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Removing a guitar knob is pretty easy, right? You’ll look for a little screw in the side of the knob, or if you don’t find a screw then you assume you can just yank that sucker off there, right?
Well, sometimes that’s wrong.
Actually, the vast majority of guitar knobs are indeed one of the two types I just described: they either fasten with a little screw, or they can be pulled off (like a Stratocaster) with a little elbow grease.
However, there’s another type of guitar knob–called a collet knob–that is neither a press-on knob nor does it fasten with an obvious screw that’s accessible from the outside. If you’ve never encountered a collet-style guitar knob and, in your ignorance, try to yank it off, you run the risk of damaging your pot, your guitar, or both. I speak from personal experience here.
As you can see they’re a bit fancier than most all-plastic or all-metal knobs. These have a nice grippy rubber wrapped around an otherwise all-metal knob. Nice, premium quality knobs, but they’ll drive you mad if you decide to change them and don’t know how the heck to remove them.
Video: How to Remove a Collet Guitar Knob
How to Remove a Collet Guitar Knob: Step-by-Step
For those who can’t (or don’t want to) watch my slick video, here are the step-by-step instructions in old school words and photos.
That’s all there really is to it. It’s very simple if you know you’re dealing with a collet knob. So, the next time you decide to change a guitar knob and can’t find a tiny screw to loosen, see if you can’t unscrew the top before you assume it’s the type of knob you just pull straight off.