Love Floyd Rose vibratos, hate Allen keys? The Graph Tech Un-Lock Nut could be the electric guitar mod for you

Graph Tech Un-Lock Nut
(Image credit: Graph Tech Guitar Labs)

If you’re nuts about guitar tone you’ll be nuts about nuts, and you will be more than aware of the good work undertaken by Graph Tech Guitar Labs, whose Elephant-friendly, self-lubricating nuts have become an industry standard. But could they have just made the locking nut extinct with a $30 accessory called the Un-Lock Nut?

Any player with an electric guitar equipped with a Floyd Rose double-locking vibrato will recognise the frustration of having to keep an Allen key on hand to unlock and lockdown every time they want to tune up or change a string. Graph Tech’s Un-Lock nut wants to ease that anxiety, that worry about where you put your Allen key, and how hard you are turning those locking nuts (yes, just touch tight, but it’s easy to go overboard).

The Un-Lock Nut promises to change all that. “Forget about Allen keys and the hassle of fine tuners,” says Graph Tech. “With the Un-Lock Nut paired with locking tuners, tuning is as simple as turning the machine heads. Plus, a broken string won’t be a ‘Oh No!’ monument.” Well, it’s always an ‘Oh no!’ moment but we take the point.

Made of the same material as the Black TUSQ XL (like the early Model T Ford this is available in one colour only, for now), the Un-Lock nut challenges pre-existing locking nuts by offering a precise fit that matches the radius of your instrument’s fretboard.

Graph Tech Un-Lock Nut

(Image credit: Graph Tech Guitar Labs)

“Everyone loves a whammy bar, and our Black TUSQ XL, combined with this innovative design, redefines the tremolo system,” says Dave Dunwoodie, Graph Tech’s founder. “It maintains tuning stability and offers complete access to the guitar's machine heads.” 

Like any other nut in the Graph Tech Tusq family, you can customise it and adjust each string’s height. The slots are designed for “precision and stability”, which is a good thing, too, because if there is one thing a Floyd Rose – and the style of guitar that’s played on it – will do is test the stability of your whole enterprise.

Also, it requires no modifications to your guitar itself. We are eager to see how this works in action. Just like a regular nut fit, it simply requires a bit of sanding to sit flush and tidy, and a couple of small dabs of wood glue to secure, though just like fitting a regular nut, it might drive you nuts, and is something you might want to pay your local tech to fit. 

The Un-Lock Nut is offered in FR Original #2 and FR Original #3/#4 sizes. See Graph Tech for more details.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.