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Gauged Nut Slotting Files

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0.010" width

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0.016" width

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0.035" width

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0.042" width

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0.046" width

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0.050" width

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0.056" width

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0.065" width

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0.075" width

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0.125" width

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Complete Set of 19

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List Price $286.93
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Gauged Nut Slotting Files

About This Item

Our tempered edge-cut nut files produce round-bottom slots for nuts and saddles. Ensure your strings seat properly in the nut without buzzing!

Each chrome-alloy steel file has twin 4" cutting edges. Among our most popular tools, these professional files help you get the job done quickly and correctly.

What files do I need?
Choose nut slotting files that are the same size or no more than a few thousandths larger than your individual string gauges. A smaller file can also be rocked side to side to widen a slot to the desired size. For example, you can cut a .043" slot with a .042" file by moving it around a bit.

Save 10% by purchasing the complete set
Always have the right gauge for cutting and shaping string slots on any instrument. Complete set of nineteen files includes every size we offer.

Tip: Slotting Tune-o-matic style saddles
Nut slotting files work great for metal saddles. Choose your file size as you would when slotting a nut: use the same gauge as the string, or a few thousandths larger. After filing to the desired depth, we suggest polishing the slot with Mitchell's Abrasive Cord to remove file marks and burrs.


Video

Trade Secrets!

Trade Secrets!

Are you supposed to slot Tune-o-matic bridge saddles?

Customers often ask how and why they should put slots in the saddles of their new Tune-o-matic bridge. Erick Coleman provides the answers in this issue of Trade Secrets.

Instructions

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.

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5.0
  • 4.77 average rating from 255 reviews
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5.0

Instant buy

By

Verified Buyer


File nuts without a set of these files is a VERY time consuming task. These files save me days of work, I'm not joking, days.

1.0

Nut slotting files

By

Verified Buyer


Sadly, Stew-Mac's quality on these hasn't improved one whit since I last tried them. The shape of the cutting edge is nowhere near hemispherical - not even rounded.

Not recommended.

Response from StewMac

Thank you for your feedback on these files. If you are not happy with your purchase, we would be happy to take them back for a refund or store credit. You can give us a call or use the "Contact Us" link on our website. We have a 100% satisfaction guarantee and we stand behind our tools and parts.

- Spencer, Customer Support

5.0

These are great!

By

Verified Buyer


I use them all the time. They are fantastic!

2.0

Pretty Good Files

By

Verified Buyer


These are OK files if it's all you can afford and they are on sale. They do cut nice and smooth. But I am not a fan of OK tools. If you want to do quality work, buy the best. The means you want the 45XX series double edge tapered files. Those cost three times more but are ten times better.

4.0

Gauged Nut Slotting Files

By

Verified Buyer


I have been using these files for a few years. I believe I have 6 or 8 of them and usually start a slot with a razor saw and follow with the appropriate StewMac file. These shorten the time it takes to slot the nut and increase the accuracy and cleanliness of the job. When I do not have the correct file size I use the next thinner and finish the job with folded sandpaper.

5.0

Gauged Nut Slotting Files

By

Verified Buyer


I have a bunch of them. If you need to make a slot for E1 0.9 string, no worries, just buy 0.010" slotting file and GENTLY polish it along one edge from both sides (so that you will still have 0.010" edge) using a flat piece of fine-grit abrasive paper (I used 600 followed by 1200), and keep measuring with a caliper - BINGO.

4.0

Best available, but could be even better

By

Verified Buyer


I am not a professional luthier, but I have purchased every size of these files and used them extensively to experiment with the setup on my acoustic guitars. The good:
1) The setup has a huge impact on the quality of sound from a guitar. Using accurate tools such as these can achieve that sound.
2) The large number of gauges can be a bit expensive, but it is the only option for getting a tight fitting (and hence no buzzing) slot. This set offers most (see below) of the required gauges.
What could be improved:
1) The markings on the files easily rub off. I read this in another review and immediately wrapped mine in scotch tape, which solved the problem.
2) The 0.010" file is flimsy and difficult to use. It should have a stiffener added.
3) I double checked the gauges of the files with a micrometer. They are mostly accurate, except for the narrowest guages like 0.010 and 0.013, which have a (acceptably) small variation across the length of the file.
4) And the easiest to fix: I think there is a gauge missing. Most gauges are spaced 0.003" or 0.004" apart with the exception 0.035"-0.042" and 0.050"-0.056". In my opinion, this spacings are too wide. Stewmac says that the file can be rocked to change the size of the slot, but note that this is a one-sided maneuver. It can only change the width of the slot in one direction. If you needed a 0.041" slot you would have to use the 0.035" file and "rock" it wider by 0.;006" and hope that you did not go too far. This is very difficult to do.

5.0

Nut slot file

By

Verified Buyer


I purchased this for the small size, and after seeing how well it works I'll order the others too. This is a very sharp and quick cutting file, so be careful not to over cut. Very well made and does what they say it'll do. If you're ever cautious of overpaying at StewMac, rest assured you get every cent worth of your investment. Top quality all the way.

5.0

It did what I needed

By

Verified Buyer


I bought a cheap bass in an online auction, and it needed a lot of tinkering to make it playable. Most of the time the only difference between a cheap mystery-brand instrument and a more expensive one is that the high-dollar instrument had a final finishing technician actually check & adjust things before shipping it out to the distributor. If you do your own setup you can save a bundle. Factoring in the cost of the files, I still got a heck of a deal on this bass. Nut height has a huge effect on the fretboard action. You can set the bridge as low as you like but if the nut is too high it'll never feel right (and "factory" nuts are almost always much too high). Lowering nut slots is not hard; I did it in my living room, with the strings on. Loosen one string at a time, just enough to pull it out of the slot and push it aside, then do a couple of strokes with the file, blow out the dust, pop the string back in and check the height. You've got to go SLOW and check it frequently, because if you cut too far there is no way to fix it except by making a whole new nut (which is quite a bit more of a hassle; I've done it once and that was enough). The gauged files made the task easy, and now my cheapo $200 bass plays like a thousand bucks!

5.0

Happy Birthday!

By

Verified Buyer


I bought these for my son's birthday-he needed them for building guitars. He loves them!!

Displaying 3 of 26
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StewMac PDF Catalog, page 4 See Gauged Nut Slotting Files
on page 4 of our StewMac Catalog PDF

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