General tech questions

Decent setup tools?


I don’t own thickness gauges, I use these for nuts.


As another person who relies on their tools to make a living and to whom a broken tool or damaged fastener due to a poor quality tool will cost me a lot of money and time I will make these budget minded, yet professional quality recommendations for basic hand tools

Screwdrivers. Wera or Wiha are exceptional quality and available relatively inexpensively via Amazon. You will probably need a set with #2, #1 and precision sized phillips which will likely mean buying two sets.

Allen Wrenches. Bondhus. Always Bondhus. There is a reason Snap-on re-brands them with their name. Link

Get the set with SAE and Metric. You will need both and using one when you need the other is why most truss rods have stripped heads.

Feeler gauges tend to all be accurate enough, but for my peace of mind I go with Proto Link

For pliers I am a hardcore Knipex man, but that might be a bit much for guitar work. A set of mini pliers of decent quality should be cheap to buy. For side cutters I get them at my local electronics store. Under a tenner for sharp, close cutting units. Similar to these


I will admit that the cheap buy in and excellent return policythat Tekton offers is really great, but I have had to use their return policy way too much to recommend them. Not up to my uses, again probably fine for guitar work.

I also keep a 1/4" drive socket set in my guitar workbench drawer with deep sockets in metric and SAE and a 1/4" nut driver handle for pot and jack nuts.

– fistpicker

I concur, Bondhus Allen wrenches are the Best. I think I have 7 to 10 sets,I lose them before they ever wear out. There must be a ton of 3/16th and 3/8th's T-handles hidden deep in engine compartments of various vehicles from L.A. to San Diego.


Yeah, that was a misread on my part, Curt.

They looked a lot like those gauges. I didn't initially catch on that they were files.


No I didn't mean it that way Dave, I was just saying you don't need gauges to set up a guitar. If it looks weird, it is, if it feels wrong, it is, if it sounds bad, it does.


Ah, gotcha. I can agree with that for sure.


Jewelers screwdriver set.

Mini-needlenose vice-grips.

Telescopic magnet.

Graduated by 16ths set of high-speed drill bits.

Grandma and Grandpa's Fordham (dremel on steroids) is always handy too.


The contents of my guitar maintenance kit:

Neck rest and mat. (bonus- the neck rest is hollow and capped, so most all of the small tools store inside it!)

Decent set of small side-cutters

Allen keys (Mine are labelled "Mastercraft")

String winder (2)

Needle nose pliers- with angled tip

Camera repair screwdriver set (I have set bearing an old Kodak label from the 1950s- virtually indestructible, must be good quality steel)

Reasonable quality interchangeable tip screwdriver (mine is a hardware chain house brand)

Extra-small nut driver set, so far unused.

Emery cloth.

35mm film canisters (3), with screws, spare washers and other lost and found items.

Still need nut files, and Im sure there is other stuff I can add, but thats what`s there now.


Pretty much what Kevin says. Also, a set of string radius gauges is invaluable.

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