Best cheap electric guitars under $500 in 2024: epic electrics for smaller budgets

Close up of a Squier Classic Vibe 60s Jazzmaster on a blue background
(Image credit: Future)

Just because you’re on a budget, doesn’t mean you can’t get as much guitar as possible for your money. With the right knowledge, it’s not hard to make your spending go as far as possible in 2024, and we’re on hand to help guide you in making the right purchase for your needs. With the best cheap electric guitars under $500, you might be surprised at how much you can get for your hard-earned cash.

We’ve spent a lot of time reviewing guitars for this guide, determining the playability of the neck, the sounds of the pickups, the durability of the hardware, and the quality of the finishing. We have a wide range of guitarists on hand here at Guitar World, from those who like to shred metal guitars to fingerstyle blues players. This means we get a balanced overview of what guitarists want in an instrument at this price point.

You can trust Guitar World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing guitar products so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Amit Sharma

Amit has been writing for titles like Total GuitarMusicRadar and Guitar World for over a decade and counts Richie Kotzen, Guthrie Govan and Jeff Beck among his primary influences as a guitar player. He's worked for magazines like Kerrang!Metal HammerClassic RockProgRecord CollectorPlanet RockRhythm and Bass Player, as well as newspapers like Metro and The Independent, interviewing everyone from Ozzy Osbourne and Lemmy to Slash and Jimmy Page, and once even traded solos with a member of Slayer on a track released internationally. As a session guitarist, he's played alongside members of Judas Priest and Uriah Heep in London ensemble Metalworks, as well as handled lead guitars for legends like Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols, The Faces) and Stu Hamm (Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, G3).

With contributions from