Elixir Nanoweb vs Polyweb vs Optiweb Strings: What’s the Difference?

I wanted to answer a couple really frequently asked questions about Elixir guitar strings.

Elixir strings are my favorite, but for people new to them or new to coated strings in general, a lot of questions come up… Mainly because elixir has three different types of coated strings, so it can be a bit confusing about what’s best and what is suited towards your guitar style.

Elixir has polyweb, nanoweb, and optiweb strings. So the really common question is: what’s the difference between all of them?


If I’m remembering right, the polyweb coating is actually the coating that elixir originally started with on their strings. Some people love it because the main feature of polyweb is that it still does last the longest out of all three coatings.

However, some people don’t like the polywebs because that extra layer of coating that helps them last longer can also kind of dampen the tone of the guitar.

Others also don’t like the feel of polywebs: they’re a little bit more slick and slippery.

So basically the polywebs last the longest, but the tone and playability are not as good in my opinion as the nanowebs.


Nanowebs are my favorite of the Elixir strings. They have a warm tone and I think the coating is actually thinner on them than polywebs.

The nanowebs still last really long and the playability is really good because the coating is much thinner, so they still feel like a more traditional string rather than a really plasticky coated string. And the tone is really good too.

They’re nice and warm, especially on Martin guitars or Yamahas, which are what I use my nanowebs on.


The optiwebs, I believe is their newest coating, and it’s made to feel as close as possible to an uncoated string, so super super thin coating.

I imagine that for this reason, it doesn’t last as long as the other two, but that’s really the main differences between these different strings guys, is the thickness of the coating on each of them.

Also: as far as I can tell, Elixir is only making the optiwebs for electric guitar right now.

The Bottom Line

I would recommend the nanoweb (on Amazon) as it’s what I personally use, but the choice is yours! Elixirs products are all really good so no matter what, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Thanks for tuning in, and don’t forget to grab some nanowebs on Amazon for a great price and super fast shipping.

Lastly, to prove how good these strings are, here’s another video where I play nanowebs that are a year old, and you can still hear how good they sound! Really proves how well they hold up 🙂

Ready to Get Better at Guitar, Faster?

Whenever you’re ready to take your guitar playing to the next level, check out a few of my favorite resources below:

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Corbin Buff

Corbin has played guitar for over a decade, and started writing about it on Acoustic World in an effort to help others. He lives and writes in western Montana.

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