10 Best Tuner Pedals in 2021

Dave Mostert
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Having a good tuner pedal is an essential part of a guitarist’s gear. In basic terms, these pedals help musicians with setting their instrument to a specific key. Some of them are intended for stage and live performances and some are for use in the studio.

For live performances, having a tuner pedal will come in handy in case of a song change. Moreover, it also helps if you’re low on energy, either because of the heat or the booze.

A tuner pedal can also come in handy during recording sessions. A pedal’s display can show both the pitch range as well as the tuning.

Why should you consider getting a tuner pedal?

The truth is that these pedals will help beginners to train their ear better. It also helps in developing your ability to hear the position of the notes and chords.

Some of the best tuner pedals out there in 2018 include:

NameCategoryProduct
BOSS TU-3 Chromatic Tuner StompboxBest OverallBOSS TU-3 Chromatic Tuner Stompbox
Monoprice Guitar TunerBudget PickMonoprice Guitar Tuner
Korg Pitchblack Chromatic TunerUpgrade PickKorg Pitchblack Chromatic Tuner

1. BOSS TU-3 Chromatic Tuner Stompbox

Our rating: 9 / 10

BOSS TU-3 Chromatic Tuner Stompbox

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Pros:

  • Very easy to use
  • Very accurate
  • Super-bright custom LCD display
  • Works with acoustic/electric guitars and basses
  • Manual mode for tuning all instruments
  • Has a built-in mic with an XLR output
  • Stable and durable design
  • Flat tuning note mode
  • Automatic Harmony mode
  • Built-in cooling fan/heat sink

Cons:

  • A little pricey
  • Display is very bright and distracts onstage

If you’re looking for one of the best pedals to tune your guitar to perfection, the Boss TU-3 Chromatic Tuner pedal is one of the best options available for this purpose. This particular model received great reviews online and for good reason. It’s fully equipped with features like a mic input, an XLR output, LCD display, and more.

The Boss TU-3 also features a flat tuning note mode to provide you with maximum precision, according to your preferences. And the built-in micro-fan/heat sink ensures you will run this pedal smoothly.

2. TC Electronic PolyTune 3 Polyphonic LED Guitar Tuner Pedal w/Buffer

Our rating: 9 / 10

TC Electronic PolyTune 3 Polyphonic LED Guitar Tuner Pedal w/Buffer

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Pros:

  • Psychologically satisfying "pencil sharpener" type of sound
  • Allows you to tune your instrument on demand and in seconds
  • Guitar, bass, and ukulele modes
  • Extremely durable, taking a beating and still working flawlessly
  • Perfect for studio recording and practicing
  • Looks amazing and futuristic
  • Ultra compact and light weight
  • Extremely fast and accurate

The Polytune 3 is a great option if you're looking for a high-quality and accurate polyphonic tuner pedal. This model is from one of the leaders in the guitar industry and a brand that's been trusted since the 1970s for their exceptional pickups, amps, and other guitar accessories. The Polytune 3 is a sturdy little piece of equipment that can tune up to six instruments at a time. Plus, it displays your tuning keys in a simple, user-friendly format.

3. TC Electronic Polytune 2 Mini Pedal Tuner

Our rating: 8 / 10

TC Electronic Polytune 2 Mini Pedal Tuner

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Pros:

  • Portable
  • Accurate
  • Attractive design
  • Easy to use
  • Priced right

There are many great tuner pedals out there, but we’ve chosen this one as the best tuner pedal for the average musician in this year’s list. Featuring a compact size, this pedal is designed to fit on a pedalboard where space is an issue.

What we loved about this pedal is that it is easy to use right out of the box. Most people are able to figure it out within a few minutes without reading any instructions. It features an attractive, ergonomic design with a pleasant blue LED display. The display is fairly large and easy to see at a glance.

The pedal tuner works by picking up the sound signals transmitted through the air. The polyphonic tuning feature is able to recognize the incoming pitch through your instrument’s string.

4. KLIQ TinyTune Tuner Pedal

Our rating: 8 / 10

KLIQ TinyTune Tuner Pedal

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5. Korg Pitchblack Chromatic Tuner

Our rating: 8 / 10

Korg Pitchblack Chromatic Tuner

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Pros:

  • The large and clear display
  • Pitch-tracking, which allows you to use it on any instrument
  • Extremely affordable
  • Near-perfect accuracy
  • Extremely lightweight and compact
  • Highly durable
  • Developed and designed in the United Kingdom
  • Additional functionality thanks to its tambourine feature
  • Provides you with a handy guitar capo tool

Cons:

  • Bass strings tend to mute when you tune up
  • The light sensor might be blocked by a small guitar pick
  • It’s not ideal to use on instruments with low action, like bass guitars

This tuner might look like a regular guitar tuner, but it’s so much more. The Korg Pitchblack Chromatic tuner is a full-sized pedal design, which makes it easy to fit on any guitarists’ pedal board. It’s lightweight design makes it ideal for long and grueling gigs.

We highly recommend the Pitchblack Chromatic pedal if you’re looking for a tuner that will allow you to tune any instrument. You can use it on your violin, mandolin, ukulele, bass, and even your hand drums.

6. Monoprice Guitar Tuner

Our rating: 7 / 10

Monoprice Guitar Tuner

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Pros:

  • Decent value
  • Large display
  • Standard features
  • Easy to use
  • Battery included

Cons:

  • No pedal
  • Has trouble detecting some notes
  • Not very accurate

We really like this pedal tuner, from the folks at Monoprice. Which is a pretty good brand, usually, and we think that Monoprice is about as good a bang for the buck as it gets with this particular tuner.

It’s got the standard features, it’s really easy to use, and it has a decent price. It also includes a nice strong battery when you get it, a necessity for many of these standard single pedal types.

7. GUITARX X9

Our rating: 7 / 10

GUITARX X9

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Pros:

  • Easy setup
  • Clear display
  • Good for live or studio work
  • Compact and sturdy
  • Case is included
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Screen is small
  • Bluetooth isn’t included
  • Not very accurate

(1/4")

GuitarX is a tuner pedal which initially looks similar to a stomp box. But it is a true tuning tool which has built-in pitch calibration.

The display is dark, with black lettering on a black background. It is very easy to see in most types of light. Tuning is very simple. There are no controls on the front of the device. All on/off and calibration functions are on the input side using a small pushbutton.

8. GOGO Tuners The GOGO Pedal Tuner

Our rating: 7 / 10

GOGO Tuners The GOGO Pedal Tuner

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Pros:

  • Small and lightweight
  • Light-up display for visibility
  • Free digital download of your GOGO tunes
  • Durable, long-lasting battery
  • Extremely accurate
  • Made in the US
  • Less expensive than most tuners on the market

Cons:

  • Display is small
  • Can’t be used to tune a drum unless you have a microphone or an aux input
  • Instructions are written in poorly translated English

Guitarists, both professionals and amateurs, know the importance of having a tuner pedal to keep their sound in check. In our research, we looked at over 140 different tuners and found that the best tuner pedal for beginners is the GOGO pedal tuner.

This tuner looks like a miniature effect pedal and is actually a small digital tuner that runs on a battery and has a super bright LCD display. It’s small, extremely compact, and highly portable, so you can take it out with you to practice with your friends, and you won’t even need an amp. Simply plug the GOGO tuner into the input jack of your acoustic guitar or bass and enjoy the large, easy-to-read screen.

The free mobile app is also incredibly helpful and gives you full access to over 300 presets.

9. Donner Dt-1 Chromatic Guitar Tuner Pedal True Bypass

Our rating: 6 / 10

Donner Dt-1 Chromatic Guitar Tuner Pedal True Bypass

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Pros:

  • True bypass design
  • Includes a variety of accessories
  • Affordable
  • Attractive candy apple red finish

Cons:

  • Difficult to set up if you don’t know what you’re doing
  • Switch isn’t well-protected

The true bypass design of the DT-1 allows you to maintain a natural tone during a live performance or recording. It’s great for guitars, basses, mandolins, and other stringed instruments. This tuner pedal is easy to use and the tone of your instrument will not be affected whatsoever.

The Donner DT-1 can also be used to tune other musical instruments besides guitar including mandolins, ukuleles, and banjos. With this pedal, it’s very easy to tune your instruments. Simply turn the dial to tune and then bypass to confirm.

The pedal is also very easy to operate. Simply connect a standard guitar cable from your guitar to the input jack. Then you can connect a second one from the output jack to the input of your amplifier. At about 10 inches in diameter, the pedal is compact enough to fit on any pedal board you might already be using.

10. Donner DT Deluxe Guitar Chromatic Tuner Pedal ± 1 Cent

Our rating: 6 / 10

Donner DT Deluxe Guitar Chromatic Tuner Pedal ± 1 Cent

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Pros:

  • Easy to use and set up
  • Produces an excellent display
  • No background noise
  • Smart and user-friendly

Cons:

  • The quality of the product could be better
  • It’s relatively slow

This tuner pedal is great, but it’s definitely not the best out there. It has a decent reliability rate and is user-friendly, but it can be slow in picking up the tones. The display is also small and hard to read.

Yet, if you prepare to commit to this product, you are going to be extremely satisfied. The tuner is easy to set up and is extremely user-friendly. Rather than beeping, it displays the note, which is incredibly useful when you are tuning up your guitar. It accurately detects the notes and picks them up quickly, so that you can start playing right away.

The display has six little LED lights. Each one of these lights corresponds to a string. When you tune your string, the indicator of the wheel next to the light lights up in the same color as the not that the LED lights up. It’s just a bit hard to see in the dark, but it works just as well in the dark as it does in the light.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best tuner pedal?

Finally, while you donʼt need an amplifier to use a tuner, the pedal type does matter. Most pedals allow for either a Fender or a Boss type input, and ideally, you’d have both.

Where should a tuner pedal go?

The best location for your tuner pedal is on the floor in between your two feet. This will make it easy to quickly grab the pedal to turn down the volume of your guitar for a brief participation in a chorus line or to make a statement at the end of a verse!

Do I need a tuner pedal?

If you've taken your guitar playing seriously for some time now, then you probably already own a guitar amp. While most guitarists don't leave the house without their amp, using an amp on location can be a lot of work. Whether you're rehearsing in a school classroom or playing at a local festival, having a tuner pedal on-hand eliminates the need for an amp.

If you only play with others occasionally, and if you value convenience over sound quality, then you might not need an amp. If you're an occasional player who doesn't mind sacrificing a bit of tone, then you might prefer a tuner pedal. Even if you do have an amplifier, a tuner pedal is much more convenient to carry around.

What does a tuner pedal do?

A tuner pedal is important for any musician that performs live. For those who enjoy getting serious about their sound, a tuner pedal is indispensable.

A tuner pedal can typically be used with various other pedals to come up with new sounds and should slot into any pedal line up without a problem.

In a nutshell, a tuner pedal is a pedal that helps musicians to keep their instruments in tune. In the past, you’d have to look down to see if your guitar was in tune. Nowadays, you can just spin the knob on a pedal and keep playing. Ingenious, isnԘt it?

A tuner pedal is the reason for the sound of the band keeping in time with no one having to stoop down to visually see if the instruments are in tune. It ensures that everything is in perfect harmony from beginning to end.

Conclusion

We hope that the above article was able to help you in your search for the best guitar tuner pedal for you. The following are some helpful tips to guide you in your guitar accessory purchases. Some of these will save you some cash while others will give you some insight into what to look for in the future

The more features in a tuner pedal, the pricier it is going to be. But you should know that you don’t need all those features.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
BOSS TU-3 Chromatic Tuner StompboxBest OverallBOSS TU-3 Chromatic Tuner Stompbox
Monoprice Guitar TunerBudget PickMonoprice Guitar Tuner
Korg Pitchblack Chromatic TunerUpgrade PickKorg Pitchblack Chromatic Tuner