Tools for Bass!

I know we don’t talk a lot about the tools we use to keep our “bass babies” at their best in set-up, looks and care. However, I have purchased several sets of products, through Sweetwater from a company called MusicNomad. I have their truss rod adjustment kit and their hex and screwdriver kit. Also, the work mat with neck cradle setup. I have to say, the tools you receive are about as good as they get. Perfect, precise and no rounded screws or hex-heads. They fit perfectly, are super stout, and even include all magnetized tips to hold you bits and pieces once you remove or adjust them. They are not cheap but I think they will last for years. I also got their polish kit and it makes my basses shine as if they were glass. I use it on the back of my Warmoth P/J because it has a high gloss neck that can get a little “grabby” when you are playing. It polishes it beautifully and lets my hands glide right across. If you need good tools, give these a try. They are so much better than your average cheap Chinese set from Amazon.

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Generally like Music Nomad, I like their octo tool for nuts as it is all plastic and doesn’t strip, find the Phillips head strips easily, and you also need a #2 for larger bridge screws and neck bolts.

I use their tuning machine / string winder - like it best.
https://www.amazon.com/Music-Nomad-MN221-String-Bearing/dp/B01M9FB6IJ/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?keywords=music+nomad+string+winder&qid=1658163496&s=musical-instruments&sprefix=music+nomad+string%2Cmi%2C53&sr=1-1-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEyU1FBMjFUNVdGMVIyJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwMTk4OTUyMUZQSUlCU0M3TEtERCZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwOTI4NjUwMVVMWTZaOEpXMk5MSSZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2F0ZiZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=

Also their spanner wrench for tight spots (and keeping knobs level with a gap on electronics.

Some others…

Stew Mac Gripper Truss rod wrench for stripped nuts is awesome.
https://www.stewmac.com/luthier-tools-and-supplies/tools-by-job/tools-for-truss-rods/gripper-truss-rod-wrenches/

Fret Guru is super useful
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07YK61YM6/ref=dp_iou_view_item?ie=UTF8&psc=1

T-bar hex wench set (Amazon/Harbor Freight) are good to have.

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I like MusicNomad, I have been buying their maintenance supplies since I started playing bass and have been very happy with the results.

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i have their relief gauge and its great.

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If you are experienced and have mad bass setup Kung Fu skills you can get away with Harbor freight tools. For the rest, well for me it helps to use a single function specialized tools from StewMac or music nomad. They are great almost idiot-proof, don’t ask me how I found that out, lol.

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Thanks for this thread! I was about to post something asking about purpose-build bass/guitar maintenance tools vs. the bucket of various screw drivers and hex keys I keep in my kitchen closet… when the forum suggested this thread instead. I’ll add some Music Nomad stuff to my watch list on Reverb.

Anyone reading have any thoughts on D’Addario/Planet Waves tools? Comparable quality to Music Nomad? I notice they have a nice “Bass Maintenance Kit” widely available for about 100 smackaroos (beats buying everything individually), but I don’t want to bother if the quality is lower. Thanks!

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I’m sure others are good but the Music Nomad stuff I have is top notch

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My spouse is studying to be an electrician so I’m getting “high quality tool” envy. :grin:

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I despise the D’Addario string winder, but can’t speak to the rest.

Most of my stuff is music Nomad.
I would say you probably don’t need the entire kit. But YMMV.
I do have additional screwdrivers as you need a larger one Vs the 8-1 tool for things like neck or bridge screws. I love the other end of that tool as the plastic hex wrenches are great for non scuffing.
Their spanner is great for setting knob height alone, and also useful as a spanner.
I do use their F-one oil, polish, and Tune-It goop, all top notch.
I use their nut gauges for truss rod adjustment Vs nut gauges (they just happen to be the right spacing.

The only other thing I use that’s not theirs and really love is the Fret Guru ruler thingy. It’s endlessly useful for string & pickup height.

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OK, awesomely helpful response all around! Thank you!!

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For electric instruments you can get by with cheap hex keys and feeler gauges; the only thing in my setup kit that is special order is the fret guru action ruler, a hollow ground flat blade screwdriver for Gibson bridge screws and fender truss rod screws, and some nut slot files. I haven’t needed a fret file yet, but it’s on the list

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Specialty tools are great. They are limited but serves a single function really well. Sure you can file a nut slot with a regular file as well as dressing fret ends but getting Stewmac pretend files and music nomad nut files make the job a breeze.

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:100:

I got the MusicNomad screwdriver kit because I find tiny hex wrenches easy to lose and a pain in the ass to use.

The MN screwdriver bits make making adjustments to tiny saddle screws and all other screws on my basses super-easy to do. Others’ mileage may vary, but I really like having every screw bit I need at my fingertips in a small carry case.

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My plan is to buy the house next to @Barney. Save $ on tools, and he knows how to paint :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

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I like the Music Nomad screwdriver kit. It’s convenient and has the right size drivers for my bass needs.

I have a cheap socket set from Harbor Freight, actually two, one metric, and bought a separate handle for it. Also bought a hex wrench set, which has a holder for all the wrenches. Whatever size hex nut, I got the wrench.

I have the D’Addario tuner tool, and don’t really like it much. But tried a couple others, and it’s the best of a bad lot. If someone has a good one, please enlighten us.

A tool that comes in very handy is a stubby Philips screwdriver. For putting on strap locks/buttons and bridges it really gives you more control

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That’s a great idea, where is he again?lol.

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The best string winder……

MusicNomad MN221 GRIP Guitar String Peg Winder, Rubber Lined & Dual Bearing
https://a.co/hDHZHhv

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That’s the only rub. He lives in Canada, and I’ve learnt they don’t speak American English there…

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qu’est-ce que c’est?

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Even I don’t know what they’re saying half the time.

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