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Are you sick of your guitar always sounding out of tune? We guitarists know how you feel. Tuning issues can make playing the guitar a frustrating activity, especially if you have to battle with pitch issues while rocking out in a live setting. For this reason, it's important to have a reliable guitar tuner to keep your guitar on key at all times. In this article, we've taken 10 popular tuners and compared them in order to find which one is the best guitar tuner. It's our goal to keep you informed, so that if your tuner is lacking, you'll know some better options that are out there waiting for you. Keep reading to see what they are!

1. What Makes the Best Guitar Tuner?

2. Do I Need a Guitar Tuner?

How We Reviewed

adult playing guitar

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To come to the best possible conclusion regarding these guitar tuners, we put in a lot of time and effort to find out as much as possible about each. We researched each tuner's technical specifications and even read reports from people who have used them. Eventually, we decided that the most important parameters to judge them on are pitch accuracy, functionality, and versatility.

Overall Price Range

The guitar tuners we reviewed for this article range in price from about $ to $$$. The cheapest tuners clipped on to your guitar whereas the more expensive tuners were in the form of a guitar pedal.

What We Reviewed

  •  Snark ST-2 All Instrument Clip-On Chromatic Tuner
  • TC Electronic PolyTune 3 Polyphonic LED Guitar Tuner
  • KLIQ UberTuner
  • D'Addario NS Micro Clip-On Tuner
  • Snark SN1 Guitar Tuner
  • Korg Pitchblack Advance Tuner
  • Snark SN5X Clip-On Tuner for Guitar
  • BOSS Compact Chromatic Tuner
  • Snark SN-8 Super Tight All Instrument Tuner
  • TC Electronic Polytune 2 Mini Pedal Tuner 

Snark ST-2 All Instrument Clip-On Chromatic Tuner

Snark ST-2 All Instrument Clip-On Chromatic Tuner
  • With stay put clip, display rotates 360 degrees for easy viewing
  • Extended frequency range for all instruments
  • Tap Tempo Metronome

Features

The first guitar tuner we are going to look at is the Snark ST-2. This is a clip-on style tuner that you can clip to your guitar. Alternatively, you can just set it down if you prefer not to use the clip. Either way, it's an excellent tuner that has received rave reviews. But is it the best guitar tuner?

This little red tuner is capable of sensing sound frequencies with both its internal mic and vibration sensor. You can clip it to the headstock of your guitar to tune via vibration or set it somewhere nearby and tune using its built-in microphone. Both methods will give you accurate readings.

Overall, this is a great little battery powered tuner to add to the rest of your guitar accessories. You can easily stick it in your pocket and take it with you wherever you go.

  • Where to Buy
  • Warranty

Snark offers a 1-year limited warranty on their ST-2 tuner.

TC Electronic Polytune 3 Polyphonic LED Guitar Tuner

Sale
TC Electronic PolyTune 3 Polyphonic LED Guitar Tuner Pedal w/Buffer
  • Ultra-compact polyphonic tuner gives you fast, accurate tuning and a high-quality tone tool in a single unit Quickly get...
  • When it was introduced in 2010, the original Polytune forever revolutionized the way musicians tune their instruments
  • Praised by professional and amateur players, guitar tuning instantly became as simple as strum, tune, rock! So how do...

Features

Clip-on tuners are great for use during practice and small performances, but when you're playing to a big crowd, they aren't so ideal. In these cases, tuner pedals such as the TC Electronic PolyTune 3 work much better. They are much more discreet and easier to manage in live situations.

This tuner pedal is a favorite of many guitar players and is now on its third iteration. It has a solid metal casing that ensures everything inside is left in pristine condition.

When engaged, the pedal mutes your guitar signal and goes into tuning mode. When turned off, the pedal will allow your signal to go through with true bypass.

According to TC Electronic, this tuner will get you to within 0.5% accuracy. With this pedal, you'll have your guitar sounding great every time you use it. It's truly a great tool to look into if you're serious about finding the best guitar tuner.

  • Where to Buy
  • Warranty

This can be found in Amazon.

KLIQ UberTuner

KLIQ UberTuner - Clip-On Tuner for All Instruments - with Guitar,...
  • FAST & ACCURATE: Spend more time playing, and less time tuning. The UberTuner's advanced Micro Processor and highly...
  • SUPER BRIGHT DISPLAY: The large color display allows you to easily see if you're flat, sharp, or dead-on from any angle....
  • EASY TO USE: Turn it on, clip it on, and you're ready to tune. Since the tuner detects the pitches directly from your...

Features

Clip-on tuners have been all the rage in recent years, and it seems like every company has a version of their own. This includes KLIQ, the maker of the UberTuner. Their tuner performs the same basic functions as the Snark ST-2; however, its design is a bit different.

The UberTuner has a very bright display that is easy to see even in the darkest of places. It works solely off of your instrument's vibrations, so you have to clip it onto your guitar in order to receive any pitch readings. And, like other similar tuners, it runs off of batteries.

You'll also appreciate that the tuners LCD display is connected to a swivel that allows you to position the display you want. Regardless of where you are, you'll always be able to see the screen.

  • Where to Buy
  • Warranty

This can be found in Amazon.

D'Addario NS Micro Clip-On Tuner

Sale
D’Addario NS Micro Clip-On Tuner – Highly Precise, Easy to Read,...
  • THE STEALTH TUNER – Your audience will never know there is a tuner on your instrument with the highly precise Micro...
  • EXTREME ACCURACY – The NS Micro features an extremely accurate piezo transducer that picks up an instrument’s...
  • EASY TO READ - The easy-to-read, tri-color backlit screen displays the note in red when out of tune, yellow when close,...

Features

Another tuner that needs to be mentioned is D'Addario's NS Micro Clip-On Tuner. It's a nice little tuner that clips to your guitar's headstock much like other clip-on tuners. This one doesn't have a swivel that lets you adjust its LCD screen. However, this is not a major issue, because the tuner clips to your instrument in such a way that you can always see the pitch readings.

There are actually 3 versions of this tuner that you can choose from: clip-on, clip-free, or universal. The clip-free version actually sticks to your instrument, making it super easy to hide. You can stick it to the back of your headstock so that no one can see it. The universal version, on the other hand, can be clipped or stuck to your guitar.

  • Where to Buy
  • Warranty

This can be found in Amazon.

Snark SN1 Guitar Tuner

Sale
Snark SN1 Guitar Tuner (Blue)
  • With stay put clip, display rotates 360 degrees for easy viewing
  • Features frequency range tailored for guitar and bass
  • Pitch Calibration (415-466 Hz)

Features

We already looked at the Snark ST-2, and now it's time to check out their SN1 guitar tuner. This tuner is scaled back a bit as compared to the ST-2, but it still offers the same reliable quality that Snark is known for.

While the ST-2 is tailored to work with all instruments, the SN1 is meant to only work with bass and guitar. If you aren't worried about tuning other instruments, this shouldn't be an issue. However, if you're looking for a tuner that can tune pretty much anything, you won't get that here.

Regardless, you still get accurate tuning and a tap tempo metronome with the SN1. It's a solid guitar tuner; it just doesn't offer as much versatility as the ST-2.

  • Where to Buy
  • Warranty

This can be found in Amazon.

Korg Pitchblack Advance Tuner

Sale
Korg Tuner (PBAD)
  • Cutting-edge design, with a superbly visible display
  • Ultra-high tuning accuracy of +/- 0.1 cents
  • Four meter display modes; true bypass

Features

Korg is no stranger when it comes to music equipment, and their Pitchblack Advance tuner fits right in on this list of the best guitar tuner options. This is another pedal tuner that deserves a place on your pedal board and, taken good care of, will serve you well for years.

It has a solid metal encasing that is meant to protect this unit at all costs. The top of the pedal has an LCD display that shows the pitch as well as a meter that indicates whether the pitch is sharp or flat. You can choose from four different display modes in the event that you are unsatisfied with the standard display.

With true bypass and up to 60 hours of operation when running on batteries, this is a true contender for best guitar tuner.

  • Where to Buy
  • Warranty

This can be found in Amazon.

Snark SN5X Clip-On Tuner for Guitar

Snark SN5X Clip-On Tuner for Guitar, Bass & Violin (Current Model)
  • Full Color Display
  • Features frequency range tailored to guitar and bass
  • Tuner can be used on front of back of headstock,Rotates 360°

Features

An additional Snark guitar tuner we are going to talk about is their SN5X clip-on tuner. As you've seen already, Snark makes a lot of tuners that are very similar with small variations between them. Upon first glance, you won't notice anything different between the SN5X and the SN1 aside from color. So how are they any different?

The Snark SN5X works for bass, guitar, and violin whereas the SN1 does not support violin tuning. This is really the only difference between the two tuners (again, aside from color). Your preference towards either heavily depends on whether you play the violin or plan on picking it up in the future. If you aren't concerned with violin tuning capabilities, the choice between the SN5X or SN1 comes down to color alone.

  • Where to Buy
  • Warranty

This can be found in Amazon.

BOSS Compact Chromatic Tuner

BOSS Chromatic Tuner for Guitar Pedalboard (TU-3S)
  • Respected TU-3 tuning performance in a more compact size21-segment LED meter with brightness controlHigh Brightness mode...

Features

BOSS's Compact Chromatic Tuner looks like a guitar pedal. However, it's actually a passive guitar tuner meant for your pedal board. There is no on or off switch on the unit, so it constantly stays on when plugged in. It makes a nice addition to your guitar pedal kit if you need a good tuning solution.

Removal of the engage/disengage switch on this tuner is what allows it to sport such a compact form. It's as if someone became angry with a guitar pedal and chopped the bottom half of it off. Even so, you still get a great LCD display at the top that shows you your instrument's pitch and degrees of sharp or flat.

  • Where to Buy
  • Warranty

This can be found in Amazon.

Snark SN-8 Super Tight All Instrument Tuner

Snark SN-8 Super Tight All Instrument Tuner
  • Super Tight Tuning
  • Faster
  • Brighter EZ Read Display

Features

The final Snark tuner that made it onto our list is their SN-8 Super Tight All Instrument Tuner. This is their flagship tuner, as it takes everything great about their other tuners and puts it all into one. If you're looking for the total package from Snark, this is it.

The company's other tuners are limited as to which instruments they can give pitch readings for. The SN-8 is not restricted in this way; you can use it to tune any instrument. This particular tuner also features Snark's best tuning technology. You can be certain of pitch-perfect accuracy every time.

  • Where to Buy
  • Warranty

This can be found in Amazon.

TC Electronic Polytune 2 Mini Pedal Tuner

TC Electronic Polytune 2 Mini Pedal Tuner
  • Ultra-precise Chromatic Strobe Tuner 
  • PolyTune Technology - Tune All Strings Simultaneously 
  • Retina-scorching Bright Display

Features

Our final guitar tuner on this list is the TC Electronic Polytune 2 Mini Pedal Tuner. It's the Polytune 3's little brother--and when we say "little," we really mean it! This is a mini pedal that you can wedge into the tiniest places on your pedal board; it's less than four inches long.

Like the Polytune 3, it is true bypass, so you won't have to worry about any hiss disrupting your guitar signal when the tuner is disengaged.

These Polytune pedals have become well-known for their accuracy, and you can expect the same from this one. It gives you TC Electronic's famous tuning technology all in a small box. 

  • Where to Buy
  • Warranty

This can be found in Amazon.

The Verdict

All the tuners on this list are great, but only one of them can be the best guitar tuner. We decided that the TC Electronic PolyTune 3 is the best guitar tuner available right now. Compared to the other nine tuners we reviewed, the PolyTune 3 is the most useful, the most accurate, and will help you deliver the best sound. It's a classic pedal that has been reworked time and time again.

We give the TC Electronic PolyTune 3 a solid 4/5 stars. The only reason we deducted any stars is because your guitar does need to be able to plug in to the pedal in order for the tuner to work. Those with acoustic guitars that don't have audio jacks are out of luck. Either way, it still surpasses the other tuners with its sheer excellence.

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