Graph Tech Workshop: Finding the Right Nut for Your Guitar, Bass Guitar or Ukulele

Gray Bramwell, Tech Support Specialist at Graph Tech Guitar Labs, shows us how to quickly find the right nut for an instrument.

Gray Bramwell, Tech Support Specialist at Graph Tech Guitar Labs, shows us how to quickly find the right nut for an instrument.

The Graph Tech Catalog is extensive, so it can be a little bit daunting trying to find the right part for a particular instrument, but once you understand how to find the size you’re looking for, and your material choices, it’s easy.

Our catalog includes nuts for 6, 7 and 12 string acoustic and electric guitars, 4 and 5 string bass guitars, and 4 string ukuleles. The nuts are divided into two separate groupings:

● Group 1: Pre-slotted

● Group 2: Blanks


STEP 1: Finding the right length.

The most important step in the process is the length of the part.

Start with the sizing guide in the back of our catalog. You’ll see each piece is listed with the length first, then thickness, height and, finally, string spacing, which we call “E to E”.

You first need to measure the length of the nut you want to replace. The one Gray has in this video is 43mm, or 1.69 inches. If it’s an acoustic or electric 6 string piece, go to that section. Scroll down the pages until you get to the 43mm length of nuts -- there are a lot of them.

A little over 43mm is alright, as we add a little extra meat on the end of our slotted nuts, so the nut can be sanded flush to an existing nut slot.

Now that we’ve narrowed it down to about 10 different possible nuts, we need to find the 43mm option with the right thickness.

STEP 2: Finding the right thickness.

In this example, we are looking for a 6mm thick nut. Again, a little thicker is okay, as it’s easy to sand down to the exact thickness you need.

We’ve narrowed it down to three choices. It’s time to move on to the height column.

STEP 3: Finding the right height.

We add a little in height so the bottom can be sanded down for final fit. We’re looking for an overall height of 8.5mm.

We’ve narrowed it down to these three nuts:

  • 6143
  • 6349
  • 6943

STEP 4: String spacing.

Finally, we need to look for the “E to E” string spacing. This particular nut we are using requires a 35mm string spacing; 0.5mm over or under would also be acceptable.

Any of the previous three nuts from step three would work.

You can also use the Graph Tech Quick Sizing Guide to help you find the perfect fit.

STEP 5: Choose the material type.

We have five formulations to select from that range in tone, performance characteristics and pricing.

If you’re unsure about what material to choose, we recommend you start here:

Use TUSQ for high-end acoustic guitars. TUSQ provides up to 200 per cent more harmonic content and richness over bone.

Black TUSQ XL is generally for electric instruments as it’s impregnated with PTFE to reduce string binding and to improve tuning stability.

TUSQ XL, also for electric instruments, has the same features as Black TUSQ XL, but in traditional ivory.

NuBone is a derivative of TUSQ for budget conscious repairs, whereas NuBone XB, our newest material, is for instruments that require more bass response and harmonics, such as ukuleles and small-bodied guitars.

STEP 6: Match the product sizing code with the material prefix and you’ll get the exact part you’re looking for.

The final extension indicates whether it’s for right- or left-hand orientation:

To summarize: First, you want to sort by length, then thickness, then height, then string spacing.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for, we’re sure we have a blank to suit your needs. You can always call ( 1-800-388-7011) or email us!


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