So, you’ve decided you want to do your own guitar setups eh? That’s great! Maybe you’re sick of shelling out cash or just hate being without your guitar for weeks while it’s in the shop. Whatever the reason, if you’re serious about giving your guitar a precision setup, there are some basic tools you’ll need. There are also some specialized (and really cool) tools you can add to your arsenal as you gain experience.
Now, you do not need everything on this list. That’s why I’ve broken it into 3 main sections. Use the “The Essential Tools” list to make sure you have the basic toolset you’ll need to get started working on your own guitars. Use the other 2 lists to gradually add some “nice to have” tools as needed, such as if you start doing setups for other people.
Note: To keep this list short, I’m not including cleaning supplies nor any tools specific to major guitar repair.
Guitar Setups: The Essential Tools
These tools represent the minimum core toolset I would recommend if you told me you’re on a budget, but serious about doing basic setups on your own guitar(s). They’re not highly specialized, and the good news is that you may already have many of these.
Guitar Setups: Intermediate Tools
Now it starts getting fun! You already have a core set of setup tools, but want to take things a bit further? Maybe you want to start doing setups for other people. In that case, you’ll need a few extra (or better) tools in order to be prepared for the different guitar types and setup issues you’ll encounter.
Guitar Setups: Advanced Tools
Oh yeah, now we’re getting into guitar repair-nerd territory! If you’re buying from THIS list, then you’ve decided that you’re all-in. Maybe you’re doing setups on your friend’s guitars or have moved on to doing it as a business.
What Tools do You Use?
As you’ve seen, you can get by quite well with tools you probably already have in your garage (and in your guitar case). Do you have any cool tools or gadgets you use for guitar setups? Or, maybe you’re just getting started with this stuff and want to know more.
Let me know in the comments below!