Proper nut slot height


Which is the correct way to determine whether or not your electric guitar nut height is correct? Which specs/technique do you follow?


More than one way to do this but this approach is pretty common:

1. Gently press the string down between the 2nd and 3rd fret (closer to the 2nd fret) until it just makes contact with the top of the 2nd fret.
2. Check for clearance over the 1st fret. It should only be a few thousandths of an inch (maybe a little more for the low strings). If it's higher than that, the slot is not deep enough. If it's touching the 1st fret then the slot is too deep and you need a new nut (and it's causing open strings to buzz.)

You want the depth of the nut slots to be just as if there was another fret down there (like a ZERO fret) with a capo behind it. And then with perhaps a tiny bit of extra height. If you had a REAL zero fret down there then a proper level/crown job would put it in the same plane as the 1st and 2nd frets. That's why this test works.


If you can just slip a piece of copy paper under that 1st fret its pretty good. Wont fit-too low. No grab-too high. Feeler gauge would be more accurate but paper is right there.


(real name is Maury, BTW)
Platinum Supporting Member
1. For a fast check, I put a capo on the 3rd fret and make sure the string clears the first fret.

2. For a full nut setup, I take the fret height and add .01, then let that be my starting slot depth on the treble side. As I move toward the bass, I add around .02.

Ian Anderson

Specs for my stock nut height are .012 on the b - e .016 on the d - g and .020 on the e - a String fretted at the 2nd fret. Once you are sed to what it looks like you can do it by eye and feel.

Trending Topics

Top Bottom