If you’re looking to sound good while you’re playing, enjoy playing more, and create an experience from your guitar that you can enjoy, you’re going to need to keep it in tune.
Seriously, nothing can kill the vibe on stage worse than an out-of-tune guitar.
Luckily, there are hundreds of guitar tuners on the market today to choose from. The scary part, not all of them are made equal, meaning some won't give you as accurate of tuning as others.
Fortunately for you, we've compiled a list of some of the best guitar tuners out there, both for electric and acoustic players, that are extremely accurate, so that you don't end up with a lemon!
What kind of tuner best suits your needs?
The Best Electric Guitar Tuners
It’s important to be able to tune your electric guitar in just about any environment you’re in without having to worry about the noise, or if there is an outlet around for your pedal tuner. That’s why we’ve chosen to list some of the best and most accurate vibration-sensing tuners on the market.
The Roadie 2 is easily one of the most innovative electric guitar tuners to come out in the past couple of years. Thanks to the Roadie 2's vibration sensor, you can tune your guitar up in even the loudest of venues.
The Roadie 2 has advanced audio algorithms that have been built into the sensors to provide some of the most accurate tunings around. Simply place the tuner on your guitar pegs, pluck the string, and let the Roadie 2 tune your guitar for you. There's no room for human error!
Thanks to the high-tech readings, you can choose from over 40 different presets that include everything from open to custom tunings!
Beyond being a tuner, it works to restring your guitar quickly and painlessly thanks to the automatic winding feature. You can even shift the motor between three different speeds, perfect for when a string breaks mid-performance, and you need to tighten up that b-string before the next song!
Bottom Line: While the Roadie 2 may be a bit out of some musician’s budgets when considering tuners, it is safe to say that it is one of, if not the most, accurate tuners around. In all of my years playing guitar, I never thought a company could make such an innovative guitar tuner.
The Kliq UberTuner is a ridiculously accurate tuner with a wildly fast response time compared to most clip-on tuners. This is all thanks to the advanced micro-processing that goes on within the device, as well as the Piezo Sensor, which is built to deliver ultra-sensitive readings.
One of the best things about the Kliq UberTuner is that it is super easy to read. The display is huge considering the size of the device, allowing you to quickly read if you are sharp, flat, or perfectly in tune. Y
You can also adjust the screen to fit within your line of sight once it is hooked to your headstock too!
Just like all clip-on tuners, it detects pitches from the vibrations of your instrument, allowing you to tune in just about any environment. It’s difficult to think of a more reliable headstock tuner for people who are on a tight budget.
Bottom Line: If you want to go with a clip-on guitar tuner and you still want something that is reliable, accurate, and easy-to-read, we recommend going with the KLIQ UberTuner. It’s incredibly simple to use and will last you forever if you take care of it.
If you’re a fan of TC-Electronic’s Polytune pedals, you’ll absolutely love their Polytune Clip. Right off the bat, you’ll recognize the classic TC-Electronic look. It is a high-class, clip-on tuner with extreme accuracy and many tuning modes to pick from.
Thanks to the Polyphonic tuning mode, you can even tune all six of your strings at once!
One of the more popular modes on the Polytune Clip is the Strobe mode, which gives you +/-0.02 cent resolution, far more accurate than many clip-on tuners out there. It is also wildly fast, perfect for those moments on stage when you need to tune quickly.
One of the things we love about the Polytune Clip is that you can even tune with a capo on. This versatility and accuracy are thanks to the sleek, stainless steel clip that ensures a secure connection for detecting even the weakest of vibrations.
Bottom Line: When it comes to elegance in design and versatility in use, the people over at TC-Electronic are no strangers. From the multiple tuning modes to the highly accurate display, the TC-Electronic is one of the best modern tuners around.
With a tuning accuracy of +/-.1 cent, the Korg AWOTG Clip-On Tuner delivers rock-solid tuning in a durable and versatile fashion. Thanks to the OLED display, your pitch is easy to read, even in the darkest of environments.
We love that KORG went nuts with this one and added 11 separate animations for tuning, some of which are fun and kooky, and some of which provide your classic needle or strobe settings.
You can set your tuner to work between A=436-445 Hz, and it will automatically save your settings when you are done.
Beyond the tuning capabilities, KORG has also added a Chord Finder so that you can track your progressions. This helps to give you different chords that you are playing so that you can help your bandmates keep up in practice.
Just like the Snark SN5, it comes with an auto-shutoff feature to help conserve battery life when it’s not in use.
Bottom Line: KORG has always been one of the top dogs in terms of guitar tuners. The KORG AWOTG is a fun, versatile, and incredibly accurate tuner that is perfect for all kinds of guitarists!
The Snark SN-5 has been tailored to tune guitars incredibly accurately thanks to the fast, high-quality microprocessing chip that is installed in it.
You get a well-calibrated tune every time you use it. Just like the KLIQ UberTuner, the display on the Snark SN-5 is bright and easy to read, making it perfect for when you're playing in darker venues or clubs. It even swivels at a complete 360-degrees, allowing you to read it from just about any angle easily.
Besides having accurate tuning abilities, the Snark SN-5 also comes complete with a built-in tap tempo. This makes it an excellent practice companion too!
We love how durable this little tuner is, as well as how strong the clamp is, thanks to the spring-loaded jaws and rubber pads.
Just in case you forget to turn it off after you're done, they've included an auto-power-off feature that shuts it down after two minutes of inactivity. This helps to conserve battery life.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a versatile clip-on guitar tuner that is accurate, easy-to-read, and low-cost, the Snark SN5 is where it’s at! It’s a no-frills tuner for the guitarists who like to keep it simple.
The Best Acoustic Guitar Tuners
The Peterson StroboPlus is no doubt one of the most accurate handheld, chromatic guitar tuners around. With the large, easy-to-read screen and over 90 different tuning presets, there are a wide variety of ways to tune quickly and efficiently.
We love the fact that you can either use the built-in microphone or the ¼” input to tune up as well. This is thanks to the ultra-sensitive electret condenser that is built inside.
One interesting thing with the Peterson StroboPlus is that you can recharge it with your computer or an outlet when it dies, so no need to waste any batteries!
Beyond the tuning and charging capabilities, this acoustic guitar tuner has user-friendly navigation, tone generation, and a headphone output for when you're trying to tune in noisier environments. The cool thing is, thanks to the Peterson software, you can continually update the tuner as new types of parameter editing come about.
Bottom Line: For serious guitar technicians or those who just want the perfect tune, the Peterson StroboPlus handheld tuner is easily one of the best on the market. With a versatile design, there are indeed hundreds of way to make use of it.
The Boss TU-12EX is the successor to the once-popular Boss TU12. It comes with the same needle and LED indicators that the old one did, meaning you'll get both quick and accurate tuning.
There are tons of different tuning types built-in to the device, including flat tuning and custom tuning both up and down a maximum of six half steps. Whatever crazy tunings you're into, the Boss TU-12EX can handle it!
Thanks to the Accu-Pitch technology, you can use the loud beep and reference tone to help tune in situations that aren't so handheld friendly.
Just like many of the other acoustic guitar tuners on this list, the TU-12EX comes with an auto-off feature to help you save battery when the tuner isn’t in use. You can also plug into it with a line input if your acoustic guitar has the capability as well, giving you far more accurate tuning.
Bottom Line: Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke! The Boss TU-12 has always been a solid handheld tuner! With added features, the TU-12EX is even more accurate and versatile this time around.
The Korg series of tuners has always been at the top of the market. One of the reasons that we love the TM60BK so much is that you can use it as both an tuner and a metronome for practice.
The TM60 takes a considerable step up from the previous model with a much larger and easier-to-read display that shows you the tuner and the metronome at the same time. You can also use it for much longer, as the battery life has been improved by a landslide!
One of the great things about these KORG tuners is that they use an LCD needle meter. This detects the pitch of your guitar almost instantly, giving you an insanely fast response time to ensure that it hears the actual, fundamental note, and not any strange overtones.
We also love how wide the detection range is on this bad boy, giving you the ability to read from C1-C8 without a problem. No guitar is a match for the Korg TM60!
Bottom Line: The Korg TM60 is an absolute legendary tuner with some impressive capabilities. If you're looking to pair up both your tuning and practice with the included metronome, this is the tuner for you.
The Kliq Metropitch is a pocket-sized tuner that includes not only an accurate tuner but a metronome and tone generator. It's perfect for the musician on the go who doesn't have a ton of room to store a larger tuner, as it can fit into even the smallest of gig-bag pockets.
With a wide range that stretches from A0-C8, you can tune to your heart's desire. There are also a wide array of tuning modes and transposition settings, making it easy to tune your other instruments when you're done.
The metronome that is included is just as versatile as the tuner, giving you an incredibly wide range that stretches from 30-250 beats-per-minute. There are also a variety of different beats and rhythms to choose from, meaning guitarists of all styles can make use of it.
With a tuning precision of +/- 1 cent, it’s pretty excellent for a digital guitar tuner that is so inexpensive.
Bottom Line: If your priority is to get a handheld tuner that is both accurate and portable, the Kliq Metropitch is an excellent choice. With both precision and versatility in functionality, it's perfect for the budget musician on the go.
If you're on a serious budget but still want a handheld tuner that is both accurate and easy to take with you on the go, the Planet Waves Universal Chromatic Tuner is a great choice.
It's completely chromatic in design and comes with a bright LCD display that makes it easy to read in even the darkest of environments. You'll have no trouble trying to tune up in the dark green room before you get on stage.
They also have a large note indicator on the screen so that you can be sure you are tuning to the correct pitch.
If the environment is too loud for the built-in microphone, you can also use the ¼” input depending on the build of your acoustic guitar. One of the best things about this tuner is how tiny it is. You could literally walk around with it in your front pocket and forget that it is there.
While it may not come with all the crazy functions of more expensive guitar tuners, it does do the job in terms of being accurate.
Bottom Line: For the simple, on-a-budget musician, the Planet Waves Universal Chromatic Tuner is an excellent choice. It's simple, and user-friendly design makes it the perfect introductory guitar tuner that still retains accuracy.
One Last Note
Tuning should never be a stressful process. If anything, it should be as easy and quick as possible so that you can stay inspired before your practice or performance.
This is why it is so incredibly important to get an accurate tuner.
Ask any of the pros!
We hope that our definitive tuners guide was helpful for you! Now you never have to be the dude (or dudette) with the out-of-tune guitar at the bar again.
Mitchell Elutovich says
The “Planet Waves Universal Chromatic Tuner” seems to be out of stock, have another low cost suggestion?