A commercially available high-power GaN-based blue laser diode has been operated in a simple Littrow-type external cavity (EC). Two kinds of EC configurations with the grating lines perpendicular (A configuration) and parallel (B configuration) to the p-n junction are evaluated. Good performance has been demonstrated for the EC laser with B configuration due to the better mode selection effect induced by the narrow feedback wavelength range from the grating. Under an injection current of 1100 mA, the spectral linewidth is narrowed significantly down to ∼0.1 nm from ∼1 nm (the free-running width), with a good wavelength-locking behavior and a higher than 35 dB-amplified spontaneous emission suppression ratio. Moreover, a tuning bandwidth of 3.6 nm from 443.9 nm to 447.5 nm is realized with output power of 1.24 W and EC coupling efficiency of 80% at the central wavelength. The grating-coupled blue EC laser with narrow spectral linewidth, flexible wavelength tunability, and high output power shows potential applications in atom cooling and trapping, high-resolution spectroscopy, second harmonic generation, and high-capacity holographic data storage.