Ok guys, I posted a thread regarding my Low B going out of tune, especially when I would bend my string excessively. What I have come up with after checking the tuner and applying Big Bends Nut Sauce, is that it is probably the nut of the guitar. I do know how to properly string my instrument so that is not an issue. So, without further babbling I am asking you all is widening the nut something I should be doing or is this a job only fit for a luthier?If I am fit to do so could someone tell me how to do it? I see videos on shaving it down and such but nothing on this subject worth watching. Thank you all for your help and constant support!

PS: This is a PRS 7 string with fixed/plate bridge

  • 1
    Hey @Jordan. You should change the title of your post, so that it refers to your actual question about widening (the grooves?) on your nut. Jan 22, 2015 at 21:04
  • Hey @Bob Broadley, I don't think I can do that myself. If you have the ability to edit my post I will approve. My rep isn't high enough yet.
    – Jordan
    Jan 22, 2015 at 22:05
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    Sure. How about "Can I widen the grooves in my guitar's nut myself?"? Jan 22, 2015 at 22:07
  • That would be perfect my friend
    – Jordan
    Jan 22, 2015 at 22:08
  • "Low B"? I think the "B" that you refer to is above mid-C.
    – blusician
    Jul 27, 2016 at 8:53

3 Answers 3


Based on what you have written in your question I would suggest you just take it to a luthier. There are so many things you can get wrong here that it probably is not worth it.

Widening the groove too far will lead to buzzing and tone problems and is not reversible - messing this up requires replacing the nut.

There are good examples of videos on YouTube showing how to do this. Worth watching a few.

  • Thank you. Yeah I have been learning how to set this guitar up the way I want it and either I tighten the neck too much and there is a little string buzzing, or I loosen it and lower it at the bridge and I still don't get it quite right. So regarding the nut issue, I think you are right in that a luthier will solve the problem and show me how to set my guitar up properly. Thank you
    – Jordan
    Jan 23, 2015 at 9:22

I'm guessing with all the bending you appear to do on that low B, that it's already quite a thin gauge string. The nut slot will have been produced for a 'standard' B string, about .054 .058 ish. Have you tried a slightly thinner B string? It might solve the problem of binding in the nut. I'm not sure what the gauge is that Paul would put as standard, but as suggested in my answer to the other question, a chat with him would be a good move initially. As there is no zero fret as a safety net if you over-widen the slot, and without the appropriate nut files, go with Dr. Mayhem's idea. Once the slot's widened, there's no simple return to original.

  • Yeah I use the same strings that came on the guitar: D'Addario 10-59. I think this was a mistake made at the factory. I am going to go ahead and go with Mayhem's suggestion. Thank you for responding.
    – Jordan
    Jan 23, 2015 at 9:23

An answer to "How to widen the groove on the nut" :

1) Read the other answers here warning you about what happens if you get it wrong (Tim & Dr Mayhem). If you still want to proceed ..

2) Remove strings - maybe you can just remove the relevant one but it's probably best to give yourself a bit of room so better to remove them all.

3) put a bit of paper or cardboard up against the nut and on top of the frets, to protect it.

4) ideally add something to protect the neck beyond the nut

5) If possible, put something up against the nut, layed flat against the frets, which butts up agains tht enut at the level that the groov goes down to. This will stop you making the hole any lower, whcih you probably want to avoid.

6) Get either a small (model/jewellery making) file of the right size (ie, just a bit bigger than the existing hole) and GENTLY file the groove wider. Don't file it lower !! you'll make the string buzz as it'll sit too near the frets.

6a) Alternatively, you can use a bit of folded sandpaper - use very smooth, maybe 1200 grit ("wet & dry") so that you don't take off too much at a time.

Pull the file/sandpaper sideways across the nut - don't push down against the neck.

7) Repeatedly try the string in the hole. Try the string at full tension. Do this a bit before you've got the hole large enough because this will give you a clue how much you need to take off. If you're lucky, the string will leave a mark on the groove where it's meeting & tell you where to take the nut back.

8) (I hope you don't get to this stage) cry when you realise you've taken the groove down as well as widened it, and now the string buzzes unless you stick a bit of paper under the string, forever.

9) Take it to the luthier to have a new nut put in.

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