Last Updated On February 23rd, 2021
Electric guitars are excellent instruments, whether you’re just learning to play or you’re trying to expand an existing collection of instruments. In this guide, we’ll look at the best electric guitar options currently on the market in the UK, as well as some information to help you make an informed purchasing decision.
Remember, your personal skill is an important part of making the right choice. While higher-end instruments tend to be fundamentally better, it can take years of experience to bring out their full potential. New guitar owners often do better with simpler, entry-level guitar options, rather than the best electric guitars (when measured by quality).
Best Electric Guitar Reviews – Top 10 Picks
RockJam’s Superkit is a combination of electric guitar and fully functional amplifier for playing music in your home. That’s not a rare combination, but the amp is noticeably higher in quality than usual.
What separates this electric guitar from the competition is the unusually complex base area. This instrument has three single-coil pickups and a whammy bar at the bottom, which offers significantly more versatility and complexity than most other instruments in its range.
This makes it a great guitar choice if you’re a beginner, mainly because the multiple single-coil pickups are rare even on great brands like Fender or Les Paul. This is easily one of the best rock guitar options currently on the market, and it more than deserves its place as our top choice among our top 10 electric guitars.
The one thing that could make this product even better is a set of accessories. It has some basics, including spare strings and a bag, but the minimalist approach to accessories isn’t as good for buyers who want a complete package.
Ibanez isn’t quite on the level of Les Paul, Fender, or Stratocaster, but its instruments are quite impressive in their own right.
This particular choice breaks from the pickup mould by having two humbuckers sandwiching a single coil, which produces a different overall sound depending on how you configure it. Distinctiveness matters when you’re getting an electric guitar, and this setup is something that genuinely stands out.
Outside of that, this guitar features a solid maple body to support its pickups, matching a lightweight body that makes it easy to hold up for extended periods. The neck is functionally standard, producing outstanding sound without the need for a tune-o-matic bridge or similar setup.
The primary thing holding this instrument back is that it’s better than an entry-level option but not quite as good as something like a Les Paul. Instruments that are somewhere in the middle simply aren’t as popular.
This full-size electric guitar is a smooth choice. So that you can easily tune the sound to your liking, the guitar features a pick-up selector switch, a volume knob, and two different tone knobs.
The Donner Solid Body Electric Guitar Kit is a beautifully constructed guitar with a C-shaped profile and a Perilla-wood fingerboard. All of its features provide a subtle level of visual appeal, making it an ideal gift option.
Its two humbucker pickups offer a great range of tones and, overall, it offers great natural sound so that you can easily play anything from a bit of rock and roll to the blues.
Overall, Donner has a decent instrument here, with a distinctive sound and tone. However, the neck could be a little rounder, and extra features like locking tuners could take this option to the next level.
Sometimes, the best electric guitars are the ones that come with everything you need. Display4top’s Beginner Super Kit lives up to its name by including most of the things you need to play electric guitars well, which makes it the best electric guitar for beginners.
The instrument itself is a full-size option for right-handed players, with a rosewood top that supports its solid body. It also has high-quality pickups that are ideal for guitar players who are choosing the best guitar bodies and neck and bridge options for a classic rock sound.
However, what truly sets this electric guitar apart is its collection of accessories. The box includes a powerful 20-watt amplifier, a stand, a bag, spare strings, a tuner, and more. All of these are useful for beginners, more so than things like deciding between a rosewood fingerboard or an alder body, making this a top choice.
That said, its focus on beginners can be a flaw. You won’t get the same sound quality as options like a Les Paul studio guitar or a decent Gibson, so keep in mind that this guitar is only a good option if you’re still a beginner.
While our previous option is the best choice for beginners, Donner’s solid electric guitar kit DST 100L is the choice for experienced players who want a full selection of accessories.
This guitar comes with two single coils and a humbucker for flexibility in the tone, as well as a decent scale length comparable to a good Stratocaster. While it’s not on the level of a Les Paul, this electric guitar still offers a classic appearance and a slightly rounded neck shape.
The accessories are the real attraction, though, even if they don’t always affect the sound. The guitar comes with a gig bag, as well as a premium instrument cable which helps deliver quality sound to the 3W mini household amplifier.
The main point of concern here is that experienced players often have accessories, so you may not need a kit that provides so many of them. Looking at distinctive components like jumbo frets, a semi-hollow body, or an improved pickup selector may be more useful for experienced players.
Yamaha is one of the most famed brands in the industry, right up there with names like Les Paul, Fender, and Stratocaster. The Pacifica 012 is an award-winning, professional-level instrument worth looking at if you want to buy something truly great.
This six-string electric guitar includes two single coils and a bridge humbucker, which gives it even more versatility than our first choice. It also includes 22 frets on its scale length, which is excellent among electric guitars.
Less obviously, the lacquer finish on the top is more durable than you’ll see on lesser instruments, which helps protect it from scratches and sound-modifying humidity. A vintage-style bridge further supports the image of this guitar and emphasizes the overall build quality.
However, this electric guitar isn’t quite suitable for beginners. Even if you’re one of the many fans of Yamaha, it takes practice and experience to bring out the true sound of guitars like this one. In short, this is one of the best consumer electric guitars currently available.
Jaxville isn’t even as well-known as Ibanez, much less Fender, but this bold instrument line immediately stands out thanks to the brighter and more elaborate tops.
This eye-catching electric guitar includes three single-coils and uses a neck pickup to provide a mellow, warm sound. The 5-way selector also makes it easier to get closer to the sound you’re trying to make, after which you can fine-tune the controls along the neck.
Unlike most electric guitars, which feature traditional top designs, the Jaxville ST1 uses vividly-coloured patterns that immediately stand out in the crowd. This can be more appealing for beginners than looking for advanced features like jumbo frets or a rosewood fingerboard.
However, this electric guitar has some issues with buzz, which can be an issue if you’re playing certain types of music. It’s a decent instrument for personal use, but not quite professional-quality.
The Oypla ST is a simple and practical electric guitar with respectable sound quality and a solid body. While it’s not one of the best guitar models overall, it’s an excellent entry-level option.
The main reason for this is that the best entry-level options find a good balance for quality, with durable components that can stand up to the pressures of learning the electric guitar. This particular unit has three single-coil pickups, putting it in the same range as the best instruments without sacrificing overall quality.
This instrument also offers a maple body, which pairs well with the basswood back. The bolt-on neck is relatively easy to remove and replace if needed, and you may end up doing that to help customize the instrument’s look and tone. Modifying a guitar neck takes work, but it’s great practice for beginners.
The main drawback of this instrument is its overall sound. While it’s appropriate for various music styles, including classic rock, it doesn’t offer the same high-quality performance as brands like Fender or Gibson.
At 3/4ths size, this instrument is a better choice for younger players or petite adults. It’s also available in a full-size version, however, and comes with either just the basics or a full set of accessories.
This guitar uses alder for the top and body, which gives it a distinctively different sound than the tone produced by the more-common maple guitars. To the trained ear, these materials can entirely change the nature of a song, and that change in tone alone can make this instrument worth considering.
Outside of the wood choice, this instrument has three regular pickups and a standard neck, although the colour of the neck is noticeably darker than the head up top. It also has a tremolo arm, and two separate tone controls for added flexibility when you’re playing.
We can’t compare this to something like a Gibson or a Fender, much less a Stratocaster, especially because the smaller sizing can throw off most adult players. However, if you don’t need a Les Paul and you do want accessories, this is a good second choice.
Epiphone’s Les Paul-style electric guitar pack is easily among the best electric guitars currently available, and the heavy case gives a degree of durability that the other guitar options on this list can’t quite match.
This particular kit comes with a full-size electric guitar, as well as a cable, a strap, a gig bag, a clip-on tuner, and access to downloadable guitar lessons. It also comes with a few medium-size picks, though you may want to change these while playing your electric guitar.
The pickups include two humbuckers above one single coil, which provides added control for your overall sound quality. This isn’t a Fender, but it’s pretty close as a guitar, so it’s a fine backup choice for anything else on this list.
This is a great instrument with high-quality components, but it suffers from the same problem as other mid-range instruments: it doesn’t win on its merits when we look at some of its competitors. That’s why this is a backup option instead of a first choice.
Now that you’ve read our reviews, here’s some other information to help you get the best value electric guitar for your needs.
What Sets Electric Guitars Apart From Each Other?
Several factors can set each electric guitar apart from others. Here are some of the most common differences you’ll see, whether it’s in a top brand like Fender or Gibson or in the tone of a little-known competitor.
Wood choice is one of the most important parts of creating a guitar because it strongly affects the final sound.
Maple is an extremely popular choice for electric guitars thanks to its bright, energetic, and snappy tone.
Alder is somewhat less common than maple, but it has a balanced tone and it’s light enough to work well in most guitar bodies.
Rarer wood choices include options like ash, mahogany, and Korina. These have varying effects on tone, but you find them on the market if you look.
Bubinga, koa, poplar, and walnut are rare woods for a guitar, and we suggest testing them in-person to hear the differences in their tone instead of buying them outright through the internet. Remember, the fact that guitar wood is rare doesn’t mean it’s better for your music.
Most sound choices ultimately come down to personal taste, so try to practice on a guitar in person whenever you have the opportunity. As you try out different instruments, you’ll develop the skills to tell each guitar apart from its competitors.
For more information about the main woods in electric guitars, check out this guide.
Fretboards work with the main body wood to adjust the tone of electric guitars.
Rosewood is easily the most popular choice here and has been for decades. One type, known as Indian Rosewood, is the more common of the two. Brazilian Rosewood is somewhat rarer. This is a great material because it’s both durable and soft under the fingers.
Ebony isn’t as common as rosewood, but it sticks out due to its vividly dark colouring. African Ebony is more common than Asian Ebony because it doesn’t have brown stripes that some people consider distracting.
Maple is the third common choice for fretboards, although it’s often combined into one piece with a solid maple neck. This wood has a snappy, bright tone, although it’s moderately heavy and can change colours over time.
Body style determines the overall performance of an electric guitar. This is nearly as important as the wood, and some people might say this is the single most important part of a guitar.
The Les Paul style is particularly popular among electric guitars because it’s suitable for almost every genre. Many people think it doesn’t quite work for country music, but Les Paul offers an excellent balance for metal, rock, punk, jazz, and more.
Note that Les Paul is both a style and a brand. While a true Les Paul is a Gibson instrument, many other companies offer guitars in similar styles.
The other popular style for electric guitars is the Stratocaster. With decades of development and the flexibility to work with most genres, the “strat” is a great default choice unless you’re looking for something particularly specific in your guitar.
Rare Body Styles
Rarer body styles include the Super Strat (which are best for higher-distortion styles like hard rock and metal) and the Telecaster (which is significantly better for country music than the otherwise-capable Les Paul).
Finally, there are Offset styles. This includes three types of electric guitars: the Jaguar, the Mustang, and the Jazzmaster. These are specialist guitar choices instead of general-purpose instruments, so they’re more likely to have odd changes like a hollow body.
Offset guitars tend to have a bright, clear tone at the higher end, and a subtler, quieter sound for the mid and low-end areas. They’re more popular with alternative music, which often uses specialized instruments to create sounds that are difficult or impossible to create on regular guitars.
Features to Look for in Electric Guitars
The best electric guitar options are solid instruments with high-quality components and several ways to adjust their sound.
Solid instruments are easily the most common choice for an electric guitar, but on occasion, you may find a semi-hollow body or even a completely hollow body. These produce very different sounds when you’re playing your guitar, and it’s worth experimenting with different sounds to find out what works for you.
However, most players don’t need a hollow body on an electric guitar. While the hollow body may seem appealing at first because it reduces the weight, that also affects the overall sound.
Pickup placements are also important. High-quality brands like Gibson and Fender tend to have at least three pickups on their electric guitars, and many of their competitors follow suit. If it’s good enough for Gibson, they believe it’s good enough for them. To some extent, that’s true.
The placement and style of pickups affect the overall sound of an electric guitar, and there are a few common configurations. Three single soils are a popular choice, or two single coils and then a single humbucker.
Some instruments reverse this by having two humbuckers, followed by a single coil. A single coil sandwiched in the middle of two humbuckers is rare, but not unknown.
Why Accessories Matter
Accessories are the key to getting the most out of your guitar. It doesn’t matter if you have a top-end Fender or a Les Paul. Accessories make all the difference.
The most important accessory for your guitar is the tuner. This helps you determine whether your instrument is properly tuned up before each show.
Experts can often tune instruments by hand, but for beginners, it’s better to rely on proper devices while trying to tune your guitar. Even the best Les Paul will slowly go out of tune, so you can’t avoid this simply by buying a better instrument.
Finding the best electric guitar for your musical journey is about testing instruments, not looking solely at their specifications. Each instrument sounds slightly different to the trained ear, and you won’t necessarily like the best instrument more than another.
However, if you’re new to electric guitars and just want a great instrument, you won’t go wrong with the RockJam RJEG02-SK-RD. Its excellent build quality and multiple pickups provide outstanding flexibility making it our top choice in our electric guitar reviews.
The RockJam also features a durable exterior to help protect it from scratches and conveniently-placed controls to help adjust the tone. Simplicity is a virtue when you’re looking for a straightforward, high-quality instrument.
The RockJam is great in every area, and therefore our top choice among the best electric guitars.