Comparing Tusq vs Tusq XL: What’s The Difference


When it comes to musical instruments, guitars are a popular choice among musicians. They are portable, versatile, affordable, and the list goes on.

They have been used to record songs of every genre throughout musical history. Although they have evolved a lot over time, they still enjoy the same popularity.

Elephant tusks have been used extensively in the past for many applications. You might be surprised to know that the nuts that we see in guitars nowadays were originally real elephant tusks.

tusq vs tusq xl

They were highly-priced and considered a luxury back in the day. As we became eco-friendly, we found other ways to get things done.

Tusq nuts are a great alternative to original elephant tusks. They are made of a special polymer to replicate the tone and structure of the original nuts perfectly. They not only offer the same durability, but you also get the identical tone like elephant tusks.

Among all the nut options, tusq and tusq XL are particularly popular. They have secured great popularity in the past few years, and now more and more people are investing in these nuts.

So, if you are looking for the right nut for your guitar, read on to find the difference between these two nut options.

Differences Between Tusq vs Tusq XL

Features Tusq Tusq XL
Weight 0.32 ounces 0.528 ounces
Teflon lubrication No Yes
Price Low Low
Custom nuts Yes Yes


Tusq is made by Graph Tech, which is a household name in the tusk nuts industry. It has become an important tone-enhancing tool for many of the world’s renowned guitar manufacturers, luthiers, and professional guitarists.


They greatly impact your guitar’s tone for improved playability. It was introduced in 1983 by Dave Dunwoodie.

No matter what guitar you use, you will notice the tonal difference when using the tusq nut, and you will notice more harmonics with every note you play.

Tusq nuts, saddles, and bridge bands give you a much brighter tone without the inconsistency found in the ivory bones or the bones made of other natural materials.


The problem with the ivory and other nuts was that they had soft and hard areas, which led to inconsistency in the tone. If you are a guitarist, you’d know that there is nothing more frustrating than an inconsistent tone.

The soft and hard areas often gave inconsistent transfer of vibrations, resulting in an inconsistent tone.

The tusq nuts, on the other hand, are designed in such a way that they transfer the vibrations more efficiently from the guitars’ strings to their body.

As a result, you experience up to a 100% increase in the harmonic content, and you experience more richness in every note. You will notice the improvement in the tone as soon as you wedge it on your guitar.


What’s the best part? The superior construction of the tusq nut allows for more durability, and you can rest assured that it won’t chip or flake after a few weeks.

This is another reason why you should prefer it to the ivory nuts. It’s no secret that durability was the main problem with the ivory nuts.

Another cool thing about tusq nuts is that there is a tusq nut for every guitar. Of course, guitars come in different types, and one tusq type cannot be used on all guitars.

TUSQ Nut on guitar

This is why the company has launched over 125 nuts so that you can have the right tusq nut suitable for your guitar. Whether you have an acoustic guitar or a classical one, Graph Tech has a tusq nut for you.

As a cherry on the cake, you get the luxury of choosing the color of the tusq nut. Graph Tech understands that players are concerned about the aesthetics of their guitars and do not want to compromise on their guitar’s looks.

So, you get to choose your nut’s color according to your guitar.

Tusq XL

Tusq XL is another highly popular man-made ivory guitar nut by Graph Tech. It is trusted by the world’s leading guitar manufacturing companies and retailers. It improves the sound quality and optimizes the performance of your guitar.


Graph Tech launched the Tusq XL nuts after the huge success of the Black Tusq XL nuts. Of course, black does not complement every guitar shape and color. So, players requested the same model in white color.

However, that was easier said than done, and the company took many years to craft the perfect Tusq XL nut. Let’s dig deeper and see what makes the Tusq XL so special.


There are many reasons to love the Tusq XL nut, but the reason that stands out the most is that they come with permanent lubrication.

Graph Tech has never been hesitant to bring the latest technology to the table and has a history of manufacturing innovative solutions.


The Tusq XL nut is no exception. It is permanently impregnated with Teflon to enhance the tuning performance of your guitar.

When it comes to lubricating, Teflon is in a league of its own. It is a super-slippery substance that is about 500% more slippery than graphite. In addition, its lubricating properties do not change, even after using a nut for years.

The Tusq XL nuts are designed to transfer the vibration of guitar strings with maximum efficiency and bring up all the hidden harmonics in all the notes that you play.

Like the Tusq nuts, the Tusq XL nuts are also made of a polymer for the best playing experience. It comes with the same durability, and you won’t need to replace these nuts any sooner.


Now talking about the performance, the Tusq XL nut is made under high heat and compression for improved tone and consistency. As a result, it stays consistent throughout the playing session.

If you are a professional guitarist and want to improve the tone of your guitar, the Tusq XL nut is a must-have for you! Whether you are performing on a big stage or in a studio, it will never let you down.

The Tusq XL nut has premium features and sound construction. Expectedly then, it costs slightly more than its younger sibling, Tusq nut.

However, it won’t break your bank, and the outstanding features you get mean that the cake is definitely worth the candle.

Final Verdict

A guitar nut is critical to your guitar’s sound quality. The Tusq nut and Tusq XL nut are the two highly sought-after nuts by Graph Tech.

Both are constructed exceptionally well and are highly durable nuts. They enhance your guitar’s tones and improve their harmonics for the best playability.

Although both nuts are quite capable, the permanent lubrication of the Tusq XL nut makes it a clear winner. It is made under heat and compression for more durability and superior sound.

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