How to Tighten Gibson Deluxe Tuners

Updated February 21, 2017

Gibson Deluxe Tuners are a great way to add a vintage look to your guitar. The main difference between these vintage-styled tuners and contemporary ones is that the Deluxe Tuners have a worm gear that is enclosed in a metal box. Contemporary tuners use a machine head style of gearing. The process to tighten Gibson Deluxe Tuners is not difficult. You should become familiar with the method, as the tuners will loosen with regular play.

Tighten the locknut for each tuning post on the front of the headstock with a small wrench. The headstock is the end of the guitar where the tuning pegs are attached. Each Gibson Deluxe Tuner is screwed onto the rear of the headstock, and the tuning post of each tuner passes through the stock. The strings are then attached to the tuning posts. You will see a small locknut on each tuning post. Turn this clockwise with your wrench until it is hand tight.

Turn the guitar over so you can access the back of the headstock.

Tighten the mounting screws on each tuner with a small Phillips-head screwdriver. The screws will be on the outside of the sealed casing that contains the worm gear of the tuner. Depending on what model Gibson Deluxe Tuner you have, there may be two screws per tuner or four. Make sure the mounting screws are hand tight.

Turn your guitar around so you hold it normally and tune the strings by turning the pegs clockwise to tighten them and raise the tone or counter-clockwise to loosen them and lower the tone.


Look at the casing for the gear on your Gibson Deluxe Tuner. If you see a small hole in the casing, then you have the kind that requires a drop of machine oil every few years to keep the worm gear functioning correctly. Add the oil to properly maintain your tuner. If there is no hole, then you have the greased gear version, which requires no lubrication.


Worm gear tuners do wear out. If your tuning peg feels loose or you can wobble it from side to side, then the interior bushing has worn out. You cannot fix or tighten a Gibson Deluxe Tuner if the internal gears are worn; it must be replaced.

Things You'll Need

  • Small box wrench
  • Small Phillips-head screwdriver
  • Machine oil (if needed)
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About the Author

Cassandra Tribe has worked in the construction field for over 17 years and has experience in a variety of mechanical, scientific, automotive and mathematical forms. She has been writing and editing for over 10 years. Her areas of interest include culture and society, automotive, computers, business, the Internet, science and structural engineering and implementation.