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Gauged Nut Slotting Files

5.0
  • 249 Reviews
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0.010" width

Item # 0821
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$13.73

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0.013" width

Item # 0823
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$13.73

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0.016" width

Item # 0827
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$13.73

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0.020" width

Item # 0828
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$13.73

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0.024" width

Item # 0829
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$13.73

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0.028" width

Item # 0830
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$13.73

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0.032" width

Item # 0831
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$13.73

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0.035" width

Item # 0832
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$13.73

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0.042" width

Item # 0833
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$13.73

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0.046" width

Item # 5313
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$13.73

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0.050" width

Item # 0834
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$13.73

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0.056" width

Item # 0835
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$13.73

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0.065" width

Item # 4551
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$16.27

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0.085" width

Item # 5314
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$16.27

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0.105" width

Item # 4554
In stock, ready to ship!

$16.27

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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.

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 249 reviews
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Displaying 3 of 25
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4.0

Best available, but could be even better

By
(Customer's Reviews)


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
(Customer's Reviews)


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
(Customer's Reviews)


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
(Customer's Reviews)


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

5.0

Perfect tool for the job

By
(Customer's Reviews)


As a semi pro luthier for many years, i've carved and slotted dozens of nuts. I've used a variety of files to accomplish that task. Nothing comes close to the speed & accuracy that come from using these slotting files. They are the perfect tool for slotting electric or acoustic nuts.

5.0

Perfect

By
(Customer's Reviews)


Indispensable tool

5.0

Worth the cost

By
(Customer's Reviews)


I've used these files to adjust the slots of a thirteen course baroque lute.

5.0

the right tools save time and effort

By
(Customer's Reviews)


These are not cheap when you buy all the sizes.I have been improvising for years. After grinding coping saw blades thinner, notching Xacto knife blades, dressing nasty slots with dental floss and valve grinding compound, I wish I sent the money years ago. These allow precise work in almost no time and leave the slot bottoms round enough to not need to be further polished for smooth action. I have worked too long and too hard in the past to accomplish what these do in minutes.

5.0

Quality products, Files.

By
(Customer's Reviews)


While High priced, Quality IS excellent. Inspected same with a 30 pwr microscope primarily observing the bottom edge profile. These were found to BE truly ROUND; NOT V-shaped, square cut, ragged nor elliptical! Strings should FIT in slots perfectly, NO binding nor Intonation problems.
Thank you.

3.0

Pricey-Good Quality

By
(Customer's Reviews)


Have not actually used files yet. Quality looks good and delivery was fast. Files are rather pricey,
I have found that Stew-Mac always stands behind their products. Three stars only because I have not used yet.

Displaying 3 of 25
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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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