Greetings! Here we’ll explore the best mandolin tuners you can find on the market. I’ll go through different models and brands to find out which ones are best for your double stringed mandolin.

Have you ever struggled with the tuning of your instrument? Oh, I’m not the only one, then.

Quick Look: Best Mandolin Tuners

#1 Best Mandolin Tuner Overall: Snark ST-8 Clip-On


Well, if you want to settle the score with those rebelling strings once and for all, feel free to follow me through this list of lifesaving tuners. Here I’ll talk about some veterans like Snark and Boss, as well as some new useful tuning apps for your phone or tablet.

What Is a Mandolin Tuner?

The best mandolin tuner is a clip-on and chromatic tuner. You could use a pedal chromatic tuner, but only if your mandolin is electric and has a jack input.

best mandolin tuner

Something smaller is preferable too, as it’ll adapt better to the small dimensions of the mandolin.

Types of Mandolin Tuners

There are several types of tuners currently available. Each one has a different set of features.

Chromatic Tuners

This type of tuner shows how close you are to the nearest semitone. You can go up or down and tune it to standard or any other tuning. With this type of tuner, you can tune your mandolin easily, as it will be able to find the correct notes without trouble.

Clip-On Tuners

Clip-on tuners are normally used for violas, violins, and many other classic acoustic instruments. This type of tuner is clipped to the instrument with two built-in contact microphones. Those microphones detect low vibrations and give you the tune you’re in with precision.

Pedal Tuners

Pedal tuners are best for an electric mandolin, as it requires a jack input to use it. This type of tuner is very useful in a live performance, and it makes the tuning process much easier.

Polyphonic Tuners

A polyphonic tuner will give you the tuning of all your strings when played together. This type of tuner is quite new, but it has already gained some popularity in the world of music.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Mandolin Tuner

If you’re looking for something durable and easy to use, go with a well-known brand like Korg or Boss. The size, type, and price of the tuner are important factors to have in mind, too.


The size varies depending on the type and the brand of the tuner. The smallest is a clip-on type, and it fits in a small box you can put in your pocket. A pedal tuner is the biggest one, and it needs to be used on the floor with your foot.

Clip-on vs App vs Pedal

Nowadays there are many useful apps for our phones that can help us to tune our instrument. There are some great accessible tuners in the digital format, no doubt about it.

But, if you’re looking for something more accurate, a clip-on or pedal tuner is the way to go. The clip-on detects vibration from the wood itself, making it quite accurate.

One of the biggest cons of clip-on tuners is how fragile they are. Clip-on tuners are known for breaking in a few months, but this depends on the brand and model.

A pedal tuner might be the best and the most professional option, as they’re quite robust and resistant. The pedal tuner is one of the most accurate tuners you can find, as it takes the signal directly from the jack input.


The price range for tuners is quite wide. They can go from $20 and up to $1,120 and higher. Pedal tuners are normally the most expensive ones.


The most common type used for the mandolin is a clip-on chromatic tuner. This type will give you a perfect tuning and a really accessible design.

7 Best Mandolin Tuners

Here I selected the seven best mandolin tuners. They’re perfect for anyone who wants to have the best performance and sound with their instruments.

1. Snark ST-8 Super Tight Clip-On Tuner

  • Size: 3.5 x 1.8 x 1.8 inches
  • Weight: 2.4 ounces
  • Type: Clip-on, chromatic
  • Best for: Professionals

The Snark SS-8 Super Tight Clip-On Tuner is one of the best tuners you can find.  Almost anything made by the Snark brand is top-notch, and they always deliver perfectly balanced and easy-to-use accessories for a wide variety of instruments.

✅ Compact and accessible design
✅ Robust
✅ Chromatic
✅ Easy to use
❌ Little expensive
❌ Don’t show you the octave

Why I Recommend It

This particular tuner has the main important qualities of a perfect tuner for your mandolin. This tuner is chromatic and clip-on. These features and many others, like its intuitive interface and robust construction, make this tuner one of the best out there.



2. Peterson StroboClip HD Clip-On Strobe Tuner

  • Size: 2.4 x 1.75 x 1.2 inches
  • Weight: 1.6 ounces
  • Type: Clip-on, chromatic
  • Best for: Professionals

The Peterson StroboClip HD Clip-On Strobe Tuner is a high-end type of tuner. Everything that the Peterson brand creates is a top-notch precision tool with great value.

✅ Great precision
✅ 50 different tunings
✅ High quality
✅ HD backlit LCD display
❌ Quite expensive for a tuner

Why I Recommend It

The StroboClip HD is a master in its field. It can tune more precisely than probably any tuner on this list. I used it once when someone gave it to me to tune my instrument. It’s really a high-grade tuner with high precision.



3. Fender Clip-On Tuner FT-004

  • Size: 0.01 x 0.01 x 0.01 inches
  • Weight: 0.16 ounces
  • Type: Clip-on, chromatic
  • Best for: Intermediate

The Fender Clip-On Tuner FT-004 is a reliable and accurate tuner created by the Fender company. Fender is a well-trusted brand for any musician, and they’ll always provide you with the highest quality product every time.

✅ Small and compact
✅ Adjustable angle
✅ Easy to use
✅ Good display
❌ Low battery autonomy

Why I Recommend It

I personally used this particular tuner for several years. Now, they added a new design, making it more modern and flashy, which is nice. The Fender Clip-On Tuner is a reliable workhorse that will certainly deliver you high precision and quality.



4. D’Addario NS Micro Clip-On Tuner

  • Size: 1 x 0.07 x 1 inches
  • Weight: 0.32 ounces
  • Type: Clip-on, chromatic
  • Best for: Beginners

The D’Addario NS Micro Clip-On Tuner is a great tuner for its price range. Compact and easy to use, this tuner is a perfect match for any beginner or intermediate mandolin player. But, be careful to check out the dimensions, as it might not fit on every headstock.

✅ Lightweight
✅ LCD screen
✅ Compact and discrete design
✅ Fast response
❌ Might not fit on every mandolin

Why I Recommend It

This tuner is very popular, as it’s quite affordable and easy to use. A simple but effective design makes this tuner a good choice for any beginner or intermediate player.



5. KLIQ UberTuner – Professional Clip-On Tuner for all Instruments

  • Size: 1.6 x 0.5 x 1.6 inches
  • Weight: 1.4 ounces
  • Type: Clip-on, chromatic
  • Best for: Beginners

The KLIQ UberTuner is an affordable option for anyone starting to play or learning the instrument. This tuner is easy to use and has a simple design, and sometimes that’s all you need to get started.

✅ High accuracy
✅ Reliable
✅ Bright display image
✅ Easy to use
❌ The screen might become dimmer with use

Why I Recommend It

It’s a quite accurate and robust tuner that will help you tune those double strings of your precious mandolin. It’s highly recommended to beginners and intermediate mandolin players.



6. TC Electronic PolyTune 3

  • Size: 4.76 x 1.77 x 2.87 inches
  • Weight: 9.5 ounces
  • Type: Pedal, polyphonic
  • Best for: Professionals

The TC Electronic PolyTune 3 is an exceptional pedal tuner with a polyphonic feature. This will help you tune faster, as you’ll be turning all the strings together in a chord. This tuner is very reliable, robust, and a great option for electric mandolins.

✅ High precision
✅ Polyphonic
✅ Reliable
✅ Easy to use
❌ Needs jack connection

Why I Recommend It

This one is my favorite tuner. I’ve used it thousands of times and will continue using it in the future. It’s a professional choice for any respected musician, and it’ll provide very accurate tuning for your instruments.



7. ClearTune

  • Size: 8,9 MB
  • Compatibility: iOS and Android
  • Type: Digital app
  • Best for: Beginners

ClearTune is a critically acclaimed application that will help you tune your instrument. With over a half million users worldwide, this app is also used by famous artists like The Black Keys, The Killers, and Gorillaz.

✅ Easy to use
✅ High accuracy
✅ Selectable tempo and notation
❌ Audio quality will depend on the microphone

Why I Recommend It

This one is a very accessible and easy-to-use application. I personally used it numerous times when I needed to tune my instrument but didn’t have a tuner nearby.



Best Mandolin Tuner Brands

Some tuner brands have a great deal of experience creating tuners, and they are dedicated to this accessory.

An up close of one of the best cheap mandolins

Snark and Peterson are considered leaders in this field, and their products are of the highest quality.


Snark is one of the best brands dedicated to tuners. Based in the US, this company creates one of the most precise and durable tuners in the world. With a unique design and great accessibility, Snark offers you high-tier products at a decent price.


Peterson is a well-known and trusted brand. Used by millions of musicians, Peterson tuners are of the best quality possible, even comparable to Snark. This company seems to really understand the necessities of most musicians and artists, and they always deliver perfectly tailored tools for anyone to use.


Fender is famous for its guitars, like the Stratocaster. This American company rapidly expanded into other instruments and accessories. Their tuners withstand the same level of quality control as their other products. Fender creates durable and efficient tools.


Boss is a company dedicated to pedals and small electronic devices. This brand is an expert at creating unique sounds and powerful devices. Their tuners are some of the best pedal tuners you can find, and you certainly can trust this brand, as they never disappoint.

TC Electronic

Founded in 1976 in Aarhus, Denmark, TC Electronic began to create unique electronic pedals and devices for musicians. One of the most famous products from TC Electronic is the Ditto Looper.

This effect is used worldwide with great success, and its fame opened the doors for the company to expand into other accessories. The polyphonic tuner created by this company is one of a kind and is probably the best polyphonic pedal tuner out there.

What’s in the Mandolin Tuner Box?

In a mandolin tuner box, you can find a set of instructions. Read them carefully, as they might contain essential information about the tuner’s options.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Which Tuner Is the Most Precise?

Well, there’s a certain debate about which one is really the most precise and accurate. The pedal tuner is one of the most precise, alongside clip-on tuners. My guess would be a pedal tuner, as the signal comes directly through the jack without any loss of definition.

Can I Tune My Mandolin Without a Chromatic Tuner?

Yes, you can, but it might get a little tricky. Normal guitar tuners will give you the standard tuning and position for each note on that scale. This might be a problem because you need to tune your mandolin in a violin tuning: G, D, A, E. You can always tune by ear, or just use the chromatic tuner.

How Long Do the Batteries Last in the Tuner?

It might depend on the model and the battery itself. Some batteries are known to last several years, even decades, as the overall electrical consumption of the tuner is quite low.

How Much Do Mandolin Tuners Cost?

The lowest price range for a tuner is around $10 to $14, while the most expensive and professional ones can reach up to $100 and higher. It depends on the features and processing power of each device. You can certainly find a perfect match for you, as there are thousands of models with a great variety of prices for you to choose from.

What Are the Best Mandolin Tuners?

Here I’ll go through some of the best tuners I had on this list.

Snark ST-8 Clip-On Tuner: Best for Professionals

It’s a brilliantly simple and effective tuner with a durable design and a high precision tuning system. It’s a great choice for professionals and intermediate players.

Fender Clip-On Tuner FT-004: Best for Intermediate

It’s a decent tuner for a good price. You can never go wrong with Fender, and this tuner is no exception. Easy to use and with good display visibility, this tuner is a perfect match for any intermediate mandolin player.

D’Addario NS Micro Clip-On Tuner: Best for Beginners

This tuner has a great price-quality ratio. With a simple design and some easy-to-grasp features, this tuner is a great starting point for any beginner.

What Is the Best Mandolin Tuner App?

Here I selected the ClearTune for its accessibility. I also recommend iStroboSoft made by the Peterson brand. This application is high-grade software that will give you the most precise and perfect tuning for your instrument.

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In Conclusion

I hope that after going through all those different tuners, I was able to make it a little clearer which one is the best mandolin tuner for you. There are thousands of tuners out there, so finding the right one for your acoustic mandolin can be tricky.

You need a clip-on and a chromatic tuner for the best result, but you can always try out some other types and models. You never know what might work for you.

I hope you enjoyed reading this guide, and if so, feel free to comment and share this article.

And, as always, good luck with your sonic adventures!