What is a Guitar Rack?
- A Guitar Rack is essentially what it says on the tin, a rack that holds your guitars in a row
- Most racks come in different sizes, typically racks for 3 guitars, 5 guitars, or 7 guitars at a time
- Normally will take bass, acoustic or electric guitars in any combo
- You might need to check if the rack takes cases buy many will
- Some are foldable for easy transport - if you're going on tour this is a must
- Some come with wheels rather than feet but wheels should be lockable (if unsure check with supplier before buying)
Why Should I Buy a Guitar Rack?
- A rack takes up much less space floor space than using multiple different stands
- Its a safe way to store guitars as they are as protected as on a stand but due to their size and shape many racks are more stable and harder to knock over. Many racks are also able to store guitars in cases providing extra protection
- Versatile for different guitar types and ideal for if have different guitar types in your collection
- Some racks also have additional guitar holder sets available to be able to store more guitars on the same rack (for example a rack that can hold 5 acoustics, might be able to hold 7 electrics)
- Your guitars are easily accessible for regular playing while still being protected when not in use
How is this different to a Multi Guitar Stand?
- Multi guitar stands tend to hold only 2 or 3 guitars at a time and can be circular or in a carousel style, holding the guitars from the neck and base (like a stand) facing outwards
- Racks, in contrast, often hold the guitars on their side in a line rather than in a carousel and consequently can often hold 5 or 7 guitars at a time
- This makes a rack a much more efficient use of space over a multi guitar stand and are idea for a growing collection
What makes a good Guitar Rack? (6 Tips)
When assessing a guitar rack there are a number of things to consider. Here are some of the criteria I use when determining how good a particular guitar rack is that I thought you might find useful when picking the best one for you.
Who is the manufacturer, are they reputable? How good the build and materials used are makes a big difference to the quality of the rack you will get. By no means does a brand name guarantee a good rack, nor does being a small or lesser known company mean you can't produce quality however some manufacturers generally are better than others, build to a higher quality and have more experience. Equally some manufacturers are much better at ‘housekeeping’ for example using better quality shipping and returns policies. Knowing who you are buying from can make a big difference. You may notice that most of our reviews start with a quick recap of who the manufacturer is for exactly these reasons.
2. Covering on the Touch Points
The touch points are essentially the parts of the rack that will have contact with your guitar when in the rack. This is where the scratches can happen if the padding is not sufficient or fails to cover all the touch points. Equally the material used to cover the touch points is important as some guitars have a nitrocellulose lacquer or ‘nitro’ finish which can be damaged or blistered by some, usually cheaper, plastics or rubbers. Some of the better racks use foam or surgical grade rubber to avoid this but it's worth paying attention to this if your guitars have a nitro finish.
3. Is it Universal?
Not all racks suit all guitar types. Some are specific for acoustics, others are better for electrics, or bass or even designed for cases. It's worth checking this to see if the rack is fit for purpose depending on what you are planning to use it for. If you want to put a range of guitar types on it I suggest getting a universal one.
4. Can you add extra guitars?
Some racks, such as the Hercules GS523B are designed to be universal, meaning that they have room for acoustics as well as electrics (and bass). However it is worth considering that a rack that can hold 3x acoustics will probably be able to comfortably fit 4 or 5 eclectic guitars due to the much slimmer body of electric guitars. Hercules themselves even sell an expansion set so that you can store more guitars on the same rack.
5. How easy to assemble?
Most racks do require some assembly however generally this is quite straight forwards. Some like a Hercules 5 guitar stand come basically fully assembled (the bottom of the rack slides apart into a triangle shape and that is it). In other cases there are instructions online should you get into trouble with some products even having a youtube video on how to do this. It's worth googling the rack name with ‘how to assemble..’ for more information. If you are vaguely DIY savvy you should have few issues but if you are unsure it might be worth doing a quick google search before you buy to make sure you are sufficiently supported on how to assemble the rack you want.
As a guitar owner you will probably have noticed that most stands, hangers and cases are generally black and racks are no exception. There are some wooden models on the market like the string swing guitar case rack however that is not the norm. Aesthetics can be a personal thing however generally the black or wood look can work well as it is sleek, fits most environments and, crucially, doesn’t distract from the main show piece which is of course your prized guitars which sit on the rack. Protection of your guitars should always be the main focus however the rack is going to be on show in your studio or house so it is worth getting one that you like the look of too.