The finite difference (FD) method is popular in the computational fluid dynamics and widely used in various flow simulations. Most of the FD schemes are developed on the uniform Cartesian grids; however, the use of nonuniform or curvilinear grids is inevitable for adapting to the complex configurations and the coordinate transformation is usually adopted. Therefore the question that whether the characteristics of the numerical schemes evaluated on the uniform grids can be preserved on the nonuniform grids arises, which is seldom discussed. Based on the one-dimensional wave equation, this paper systematically studies the characteristics of the high-order FD schemes on nonuniform grids, including the order of accuracy, resolution characteristics and the numerical stability. Especially, the Fourier analysis involving the metrics is presented for the first time and the relation between the resolution of numerical schemes and the stretching ratio of grids is discussed. Analysis shows that for smooth varying grids, these characteristics can be generally preserved after the coordinate transformation. Numerical tests also validate our conclusions.