Finding the best electric guitars is difficult, but it is also quite thrilling. The phrase ‘best’ implies different things to different people, and it is the subjective aspect of this that makes the process – as well as the task of putting together this guide – so difficult. For some players, the best electric guitar is something simple and functional, while for others, it’s a guitar decked out in a gorgeous paintjob and outfitted with every conceivable technology.
In this round-up, we’ll show you what we believe to be the best electric guitars available right now. This product selection includes a wide price range, as well as many various musical styles and performing levels, to ensure that you get the ideal electric guitar for you.
You’ll discover selections from most of the best electric guitars makers here, so you can be sure they also come with a great brand reputation and a confirmed seal of excellence.
We’ve put the guitars in price order to make selecting the right one for your budget a bit easier, and we’ve also prepared some useful suggestions for this guide. Simply click this ‘purchasing advice’ button to go straight there, or scroll down to see our top picks.
BEST ELECTRIC GUITARS: OASIS GUITAR’S SELECTION
Choosing the best electric guitars from our guide is like to deciding which of your children is your favourite. It’s quite difficult because all of the possibilities are, in our opinion, the greatest – yet there are usually one or two favourites that we can’t help but prefer.
For those on a tight budget, we propose the Squier Classic Vibe Stratocaster ’60s. Nothing else in that price range compares in terms of value for money and variety. Most Classic Vibe instruments have build quality that is only a hair behind that of Fender guitars made in Mexico, so if you don’t mind having the Squier name on your headstock, this is the guitar for you.
For those with a little more money to invest, we recommend the Charvel Pro-Mod DK22 SSS 2PT CM or the Fender American Performer Strat. The Charvel is ideal for anyone who wants to push that little bit further and faster, and with a Strat-esque pickup setup and a stacked bridge humbucker, the sonic pallet is broad. When considering the instrument’s pedigree, the Performer Strat is a US-made Fender Stratocaster for a reasonable price. It’ll do everything you need a Strat to do, and it’ll do it well. The HSS arrangement also provides some more adaptability in case you need to do some extra-curricular metal or hard rock shows.
For those with a large budget, we propose the Gibson ES-335 Satin. Not only is it lovely, but it’s also extremely adaptable – and will take care of you musically for decades to come if properly cared for. It’s got enough rage beneath the hood to cover Chris Cornell’s grungey riffing, enough agility to cover Alex Lifeson’s stadium prog opuses, and enough soul and heart to cover B.B King’s elegant blues – and if that artist list isn’t enough, you’re nuts.
BEST ELECTRIC GUITARS: PRODUCT GUIDE
Squier Classic Vibe ’60s Stratocaster- Best electric guitars
The entry-level guitar market is in considerably better shape than it was even ten years ago. Manufacturers and companies now utilise significantly higher levels of quality control than they did previously. This implies that even ‘cheap’ guitars can deliver tones, craftsmanship, and playability usually reserved for mid and upper end models.
The Squier Classic Vibe ’60s Stratocaster is a prime example of this. Previously, an entry-level guitar would last a few of years, have string action like playing razor wire, and tones like a swarm of bees in a tin can. Not any longer.
This Classic Vibe looks, feels, and sounds amazing, and it even competes with some of the less expensive Fender models. Style and playability at an affordable price. Progress is a beautiful thing.
Squier Bullet Mustang- Best electric guitars
There are several factors to consider when selecting best electric guitars for a child. The guitar itself must be somewhat light in order for tiny shoulders to cope. It must be simple enough to play for little hands, with an adequately sized neck. And it has to look cool. Because, let’s face it, at that age, the appearance of the guitar arguably exceeds its capacity to span multiple tonal ranges.
There are a few devoted small versions of conventional guitars, but we chose one that is full sized, fully equipped, and reasonably priced. The Squier Bullet Mustang has a slightly shorter scale length, which, combined with the basswood body, makes it comfortable to play. However, its two humbuckers ensure that it can compete with most adult-oriented guitars. And it’s one of the most badass Squier guitars we’ve played in a long time.
Gretsch G5222 Electromatic Double Jet- Best electric guitars
Gretsch’s Double Jet is one of the best all-purpose rock ‘n’ roll best electric guitars on the market. We guarantee you’d have a good time playing blues, rock, indie, rock ‘n’ roll, jazz, or country on it.
This Electromatic edition is ridiculously cheap and comes in a range of pretty nice finishes. Choose Natural for a Malcolm Young vibe, Walnut Stain for a more refined look, or either of the metallic primer-style treatments for a badass look.
The Double Jet’s two Black Top Broad’Trons are fast to show their teeth, and there’s a treble bleed circuit to get as much tone out of them as possible. The narrow U-profile neck is very quick, with a comfortable 24.6″ scale and 12″ fretboard radius for a truly contemporary feel, and the chambered wood makes it easy on the back. So cool.
PRS SE Custom 24- Best electric guitars
To many, the Custom 24 represents the apex of PRS design, and the thing about outstanding guitar design is that it transfers well across price points. Anyone would agree that the SE Custom 24 is gorgeous.
The Wide Thin neck shape provides a nice compromise between comfort and speed. The flame maple veneer creates a nice balance between luxury and ostentation. Everything about this guitar’s design appears to be in perfect balance.
The eye-catching Burled Ash and high-priced 35th Anniversary versions are also available in the SE Custom 24 range. Whatever you choose, you’ll get a super-stable vibrato, a bridge pickup that can handle everything from southern rock snarl to metal chunk, and neck humbucker tones that are organically suited to blues, rock, and showing off your comping talents. The coil-taps open up a world of options — country, funk, you name it. The Custom 24 does it all.
Epiphone Les Paul Standard- Best electric guitars
When we talk about value, one of the best electric guitars comes to mind right away. The Epiphone Les Paul Standard has been the go-to guitar for thousands of players for good reason over the years. Simply put, this instrument checks all the criteria. It’s very well-made, it sounds excellent, and, most importantly, it won’t break the bank.
For many players, this guitar strikes the perfect balance of quality, price, and performance. It’s why so many people graduate to it as their first’serious’ axe, and why so many are on the weekend warrior circuit. If a genuine Gibson is out of your financial reach, you can’t go wrong with one of these.
PRS SE Hollowbody Standard- Best electric guitars
The SE Hollowbody Standard seems like a real semi-acoustic, with a larger body than its US-built cousin, and something about these dimensions elicits a Pavlovian ii-V-I response when you take it up.
Not that this is just a jazz box. Far from it. The PRS 58/15 humbuckers are well-suited to jazz when the treble is rolled back, but with a cranked tube amp, you’ll get an ES-vibe and a tone that is applicable to a wide range of styles.
The SE Hollowbody Standard is built in China by Cor-Tek, and it’s a true testament to the SE series that it manages to offer that sense of PRS elegance for the price.
Without a doubt, this is a serious instrument, with a Wide Fat neck profile that corresponds to the moniker on the headstock, and it wears its simple plain top beautifully.
Modified Fender Vintera’60s Telecaster- Best electric guitars
Vibe is a somewhat ambiguous term. Essentially, it’s a guitar that evokes a certain atmosphere or amount of cool. While any number of axes might be used, we chose the fantastic Fender Vintera ’60s Telecaster Modified because, frankly, we adore it.
The Vintera blends a simple Tele layout with some clever under-the-hood changes and plenty of the aforementioned attitude.
Underneath the conventional alder body, you’ll find some very intriguing pickup options. A distinctive four-way switch connects two single coil pickups in series, while the S-1 switch on the volume knob inverts the phase, giving you a plethora of useful tones to choose from.
Ibanez Genesis Collection RG550- Best electric guitars
There are sub-genres of guitar styles. Guitars designed for heavier types of music are arguably the most popular. This presents itself in body aesthetics, ergonomics, and hardware, with select companies – such as ESP and Schecter – dominating this sector. But it’s undoubtedly the largest name in metal guitars that we’ve chosen here, and in one of their most iconic versions.
Step forward the Ibanez RG550. The RG550, which was reissued last year and is based on an absolute icon of the genre, is developed exclusively for metal. The wafer-thin neck, locking trem, locking nut, and high-output humbuckers give this instrument everything it needs to shred.