lubricate guitar nut

Why Lubricate A Guitar Nut? (And Easiest Way To Do It)

All guitar owners know that it’s important to regularly lubricate their guitar nut. There’s a lot of science and science-y stuff on the internet about why this is, but we’re going to break it down for you in layman terms.

Why lubricate guitar nut?

The main reason why you need to lubricate a guitar nut is to reduce the friction between the guitar strings and the slot in the nut.  Too much friction can cause the strings to bind into the nut and cause tuning stability issues.

This works the same for both acoustic guitars and an electric guitar.

Does My Nut Need Lubrication?

When you are tuning your guitar, have you ever heard a sharp “ping” noise?  This could be an indication that the strings are getting stuck in the nut slot and the ping you hear is the string letting loose from the tension you are adding to it through the tuning peg.

If you use the tremolo on an electric guitar, you may also hear this ping from the nut.

If you ever hear this “ping” – lubricate your nut.  In fact, I would just add lubrication regardless.  It is always a good thing to do.  The ping may also come from your string trees if you have them, but I would still always lubricate the nut.

What Should I Use For Lubrication?

There are a variety of different oils and lubricants you can use for various guitar nuts.  Many people, in my opinion, use the wrong lubricant for their particular application and in many cases put in way too much in there.

One of the most popular lubricants is using graphite from a pencil.  Simply get a mechanical pencil with the graphite inserts.  Then you just draw in the slot with the pencil.  The graphite left behind in the slot is all you need for lubrication.

Other options include products like Super-Vee Super Glide Nut Lube.

Can I Use WD40 On A Guitar Nut?

No.  I would not use WD40 anywhere on a guitar.  It actually contains ingredients that, over time, can actually attract more dust and grime to the area you add it to.  WD40 is good for a lot of things but not guitars, in my opinion.

How To Lubricate A Guitar Nut?

In this case, I am going to show the easiest way just using a cheap mechanical pencil.

  1. Click the pencil a couple times to draw the lead out of the tip.
  2. Simply color in the nut slots with the pencil.  You should see the pencil markings show up in the slot of the nut.
  3. Restring the guitar – it’s that easy!

If you are using another commercial product like the Super-Vee Super Glide mentioned above, just follow the instructions that they provide.


I hope these helpful tips help you in your guitar nut lubrication.  It’s super easy!  I would not encourage you to simply use WD40 on your guitar nut – it’s best to do it the right way.  I really hope this helps everyone so they may know how to easily lubricate their nut and in turn, avoid tuning stability issues.