The Best and Most Popular Electric Guitar Strings

This article is the complement to The Best and Most Popular Acoustic Guitar Strings compilation that I recently posted. Like that article, this too will be mainly a listing of the various types of electric guitar strings available at Amazon; that is, the best and most popular electric guitar strings you can find there.

Most of the packs you’ll see below contain 6 strings. There are a few that have 7 strings or 8 strings and are clearly noted as such.

There are really only five Amazon sales pages involved. You see many more than five sets of strings listed because, if you click around just a little on each sales page, you can get to all sorts of variations on the main listing.

With the exception of the Ernie Ball brand, the vast majority of sets of electric strings are 1-packs. However, for a few of the more common styles, you can get 3-packs or even 25-packs. (I guess those are for the pros who play a lot and are especially rough with their strings.)

Unlike the numbers shown in the acoustic listings, here we’ll go without the decimal points for the gauges. So, when you see a size of “9”, realize that that’s the same as a “.009” gauge string.

Ernie Ball Slinky Nickel Wound Electric Guitar Strings

Ernie Ball Slinky electric guitar strings

All the Ernie Ball electric strings listed below come in 3-packs.

Click the link just below to see all the Ernie Ball electric guitar strings in the table that follows.

Ernie Ball Slinky Guitar Strings

Stock #32153220322132223223
WeightSlinky Top, Heavy BottomPower SlinkyRegular SlinkyHybrid SlinkySuper Slinky
High E10111099
Low E5248464642

D’Addario XL Nickel Wound Electric Guitar Strings

D'Addario XL nickel wound electric guitar strings

There are over a dozen options on this sales page. Choose wisely using the link below. I’ll spread the sets over three tables so things don’t get too crowded.

D’Addario XL Electric Guitar Strings

Note that these are designated as “nickel wound” as opposed to “nickel plated” (NYXL) which you’ll find further down in this article.

Stock #EXL110WEXL110-7EXL115WEXL120EXL120+
WeightRegular Light, Wound ThirdRegular Light (7)Medium, Wound ThirdSuper LightSuper Light Plus
Packs11111, 3
High E10101199.5
Low E4646494244
7th str.n/a59n/an/an/a
Stock #EKXL120EXL120BTEXL120-7EXL120-8EXL125
WeightSuper Light, SolderedSuper Light, Balanced TensionSuper Light. (7)Super Light (8)Super Light Top. Regular Bottom
Packs11111, 3, 10
High E99999
Low E4240424246
7th str.n/an/a5454n/a
8th str.n/an/an/a65n/a
Stock #EXL130EXL130+EXL140-8EXL150H
WeightExtra Super LightExtra Super Light PlusLight Top, Heavy Bottom (8)High Strung, Nashville Tuning
High E88.51010
Low E38395426w
7th str.n/an/a64n/a
8th str.n/an/a74n/a

D’Addario NYXL Nickel Plated Electric Guitar Strings

D'Addario NYXL Nickel Plated electric guitar strings

I don’t honestly know the difference between nickel wound and nickel plated, but that’s that main point of difference I see between these and the XL strings above.

D’Addario NYXL Electric Guitar Strings

Again, due to the high volume of variations – 20 of them – I’ll use several tables to contain them all. If looking to purchase by stock number, prefix each number below with “NYXL”. (I left that part off for space considerations.)

Stock #08380940BT09420946095440980
WeightExtra Super LightSuper Light, Bal. TensionSuper LightSuper Light Top, Regular BottomSuper Light PlusSuper Light (8)
Packs111, 3, 251, 311
High E89999.59
Low E384042464444
7th str.n/an/an/an/an/a60
8th str.n/an/an/an/an/a80
Stock #10461046BT105210591074
WeightRegular LightRegular Light, Balanced TensionLight Top, Heavy BottomRegular Light (7)Light Top, Heavy Bottom (8)
Packs1, 3, 2511, 311
High E1010101010
Low E4646524654
7th str.n/an/an/a5964
8th str.n/an/an/an/a74
Stock #11491150BT115211561164
WeightMediumMedium, Balanced TensionMedium Top, Heavy BottomMedium Top, Extra Heavy BottomMedium (7)
Packs1, 3, 2511, 311
High E1111111111
Low E4950525649
7th str.n/an/an/an/a64

Each of the following is only available (at Amazon) in a 1-pack.

NYXL1356W is called “Medium” at Amazon, but I think that is mislabeled. These strings are heavy, if not extra heavy.

Stock #1252W125412601356W
WeightLight, Wound ThirdHeavyExtra HeavyMedium, Wound Third
High E12121213
Low E52546056

Elixir Nickel Plated Steel Electric Guitar Strings with NANOWEB Coating

Elixir Nickel Plated Steel electric guitar strings

Elixir has quite of few options as well, so we’ll go with three tables here.

Elixir Nickel Plated Electric Guitar Strings

All of the following are available as 1-packs.

Stock #12002120071202712052
WeightSuper LightSuper Light (7)Custom LightLight
High E99910
Low E42424646
7th str.n/a52n/an/a
Stock #120621207412077
WeightLight (8)Light / Heavy (7)Light / Heavy
High E101010
Low E544652
7th str.6459n/a
8th str.74n/an/a
Stock #12102121061215212302
WeightMediumMedium (7)HeavyBaritone
High E11111212
Low E49495268
7th str.n/a59n/an/a

Fender Original Bullets Electric Guitar Strings

Fender Original Bullet electric guitar strings

Fender Original Bullets Electric Guitar Strings

These strings take a little explanation. I’ll simply quote Fender to help you understand what makes these so different and – according to Fender – worth paying for.

Bullet vs Ball Ends

An effect of the ball-end design is that when bending a string, the wire in that small slack area bends slightly, allowing the ball-end to seat itself more closely against the bridge. Then, when ‘diving’ the tremolo, tension on the bridge end of the string is briefly released, causing the slack area to attempt to spring back to its original un-bent position, only to ‘re-bend’ when bending the string again.

The problem is that when the string returns to tension, it might or might not be seated against the bridge exactly as it was before, which means there’s a pretty good chance that it will be slightly out of tune.

Another problem is that, on Stratocaster guitars, ball ends often get wedged in the tremolo block channels pretty tight, making them difficult to remove when changing strings.

The Bullet-End design is especially well suited to Stratocaster guitars because the bullet ends fit far more precisely into the tremolo block, closely fitting the circumference of the string channel, and they slipped out easily when changing strings.

Here’s what ball and bullet ends look like.

Ball end string
Bullet end string

All the Fender electric string sets are 1-packs below.

TypeLight (3150L)Light / Regular (3150LR)Vintage Nickel, 10Vintage Nickel, 11
High E991011
Low E42464649

I had to make some assumptions about the gauges for the two Vintage Nickel sets. If the numbers aren’t correct, they’re at least close.

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The Best and Most Popular Electric Guitar Strings
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The Best and Most Popular Electric Guitar Strings
A compilation of the best electric guitar strings.
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My Musical Picks
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Author: Gary Sonnenberg

Gary has been playing keyboards since he was very young. He started on a chord organ because that's what his father liked. He's played guitar since he was a teenager, and he recently learned he could keep the beat on a drum set.