How to Install Grover Tuners

Updated July 20, 2017

Installing new tuners on a guitar with worn or poor-quality tuners solves many tuning problems. Worn tuners slip and ruin tuning Low-quality tuners often have gears that match poorly or move too much at one turn. If tuners do not turn smoothly with small moves, tuning a guitar can be nearly impossible. New Grover tuners turn smoothly and stay in the desired position. If your guitar tuners do not work well, change them and see how much easier tuning your instrument can be.

Select the Grover tuners that best fit the guitar. Most tuners have similar-sized peg-heads, the piece that sticks out of the headstock and holds the string, but some differ. Compare the old tuners to possible replacements to choose the best fit.

Remove the screws from the old tuners and remove the tuners from the guitar. Tap the peg-head lightly with a hammer for any stuck tuner.

Remove any metal sleeves from the holes in the headstock. Most tuners have sleeves that fit the hole the peg-head passes through, but not all. Use a dowel rod the same diameter as the hole. Insert the dowel rod from the back of the headstock and tap the sleeve out.

Insert the new metal sleeves into the peg-head holes. Put the sleeves in the holes from the front of the guitar and tap them in with a hammer.

Insert a new tuner from the back of the headstock. Check the screw holes in the Grover tuner to see if they match the old holes in the guitar. If the holes match, skip to the last step.

Plug the screw holes on the guitar if the Grover tuners don't match up. Apply wood glue to the ends of toothpicks and tap the toothpicks into the holes in the guitar. Allow the glue to dry.

Cut the toothpicks flush with the guitar's headstock with a knife. Apply a small amount of wood stain to the plugs to conceal the repair.

Place the tuners in the peg-head holes and mark the position of the new screw holes on the guitar's headstock.

Drill the new holes with a small drill bit. Use a bit smaller than the screws that came with the new tuners. Drill only as deep as the length of the screws.

Place the new tuners in the peg-head holes and fasten them in place with the screws.


Matchsticks will work in place of toothpicks to plug screw holes. Sharpen the ends with a knife before plugging the hole. Visit a music store for help choosing tuners.


Drilling holes in a guitar can damage the instrument.

Things You'll Need

  • Small screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Toothpicks
  • Wood glue
  • Dowel rod
  • Drill
  • Drill bits
  • Small knife
  • Wood stain
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About the Author

Living In Virginia, Eric Linkenhoker has written professionally since 2011. His expertise lies in automotive work, stringed instruments and home improvement. He has been published online. Linkenhoker received a Master of Science in English from Radford University with concentrations in American literature and business writing.