8 Best Wide Neck Electric Guitars (1.69” & Higher)

Author: Dedrich Schafer | Updated: | This post may contain affiliate links.

Guitars, much like ourselves, come in all different shapes and sizes. A guitar that plays comfortably for one person, might not do the same for another.

Some of us were given larger hands than others, which means certain guitars are just too small. Luckily, guitar companies recognized this, and decided to make guitars more befitting of our hand size.

Here are 8 of the best wide neck guitars for guitarists with larger hands.

Best Wide Neck Electric Guitars

1. Gibson SG Standard

Played by famous guitarists like Angus Young and Tony Iommi, the Gibson SG Standard is a staple of rock n roll.

The SG is one of those guitars that I always just have such a great time playing. Its smaller, lightweight frame compared to the Les Paul makes it very comfortable to play.

It also has a tighter, snappier sound compared to the Les Paul. The tone is also a touch brighter. The clean tone is also nice and warm, with some added sweetness.

The neck is super comfortable. With a 1.695” nut width, those with larger fingers will have an easy time playing this guitar. 

The frets and strings are also spaced nicely, making chords easy to form. Melodies, licks, and long runs are also super easy to pull off, with ample space for your fingers to move.

The neck is also a D shape. This makes for some fast and smooth playing, while still giving you more than enough grip at the back of the neck.

The SG is a very versatile guitar, as shown by the types of guitarist that play it. You can easily go from classic rock, to blues, to metal, to even modern hardcore.


2. Epiphone Les Paul Custom

The Les Paul is one of the most famous guitars in the world. Known for their iconic sound, but also their high price tag.

Luckily, Epiphone makes affordable, high quality versions of their Gibson cousins. Alternatives like the Epiphone Les Paul Custom.

The Epiphone Les Paul doesn’t sound exactly like a Gibson, but I think it comes pretty close. The only way you could get closer would be with and actual Gibson.

That same attitude and growl is present on this guitar. This guitar sounds fantastic both clean and with the gain cranked up.

Epiphones do lack that special something that their Gibson counterparts have, to my ear, at least. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t still great guitars.

If you have played a Gibson Les Paul, the neck on the Epiphone version will be familiar. It has pretty much the exact same neck, with a 1.693” nut width, and a slightly thinner SlimTaper shape.

I actually prefer the neck shape compared to that of a standard Les Paul. It is a bit more comfortable to play chords, and moving up and down the neck is a bit faster.

Not everyone can afford a Gibson, and Epiphones are a fantastic alternative.


3. Gibson Les Paul Junior

Despite its appearance, the Gibson Les Paul Junior is quite different from its bigger brother.

I like to think of the Les Paul Junior than a sort of mix between the Les Paul and the SG. It has a thinner body, closer to an SG, and its tone sits somewhere in between.

The Junior’s tone is tighter and snappier than a standard Les Paul. But it is also a bit fatter and fuller than an SG.

The P90 pickup also gives it a dirtier tone. The Junior’s tone leans more to a vintage sound as well in my opinion.

There is only one P90 at the bridge, so the guitar is a bit limited. The tone control is pretty great at shaping the tone, but not as good as having multiple pickups.

But if you just need a dirty blues rock tone, then I think you are going to love the Junior.

The neck is fairly standard, though. The Junior has pretty much the exact same neck as you would find on a standard Les Paul.

It has the same Vintage 50s neck shape with a 1.695” nut width. This is a very comfortable neck to play, with ample room for larger hands and fingers.


4. PRS SE Standard 24

PRS makes some of the best modern guitars around. The SE Standard 24 is the more budget-friendly version of their SE Custom 24.

That doesn’t mean the Standard is lacking in any way. The Standard has similarly fantastic tones. 

Many people like to describe the Standard as sounding somewhere between a Les Paul and a Strat. I tend to agree, although I think it has a more modern sound compared to the more classic tone of the Les Paul and Strat.

The SE Standard is already one of the most versatile guitars in this price range in my opinion. But the addition of a coil tap pushes that versatility even further.

I feel like this is one of those rare guitars where you just name a genre, and this guitar can do it. Everything from jazz, blues, rock, metal, you name it.

The neck does sit on the lower end for wide neck guitars. The nut width is 1.6875”. But I think most large-handed guitarists will still find it to be more than comfortable.

Overall, the SE Standard 24 is just a fantastic guitar and an absolute joy to play.


5. ESP LTD M-Black Metal

Everything you need to know about the ESP LTD M-Black Metal is pretty much right there in the name. This guitar was made to do one thing and one thing only - play metal.

Everything about this guitar is metal. From its all black look, every part of it is black, to its sound.

The Seymour Duncan Black Winter pickup gives it this very chunky, but crisp sound. Riffs are thick and heavy, while melodies and runs are smooth and crystal clear.

Even the clean tones sound great. They have a very dark tone, perfect for those clean intros and interludes.

The neck is extremely comfortable. The extra thin U shape is smooth and fast, while the Extra Jumbo frets and 1.692” nut width make it ideal for those with larger hands.

I also like that the LTD logo is a physical piece attached to the headstock and not just painted on. It is minor, but a nice touch that adds to the guitars style.

This is definitely not a versatile guitar, though, but that is by design. You won’t be playing anything other than metal on the M-Black Metal.

But for metal guitarists, the M-Black Metal is a fantastic choice.


6. Fender Aerodyne Special

Fender’s Aerodyne series of guitars aren’t talked about too often. But it is a series that I believe deserves a lot more love.

Guitars in the Aerodyne series, like the Aerodyne special, were designed to be a more modern take on Fender’s classics like the Strat. Everything from the look to the sound is meant to be much more modern-minded.

The headstock is pretty much the only thing I would say the Aerodyne has in common with a Strat. The body isn’t rounded like a Strat’s, and it doesn’t have a scratch plate.

The neck of the Aerodyne is also quite different. It has a thinner Modern C shape neck, with a wider 1.69” nut. This makes the Aerodyne neck a bit faster, as well as comfortable for large hands, than a Strat.

The sound of the Aerodyne is also much different. It isn’t as bright as a Strat, and is a bit tighter, I feel. The clean tones are also a bit warmer and more rounded.

There is a lot more focus on the midrange, with both the highs and lows being a bit more subdued. That more modern tone definitely shines through, as the Aerodyne doesn’t have the same bluesy tone as a Strat. 


7. Reverend Double Agent OG

Reverend guitars are fairly new to the guitar game. They only started in 1997, but have already put out some truly great guitars.

The Double Agent OG is one of their oldest guitars, and their best selling. And I can understand why.

The OG is a great guitar to play. It is super comfortable and sounds fantastic. It actually reminds me a bit of the Fender Jaguar, both in terms of design and sound.

The body is very comfortable, and the neck plays extemely well. The medium oval shape fits nicely in your hand, while the 1.692” nut width means it will be comfortable for larger hands.

Something that stands out about the OG, for me, is the bass contour control. This is the knob at the top of the guitar that controls the amount of low end.

What I like about it is that it sort of functions as a coil tap, without sacrificing the quality of the humbucker. So, you still have a humbucker, it just sounds more like a single coil.

This makes the guitar quite versatile. You can go from thick, bassy tones, to bright and sparkling. All with just the roll of a knob.


8. Kramer Striker

Another very metal guitar, the Kramer Striker is meant for shredding. But where the M-Black Metal is a more modern metal guitar, the Striker is pure 80s.

The moment I plugged this guitar in, I automatically just started playing Van Halen and Motley Crue. That is how 80s this guitar is. That is the sound you get with this guitar, that gritty, biting 80s hair metal sound.

This guitar also plays like something from the 80s. Its K-Speed SlimTaper C neck wants you to play fast. It also has a 1.693” nut width, so even if you have larger hands, you will be shredding comfortably on this neck.

The clean tone is quite nice, but I wouldn’t necessarily call it exceptional. It does its job and not a ton more. Although, I will say that the clean tone with the pickup selector on the second position, so bridge and middle, sounds very nice. Definitely my favorite position.

But really, you aren’t going to be spending a lot of time playing clean on this guitar. This guitar is meant to have the gain turned up all the way, with the volume at 11.

The Striker is a shredder’s dream.


Why Buy A Wide Neck Guitar?

Have you ever tried to form a chord, but your fingers feel very cramped? Or maybe you keep hitting the wrong string while playing solos? 

The problem is likely with your hands. Specifically, your hands or fingers are too big.

This means that your hands have a harder time fitting into the small space on a smaller neck. But having a wider neck will, of course, provide you with more space.

A wider neck, measured by the width of the nut, has strings that are spaced further apart. This gives you more room to form chords, as well as spreading the strings apart so that you don’t accidentally hit the wrong string.

What is the Widest Neck?

Anything above a nut width of 1.68” is considered a wide neck. Wide neck guitars typically range between 1.6875” and 1.695”.

They can go wider, like the Godin xtSa having a nut width of 1.72”. Wider than that is where you will find extended range guitars (7 and 8-strings).

These usually have nut widths between 1.732” and 1.889”. But that can go as wide as 2.25”, like the neck of the Ernie Ball Music Man John Petrucci Majesty 8.

Other Considerations for Larger Hands

Apart from a wide neck, there are a few other things you can consider to make playing easier.

Neck Shape

Neck shape can also affect how well larger hands play. The thicker the neck, the more it fills your hand. Larger hands will have more space to fill, so a thicker neck will be better.

This gives you essentially more neck to hold onto while playing. The more you have to hold on to, the better your grip will be.

There are many different neck shapes, but the most common are D, C, and U. D is the thinnest, U the thickest, and C sits somewhere in the middle.

Scale Length

You should also consider the scale length. Scale length refers to the distance of the string from the nut to the bridge. The longer the scale length, the greater the distance.

The scale length of a guitar affects a number of things, but for larger hands, what is important is how it affects the size of your frets.

With a longer scale length, your frets will be spaced out more. This will increase the distance your fingers have to travel from one fret to the next.

Of course, if you have larger hands, that extra distance will be easy to reach. And having more space between frets means that there will be more room between your fingers, making them less cramped. This is especially important when you play higher up on the fretboard.

Conclusion

If you are struggling to comfortably play chords, you keep hitting the wrong string, or playing in general is just uncomfortable, it might be time to get a guitar with a wide neck.

Your hands might have outgrown your current neck. But no matter the size of your hands, there is a neck that is just the right fit for them.

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About Dedrich Schafer

Dedrich is a guitar player, songwriter and sound engineer with extensive music production and studio experience. He mostly listens to classic rock and punk bands, but sometimes also likes listening to rap and acoustic songs.

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