Reverb reveals the best-selling electric guitars of 2021

PRS, Fender and ESP electric guitars
(Image credit: PRS/Fender/ESP)

With the year-end fast approaching, online gear marketplace Reverb has dropped the first installment of its annual sales summaries, announcing the best-selling electric guitars of 2021.

Reverb’s rankings have been determined by total order count, rather than the total price of items sold, and include brand-new and second-hand sales stats, owing to the website’s selling structure, which features individual sellers and licensed retailers.

At a glance, the usual suspects have dominated the list – the top 20 is almost entirely dominated by Fender, Gibson and PRS guitars, save the sole ESP axe that crops up mid-table.

It is Fender and Fender brands, though, that have taken control of the best-selling stats list, occupying a whopping 13 out the 20 available spots, with Fender’s Player series proving to be as popular as ever, while Squier six-strings continue to be go-to guitars for the masses.

Following on from Reverb’s October announcement that the Fender Player Stratocaster and Player Telecaster occupied first and second spots, respectively, a late surge in Tele sales has now seen the single-cut overtake the Strat and claim the mantle of 2021’s best-selling electric guitar.

The Strat only drops to second place, with John Mayer’s PRS Silver Sky signature model also moving up the ranks to cement its position in third. Two Fender models follow – the Squier Affinity Telecaster and Fender American Professional II Stratocaster – to complete the brand’s stronghold on the top five.

The first PRS model – an SE Custom 24 – crops up at sixth, with the Fender American Professional II Telecaster preceding the first Gibson axes, the Les Paul Standard ‘60s and Les Paul Standard ‘50s, which occupy eighth and ninth.

ESP’s LTD EC-1000 completes the top ten, with Fender once again dominating the ranks for the rest of the list. Only the PRS CE 24 and Gibson Les Paul Classic can break up the 10-20 positions, which are otherwise held by Fender/Squier six-strings.

Weighing in at the 11 to 15 spots are the Squier Affinity Series Stratocaster, Fender American Standard Stratocaster, PRS CE 24, Fender American Professional Series Stratocaster and the Fender American Ultra Telecaster.

The top 20 is completed by the Squier J Mascis Jazzmaster, Squier Classic Vibe ‘60s Jazzmaster, Fender American Standard Stratocaster (1986-2000), Gibson Les Paul Classic and Fender American Standard Stratocaster (1985-2005).

The entire list of best-selling electrics can be found below.

  1. Fender Player Telecaster
  2. Fender Player Stratocaster
  3. PRS Silver Sky John Mayer Signature
  4. Squier Affinity Telecaster
  5. Fender American Professional II Stratocaster
  6. PRS SE Custom 24
  7. Fender American Professional II Telecaster
  8. Gibson Les Paul Standard '60s
  9. Gibson Les Paul Standard '50s
  10. ESP LTD EC-1000
  11. Squier Affinity Series Stratocaster
  12. Fender American Standard Stratocaster
  13. PRS CE 24
  14. Fender American Professional Series Stratocaster
  15. Fender American Ultra Telecaster
  16. Squier J Mascis Jazzmaster
  17. Squier Classic Vibe '60s Jazzmaster
  18. Fender American Standard Stratocaster (1986–2000)
  19. Gibson Les Paul Classic
  20. Fender Standard Stratocaster (1998–2005)

For more information, head over to Reverb.

As well as announcing the most successful electric guitars of 2021, Reverb has also shared top 20 lists for both the highest-selling effects pedals and the best-selling guitar amps of the year.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.