Do Guitars Come With a Case? New & 2nd Hand Guitars Analyzed

When I bought my first guitar I wanted to know whether I needed a case, and if a guitar comes with a case. Now that I’ve bought a few guitars I took a closer look into what brands and types of guitars come with a case. Here’s what I found.

Generally, guitars come with a free case. Acoustic, electric, and bass guitars sold by popular guitar brands such as Fender, Gibson, and Taylor come with a high quality case when purchased through their website. But, whether a music store or brand includes a case with their guitars does vary.

For example, Ibanez – one of the most popular guitar brands – does not include a case with any of their guitars, and all of their cases are sold separately.

I’m also interested in whether it’s best to keep a guitar in a case, how much a guitar costs, whether it’s cheaper to buy a guitar with the case or without the case. So, below I will explain everything you need to know about whether a guitar comes with a case.

What Guitars Come With a Case?

Certain brands are well known for coming with a case such as Taylor, Fender, and Gibson. However, the guitars they sell are quite expensive and are in the range of $2000 each or more.

Here’s a table of the top guitar brands and generally what kind of case they come with – either a hard or soft case.

Brand and type of guitarDoes it come with a case?
Fender – AcousticIncludes deluxe soft case
Fender – ElectricIncludes deluxe hard case
Fender – BassIncludes deluxe hard case
Ibanez – AcousticIncludes a hardshell case
Ibanez – ElectricNot all models come with case
Ibanez- BassNot all models come with case
Gibson – AcousticIncludes a hardshell case
Gibson – ElectricIncludes a hardshell case
Gibson – BassIncludes a hardshell case
Taylor – AcousticIncludes a hardshell or soft case
Taylor – ElectricIncludes a hardshell or soft case
Taylor – BassIncludes a hardshell or soft case

Beginner level guitars that cost in the $100+ range, can still come with a case. But, in my experience they mostly come with a gig bag. A gig bag is a soft case made of fabric like material. Soft cases don’t provide as much protection as a hard case.

Whether a guitar comes with a case depends on the store that sells them, but overall it’s likely you’ll be able to find any type of guitar that includes a case. Whether you’re buying second hand or new.

In my experience from walking around many guitar stores, cheap beginner level guitars are less likely to be sold with a free case. Second hand guitars are also more likely to include a case because generally the person that’s selling it, played the guitar themselves.

I summarised all of this info in a table below:

Type of guitarDoes it include a case?
2nd hand cheapGenerally yes
2nd hand mid rangeGenerally yes
2nd hand expensiveGenerally yes
Brand new cheapSometimes yes, sometimes no
Brand new mid rangeGenerally yes
Brand new expensiveGenerally yes

The first guitar I ever bought didn’t come with a case, and I bought a soft shell case for it. The second guitar I paid around $350 for, so I bought a second hand soft shell case for I think I paid $50.

It just so happened the guitar store had some second hand ones lying around. It varies by what store you buy it from. Or, what seller you buy it from online. 

Therefore, you should look at a few options at the price range that you’re looking at until you find one that you both like, and that comes with a case.

Should You Keep a Guitar In Its Case?

I like to leave my guitar lying around after I play it so it’s easy to pick up again. But, I wanted to know whether I should always put my guitar back in it’s case straight after I use it, and if a case is necessary?

Overall, a guitar should always be kept in it’s case when not in use according to top guitar manufacturers such as Fender. A guitar case helps protect a guitar from extreme temperature and humidity changes that damage a guitar. As well as, from cosmetic damage.

Most guitars are made mostly of wood. And wood expands and contracts in response to temperature and humidity changes which can crack the wood. Also, it can weaken the joins where the different pieces of wood that make up a guitar are glued together.

A case provides a barrier between the outside air, and the air inside the case. So, if it suddenly rains and the humidity goes up, the humidity in your guitar case won’t go up as quickly.

Many people also wonder about keeping a guitar in the sun. I looked at what the owner’s manuals of the top guitar manufacturers recommend. As well as, some experiences of people who have kept their guitar in the sun. Read it here.

Is It Bad To Keep a Guitar on a Stand?

I like guitar stands because you can easily pick up your guitar, and you can also admire the way a guitar looks when it’s on a stand. But, I was curious if it’s better to keep a guitar on a stand or in it’s case. Here’s what I found.

Generally, it’s perfectly fine to keep a guitar on a stand. The main considerations are the temperature and humidity of the room where your guitar is kept. A guitar should be kept at room temperature, 20–22 °C (68–72 °F), and at a humidity of around 50%.  

Certain types of plastic and synthetic materials used to make guitar stands have been known to damage the finish of guitars. It’s best not to leave a guitar in contact with synthetic plastics, and rubber as it can marr the finish, according to Fender.

Therefore, a high quality stand from a well known guitar brand is preferred for mid range and expensive guitars. But, in my opinion you shouldn’t be too fussed about what stand or case you get for a cheap guitar.

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