How to determine the string action with the Metric String Action Gauge.

Measure string action (the height of the string above the fret) at any point by placing the gauge behind the string. The string height markings are at increments of .25mm (1/4mm). When the bottom of a mark aligns with the bottom of the string, that measurement is the string height at that point.

The markings themselves are .1mm thick, so referring to the top of a mark instead of the bottom adds .1mm to the measurement. In this way the progressive string height scale measures in .1mm increments.

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String action specs
The suggested measurements listed here refer to the string height at the 1st fret and also at a higher fret. Measured for the outermost bass and treble strings.

Relief
Lay a straightedge across the frets and measure the clearance at the 8th. (Or put a capo at the 1st fret and press a string down at the highest fret — the string becomes the straightedge.)

Suggested action settings (in millimeters)

Steel-string acoustic guitar Bass E Treble E
Action at the 1st fret .6 .35
Action at the 12th fret 2.3 1.8
Relief: .05 at the 8th fret
Nylon-string acoustic guitar Bass E Treble E
Action at the 1st fret .8 .6
Action at the 12th fret 4 3.2
Relief: .05 at the 8th fret
Electric guitar Bass E Treble E
Action at the 1st fret .6 .25
Action at the 12th fret 2 1.6
Relief: .025 at the 8th fret
Bass Bass E Treble G
Action at the 1th fret .55 .5
Action at the 17th fret 2.7 2.4
Relief: .356 at the 7th fret
Mandolin Bass G Treble E
Action at the 1st fret .8 .5
Action at the 17th fret 1.9 1.7
Relief: .13 at the 6th fret
Banjo Bass D Treble D
Action at the 1st fret .95 .9
Action at the 12th fret 2.3 2.3
Relief: .2 at the 8th fret
Soprano and Tenor Ukulele Bass G Treble A
Action at the 1st fret .38 .38
Action at the 12th fret 2.29 2.29
Relief: .05 at the 12th fret

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