If you have more than one guitar, you will, one day, need some basic tools to maintain your stringed instrument. In the Guitar universe, there is one granddaddy supplier of tools and other neat stuffs — and thy name is “Stew-Mac” — or “Stewart-MacDonald” if you want to be more formal. I purchased all these tools on my own, with my own money. Stew-Mac are not even aware this review is being written.
The first weapon in my Stew-Mac toolkit is a “Basic Setup Kit” that gives me a precise way to measure, and adjust, string height and check the neck radius and if the neck is warping or not.
Next in my basket is a fine collection of Truss Rods wrenches. You don’t want to mess with your truss rod if you don’t know your business — because you can ruin your neck forever — but for the careful and the studious, being able to get your own neck back in whack is a necessity of caring for your own guitar.
It’s tough to find the right surface for working on your guitar, especially if you’re working with a guitar like a Gibson with an angled headstock. These “Rock-n-Roller” neck rests alleviate that problem and bring your neck up to a more workable position.
If you have a Les Paul — you will soon learn your “Rhythm” and “Treble” switches can go wonky — and getting the switch unscrewed can be a screwy experience. Enter the brand-new “Adjustable Toggle Switch Wrench” and wonder no more how to work on that switch without marring your lovely Gibson finish.
Stratocaster 1/4″ jacks can sometimes become loose. Sometimes they arrive loose from the factory and you have to tighten up the nut without spinning the jack and breaking your soldered connections. “Jack the Gripper” is a tool made just for this tedious job — it holds still the jack while you tighten the nut. Simple. Easy peasy.
Finally, my guitar it toolbag is currently rounded out with an “ESP MultiSpanner” — and that means I finally have a second pair of really tiny fingers with teeth that can grab those pesky nuts and bridge wheels. I don’t have to worry about sweaty fingertips or clunky tools that can dent and ding my guitars.
Having the right tool for the job at hand is what drives Stew-Mac, and if you need some help, Stew-Mac offers you a hand up. If you want to replace parts, Stew-Mac can handle that, too. If you want to build your own guitar from scratch, Stew-Mac will give you access to all the materials you need to create your own vision of Bluesy desire.
Those tools look great, David — maybe dangerous in the wrong hands. Are there guides on how to use these superb tools?
The only real damage that can be done would be the truss rod adjuster. Everything else you can always “put it back” the way it was if you mess up.
The Stew-Mac site publishes books on these sorts of things and they have nice video and step-by-step image tutorials on their website.