Gripper Truss Rod Wrenches

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Dan Erlewine demos the tapered Gripper truss rod wrenches.

Video Transcription

[on-screen text reads: Dan Erlewine - Stewart-MacDonald]

Dan Erlewine: Here's a common problem that we see all the time. Somebody used a hex wrench that was too small in this truss rod nut, and now the nut's messed up. The shape of the hex socket is damaged. The sides aren't flat anymore. And even if you have the right-sized wrench, it can't grip in the socket to turn it.

Years ago, I found a solution to this problem. I ground a tapered tip onto all six sides of a hex wrench. The taper fit into the messed-up nut to get a grip. I went through a lot of time and a lot of Allen wrenches before I got it right, but it worked. Today, that idea has become the Gripper Truss Rod Wrench. We've got seven different variations to cover most any style of guitar.

The business end of the Gripper is way better than the ones I made myself. It still tapers from slightly smaller to slightly bigger than the socket size, but the edges are perfectly ground, so it really grabs into that worn-out socket. It really tightens or loosens the nut, even in bad cases.

Gripper wrench options

Four of the Grippers are straight-shafted like these, and three of them are right-angled for working through a sound hole. The straight shafts are great because they keep your knuckles off the peg head that's really long. Here's the eighth-inch wrench. It'll fit a Fender bi-flex rod. We also have 3/16ths, four millimeter, and five millimeter. The right angle wrenches come in three versions. There's an eighth inch with a five and a half-inch reach, five millimeter and a two-inch reach, and a five millimeter with a four and a half-inch reach that will fit this Martin made in 2008.

You can buy the Grippers individually or as a set and save some money. And the Grippers do a little saving too, saving guitar necks.



Dan Erlewine

Guitar Repairman and Builder

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