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Best guitar tuner

Best guitar tuner
(Image credit: @Alexis Baydoun on Unsplash)

Tuning a guitar is easier than ever, thanks to modern technology. You no longer need to bang out notes on a piano or use an unreliable whistle-style tuner because the all-new battery-powered guitar tuners do the heavy work for you.

The best guitar tuners clamp on to your guitar and give you a visual representation of what each pitch should sound like, eliminating all the guesswork. Simply attach a guitar tuner to your guitar, strum one string at a time, and adjust the machine tuners on your instrument accordingly. Here are our top picks. (Picks, get it?)

Staff pick

Fender Flash tuner

(Image credit: Amazon)

Fender Flash tuner (opens in new tab)

Rechargeable battery for the win

Fender Flash is a portable battery-powered tuner that works with a guitar, bass, ukulele, and violin.

Pros:

  • Rechargeable
  • Works with most stringed instruments
  • Alternate tuning modes are available
  • 10-hour battery life
  • Auto shut-off
  • Accurate tuning

Cons:

  • Power off button is a little finicky

Fender has been producing some of the world's best guitars for over 70 years, and now they've put out one of the best guitar tuners. The tiny Fender Flash fits in your guitar case or pocket when not in use and has a 10-hour battery, plus auto shut-off. Clip this on your guitar, power it on, and you're good to go. The Fender Flash is fast, accurate, and comes with a rechargeable battery. It works with a guitar, ukulele, bass, and violin and does alternate tuning modes, like open G.

Best clip opening

KLIQ UberTuner tuner

(Image credit: Amazon)

KLIQ UberTuner tuner (opens in new tab)

Fits any size instrument

The KLIQ UberTuner has an extra-wide clamp to fit all instruments, from guitars to trumpets to clarinets.

Pros:

  • Wide clamp opening fits all instruments
  • High-contrast display is easy to read
  • Fast
  • Allows for key changes
  • Tunes string, brass, and woodwind instruments

Cons:

  • It's tricky to change the battery

The KLIQ comes equipped with a highly sensitive Piezo sensor that works closely with an advanced microprocessor to deliver fast and accurate tuning. In theory, it "feels" the right note rather than hearing it, making it one of the most accurate around. Clip this tuner onto your guitar and position it in any of the three adjustment points to make it as convenient to use as possible. Immediately after you play a string, the tuner's screen will display whether your pitch is flat, sharp, or accurate.

Best value

Snark SN-8 instrument tuner

(Image credit: Amazon)

Snark SN-8 instrument tuner (opens in new tab)

Easiest to use

The Snark SN-8 tunes all instruments, has a big, colorful display, and it won't break your budget.

Pros:

  • Display rotates for easy viewing
  • Amazingly quick
  • Tap tempo metronome built-in
  • Transpose features
  • Big, beautiful display

Cons:

  • Cannot be used on all finishes without damaging the headstock

The Snark SN-8 is an excellent electronic tuner for guitars, violins, banjos, and more. This tuner delivers extremely precise tuning in only a matter of seconds. To use the Snark, simply clip it onto your guitar and pluck each string. The bright display rotates in a full circle, allowing you to see which adjustments need to be made easily. This tuner comes with pitch calibration and transpose features.

Best size

Korg PC1 PITCHCLIP tuner

(Image credit: Amazon)

Korg PC1 PITCHCLIP tuner (opens in new tab)

A low-profile design

Korg's PITCHCLIP is the best tuner for left and right-handed players, plus its piezo sensor is dead-on accurate.

Pros:

  • Flips upside down for left and right-handed players
  • Slim and lightweight
  • Built-in piezo sensor is accurate
  • Clips on without damaging headstock

Cons:

  • Takes a little more time than other tuners 

The Korg PC1 PITCHCLIP is a chromatic guitar tuner built for acoustic guitars. It's lightweight, compact, and has a display that can easily be seen from any angle when clipped to your guitar's headstock. The PITCHCLIIP detects a vast range of tones and helps you get your guitar strumming at the perfect pitch. The built-in LED screen is reliable and easy to understand, and the auto power-off function helps to extend the battery life.

Best strobe

TC Electronic Polytune tuner

(Image credit: Amazon)

TC Electronic Polytune tuner (opens in new tab)

Straightforward tuning

The TC Electronic Polytune is a strobe tuner that's super fast, great in noisy concert halls, and tremendously accurate.

Pros:

  • Great accuracy
  • Lightweight
  • Super fast
  • Auto shut-off
  • Good in noisy environments

Cons:

  • Expensive

The TC Electronic Polytune is clip-on in style. With a sensitive strobe tuner built in, the Polytune is 30 times more accurate than other tuner types. This model can be used with both acoustic and electric guitars via its clip-on mount. It features a bright, adaptive screen that is easy to read indoors and out and at any time of day.

Tuned in 

Investing in one of the best guitar tuners is a no-brainer. They work quickly, are easy to store, and cost very little. The best on this list is the Fender Flash (opens in new tab). It's a rechargeable model with long battery life and auto shut-off, and it works with most stringed instruments.

You won't have to worry about sounding too flat or too sharp with the KLIQ UberTuner (opens in new tab) as this device comes prepared with a highly sensitive Piezo sensor to ensure your tune is always flawless.  The KLIQ has an ultra-wide clamp to fit most instruments and is incredibly accurate.

If you're a beginner or just looking for a cheaper option, you may be interested in the Snark SN-8 (opens in new tab).

Why trust us?

At TheRadar, we recommend the best products to enhance your life. As expert curators, we handpick products based on quality and usefulness to positively impact your day-to-day, from cart to doorstep. We take our responsibility seriously — testing products, reading reviews, and sourcing knowledgeable outlets to ensure our selections are worthy of your time and money. We deliver detailed product overviews, balancing objective information with subjective opinions, so making the best choice for your home and lifestyle is as easy as possible.

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