Guitar String Tension Charts

Experimenting with string metals and gauges often unleashes creativity. It may also impact the performance of your guitar. When changing string gauge, especially when going heavier, the string tension may be significant enough to require adjustment to the setup of your guitar. 

  • Acoustic Phosphor Bronze with NANOWEB® Coating

    String tension shown below is an approximation. Guitar string tension is based upon a 25.5" guitar scale length and standard tuning.

    Gauge E-1
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    B-2
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    G-3
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    D-4
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    A-5
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    E-6
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    Total Tension
    Extra Light Strings
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    .010 / 16 .014 / 18 .023 / 28 .030 / 27 .039 / 25 .047 / 21 135
    Custom Light Strings
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    .011 / 20 .015 / 20 .022 / 25 .032 / 30 .042 / 30 .052 / 25 150
    Light Strings
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    .012 / 23 .016 / 23 .024 / 30 .032 / 30 .042 / 30 .053 / 26 162
    Light-Medium Strings
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    .012 / 23 .016 / 23 .024 / 30 .035 / 37 .045 / 34 .056 / 29 176
    Medium Strings
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    .013 / 27 .017 / 26 .026 / 35 .035 / 37 .045 / 34 .056 / 29 188
    HD Light Strings
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    .013 / 27 .017 / 26 .025 / 34 .032 / 31 .042 / 30 .053 / 26 174
    12-String Light
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    .010 / 16 .014 / 18 .023 / 27 .030 / 26 .039 / 24 .047 / 20  
    12-String Light Continued .010 / 16 .014 / 18 .009 / 19 .012 / 19 .018 / 23 .027 / 26 251
  • Acoustic 80/20 Bronze with NANOWEB Coating

    String tension shown below is an approximation. Guitar string tension is based upon a 25.5" guitar scale length and standard tuning. 

    Gauge E-1
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    B-2
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    G-3
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    D-4
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    A-5
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    E-6
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    Total Tension (lbs)
    Extra Light Strings
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    .010 / 16 .014 / 18 .023 / 27 .030 / 26 .039 / 24 .047 / 20 131
    Custom Light Strings
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    .011 / 20 .015 / 20 .022 / 25 .032 / 30 .042 / 28 .052 / 24 147
    Light Strings
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    .012 / 23 .016 / 23 .024 / 29 .032 / 30 .042 / 28 .053 / 25 158
    Light-Medium Strings
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    .012 / 23 .016 / 23 .024 / 29 .035 / 35 .045 / 33 .056 / 28 171
    Medium Strings
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    .013 / 27 .017 / 26 .026 / 34 .035 / 35 .045 / 33 .056 / 28 183
    HD Light Strings
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    .013 / 27 .017 / 26 .025 / 32 .032 / 30 .042 / 28 .053 / 25 169
    12-String Light
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    .010 / 16 .014 / 18 .023 / 27 .030 / 26 .039 / 24 .047 / 20  
    12-String Light Continued .010 / 16 .014 / 18 .009 / 19 .012 / 18 .018 / 23 .027 / 26 251
    12-String Medium
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    .012 / 23 .016 / 23 .024 / 29 .032 / 30 .042 / 28 .053 / 25  
    12-String Medium Continued .012 / 23 .016 / 23 .010 / 23 .012 / 18 .016 / 19 .024 / 22 286
    12-String Heavy
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    .013 / 27 .017 / 26 .030 / 47 .039 / 44 .047 / 36 .056 / 28  
    12-String Heavy Continued .013 / 27 .017 / 26 .014 / 45 .018 / 42 .027 / 47 .035 / 44 439
      B-1 F#-2 D-3 A-4 E-5 B-6  
    6-String Baritone
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    .016 / 24 .022 / 25 .030 / 27 .047 / 35 .059 / 32 .070 / 25 167
    8-String Baritone
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    .016 / 27 .022 / 26 .030 / 47 .047 / 44 .059 / 36 .070 / 28  
    8-String Baritone Continued     .014 / 26 .017 / 21     255
  • Acoustic 80/20 Bronze with POLYWEB® Coating

    String tension shown below is an approximation. Guitar string tension is based upon a 25.5" guitar scale length and standard tuning. 

    Gauge E-1
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    B-2
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    G-3
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    D-4
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    A-5
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    E-6
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    Total Tension (lbs)
    Extra Light Strings
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    .010 / 16 .014 / 18 .023 / 27 .030 / 26 .039 / 24 .047 / 20 131
    Custom Light Strings
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    .011 / 20 .015 / 20 .022 / 25 .032 / 30 .042 / 28 .052 / 24 147
    Light Strings
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    .012 / 23 .016 / 23 .024 / 29 .032 / 30 .042 / 28 .053 / 25 158
    Light-Medium Strings
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    .012 / 23 .016 / 23 .024 / 29 .035 / 35 .045 / 33 .056 / 28 171
    Medium Strings
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    .013 / 27 .017 / 26 .026 / 34 .035 / 35 .045 / 33 .056 / 28 183
    Resonator Strings
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    .016 / 41 .018 / 29 .028 / 40 .035 / 35 .045 / 33 .056 / 28 206
    12-String Light
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    .010 / 16 .014 / 18 .023 / 27 .030 / 26 .039 / 24 .047 / 20  
    12-String Light Continued .010 / 16 .014 / 18 .009 / 19 .012 / 18 .018 / 23 .027 / 26 251
  • Electric Nickel Plated Steel with NANOWEB Coating

    String tension shown below is an approximation. Guitar string tension is based upon a 25.5" guitar scale length and standard tuning.

    Gauge E-1
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    B-2
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    G-3
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    D-4
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    A-5
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    E-6
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    Total Tension (lbs)
    Super Light Strings
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    .009 / 13 .011 / 11 .016 / 15 .024 / 16 .032 / 16 .042 / 15 85
    Custom Light Strings
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    .009 / 13 .011 / 11 .016 / 15 .026 / 18 .036 / 20 .046 / 17 94
    Light Strings
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    .010 / 16 .013 / 15 .017 / 17 .026 / 18 .036 / 20 .046 / 17 103
    Light-Heavy Strings
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    .010 / 16 .013 / 15 .017 / 17 .032 / 28 .042 / 26 .052 / 22 124
    Medium Strings
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    .011 / 20 .014 / 18 .018 / 19 .028 / 21 .038 / 22 .049 / 20 118
    Heavy Strings
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    .012 / 23 .016 / 23 .024 / 28 .032 / 28 .042 / 26 .052 / 22 151
    Baritone
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    .012 / 23 .016 / 23 .022 / 28 .038 / 38 .052 / 39 .068 / 39 191
    7-String Light
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    .010 / 16 .013 / 15 .017 / 17 .026 / 18 .036 / 20 .046 / 17  
    7-StringLight Continued   .056 / 15         118
    12-String Light
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    .010 / 16 .013 / 15 .017 / 17 .026 / 18 .036 / 20 .046 / 17  
    12-String Light Continued .010 / 16 .013 / 15 .009 / 19 .012 / 18 .018 / 23 .026 / 23 217
  • Electric Nickel Plated Steel with OPTIWEB™ Coating

    String tension shown below is an approximation. Guitar string tension is based upon a 25.5" guitar scale length and standard tuning.

    Gauge E-1
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    B-2
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    G-3
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    D-4
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    A-5
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    E-6
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    Total Tension (lbs)
    Super Light Strings
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    .009 / 13 .011 / 11 .016 / 15 .024 / 16 .032 / 16 .042 / 15 85
    Custom Light Strings
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    .009 / 13 .011 / 11 .016 / 15 .026 / 18 .036 / 20 .046 / 17 94
    Light Strings
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    .010 / 16 .013 / 15 .017 / 17 .026 / 18 .036 / 20 .046 / 17 103
    Light-Heavy Strings
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    .010 / 16 .013 / 15 .017 / 17 .032 / 28 .042 / 26 .052 / 22 124
    Medium Strings
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    .011 / 20 .014 / 18 .018 / 19 .028 / 21 .038 / 22 .049 / 20 118
  • Electric Nickel Plated Steel with POLYWEB Coating

    String tension shown below is an approximation. Guitar string tension is based upon a 25.5" guitar scale length and standard tuning.

    Gauge E-1
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    B-2
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    G-3
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    D-4
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    A-5
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    E-6
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    Total Tension (lbs)
    Super Light Strings
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    .009 / 13 .011 / 11 .016 / 15 .024 / 16 .032 / 16 .042 / 15 85
    Light Strings
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    .010 / 16 .013 / 15 .017 / 17 .026 / 18 .036 / 20 .046 / 17 103
  • Electric Bass Nickel Plated Steel with NANOWEB Coating

    Tensions shown below are an approximation. All tensions are based upon a particular scale length (Long=34" or Extra Long=36") and standard tuning. 

    Gauge Scale Length G-1
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    D-2
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    A-3
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    E-4
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    B-5
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    Total Tension (lbs)
    Super Light, Long Scale
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    34" .040 / 34 .060 / 43 .075 / 38 .095 / 34 - 149
    Light, Long Scale
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    34" .045 / 43 .065 / 51 .080 / 42 .100 / 37 - 173
    Medium, Long Scale
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    34" .045 / 43 .065 / 51 .085 / 48 .105 / 40 - 182
    Light/Medium, Extra Long Scale
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    36" .045 / 48 .065 / 58 .085 / 54 .105 / 45 - 205
    Medium, Long Scale
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    34" .050 / 53 .070 / 60 .085 / 48 .105 / 40 - 201
    Light, Long Scale
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    34" .045 / 43 .065 / 51 .085 / 48 .105 / 40 .130 / 34 216
    Light/Medium, Long Scale
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    34" .045 / 43 .065 / 51 .085 / 48 .105 / 40 .135 / 36 211
  • Electric Bass Stainless Steel with NANOWEB Coating

    Tensions shown below are an approximation. The tuning is given for a particular scale length (Long=34") and standard tuning.

    Gauge Scale Length G-1
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    D-2
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    A-3
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    E-4
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    B-5
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    Total Tension (lbs)
    Light, Long Scale Strings
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    34" .045 / 42 .065 / 47 .080 / 40 .100 / 34 - 163
    Light/Medium, Long Scale
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    34" .045 / 42 .065 / 47 .085 / 45 .105 / 37 - 171
    Medium, Long Scale
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    34" .050 / 49 .070 / 56 .085 / 45 .105 / 37 - 187
    Light, Long Scale
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    34" .045 / 42 .065 / 47 .085 / 45 .105 / 37 .130 / 32 203
    Light/Medium, Long Scale
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    34" .045 / 42 .065 / 47 .085 / 45 .105 / 37 .135 / 33 204
  • Acoustic Bass 80/20 Bronze with NANOWEB Coating

    Tension shown below is an approximation. The tuning is given for a particular scale length (Long=34") and standard tuning. 

    Gauge Scale Length G-1
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    D-2
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    A-3
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    E-4
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    Total Tension (lbs)
    Light Strings
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    34" .045 / 48 .065 / 56 .080 / 47 .100 / 40 191
  • Banjo Nickel Plated Steel with POLYWEB Coating

    String tension shown below is an approximation. All tensions are based upon a 26.5" banjo scale length and standard tuning. 

    Gauge D-1
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    B-2
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    G-3
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    D-4
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    G-5
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    Total Tension (lbs)
    Light Strings
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    .009 / 11 .01 / 10 .013 / 11 .02 / 9 .009 / 11 52
    Medium Strings
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    .010 / 14 .012 / 14 .016 / 16 .023 / 12 .010 / 15 70
  • Mandolin 80/20 Bronze with NANOWEB Coating

    String tension shown below is an approximation. All tensions are based upon a 13.9" mandolin scale length and standard tuning. 

    Gauge E-1
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    A-2
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    D-3
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    G-4
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    Total Tension (lbs)
    Light Strings
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    .010 / 19 .014 / 17 .024 / 19 .034 / 17 144
    Medium Strings
    Diameter (in) / Tension (lbs)
    .011 / 23 .015 / 19 .026 / 23 .040 / 25 182