Nut files, yeah again

Wound_Up

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AU $1.34 44% Off | Professional Guitar Nut Slotting File Kit Saw Rods Slot Filing Set Luthier Electric Classical guitar Tools For Music Accessory
https://a.aliexpress.com/_mL1gCiI

Those are not nut slotting files despite the false claim that they are. Those are welding tip cleaners. To clean the tip of your mig/tig welder. They aren't nut files and never will be.
 

DrNickD

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Another vote for eBay here. I got a set of Hoscos for about $50, you just have to keep an eye on the auctions for a little while.
 

cpk313

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Do not buy torch tip cleaners. Do not cheap on on nut files. Just buy a real set now and be done with it. Avoid all the heartache and frustration.

I bought a set of Hosco nut files from Philadelphia Luthier supply for $59? I don't recall exactly now, but they are great and are top quality.

I'll strongly second this sentiment. My experience with torch tip cleaners is they are completely useless when it comes to nuts, waste of $13. I ended up buying a set of Hosco's from phil. luth. supply but I went with the single gauge per file set. I tried the double-side files and the set I had, the gauge specified and the actual gauge measured with a micrometer were far enough apart I ended up returning them.

A good set of files is really necessary if you need to cut a nut from time to time or adjust a new/used guitar's nut. I don't do it often but enough that starting with the proper tool was the only way to go.
 

Boreas

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People will spend hundreds to make their guitars SOUND different (pedals, amps, etc.), but are awful stingy when it comes to making them play better. I have gone through dozens of guitars, amps, and pedals, but only one nut file set. A good investment if you are the least bit handy with tools. If you are a klutz, let someone else do it.
 

mrface2112

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I bit the bullet and purchased the StewMac files. I'm glad I did. To that, I've never been disappointed in having spent the extra money for StewMac tools. They're always more expensive, but they're always superior, and in cases where I have overlap between StewMac and the alternative, I always reach for the StewMac.
 

cpage86

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I'll strongly second this sentiment. My experience with torch tip cleaners is they are completely useless when it comes to nuts, waste of $13. I ended up buying a set of Hosco's from phil. luth. supply but I went with the single gauge per file set. I tried the double-side files and the set I had, the gauge specified and the actual gauge measured with a micrometer were far enough apart I ended up returning them.

A good set of files is really necessary if you need to cut a nut from time to time or adjust a new/used guitar's nut. I don't do it often but enough that starting with the proper tool was the only way to go.

The Hosco double side/V-notch ones tend to work best when the nut height is down to its final height BEFORE using them. If you have too much material left on the height and plan to remove the excess later it can be a pain to get the slot filed out cleanly and you can end up with a sloppy grove. This is just what I have noticed/researched using those particular files.
 

Telekarster

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Many pros use Uo-Chikyu. They are made in Japan...super high quality, and the price is right (about $60 for a set of six files). They sell individual files as well as gauged sets for guitar and bass.

Here's an example: https://www.plazajapan.com/upc-1/

Yep! These are the files I have and love em! At first I sort of squak'd at how expensive nut files are, but I don't anymore ;)
 

FeoLender

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I have had the same 40.00 set of files for 20 years...that being said if you do not use them everyday like I do you can use 220-320 grit sandpaper-folded in half. Double fold for E and A string.It's not rocket science....
 

Telekarster

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My Dad, built boats as a hobby when I was a Kid.. he used to drill me with the fact that "there never seems to be enough time to do a job correctly, but there always seems to be enough time to do it over... right the second time..."

Your Dad and my Dad would've gotten along famously! Here's a quote from my Dad "You can NEVER have too many clamps!"

I've got dozens of clamps, all shapes and size, today ;) What's more is that I use all of them, all the time, for one project or another
 

76standard

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I have read the previous posts about nut slot files, which seem to come up regularly. I am in the same boat as some other people, not really wanting to spend $100 on a tool I will use very, very rarely. I just want to adjust a slot or two on a nut.

Sweetwater sells a set from MusicNomad that's a bit less than the Stewmac ones. Anyone have these?
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08ZR98HK5/?tag=tdpri-20

There are also these tapered ones from Hosco that some people like and other people hate. A bit cheaper still.
https://www.solomusicgear.com/product/hosco-tlnf3e-double-edge-nut-file-set-for-electric-guitar/
I have the Hosco files and have used them on several guitars. They can also be used to slot bridge saddles. Good quality and affordable when you consider what you would pay a luthier to do one nut job. I bought the 10-46 set. The opposite cutting edge of the 10 (0.010”, high E) file is 26 (0.026”, D string). One file does two nut or bridge slots. The same applies for the other two files. Three files will do all you nut and bridge slots. You can decide.
 

aiaosu

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Phillip McKnight wraps some sandpaper around different guages of guitar strings to make adjustments to the nut. If you do it an angle, you can make adjustments and check as you go.
 

Tjeppen

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I use wound strings as slot files. And for the small slots those cleaners for the holes of gas welders. Takes a while but get the job done.
 

Marblatx

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I bought one of those cheap sets from Guitar Fetish for about $20 and they're good enough for occasional use.
 

imtxn

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I was in the same (similar) boat as I wanted to adjust a slot or two and did not want to wait for the online order to arrive. I took a set of feeler gauges I had and made fine cuts/notches across all of them with the edge of a metal file I had to make them all look like tiny saws. Now I have a two-in-one tool - a set of feeler gauges and a set of nut files in all sizes I may need. This was 2-3 guitars ago and it works well for my needs and it only cost me a few bucks.
I like your idea
}!€
 

telemnemonics

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Stew Mac is a legit luthier supply retailer.
But their prices are way way too high for me.

Amazon is a retailer that doesn't give two sheets about customers and offers free returns as "customer service".
I don't buy anything from them and certainly not specialty luthiers tools, they don't even have very good prices.

Philadelphia Luthiers Supply is a good fair priced retailer that actually knows and vets what they sell.

I have both the Hosco tapered and the Uo-Chikyu parallel side nut files.
Both work just fine, and the Hosco is easier to use because they stay rigid.
The plain string files in the Uo-Chikyu set are literally .010 thick and quite flexible.
They work great too but take a little more hand control.
As for the tapered slots cut by the easier to handle and cheaper to buy Hosco files, nut slots are supposed to be as little as half the string gauge deep on wound strings and say .010 deep for a .010 string.
The taper really isn't a problem aside from in thinking about it.

The fact that we don't spend much time using the files forgets that we spend ALL our playing time on a good or bad setup which depends on either owning good nut files or paying a pro who owns good nut files.
Every other gear investment is wasted if the nut cut sucks.
 

Marc Morfei

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Just reporting back as the OP. I ordered the Hosco file set. Enough people here seemed to vouch for them that I felt they would be good enough for occasional rare use. Saved about $40 from the Stewmac set. Hopefully I won't regret it. To clarify, my goal was not to cheap out or find some rigged-up workaround to avoid buying real tools. It was simply to see if there was a decent option out there somewhat less expensive than the Cadillac variety. If the answer was "no" then I would have sucked it up and bought the Stewmac ones.

Yes, I could just bring it to a tech. But as soon as I do that twice I could pay for the tools. (Which I have already done in the past.) Nut adjustment is really the only thing I have not tackled myself so far. So it's time I learn. It's seems like every time I pick up a guitar somewhere one or more of the slots are too high. They always seem to need adjustment.
 

telemnemonics

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The Hosco double side/V-notch ones tend to work best when the nut height is down to its final height BEFORE using them. If you have too much material left on the height and plan to remove the excess later it can be a pain to get the slot filed out cleanly and you can end up with a sloppy grove. This is just what I have noticed/researched using those particular files.

Well if discussing really bad planning where one leaves a huge amount of material above the final slot height, and cuts with say a delicate flexible .010 thick Uo-Chikyu file, the process is even more of a pain. Bad procedure with either tool!

If one wishes to buy proper tools, one should start by using proper methods.
Good tools plus bad methods equals what?

Buy borrow or steal a pencil.
Sand one side flat so the point writes juts about even with the flat.
Slide it across the frets to mark the top of the nut.
Pop the nut blank in a vice and file it down to the line, takes 60 seconds.
Then slot and final trim/ shape/ finish the top.
 

telemnemonics

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Just for an idea of how thin delicate and flexible the Uo-Chikyu files are compared to the sturdy Hosco here’s both in the .009 and the .010.
I can easily bend the flexy file more but don’t want to kink or break it.
Not a problem but may not be every users preference compared to the easy yo hold big grip on the Hosco

4FA9D33D-6120-4609-8C35-EC87D040505C.jpeg
 

padreraven

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I went to a luthier to ask about them and he had an old set he was about to replace. He sold them to me for $25.
 




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