Nut Slotting Gauge

Nut Slotting Gauge

Nut Slotting Gauge For guitar and most instruments

For guitar and most instruments

Item # 2003
In stock, ready to ship!

$74.94

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Nut Slotting Gauge For bass

For bass

Item # 2006
In stock, ready to ship!

$75.70

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Nut Slotting Gauge

About This Item

A revolution in guitar setup! Precisely measures string heights, so you can cut accurate nut slots for consistent playability.

This device 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

Video

Trade Secrets!

Trade Secrets!

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.

Instructions

Product Instructions

Nut Slotting Gauge Instructions

How to determine nut slot depth with the Nut Slotting Gauge.

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4.5
  • 4.64 average rating from 92 reviews
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5.0

Handy tool to have

By

Verified Buyer


You're dealing with thousandths of an inch so a lot of things can affect your accuracy but It was easy to be sure each guitar is closer to correct than just "in the ballpark"..
I have a lot of guitars to maintain so I'm glad to have gotten this.

5.0

So nice

By

Verified Buyer


Extremely precise.

No more fumbling with feeler gauges, check.

No more squinty faces trying to read, check.

Once you get used to the delicate handling, i.e. not touching the string, trying to turn the dial (it's new and stiff) to zero (without tipping or touching strings) it works wonders....

But guess what else it does well?

It measures fret crown over the fretboard.

1) start by zeroing it over the fret, not the string.

2) turn it 90° as seen from a top view and let the plunger touch the board.

3) be aware that your board may not be level and the measurement will be off.

5.0

Great tool very accurate.

By

Verified Buyer


I am an amateur luthier that works on my own guitars. I wear glasses and have a hard time reading measurements. The Nut Slotting Gauge has helped me immensely. The readings of the string height at the first fret in relation to the nut are very accurate, and leave no guesswork. My setups are very accurate and the guitar sounds awesome. I would recommend the Nut Slotting Gauge for any shop. You will not be sorry you purchased it. This tool saves a lot of time. Great tool guys, you've helped me out a lot with this tool. As always Stewart MC Donald is always my first choice when I have a problem with a guitar, either in advice on the phone or when purchasing an item. Thanks Guys. Very satisfied customer. Sincerely Yours, Roy Sorenson

5.0

Elegant tool

By

Verified Buyer


This is a Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful device. Seemed pricey until I tried to imitate it's function by fashioning a block of wood and using a caliper, then is seemed like a deal. After checking the price of dial indicators on the Internet, it seemed like the deal of the century.

To a newb, such as myself, I can measure how much material those wonderful nut files take off with one or two strokes. I've ruined a few nuts underestimating their efficiency.

I'm discovering other uses for it as well.

4.0

Happy Camper

By

Verified Buyer


A bit pricey but way functional. I hooked an ohm meter to it so I get an indication of initial string contact. This really helps on any string ht. measurement up the neck where the indicator movement's weight effects the string bend. Next an LED.

5.0

A must have for nut making!

By

Verified Buyer


Kinda pricey but worth every penny! If you want to be consistent and accurate on your first fret string clearance you must have this. Takes the guess work out of the nut slot depth, and blowing a nut!

5.0

Why did I wait so long?

By


I bought this a couple years ago and promptly put it away and forgot about it. In a busy commercial shop it's easy to do that. Just recently the question came to our shop about standards of string height at the nut, i.e. when making a new bone nut for example what do we tell our customers our standard height is? I've just eye-balled it all these years and done just fine but telling a customer you're doing that just doesn't fly. So I got the gauge out, dusted it off and quickly oriented myself to its usage. I now literally use it everyday. When a guitar comes in for a setup for example we make pre and post set up measurements of action so customer has Thee facts (the StewMac neck relief gauge is also essential for having true numbers). All this is so much easier and more accurate than a feeler gauge.

For those having purported inaccuracy issues you must set the device in place and make sure you don't bump the gauge when lowering the string to check - the tiniest bump will give you an apparent discrepancy. After this user acclimation the device is perfect - the needle does not deviate.

My take on operation is I never bother to zero the gauge - there's just no need. Since I'm reading backwards from zero anyway I just make note of the needle position, push down the string and it's easy to see how far it traveled via the markings. Honestly I would do better without any numbers and just the markings with the larger hash marks for the 5's but no biggie. So pleased I've discovered this after two years - Must have for me.

5.0

Life changing

By

Verified Buyer


Ok, a little melodramatic on my part. Honestly though, this gauge easily paid for itself the first week I had it. It saves not only time, but stress as well. I feel much more confident in my depth filing with this tool in the shop.

2.0

A great tool idea, but falls short on quality.

By

Verified Buyer


I bought the bass model, with the expectation that this tool would make it easier for me to set up accurate, low action at the first fret, as well as keep tabs on action at the 12th fret.

The first problem I've encountered isn't StewMac's fault: the slots in the brass bass don't work well with my P-Bass's vintage-spec 1-3/4" nut width. I suspect the tool base was dimensioned and slotted to work with the more common 1-1/2" and 1-5/8" nut widths.

The main problem I have with this product is the quality of the supplied dial indicator. In short, it appears to be a very cheap off-shore, no-name unit, and it offers no accurate repeatability. Meaning, when I zero the dial, then run the gauge through it's travel, then back to it's original resting point, the needle consistently registers a good .002"—.004" off from zero. A better quality gauge wouldn't do this. I attribute this to the gauge's inexpensive construction, as well as the lack of any return spring. If this gauge utilized a light return spring, I think it'd work better, and the spring wouldn't create enough downward "push" to move an average bass string. Still, construction quality of this gauge's internals would be a problem.

I think if the overall gauge quality were more on-par with other StewMac tools, this would be a very useful tool, and I really like the idea of employing a standard "thou" dial indicator for precisely measuring string action. However, for me to make this tool work, I'd need to mod the brass bass to accommodate my basses nut width and string spacing, and I'd have to purchase a good quality indicator — which will run $80-$90.

Response from StewMac


Hi William,
Thank you for sharing your honest feedback with us. We're sorry our Nut Slotting Gauge for Bass didn't work for you as you expected. If you would like to speak with our Customer Support Team about a refund or replacement for this product, feel free to give us a call at 1-800-848-2273. We look forward to helping you with this.

In the meantime, I've placed your suggestion with our product development team -- customer comments like yours have been the catalyst to many changes to our products.

5.0

This Nut Slotting Gauge takes all the "guess work" out of a very important part of the "set-up."

By

Verified Buyer


No more am I putzing around trying to figure out if the nut depth is 1/2 mm. This nut gauge measures in 1/100th's of an inch. Accurate every time, just don't cut too deep!! :)

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StewMac PDF Catalog, page 6 See Nut Slotting Gauge
on page 6 of our StewMac Digital Catalog