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Best Guitar Tuners On The Market: Our Top 5 Picks

November 2, 2023 
Last Updated on November 13, 2023

Whether you’re a professional musician with decades of experience or a novice guitar player, having a guitar tuner is a necessity. While many gifted guitarists can tune by ear, they are no match for the power and precision of a tuner. Plus, imagine having to quiet everyone down at a concert while trying to tune by ear! As such, the industry offers multiple guitar tuner options, from convenient clip-ons and pedal-style tuners to precise polyphonic and strobe choices. Stick around to learn more about the best guitar tuners on the market.

Included in this guide:

Best Overall
TC Electronic Polytune Clip-On Tuner

TC Electronic Polytune Clip-On Tuner

  • Stroboscopic mode provides accuracy within +/- 0.02 cent
  • Easy to read and bright display
  • Save default tuning option
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Boss TU-3 Chromatic Tuner

Boss TU-3 Chromatic Tuner

  • Brightness control and 21-segment LED meter
  • Accu-Pitch Sign provides visual verification for complete tuning
  • Guitar Flat Mode supports flat tuning
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Top Pick
Peterson StroboStomp Mini Guitar Tuner

Peterson StroboStomp Mini Guitar Tuner

  • Impressive tuning accuracy of +/-0.1 cent
  • HD LCD and LED backlight
  • Durable metal chassis and top-mounted jacks
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Top Pick
Snark ST-8 Chromatic Tuner

Snark ST-8 Chromatic Tuner

  • The display rotates 360 degrees
  • Flat tuning option available and transpose function
  • Pitch calibration is available from 415 Hz to 466 Hz
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Lowest Price
Fender FT-1 Professional Guitar Tuner

Fender FT-1 Professional Guitar Tuner

  • Readable tuning display
  • Lasting CR2032 battery
  • +/- 1 cent accuracy
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Related Article: How To Tune A Guitar Like A Pro - Easy, Simple, And Fast!

The Top 5 Best Guitar Tuners

The TC Electronic Polytune clip boasts the convenience of a clip-on tuner while also honing the power of a pedal-style unit. As a polyphonic tuner, the product allows you to tune six strings through a single strum, making it an exceptional time-saving tool.

Besides that, TC’s tuner offers a Display Button, which turns between the Needle and Strobe Tuning Modes. As you strum a single string on Needle Mode, once the LEDs light up green, you’ve hit the correct note. Meanwhile, with the Strobe Mode, once you near the target note, the segments in the display will rotate at a slower rate.

  • Convenient to use because of the clip-on feature
  • Exceptional accurate tuning with two buttons for Turning Mode and Display Mode
  • Polyphonic features
  • No swivel joint
  • Prolonged use can damage certain finishes

When picturing a guitar tuner that professionals use at concerts, the stompbox-style, die-cast aluminum framed Boss TU-3 Chromatic tuner comes up. Its high brightness, thanks to its LED meter feature, shines through the harshest glare. You can alter between the tuner’s Chromatic or Guitar/Bass Tuning Modes. The Guitar/Bass Mode can hear the pitch of each string, emphasize the closest note name, and detect if it’s sharp or flat. Meanwhile, Chromatic Mode works best when tuning instruments like acoustic guitars and violins.

  • Excellent tuning accuracy within +/-1 cent
  • When the tuner is on, the signal mutes automatically
  • Varied tuning modes
  • Loses power when input cable is plugged, despite the tuner being off
  • No flexibility when switching between tuning modes, only turns left
  • Highly-priced

Despite being a mini version of the popular StroboStomp tuner, the product still gives you several tuning choices. It can tune acoustic guitars, 12-string guitars, and True Temperament-necked guitars. To access the StroboStomp’s tuning features, use the two buttons on either side of the box. Besides tuning options, the mini guitar tuner is firmware updatable. What does this mean for you? Well, you can create deep edits, update the unit, and design custom presets from your previous tunings.

  • 80 tuning selections that you can modify to provide ideal consonance
  • Compact design saves space
  • Varied three bypass modes are available
  • Expensive

The Snark ST-8 Chromatic tuner is designed for reliable, quick tune-ups. The new model offers enhanced accuracy and faster tuning capability. You can use the tuner for your guitar, ukulele, and bass instruments. The tuner works by focusing on the instrument’s vibrations, allowing you more freedom when tuning in a noisy background. In terms of durability, the ST-8 is fitted with vulcanized rubber joints attached in its display and a clip-on for added protection.

  • Budget-friendly
  • You can use it at the back and front of the headstock
  • Highly sensitive vibration sensor
  • Not suitable for guitars with nitrocellulose finishes
  • No internal microphone
  • Not as durable as other tuners

The Fender FT-1 Professional Guitar tuner offers the best price on the list. Despite that, it doesn’t compromise on quality. The tool is easy to use, has a simple design, and works with a built-in vibration sensor. The guitar tuner has an easy-to-read LCD screen and tuning needle, building on its convenience advantage. In terms of its design, the FT-1 features a double-hinged, clip-on body, enhancing its flexibility. You can use this guitar tuner on your electric guitar, ukulele, violin, and bass instruments.

  • Low price
  • Available for all chromatic tuning modes for violins, ukuleles, and guitars
  • Compact design
  • Small screen
  • Clip spring tension is too strong
  • Clip can be too small for some classical and acoustic guitars

Related Article: Roundwound Vs Flatwound: The Great Guitar String Debate

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What types of guitar tuners are available?

There are several types of guitar tuners, including clip-on tuners, pedal tuners, polyphonic tuners, chromatic tuners, and smartphone app tuners, each catering to different preferences and situations.

How do clip-on tuners work?

Clip-on tuners attach to the headstock of a guitar and pick up vibrations directly from the instrument. They are portable, convenient, and work well in noisy environments.

What is the difference between polyphonic and chromatic tuners?

Polyphonic tuners can analyze and display the tuning of multiple notes played simultaneously, while chromatic tuners assess one note at a time in relation to the nearest semitone.

Are smartphone app tuners accurate?

Smartphone app tuners can be quite accurate and are a convenient option. However, their performance may be affected by ambient noise, and dedicated tuners might offer more precision.

Can I use a guitar tuner for other string instruments?

Yes, many guitar tuners, particularly chromatic tuners, can be used for tuning various string instruments such as bass, violin, or ukulele.

Product Recap

Among the best guitar tuners out there, our top picks go to the TC Electronic Polytune, Boss TU-3, and Fender FT-1. The TC Electronic is ideal for all levels and offers the best of both worlds when it comes to pedal power and clip-on convenience. Meanwhile, the Boss TU-3 prioritizes all the details of crafting a tuner for professionals due to its numerous tuning modes. Lastly, the Fender FT-1 is best for those looking for a cheap, yet quality alternative.

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"Some of the links within this article are affiliate links. These links are from various companies such as Amazon. This means if you click on any of these links and purchase the item or service, I will receive an affiliate commission. This is at no cost to you and the money gets invested back into Audio Sorcerer LLC."

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