As I barrel toward the half-century mark, I find I am way more active with guitars than in the past. Not only am I playing more than usual, I'm also adjusting, setting up, fixing, and even cobbling together guitars these days. Andy "Gear Geek" Hong is plenty aware of this and thoughtfully put me in touch with CruzTOOLS, maker of various high-quality musician-oriented tools. 

Many readers know from experience that adjusting a guitar's truss-rod is trickier than it may appear. Using a standard small L-shaped Allen wrench for this task often works fine. But sometimes in the case of older guitars, a bit more torque and finesse is required. Sometimes just a tiny fraction of a turn is needed to make the guitar neck happiest. And acoustic guitars can present frustrating challenges in this department, with their truss-rods often reachable only through the sound-hole. 

CruzTOOLS manufacturers special truss-rod wrenches designed for use on these types of acoustic guitars. In the past, this was a tricky and awkward undertaking, usually requiring the strings to be removed and some yoga-like posturing from the guitar tech. But these new wrenches are both L-shaped as well as extra-long, and they have a comfortable screwdriver-like handle on the end - very ergonomic. The result is that the tech doesn't need to remove the guitar strings and can access the truss-rod very easily through the sound-hole. And I found that the handle, extra length, and torque provided by the L- shape also worked really well with the more standard headstock-accessed truss rods. These wrenches come in two sizes - 4 mm (fits most brands) and 5 mm (for Martin guitars) - and they have ball-end tips for super-easy insertion, with a bit of allowance for oblique angles. 

$12.95 each;
Pete Weiss is at

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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