One of the guitar’s most important and consistently overlooked parts is the guitar nut. The best guitar nut is a simple, unassuming piece of hardware, but it’s integral to the overall performance and durability of the guitar. Replacing them is quite difficult, and it can be a hassle if the one you’re using breaks down or stops working properly. This is why it’s important to have the best guitar nut on your guitar that you possibly can.
Guitar nuts have a very important role in the design of the guitar. The nut can be found at the base of the guitar’s headstock, separating the headstock and the fretboard. It contains small grooves in its body. These grooves house the strings of the guitar.
Guitar nuts anchor the strings from the top to don’t slip out while playing. Bad guitar nuts render the guitar unplayable, with strings frequently slipping out and barely holding tune. Nuts that are worn out are even worse.
The nut has a big impact on the overall sound quality of the guitar, with some specific qualities such as tone being entirely dependent on the nut. The difference between a good and bad nut can make or break the guitar-playing experience.
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So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the best guitar nuts you can buy in 2022.
Guitar Nuts Reviewed In This Guide
First up, we have the SAPHUE Acoustic Guitar Brass Nut. This piece of hardware is one of the best guitar nuts you can buy today.
It’s made of premium-feeling materials such as brass and has a gold-plated finish. The brass is premium and authentic, something scarcely found in competing products, especially at this price.
The brass produces a clear and distinct tone and allows the strings to vibrate freely. Thanks to the deep grooves, the strings can vibrate clearly and produce a whole range of sounds that you simply won’t be able to hear in-stock guitar nuts.
The brass also produces a more resonant and metallic tone than typical nuts. If you’re not used to this kind of sound, don’t worry. After using it just a few times, you’ll come to prefer this nut’s unique tone over all others.
The body is well constructed and very durable. The plating prevents the nut from natural decay such as rust, and the grooves don’t wear away easily. You’ll be able to use this nut for a very long time with the proper maintenance.
The gold finish is eye-catching and adds just the right amount of flair to any guitar that has it installed. This nut can stand out in a crowd without calling too much attention to itself. The finish also looks very premium, far more expensive than it is.
This guitar nut has been made by Graphtech, a well-known company that has produced some of the best guitar nuts ever put out on the market. Graphtech specializes in small guitar accessories, so they know how to produce a quality nut.
This nut is based on TUSQ man-made ivory and produces a clear, rich-sounding tone. It also contains PTFE, a substance known for its slipperiness, so strings can oscillate freely and produce a whole range of vibrations.
The harmonics produced by this nut are excellent. The TUSQ used in its body allows for a great-sounding overall package. It also holds tune very well, better than most nuts, so you won’t have to tune too often if you install this on your guitar.
The TUSQ XL has a wide range of compatibility. It doesn’t just fit well in most guitars; it usually fits better than the cheap stock nuts those guitars come with and offers an instant boost in performance.
The TUSQ XL has an all-black, carbon fiber style finish. This finish is both elegant and understated, subtly improving the appearance of any guitar while calling as little attention to itself as possible.
Blisstime is a company known for consistently producing the best guitar nuts and bridge saddles year after year, and this entry is no different.
The Blisstime Bone Nut comes in a set along with a bone saddle. There are multiple pieces of each item. This means that for one price, you’ll have a convenient package that contains everything you need to restore a guitar, and you’ll have multiple pieces either as a backup or to replace your new nuts and saddles with once they wear out.
The Bone Nut is made of real oxen bone. This material is robust and contains little pores, especially compared to the cheap plastic most nuts are constructed from. The difference between these two materials is night and day.
Cheap plastic gives a characteristic dull, cheap-sounding tone that is muddy and indistinct. Compare that with the denser and higher quality oxen bone, which produces a clear, rich and warm-sounding tone that makes any guitar feel and sound more expensive than it is.
The material is very durable and is resistant to wear and tear. The grooves are deep enough to maintain good sound and playability while preventing the strings from slipping out and going out of tune.
The nut is white as snow and looks good on any guitar. It also has a wide range of compatibility, so your guitar can most likely use this nut. However, it is a bit difficult to install.
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Next on our list, we have another excellent bone guitar nut, this time made by Musiclily. This product comes in a set of two and is specifically designed for 6-string guitars, Les Paul, and acoustic guitars.
In classic Musiclily fashion, the nut is very user-friendly and easy to install and use. The design isn’t overly complicated but contains everything you would expect from one of the best guitar nuts of the year: sturdy design, grooves that are just deep enough, and a body that holds tune very well.
The best feature about this nut is that it’s made of buffalo bone. As previously discussed, bone is a far superior material to plastic for guitar nuts. Bone maintains a cleaner, clearer tone and is usually more distinct and richer than plastic. Just the presence of the bone alone is sure to improve the sound quality of any guitar significantly.
This nut is very durable and fit for use over a long period. It also has a wide range of compatibility, and some users have even reported that they’ve been able to use it with their 12-string guitars (although that’s not their intended use).
This nut is the one to go for if your main concerns are an easy installation, a clear sound, and a durable body. Since it comes in a set, the value for money prospect is even greater. The only downside is that it doesn’t look as good as the Blisstime Bone Nut since the color of the bone is a bit duller.
Guitar Nuts Buyer’s Guide
If you’re planning on buying a guitar nut for yourself, it’s best to be well-informed before making a purchase. Guitar nuts are notoriously some of the most technical and difficult-to-understand guitar parts out there.
To help you with your purchase, we’ve prepared a buyer’s guide.
How does material affect the sound of the guitar?
Different materials affect the sound of the guitar differently. Some of the main materials used in nuts include plastic, bone, metal, and ivory.
Plastic is the cheapest and most common material used in guitar nuts. Plastic nuts are cheaper because they’re easier to mass-produce, but some drawbacks. The tone is usually muddled and indistinct, and the sound lacks character. Plastic nuts aren’t recommended for anyone who wants to boost sound quality.
Metal nuts give a clear, resonant tone which is unique and unlike any other material. Guitarists who prefer a more metallic-sounding tone usually opt for these nuts.
Ivory is another popular material that offers a rich, elegant tone that is clear and unique. However, you should only opt for nuts that use artificial ivory as natural ivory from the tusks of elephants is obtained through illegal and immoral poaching of elephants.
Bone is the material most guitarists prefer for its high density and overall full-body tone. These nuts are the ones most people should go for.
Why guitar nuts are so important?
Nuts are important because they hold the strings of the guitar in place. Without them, it won’t be possible to play the guitar at all, as they anchor the strings from the top of the fretboard.
They also play an important role in holding tune and changing up the guitar’s tone. The best guitar nuts offer a significant boost in sound quality in whichever guitar they’re used.
How to tell if your guitar nut needs to be replaced?
It can be difficult to tell when your guitar nut needs to be replaced.
Guitar nuts are prone to wearing down over time with use, especially if they’re the stock nuts provided by the manufacturer. Typically nuts that are worn out won’t hold tune very well, and the strings will gradually become looser and looser.
If you notice that your guitar can’t hold tune or the strings are getting loose, you should replace your nut. You can also replace your nut if the sound quality deteriorates or if the tone becomes more and more muddled.
FAQs about Guitar Nuts
Should I replace my stock guitar nut even if it’s new?
Replacing your stock guitar nut is usually a good idea because manufacturers often cut costs for nuts. If you get your nut replaced, you’ll likely hear an improvement in sound quality instantly.
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Should I install my new guitar nut myself?
Only advanced users and expert guitarists should replace guitar nuts themselves. For all others, consider going to a technician because the replacement process can be complicated.
How long will my new guitar nut last?
The best guitar nuts typically last years, depending on the material. The least durable nuts are the plastic ones, whereas the most durable ones are typically made of metal.
How much should I be willing to spend on a guitar nut?
Guitar nuts aren’t very expensive, so you should be looking at purchasing from anywhere between $5-15. However, some nuts come in sets of two or three, which boosts the price. These sets offer the best value for money, though.
Should I buy a more expensive nut or try and save money?
You should opt for nuts that are on the expensive side. Nuts, in general, aren’t very expensive and last for ages, so it’s advisable to invest in one that will remain usable for a long time.
Premium nuts also offer a better sound quality than their cheaper counterparts. If you’re looking to get the nut on your guitar replaced, it’s better to go for a nut that is premium and well-built.
Best Guitar Nuts Conclusion
In this list, we’ve provided you with some of the best guitar nuts you can buy in 2022. These nuts fit a wide range of preferences and guitars, so no matter what you’re looking for, chances are you’ll find something that suits you here.
Our pick for the best guitar nut is the Graphtech TUSQ XL. This nut is made of artificial ivory and several other materials, all of which boost sound quality and durability. The TUSQ XL is one of the most durable nuts you can currently purchase.
It also fits a wide range of guitars, so no matter which model you have, it’ll likely fit, provided it’s a 6-string guitar.
That being said, each one of the nuts on this list is top class and are worth considering. So what are you waiting for? Get yourself a guitar nut today!