Santos Hernández was born in Madrid in 1873.
In 1905 he was hired by Manuel Ramírez as a workshop manager, replacing Enrique García, who had moved to Barcelona.
Santos Hernández seems to be the luthier who made the famous guitar which Manuel Ramírez gave to Andrés Segovia in 1912. When Manuel Ramírez died in 1916, Santos carried on working for his widow until 1920.
In 1921, Santos opened his own workshop in 23 Aduana Street, in the centre of Madrid. He was quite a reserved guitarist regarding his arts and techniques of making, refusing to teach anybody or pass his knowledge on in any way.
Santos Hernández´s guitars were played by great classical guitarists of that time, such as Luis Sánchez Granada, Regino Sainz de la Maza, Quintín Esquembre, and flamenco ones, like Ramón Montoya, Niño Ricardo, Sabicas, Esteban de Sanlúcar, Manolo de Huelva, Manolo de Badajoz, etc
After his death in 1943, his widow carried on running the shop, hiring Marcelo Barbero as a guitar maker.
From 1916 to his death in 1943, he is estimated to have made about 300 guitars.