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Since their debut in the mid-20th century, Telecaster electric guitars have been a staple on the music scene.

The Telecaster was invented by Clarence “Leo” Fender, an engineer who saw the trajectory of the music scene and sought to make an electric guitar for the average person.

His goal was to make them durable, affordable and amplifiable, and he succeeded.

Even now so many years later, telecasters are used by musicians in all styles, and they carry a reputation for demanding good technique and genuine skill from their players.

But of course, even the best guitar needs a tuner, and even a well-tuned guitar doesn’t always stay that way. If not wound correctly, conventional guitar tuners can allow strings to slip.

This led people to develop locking tuners, which hold strings in place with a retaining mechanism.

Now, even with a locking tuner, changes in temperature, the positioning of the guitar and your playing style may lead the strings to loosen or tighten.

So locking tuners allow for adjustment of the strings, and they sometimes even speed up the process. They also drastically cut down on the amount of time needed to restring your guitar.

Some locking tuners, also known as machine heads, are designed for in-line guitar heads (where all the tuners go on the same side) while others are designed for three on each side of the head.

For a Telecaster, you want in-line tuners. So here are some good in-line tuner options.

Fender Locking Tuners Chrome

Coming from the company that makes most telecaster guitars, Fender’s locking tuners exhibit the quality that musicians have come to expect from this iconic brand.

They come in a set of six and fit all Telecaster and Stratocaster electric guitars except those in the American Vintage series. They also fit some non-Fender guitars.

Like Fender’s Telecaster guitars, these tuners are built to last. They look and feel solid and reliable.

The tuners are made of chrome and are designed to move smoothly, providing the right amount of resistance to wind the strings tightly.

They use dual guide pin mounting and come with three long and three short pins, which allows you to stagger their positions.

These are also very precise tuners, as they have an 18:1 gear ratio. This allows the post to rotate in smaller increments, which allows you to tune more precisely.

These locking tuners come with removable tuner caps, bushings, and the hardware you need to mount them on your guitar.

Sperzel 6 In-line Locking Tuners

Sperzel has been selling guitar accessories since 1977 and has developed a reputation for quality.

They are known for selling different kinds of locking tuners, including custom-designed products and supplies for major guitar companies.

These locking tuners, which also come in black and gold, are very high quality.

They are designed for in-line 6 headstock pattern guitars, which includes Telecasters. Their heights are staggered, which means you don’t need any string retainers to make them work.

The tuners are also incredibly easy to use. You simply pull the string through the tuner eye, tighten the locking mechanism, and tune it to the pitch you’re aiming for.

The locking mechanism works quickly and holds the string in place while you wind it to the correct tension.

And the tuners hold the tension just right, so the instrument stays in tune for a long time, even is significant pressure is put on the strings.

They also are known for opening up the tone of the guitar, so the instrument itself may sound better with these tuners in place.

Planet Waves Auto-Trim Tuning Machines

These locking tuners are well built with an innovative design. Like Fender’s offerings they have an 18:1 gear ratio, which means they can tune your guitar with great precision.

Planet Waves’ Auto Trim Tuners are solidly built, even coming with a lifetime warranty. When a company is willing to offer that kind of warranty, it shows they are confident in the quality of their products.

As the name suggests, these tuners come with a feature that automatically cuts off the extra string once the guitar is tuned. This saves you time when replacing your guitar strings.

It also avoids leaving out sharp ends of strings that you can cut yourself on. The auto-trim feature isn’t very visible; these tuners look much like any other set of locking tuners.

That’s because the feature is incredibly simple: tightening the string forces it past a raised hardened steel piece that cuts the end off.

They are also easy to install requiring only that you remove the mounting screws of your old tuners and take off the nut on the front.

Then you just put the Planet Waves tuners in the same way the old ones went on.

When stringing your guitar, make sure you insert the strings in the correct direction so that the auto trim function works correctly.

The tuners come with six screws and all the nuts and washers you need to install them.

They also come in sets of three left-handed and three right-handed tuners, but for a Telecaster, you want the in-line tuners.

Left handed guitarists will need to work a bit harder, since Planet Waves doesn’t sell packages of all left-hand tuners. But there are simple ways to work around this problem.

The appearance of the tuners doesn’t appeal to some people, but others like it. And the tuners come in black, chrome and gold, so there is some room to customize them to match your aesthetic.

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