from treble to bass, so the thicker strings won't seem crowded to the player.

The problem is: if you space the strings equally, they don't feel equally spaced. The thicker bass strings seem crowded together. Each gap between strings has to be slightly different to feel right to the player. How do you calculate this? The String Spacing Rule takes care of it, for guitars, basses, mandolins, and banjos.

Fast. The String Spacing Rule is slotted so you can quickly mark the string positions onto the nut. Use a scribe instead of a pencil, and it creates extremely accurate starter grooves for your nut slotting files.

Easy to use. Mark the two outer string positions onto the nut. Slide the rule over the nut to find a set of slots that matches your two marks. Now just scribe or pencil the string positions onto the nut! No measuring, dividing or calculating — the rule does the math for you.



Accurate. The rule's slots are laser-cut in a continuous scale that wraps around both edges of the rule (our thanks to luthier Kevin Ryan for creating this tool). Proportional slot spacing subtly compensates for the diameters of the individual strings, from treble to bass, to give the right feel and playability.

Not just for nut slotting. You can use the String Spacing Rule to notch Tune-o-matic bridge saddles, to lay out bridge pin holes, and when notching archtop guitar, banjo, mandolin and violin bridges.

The String Spacing Rule is made of laser-etched flexible stainless steel that conforms to flat or arched surfaces. Instructions are included.

The String Spacing Rule is included in the Essential Nut Making Tool Kit, which has all the basic tools you'll need for shaping, string-spacing, slotting and fitting string nuts like a pro.


Trade Secrets! Newsletter

Using the String Spacing Rule for guitars and mandolins

Erick Coleman uses Kevin Ryan's proportional string spacing rule for more jobs than Kevin ever expected: 12-strings, mandolins, bridge saddles... Plus: an explanation of the difference between equal spacing and proportional spacing.

Product Instructions

Making a Nut, Step-by-Step

Dan Erlewine, of Stewart-MacDonald's R&D Team, walks you through making and installing a new nut.

Product Instructions

String Spacing Rule Instructions

The String Spacing Rule locates string positions so that heavier strings get the wider spacing they need.

Ratings & Reviews

String Spacing Rule

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  • Based on 119 Reviews
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Write a review

Easy peasy

By Mark Tiongco from Coppell, Tx
(Customer's Reviews) Saturday, February 01, 2014


Worked perfectly on marking the slots on my brass saddled Nashville bridge.

Worth every penny!

By justinarts from West Texas, USA
(Customer's Reviews) Monday, January 20, 2014


I bought this a couple of years ago and have used it almost daily. It is a great quality tool and is a tremendous time saver!

What a time saver!

By Patrick A. from Ottawa, Ontario
(Customer's Reviews) Sunday, January 19, 2014


Wow, what a time saver! I'm very pleased with the quality; totally worth the price.

String Spacing Rule

By Mr. R from Cincinnati, OH
(Customer's Reviews) Sunday, December 22, 2013


If you space strings on centers, not worth the money. However if you plan to make more than one nut with equal spacing between strings it's worth every penny. Manual calculations are cumbersome and prone to error. This is extremely quick and deadly accurate.

should have found this a long time ago...

By JeeWee Donkers from Ede, the Netherlands
(Customer's Reviews) Sunday, December 15, 2013


brilliant time saver! I really should have had one like 15 years ago, it would have saved me tons!

handy dandy tool

By Craig007 from Phelps, NY
(Customer's Reviews) Saturday, November 30, 2013


What more can you say other then this tool is awesome! Talk about a time saver. I wish I'd thought of it! Best of all it is accurate and well priced, two top considerations for any tool purchase.

Easy to use

By Chriztian from Norway
(Customer's Reviews) Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Perfect tool for the job. You can not get it wrong with this tool.

Time saver.

By Garry Petrisic from Toronto NSW Australia
(Customer's Reviews) Wednesday, October 23, 2013


A great item. I used to do all nut widths sizes and it took time to get right. Takes the brain work out of the equation. Should have had one years ago.

Should have bought sooner!

By WBR Guitars from USA
(Customer's Reviews) Sunday, October 13, 2013


It takes a little practice to get used to it, but worth the learning curve. I went through my 4 guitars, bass, and ukulele. Found 1 acoustic that is a little off with the nut spacing. It now makes sense that I tend to make more "mistakes" when playing this guitar versus the others. This will be part of my set up tools from now on. Forget the internet "printouts", get this tool for true precision.

I love this tool

By All-Strings Instrument Service from IL
(Customer's Reviews) Monday, September 09, 2013


I use it for string spacing all over the place. Awesome tool that takes any guess work out and speeds up the job. BUY IT!

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