What is the best way to remove knobs?

If I wanted to remove the knobs on my Mutable Instruments module, what would be the best way to do this?

I’m interested in replacing the knobs.


I like to use IC pullers, like this:


I use a micro flathead screwdriver and slowly lever it off.

Brute force :joy:


Put a flathead screwdriver between knob and panel and slowly turn it while holding the knob with your other hand.

Pull the f*ckers…

Anything else (especially using a screwdriver) risks marking the panel.


Mutable aren’t too bad, just be brave, whereas Doepfer…:face_with_symbols_over_mouth::face_with_symbols_over_mouth::face_with_symbols_over_mouth::face_with_symbols_over_mouth:

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I just want to make sure: are the knobs glues to the pots? I’m assuming not, but wanted to check.

When I tried using an IC puller to remove stubborn knobs, it just bent… maybe I needed better tools :slight_smile:

An old credit card or similar doesn’t work very well to pry with in my experience, but using it to protect the panel when prying with a screwdriver might help. I’ve had better luck looping a wire under the knob and pulling up that way, though it’s still not easy.

they are not. carefully pull. i wouldn’t use a screwdriver or you’ll damage your faceplate.

Glue? Why would one do that! There’s a metal insert in the knob that fits snuggly around the shaft of the pot.

Glue? Why would one do that!

Yes, I should’ve known better. Thanks!

This is one area where round pots and a knob with set screw are superior (simple to get off) though it can be a pain to line up all the knob indicator lines without the d-shaft.

I’ve replaced all the magenta and teal knobs in my system with white ones; have never had a problem gently removing the knobs. Care and patience (as in most thing…)

I definitely prefer push-on knobs. Set screws can be awkward in crowded spaces like the front panel of a modular synth, so you often need to remove the module from the case to find an angle. And then remove or replace knobs in a particular order, sometimes.

Also, there are different kinds of set screws; some need tiny screwdrivers while others require a hex key of some exact size which you might not just have lying around. With bigger knobs, they’re also set really deep where you can’t really see the head of the screw.

tea spoon or rounded butter knife between the panel and the base of the knob

If you can’t remove the knob with your fingers, use a shoelace or string or similar.
Wrap it around the pot shaft under the base of the knob. Pull up with one hand while covering the knob with the other hand. Be careful. The knob may fly up at you.
This way you won’t damage the faceplate.
I use this method to remove knobs from guitars without damaging the finish.