What is the typical nut width of an acoustic guitar?
We'll answer that question, and provide a thorough breakdown of the nut width in an acoustic guitar context. Before we give actual numbers, let's establish what the nut of an acoustic guitar actually is, for those who might not know.
Read more: Best Acoustic Guitars Overall
What is an acoustic guitar nut?
In an acoustic guitar, the nut is a small piece - usually made of wood or a synthetic material called NuBone - placed between the fretboard and the headstock.
This piece uses small notches to hold the strings in place at the beginning of the fretboard.
Here's what it looks like close up:
On acoustic guitars, this is the piece we're trying to get a measurement for. But what is a typical nut width? We can look at acoustic guitar specs sheets to get our answer.
Typical Acoustic Guitar Nut Width
Most guitar manufacturers list nut width for their guitars in the specs sheet. But which guitars do we use as a reference point? I'd recommend starting with the best selling models, which you can sort on Sweetwater.
Here are a few we can check:
Let's start with the Martin D-28.
It's a fairly common guitar with the well-known dreadnought body shape, which should have pretty standard neck dimensions.
We get a 1.75" nut width which seems a little high, so let's keep looking to see if we can balanced it out with some additional examples.
Here's the nut width for the Yamaha FG800:
This drops us down to a 1.692" nut width, which is a fairly common size, especially for Taylor acoustics.
Let's look at a few more examples so we can get an average:
- Taylor GS Mini: 1.6875"
- Ibanez AW54CE: 1.692"
- Gibson Acoustic Southern Jumbo: 1.75"
- Taylor K24CE: 1.75"
- Breedlove Pursuit: 1.692"
Let's average all these together, including the first two examples, to get a number we can work with: 1.716"
We can round this number down to 1.7" or we can just say that the range of acoustic guitar nut width is the following: 1.6875" - 1.75"
The two most common sizes are 1.692" and 1.75".
- Two most common nut widths: 1.75" and 1.692"
- Average: 1.7"
- Typical Taylor nut width: 1.692"
- Acoustic guitar nut width in millimeters: 43.2mm
- What is considered a large nut width: 1.75" or higher
- What is considered a small nut width: 1.68" or lower
What is the best nut width for acoustic guitars?
There isn't really a default "best" nut width. Rather, it depends on what you're looking for in an acoustic guitar.
As the nut width decreases, the neck gets easier to hold, but strings get closer together.
As nut width increases, strings get further apart but the neck also gets larger.
It depends on what balance you want between neck movement and string spacing.
- I want more space between strings: 1.7" or higher nut width
- I want a neck that's easier to grip: 1.68" or lower nut width
Does the nut width of a guitar even matter?
These concerns are the reason that guitar players should pay attention to nut width when they're buying a new guitar or figuring out what kind of neck they like to play. Nut width is the best measurement we have when it comes to figuring out how the guitar is going to play and what the neck will feel like.
In this regard, the nut width absolutely matters, and should be properly understood and analyzed before purchasing a guitar.
Do acoustic guitars typically have a wider nut width than electric guitars?
Do acoustic guitars have a wider nut than electric guitars?
In most cases, the answer is yes.
Electric guitars have a nut width that hovers around 1.65" to 1.68" making them a bit smaller, though there are some wide neck electric guitars that go up to 1.69".
Conclusion and Questions
That covers everything there is to know about acoustic guitar nut width. 1.7" is the magic number in most cases, with some variation depending on which brand and which type of guitar you're looking at.
The best way to truly analyze this is to try guitars in your hand and make note of the nut width.
Maybe a wider neck is preferable for you since it spaces the strings out more.
On the other hand, if you want to play more of a speed style with a lot of horizontal movement, look for the smaller nut width, perhaps 1.68" or lower.
If you have questions about acoustic guitar nut width, feel free to drop me a line in the comments section below and I'll help out as much as possible.