What is a Locking Tuner and How You Are Probably Using it Wrong

Author: Lachlan Bush  Date Posted:13 November 2020 

What is a locking tuner?

A locking tuner works in a very similar way to a normal electric guitar machine head, with the addition of a locking clamp inside the string hole that holds the string firmly in place. This ensures that the strings don’t slip at all, and makes for much better tuning stability. Because of this locking mechanism, the string doesn’t need so many turns around the tuning peg, which also makes changing your strings quick and easy!

The locking pin can be seen inside the tuning peg hole in the above picture, and once the string is inserted through the machine head this will ensure the string does not move or come unwound from the peg. You use the locking wheel on the rear of the machine heads to tighten this locking mechanism and then turn the tuning peg as normal to tune up the string.

How do I use my Locking Tuners?

  1. Slacken the old string, open the locking mechanism using the wheel on the rear of the tuner, and remove the string.
  2. Insert the new string through tailpiece/bridge or tremolo block and remember to pull the string all the way through to the ball. 
  3. Insert the string through the tuning post in a straight line. Unlike standard tuners, the hole in the locking tuner should be in a straight line with the neck before you pull the string through. Make sure to pull the string all the way through so there is no extra slack.
  4. Tighten the locking mechanism on the rear of the tuning peg to ensure that the string will not slip out of the locking tuner as you tune.
  5. Tune up the new string. With the string pulled through and locked, it should not need to wrap around the tuning post more than about one full turn (sometimes even less).
  6. Clip the new string approximately 1/8” from the hole and repeat for the remaining strings. 

Artist TC59 Headstock with Locking Tuners

Other things to know about Locking Tuners

  • Locking tuners will provide strong, stable tuning on even the biggest bends and most aggressive playing
  • Changing strings is very fast and locking tuners are the stage-performers best friend! Simply unlock the tuner, change the string, and lock it again; not having to endlessly wind onto the peg will save you time in a bind! 
  • Locking tuners are available in various forms, six-a-side, three-a-side, vintage-style, or modern, and are often simple drop-in replacements for your standard tuners. 
  • Locking tuners, a bone nut, and good-quality bridge/saddles are the three most important factors for stable tuning.
  • Locking tuners are not often found on more affordable guitars. We include locking tuners on the majority of our Signature models as standard, and they can also make a very fun and easy upgrade!

Thanks for reading this blog! For even more great content, check out these pages: 


I hope this article has helped. if you need any assistance please email:

sales@artistguitars.com.au or call us on 1300 489 816

© Artist Guitars 2020

Leave a comment

Comments have to be approved before showing up