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The 10 Best Acoustic Guitar Tuning Pegs Reviews

Best Acoustic Guitar Tuning Pegs
Photo by Diego Catto

By and large, very few newbie guitar players pay much attention to the tuning pegs of their guitar. That is, until something’s wrong with them.

Then they realize that these seemingly unimportant parts of their guitar are actually a lot more important than they first thought. With the best acoustic guitar tuning pegs, though, you’ll have a much easier time with your guitar.

While you’re looking for the top acoustic guitar tuning pegs, you may also want to consider switching to locking acoustic guitar tuners instead. If you have a tremolo or vibrato arm, this should be a serious option as you reduce the chances of your guitar strings slipping out of place.


Best Picks of Acoustic Tuning Pegs


#1: Fender Locking Tuners Chrome

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You sure do have lots of choices with Fender locking tuners. You can get them for LH or RH guitars, and have them in either standard or vintage styles. Aside from the polished chrome color, you can go for brushed chrome, gold, or black.

You use these for the Fender American Deluxe and American Elite Series guitars. You get an 18:1 gear ratio, and your package includes the needed mounting hardware plus the washers and bushings.

This set offers a lot of tuning stability, compared to stock tuners. You may find yourself only tuning your guitar only when you indulge in a lot of string bending.

#2: Gusnilo 1set 3l3r Grover

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We like the shiny gold plating on these tuning pegs, which you also get on the 6 bushings and screws. Actually, the various materials used for these tuning pegs are all of premium quality and designed for heavy duty.

Of course, it’s not really all about the looks. Try this on your Epiphone guitar, and you’ll find that it works much better than your stock tuners. You’re able to make smoother turns, and get more precise tuning. For acoustic guitars, these things won’t loosen at all and they can really stay in tune.

#3: DJ101AB-AS TENOR Classical Guitar Tuners

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If you have a bit more money and you don’t mind spending a lot more for your tuning pegs, try this set. These tuning pegs look absolutely gorgeous. They’re basically tiny works of art, with fantastic craftmanship.

These come with glossy black pearled buttons, and come with an antique brass finish. What’s more, you even have dragon and phoenix designs engraved and carved on them. This will certainly look fine on a classical or flamenco guitar.

With its solid metal weight, these tuning pegs stay in tune and they’re easy to use. They’re also just gorgeous. These are the best classical guitar machine heads you can get if you want both form and function.

#4: Hipshot 6GLO Grip-Lock Locking Guitar

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These can come in black or gold colors, but this time we opted for the chrome. That’s because it still looks nice, while it’s also more affordable.

These Hipshot tuning pegs are very well made, with a solid feel. This is one of the best acoustic guitar tuning pegs brand options, because it seems like all their tuning pegs are highly regarded.

The mounting plates are great, and they make it much easier to install these tuning pegs on your guitar. Once they’re in, your guitar simply stays in tune. It’s also much easier to change your strings with these in.

Add the fact that it’s nice to look at, and it’s a terrific option. With its low price, you may find this set best acoustic guitar tuning pegs for the money.

#5: Vbestlife Guitar Tuning Pegs

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This set can be in either gold or silver, and they cost the same. These are locking tuners, which really works much better than standard tuning keys. You can use them for both standard acoustic or electric guitars.

This comes with all the mounting hardware you need, and installing it is a breeze. Once you get this set in, you’ll find that your guitar strings no longer go out of tune as frequently. You can also tune your strings accurately, smoothly, and with minimum fuss. With their great looks to go with the reliable function, this is a terrific choice.

#6: Grover 106G Locking

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These locking acoustic guitar tuners have a great design, as it offers a positive lock along with the ease of use that you’d expect from a regular tuner. The gold plating also looks terrific.

Basically, you start with just inserting the guitar strings through the holes in these tuners. Pull the strings by hand, then you can begin tuning your strings. When you’re turning the buttons, the strings are locked in place. Only the locking cam in the string post is actually turning. This will let you set the strings to the right pitch, and it will require less than a full revolution of the string post. With the 18:1 gear ratio, you’re able to smoothly get to the right tension level with greater accuracy.

#7: Guyker 6Pcs Guitar Machine Heads

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We picked the black ones to try out, though other options include both chrome and gold. Your package also includes 6 for each type of component: mounting screws, threaded bushings, and ferrules.

This set will work for the Fender Strat, the Gibson LP, SG, EPI, and Tele-style guitars. If you have modern 10mm headstock holes, you’re good. The materials used here are solid and meant for heavy duty work. You get fine tuning along with tuning stability.

The overall feeling here is that it’s a professional set of tuning pegs. It works extremely well, and there’s no fuss over how it looks.

#8: Mr. Power Guitar Tuners Machine Head

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This comes with a 15:1 gear ratio, which may explain the lower price of these cheap guitar tuning pegs. But the tuning keys on this set absolutely don’t look cheap at all. These have gold plating with fine detailed carvings.

These work fine, as long as you install them properly. They turn smoothly as you tune your strings, and they hold the tune nicely. But this also really enhances the look of your guitar, and only you will know that these tuning pegs aren’t as expensive as they look.

#9: Guitar Tuning Pegs, Tuners Machine

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Here you have the option of getting either thee sharp angle-shaped tuning buttons, or the heart-shaped buttons with the smoother curves. Either way, you get the expected benefits of high-quality tuning pegs. These include smooth turning, an 18:1 ratio, and terrific tuning stability.

This comes with barrel plating, which is different from the rack plating you get with other tuning pegs. The barrel plating offers significant resistance to both water and dirt, so it always looks clean.

#10: Grover 102-18C Rotomatic 18:1 3

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A lot of stock tuning pegs these days are simply laughable, with irregular action and a gear ratio at about 12:1. Use these Grover tuning pegs instead, and the improvement will be remarkable. Tuning becomes much easier, as you can find and stop on the precise pitch you want for each string. Turning the buttons is also very smooth, and it retains the tuning nicely.

These Grover tuning pegs for acoustic guitar are just great, and you’ll find them utterly reliable.

What Are Tuning Pegs?

The tuning pegs are those small keys you turn at the end of the guitar, so you can adjust the string tension and tune your guitar properly. Obviously, without this ability then you won’t be able to fix the guitar if it goes out of tune. Even the best acoustic guitars won’t sound good if it’s out of tune.

How to Replace Tuning Pegs on an Acoustic Guitar

Here are the steps you need to take:

  • First, unwind the strings from the tuning pegs.
  • Now take out the tuning pegs from the guitar neck. In most cases, you’ll need a Phillips screwdriver for this task.
  • Buy a set of tuning pegs. You’ll replace all the tuning pegs, including the ones that aren’t really broken. This is your best option, as most tuning pegs are sold in sets of 6 anyway.
  • At this point you may find bushings (also called “jackets”) inside the drilled holes on your guitar. You can leave these on if you like, or use a hammer to take them out.
  • Put in the new tuning pegs, inserting them into the holes carefully. Again, you’ll just use the Phillips screwdriver for the job. Set them in firmly.
  • You can now wind your guitar strings to your new tuning pegs. Tune the strings, and you’re good to go.


Are there other names for tuning pegs?

Sometimes they’re called tuning keys, and they may also be called machine heads.

What’s the gear ratio about?

These gear ratios may be expressed as 15:1, 18:1, or 20:1. Basically, it indicates how many times you need to turn the tuner button to rotate the tuner post 360 degrees. A higher ratio is better, as you’re able to make finer tuning adjustments.

What are the pros and cons of locking tuners?

You only have to wind the string more than once, which reduces the chances of the strings slipping. This type may be the best acoustic guitar tuning pegs for tuning stability.

On the other hand, these tend to be more expensive, and they may be more complicated to install.

Final Verdict

Just about all the options on our list will do nicely for your guitar, provided it fits whatever guitar you have. They will turn smoothly, retain their tuning for a long time, and are installed without too much difficulty.

But if you can use the DJ101AB-AS TENOR Classical Guitar Tuners on your classical guitar, then do so. These combine both form and function so that it works really well and looks impressive as heck. The materials are all premium-quality, so the durability isn’t a problem as well. These may be more expensive, but then these are the best acoustic guitar tuning pegs you can get.

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