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String winder tools drastically improve the speed of your string changes. The winders attach to the tuning pegs for faster rotations than you could do manually by hand.
There are two types of guitarists in this world – those who enjoy changing their strings, and those who put it off until they absolutely have to. I personally find the process of restringing my guitar enjoyable, but I admit that it can sometimes be a chore.
Guitar string winder tools simplify the process. They make it easier to tune the strings to the correct note and will save you lots of time.
Most of the well-known string manufacturers also produce tools for maintaining a guitar. In this guide, we’ll present you with the best guitar string winder tools available so that you can make a calculated decision.
In a Rush Roundup
How We Tested
The testing process of these guitar string winder tools consisted of assessing the robustness and build quality, which allowed us to predict longevity. We then took note of the versatility, by testing how many tuning peg types the tool is compatible with.
Furthermore, we scored the tools based on their value for money, by comparing how many components and additional pieces of equipment were included in the set. This allowed us to rate the string winders accurately.
Best String Winder Tools for Guitar Reviews
The latest addition to Ernie Ball’s motorized peg winder range, the Power Peg Pro features several improvements. Its head has been redesigned so that it has extra width, making it compatible with any bass, electric, or acoustic guitar tuning machines.
Ernie Ball has been at the forefront of string production for decades, so it should come as no surprise that they produce some of the best string winder tools on the market. This is arguably their best creation to date.
The brand estimates that using the Power Peg Pro allows you to restring your instrument up to 80% quicker than your average, manual tool is capable of. It’s hard to argue with that when you experience the speed and efficiency it provides.
In addition to being compatible with all types of guitars, the Power Peg Pro also works with other stringed instruments like ukuleles, banjos, and mandolins. So if you plan on learning a new instrument in the near future, this may be the winding tool for you.
With a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, you can get enough power to restring your guitar in very little time.
- Rechargeable battery
- Drill-like design
- Universal tuning peg fit
- Speeds up the process of changing strings
- Compatible with all electric guitars and bass guitars
- Very easy to operate
- Battery may need replacing after a while
The Musician’s Tool Kit is a must-have for guitarists who are serious about getting the best sound and performance from their instrument. It comes with a versatile peg winder, that fits most tuning machine heads on electric and acoustic guitars.
Also included in this kit is a robust string cutter so that you can quickly and easily trim off any excess string after installing a new set on your guitar. Paired with the winder, the cutter increases the speed of string changes dramatically.
Additionally, you get a multi-purpose screwdriver that can be used for adjusting the action of your guitar strings, fixing the intonation, or replacing certain components like the bridge plate or pickups.
Ernie Ball has also included some useful maintenance equipment in this toolkit. There’s the specially designed cloth, made from microfibers, which can be used to smoothen out your fretboard or remove dust from your guitar.
Wonder Wipes are also provided, so that any dirt can be cleaned off your fingerboard, restoring it to its new, pristine feel. Finally, you get a protective carry case with a zipper, so that the tools can be stored in your instrument case or bag.
- Heavy-duty string winder and cutter
- Protective carry bag
- Polish cloth and instrument cleaning wipes
- Includes everything you need for string changes
- Robust tools
- Suitable for all guitars and bass guitars
- Easy to lose one of the many components
Sometimes, simplicity trumps complexity. Dunlop is renowned for creating functional products that do exactly what they’re designed to do, and this straightforward string winder is an example of that ethos being put into practice.
With a quick, responsive steel axle, the Dunlop Deluxe string winding tool makes it much easier to tune a new set of strings to the desired pitch. It feels solid and is likely to outlast many similarly priced winders.
One of the most annoying things that guitarists often face when changing strings is the challenge of prizing out the bridge pins from an acoustic instrument. Dunlop has recognized this and used a clever design trick to simplify the process.
Hidden in the handle of this string wider tool is a small space for storing spare bridge pins, or keeping them safe while you change your strings. This is a nice touch added by the manufacturer, as bridge pins often go missing mysteriously!
Also, the winder has a built-in puller especially for removing the bridge pins from an acoustic guitar. This means you no longer need to use unsuitable pliers and risk damaging the body or the pins when removing them.
- Simple string winder
- Steel axle
- Discreet storage compartment
- Incredibly easy to use
- Quickly adjusts string tuning
- Onboard pin puller for removing old strings
- No string cutting tool included
String winders come in many different formats, even though they’re all designed to do the same thing. The GRIP winder by MusicNomad mixes the traditional, hand-held winder approach with some modern advancements.
Featuring a dual-bearing mechanism, this winder motions smoothly while tightening a tuning head on a guitar. It’s also compatible with acoustic guitar, bass, and other stringed instruments.
No matter what shape or size your guitar is, this winder will fix onto the tuning pegs and precisely adjust the tuning until you reach the correct note. It prevents your hand muscles from camping and relieves tension in your wrists.
One of the most common complaints that guitarists have when using string winder tools is that they can scratch their instrument or damage it in some other way. MusicNomad has taken measures to prevent this from happening.
A rubber coating has been applied to the head of the string winder so that if it comes into contact with the guitar, this will not result in any aesthetic damage occurring.
You also get a 10mm hex wrench with this device, so that you can tighten the bushings on your tuning heads when the need arises.
- Rubber lined head
- 10mm hex wrench
- Narrow design
- Compatible with all stringed instruments
- Reduces strain on hands and wrist
- Smooth motion
- No string cutter is included in the set
Guitar maintenance can be a chore, especially if you don’t have the best equipment for the job. That’s why investing in a guitar tool kit is a good idea, especially if you play your instrument often.
Dunlop has created the ultimate toolkit for changing guitar strings and maintaining the condition of the instrument. The Dunlop System 65 kit includes a durable string winder, which makes replacing strings a breeze.
Furthermore, the kit also includes a string cutter that removes even the thickest gauge strings instantly. This also prevents sharp string edges from sticking out and potentially being hazardous to you when you’re playing your guitar.
Changing your strings is a great opportunity to also spruce up your instrument. By using the included soft cloth to polish your guitar’s fingerboard and body, you improve its feel and appearance.
So that you can change your strings in any environment, Dunlop has also included a powerful mini flashlight.
Finally, the inclusion of a multi-tool is very useful for keeping all of the components of your guitar tightly secured.
- Durable carry case
- Robust string winder
- Multi-tool for cutting
- Includes everything you need for string replacements
- Fretboard oil included
- Complete guitar maintenance kit
- Comes with many different components
Designed for the maintenance of guitars and bass guitars, the Ultimate At-Home Work Station provides everything you need to keep your instrument at the highest possible standard.
Firstly, this kit includes a soft work mat that measures 36 x 17 inches. This mat protects your guitar from being damaged when changing the strings, as you can lay the body flat on the soft gel material.
The string winder tool that comes with this toolset is made from steel and has a smooth motion that reduces tension on your fingers, hands, and wrist. It makes replacing strings faster and easier.
No matter what size or style of tuning heads you have installed on your guitar, the winder will fit it perfectly. You can then use the many other tools in this kit to give your guitar some much-needed TLC!
In total, this kit includes 26 tools or products designed to help you to maintain your guitar more effectively.
- Cushioned work mat
- 26-piece tool kit
- Reliable string winder
- Comprehensive selection of tools
- Ideal for reinvigorating a guitar
- Compatible with guitar and bass
- May be overkill if you only need a simple string winder
Best Guitar String Winder Tools Buyer's Guide
As guitarists, we should constantly look for ways to simplify the process of maintaining our instruments and equipment so that we can spend as much time as possible practicing and enjoying playing.
Installing strings and tuning them may not be as exciting as playing a song or composing new material, but it’s an essential part of being a guitarist.
String winder tools have been around for many decades, and they are great at improving the speed of your string changes, or quickly adjusting the tuning of each peg so that you can get back to playing in no time.
You might think that these tools are all basically the same, but there are actually some key things that differentiate the various models that you should be aware of.
Things To Consider When Buying
Consider which tools you need
Many of the best guitar string winders are part of a set that includes other tools, such as string cutters, screwdrivers, Allen keys, and fretboard oils. If you only need a string winder, it might be better to opt for a standalone device rather than a full tool kit.
Think about the build quality
Affordable string winders may be made from lesser quality materials, which means there’s a higher chance of them breaking. If you like to change strings often, choose one that is made from a robust material like steel.
Consider tuning peg compatibility
If you own multiple guitars, you should look for a string winder tool that universally fits every type of tuning peg. Some are even compatible with other string instruments like ukuleles and bass guitars.
Decide between manual or powered
Powered string winders make the process easier, but some guitarists prefer to take a more hands-on approach when changing strings. You need to decide whether you’d prefer to invest a little extra for the luxury of using an automatic winder, as opposed to a manual tool.
The Qualities of a Great Guitar String Winder
The guitar string winder, or peg winder as they are sometimes called, is designed to simplify the process of restringing your instrument. These tools are most commonly used on acoustic guitars, but they can also be used on electric guitars too.
The best string winders are versatile and aren’t necessarily limited only to changing strings on a guitar.
Many winders can also be used on other stringed instruments, like mandolins or banjos. They’re also compatible with all styles of guitar, whether you play a nylon-stringed, steel-stringed acoustic, or an electric.
Another thing to look for when deciding on a guitar string winder is build quality. If a winder feels flimsy and is made entirely from cheap materials, then you can almost guarantee it won’t be as effective.
String winders that are made from high-quality, resilient materials are much more likely to last for a long time and will require less effort to use.
Multi-Tools vs. Basic Winders
Guitar accessory manufacturers often combine several different tools into one device, to make their products more appealing to musicians.
The most affordable string winders will perform only the function of turning your tuning pegs, but more expensive options are likely to include several other tools that are also very useful.
The most common tool that is combined with a guitar winder, is a string cutter.
This makes logical sense, as the winder and the cutting tool are both used during the string changing process. There’s usually some excess string that needs removing to avoid it getting in the way of your playing.
Having these two tools combined into one device can be useful, as it minimizes the chance of misplacing one of them. Indeed, these multi-tools will cost a little more, but they’re worth investing in if you don’t have a string cutter.
You may also find that some string winder tools also come with a bridge pin puller, which is useful for acoustic guitarists.
Rather than having to force the bridge pins out to place the strings under, you can use a puller to remove them gently and avoid damaging your guitar’s body.
Using a String Winder Correctly
When you change the strings on your guitar, it’s also a good opportunity to perform some vital maintenance. Cleaning the fretboard and body with a soft cloth, and applying some fretboard oil is always a good idea.
When you install the new strings and begin to tighten them with the string winder, make sure that you do this slowly to avoid them breaking.
Guitar strings can break when they are stretched too quickly, so tuning them in phases is a good idea.
You generally want to tune the strings slightly sharper than the desired note, so that as the tension brings them down they fall into roughly the correct pitch.
Guitar String Winder FAQs
Which Guitar String Should You Tune First?
When you tune your guitar, the first string that you should adjust is the low E. You’ll notice that the low E string’s tuning peg is in the first position that your fretting hand will come into contact with when you tune the guitar.
Once the low E string has been tuned, you can move down the strings in the order of lowest to highest. If the strings are recently installed, you may need to tune them more than once to get them to stay in tune.
Do Old Strings Go Out of Tune?
Strings that have been on a guitar for a long time can start to wear away, due to the constant pressure from your fingers. Also, the sweat and dirt that builds up can cause them to corrode over time.
This can lead to the strings becoming less efficient at holding tuning, so it’s a good idea to install a fresh set periodically when you notice the sound starts to go dull.
Can You Use a Peg Winder on Bass Guitar?
There are many peg winder tools available that can be used with a bass guitar. Some of these tools may be exclusively for use with bass, while others may be also compatible with acoustic and electric guitars, along with other stringed instruments.