Download The FREE Printable Guitar Action Gauge Ruler Here
(right click > 'save as' or 'save link as')
If you're planning on setting up your guitar, there are a few tools that come in really handy to get the right measurements. Without them, you'll never really be 100% on point. I looked on online for a Guitar String Action Gauge and they roughly cost under $10 for just the card but if you want a whole kit it can be somewhere around $30. The problem was that I needed to setup this guitar and bass right away but I would have had to order it online and wait for them to ship it to me before I can set it up correctly.
Most guitar techs used to purchase their tools strictly from Stewart MacDonald. It was pretty much the go-to place online for anything guitar related but now you can also find appropriate and cheaper tools on amazon too! Check out the price on one of their action gauges here: https://amzn.to/2ZZS0U0.
Setting up the action on your guitar means that you're correctly positioning the strings above your frets using a measurement to get the perfect distance throughout the whole neck. There are plenty of videos on YouTube that will show you the correct way to do it. You can print this gauge out that I posted above using Adobe Illustrator or Linkscape.org. Print it out on card stock or get it laminated if you want it to last a lot longer. However, paper works too as long as you cut it straight on the lines. If you have shaky hands, ask your mom to do it. Last time she gave me a handy, her strokes felt pretty steady.
Anyway, back to string action on your guitars; If the action is set too high, you're going to have to press down on the strings a lot more and a lot harder in order to hit your notes which can be frustrating and tire your fingers a lot faster. If your action is too low, your strings will rattle when they hit the frets and your music will sound like shit. No, I mean worse than it already does. And no one wants that, right?!
What I normally do is set this gauge at the 17th fret so it sits right on the metal, not the wood, and I make sure the string sits about 4/64ths above the fret. Make sure you also check your intonation and for string buzzing after you set the correct height. It may need to be adjusted again after raising or lowering the action.
So above you'll see the handy string action gauge ruler for you to print out. Just make sure you use the correct software to print it out or else you're going to print out out the wrong size and the measurements will be way off.
If you would like to purchase a whole pro guitar tuning and setup kit, check this one out here: amazon.com/Musicians-Guitar-Kit-Repair-Maintenance/
If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to post them in the comments section and I'll do my best to help you out!