How To Tighten Loose Guitar Knobs And Controls (EASY FIX!)

Guitar knobs and toggles can loosen from heavy use or because of expansion and contraction of the wood due to temperature and humidity changes.

Depending on what tools you use and which guitar you have, it should be an easy fix!

fixing guitar

How To Tighten The Loose Toggle Switch On Your Guitar

Having loose knobs and toggles on your guitar can cause them to rotate where they aren’t supposed to rotate.

When this happens it can cause the wires in your guitar to pull tight and break. This can also happen when you’re fixing it and don’t hold it down on the other side.

Let’s start with fixing your loose toggle switch. This is the easy one, if you have the right tools.

Open The Toggle Switch Cover

Step one is removing the toggle switch cover on the back of your guitar, Which is usually fixed with a pair of bolts.

Most guitars have a toggle switch cover on the back. For example, Gibson guitars have a separate toggle switch cover on the back. But on Fender guitars, the toggle switch is usually under the same cover that also covers the knobs.

Sometimes it is not on the back but you have to get the cover off from the front. In that case, you first have to get your snares off the guitar.

guitar toggle switch

Hold The Switch In Place

Now that the toggle switch cover is off, you can hold the switch in place from the back of the guitar with your hand. So that when you tighten the switch, it doesn’t rotate.

Tighten The Toggle Switch

When holding the toggle switch, You can tighten the switch from the front. Make sure the switch is placed in the middle.

You can tighten it either with an adjustable toggle switch wrench that you put over the switch and turn. Or you could use a spanner wrench that has V-shaped inlets on both sides.

If you don’t have those tools you could also use needle nose pliers, but be careful not to scratch your guitar.

When you’re going to use needle nose pliers. Make sure it has teeth on the inside, so it won’t slip when you’re tightening the switch.

You could also put some masking tape on the side that is facing your guitar so that when you do slip you don’t scratch it.

How To Fix Loose Volume And Tone Knobs On Your Guitar

When tightening the tune and volume controls the first thing you want to do is get the knobs off.

Get the control knobs off

It’s best to use a knob jack to get them off. A knob jack has one side with a cloth on it that you can put on your guitar so it doesn’t scratch it.

Try popping the knobs off with the jack while pulling on it with your hand. Rotate the knob a bit to get it off equally.

guitar volume knobs and controls

Remove the control knobs cover

Just like with the toggle switch you want to remove the cover of the knobs. Again, depending on the brand and model that you have it could either be on the back or front.

In some cases, a guitar doesn’t have a cover, but then the controls are mounted on a plate of metal, that keeps them from rotating.

Tighten the knobs

Now that you got the knobs and cover off you can tighten them. When your guitar doesn’t have a metal plate that’s holding the knobs, make sure you’re holding the knobs from the back when tightening them.

I recommend you use a socket wrench that is at least half an inch deep. That way it is deep enough for the shaft of the pod to go in the wrench and you can securely tighten it.

Now you can put the cover and knob back on. When you’re putting the knob back on make sure that the dial indicator (if you have one on your guitar) lines up with the knob in the right way.

So that one is one, two is two, and so on. Otherwise, you might be startled by the sound when you have your volume knob on two but it actually is on ten.

Since you’re already working on the maintenance of your guitar, I recommend you check out these three articles about how to properly clean your guitar fretboard, one about what oil to use for refinishing your guitar, and the last one about how to stop your strings from smelling bad.

How To Tighten a Loose Output Jack On Your Guitar

Finally, we have the guitar jack, this is usually the fastest to come loose because it is used so often.

Remove the jack cover

Just like with the other controls that we’ve talked about thus far. If your guitar has a jack plate, make sure to first remove that.

If you don’t do this you risk rotating the wiring pulling it loose or breaking it.

guitar output jack

Tighten The jack

You can use the same half-inch socket to tighten the jack, just like you did with the knobs. You don’t have to unwire the jack.

If your guitar has a jack cover, it’s the same as with the toggle switch and controls. You just hold it from the back and tighten it on the front.

Once it’s tightened you can put it back together, make sure to put a cable in to check if nothing went wrong.


Tightening your guitar controls and knobs is pretty easy as you can see. With all the controls its almost the same process:

  1. Remove the control cover
  2. Hold it from the back
  3. Tighten the controls from the front

Not all guitars are the same and the way to tighten the control varies a bit. You just got to make sure to use the right tools, and it should be an easy fix!

Thanks for reading!