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Every guitar owner should have a guitar tool kit at-the-ready. Guitars are delicate instruments with dozens of working parts that can easily be thrown out of wack by humid or dry weather as well as movement from home to the studio or venue.
Many guitar owners opt to hand their axe over to a tech when things aren’t working properly, but being able to maintain and repair your own guitar is the best way to ensure perfect sound at all times. And with one of the best guitar tool kits, being your own tech is less intimidating than you might expect. Plus, whether adjusting truss rods or replacing strings, proper tools will ensure a much less dangerous operation than trying to use what’s already in your garage.
To help you get set up with the best guitar tool kit possible, we’ve done some digging and found a few great options.
What to Know Before Buying a Guitar Tool Kit
Guitar tool kits vary quite a bit in terms of the included tools. Below are some of the most important tools as well as why you’ll need them.
Screwdrivers and Wrenches: Most screwdriver and wrench sets won’t work for the particular screws and bolts of a guitar. The best guitar kits come with a variety of small, precision screwdrivers, wrenches and Allen wrenches that are necessary for many jobs such as adjusting intonation and string action.
String Cutters: Being able to change your own guitar strings is a must. We suggest picking a guitar tool kit that includes some high-quality string cutters and ideally a pocket for replacement strings.
String Winder: Tuning and winding a new string is much easier with a dedicated string winder. These tools latch onto the tuning pegs and allow you to quickly wind the pegs.
String Action Gauge: When checking and adjusting string action, it’s very helpful to have a special string action gauge. These small rulers measure the small distance between the strings and fretboard.
Files: Some guitar tool kits include a file made for frets, and a few kits also have guards to protect the fretboard. These files are also helpful for changing nut slot depth.
1. GIGmate Guitar Tool Kit & String Organizer
This guitar tool kit from GIGmate is about as comprehensive as they come, yet streamlined enough to transport between shows, your home and the studio. The kit comes with five Allen wrenches, including a 0.05-inch wrench for Fender saddles, a 1.5-millimeter wrench for Fender MIM and import saddles, and a 2.5-millimeter wrench for Floyd Rose saddles.
You also get a truss rod wrench that’s compatible with popular guitars such as Takamine and Martin. In short, it’s a very well-equipped kit that’s packaged in an easy-to-carry case.
2. MusicNomad Guitar Tech Screwdriver & Wrench Set
Regular screwdriver and wrench sets probably won’t cut it for making adjustments and maintaining your guitar. Adjusting pickup height, truss rods and saddles all require precision tools. This minimal screwdriver and wrench set from MusicNomad is ideal because it comes with screwdriver heads and wrenches designed for guitars. Important tools in this set include a hex wrench for unscrewing the tuners plus a special tool for unscrewing a toggle switch.
3. GOCOHHI Guitar Repairing Tool Kit
This is another one of the best guitar tool kits because it includes a wide range of tools for simple tasks such as tuning, replacing strings and adjusting frets. Checking and adjusting string action is easy thanks to a string gauge, screwdriver and Allen wrench set.
This kit also includes special fretboard guards to prevent damage while you file the frets. Plus, Gocohhi throws in some extra picks and acoustic bridge pins as well.
4. Fender Custom Shop Guitar Tools
Fender is a well-known brand with a history of high-quality guitars and guitar accessories. This kit is no different, offering specialized guitar tools that are sure to last years. The only downside is that there aren’t actually that many tools, although it should be enough for most jobs. The nine-piece kit includes tools such as a heavy-duty 4-in-1 screwdriver, hex Allen wrenches and a string winder.