Powered string winders/tuners


Well-known member
Dec 7, 2009
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New England, USA
I've seen these used in some reviews here on UU. Never tried one of these gizmos, but the older I get, the better they look. With some age related hand issues, especially the left hand, tuning is getting increasingly difficult for me. Sometimes I'm forced to turn the uke and tune it with my stronger right hand, a real PIA. Lately I've been using a standard D'Addario plastic peg tuner for a bit of extra leverage, especially on friction tuners, but it's fiddly.

Anyone here use these, and what's your take on them, especially with friction tuners, like on Fleas/Flukes, which can be cranky? It says they have 150 standard tunings built in, with the ability to program your own custom tunings. I'd mostly be using it for standard reentrant uke tuning, 1/2 step and full step down, and occasionally those same ones in linear, so I'd only need about 4-5 custom tunings, which hopefully could be saved on the device.

Edit: some reviews seem to say these won't work on friction tuners, only geared tuners.

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I took a "tuning bit" for electrical tuning and put it in a screwdriver handle for bits. This could help you and even without finger problems, it allows easier and more precise tuning.

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I've used a similar tuner/winder. It's great if you're just a little flat/sharp but not for winding a new string to tune. It doesn't know what string, what octive. I use a USB rechargeable winder/unwinder and a headstock tuner for new strings. Not sure about friction tuners, they get tight QUICK!
None of them work with friction or even planetary tuners. Geared tuners are so easy to tune that setting up this gadget might take more time than tuning one instrument by hand. I can understand they are useful for classroom teachers who want to tune 2 dozen ukuleles at least a couple of times every day.
I’ve reviewed many and need to put up my review of the Enya.

Ultimately: if you have more than two ukuleles to tune at a time, get one. School situations, group leaders, big collections, music stores.

They do not work with friction tuners or UPTs.

They do make changing strings easier, particularly with some models over others.

They all work; Enya needs some refinement on their “head” to accommodate larger tuning buttons.

Both the Jowoom and Roadie are excellent. I prefer the Jowoom because of its full auto mode, form factor (like a little drill), and incredibly long battery life.
They seem pretty cool from a tech perspective. Unfortunately all my ukes are friction...some even wood peg friction. I guess I'm SOL!
I tried a roadie a few years ago and it did not work very well. It's only accurate if to tell it to detune then tune up, then it would just cycle many times before it got it right. Took forever. Returned it.
I also found the roadie to be a pain, took too long.
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