Comparison of Ukulele Nut Widths

By | June 22, 2015

ukulele nut closeup

The nut is part of the ukulele where the strings start at the top, between the tuners and the fret board. The width of the nut varies slightly by make and model and affects the feel of the instrument. A wider nut gives a bit more space between the strings, while a narrower nut makes the strings a bit closer together.

Nut width is very much a preference thing. Just because you have big fingers doesn’t mean you need an extra wide nut to play the ukulele – anyone can learn to play any standard nut width. I don’t have particularly fat fingers, but I prefer a wider nut. Some players say a narrower nut gives them more speed.

This aspect of a ukulele’s specification is minor enough that most dealers don’t even mention it, making it hard to narrow down models when nut width is an important factor for you in selecting an instrument.

To that end, I’ve scoured the web for this information and included it here. I’ve tried to find at least two confirmations of each of these, but some are harder to find than others. If you own a common ukulele brand not listed here, please measure the width of your nut and post it in a comment. Likewise, drop a comment if you can confirm one of these where I’ve only found one confirmation.

Last updated: 6/24/2015

Make Model/Size Nut Width Confirmations
Anuenue 1.375″ / 35mm 1
Big Island Honu Traditional 1.375″ / 35mm 1
Bushman 1.45″ / 37mm 1
Cordoba 30T, 35T 1.5″ / 38mm 1
Fender U’uko Soprano 1.375″ / 35mm 1
Gordon MultiUke 1.375″ / 35mm 2
Gretsch G9100, G9110, G9112, G9120… 1.375″ / 35mm 1
Kala import models 1.375″ / 35mm 3
Kala Elite 1.5″ / 38mm 2
Kamaka HF Series 1.375″ / 35mm 2
Kamaka HF Series Baritone 1.5″ / 38mm 1
Kanilea K Series, Islander 1.5″ / 38mm 2
Ko,oLau 1.375″ / 35mm 2
Ko’olau Soprano, Concert, Tenor 1.375″ / 35mm 1
Ko’olau Baritone 1.5″ / 38mm 1
Koaloha 1.5″ / 38mm 1
Lanikai LBU-C 1.375″ / 35mm 1
Lanikai SMP-C 1.5″ / 38mm 1
Lanikai 21 Concert, Tenor, Baritone 1.46″ / 37mm 1
Lanikai 21 Soprano 1.45″ / 36mm 1
Magic Fluke Flea, Soprano & Concert Fluke 1.4″ / 35mm 2
Magic Fluke Tenor Fluke 1.45″ / 37mm 2
Mainland 1.375″ / 35mm 2
Martin Tenor 1.344 / 34mm 2
Martin Concert, Soprano 1.4 / 36mm 2
Ohana 1.375″ / 35mm 1
Oscar Schmidt OU6W 1.75″ / 44mm 2
Pono MCD, MT 1.375″ / 35mm 2
Romero Creations Grand Tenor 1.5″ / 38mm 1

The table above includes widths in decimal inches and millimeters. Nut width is also commonly measured in fractional inches. Here are the common width equivalents in fractional inches for translation purposes:

  • 1.5″ = 1-1/2″
  • 1.4″ = 1-13/32″
  • 1.375″ = 1-3/8″
  • 1.344″ = 1-11/32”

Photo credit

21 thoughts on “Comparison of Ukulele Nut Widths

  1. Brian

    I don’t have this ukulele but it’s famous for its nut width:

    Oscar Schmidt OU6W – 1.75″ (1-3/4″)

    Reply
    1. Larry

      Mele Concert Pineapple = 1.4″

      Pili Koko Soprano Pineapple = 1.4″

      Reply
  2. David

    Thanks for pulling this together. I have been researching the same thing. Here is a review of a Lanikai SMP-T. It says the nut is 1.5″

    Reply
  3. Dennis Hicks

    Thank you for your work, I’m surprised nut widths are so little publicised aand that most brands don’t come with at least one wider neck option. I just watched a youtube review by an owner of a custom uke that is made with 1.5″ nuts.

    Be’s very happy with it: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=VFwSO0Cm9Mk

    Reply
    1. Matt Post author

      Thanks for your comment and that video link, Dennis. I do find a wider nut makes a huge difference and wish they were more common.

      Reply
  4. Dennis Hicks

    Just checked out an Amali Zebrawood UK330 in soprano with 1.5″ nut at South Austin Music here in Austin. Interestingly, though the nut was narrower on the Flea, the Flea’s very low action and low resin frets, coupled with the same string spacing as on the Amali, made it as easy for me to play fringer-scrunching D chords as on the Amali. They have the best selection in Austin. I wasn’t able to find any wide neck ukes at any other stores and this is Music City! What’s a big fingered uker to do?

    Reply
  5. Terry MacDee

    It would also be useful to chart the string spacing measurement as well, i.e. the measurement from 1st to 4th string.

    Reply
  6. Glenn

    My Islander SA-4-T has 1 1.5″ nut width. So does the Cordoba 23T. Cordoba 20T is only 1 3/8″ though. Cordoba is actually really good at publishing their specs on their website for each instrument.

    Related to Terry’s comment above, I was trying a Martin soprano and the string spacing felt so much more roomy, despite only a 0.8mm difference in nut width compared to the Kalas in the store. Next time, I’ll check to see if the strings are set wider in the nut as well.

    I tried that Oscar Schmidt with the super wide nut and it just felt weird. I guess you’d get used to it and it’s such a personal thing you have to go with what you like. I don’t mind a narrow nut on a concert or tenor scale, but I really appreciated the extra space on that Martin Soprano I tried. I don’t own any ukes with a soprano scale, so it’s also a matter of not being used to it. I specifically looked for the 1.5″ nut on my tenor as it felt more natural coming from a guitar background. Now, I actually prefer my 1 3/8″ concert-neck soprano.

    Reply
  7. Dennis

    The nut on Córdoba 35st is listed on one music store’s site as 1.37 not 1.5mm

    Reply
  8. Glenn

    I’m beginning to understand why some people are so rabid about string width vs nut width. I just got a new Cordoba 20CM and compared to my other ukes, here’s nut width vs string width at the nut:
    Kala SLNG 35 mm & 27.1 mm
    Cordoba 20CM 35 mm & 28.4 mm
    Islander SA4T 38 mm & 28.7 mm

    The Cordoba’s string width is almost as much as the Islander even though its nut is the same size as the soprano. Nut width likely going to be an indicator of string width, but two ukes with the same size nut might give different string spacing.

    Reply
  9. Mushroom Hunter

    Caramel CS400 1-3/8″ nut. Thank you for your effort!

    Reply

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