There is nothing more annoying than your Les Paul guitar not staying in tune. If you are sick and tired of having to constantly retune your guitar, then have you considered getting some locking tuners installed?
Locking tuners are a great way to keep your guitar in tune for longer. They lock your strings in place and prevent them from coming loose so you can keep on playing without having to worry about returning your guitar again and again.
But if you have only recently got yourself a Les Paul guitar and you’re not sure which is the best locking tuner out there, then don’t worry - we have got you covered. Here are the 5 best locking tuners for Les Paul guitars that we think would be ideal for you.
What To Look For In A Locking Tuner
If you have never bought a locking tuner before, you are probably wondering what you need to look for when you are browsing for your very own. There are a lot of brands and manufacturers out there, so here are some features that will help you narrow down which guitar locking tuner is best suited for you.
The first thing you need to consider is how much tuning stability your potential locking tuner provides. Obviously, you want one that does the job so a locking tuner that doesn’t hold onto the strings very well is not going to be of much use.
Look for features such as stability brackets that can help improve a locking tuner’s performance and function.
Another thing to keep in mind is the amount of money you want to spend on a locking tuner. The price of locking tuners is constantly changing and there are some brands out there that can cost nearly twice as much as others.
Work out what your budget is so you don’t end up browsing locking tuners that you cannot afford.
And finally, there are always bonus features available with locking tuners that are made to draw you in. Some will offer different materials, others will offer different colors. Some are more modern, others are designed to look vintage and classic.
You should try and figure out what you want your locking tuners to look like because if you end up buying some that do not go well with your guitar’s aesthetic, then you will probably end up disappointed even if the tuners work great.
So while you read through our top picks below, keep in mind these very important features and look for the advantages you think you will need in your locking tuners so you don’t end up making a purchase you will regret.
OUR TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
For a quality of life upgrade to your Les Paul guitar, consider getting yourself some of these locking tuners from D’Addario.
These locking tuners are a breeze to install and have solid tuning stability - this means that they do their job of keeping your Les Paul in tune for longer. They are made from a high quality chrome and accurately lock your strings into place.
What makes these locking tuners so popular with guitarists is due to their auto trim feature which cuts off any excess string when you are installing new strings, meaning that you get to avoid any excessive string wraps and no longer have to use any cutting devices.
This means that if you are a guitarist that struggles changing your strings, these locking tuners come with the added benefit of auto-trim so you can stop struggling with string changes.
D’Addario’s Auto-Trim Planet Waves Tuning Machines are a definite favorite with guitarists, and they fit into a Les Paul Epiphone and Gibson just fine. So what’s the bad news when it comes to these locking tuners?
Well, they are one of the more expensive locking tuners on our list so if you are looking for some locking tuners that are more affordable, keep on reading down below to find some.
- Auto-Trim feature makes changing strings easy and simple, especially for those who struggle with the process.
- Easy to install on both Gibson and Epiphone Les Paul guitars.
- Made using high quality materials for accurate use.
- Comes with a hefty price tag, especially when compared to some of its competitors.
For a more affordable locking tuner option, you should try out Musiclily’s Pro locking tuners.
This locking tuners fit great onto both Epiphone and Gibson Les Paul guitars so if you want a cheaper locking tuner that is also easy to install with minimal fuss, then these ones are worth trying out.
Unfortunately, you get what you pay for - a lot of guitarists have mentioned that the tuning stability of these tuners are not consistent. Sometimes, they work perfectly on some guitars but not so great on others.
Buying these tuning locks can be a gamble but if they work great, then they are a winner!
Another added bonus for Musiclily’s tuning locks is that they currently are available in three different colors - black, chrome, and gold. So, matter your guitar’s aesthetic, you are sure to be able to get the right color for you.
- Available in more than one color to match your guitar’s aesthetic.
- Affordable price makes this locking tuner available to a lot of guitarists.
- Easy installation and fit on both Epiphone and Gibson Les Paul guitars.
- Tuning stability is not consistent across many guitars, but you get what you pay for.
KAISH creates vintage looking locking tuners for guitars that look just as amazing as they are when it comes to correcting the tuning instability on your Les Paul guitars.
These locking tuners may require a little bit of drilling to get them to be a perfect fit - but one they are on and installed properly, boy, do they work!
All of your tuning instability problems will most likely be solved and you will notice the difference straight away. They lock in on your strings and hold them in place so you can keep on playing without a care in the world.
Regarding the issue with the installation, you can hardly complain about it when these locking tuners work so well and are available at such a low price too!
Their vintage design will also catch the eyes of many other guitarists and make you the subject of a lot of envy.
- Amazing performance when it comes to tuning stability.
- Cool vintage style and design that makes them a stand-out brand of locking tuners.
- Great value for money as they work great for such an affordable price.
- May require some drilling and gluing to get a perfect fit on your Les Paul guitar.
These locking tuners from Guyker fit amazingly well onto both Epiphone and Gibson Les Paul guitars and unlike the KAISH, they don’t require any drilling during the installation process.
They are also available at a great low price so if you are tied to a budget while looking for your very own locking tuners, these are certainly an option for you to consider.
As for tuning stability - this is where things get a little tricky.
When you are installing these locking tuners, you may notice that they work fine on the thicker strings but struggle to hold onto the higher strings.
This is because if you look at the locking tuners closely, you will notice that the shaft that pinches the strings is designed to be rather pointy.
So, when you try to tighten the higher strings, the shaft will slip off the end of the string and lose its grip. You can try to fix this issue by sanding the points down, but not everyone wants that kind of hassle.
Opinions do differ when it comes to this problem, so it all depends on how used you are to changing strings and installing new locking tuners.
If you are looking for an easier way to tune your strings, then perhaps you will be better off finding a different locking tuner.
- Easy and quick installation free of any fuss or drilling on both Epiphone and Gibson Les Paul guitars.
- Affordable price which is perfect for those on a tight budget.
- Works great on the thicker strings when it comes to tuning stability.
- Sharp shaft that pinches the strings is pointy and struggles to grip the thinner strings of your guitar.
For solid choice when it comes to locking tuners, you should consider getting some Hipshot 6GLOs.
They are high quality and reliable tuning locks and fit easily into the slots of both Epiphone and Gibson Les Paul guitars - ensuring easy and quick installation without the need of drilling larger holes.
Although they are not as affordable as some other locking tuner options, they still provide a lot of good tuning stability due to the metal mounting plate that acts as a stability bracket.
This allows you to not only perform better, but it helps the machine heads to align during installation and makes the whole process a lot easier.
As for bonus features, the Hipshot locking tuners are available in more than one color chrome so you can pick the shade that matches your guitar best. After all, everyone wants their guitar to look just as cool as it sounds.
- Features a metal stability bracket that helps improve tuning stability and your performance experience.
- Easily fits onto both Epiphone and Gibson Les Paul guitars.
- Available in more than one color so you can find the right color that matches your guitar.
- Another one of the more expensive locking tuner options available.
So - there are our top five locking tuners for Les Paul guitars. They are all very different from one another and each with their own advantages and disadvantages so read through them all carefully to find the one that best suits your needs and wishes.
The tuning lock we would recommend the most is the Hipshot 6GLO as it works so well and is worth the hefty price because it does its job and the installation process is so simple.
However, for a more affordable option, we would go for the KAISH locking tuner. Although you may end up having to drill your guitar to help them fit better, they work amazingly well for such an affordable price!
But at the end of the day, what suits your guitar best all depends on what you are looking for in a locking tuner so the choice is all yours.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Locking Tuners Affect How Les Paul Guitars Sound?
It is not proven that locking tuners affect the sound of a Les Paul guitar while it’s plugged in, although some people may tell you that the additional load of the locking tuners give the ‘continue and reverberation’ effect.
However, there is a definite impact on the sound the guitar makes when it is unplugged, but they do their job of improving tuning precision.
Does Installing Locking Tuners Mean That I Will Never Have To Tune My Guitar Again?
Nope - locking tuners help your guitar to stay in tune for longer periods of time, but they do not solve this problem permanently. Installing locking tuners means that you will reduce the number of times you tune your guitar, not that you will never have to tune your guitar again.
Do I Really Need To Get A Locking Tuner For My Guitar?
Buying a locking tuner is completely optional, but they are a great help when it comes to tuning your guitar and keeping it in tune for longer.
A lot of guitarists would recommend getting some but they aren’t necessary for you to be able to play.