Any problems with open gear tuners not wanting to turn under resistance to the point of breaking strings?

No problems with closed gear tuners, I probably have had three in the past two weeks

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Open Gear Tuners are "less forgiving"  when it  comes to building . ie , less  forgiving  in  "less than perfectly straight drilled holes " ,  backward installed tuners  , or  harsher string angles .  In most problem  cases . (especially backward turners) the shaft wants to pull away from the gear . resulting in binding , skipping , and  spinning. Use of a drill press , proper angles , string retainers etc,, all help in these matters . most of which  enclosed tuners will avoid the issues altogether.

hope that helps. ;-)

Closed tuners here on out

It must be said ,  Done right ,  open tuners can, and do,  work great ,  and are on some high end guitars  etc . not to mention  different  quality  in  brands etc .. 

Just from a "hobby builder"  standpoint , enclosed turners are  more "builder friendly"  and "forgiving" . 

I have had bushings which squeezed the post to tightly, making it difficult to turn. Then I drilled the bushing holes a smidge larger and corrected the issue. I think open tuners work fine though I also use closed tuners, depends on the build.

Hi Brent. unless the tuners are really cheapies, I think they should work correctly, for while anyway. As noted it my be an installation issue. The main difference with  closed back models is they often have better support for the post.

Check that the screw holding the cog to the post is not loose.

Bit more info in the photos. Nothing wrong with open back tuners, I like them on a CBG due to their lightness.


Good info, based on the feedback I think the open gear tuners I used that failed were attached to a scarf joint with about a 15' angle as opposed to a more straight head stock. I think the tuner used will need to be based on the type of headstock built, closed for scarf and open for straight

Just to clarify the harsh angles  i mentioned  , i meant  more like a hard angle  coming off the nut or a retainer screw to the shaft  , or an odd angle due to  a headless design  ,  ie pulling more from the side  etc .. Scarfs should be fine, the tuners and string angle with it . 

I guess i mean anything  not pulling straight down across the gear as it was intended.

I have had pretty good luck with Gitty's Economy tuners, which are open.  I think he calls them by another name.   A few have gone bad, but I have used a lot.  I bought some good looking black closed tuners on ebay that were total crap.  

I have purchased my open gear tuners in bulk from China for some time now. Buying from the same vendor will sometimes result in receiving a different quality tuner with every shipment, but I am as frugal as I can be. Most problems I have are due to the plate being bent wrong when they fold over the little tabs that hold the shaft to the gear. Out of 100 tuners maybe 6 will be bad.,., and I disassemble them and mix and match parts to see if I can make a good one out of 3 bad ones.,.,I pay 50 cents a tuner, and it works for me.,.,sealed tuners are great, and cheap in bulk as well.,.,fewer defective tuners, but I have a few bad ones saved up.,.sure beats making violin pegs for every build.,.,

I invested in a drill bit gauge and a nice collection of drill bits with LOTS of in-between sizes.

I use the gauge to find the perfect fit for the tuner shaft that is the smallest that still lets the shaft turn freely without binding, the matching drill bit, and a drill press to get the hole square to the mounting side of the headstock.

never had a problem with open gear tuners.

key points are the smallest hole that still lets the shaft turn and drilled square to the mounting side of the headstock, not the string winding side.


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