To many players, weight is a defining factor when purchasing a new guitar. Be it back problems, or just preference, having a ballpark of how much a guitar weighs can be very helpful for your final decision.
And I’m talking about ballparks here because every single guitar is different. Even 2 same model instruments could differ greatly in weight.
This is because the wood was once a living thing, and there are a plethora of factors that could affect its mass in different ways.
So take with a grain of salt everything said in this article, and consider it just an average.
But getting to the point: How much does a telecaster weigh?
A regular solid body telecaster, built with typical tonewoods such as swamp ash or alder will weigh, on average 7.5 lbs. This is with standard hardware. With locking tuners and/or a vibrato tailpiece, the instrument gets heavier. A telecaster inside its hardshell case will be around the 15 to 18 lbs ballpark.
For those who want a deeper dive into this topic, in this article, I will try to provide you with the essential information about what makes a Telecaster heavier or lighter, and the implications it has.
Are you ready to get started?
Do heavier Teles sound better?
There is an age-old debate about heavier guitars having more body and sustain.
The counter-argument, detractors of this idea wield is that lighter guitars are more resonant and sound more open.
This whole topic requires a detailed discussion, and I have written a separate article on it.
You can check it out here:
Ash vs Alder, which is heavier?
Both swamp ash and alder have similar average dried weights of around 28 lbs/ft3.
And it’s important to highlight “average” and “dried”, since the moisture trapped inside different slabs will vary greatly due to different factors such as age, storage humidity, proper wood treatment, etc.
These variations in the tonewoods water content will have a bigger impact on its weight than the actual difference in variety between alder and ash.
What makes a Tele heavier?
Body and neck materials are, of course, one of the most important factors that define how much a telecaster weighs.
However, hardware is also something to take into consideration since most parts are made of metal, and its weight starts adding fast.
Things such as tuners the tuners and the bridge can have a noticeable impact on the overall weight and balance of the instrument.
What’s more, locking tuners and vibrato tailpieces such as Bigsbys are known for increasing the weight of the instrument in an uncomfortable fashion to some players.
Take every single detail into consideration if guitar weight is a sensible matter to you.
Is the Telecaster a heavy guitar?
By no means the telecaster could be considered a heavy guitar in terms of weight. Being a solid body instrument, of course, makes it heavier than its hollow counterparts, however, its simple design makes it one of the lightest instruments of its class weighing an average of 7.5 lbs.
The even lighter alternative: A Telecaster Thinline
Thinline telecasters are chambered versions of the original design.
The differences are many, but in what respects to this topic, the weight reduction achieved by hollowing both sides of its body, while keeping a center block into which hardware is mounted, is around 25%.
So, if a solid body tele weighs 8 lbs. its Thinline counterpart will be in the 6 lbs. ballpark.
The difference is not too shabby, and, again, something to consider if weight is a pressing issue for you.
Telecaster weight with a case
If you are shipping a guitar, taking delivery of one, or traveling, perhaps it’s important for you to know how much a telecaster would weigh inside its case.
If we consider a typical hardshell case of between 8 and 10 lbs, and we add that to the average weight of a Telecaster, we get that a tele inside its case would be around 18 lbs total.
However, it’s important to consider that if the guitar it’s being shipped, it all may come inside a box with extra padding material, and the weight could be even a few pounds higher.
Tip for looking up the weight of a guitar
Finally, if you really want exact info about the weight of a particular instrument, you can try looking it up on Sweetwater. They usually show you the units they have in stock, and how much they weigh.
Hello there, my name is Ramiro and I’ve been playing guitar for almost 20 years. I’m obsessed with everything gear-related and I thought it might be worth sharing it. From guitars, pedals, amps, and synths to studio gear and production tips, I hope you find what I post here useful, and I’ll try my best to keep it entertaining also.