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”

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39 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″)

      1. Keith

        I have this Uke. It’s a tenor and I can confirm it has 1.75 inch nut. I love it.

    1. Larry

      Mele Concert Pineapple = 1.4″

      Pili Koko Soprano Pineapple = 1.4″

    2. Daniel D Cash

      I bought this model (Oscar Sch. OU6W) After playing a Kala Tenor and Oscar Schmidt Concert with a (‘standard’)nut width of 1.375. I had played these other ukes for about a year before I bought the 1.75 nut width. I ended up returning the 1.75nut width. I felt that that would have ‘started all over again” if I would have kept it. Even though my large hands wants a little more than 1.375 of nut width, I was used to playing it somewhat proficiently. I would only recommend this model(OU6W Oscar) IF it was the first uke to be bought.

  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″

  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:

    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.

  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?

  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.

  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.

  7. Dennis

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

  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.

    1. Glenn

      Update: Martin 0XK 35.5mm nut and a whopping 30.7mm string width! 1.5mm narrower nut than my old Islander tenor, but 2mm wider string spacing. Really need to know string width to know what you’re getting into. So far I’ve seen almost 4mm variation in string spacing in 35 to 35.5mm nuts (Outdoor Ukulele Soprano had 35 / 26.9)

    2. Steve Achelis

      Yes, I think string width is much more important than nut width. E.g., my Kala tenor’s nut is 0.6mm wider than my Martin tenor, but the Martin’s strings are 1.1mm wider than the Kala’s! The difference seems to be how much fretboard is “outside” the strings. That space doesn’t affect my playing, but the string spacing does.

    3. Kari Miggins

      I’m new to learning the ukulele. I broke my left hand years ago and was hoping a wider nut would be helpful. What should I know about string width? Thanks for any suggestions!

  9. Mushroom Hunter

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

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  11. Bob Stepno

    I have a restored 1920s Stromberg-Voisinet banjo ukulele wirh a fingerboard that is a little under 1.25 in, maybe 1 3/8 … the choice was whether to have the strings so close to the edges that they can slide off or so close to the center that it’s hard to finger one string at a time!

  12. John K

    Just bought a Oscar Schmidt OU5, which I thought had 1.5 in nut, but actually measures at 1 3/8. However, string spacing at nut is 28.6mm so I think I’ll manage.

  13. Andracass

    I own:
    Islander MSS4 – nut 38 mm
    Kala KA ASAC C – nut 34 mm
    Vorson Les Paul – nut 34 mm

    1. Boris

      Hi Andracass,
      Could I ask you for your review of Islander MSS4? I am hesitating to but Islander AC-4 or I should increase bugdet and take a look at MSS-4. Since I do not have any seller here to play personally on both, I am only guessing.

      Thanks in advance.

  14. Kirk Hansen

    Would be very helpful if you could add banjoleles to the list

    As others have said, it would be good to give the nut width AND the string1-to-string4 distance.

    Thanks, and best regards…

  15. Mark Snodgrass

    This information was emailed to me from Flight Ukulele’s. These are all concert sizes…
    “The voyager concert, spirit concert, victoria concert, diana concert, sophia, leia, antonia concert have 36mm nut width.”
    All other concert sizes made by Flight have 35mm nuts as of this date.

  16. Michael Locey

    Good article. I have had a custom William King tenor 2008 bought new, and play it every day. It is 37mm nut width.
    I like to do jazz pop standards with lots of soloing. It has a flat fret board, and a longer scale length than 17″ (around 17 1/2″ but not his usual long scale 18″ tenor scale). I find the nut width and extra scale length, without being too short (17″) and not too long (18″) adds to playability… but I’m no Jake Shimabukuro so don’t quote me on that.
    The custom specs make this great uke even more unique.


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