My main criterion for judging string winders is whether the tuning knob coupler remains attached to the handle and does not bind. If it’s a snap-on, it usually works itself loose quickly. If it’s screw-on, it usually tightens itself with use.
There have been several that worked properly but I can’t remember specifics. In reality, I favor the string winder I can locate amongst the picks, capos and half-used string sets.
This one is screw on. It has not tightened up, but I think I tend to use it in clockwise and counterclockwise turns about equally. It is well made for $6.
I have the same string winder, and its bass guitar counterpart. They are both very well made, IMO. If you’re having trouble winding strings (at the risk of starting a bikeshedding discussion) I’ve found the Martin Way to be easy, quick, and accessible:
A lot of it is particular to acoustic guitars (‘aligning the ball-ends with the endpins’, etc), but the actual ‘lock’ method of winding the string around the tuning post is solid, and works for both acoustic and electric guitars. That starts at about the 2:00 mark in the video.
Pretty sure I’ve used an earlier version of the Planet Waves winder and I agree that it seems to work properly long-term.
l generally don’t like the winders with the built-in string clippers, as the quality of the clippers tends to be not very good: the pivot screw almost always loosens, rendering them useless on the high E string. l prefer a decent set of wire clippers and any pegwinder. lt’s an additional item to have around, but it saves me from a headache.
I have one of these and I love it. I originally went in to buy a tool that pulls acoustic pegs. The guy recommended one of these for a few dollars more. It’s a great little tool for string changing time on all my guitars.
Isn’t the right way to use your hands and teeth?
Me neither, but I’m thinking it would be a “good” gift (like deodorant) for those friends of mine that don’t clip the ends off. (shudder) Someone could lose an eye. Of course, they’ll never use the clipper part. (sigh)
People who don’t clip their strings or wind the loose end up are a MENACE.
I use the basic single-purpose el-cheapo plastic winders, plus small diagonal cutters and needlenose pliers, but that’s for mountain dulcimers, which often have a different head shape and peg configuration. (Most traditional designs have a head more like a violin than a guitar, with added gear tuning, and you tend to need to dig the strings out when you’re changing them. The guitar-head shape doesn’t leave you room for decorative carving, but it’s a lot easier to use.)
The better-quality ukes (i.e. more than $20 have gear tuning, so winders are helpful, though the cheaper ones just do pegs, and what you really need is the right size phillips screwdriver plus cutters.
I am kinda ashamed to add this but I found the clippers also work really well, and with no damage to them, in cutting through a crazy double dew claw on my Great Pyrenees. One of his dew claws grew in a way my nail clippers couldn’t get around it. I looked around my desk for a tool that looked like it could get in where i needed and this did it.
Nemo is happy.
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