How do I find the right locking tuners for my guitar?

1. Choose the right type of guitar machine heads

First of all, you have to think about what type of guitar machine heads you want for your guitars. There are a variety of different guitar mechanics on the market. We have therefore created a separate page for this topic, which you can find here .

If you are clear about the type of guitar mechanics, continue with the next points to find the right variant for the selected type of guitar mechanics that fits your guitar.

 

2. Determine the hole diameter for the adjusting axis/post of the guitar machine heads on the headstock of the guitar

In order for the guitar mechanics to fit through the holes on the headstock of your guitar, it is of course important to know how big these holes are and what diameter the guitar mechanics have.

Most modern guitars have 10mm holes for guitar machine heads. Many vintage guitars have 8.5 mm holes for guitar machine heads. Special dimensions can also be found on some guitars, but these are so extremely rare that guitar tuners are often not offered for them.

Our Silverback Vintage Tuners "Leonidas" and "Paulus" have a diameter of 8.5 mm. Here you can find our Leonidas vintage guitar machine heads and here to our Paulus vintage guitar machine heads

Our Monkey Locks - Locking Tuners all have a 10 mm diameter for modern guitars. Here you can find our Monkey Locks - Locking Tuners.

To find out the hole diameter for the guitar machine heads in your headstock, you can easily measure the holes or simply measure the guitar machine heads that were previously installed.

 

3. Determine the mounting method for the guitar tuners on the headstock of the guitar

There are different ways to attach guitar machine heads to the guitar headstock. A guitar mechanic is always attached to two points on the guitar headstock. A distinction is made between the attachment of the guitar mechanics on the front of the guitar headstock to the adjusting axis / post of the guitar mechanics and the attachment on the back of the guitar headstock to the housing of the guitar mechanics.

 

3.1 Attaching the guitar mechanics from the front: to the adjusting axis/post

 

3.1.1 Fastening the guitar mechanics with screw sockets

Guitar machine heads with screw sockets are usually found on modern guitars. The screw sockets are screwed from the front into the headstock of your guitars directly into the guitar mechanics, which are mounted from the back of the headstock. The guitar mechanics screw sockets hold the guitar mechanics firmly on the headstock and secure them from falling out. The radial securing of the guitar mechanics, i.e. securing them against twisting, is done either by the screws or pins on the housing of the guitar mechanics (see 3.2 Fastening the guitar mechanics from the back)

We also sell our screw sockets for guitar mechanics separately. Click here to access our screw sockets.

 

3.1.2 Fastening the guitar mechanics with press-in sleeves

Fastening with press-in sleeves is mostly used for vintage guitar mechanics. However, one speaks here of a guide rather than a fastening, since the press-in sleeve does not hold the guitar mechanics in place, but rather the adjusting axis/post of the guitar mechanics runs in the press-in sleeve.

In this variant, the guitar mechanics are always attached to the housing of the guitar mechanics with two screws, which secure the guitar mechanics against both radial twisting and against falling out (see point 3.2.1.2 Fastening with two screws).

We also sell our press-in sleeves for guitar machine heads separately. Click here to access our press-in sleeves.

 

3.2 Attaching the guitar mechanics from the back: to the housing

 

3.2.1 Screw fastening

Fastening the guitar mechanics to the headstock of the guitar using screws is the most common method. A distinction is made between fastening the guitar mechanics with either one or two screws.

We also sell our screws for guitar machine heads separately. Click here to access our screws.

 

3.2.1.1 Fastening with a screw

Fastening the guitar mechanics with a screw is usually found on modern guitar mechanics. Depending on the guitar mechanics, different screw tab angles are used. A distinction is made between the following screw tabs:

  • 90 degree screw tab
  • 135 degree screw tab
  • 180 degree screw tab

We only offer our Monkey Locks - Locking Tuners with a 135 degree screw tab, as this is the most common. Here you can find our locking tuners.

 

When screwing on guitar mechanics, it is important to pay attention to how many degrees the screw tab has so that it fits the guitar. If the angle of the screw bracket doesn't fit, you can of course simply drill new holes in the headstock.

 

3.2.1.2 Fastening with two screws

Fastening guitar machine heads with two screws is usually found on vintage guitar machine heads. There is a screw hole on the left and right of the housing of the guitar mechanics, as is often found on guitar mechanics for Les Paul & SG style guitars. On some guitar mechanics these are also offset. Another variant is often found on vintage Strat & Tele style guitars. There a screw holds the left and right guitar mechanics at the same time.

Our Silverback Vintage Tuners “Leonidas” and “Paulus” are among these variants. Here you can find our Leonidas vintage guitar machine heads and here to our Paulus vintage guitar machine heads

 

When screwing on guitar mechanics, it is important to pay attention to how many degrees the screw tab has so that it fits the guitar. If the angle of the screw bracket doesn't fit, you can of course simply drill new holes in the headstock.

 

3.2.2 Pin fastening

The pin attachment of guitar machine heads is not as widespread as the screw attachment. With the pin attachment, the housing of the guitar mechanics is locked in the headstock of the guitar using one or two pins attached to the back of the housing. So we differentiate:

  • 1 pin variant
  • 2 pin variant

The pin fastening of guitar mechanics is always combined with fastening from the front with screw sleeves (see point 3.1.1), as this type of fastening protects the guitar mechanics from falling off. The sole purpose of the pin attachment is to ensure that the guitar mechanics cannot twist or slip radially.

 

When attaching guitar mechanics with pins, pay attention to how many pins are used and what diameter and spacing the pins have so that they fit the guitar. If the pins don't fit, you can of course close the old pin holes in the headstock of the guitar and drill new pin holes. This is of course much more complex than screw fastenings.