If you have a fondness for carpal tunnel syndrome, read no further. Everyone else, follow me to a product that’s brimming with awesomeness. In short, the Ernie Ball PowerPeg String Winder is a little motorized device that completely eliminates the hand-cranked manual string winders of yesteryear. Yeah, that’s quite a claim, yet the PowerPeg delivers on the promise.
For starters, the PowerPeg has a proprietary head that fits several different-size tuning pegs, whether you play acoustic, electric, 12-string, or bass. Fit the PowerPeg Winder’s head over a tuning peg, press one end of the rocker switch, and watch with delight as it quickly loosens your string. Press the other end of the switch to tighten. It’s that easy.
The manufacturer claims that the PowerPeg will help you restring your instrument 70 percent faster than traditional manual peg winders. Having clocked my string changes with a manual winder and the PowerPeg, I’d say that figure is pretty much right on the button, because I’m able to restring my guitars in at least half the time it used to take.
And then there’s the fatigue factor. If you’re the type who likes to change the strings on multiple guitars (or a 12-string) in one sitting, you know how tiring it can be—and hard on your wrist—to continually crank a manual winder.
The Ernie Ball PowerPeg String Winder uses four AA batteries (not included), which I’ve found to last through several string changes. Since I use coated strings, which last quite a long time before needing to be changed, I’ve found that one set of batteries will live on for many months before giving up the ghost. But if the thought of buying and changing batteries goes against your nature, there’s a PowerPeg Pro model that’s fully rechargeable.
Some industrious people have built their own PowerPeg-like devices by buying a special winder head and attaching it to a power drill. Good for them. Me? I don’t want to hold a drill.
The basic PowerPeg can be had for around $20 retail; the Pro model will cost about $10 more. Whichever one you choose, it’s likely that you’ll cram your manual winder into your gig bag, never to be used again until you have an emergency string change right before a performance.
Otherwise, it’s PowerPeg to the people.
This article originally appeared in the February 2017 issue of Acoustic Guitar magazine.