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String Action Gauge

5.0
  • 235 Reviews
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Inches

Item # 0670
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$18.95

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Metric

Item # 0670-M
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$18.95

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String Action Gauge

About This Item

Fast, accurate measurements for setups.
Our String Action Gauge is a "Swiss Army Ruler" for setup adjustments on any stringed instrument.

This pocket-size stainless steel rule has become a luthier's favorite in busy shops. It's the best way yet to get vital measurements on acoustic and electric instruments.
• String height
• Bridge saddle height
• Saddle slot depth
• Fret slot depth (unbound fingerboards)
• Nut height
• Pickup polepiece height


No more "three-and-a-half-64ths or 3/32" plus one of those little lines." This gauge measures in ways that regular rulers can't.
—Dan Erlewine

Developed here at Stewart-MacDonald by Dan Erlewine and Don MacRostie, the gauge features a progressive string height scale: simply slide it across the frets and read the measurement under the string. It's faster to use than any ruler, and stays parallel to the fingerboard—much easier than trying to hold a ruler perpendicular to a rounded fret.

StewMac's String Action Gauge has two models (sold separately) for measuring in inches or millimeters. The string height markers are graduated from .010" to .140" on the inch model, and from 0.25mm to 3.50mm on the metric version.

The back of the gauge has a time-saving fractional/decimal/metric conversion chart.

The String Action Gauge is made of durable stainless steel with precision-etched markings, and fits right in your pocket.

Tip: You can use the gauge to set router depth, instead of a shop ruler. It sits solidly on your router base, with the scale right where you need it.


Video

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.

Product Instructions

String Action Gauge

How to determine string action with the String Action Gauge.

Metric String Action Gauge

How to determine string action with the Metric String Action Gauge.

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5.0
  • 4.87 average rating from 235 reviews
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Displaying 12 of 24
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5.0

A Nifty Tool!

By
(Customer's Reviews)


Because of this tool I don't dread doing a full set up of my guitar anymore!

5.0

A must have

By
(Customer's Reviews)


This is one of the tools I use the most. Great value, and highly recommended.

5.0

Best thing since sliced bread - OK, actually better!

By
(Customer's Reviews)


I've always sort of 'eyeballed' my string action. And i always ended up with a lot of buzzing because i got it too low or aching fingers because i got it too high. For the first time since I've been playing guitar and doing my own adjustments i got it right the first time. I found some 'suggested' string heights for my Strat and with the combination of the String Action Guide and the Under String Radius Gauges my Strat is playing like I never believed possible. If you're gonna do your own setups - you NEED this handy little tool. If you have a Fender guitar you also need the understring radius guides to help you set the bridge pieces - but that's another review entirely. These guys at StewMac think of EVERYTHING!!

5.0

Easy action check!

By
(Customer's Reviews)


Thanks a million. After 40-odd years of fiddling with feeler gauges and rulers stood on end etc you have simplified my measuring of string action. Coulda done with thinkers like you guys many years ago! Congratulations.

5.0

Genius.

By
(Customer's Reviews)


This little tool makes setting up any guitar a piece of cake. The conversion table on the back is a lifesaver. Indispensable!

5.0

Must-have!

By
(Customer's Reviews)


Brilliant tool! The progressive string height scale is great. Set up all my guitars in no time.

5.0

Great Product Period

By
(Customer's Reviews)


Bought one of these as I wanted to start tinkering with my own guitars. Product is awesome. I had a small mechanical ruler, but this is sooo much easier and accurate. Pricey perhaps, but worth every penny. If you want to set up guitars, you should buy one of these.

5.0

My First Setup

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(Customer's Reviews)


I've had my Strat for about 18 years, and it has never had any attention. But lately I've been playing it every day, so I started tinkering with it. After fixing the intonation by adjusting the string length at the bridge, I felt encouraged to read more about doing a full setup. I made a slight change to the truss rod, and then set the bridge to standard height. Then it was time to set the string height. None of my rulers was accurate enough, and on some of them, the scale did not start at the edge of the tool.

I ordered a String Action Gauge calibrated in inches. It arrived in just a couple of days, right before Christmas. I set the string height by adjusting the saddles on the bridge. The scale of the String Action Gauge starts right at the edge of the tool, so I set it right on the frets and held it with one hand while turning the Allen wrench with the other hand. The markings on the gauge are bold enough to read easily.

I also set the pickup height for all 3 pickups. I had to do it twice, because the first time I didn't hold the string down at the last fret. The sound was like listening through a cardboard tube. My second try turned out much better.

The setup manual at the Fender website was all in inches, so I didn't have to do any conversions. I'm pretty sure that I will need the metric version of this tool someday. It's probably just a matter of time.

5.0

Should have bought one ages ago

By
(Customer's Reviews)


In general, if you are setting up your own guitar, you should have a string action gauge. I've been going without one for decades, and while "feel" is of course the most important aspect of action, it's really nice to have an objective reference point to know mathematically where your action really falls and whether or not it really has become worse when you instinctively feel like it has. Specifically, this StewMac gauge is exactly what you'd expect it to be, a precise and sturdy metal gauge, in a convenient size, with a lot of info available on all its edges. It can be a little hard on the thicker strings to read where your action lies, but that's going to be the case with any gauge due to the small increments you're working with. I use mine a LOT, especially as here in Japan, in an old-style Japanese house, the climate in my music room changes drastically and I'm adjusting the action almost weekly.

5.0

Cool Tool!

By
(Customer's Reviews)


Makes set up a snap!

Displaying 12 of 24
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StewMac PDF Catalog, page 16 See String Action Gauge
on page 16 of our StewMac Catalog PDF

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