How To Replace A Guitar Nut

Table of Contents

Replacing a guitar nut might seem like a daunting task, but it’s actually a pretty simple process that can be done with just a few basic tools.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps of how to replace a guitar nut, so you can get your instrument back in playing condition in no time!

Why Should You Replace Your Guitar Nut?

There are a few reasons why you might want to replace your guitar nut. One of the most common reasons is that the nut has become worn or damaged over time and needs to be replaced. A worn or damaged nut can affect the playability of your instrument, so it’s important to replace it if you notice any problems.

Another common reason to replace a guitar nut is if you’re wanting to change the string spacing on your instrument. If you have a guitar with a narrow string spacing, replacing the nut with one that has a wider string spacing can make playing chords and finger picking easier.

Some other reasons to replace your guitar nut include:

  • You’re changing the tuners on your guitar and the new ones don’t fit the old nut.
  • You’re changing the fretboard on your guitar and the new one doesn’t fit the old nut.
  • The old nut is made of a material that you don’t like (e.g. plastic instead of bone).

What Do You Need To Replace A Guitar Nut?

Here are some essential tools that you’ll need when replacing a guitar nut:

  • Knife for crafts with a new blade
  • Mallet
  • A little wooden block
  • Paper with abrasion
  • Tape for masking

Many manufacturers finish nuts before fitting them; thus, the sides of the nut will be lacquered or painted. To avoid removing pieces of the finish, including the nut, slice the finish all around the edges of the nut with extreme caution.

Since nuts are usually cemented in place, approach with caution, set a wooden piece on one of the long sides of the nut following removing the strings and softly pound the block with a heavy hammer.

How To Replace A Guitar Nut?

You must follow a few steps in order to easily replace your guitar nut, which includes the following:

1.   Remove The Guitar Nut

To gain access to the guitar nut, remove all of the guitar strings. With the adjusting keys, release the tension on every string and unwind it from its adjusting post. Pull every string out by using needle-nose pliers to remove each bridge screw that secures the strings to a bridge at the lower part of the guitar. Disconnect the strings and discard them.

2.   Use A Sharp Knife

To cut all around the guitar nut, use a craft knife with a new, sharp blade. To avoid lacquer from clinging to the nut as you pull it loose, draw the finish around all the edges with the point of the craft knife. Draw 2-3 times around the nut’s edge in which it joins the wood of the headstock.

3.   Get A Small Wooden Block.

Use a wooden block that will fit around the guitar nut and is thick enough where you can pound the rear edge. Put it on top of the fingerboard, on the nut’s long edge where it joins the fingerboard’s wood.

4.   Tap The Block With A Hammer

To loosen the nut, softly tap the rear edge of the block with a hammer. With 1-2 fingers of your non-dominant hand, press the wooden block against the long edge of the nut. With your dominant hand, use a hammer to gently tap the rear edge of the wooden block to push the nut loose from the fingerboard’s wood.

5.   Replace The Guitar Nut

Examine how the new guitar nut fits in the same spot as the old one. A new pre-slotted hang nut should be used instead of the original nut, which lay against the fingerboard wood. Examine how it lays and determine how much shorter it needs to be.

6.   Glue The Nut In Place

When you’re satisfied with the fit, glue the new nut in place. Squeeze two little dabs of wood glue onto the nut’s surface. Carefully insert it into the slot and push it down firmly. Next, let it dry for 24 hours, and you’re good to go.

Final Thoughts

Replacing a guitar nut can be a daunting task, but with the right tools and instructions, it can be an easy job. Now that you know how to replace a guitar nut, you can keep your guitar playing and sounding its best! Remember to always use caution when working with knives and other sharp objects.

Jim Henneberry

Jim Henneberry

I love playing my guitar, and my kids got hooked along with me.
This is a family thing now - why don't you join the family fun? :)