The 8 Best Guitar Tuners for Accurate Tuning in 2020

One accessory that all guitar players need is a good guitar tuner. While you can tune your guitar manually, this takes time to learn, and not everyone has an ear for tuning their instrument properly. There are several different types of guitar tuners. This guide will help you pick out the best guitar tuner to meet your needs.

In a hurry? Here are our top picks..

Are Guitar Tuners Accurate?

Yes, tuners are accurate. They are far more accurate than tuning your guitar manually. You may be slightly off when you tune your guitar by hand, but it’s hard to do this with a digital or meter tuner. This is one tool that you need to have in your guitar case. Here are the various types you can buy.

Digital Guitar Tuner

The easiest guitar tuner to use is one that is digital. This will give you the names of the notes on a digital LCD screen. Green means the note is in tune while red means the note is out of tune. Each product may act a bit differently depending upon the manufacturer so it’s important to read all the instructions. For example, some tuners come with metronomes in addition tot he ability to tune your guitar. They are simple to use for the most part, and you don’t need any skill to operate them.

Meter Tuner

Older tuners have a dial or meter that moves up and down. Once it gets to the desired note, the string is in tune. Some digital tuners still have arms, but they are now not as common as digital ones are easier to use. Almost all tuners made today are digital.

Pedal Tuner

Some manufacturers make a pedal tuner. This type of tuner sits on your pedalboard if you play live. It makes it easy to tune your guitar between songs. The downside to this style is that they cost a lot more.

Tuner/Metronome

Some tuners have a metronome built-in. This gives you two tools in one. You can practice guitar and develop your speed as well as tune your guitar when necessary. This can be a good combination as you won’t have to buy a separate metronome and tuner.

Headstock or Clip-On Tuner

There are many small tuners that attach to your guitar headstock. These are ideal if you play on stage a lot. It makes tuning simple in between songs or sets. The tuner stays put of the way, and you can tune-up as quickly as necessary. These come with a clip or strap, so they fit on the headstock with ease. Many of them can be left on your guitar in the case if you prefer.

Are Clip Tuners Any Good?

For tuning your instrument, the clip style is fine. You have to be careful to avoid products that are on the cheap side. You want a tuner that is built well, so you get an accurate reading when tuning your guitar.

What is the Most Accurate Guitar Tuner?

Digital products are the most accurate. The old arm style tuners are not quite as accurate and harder to use. A digital tuner will get your guitar in tune quickly. Read the instructions prior to use for the best results. Make sure the device has fresh batteries, as this can impact the performance.

What is the Best Clip-On Tuner?

Clip-on tuners are ideal as they go behind the headstock on your guitar and stay out of the way as you play. You want one that has long battery life and a clip or strap that is sturdy, so it doesn’t fall off when you’re using it. The best clip-on tuners have these features.

How to Tune with a Tuner

There are several steps you need to take for precise tuning. Use this guide to help you out.

Tune Before You Play

Tune your guitar before you play. Your instrument will lose tuning in a guitar case over time. If you play live, tune after every song or when you notice your guitar doesn’t sound right.

Have the Right Setup

Make sure your instrument has the right setup. It should be properly intonated. This will ensure the tuning is accurate up and down the guitar neck. You will also want to set the action of the strings to what you like. This improves tuning and makes the instrument as comfortable as possible to play.

Tune Slowly

It doesn’t take much to get a guitar in tune. You want to make small movements of the peg as you tune and watch the meter on your tuner. Most people make mistakes by trying to tune too fast. Once the meter gets into the green, you’re in tune. If you go too high, it will turn red, so tune down to you reach the pitch. Tune slowly for the best tuning accuracy.

Remove Old Strings

As your strings get old, tuning becomes difficult. It’s ideal to have newer strings if you want accurate tuning. If you have difficulty reaching pitch with your strings, remove them and put on a fresh set.

New Strings Struggle to Reach Pitch at First

New strings struggle to reach the pitch and will go in and out of pitch often. Strings need time to settle and stretch to the right pitch. You will have to tune news strings several times before they settle down to the right pitch. As you tune, don’t tune the news strings too high, or it will break. Make small turns of the headstock peg as you tune-up.

Learn Manual Tuning

Even the best guitar tuners have their limits. It’s a good idea to combine a good tuner with manual tuning. By knowing how to raise the guitar to the right pitch by ear, it ensures that your guitar is always in tune. You may not always be able to rely on your tuner. If you forget it at home at some point, you’ll want the ability to tune your instrument by ear.

Change Batteries

A tuner loses accuracy over time with low battery life. make sure you change the batteries periodically on your device so you get accuracy while tuning. If the device doesn’t seem to reach pitch or makes wild movements while tuning, it needs new batteries.

Best Guitar Tuner Reviews

A tuner loses accuracy over time with low battery life. make sure you change the batteries periodically on your device so you get accuracy while tuning. If the device doesn’t seem to reach pitch or makes wild movements while tuning, it needs new batteries.

1. Fender FT-2 Professional – Best Clip-on Guitar Tuner

Fender FT-2 Professional Clip on Tuner for Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Bass, Mandolin, Violin, Ukulele, and Banjo

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If you play guitar on stage you need a high-quality product to help you tune your instrument. Fender makes great accessories for your guitar such as the Fender FT-2 Professional.

This device has dual hinges so it’s stable and stays in place on your guitar headstock. You can place this unit on either side of your guitar headstock to suit your needs. It works for both acoustics and electrics as well as other instruments. The LCD screen is bright so you can read the notes even in poor lighting. It tunes to the standard calibration of A440 and you get a CR2032 battery with the unit when you buy it. The unit has a vibration sensor so you can still tune even if the room is loud. It’s easy to use and you’ll get an accurate reading to ensure your instrument is in tune at all times.

Pros:

  • Dual hinge for easy placement
  • Big LCD screen
  • Accurate tuning

Cons:

  • Some users had quality control issues with the unit
  • Battery life may not be what you expect

2. KLIQ MetroPitch – Best Tuner with a Metronome Built-In

KLIQ MetroPitch - Metronome Tuner for All Instruments - with Guitar, Bass, Violin, Ukulele, and Chromatic Tuning Modes - Tone Generator - Carrying Pouch Included, Black

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If you’re in need of a tuner as well as a metronome the KLIQ MetroPitch has you covered. This device offers 3 tools in one convenient product.

With this product, you get a metronome, tuner, and a tone generator in one small pocket-sized device. It comes with a carrying pouch so you can take it with you. It covers a wide range and there are different tuning modes as well as modes for transposition and the calibration of the pitch. KLIQ MetroPitch works with multiple instruments, not just guitars. The metronome features a tap tempo. It covers a range from 30 beats all the way up to 250 beats per minute. There are different rhythm patterns and beats covered with this metronome. You can use the dial feature to dial in your desired tempo. You can easily change pictures with the tone generator. The device ships with a 3-year manufacturer guarantee.

Pros:

  • 3 tools in one product
  • Comes in different colors
  • Carrying pouch

Cons:

  • Might be too complex for beginners

3. Boss TU-3 Chromatic Tuner Pedal – Best Pedal Tuner

BOSS TU-3 Chromatic Tuner Stompbox (TU3)

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Boss makes a wide range of guitar pedals. They also offer the TU3 pedal tuner which makes tuning your guitar easy on stage. This pedal is easy to incorporate into your pedalboard and available at all times to keep your guitar in tune between songs.

This Boss pedal features a high brightness mode so you can use it even when you are outside to tune your instrument. It has an LED meter and it also features support for dropped tunings and a wide tuning range. It works in both a guitar and bass mode. This pedal will give you accurate pitch and it’s easy to see when you are close to pitch via the screen. This pedal also has support for 7 string guitars and 6 string basses so it can cover a wide range of instruments. You can use the flat tuning feature to tune your instrument for a drop tuning. You can tune down up to 6 semitones below your regular standard pitch. For anyone that is looking for a high-quality pedal for tuning their guitar, this is the one you want to own.

Pros:

  • Incorporates easily with your pedalboard
  • Support for drop tunings and multi-stringed instruments
  • Rugged construction

Cons:

  • Costs more than some devices
  • You need to buy a separate power supply if you don’t use batteries

4. D’Addario NS Micro – Top Small Compact Device for Tuning

D’Addario NS Micro Clip-On Tuner

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This device by D’Addario Small is compact. It makes easy to get your guitar in tune. You get two products when you order so you will save money.

You can easily hide this device on your guitar headstock because it is compact. It is discrete, lightweight, and you can keep it on your headstock while your guitar is in the case. It features an accurate piezo transducer, so your instrument is always going to be in tune. D’Addario NS Micro has a wide calibration range so the tuning is accurate. The tricolor backlit screen is easy to read. When a note is out of tune it is in red, when it’s getting closer it is in yellow. When you are perfectly in tune it will turn green. It comes with a CR2032 battery and it has an auto-off function to save battery life. The mechanism swivels 360 degrees so you can use the device from different angles. It will fit both right-handed and left-handed instruments and various headstock sizes.

If you’re looking for a small and compact device to help you tune your instrument, this is the one for you.

Pros:

  • Compact size
  • Two products when you order
  • Easy to read

Cons:

  • Not a lot of features
  • Some buyers had quality control issues

5. JOWOOM T2 Smart Automatic – Best Unique Tuning Product

JOWOOM T2 Smart Automatic Guitar & Ukulele Tuner | Fast Acoustic Guitars Auto-Tuner With 180RPM Electric String Winder | Safe & Professional Grade Tuner For Ukuleles | USB Rechargeable Battery | Black

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The JOWOOM T2 is a unique product to help you tune your guitar. It features both a tuner and a peg winder in one unique device.

Save time when tuning your guitar with this product. It’s easy to restring your instrument with the ped winder and then get the string in tune with the auto tuner. You can use this product with various instruments. The electric peg winder is fast so you’ll be re-stringing your instrument quickly and then getting it into tune. You’re also going to save money on batteries as this product is driven by USB. It features an easy to read LCD screen so tuning your instrument is simple. There are only a few buttons on this product so it’s not as complex as other devices on the market for getting your instrument into tune. This device is also ergonomic so it’s not going to slip out of your hand. For anyone looking for a unique product for instrument tuning, this one has you covered.

Pros:

  • Unique two-in-one device
  • Easy to read LCD screen
  • USB powered

Cons:

  • Some users had issues with peg winder
  • You need a USB device handy to recharge

6. Snark ST-2 All Instrument – Best Device for Beginners

Snark ST-2 All Instrument Clip-On Chromatic Tuner

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Snark makes easy to use products for instrument tuning. This tuner is simple to use a which makes it the best guitar tuner for beginners.

It’s easy to clip this device onto your guitar headstock. The display will rotate 360 degrees so you can view it from different angles. It can be used with multiple instruments. You also get a tap tempo metronome with this product so you can practice your rhythm. It’s sensitive to vibration so you can tune your instrument even in noisy conditions. Easy to tune things to the full-color display and it’s quite small so it will stay out of the way while you were playing your instrument. You can use it for both live playing situations and when you are practicing your guitar. This is an excellent simple to use clip-on tuner which makes it easy for beginners to get their guitar in tune.

Pros:

  • Simple operation
  • Small and compact
  • Bright color

 

Cons:

  • Might be too simple for some users

7. BOSS TU-12EX Chromatic Tuner – Best Old School Device with Meter Arm

BOSS TU-12EX Chromatic Tuner

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Some people prefer old school guitar tuners such as the Boss TU-12. this device features the old-style need alarm which helps you tune your instrument.

This device will help you get accurate and fast tuning. your instrument will be in tune when the needle arm is at the middle point. It has flat tuning of up to 6 and 1/2 steps. There is a built-in microphone so you can tune acoustic instruments as well. It supports 7-string guitars as well as regular 6 string instruments. There is an auto-off function so you will save battery life. If you want a device to tune your guitars but don’t like digital products, this one will suit your needs.

Pros:

  • Old-style needle arm
  • Works with 6-7 strings and bass
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • You often have to change batteries
  • High cost when compared to digital tuners

8. KLIQ TinyTune Pro Stage – Best Professional Tuning Device

KLIQ TinyTune Pro Stage Tuner Pedal for Guitar and Bass with True Bypass Switching, Pitch Calibration and Flat Tuning (Power Supply Required)

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When you play guitar in a live situation, you need an accurate tuner. Clip-on tuners can be fine, but they are often not as accurate as you would like. You need a full feature to pedal style tuner if you want to keep your guitar in excellent tune while you play songs from your t.

This device has a 32-bit processor. It’s accurate and faster than ever before. You can tune your instrument fast and get back to playing. The LED display is easy to read even in dim light or in broad daylight. You can use a regular classic meter or a strobe style display, so you have a couple of setup options. This pedal we’ll set up perfectly with your pedalboard so you can use it with all of your other gear. You can also set up for flat tuning up to seven semitones. The device will remember your preferred to tuning settings even after you have powered it down. The diecast metal body is sturdy and it will last a long time.

You get a 1-year manufacturer warranty when you purchase. If you’re looking for a top-quality professional product to keep your guitar is in tune, the KLIQ TinyTune has everything you could possibly want.

Pros:

  • Pedal style for great accuracy
  • Two modes
  • Works in bright and dim light

Cons:

  • You need to buy a power supply for it
  • Batteries can decay without warning

Conclusion

This guide should help you find the best guitar tuner to meet your needs. The one you by will all depend upon what you want to do with it. A clip-on style such as the Snark ST-2 All Instrument is ideal if you want to tune your guitar quickly and need a compact device.

If you have a stage setup such as a pedalboard, you might want to go with the Boss TU3 Chromatic Tuner Pedal. For live performances, this is the clear winner as it has everything you need to get your guitar in tune without a lot of hassle. Old School players will love the BOSS TU-12EX Chromatic Tuner. This has the old-style meter arm which some players prefer. It works with six-string as well as 7 string guitars. For modern players who are more used to recharge devices via USB, The JOWOOM T2 Smart Automatic is a solid choice.

You should still learn how to do manual tuning, but a high-quality guitar tuner is going to make your life a lot easier. Make sure you have fresh batteries installed in devices that require them for the best results. You may need to buy power supplies for pedal tuners as they don’t ship with them, although you can run them on only batteries if you like.

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