Digital Nut Slotting Gauge Instructions

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


The Digital Nut Slotting Gauge precisely measures the heights of the strings over the first fret, so you can cut accurate string slots in the nut.

Replacing a dial indicator?
Previous versions of this tool had an analog dial indicator (instructions for previous versions available here). You can easily upgrade to the digital indicator: loosen the set screw on the brass block, remove the dial indicator and replace it with the digital indicator, and tighten the set screw. No modifications are necessary.

Nut Slotting Gauge
Digital Nut Slotting Gauge

How to use the Digital Nut Slotting Gauge:

Your most accurate measurement is at the first fret. Although this tool can be placed at other points along the neck, we recommend using it at the first fret for maximum accuracy. The proximity to the nut keeps the string rigid at the first fret and gives the most accurate reading. As you move up the neck (the 12th fret, for example), the string is much less rigid. Even the weight of the digital indicator's plunger is enough to push the string down, giving a false reading. For taking measurements higher up the neck, we recommend the String Action Gauge.

Digital Nut Slotting Gauge
Digital Nut Slotting Gauge

Step 1:Turn on the digital indicator. Set the Digital Nut Slotting Gauge over the first fret, with the indicator tip resting on the middle of a string. Press the Zero button to zero out the readout.

Press the string down to the first fret. Press on both sides of the fret, to be sure you get an accurate reading. The digital indicator now indicates the height of the string over the first fret.

Step 2: Pull the string out of the nut slot (our String Lifter is a great time-saver). File the slot deeper, replace the string and take another reading. Repeat until you reach the height you need. Note: If the strings are too high at the first fret, they can be difficult to play, and if they're too low they can buzz. The strings on electric guitars can generally be closer to the first fret than on acoustics. This is also true for players with a lighter touch vs. players with an aggressive style. The bass strings should gradually sit higher in the nut than the treble strings.

Related items