If you are reading these pages you are probably looking at Electric Guitar Kits as a start to a new project and a type of journey or adventure. If all you wanted was to save money you are probably better of getting a No-name guitar for around 100$, or a good second hand guitar.
My approach is that If you are buying a guitar kit, you actually want to put some time in and make it your own creation but you are not ready (technically or mentally) to build a guitar from scratch.
Assuming you are not looking for a high-end kit that may cost upwards of 500$, these guitars kits are probably not of the highest quality and may need more than just assembly, but that’s what we are here for. I also take into account that most of the parts in these kits can be upgraded so if your kit cost under 150$ and you love the way it looks and plays but the sound is not quite there, you can spring for better pickups which will make a huge difference.
The body in some kits is unfinished and is really where you can get creative and make a very unique guitar. The neck on the other hand may need some more love and care if you want a guitar with good playability. See also ‘Buy a cheap guitar neck and make it Amazing’
Gibson SG Style Kit
A must have for any AC-DC fan and definitely one on my list. This one. The body looks nice enough for a natural finish as well as painted opaque. All the holes are pre-drilled except the two for the bridge mount. Pay attention to the positioning and to the drill size, it’s often not standard.While the classic Gibsons have a glued neck, this one is bolted on. May be a good choice if you ever wish to upgrade/ replace it. Comes with mostly pre-wired electronics and looks simple enough even for total newbies.
Fender Stratocaster Style Kit
Probably the number one copied and replicated guitar model in history. The typical body shape with the three pickups and the tremolo bar.
The body comes in it’s natural form and is open to your interpretation. Pre-drilled and routed for the spring system, pickups and electronics. The prewired pickguard will require welding of the cable plug and probably nothing more (maybe the ground in the spring compartment at the back). A very straight forward project even for a first time.
Gibson Les Paul Style Kit
The iconic Les Paul, with the curved body and the two humbuck pickups resonates with many guitar players. With dozens of optional body paints (anyone say sunburst) this should be a fun project. As with most kits the neck is screwed into place instead of the typical Les Paul glue. Most of the holes are pre-drilled as well as the cavities in the front and back for the electronics and pickups. The bridge still need to be drilled. Pay attention to the positioning and to the drill size, it’s often not standard. This kit requires a bit more welding than some and I wouldn’t count on detailed instructions to be in the box. Looks like all the pieces are there, just need to put them together.
Fender Telecaster Style Solderless Kit
Another American classic known for its simplicity and clear sound. This one is probably as close as you can get (with a kit) to the original. Even the 3 instead of 6 adjustments for the bridge saddles and the two different pickups scream Tele. Bolted neck comes naturally here and all the electronics seam to be pre-welded. With a bit of luck (can’t always trust the images 100%) even the pickups have a plug instead of welding. Looks like a great project for complete beginners.