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  • Multi-Tool for Guitar by Gibson

    By Anderton |

    Multi-Tool for Guitar by Gibson

    It's a setup...


    by Craig Anderton


    Probably like many of you, I have a tool collection that includes hex keys, screwdrivers, socket wrenches, etc. - so when I need to set up a guitar to my liking, I’m covered. However, taking all these on the road is inconvenient, and having proper tools at my fingertips became more of an issue when Gibson introduced the zero-fret adjustable nut. I found that raising the nut up all the way could convert my guitar into a slide guitar in under a minute (and once the nut was raised, the G FORCE automatic tuning provided an appropriate open tuning for slide). But then one night, I lost the 0.05” hex key…


    I also do more more frequent pickup adjustments, because of amp sims. There’s a tradeoff between pickup height, output, sustain, and attack transients; with physical amps I prefer the pickups closer for more output and attack, but with amp sims, lowering the pickups reduces the initial transient and gives a more consistent average signal.




    So it was time for Gibson's Multi-Tool. It's very compact and  fits in my guitar case (check out the quarter for comparison), so I can leave all the other tools back home at my workbench. The Multi-Tool has two groups of tools, which swivel out from each end. One group is:


    • 5/16” truss rod socket wrench
    • 4 mm slotted screwdriver
    • 1/8”, 1/16”, and 0.05” hex keys
    • Lever with engraved marks at 3/64” and 5/64” for checking action at the 12th fret. I didn’t realize how useful this was, but it speeds up setting action compared to “play and see if it’s better or not.”



    The second group is:


    • 1.5 mm, 2 mm, 2.5 mm, and 3 mm hex keys
    • #1 and #2 Phillips-head screwdrivers



    This takes care of my guitar needs, but I also found the Multi-Tool useful for prying reluctant battery covers loose from effects, and even opening up computer peripherals for cleaning.




    Suitably inspired, I also looked around for a diagonal cutters that could fit in my case for quick string changes. Jewelrysupply.com has a mini diagonal cutter (item PL433) that’s only 3” long, but still has 1.2” jaws with a flush cutting edge, and costs under $5.




    Okay…I’m set! And my guitar is set up, too.




    The Gibson Multi-Tool retails in the Gibson Store for $19.99 + shipping.

    The Mini Side Cutters is available from JewelrySupply.com for $4.71 + shipping.





     Craig Anderton is Editorial Director of Harmony Central. He has played on, mixed, or produced over 20 major label releases (as well as mastered over a hundred tracks for various musicians), and written over a thousand articles for magazines like Guitar Player, Keyboard, Sound on Sound (UK), and Sound + Recording (Germany). He has also lectured on technology and the arts in 38 states, 10 countries, and three languages.


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    I saw this tool the other day, while I was looking at Gibson coffee mugs, thinking I might need the 15 ox cup to get out the door. 

    You can't believe the number of  Allen keys I have tossed in a box. The last time I was  working on a guitar, I was rather disgusted looking for the right key to make a truss rod adjustment.  I went to the store and bought another set in english and metric , all grouped together with a handle. To have it all in one convenient package for home or a gig would just be a time saver. The price is not bad, when you think about convenience of an all in one tool. 

    I can see me ordering one down the road, with that 15 oz coffee cup.

    On that note, as far as diagonal cutters go . I really like Xcelite cutters. They seem to hold a nice edge for quite a long time. They are however, about 4 times the cost as the ones you posted. In many ways you get what you pay for. I do not work for or represent the Apex Tool Group, but there tools are very nice and some of the best I have found.

    Smart and handy too, I would say. Now if someone would attach a string winder to the handle of a set of diagonal cutters. We'd be in business.





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