best guitar tuners

It doesn’t matter if you are playing at home, in a studio, in an essay or in front of a thousand-people audience, it also doesn’t matter how good or expensive your guitar is, or how awesome is the amplifier that you use.

The first step after picking up your guitar will always be the same. Checking out that it is tuned.

Most purists musicians will agree that the best way is to check and tune your guitar by ear, but in reality, getting an electronic guitar tuner is simply more practical, and let’s be honest about this, technology is there to make our lives easier.

Because of how fast you can tune your guitar with a nice guitar tuner, it is always wise to have one in hand.

Therefore, in this article, we dedicated to helping you make the right choice when it comes to choosing the best guitar tuners for your guitar and presenting some awesome options we found in the market.

Top 5 Best Guitar Tuners for Guitarist

There are actually hundreds of options out there for you to start picking up the right sound for your guitar, but we managed to narrow your search to these 5 wonders which are the best electric and acoustic guitar tuners you can find.

NameWeightSuggestionRating
Boss TU-3 Tuner Pedal2 poundsBest Model5 Stars
TC Electronic PolyTune Clip1.1 ouncesBest for Acoustic Guitar4.5 Stars
KLIQ TinyTune Pro Stage Tuner Pedal5.1 ouncesBest for Bass Guitar4.4 Stars
Korg Pitchblack Chromatic Tuner9.9 ouncesBest for Electric Guitar4.4 Stars
Peterson StroboClip Clip-On Tuner3.2 ounces
Suit for standard guitar players4 Stars

1. Boss TU-3 Tuner Pedal

Boss TU-3 Tuner Pedal

My rating: 5 Stars

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With a classic pedal design, this model opens with a 21-segment LED meter which brightness can be controlled. To seal the deal, it also includes 4 cable cords on the delivery box.

About its usability, it includes an Accu-Pitch sign function to let you verify when the tuning is complete.

It includes a wide tone reading meter with chromatic, bass and guitar mode that works for up to 7-string guitars and 6-string basses when switched.

This model also counts with a guitar flat tuning mode for drop tunings of up to 6 semitones below the standard.

On the downside, it is bigger than others, while not improving the visibility too much since the main switch occupies a lot of its design.

This is overall a nice option, especially if you are willing to use the space in your board for nothing else, is highly accurate, cool looking, resistant, durable and very representative.

Things we liked

Includes 4 cable cords.
Accu-Pitch Sign feature lets you know when you are done.
Flat tuning drops down to 6 semitones below standard.
Extra bright display mode for playing outdoors.

Things we didn’t like

Takes space. Is bigger than others.
Cables included are not as good.


2. TC Electronic PolyTune Clip – Best Acoustic Guitar Tuner

TC Electronic PolyTune Clip

My rating: 4.5 Stars

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This small and complex device offers a complete job done in quick standards. Focused on the speed, it is designed with poly-tune technology to aim to the 6 strings at once saving you more than half of your tuning time.

It is made with stainless steel to ensure durability and has a nice and simple design that keeps the audience attention on you and your guitar.

It also comes with 2 modes of tuning, chromatic (0.5 Cents) and Strobe (0.2Cents) to increase accuracy if needed and is quite easy to read in any orientation.

On the downside, this model offers a relative accuracy that doesn’t match other on its price range in order to cover with the 6-string at once reading feature.

Overall, this is a good piece to add to your tech if you are in the need of a quick tuning, which is especially useful during rehearsals and acoustic live sessions.

Things we liked

Quick tuning with poly-tune tech.
LED display, easy to read.
Small and elegant design in durable materials.

Things we didn’t like

Not the best accuracy under its price range, but comes up with the awesome speed.
Small to read in poly-tune mode.


3. KLIQ TinyTune Pro Stage Tuner Pedal – Best Bass Guitar Tuner

KLIQ TinyTune Pro Stage Tuner Pedal

My rating: 4.4 Stars

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Keeping the price at its lowest stage, this device offers a highly accurate reading and a 100% bypass to keep it connected without sacrificing any other feature.

It counts with an awesome LED display that can be changed from the “needle” classic look to LED note displaying while occupying almost no space in your pedal board.

About its usability, it has a really high accuracy and counts with a powerful 32-bit processor and a flat tuning mode for Drop tunings that goes down to 7 half-tones below standard tuning.

On the downside, it does require a power source of 9V which is not included.

Overall, this is a good choice for any rock, blues or metal player, with a wide range of drop tuning, a 100% bypass and silent tuning mode, great visibility and awesome accuracy the KLIQ TinyTune makes a good choice to be part of your pedal board.

Things we liked

Bright and easy to read LED with 2 modes.
Flat tuning mode for rock stars.
Metal crafted for more durability.

Things we didn’t like

Requires 9V power source (not included)


4. Korg Pitchblack Chromatic Tuner – Best Electric Guitar Tuner

Korg Pitchblack Chromatic Tuner

My rating: 4.4 Stars

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Designed with a Reliable aluminum shield with black-out finish, this device provides a perfect contrast and visibility to ensure that you will not have a hard time reading the display.

Alongside, this model counts with four modes of the display which includes Meter, Full Strobe, Half Strobe, and Mirror modes.

About its usability, the Korg pedal tuner takes advantage of a 100% true bypass to ensure the tone’s accuracy and counts with a range of detection that goes from E0 to C8 notes.

This model is powered 9 volt/200 mA cascade output that ensures compatibility with any pedal board and preserves total clarity when the sound pass by.

On the downside, for electric guitar players, this pedal tuner doesn’t count with a flat tuning mode to drop down the output.

This is overall a nice choice, good and reliable, but it limits a little bit the tuning range when it comes to dropping tuning which might be interesting for you as pedal tuners are meant for electric guitars.

Things we liked

100% true bypass ensures accuracy.
4 display reading modes.
Black shielded around the LED display creates contrast and eases the reading.

Things we didn’t like

No flat tuning mode.


5. Peterson StroboClip Clip-On Tuner

Peterson StroboClip Clip-On Strobe Tuner

My rating: 4 Stars

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The strobe clip is made with an alien design that might not be the coolest looking, but it sure is easier to read this way and you can rotate the head a bit if not.

This model also counts with a bright controlled display that makes it perfectly suitable for your outdoor performances.

But, its main feature is the fact that it counts with 28 sweetened tunings for almost any kind of wind and string instruments including with a good 0.1 Cent Accuracy.

On the downside, its design is not as cool as other in our list, and the neck of the clip makes it fragile, its more probably going to be broken in any movement than other of the present head-clip options here.

This is overall an average option and we can consider for standard guitar players, especially considering that the price is a big NO when it faces the risk of breaking it.

But, it gets up to its name when it comes to accuracy, and the possibility of tuning such a wide range of instruments accurately makes it a really good choice for round up musicians with different instruments at hand.

Things we liked

High accuracy for a head clip tuner.
Adaptable for 28 different instruments.
Good, big, bright and visible display.

Things we didn’t like

Weird looking.
Delicate and easy to break due to its neck-head design.


Ultimate guitar tuner buying guide

guitar tuner

You will find literally tons of options and styles of guitar tuners out there and find the best one for your specific situation can be tricky.

By following this small guide you will fully understand how a guitar tuner works and be able to rightfully choose the best option. So, let’s keep going.

When you are buying a guitar tuner you will find two different options, head clip tuners, and pedal tuners.

Head Clip Tuner

The clip tuners are placed in the head of your guitar, and there they read the tone of the instrument based on the vibrations generated when you play a note.

These are great if you play primarily acoustic instruments, be it guitars, ukuleles or violins, but they can be a bit uncomfortable to use and keep there.

On the other hand, they are the best choice for “quick and easy” tuning, especially for rehearsals or if you find yourself playing for fun at home.

On the downside, they tend to be not as accurate as their pedal counterpart and they are also more fragile and small making them easier to lose.

When looking for a head clip tuner you should consider these features:

  • It’s weight. Your tuner will be placed on the head of your guitar. The less it weights, the more comfortable it will be to have it on.
  • Its materials and durability. These guys are usually fragile, try to get a rusty and durable one.
  • It’s size. You look cooler with no tuner on the head of your guitar, so, the smaller the better.
  • It’s accuracy! Might sound obvious, but try to get a tuner that reads as clean as possible to help you get where you want.

Pedal Tuner

Pedal tuners work with electric guitars and read the tone of the instrument based on the signal coming from their electronics.

The pedal tuners are ideal because they are direct and also have a great durability. They are discrete and can also silence the signal of the instrument when activated.

Also, pedal tuners are generally more sophisticated and more accurate. However, they only work with electric instruments, occupy space or require a pedal board, are more expensive and you have to deal with more for both power and the instrument.

When looking for a pedal tuner you should keep in mind some features:

  • Its Power compatibility and consumption.
  • Space it occupies in your pedal board (if applies)
  • It’s price. These are more expensive than clip tuners, but you can get a nice deal.
  • It’s way to show the tone. LED indicators are a plus.

Now that you know how to pick up the best guitar tuners for your situation, it is important for you to know how to use it right. This will also help you make a better choice.

How to Tune a Guitar with a Tuner

how to tune guitar with tuner

 

If you are going to get the best guitar tuners, it is worthy for you to learn the correct way to tune your guitar, which will lead to better results.

Even when this sounds unlikely, most guitar players don’t know these tips, mostly because no one actually teaches you how to tune your guitar using a guitar tuner.

Therefore, to tune your guitar properly, just follow these four steps:

  • Mute strings that are not tuning by resting your fingers on them. If several notes are played at the same time, associated vibrations will be generated, which can mislead even the best tuners.
  • If you are tuning an electric guitar, do it using the pickup closest to the mast and raise the guitar’s volume to the maximum. You must also turn off the tone control to give the clearest possible signal to the tuner. (For head clip tuners only)
  • Tear strings with the side of the thumb instead of a pick to reduce vibrations.
  • Try to not hold the tuning pin all the time. (For head clip tuners only)

Now that you know that, let’s show you the best guitar tuners on the market.

Conclusion

When looking for the best guitar tuners, you might first take a look at your guitar. If you are playing only electric, then a pedal tuner is the best for your electric guitar set, but, if you are juggling with both electric and acoustic, you should consider, either buying a head-clip tuner or even better, getting yourself one of each.

When it comes to head-clip tuners, the best option available turned out to be the TC Electronic PolyTune Clip, mainly for its speed when it comes to tuning up and the 6-string tuning option.

Now, when we rounded out the best pedal tuners the Boss TU-3 Tuner Pedal had to stand out since it offers high accuracy, different modes and a good coverage for a nice price, which also includes cable cords.

We hope this information was valuable for you, remember to share with your friends and leave us a comment about your experience or any recommendation in the section below.

Go tune your guitar up and get the music flowing.

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