View Full Version : Good quality peg head reamer?

02-04-2018, 09:03 AM
Hi, I am going to replace and install Gotoh UPTs on my soprano. There are many cheaper to mid-priced reamers on EBAY, Amazon and instrument supply websites. Some have wood handles, others are all metal. Does anyone recommend a particular brand that is sharp enough to do the job? I am looking to spend under the $30 range. Thanks for any help!

02-04-2018, 04:45 PM
Your best bet is Stew Mac or LMI for these kinds of tools.

02-04-2018, 06:54 PM
What size of hole do you have in the peg head now? Gotoh UPT's require a 10mm hole.

All the reamers that i"ve seen that come with a handle are tapered reamers. Ideally you don't want a tapered reamer for this job. If the taper is anything more than the most subtle you will end up with a hole that is too large on one side of the peg head. You have very little room for error on the back side of the peg head with these tuners. More so on the string side as there is a washer that is also instralled with the nut.

I have a selection of machinest straight reamers, but they are only designed to clean and true a hole that is almost on size. You wouldn't use one to go from lets say a 1/4" hole up to 10mm as it just wouldn't fit. Machinest ones are not designed for hand held operation. They fit in a drill or milling machine chuck.

02-05-2018, 12:27 AM
I use a standard 5/16" engineering reamer ....I find if I drill the holes first with a 5/16" spur bit...the reamer is just right to clean out the FP or laquer build up and the bushes press in nicely.

02-05-2018, 06:11 AM
You could consider using a flat file as well. It requires a bit more elbow grease than a reamer, and patience, too, but it was the only way I could install Grover 6's in my Flea, Fluke, and Firefly.

I used a tapered reamer (bought at an Ace Hardware for about $18) to replace the awful stock geared tuners in my Makala with Grover 85's. I have no idea how different the design would be for other tuners.

Michael Smith
02-05-2018, 07:00 AM
Get the kind that is smooth on one side with cutters on the other. This allows you to move the center of your hole by doing most of the cutting on one side. This is important if you want to have more perfect alignment of your tuners as your holes will never be perfectly positioned.

02-05-2018, 07:19 AM
I bought mine on Amazon for less than $30. I was buying it with the specific correct taper for end pins and tuning pegs on the violin or viola. It is a nice instrument with a wooden handle. It has one blade. I have also used it for Peghed tuners which require that taper as well as to install the Gotoh upt. I like the tool as it is kind to the instrument. I did not do a good job with my Pegheds and wish I had practiced, however rite result is satisfactory. IMHO the right tool is required. I have a different tool for banjo fifth string pegs and that came from Stew Mac. In the case of the Gotoh installation it took the full width of the reamer. I find that a 10mm hole is actually too wide for the Gotoh tuners. FWIW, I like the Gotoh best.

02-05-2018, 04:38 PM
And then there is this: I don't have one nor have I ever used it, but you can't beat the price: US $2.99 (!?!). Might work. A Harbor Freight item.


Beau Hannam Ukuleles
02-05-2018, 05:08 PM
Best buy a $7 drill bit, not a reamer.

02-06-2018, 07:15 AM
And then there is this: I don't have one nor have I ever used it, but you can't beat the price: US $2.99 (!?!). Might work. A Harbor Freight item.


IMHO the taper is too steep, I prefer the one built for end buttons and tuning pegs - pricier yes, but somehow less aggressive and more craftsman-ish. We all make choices!

tenor madness
02-06-2018, 04:23 PM
Stew-Mac also sells a special reamer that can be used to install gotoh upt tuners. It is stepped with the reamer section 10mm or so it runs about $20, though you will need an electric drill or something you can chuck it in (10 mm diameter). Practice on some scrap and mark on the reamer your required depth if you go the electric route, you will need a 8mm pilot hole too.