It can be hard as a guitar player to find the best electric guitar strings. You might not know exactly what to purchase for your instrument. This guide will help you pick out a great set of guitar strings.

I’ve played electric guitar for many years, and over the course of my playing career, I’ve tried many different sets of strings. The choices I’ve picked for you here all make excellent choices for any guitar player.

Quick Look: Best Electric Guitar Strings

#1 Best Electric Guitar String Overall: Elixir Optiweb


I’ve picked electric guitar strings for beginners, intermediate, and advanced players. You’ll find a set here that matches any need you have, whether you’re fingerpicking, strumming, or just looking for an overall great set.

What Is an Electric Guitar String?

You can’t make music with your electric guitar without a good set of strings. Guitar strings come in various gauges and sets. Newer players tend to use lighter strings, while advanced players use heavier sets.

A close up of an electric guitar strings

Electric guitar strings are usually made out of metal, such as nickel and steel. They usually have a ball end that secures the string to the guitar bridge.

Types of Electric Guitar Strings

There are several different types of electric guitar strings. Here’s what you need to know before you buy the best electric guitar strings for your needs.

Nickel Plated Strings

Nickel-plated guitar strings are usually the preferred choice. They have a nice warmth and brightness to them. These strings also hold up well to abuse, such as string bending or any use of a whammy bar.

Stainless Steel Strings

Stainless steel strings reduced noise when you were moving your fingers around the fretboard. Some players prefer this type of string. They also hold up well to a heavy pick attack.

Pure Nickel Strings

Pure nickel strings are warmer than nickel-plated strings. They also have a better bass response when compared to nickel-plated strings.

Coated Guitar Strings

Some guitar string manufacturers produce coated guitar strings. These strings have a special coating that helps them last longer. Coated strings last several months longer than non-coated strings.

Things to Consider When Choosing an Electric Guitar String

There are a few things you need to consider before you choose an electric guitar string set. Here are the top points to keep in mind before you order.


The size of your set is important. This is usually referred to as a string gauge. A lighter set of strings is easier to play and bend. A heavier set will have more tone, but is harder to play. Typical string gauges are as follows:

  • 008s-009s: These are the easiest strings to play, as they’re quite light.
  • 010s: This set is the most common and moderately easy to play.
  • 011s: This set is heavier and harder to play.
  • 012s+: These are heavier sets designed for jazz guitar.
  • Custom: Some sets come in custom sizes, which take strings from a few different gauges.


The sound of your guitar strings is important. You’ll have to try several different sets of strings before you find a set that you like in terms of its sound. It’s a personal preference. Most guitar players can figure it out on their own.


You should also keep the price of the set in mind. A normal set of strings can be purchased for just a few dollars. A coated set of strings may cost a lot more, but they last longer and will save you money.


What the guitar strings are made out of may be important to you. After you play guitar for a while, you may decide that some metals sound better than others. This is all a personal opinion, so play a few sets first.

10 Best Electric Guitar Strings

When you’re looking for the top electric guitar strings, it’s important to have several choices. This list of the 10 best electric guitar strings should get you started, as all of these are excellent options.

I have experience with many of these sets, so I know how they sound. There are strings here for beginner, intermediate, and advanced players, so you’ll find something that works for you.

1. Elixir Electric Guitar Strings Optiweb 10-46

  • String gauge: 10-46
  • Material: Nickel-plated steel
  • Coated: Yes
  • Best for: Those that want their strings to last a long time

These electric guitar strings are some of the best guitar strings for your electric guitar. They’ll last you a long time, and you’ll save money on your guitar strings. You’ll get great tone and reliability with the Elixir Electric Guitar Strings set.

✅ Long life
✅ Coated
✅ Good tone
✅ Anti-rust
❌ A bit expensive
❌ A little slippery

Why I Recommend It

Elixir electric guitar strings have been my go-to guitar strings for a long time. I love their sound and the fact that they last a lot longer than regular guitar strings.

I can put on a set of these, and I won’t have to change my guitar strings for several months. I was going through a set of guitar strings every couple of weeks before I switched to Elixr strings.



2. D’Addario XT Nickel Plated 10-52

  • String gauge: 10-52
  • Material: Nickel-plated steel
  • Coated: No
  • Best for: Those that want a reliable electric guitar string set

For those who need guitar strings with a heavier 6th string, D’Addario XT Nickel Plated 10-52 is the ideal set for you. The high carbon steel helps the strings last longer when compared to regular D’Addario strings.

✅ Good tone
✅ Long life
✅ Tuning stability
✅ Resealable box
❌ Some strings break early
❌ Packaging could be better

Why I Recommend It

I’m a big fan of D’Addario strings. The XT set lasts longer than regular D’Addario strings. You’ll also get better tuning stability with this set and better break resistance.

These strings feel great under your fingers, and you’ll get great reliability when you play them. Your strings will have a longer life, and this will save you money.



3. Elixir 3 Sets 9-42 Nanoweb

  • String gauge: 9-42
  • Material: Nickel-plated steel
  • Coated: Yes
  • Best for: Those that want to save money

Elixir guitar strings are a little bit more expensive than other guitar string sets. You get three sets when you order, so it’ll save you money. The Elixir 3 Sets 9-42 Nanoweb strings are long-lasting and have a great tone with a thinner coating that feels natural.

✅ 3 sets
✅ Long-lasting
✅ Good tone
✅ Thin coating
❌ A bit expensive
❌ Slippery string

Why I Recommend It

I love this three-pack of Elixir guitar strings. They’re the lighter 009 set, so they’re perfect for beginners. You’ll save a lot of money when you purchase this set.

I’m always impressed by how long Elixir electric guitar strings last. They’re the best electric guitar strings for strumming as well as other playing styles. They hold up no matter what you play, and you’ll get a long life out of your strings.


4. GHS Boomers Roundwound 9-42 10-Pack

  • String gauge: 9-42
  • Material: Nickel-plated
  • Coated: No
  • Best for: Those that have a lot of guitars to string

If you want to save a lot of money, pick up a set of GHS Boomers. These strings sound great, and you get 10 sets in one package. They’ll give you a great tone and a powerful attack in each set.

✅ Low cost
✅ Good tone
✅ 10 sets
✅ Fresh packaging
❌ Shorter life than some sets
❌ Some players had a string break early

Why I Recommend It

I like GHS guitar strings, and I’ve used them in the past. This is a great set to have because you get 10 sets in one package for one low cost. If you have a lot of guitars to string up, this is the ideal set to buy.

GHS strings have a pretty good tone to them. They may not last as long as some other strings, such as coated strings, but you do get good reliability and performance out of your set.


5. Ernie Ball Regular Slinky 10-46 3-Pack

  • String gauge: 10-46
  • Material: Nickel wound
  • Coated: No
  • Best for: Those that don’t have a lot of money to spend on guitar strings

Ernie Ball makes exceptional guitar strings. The Ernie Ball Regular Slinky is one of the most popular sets of Ernie Ball strings. In this pack, you get three sets of 010 strings, so it’s the perfect choice for a beginner or intermediate player.

✅ Low price
✅ Good tone
✅ 3 sets in one pack
✅ Protective package
❌ Won’t last as long as other strings
❌ Some buyers had quality issues

Why I Recommend It

Ernie Ball makes some great guitar strings. I like this product because you get three sets in one package. You get great reliability with Ernie Ball strings, and they have a decent tone to them.

Many famous players rely on Ernie Ball strings for their sound and tone. I’ve used Ernie Ball in the past and found the Regular Slinky to be one of their better sets.



6. D’Addario EPN 115 Pure Nickel 11-49

  • String gauge: 11-48
  • Material: Pure nickel
  • Coated: No
  • Best for: Jazz and blues players or those that like heavy strings

This set of D’Addario strings is a perfect solution for anyone that wants a higher gauge guitar string. The D’Addario Nickel Wound Electric Guitar Strings set sounds great and gives you an amazing tone as well as reliability.


✅ Heavy strings
✅ Good tone
✅ Great for jazz or blues
✅ Corrosion packaging
❌ Hard to bend
❌ Not beginner-friendly

Why I Recommend It

I’ve used D’Addario sets of strings in the past. This set is superb if you want a heavier gauge of string. You’ll get an excellent tone when you purchase the set, and they’re great for playing chords.

I also like to set because it has corrosion packaging, so the strings will stay fresh until you’re ready to put them on your guitar. I always found D’Addario to be quite reliable, and you will too.


7. Fender NPS Light 09-42 5-Pack

  • String gauge: 09-42
  • Material: Nickel-plated steel
  • Coated: No
  • Best for: Rock, blues, and country players that want a reliable string

Fender makes some nice guitar strings, such as the NPS Light set. The Fender NPS Light 09-42 comes in a pack of five, so you get many strings for one low price. They’re suitable for rock, blues, country, and similar styles of music.

✅ Good tone
✅ Easy to play
✅ Good price
✅ Easy to bend
❌ May break more often
❌ May not be heavy enough for some

Why I Recommend It

I’ve used Fender guitars strings before, and I find them to be quite reliable. This set is great for lighter musical styles since the lighter 009 gauge is easier to bend than regular 10s.

You get a good tone out of Fender strings, and they tend to last a long time. This package gives you five sets, so you’ll have plenty of strings for quite a while.



8. Ernie Ball M-Steel 10-52

  • String gauge: 10-52
  • Material: Cobalt alloy
  • Coated: No
  • Best for: Rock and heavy metal players that need more sustain from strings

The Ernie Ball M-Steel 10-52 strings are ideal for metal and rock players because they have great output and a good bottom end for chugging rhythms. They’re protected in special packaging until you’re ready to use them.

✅ Good tone
✅ More output
✅ Protective packaging
✅ Good low end
❌ Heavy strings
❌ Only one set

Why I Recommend It

These heavier set strings have a good output, which you need for some guitar styles like metal. This set by Ernie Ball is ideal for that purpose. These strings are expressive and have a nice balanced tone.

I like the protective packaging, which keeps the strings fresh until you’re ready to put them on your guitar. The cobalt alloy provides a nice low end, making the bass notes stand out more when you’re playing.


9. DR Dimebag Darrell Signature 10-46

  • String gauge: 10-46
  • Material: Nickel-plated
  • Coated: No
  • Best for: Rock players needing a basic string set

DR strings are low cost but offer a lot of value. The DR Dimebag Darrell Signature 10-46 set has a nice tone and is suitable for most styles of rock music. They’re nickel-plated for a longer life. This is a good set for string bending and whammy bar tricks because they stay in tune.

✅ Low cost
✅ Good tone
✅ Stay in tune
✅ Good for most styles
❌ May break more than some strings
❌ Wear out faster than coated sets

Why I Recommend It

The Dimebag Signature set from DR is a good set of strings that won’t cost you a lot of money. I like the tone from this set. You get a long life out of your strings thanks to the nickel plating.

For players that need a basic set of electric guitar strings, I’d try this DR set, as it has a lot to offer you. They stay in tune when you’re bending and are a good beginner set to try out.



10. D’Addario EXP120 Coated 9-42

  • String gauge: 9-42
  • Material: Nickel-plated steel
  • Coated: Yes
  • Best for: Those that want longer string life

One of the main problems with guitar strings is that they wear out quickly. If you want longer life in your strings, try the D’Addario EXP120 Coated 9-42 set. These strings have a longer life than regular D’Addario strings.

✅ Coated for long life
✅ Tuning stability
✅ Corrosion-resistant packaging
✅ Easy bending
❌ Lighter strings break more often
❌ Some may not like the coating

Why I Recommend It

I’ve used D’Addario strings in the past and was a big fan of their sound. I stopped using them because they tend to wear out faster than I’d like. This new EXP 120 set is coated for a longer life.

You get the same great D’Addario sound, but your strings will last around four times as long. This will save you a lot of money on your string purchases. Give this set a try if you want a longer string life.



Best Electric Guitar String Brands

It’s always better to go with brand-name electric guitar strings. These companies have been making strings for a long time, so they know what they’re doing.

A close up of an fender electric guitar

Here are some of the better brands that you want to work with.


I consider Elixir to be one of the best sets of guitar strings. I like these sets because they’re coated. I can purchase one set of these electric guitar strings, and the set will last me several months.

These coated strings save me a lot of money. They’re my preferred set of strings now, but I’ve used other brands that would still make excellent choices.


This manufacturer makes excellent guitar strings. I’ve used many of their sets in the past. They offer both coated and uncoated strings. You can often get them in value packs of three sets or more.

I find that D’Addario strings have a nice warm tone to them. These strings don’t break all that often, so you’ll save money on your guitar string purchases.

Ernie Ball

Ernie Ball is a good choice if you don’t have a lot of money to spend on guitar strings. They make a wide range of electric guitar strings, and some of their sets don’t cost a lot of money.

When I first started playing guitar, I used Ernie Ball sets quite frequently. I was able to get them from a music warehouse I worked at. These strings have great tone and reliability. Many players prefer Ernie Ball.


Another set of strings I used in the past is GHS. These sets have a nice tone to them, and you won’t pay a lot for a basic set of these strings.

If you’re low on cash but want a decent set of strings, I’d go with GHS. I found them to be quite reliable when I was using them.


Fender makes excellent guitars, and they also make high-quality guitar strings. They’re moderately priced, and you’ll get a decent set of strings for your instrument.

I’ve used Fender strings in the past, and I was quite satisfied with the sets that I purchased. Like all guitar strings, you’ll have to try a few sets before you find a brand that you like.

Electric Guitar String Aesthetics & Build

There are a few things you need to know about electric guitar strings before you purchase them. Here is a rundown of the basics you need to know.


There are several materials used to make electric guitar strings. What type of material you end up going with is up to you. Take your time to listen to different sets until you find one that works.

  • Nickel-plated: This is a very common type of electric guitar string. This material is balanced and has a warm tone.
  • Pure Nickel: These strings have more warmth when compared to nickel-plated and aren’t as bright.
  • Steel: These strings have a nice bright tone to them. They have a lot of sustain and are corrosion resistant.
  • Chrome: These sets have a lot of resonance and warmth to them. Jazz guitar players often prefer them.
  • Cobalt: This set of strings has a dynamic response and features a lot of brightness.
  • Titanium: These strings have a lot of durability and a nice bright tone.
  • Coated: These strings last a long time, but they lack the bite of other materials.


The size of string you use or string gauge is something you have to play around with. You’ll have to try several sets before you find something that meets your needs. Here is a general guideline.

  • 008s-009s: Light sets that are perfect for beginners
  • 010s: A perfect set for intermediate or advanced players
  • 011s: A good set for those that want more sustain
  • 012s+: These sets are designed for jazz players or those that want extremely heavy strings
  • Custom: This set depends upon your individual playing preferences


Electric guitar strings feature various types of winding. Here is a guide that outlines them.

  • Roundwound: This is the most popular type of electric guitar string winding. It has a lot of attack and bite when you’re playing.
  • Halfwound: These have a darker tone to them when compared to roundwound strings. They also have less attack and a smoother texture.
  • Flatwound: These are smooth playing, so they’re great for beginners. They’re harder to come by than the other windings.

Buying New vs. Used

You should always use new guitar strings. Old guitar strings are not worth putting on your instrument. You can, of course, save some leftover stings from a pack in case one of your new strings breaks.

Electric Guitar

As strings age, they corrode and lose their tone. Older guitar strings don’t have the vibrant sound that a new set of strings has. You should take time to change most sets of strings at least once a month unless they’re coated.

Electric Guitar String Brands to Avoid

You probably want to avoid any strings that have a no-name brand. This would probably include the strings that come with guitar packages. It’s better to replace these sets of strings with a brand name set, as they’ll be better.

Brands such as D’Addario, Elixir, Ernie Ball, and GHS have been in the industry making strings for a long time, so you’ll get great reliability and performance when you purchase a set.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Here’s a list of frequently asked questions when it comes to guitar strings. These answers should probably help clear up some of the confusion that you may have when purchasing guitar strings.

How Much Do Electric Guitar Strings Cost?

Guitar strings, in general, are quite inexpensive. You’ll find brands available no matter what your budget and playing ability. Coated guitar strings usually cost more than strings that don’t have any coating.

  • Basic set: $5-10
  • Coated strings: $12+
  • Custom: $12+

Guitar strings vary in price depending on the manufacturer. In general, you can expects to pay between $5 and $10 for a basic set of strings. You can save yourself a lot of money if you buy string packages that contain more than one set of strings.

What Are the Best Electric Guitar Strings?

Here’s what I consider to be the best electric guitar strings that you can buy on the market today. Keep in mind that these are my own personal preferences. Your playing style and the sound you like are factors in your final choice.

Elixir Strings Optiweb 10-46: Best for General Playing

I’m a big fan of Elixir guitar strings and have them on my guitars currently. The Elixir Strings Optiweb 10-46 set is a general all-purpose set of strings. They’ll last a long time, and they have a great tone.

Ernie Ball Regular Slinky 09-42: Best for Beginners

Ernie Ball Regular Slinky is a good place to start for beginners. They have a good tone and excellent reliability. You won’t spend a lot on them but have a set you can rely on when practicing.

D’Addario EPN 115 Pure Nickel 11-48: Best for Blues/Jazz

This is an excellent set for blues and jazz guitar playing because the strings are heavier than regular sets. The D’Addario EPN 115 Pure Nickel 11-48 allows you to play clear sounding chords.

Where Are the Best Electric Guitar Strings Made?

Most electric guitar strings are made in the United States. You’ll find a wide range of manufacturers that make excellent sets of strings.

Where to Buy Electric Guitar Strings

There are several places where you can purchase electric guitar strings. I prefer to shop online because you can find a wider selection, read reviews, and get excellent customer service.


If you want strings for an electric guitar, I suggest you shop on Amazon. They have a wide selection of products and great guarantees. I like the fact that you can read reviews of products, so you know what you’re getting.

Online Music Retailers

Sweetwater and Guitar Center are two other places where you can purchase musical products. They have a wide selection of instruments and related accessories. They have excellent guarantees and the customer service you need.

Your Local Music Store

You can also purchase guitar strings at your local music store. You may not find as wide a selection of strings at your local music store, so you may have to go with what they have there. You can always ask for a custom order.

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In Conclusion

Thank you for reading this guide to the best electric guitar strings. Guitar strings are a personal choice, and you’ll have to go through several sets before you find one that works best for you. Try some of these sets, as they’re excellent choices.

Please like, share, and leave your comments on this article. Now, it’s time to put a new set of strings on your electric guitar and start rocking out.