Many people wonder; "What actually is the difference between a classical and an acoustic guitar, if you are one of those people, don't worry, we are going to guide you, and help develop your understanding so that you can find an instrument that suits your style of music!
At first glance, they both look the same apart from looking a slightly different color, but it just so happens that there are many subtle differences, let's take a closer look.
Notice how the tuning pegs on the acoustic guitar sticks out, as opposed to the tucked in tuning pegs on the classical. A classical guitar usually has nylon strings whereas the acoustic uses metal strings, the difference in sound means that you will get a brighter sound from an acoustic guitar, the sound will resonate for longer. The majority of music today is made with an acoustic guitar and some songs just may not sound right with a classical, however, if you want to play Flamenco or Spanish music then the classical may be suited to you!
It is also important to know that you cannot use nylon strings on an acoustic because they will snap due to the high tension and that you cannot use steel strings on a classical guitar as it will damage the guitar. I have seen this many times when I have visited friends or family. I have seen their guitar with a snapped neck, this is an obvious sign that they have used the wrong strings and the tension has put far too much pressure on the guitar.
Acoustic guitars especially the dreadnought shape are wider, the strings setup on both are slightly different, the acoustic guitar has bridge pins that will hold the metal strings in place, whereas the classical guitar does not have bridge pins, instead it has a hole where the bottom of the string is tied into a simple knot as shown below.
The Bottom Line: Both guitar styles are beautiful, and are capable of playing amazing music. One is not better than the other, but one may be suited more to a particular style. Only you can make the right decision for you, so before you go ahead and buy one I really recommend that you do a little more research and listen to the differences. You could listen online as there is a ton of content on the internet, although I would suggest that you go to a guitar shop, not necessarily to buy as most items are cheaper online but it would be a fantastic way for you to get a feel for both instruments and to figure out what one is best suited to your needs.