The Most Popular Tuners for Cigar Box Guitars

C. B. Gitty open-gear chrome tuners
C. B. Gitty Open-Gear Tuners

At, we’ve been selling cigar box guitar parts and kits for going on fifteen years. And in that decade and a half, we’ve shipped a LOT of tuners, also known as tuning pegs and machine heads.

By far, the most popular style is the good old white-buttoned open-gear style, which also happens to be the first type of tuner we ever sold. Back in the early days, we called them “economy tuners” because of their nice low price.

We have shipped uncounted thousands of sets of them all around the world, both in packs and as part of our popular instrument kits. They have been used by thousands of builders on tens of thousands of instruments. We also use them in-house on our own cigar box guitars (see the proof here)!

There are a few reasons they are so popular. One is the price – as far as tuners go, they are some of the least expensive, especially compared to the fancier “sealed-gear” variety. They are also very simple to install and use – just a hole to be drilled, a bushing inserted and a couple of screws.

With their open-gear design, pearloid buttons and decorative scrollwork mounting plate, they have a nice retro look that naturally fits with the inherently retro style of most cigar box guitars. In addition to the original chrome finish, they are also available in gold and black, to fit the style of different builds.

So if you haven’t ever used these awesome little workhorse tuners, give them a try on your next build. You won’t be disappointed!

C. B. Gitty open-gear tuners available in chrome, gold and black.
Click the image above to see the different finishes available: Chrome, Gold and Black.

Everything you ever wanted to know about Open G Tunings

Cigar Box Guitar StringsOpen G “GDG” is the de facto standard tuning for 3-string cigar box guitars, but a lot of first-time builders have trouble figuring out how best to achieve it. In this article from our how-to library, Ben “Gitty” Baker walks you through different ways to get an Open G “GDG” tuning on your 3-string cigar box guitar. He covers 4 different configurations from a low, growling bassy setup to a higher pitched, more banjo-like treble configuration. There are even sound clips so you can sound what each setup sounds like.

There are also similar articles for a number of other popular tunings, so dive on in and become a Open G expert!

Open G “GDG” Cigar Box Guitar Tuning Article now has Sound Clips!

We just added sound clips to go along with each of the tunings in the Open G “GDG” Tuning Article, so you can hear what each string combination sounds like when strung up on a cigar box guitar! All four of these clips were recorded on the same cigar box guitar, using the actual strings/gauges recommended in the article. Enjoy!

Open D “DAD” Cigar Box Guitar Tunings and String Sizes Article – with Sound Clips!

Cigar Box Guitar StringsC. B. Gitty has published another how-to article in his series of popular cigar box guitar tunings, this one focused on the “DAD” Open D tuning. This article follows up on the last one that covered GDG, and even goes one step further by including sound clips of how each of the 4 DAD varieties sound on the same cigar box guitar.

The string sizes and combinations recommended in this article are not just theoretical exercises of what should work – Gitty actually strung a 25″ scale cigar box guitar up with each set, and then used that guitar to record the sound clip. In doing so, he made some tweaks to the string gauge lineup to make sure they were just right.

Take a look, have a listen, and consider giving this great tuning a go in one of your cigar box guitars!

Click Here to view the Open D DAD Tuning Article