How to replace your turntable’s needle

Regardless of how we call them, record players or turntables, after using them, we have to change and pay attention to certain parts of our units. This is of course, in order to make sure that we can use them for a long time before they start causing damage to our records. One of those things is the needle or the stylus. It is an industrial sapphire and sometimes a diamond and it the ancient mechanical machines it was a steel or bamboo needle. All of these runs the grove on the record. However, we must know how to replace turntable needle properly before we do anything else. So, if you think that the time has come for changing your turntable needle, this guide will be of help to you.

Know your turntable

It is essential to know your turntable thoroughly because of several reasons. For example, the older 78 RPM records use a stylus with a larger diameter than the vinyl 45 singles or 33 long play. Also, some have two styluses. Some other might have two styluses on a detachable holder. These, for example, are very easy to change because you should only pull them out but they are very rare.

how to replace turntable needle

Care for turntable needle

Make sure that your needle is clean and brush away fluff without using force. You can do this by using a paintbrush.

Also, make sure that there aren’t any chipped surfaces and it is supposed to have a round end and be shaped like a cone.

Also, in order to protect the needle from damage, make sure to never drop the arm. Instead, place it gently on the record.

Additionally, make sure that it doesn’t get in contact with anything other than a record because other materials might damage it and might damage the quality of the sound too.

Lastly, make sure that you clean your records only with the devices and with materials that are meant for those specific purposes. A damaged record can damage your needle and this can result in a domino effect of ruined records too.

How to replace turntable needle

The first thing you need to do is to pull the needle straight out. Make sure you are doing this in the opposite direction of the tonearm.

Make sure that you know the manufacturer of the cartridge and find a compatible needle for a replacement. If you go to a store to buy your next needle, make sure to get the old one too. Most often the people there will be able to help you get a compatible needle and you will be sure that you bought the right one. However, if there isn’t a compatible needle available for your cartridge, you will need to replace both the needle and the cartridge.

Suggesting you found the proper needle in your store or online, take it gently and slip it back into the opening of the cartridge. Also, make sure that the point is facing downwards. It is important to not use force because you might damage the needle and it will result in damaged records too.


Make sure to read the manual for your turntable before taking any actions. There are a lot of different types of needles and there are several ways how you can damage them. Also, if you are buying a turntable now, make sure to get a few replacement needles too. This way you make sure that if in the future you damage your needle, you will have a new one in the comfort of your home. Sometimes some needles cannot be found after some time.

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