How Do I Remove the Old Knobs from My Guitar?

How Do I Remove the Old Knobs from My Guitar?

Are you completely fed up of the small pieces of protective plastic film under the knobs of your guitar? It’s a common sight, and however carefully you try to remove the plastic film used to protect a scratchplate or control plate, it’s almost impossible to get it off without leaving those unsightly plastic shreds under the knobs.

The solution is to take the guitar knobs off, which you’ll also need to do if you are thinking of replacing them, either because one is broken, or to upgrade to ones with a cooler design.

But what type of knobs are on your guitar?

First off, you’ll need to find out how the knobs are attached to your guitar. According to the different styles of guitar knobs, there are bell, speed, and domed knobs. According to how knobs are attached to guitar, there are two common methods:

Push-on Knobs

You can tell if your knobs are push-on if they do not have a screw hole in the side of the knob. These are by far the most common type of knob used on the most popular types of guitar, such as most Stratocasters and most Les Pauls/SGs, etc. They are usually plastic in construction.

Screw-on Knobs

These do have a screw hole with a screw in it which is used to tighten the knob into place. They are found on some Telecasters and other guitars which feature knobs made from metal as opposed to plastic.

High Grade GUYKER Electric Guitar Bass Knobs Smoky color

Taking the Knobs off your Guitar

The best way to remove push-on knobs is to carefully wedge a sturdy piece of thin material between the surface of the guitar and the knob. You could try using an old credit card, a business card made from thicker quality paper, or even a sturdy guitar pick.

Carefully nudge the gap between the guitar's surface and the underside of the knob while at the same time gently pulling it away from the top of the guitar, it usually pops off quite easily. If it doesn’t, don’t force it, try wrapping a very thin piece of cloth under the knob and then gently pulling it away from the guitar.

Or use a combination of both methods, using an old credit card to start removing it and create a small space, in which you insert the cloth to complete the job as shown in this YouTube video.

If you have screw-on knobs, you’ll need to get yourself a very small screwdriver, one from a set of watchmaker's screwdrivers is a great option. These sets are normally very reasonably priced and come in useful for a number of guitar maintenance and other DIY jobs.

Make sure that you have the correct size of screwdriver head, using something too big or too small can break the head pattern of the screw making it very difficult to remove.

Putting the Knobs back on the Guitar

As you can probably tell, this will simply be a case of pushing the Push-on knob back into place. But make sure that you set the volume to zero or 10 and then line the knob up with it before you push it back into place.

If the knob is a screw-on, simply screw it back onto the shaft of the pot, again remembering to perfectly line it up first.

Wrapping up

There you go, you should now have removed the knobs from your guitar and you can clean up that pesky plastic wrap underneath to make your guitar look absolutely perfect.


If you like this article, please share it!

Be sure to join our FB Group Guyker Guitar Parts & Accessories Community to share your ideas! You can also have connections with like-minded guitar players, Guyker updates as well as discounts information from our FB Group.