If you Google best electric guitar strings, you are likely to find strings from Gibson, Fender, D’Addario, Elixer, Ernie Ball, GHS Strings, and DR Strings, but which of them is really the best for the electric guitar?

Some strings have a bright, twangy sound and others are more durable. Some are coated and some are made of pure nickel. Unfortunately, there is no try it before you buy it to plan for guitar strings, as, after they are unpackaged, they are considered to be “dead.” So how do you tell which string is the right string for you?

Comparison Table


How to Find the Best Electric Guitar Strings


Brown Guitar

With some tips from our friend at the Music Industry online, we can begin to form an idea of the stuff that compromises the best electric guitar strings for you, but, keep in mind, this can be a highly individualized pursuit. Nevertheless, as one reviewer recommends, you should start by finding out what kind of strings your guitar came with.

Presuming you are happy with your current set of electric guitar strings, if you do little digging on the manufacturer website, or ask the owner of the store you bought your guitar from, it should be relatively easy to track down who made those strings you are currently picking.

Of course, failing that, you can always turn to others and ask them what they prefer to play. Some may have more experience than you and many have less, but, chances are, they all have an opinion. Read online reviews is also helpful, and there is no lack of string fanboys and points of view in that forum.

By and far, however, you are going to gain the most among of knowledge and experience from experimenting and trying different kinds. Collect your thoughts in a notebook or online and come back to the later after you have tried out a good variety of electric guitar strings.

The journey to the best electric guitar strings is going to be pretty subjective, but there are a few established concepts to keep in minds. First, be aware of tone and how the strings sound. While this may seem like a fruitless task while blasting out chords from a set of amplified speakers, tone can make all the difference between a high-pitched note and a screech.

Durability and playability matter as well. How long does the sting hold up? It has been said that if you are on tour, playing every day, you should plan on replacing your strings every other performance or so, but playability matters, too, and Eddie Van Halen was reportedly famous for playing “dead” stings and waiting until the last possible moment to replace them.


Other Electric Guitar String Tips

Of course, factors like intonation - how “in tune” your strings sound across the entire fretboard - reliability, and flexibility matter, too. And some players require whacky colored strings while others want consistent sound stings no matter how their guitar is tuned.

Hand Playing guitar

Another big question to consider is how often should you change your strings? As discussed, some musicians rarely change them, while most touring guitarists change theirs every other day. It is recommended, however, that novice players change their electric guitar strings ever six months to a year.

Moreover, our friends at Sweetwater reminds us of some other important considerations as well, including String Gauge, which refers to the string’s physical thickness. The most popular gauge set for a six-string, electric guitar, we are told, is .010–.046. This set refers to a range of sizes from the first string (.010) to the sixth string (.046).

Strings are gauged for the evenest tension, sound, and feel, and, in standard tuning of an electric guitar, these gauges offer the best playability and tone. Lighter gauges will, naturally, not feel as full as heavier gauges, but, again, it all comes down to personal choice.

Moreover, lighter gauges are great for light strumming and delicate ballad work, but they also have the tendency of “fretting out,” so that can be something to watch.


The 10 Best Electric Guitar Strings List


Man Playing The Guitar

All that brings us to the 10 best electric guitar strings list. We have consulted many reviews, read customer comments, and research the manufacturers in order to bring to you a list that reflects the best guitar sting value, cost, durability, and sound. Listed in no particular order, here are our picks

D'Addario EPN110 Pure Nickel Electric Guitar Strings, Regular Light,...
  • D'Addario's most popular Pure Nickel set
  • Pure Nickel wrap wire delivers a warmer, vintage electric guitar tone
  • Corrosion resistant packaging for strings that are always fresh

From XL ProSteel to EXP Coated Nickel, these break-resistant strings are the most innovative string to come around in a while, and D’Addario claims that they are actually four times more durable than anything else on the market. Plus, the nickel-plated steel offers a bright sound, while the pure nickel creates a deeper, richer sound, and both sets are made right here in the USA. You can grab them both from Am​​azon for a little more than $20 - 30.


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Fender 3150L Pure Nickel Bullet End Electric Guitar Strings - Light
  • Fender original bullets are an excellent choice for blues, jazz, and classic rock.
  • The German-made bullet end fits precisely into Fender tremolo blocks, enhancing sustain and stability.
  • That means you get more for your money with original bullets

Fender has made guitars and guitar strings since 1946, and the company is an American classic. You can get their Orignal Bullets her​​e or their Super Bullets here. Both cost about $10 and both offer that classic Fender sound. The main difference is that the original version is made of pure nickel, and the Super Bullets are made of nickel-plated steel. Some critic will argue that the Original Bullets are better for the bass guitar and playing the Blues, while the Super Bullet provides a better classic electric guitar sound, but you will have to experiment to see what you think.


GHS Strings GHS Boomers Roundwound Electic Guitar Strings Extra Light...
  • Model: GBXL 10 pack
  • Featuring the air-tight Fresh Pack & Nitro Pack singles, guaranteed fresh from the factory!
  • Round wound nickel-plated steel on a hex core

Bands like Styx and Rancid are admitted GHS fans, and these strings are reportedly favored by pro guitarists everywhere. And it is no wonder. GHS manufactures strings and strings alone, which makes them a bit of an authority on the matter, and you can pick yours up h​​ere for under $10.


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Elixir Strings 80/20 Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings w NANOWEB Coating,...
  • Acoustic guitar strings constructed with 80/20 (80% copper, 20% zinc) bronze wrap wire
  • Played for a crisp, bright tone with an expressive, vibrant presence
  • Ultra-thin NANOWEB Coating provides a more traditionally textured, "uncoated" feel

Elixir NANO​​WEB electric guitar strings come in an ultralight gauge, starting at 0.09, and have been all the rage as of late. They offer a bright, vibrant sound and Elixir’s patented coating technology offers anti-corrosion properties and you can expect to spend about $12 on them online.


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DR Strings VTA-12 Veritas Phosphor Bronze Acoustic Guitar String 12-54...
  • Lasts up to 4 times longer with no surface coating or treatment
  • Robust and resonant tone, excellent sustain
  • Loud and bright, notes 'jump off the pick'

Like GHS and Elixir, DR makes only guitar strings and big-name ax men include Johnny Winter, Trey Anastasio, and Rick Derringer. With a slew of technologies to back them up, DR offers Accurate Core Technology to reinforce the core wire inside the string and a “QUANTUM-Nickel” coating designed to increase durability, intonation, and tone. For less than $8, you could afford to get two.


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Gibson Vintage Reissue Electric Guitar Strings, Light 10-46
  • .010-.046 Light Gauge Electric Guitar Strings
  • Pure Nickel

Gibson is another guitar name steeped in the rich musical history of American. With roots that reach back to 1974, the guitar and string maker offer these vintage, pure nickel and steel electric guitar strings for under 10 dollars, and the strings are so popular that they have earned an Amazon Choice Award. Gibson strings are bench-tested for the best possible sound. Pure nickel is slow-wrapper over high-grade Swedish steel, and the result is a warm, full tone that will remind you of the glory days of rock and roll.


Ernie Ball 2220 Power Slinky Nickel Electric Guitar Strings (6-pack)
  • Convenient and great value 6-pack
  • Gauges .011, .014, .018p, .028, .038, .048
  • Power Slinky Electric Strings are a perfect match for those who like chunky rhythms for rock and roll or blues

Established in 1962, Ernie Ball strings have reportedly been used by guitar greats like Paul McCartney, Keith Richards, Jimmy Page, and Buddy Guy, among others, and the unique, round sound is perfect for playing the blue ar blasting out chunky rock ballads. A thicker gauge string technology helps to develop a fuller sound, and materials include tin-plated specially tempered high-carbon steel. Find Ernie Ball strin​​gs on Amazon for about $14.


Martin D9200 Darco Electric Guitar Strings, Light
  • Specifically designed for rock and jazz
  • Nickel plating provides great tarnish resistance and is a perfect complement to magnetic pickups
  • Gauge: Light (0.010-0.046)

Darco Guit​​ar strings are made with a tin- plated steel core wire and a compound-nickel wire wrap.

For under $10, you will get great value without compromising on tone, clarity. Plus, the clean, bright sound is guaranteed to last, as Marin Darco strings adhere to strict quality-control standards. These strings are ultra-slinky and thin and they produce the perfect electric whine when whaled on.


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La Bella VSA1252 Vapor Shield Acoustic Guitar Strings, Light 12-52
  • String Gauges: . 012, . 016, . 022W, . 031, . 041, . 052; Tension: Light
  • Phosphor Bronze Wound & Plain Steel treated with Ionic Vapor Process
  • Slick mutated surface is resistant to oil and grime

For about $12, you can pick up a set of La Bella’s Phosphor-Bronze wound, steel-treated stings, which are naturally resistant to oil and dirt build-up and made in the USA. Rather than treat their strings with funky finishes and wraps, La Bella changes the string at a molecular level with their Vapor Shield technology, and items are packed using MAP (Modified Atmosphere Packaging) Technology and guaranteed to be fresh and free of tarnishing.


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Dunlop RWN0738 Reverend Willy Electric Guitar Strings - Extra Light
  • Brand: Dunlop
  • Product Code: RWN0738
  • RWN0738 - Reverend Willy Extra Light Electric Guitar Strings, .007-.038

These ultra-light stri​​ngs practically scream while sitting still on the fretboard. Designed in collaboration with Billy Gibbons, they produce a whiney, soulful sound. Described by Billy himself as ''hot, blue, and righteous,'' these strings provide you with the punch you have been looking for, and notes ring true and clear with thicknesses starting at .007 and .009.



Studio Monitor Stands Wrap-up


Guitar string

That is it. That is your list. From ultra-light to heavier strings, this is, in our opinion, the best of what the market has to offer. Keep in mind, the best electric guitar strings are, ultimately, what is best for you, and often experimentation is the key

That is it. That is your list. From ultra-light to heavier strings, this is, in our opinion, the best of what the market has to offer. Keep in mind, the best electric guitar strings are, ultimately, what is best for you, and often experimentation is the key

And, while there are there are, reportedly some hybrid “light-top/heavy bottom” sets out there that mix string gauges, typically, heavier strings offer a rounder sound tone than light ones that will produce a sharper, brighter sound.

Staying with traditional pre-packaged string gauges is probably the best approach for experimentation, and, once you have a baseline for normal gauge sets and how they sound, then it would be appropriate to experiment with hybrid or thicker bass or blues sets. It is all part of the fun of starting to play the guitar.

An important distinction is always going to be brand, and once you feel comfortable with one brand, you should stick with it and try out different gauge offerings through them. The reasoning behind this is that every manufacturer’s process, use of metals, wraps, coatings, and treatment is going to be different.

And, whether a string feels differently plays differently, or sounds different, it all culminates in a learning hurdle to get over or an adjustment to be made. Music is complicated enough without adding unnecessary drama to it, so, whenever possible, go for the same strings over and over again until you feel comfortable.

On a final note, electric guitar strings are most often made of some sort of steel. The plain unwound, and the core of the strings are the same across the board. Don’t be fooled by fancy marketing and complicated language Not matter how products are described, we are pretty much talking about steel plated or treated with another material

Tin-plating and Cobalt-plating are becoming more popular, while Nickel-plated steel has been the most popular over the years for its bright, smooth sound and its slinky feel. Pure nickel wrap will sound warmer than, say, stainless steel, while other metal alloys will give off their own sounds. Playing with these different sounds when you are ready is half the fun.

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