9 Best DIY Electric Guitar Kits 2022

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Best DIY Electric Guitar Kits

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There is perhaps nothing cooler for a guitarist than to have their own custom-designed guitar. However, this often requires the guitarist to have a connection with a luthier to craft something truly unique.

This reality is a bit out of the question for some guitarists. So, too, is the possibility of actually building a guitar yourself if you do not have the tools.

Luckily, there are some great DIY kits that exist to allow you to put together the guitar of your dreams.

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StewMac S-Style Kit – Best Overall

StewMac S-Style Kit

The Fender Stratocaster is, by far, one of the most revolutionary guitar designs of all time. It’s so revolutionary, in fact, that the design still seems as if it is a futuristic wonder of the mind.

These instruments are only becoming more expensive as each year goes by. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t have access to that classic Stratocaster single-coil sound.

If you’ve ever longed to build your own custom Strat, you’re in luck. The StewMac S-Style Kit is the perfect way to get started on this journey. 

With this kit, you’ll have all of the pieces and parts to put together an entire guitar. An included illustrated guide gives you a step-by-step process to completing its build.

The guitar’s body in this kit is crafted from Mahogany. It has holes and routing already completed for placing pickups and control knobs.

Mahogany is also used for the S-Style kit’s neck, with the fretboard crafted from Indian Rosewood. There are 22 frets outlined by white dot inlays on the fretboard.

Also included is a pickguard that has single-coil pickups and control knobs pre-wired. This allows you to easily install it onto the kit guitar’s body.

You’ll also have iconic Stratocaster-type hardware with this kit. This hardware includes:

  • A tremolo bridge
  • Slotted nut
  • Sealed tuners
  • Output jack for easy installation

Furthermore, StewMac has included all of the wrenches you’ll need to adjust your guitar after it's completed. This will come in handy for basic maintenance later down the road.

Also included with the S-Style Kit is a set of strings. You really will have all you need to get started right out of the box.

Overall, the StewMac S-Style kit is a worthwhile endeavor for anyone who has wanted an iconic custom Stratocaster for themselves.

StewMac 335 Kit – Best Premium

StewMac 335 Kit

The Gibson 335 is one of the brand’s most iconic semi-hollow guitar designs. In fact, it has been replicated time and again by many other manufacturers. 

A real 335 can cost a pretty penny, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have one for yourself. The StewMac 335 Kit has everything you need to build your own custom 335 guitar.

You’ll find that the guitar in this kit is built from Mahogany, and has a flamed Maple top veneer. This is sure to look great no matter what color and finish you decide to have with your guitar.

Like the real 335, this kit’s body also has a center block design within the body cavity. 2 large f-shaped soundholes decorate each side of the top for air movement and breathability. 

The neck is also crafted from Mahogany and comes preinstalled with a 2-way truss rod. Simply connect it to the body in the pre-cut and pre-drilled neck pocket and you’re ready to go.

This neck features a bound Laurel fretboard with 22 frets. These frets are outlined by traditional white dot inlays for a classic look.

You’ll also have a pair of humbucker pickups that come equipped with chrome covers. These pickups will certainly deliver that iconic 335 sound and aesthetic look.

For hardware, the 335 kit comes equipped with:

  • Tune-O-Matic bridge with a stopbar tailpiece
  • Output jack for amplification
  • Top-hat knobs for tone controls
  • All of the potentiometers and wires needed for the electronics
  • A nut that has been pre-slotted for easy installation and ready for play
  • Chrome-plated sealed tuners
  • Guitar strap buttons

If that wasn’t enough, StewMac has also included a set of strings to get you started. You’ll also have a truss rod wrench to use for basic guitar maintenance down the road.

Bad Cat Instruments TL Thinline Kit – Best Budget

Bad Cat Instruments TL Thinline Kit

Aside from the Stratocaster, one of Fender’s most famous guitars is the Telecaster. Perhaps one of the most beloved versions of the Telecaster is the Thinline variety. 

These instruments have been renowned by guitarists for decades for providing a unique Telecaster tone. They have a tinge more resonance and a little more beef in the tone (due to dual humbuckers).

Now, you can build your own custom Telecaster Thinline with the Bad Cat Instruments TL Thinline Kit. It has everything you need to build a guitar that looks and sounds like the real deal.

The body of the guitar in this kit is crafted from Swamp Ash and has a semi-hollow design. Like the original, this kit’s body features that iconic f-shaped soundhole.

This kit’s neck is crafted from Maple and fits quite easily into the body’s neck cavity. The neck has a Modern C-shaped contour, which should feel and play similarly to Fender’s design.

Maple is also used for the kit guitar’s fretboard material. It has 21 frets which are outlined by black dot inlays. 

For pickups, this kit comes with a pair of humbucker pickups. You’ll also get a 3-way switch and a volume and tone knob for tonal control during play situations. 

This kit guitar retains tradition in all of the right areas. Specifically, this model has a string-through-body design like most of the Fender guitars in years past.

For hardware, this kit features:

  • A hardtail bridge with a 6-string saddle
  • Vintage-style tuners
  • Pre-slotted nut
  • Backplate for the neck joint
  • Output jack for amplification
  • 3-ply pickguard emulating the original style of the Telecaster Thinline

Overall, this kit offers a great access point to have one of these attractive guitars for yourself. This guitar certainly looks like the original, right down to the iconic Telecaster headstock shape.

StewMac LP-Style Kit

StewMac LP-Style Kit

The Gibson Les Paul remains one of the most timeless and highly copied guitar designs in recent history. Not only are these guitars tonally diverse, but they can also cost a small fortune.

Fortunately, the StewMac LP-Style Kit has everything you need to put together one of these guitars for yourself. You’ll end up having a guitar that looks and sounds exactly like the original Gibson model.

Following tradition, the kit guitar’s body is made from Mahogany and has a Maple top. You’ll be able to easily add an attractive sunburst thanks to the flamed Maple veneer.

As with the other kits on this list, this kit guitar’s body comes pre-routed and pre-drilled. You’ll be able to easily connect the neck and all of the electronic components.

The neck in this kit is crafted from Mahogany and comes preinstalled with a 2-way truss rod. This neck has a scale length of 24.69”, which closely resembles the original Les Paul design.

For the fretboard, this kit features bound Indian Laurel. You’ll have 21 frets here outlined by those iconic Pearloid trapezoid inlays. 

As is tradition with Les Pauls, this kit comes equipped with a pair of humbucker pickups. These pickups will have chrome-plated covers in the event you wish to add this aesthetic to your guitar.

For hardware, this kit comes included with:

  • Tune-O-Matic bridge with stopbar tailpiece
  • 3-way switch with the classic Rhythm and Lead designation plate
  • Golden top-hat knobs for 2 volume and 2 tone knobs
  • All of the potentiometers and wires needed for electronics installation
  • Vintage-style chrome-plated sealed tuners
  • Output jack for amplification purposes

In addition to this, StewMac has included a set of strings to get you started. A truss rod wrench is also included for basic guitar maintenance.

Bad Cat Instruments Explorer Kit 

Bad Cat Instruments Explorer Kit

Gibson is best-known for the Les Pauls, SGs, and 335s. However, the Explorer is another iconic guitar that has a classic design with an edgy aesthetic.

Explorers can be quite hard to find in today’s market. Those that can be located tend to run fairly high in price, outside the budgets of most people.

The Bad Cat Instruments Explorer Kit has everything you need to build one of these iconic guitars yourself. Every detail is covered here, right down to the iconic Explorer headstock shape.

This kit guitar’s body is made completely from solid Mahogany. Every necessary hole is pre-drilled, with routing done for the neck and pickups.

The neck in this kit is crafted from one piece of Mahogany, featuring a preinstalled 2-way truss rod. It has a scale length of 24.75” with a classic C-shaped contour.

This kit also features Rosewood as its fretboard material. It has a radius of 12” and comes with 22 frets outlined by white dot inlays. 

One thing about this kit is that the guitar has a set neck configuration. The neck features the necessary length for proper joining of the body and neck.

For pickups, this kit includes a pair of humbuckers. These have gold-plated pickup covers to match the gold-plated hardware on the rest of the guitar.

A 3-way switch, 2 volume knobs, and a tone knob are also included with this kit. These have black knobs to match to original Gibson aesthetic. 

For hardware, this kit comes included with:

  • Output jack
  • Guitar strap buttons
  • White pickguard
  • Tune-O-Matic bridge with adjustable stopbar tailpiece
  • Pre-slotted bone nut
  • Wires and potentiometers for electronics
  • Body cavity and truss rod covers

To top it all off, a set of strings, a guitar cable, and a truss rod wrench are also provided with the kit.

StewMac Offset Trem Kit

StewMac Offset Trem Kit

There is no denying that the Fender offset guitars have a certain type of allure. Whether it be the Jazzmaster or the Jaguar, your eyes are bedazzled by these futuristic styles.

With the StewMac Offset Trem Kit, you have an opportunity to build an offset guitar for yourself. This won’t have the iconic Jazzmaster or Jaguar features, but it will have that iconic offset body style. 

The kit guitar’s body is crafted from Mahogany and has been sanded down for a smooth feel. Every necessary hole is already drilled, and the neck pocket and pickup areas come pre-routed.

This kit’s neck is crafted from Maple and comes equipped with a 2-way truss rod already installed. The neck has an overall scale length of 25.5”, which is right in line with Fender’s instruments.

Indian Laurel is used for the kit guitar’s fretboard. There are 22 frets here, which are outlined by traditional white dot inlays.

For pickups, the Offset Trem Kit features a pair of P-90 pickups. These are pre-wired on the pickguard, allowing for super easy installation.

A 3-way toggle switch, as well as a volume and tone knob, are provided for tone control. These are also preinstalled on the pickguard and fit into the body’s provided routing.

As its name would suggest, this kit features a tremolo system. This is more akin to the Stratocaster tremolo, with springs located in the back of the guitar’s body.

Also included in this kit are:

  • Backplate neck joint cover
  • Backplate tremolo spring cover
  • Pre-slotted nut
  • 6-saddle bridge
  • Chrome-plated sealed tuners

StewMac has also provided a set of strings so you can start playing the guitar right away. A truss rod wrench is also provided for basic maintenance. 

Bad Cat Instruments IBZ 7V Kit

Bad Cat Instruments IBZ 7V Kit

Ibanez certainly has its fair share of iconic guitars. However, the Steve Vai model is, by far, one of the most recognizable. 

If you’ve ever wanted one of these for yourself, the Bad Cat Instruments IBZ 7V Kit makes it easy. Every detail, down to the signature body handle and ivy inlay is here with this kit.

The body of this kit guitar is crafted from Basswood. It has all of the necessary routing done for the neck joint, electronics, and tremolo.

This kit’s neck is crafted from 3 pieces of Maple. It is true to the original Ibanez specs and has a 25.5” scale length.

Jatoba is used for the IBZ 7V kit’s fretboard. This features 24 frets outlined by the classic Abalone Tree of Life inlay.

Another thing to note about this fretboard is that the top 4 frets have been scalloped a bit. This should provide easier accessibility when playing in the upper range of the guitar.

For pickups, this kit has a pair of humbuckers and a single-coil pickup in an HSH configuration. These come preinstalled on the pickguard and are wired to a 5-way switch and a volume and tone knob.

In true JEM fashion, this kit comes equipped with a locking tremolo system. The nut is bottom-mounted for stability, and the body is perfectly routed to accommodate the system.

Also included with this kit are:

  • Chrome-plated seal tuners
  • Tremolo springs
  • Backplate tremolo cover
  • Backplate neck joint cover
  • Truss rod cover
  • Guitar strap buttons

Bad Cat Instruments has also provided a set of strings, a truss rod wrench, and an instrument cable. You’ll be able to plug it in and play as soon as you have the guitar built. 

Definitely consider this kit if you’ve ever longed to have a Steve Vai JEM model yourself. 

StewMac T-Style Kit 

StewMac T-Style Kit

There is certainly no doubt that the Telecaster is one of the most influential guitar designs to exist. It was Fender’s first solid-body electric guitar and remains a worthwhile instrument for modern music.

With the StewMac T-Style Kit, you have the opportunity to build your own Telecaster guitar. This kit makes it pretty easy and has everything you need to get started. 

The kit guitar’s body is crafted from Mahogany and has every hole pre-drilled. All of the routing needed for the neck and pickups have already been done for you.

This kit’s neck has been crafted from Maple and comes equipped with a 2-way truss rod and pre-slotted nut. It has a traditional scale length of 25.5” with a C-shaped contour.

Indian Laurel is used for the T-Style’s fretboard. It has a 9.5” radius and comes equipped with 22 frets outlined by white dot inlays.

For pickups, this kit comes equipped with a pair of Telecaster single-coil pickups. A 3-way switch and a volume and tone knob are provided on a pre-wired plate. 

This kit also features a Telecaster-style bridge, which features a 3-saddle design. As is customary with Telecasters, the bridge pickup is encased within the bridge plate. 

Also included with this kit are:

  • Black Telecaster pickguard
  • Backplate for neck joint
  • Output jack
  • Chrome-plated sealed tuners

StewMac has also included a set of Dunlop guitar strings and a truss rod wrench with this kit. You’ll have an easy time putting it together with the provided illustrated instructions.

Overall, this StewMac kit makes it quite easy and affordable to have your own custom Telecaster. Compared to other kits, there isn’t too much to do other than put it together.

As with other kits, you will be responsible for painting the guitar and supplying your own guitar finish.

Bad Cat Instruments LP-Style Zebrawood Kit

Bad Cat Instruments LP-Style Zebrawood Kit

Looking for a fresh and alluring take on an old traditional classic? The Bad Cat Instruments LP-Style Zebrawood Kit might just be what you’ve always been looking for.

This kit essentially takes the iconic Les Paul design and adds a high degree of aesthetic value with Zebrawood. This, in turn, adds an attractive striped grain that is featured on the body, fretboard, and headstock.

The body of this kit’s guitar is crafted completely from Zebrawood. All of the holes have been drilled, with the neck cavity completed for a set-neck joint.

As you might guess, the neck of this guitar is also crafted from 1 piece of Zebrawood. It has a scale length of 24.75 inches and has a C-shaped contour.

Zebrawood is also used for the guitar’s fretboard. This has a 12” radius with 22 frets outlined by Pearl block inlays.

For pickups, this kit includes a pair of humbuckers with gold-plated pickup covers. A pair of volume and control knobs (in black) and a 3-way toggle switch are included with the kit.

The other hardware included in this kit includes:

  • All of the wiring and potentiometers needed for electronics
  • Black pickguard
  • Black covers for truss rod and body cavities
  • Black 3-way switch position cover
  • Gold-plated sealed tuners
  • Gold-plated Tune-O-Matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece
  • Gold-plated output jack

Bad Cat Instruments has also included a set of strings, instrument cable, and a truss rod wrench with the kit. You’ll be able to play the guitar as soon as you have it finished.

Overall, this Zebrawood kit is a unique take on an old, iconic guitar style that is usually steeped in tradition. Be sure to consider this if you’re looking for a fresh and dressy take on the classic Les Paul.

Are DIY Electric Guitar Kits Worth It?

DIY kits offer a way for guitarists to be able to build their own guitars. These kits allow somebody the experience of understanding how guitars are actually built.

Sometimes, guitarists might like a certain guitar style but dislike the pickup selection. Or, perhaps they’ve always longed to have a certain guitar in a certain color choice.

These DIY kits essentially allow the guitarist to make the guitar of their dreams into reality. Quite often, these will be at a serious fraction of the cost of a fully-produced guitar.

However, if you’re one who is okay with stock guitar, a DIY kit might not be for you. You will need to put in the work to make a DIY kit functional.

This includes putting the guitar together as well as painting and finishing the guitar yourself. Many people do not have the time or resources for this kind of process.

Best Brands For DIY Electric Guitar Kits

It can be a scary thing to buy an electric guitar kit. All too often, the market can be flooded with kits comprised of less-than-desirable craftsmanship.

If you want to avoid this headache, you should opt for brands that are most trusted in this space. The following brands have a great reputation for producing and providing quality DIY electric guitar kits.

StewMac

When it comes to all things guitar maintenance, few companies are more respected than StewMac. This company provides tools for every guitar-related facet you can imagine.

In fact, StewMac tools are likely what your trusted guitar tech uses in their shop. StewMac is also known for having 5 decades of experience building high-quality guitar kits for the custom guitar enthusiast.

Bad Cat Instruments

Bad Cat Instruments is a Northern Chinese company that was founded in 1993. The company specializes in crafting OEM parts that are manufactured in alignment with guitar manufacturers’ specs.

As such, you’ll find that many of their kits are essentially the same as guitars from major companies. This provides quite a bargain for the guitarist who is willing to put in a little work for a guitar.

Top DIY Electric Guitar Kits, Final Thoughts

DIY guitar kits are an excellent entry point for someone who is interested in building their own guitars. Many luthiers have gotten their start with these kits before they had their own tooling.

These kits also provide an economical approach for someone that wants their own custom guitar. With just a bit of work, the guitarist is free to build a guitar in the manner of their choosing.

P.S. Remember though, none of what you've learned will matter if you don't know how to get your music out there and earn from it. Want to learn how to do that? Then get our free ‘5 Steps To Profitable Youtube Music Career' ebook emailed directly to you!

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