Best Cheap Acoustic Guitars 2020 (Under $100)

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Great music requires great skills and even greater instruments. The best acoustic guitars under $100 are challenging what musicians see as an entry barrier in this field. With many types of acoustic guitars to choose from, it is already difficult to make an informed decision. With many guitars, it is as much about its materials and design as it is about how the guitar player can take advantage of them. Made for both kids and adults, the best guitars in this category stand out with their versatility.

Features to Consider in Good Acoustic Guitars

There are so many elements to look at with an acoustic guitar that it may prove complicated to find the best one. However, not many people can simply go for the easiest route when it comes to materials as they are often responsible for poor acoustic quality.

Laminated wood vs solid woods

Laminated woods are less expensive and as a result, they are used widely in cheap acoustic guitars. However, there are a few gems which still offer good acoustic quality and even some of the most exotic woods, even not to a full extent. Here are a few types of wood to be found on these guitars.

  • Rosewood
  • Alder
  • Maple
  • Lime
  • Koa
There are a few acoustic guitars which combine these types of wood into a unique design. As a result, even if a manufacturer claims all elements are made from wood, there are various types of wood which are used in the guitar. The following best cheap acoustic guitars successfully combine these materials.

Best Cheap Acoustic Guitars 2020 (Under $100)

1. Best Choice Products 38in Beginner Acoustic Guitar

Why we like it: Made entirely from wood and featuring steel strings, this acoustic guitar offers a complete starter kit solution for most beginners.

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Design features
The all-wood guitar comes ready to play and it is one of the most affordable designs for those who want to learn how to play the amazing musical instrument. It comes with wooden construction and different finishes so that it matches personalities.

Steel strings have been added to this acoustic guitar and they are backed by additional springs which are made specifically for learning purposes. A carry bag is included for those who want to play away from home. The good news is that it protects the beautiful finish. The colors of the guitar range from a classic all-back to natural wood or even a pink version for women. Durable by design, the guitar can be used by beginners but it also works for those who simply want an inexpensive design.

Convenient features
With a universal clip which attaches to desktop monitors and laptops, the webcam is quick to setup. As all webcams, Sold as a set, the acoustic guitar is one of the top solutions for no extra purchases. It even includes a guitar pick, which beginners have to learn how to hold. A pitch pipe is also included in the set together with a digital tuner.

A strong shoulder strap is also included with the guitar. It is particularly useful for beginners who might not yet have the strength to properly hold the guitar when playing. The only true downside of the pack is the nylon carry bag. It might not do justice to this wooden guitar. It offers no protection in the bag of accidental drops.

Verdict
Available in classic colors and equipped with extra strings, the acoustic guitar is suitable for beginners.

Pros
  • Made from real wood
  • Available in different colors
  • Includes additional strings
  • Sold with a digital tuner
Cons
  • Not the best case

2. Fender FA-100 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar with Gig Bag

Why we like it: As a Fender design, the guitar is one of the reliable products which is recommended for beginner and intermediate players.

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Design features
Designed form all-wood materials, the acoustic guitar can be used for realistic sounds. Other cheap acoustic guitars may struggle to sound like a guitar. Even more, it looks similar to a professional guitar and nobody can tell just how affordable it is.

Designed with a natural Basswood top, the guitar maintains a wooden look, even if protected by lacquer. With its wooden construction, it is suitable for classical music, alternative rock, country music and any other type of acoustic play.

Its strings are not the best in their class, at least not at the beginning. It takes more than 10 playing sessions for the strings to fall into place properly and to maintain proper tension.

Convenient features
The guitar is made with high-quality wood. It represents one of the reliable products regardless of its low acquisition cost. This is why it is covered by warranty for life. In many cases, it proves to be one of the best long-term purchases for playing guitar. Of course, the warranty is limited by how the guitar is used and handled. Dropping it and cracking the wooden case is not something which is covered by warranty. Only manufacturing defects such as poorly-glued wooden panels are covered by the manufacturer.

With a hex adjustable truss rod, the guitar can be played in all temperatures. Having an included hex tool only makes the life of beginner players easier. All strings can be properly installed and replaced when needed and their tension can variate from 12 to 52 gauge.

Verdict
Made from pure wood, the acoustic guitar sounds like a true Fender and it comes with durable strings.

Pros
  • Made with natural wood
  • Covered by a lifetime warranty
  • Includes a hex key
  • Ships with a protective bag
Cons
  • Doesn’t include a string pick

3. Lagrima Acoustic Guitar Beginners with Guitar Case

Why we like it: The 38” guitar is one of the most sustainable options for daily playing, especially while on a budget.

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Design features
Designed from pure wood, the acoustic guitar sounds great given its price. Of course, it also depends on the type of strings as well as their time after being tensioned. However, there’s an included pack of strings which buyers get in the pack as well. Made from metal and ABS materials, the acoustic guitar is ready to be played even by those who want to be a bit more serious about their songs.

The guitar speaker is made from the limewood panel. It means it can reproduce the most interesting sounds with a steel string combination. Even the finger plate is made from the same lime wood which is lightweight but which is also not too heavy on the hands.

With better sound stability, these wooden materials are perfect for those who might be looking for the best acoustic performance at a very low price. Given its unique color, the acoustic guitar is perfect both for home use and for those taking guitar lessons.

Convenient features
With a glossy finish, the guitar looks exceptional. Its faded colors allow it to be one of the most unique-looking designs in its class. There are a few options such as the graded blue and black or red and black combination. Solid brown and yellow color alternatives are also available to purchase.

At 38”, it is the perfect size for teenagers and adults. There’s a cutaway option offered by Lagrima as well. With its high precision knob metal cord tuning, the guitar is perfect for beginners.

However, there are a few additional purchases to be made with this guitar. One of them is the actual cord pick as well as manual or digital tuning products. Those on a budget might even consider downloading a tuning app until they get the chance to purchase a digital guitar tuner.

Verdict
Made with full and cutout versions, the acoustic guitar is perfect for those who are just starting.

Pros
  • Made from lime wood
  • Available in unique colors
  • Includes a shoulder strap
  • Comes with a carry bag
Cons
  • Doesn’t include a digital tuner

4. Acoustic Guitar Kid Beginner Child

Why we like it: With 18 frets, this guitar is perfect for kids who want to start playing and who need an affordable design.

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Design features
With 18 frets, this acoustic guitar represents a suitable design for kids. Its 30in size is what makes it one of the best options in its class for kids. Since it is so small, kids can handle it easier. However, it is not rare anymore to see even adults playing such a small guitar.

Made with various materials which include a basswood top, the acoustic guitar is one of the leading options of its class when it comes to sound quality. Its sound might not be on the same level as that of professional guitars, but it is a good solution when taking the first steps in the guitar-playing world.

Convenient features
Shipped with steel strings, the guitar is available in multiple colors. Kids can choose their favorite guitar color according to what they consider looks cool. Allowing them to choose the color can act as a motivator and make them excited about playing the guitar. But at the same time, this little guitar can be an inspired gift idea, especially for boys and girls who love music.

Producing rich sound will be a huge step for kids who might have only played plastic guitars before. This can also be one of the best reasons to allow kids to make an upgrade to their sub-standard old guitars.

Suitable for all types of music, this acoustic guitar can also be the first step towards those thinking about an electric guitar. Kids who might not be sure about investing in an electric guitar can consider this acoustic performance design.

Verdict
Great for kids or for those who love smaller designs, the guitar offers rich sound for its compact size.

Pros
  • Partly made from wood
  • Suitable for kids and adults
  • Available in different colors
  • Ships with a carry bag
Cons
  • Not entirely made from wood

5. Martin Smith 38 Inch Acoustic Guitar

Why we like it: With metal gearheads and 19 frets, this guitar is perfect for classical and country music.

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Design features
Made entirely from wood, this amazing guitar can be used by players of all levels. Even those who might be looking for a performance guitar might find it to be an interesting option. It ticks the right boxes as it comes with 19 frets. Even the neck of the guitar is made from wood. This is important as many cheap guitars offer various cheap plastic neck insertions which immediately translate into a poor acoustic performance which is identified by a seasoned player.

The general note of the guitar is warm. This is because it was created by guitar players. Many of them can offer impressive all-round designs suitable for all types of music.

Convenient features
When it comes to cheap guitars, it’s clear players have a limited budget. Even more, not many of them are willing to spend too much on extras. This is why the acoustic guitar comes with a long list of accessories which include a plectrum. A guitar strap is also added to the pack.

But players will also be able to use a digital guitar tuner included in the set. Made with a backlight LCD screen, this tuner is suitable for proper guitar tuning and it can be attached to the guitar strap for more practical use.

Verdict
Sold as a set, this classic guitar is characterized by warm notes, generally suitable for covering all types of music.

Pros
  • Made with warm notes
  • Includes a wooden neck with 19 frets
  • Suitable for all types of music
  • Ships with a digital tuner
Cons
  • Poor carry bag protection

6. Yamaha FG830 Solid Top Folk Guitar

Why we like it: Available in dreadnought and concert sizes, the acoustic guitar sounds impressive at playing levels.

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Design features
Characterized by rosewood insertions and upgraded design, the guitar is one of the most sustainable options in its class. It represents a valuable solution for those seeking good sound quality and those who come from the older generation folk guitar might consider an upgrade.

The main reason for a possible upgrade comes from the scalloped bracing which is known to come with added durability as well as with better sound quality, closer to natural notes. It can be said that the durability of the top board is the only section to come with improved resistance. But in itself, this can be a good enough reason to make an upgrade.

Convenient features
With 50 years of manufacturing history, Yamaha already has its legions of fans. The name of the guitar manufacturer can be a reason to trust the guitar. But it’s not only about the name. This guitar is special, at least in the cheap designs segment. Made with rosewood insertions, it is one of the leading options for quality sound.

Rosewood has been used on the back and the sides. The fingerboard is also made from unmatched rosewood. The bridge is also made from the same material. With diecast metal tuners, the guitar is ready to offer one of the best solutions when it comes to overall versatility.

Verdict
Made with solid rosewood insertions, this guitar feels considerably more expensive than it is.

Pros
  • Made with an upgraded scalloped bracing
  • Includes rosewood insertions
  • 2 choices of dreadnought and concert shapes
  • Includes accessories
Cons
  • Bridge pins are made from plastic

7. J&Z Classical Guitar ¾

Why we like it: Made from basswood, the guitar is perfect for beginners with its nylon strings.

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Design features
Made with a distinct sunset stain, the guitar is one of the options suitable for those who want to enjoy a distinct design. But the sunset gloss finish is not the only advantage of the guitar. Made from basswood, it is also capable of delivering quality notes. It is slightly smaller at 36” which means it works for teenagers as well as for adults.

But one of the most convenient aspects of the guitar is that it’s handmade. At this price range, this becomes a considerable advantage as every individual piece has its distinct appeal and something which can make it different.

Convenient features
Sold as a package, the guitar also includes a tuner. The tuner needs to be used every time someone plays the guitar. Beginners will need some practice to make the most of the tuner. A guitar bag has also been added to the pack. This is why it represents one of the best options for value packs.

A guitar strap is also added to the pack. Guitar picks are included as well. Guitar wipes are also included. This is why beginners get all they need with the complete starter kit. Furthermore, the guitar is also protected from most damage.

Verdict
The basswood guitar is one of the top solutions for those who need a durable 36” design

Pros
  • Made from basswood
  • Includes guitar picks
  • Ships with a guitar bag
  • Includes a digital tuner
Cons
  • Comes with nylon strings

8. Best Choice Products 41in Full Size Beginner Acoustic Cutaway Guitar

Why we like it: The full-size guitar is mainly suitable for adults who need quality fingerboard.

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Design features
Made with a cutaway design, the acoustic guitar is one of the unlikely options to be seen in the affordable segment as it is reliable. It has a full 41” size which means it is made for adults. Kids and teenagers can also play it but they won’t feel comfortable holding it for too long. At the same time, this acoustic guitar is also made with quality components, suitable for long-term use.

The wooden construction of the guitar allows it to be one of the best solutions for acoustic sounds. There are 20 frets with position marks to rely on and the best part is they are all placed on a quality wooden neck.

Convenient features
Steel strings are added to the pack. Unlike other Best Choice guitars, it also comes with a cutout body design. However, similarly to other Best Choice guitars, it also comes with a list of accessories, suitable for those seeking a value started pack.

A digital tuner is included in the pack and it allows players to use it on every occasion the strings need tuning. It is the same minimalistic tuner, but it gets the job done. A strap is also added to the pack. It is not a leather strap but its nylon materials allow it to be cleaned when needed.

Verdict
Made with a cutout design, the acoustic guitar comes as a value starter pack with Best Choice accessories.

Pros
  • Designed with 20 frets
  • Full 41” size
  • Includes metal strings
  • Comes with a carry bag
Cons
  • Not the best-quality strap

9. Ashthorpe Full-Size Cutaway Thinline Acoustic-Electric Guitar Package

Why we like it: Combining the best of both worlds, the acoustic and electric guitar is suitable for those on a budget.

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Design features
With a cutout design, the guitar is one of the most complex options in the budget. It represents a valuable option for all types of music, not just rock or electronic. Made from unique spruce wood, the guitar is among the top options when it comes to unique materials.

Being a 41” design, it is only suitable for adults. Furthermore, its size is perfect for practice as well as for playing in concerts. With its cutaway neck, it allows easier access to the top frets, which is perfect for most rock fans.

Convenient features
Since the guitar is sold as a set, it also comes with various accessories. They include a selection of differently-colored picks, perfect for practice purposes. Extra strings are also shipped with the guitar. A guitar cable is also included.

With a glossy finish, the guitar is also available in different colors. Blue, red, and brown are the options. A natural wood look is also offered by the manufacturer. With an included carry case, the guitar becomes one of the must-have for those who might also need amplification.

Verdict
This value-pack solution is one of the few 41” acoustic-electric options which fit the budget.

Pros
  • Made with an acoustic performance
  • Can turn into an electric guitar
  • Full 41” size
  • Made from spruce wood
Cons
  • Not the best standard springs

10. Pyle Beginner 30” Classical Acoustic Guitar

Why we like it: Made for kids, this guitar incorporates a wooden bridge and it is made by hand.

Editor’s Rating:

Design features
Designed to offer an affordable acoustic performance, the 30” guitar is perfect for kids. It is also the design to choose for adults who want a backup solution for their full-size guitar. There are various types of wood used in its construction, to offer the best sound for this size.

The body is made from linden wood while the bridge is made from Maplewood. These materials are then coated with high-gloss finish with a deep cherry stain on the sides. The manufacturer then added 6 strings to the pack so that kids can start playing right away.

Convenient features
The starter pack is well below the budget and this is why this guitar can also be an inspired gift idea. Shipped with multiple guitar picks, it can even allow kids the luxury of having multiple accessories until they go through the learning stages of playing guitar.

A strap is shipped for the guitar as well. Regardless of the height of the guitar player, the strap can be adjusted and the little hands of the kids don’t need to deal with all the weight of the guitar, at least not in the beginning.

Verdict
Suitable for kids, this guitar starter kit is one of the best learner solutions with an appealing cherry finish.

Pros
  • Made with linden wood
  • Includes maple wood inserts
  • Includes 6 strings
  • Suitable for kids
Cons
  • Not entirely made from Maplewood

FAQ

Are all cheap acoustic guitars the same size?

Acoustic guitars are available in various sizes. Form kids’ size to full size suitable for adults, acoustic guitars need to meet the needs of the guitarists in terms of size. However, most adults can comfortably play a kids’ acoustic guitar, but kids cannot comfortably do so with a full-size guitar.

Can I play a kids’ acoustic guitar?

Adults can play a smaller acoustic guitar. Some adults prefer to use smaller guitars when traveling or simply when practicing at home. Smaller guitars are more practical and easier to hold for those just starting in the guitar world.

Which acoustic guitar material is the best?

Acoustic guitar materials vary considerably and their price is what eventually dictates the chosen materials. However, as seen with the guitars above, it is not all about the price of the product as some brands can offer reliable guitars made from wood. In many situations, guitarists can rely at least on some type of material quality, even if not entirely made from solid wood.

When do I need to change the strings of an acoustic guitar?

The strings of an acoustic guitar will eventually fail in time. As the string of any other instrument, a sign of wear will start to become visible. Having an extra pack of strings at home is considered good practice at all times.

How do I use a digital tuner?

A digital tuner is sometimes included with a cheap acoustic guitar. Manufacturers can add them to the pack as many guitarists use them as learner instruments and because they need to be able to use the device on their own to get the guitar ready.

Guide to Buying the Best Acoustic Guitars

Choosing the best cheap acoustic guitar is predicted to understanding what makes it great. As all acoustic guitars, it has the same components. However, their quality is different and it is up to the guitarist to find the most suitable guitar quality to deliver the best results.

Body

The body of the acoustic guitar is one of its most important components. The sound profile is heavily influenced by the shape, the size and the materials used in the construction of the body. There are a few unique designs even in this price range, as seen with the body design of the Yamaha guitar above. However, most cheap acoustic guitars have a standard body design which is why they have a standard sound profile.

Cut-out designs might also be easier to play, allowing a great note range for the guitarist. But the body of the guitar is also where most customization options take place. Most acoustic guitars have a straightforward look and they can’t be customized. Others are simply made with different colors. They can be matched with other instruments or they can simply represent a design which is friendlier to the guitarist, which is essential when starting with any instrument.

The body of the guitar can be made from laminate or solid wood such as rosewood. Its panels are then glued together and they create the space for the sound. This is why some woods are better than others. But it’s not so much about the wood at this price as it is about how the entire guitar comes together.

Neck

The neck of the guitar has its benefits. It is the only solid grip point the guitarist has with the instrument and as a result, it is made from durable yet lightweight wood. For most users, it is the perfect opportunity to test out the feel of the guitar as the neck can offer different levels of comfort for all players. Those with short fingers have different preferences compared to those with long fingers.

Headstock

Sealed turners can make the headstock a good design to keep strings in tune. Some guitars come with turners which are only operated with a tool. But cheap guitars have turners which can be operated by hand. This means that there should not be too many reasons for concern with the headstock, but only if the design is right. Sealed turners are seen on cheap guitars and most guitarist can learn how to use them immediately if there’s an included tuner in the guitar pack.

Those who might not receive a guitar tuner have other options at hand as well. For example, some of the best cheap acoustic guitars will work with free or premium smartphone apps dedicated to string tune. Without too many synchronization issues, even these free solutions can work if there’s no alternative product to count on. However, a digital tuner is cheap as well and guitarists will need to purchase one eventually.

Strings

Strings can be made from different materials. Steel and nylon strings are mostly seen in these categories. They have their strengths and weaknesses. While nylon strings don’t sound as good, they are affordable to replace and they can be a solution for learner guitarists.

Most cheap acoustic guitars don’t come with any additional strings. Users will need to purchase them, separately. Bulk purchases are recommended for strings, especially since they might need replacement soon with those who are just starting. In most cases, strings might only be available to purchase online as there are now fewer shops to find them in brick and mortar stores.

The height of the string is given by the bridge. This height affects the sound profile and this is why even the same strings might sound slightly different on another acoustic guitar. There are other reasons to consider extra strings but the good news is that at least the basic set is offered by most guitar manufacturers.

Frets

A typical guitar has up to 19 frets. However, most cheap guitars have fewer frets. Move up towards an electric guitar, users can even find designs with 24 frets. Some of the guitars with the most frets count 27, but they are rare and not affordable.

Bridge pins

Made from different materials, bridge pins help carry the sound. They have to deal with vibration from the strings and this is why different materials respond differently.

Nut

Guitar nuts are situated before the first fret. They control the spacing of the strings and the height right above the first fret. Like most pieces, it is made from different materials. These materials impact the vibration quality of the strings as well.

Fingerboard

The fingerboard is where the frets are situated. There are various types of wood or plastic used for this component. With a few designs, guitarists will find the fingerboard is laminated for extra durability, at least towards the front.

Bridge

The guitar bridge anchors the strings and it transmits vibrations to the body of the instrument. Mainly made from a single piece of wood or plastic, the guitar bridge needs to be reliable as it will deal with the tension of the strings.

Pickguard

Most guitars are made with no pickguard as many guitarists prefer not to use a pick. They can also be purchased and installed at a later time.

Guitar materials

There are so many guitar materials to consider that it may even prove difficult to tell the difference between them. Even if manufacturers claim their guitars are made from rosewood, buyers should know there are different types of rosewood.

Brazilian rosewood used to be considered the best. However, due to the availability issues of the wood, other types of rosewood are now used in the production stages. Indian rosewood seems to be the first alternative to the Brazilian wood. The good news is that the material is similar in terms of sound quality, even if it may not look as elegant as the Brazilian rosewood.

Rosewood insertions are also used on different pieces of the guitar, such as those listed above. Not all pieces are made with this material for most guitars at the moment. Maple is another type of wood seen in guitar production. However, it might not be as elegant as rosewood. But maple has its recognized characteristic of actually being strong. With dense fibers, maple is perfect for durability. This is why even some of the most durable guitar elements of cheap designs are made from maple, to deal with the vibration and tension specific to the instrument.

Final considerations

Some of the best cheap acoustic guitars are made for beginners. Even if they look the same with professional guitars, they are made for the average user. But even in these conditions, they sound good and they can even come with unique designs.

Those starting with acoustic guitars should also know there are other involved purchases. One of them is the pick. Strings are needed as well. A carry case or a protective case might be needed as well. There are multiple cheap acoustic guitar brands which offer no case at all. This is why it’s easy to damage the instruments, especially when traveling.

Digital tuners have been included with several guitars, even if they are not the best. Those who are looking to get into the guitar world will need to purchase a digital tuner of their own. On the other hand, a guitar can also be tuned from other instruments, for those who might already own other musical instruments.

In terms of the warranty, most products are not covered by this type of protection. This is why it’s up to the user to only play the guitar properly, without excess force or any types of drop accidents which can damage the wood.

A few of the best cheap acoustic guitars above are a great gift idea also. Parents can get their kids into music with these instruments. Furthermore, all guitars listed above can be used as a first guitar to better understand personal preferences before going out and spending thousands on a professional-level acoustic guitar.

This approach can be seen as a good method of saving money on the long-term as a result. There are various other components and accessories such as stings which can be carried over to another acoustic guitar, when the time comes for an upgrade. However, they are still cheap to procure, especially with bulk purchases.