I went with the .009s on my Strat (a guitar I hated so much that I shipped it to someone in the USA who needed a guitar) because the scale is longer than the Gibsons I was accustomed to. After that I put the .009s on my Epiphone. The BMG I bought in Taiwan came setup for .009s so I left it that way. After playing .009s for a few years, I was tired of not having more vibrato control, more "pushback" from the strings, so I went back to .010s several years ago (more on that below). But, I noticed that I was developing some bad habits. When using my ring finger, sometimes I would use my middle finger on top of the middle finger it to push harder. That is stupid and really slows down articulation. I'm retraining myself to not do that now that I have the .008s. I'm sticking with the .008s and I'm also going to retrain my vibrato to work without the pushback from heavier strings. Hey, I'm looking for a job with a little security and this is going to take awhile! lol I have been using those general type A-shaped spring hand exercisers for years. But I saw a finger exerciser for musicians, so I ordered it. The model is the Flanger FA-10P and it arrived today. I've used it for about 15 minutes and I really feel the burn! I can keep this in my man-bag and carry it around with me. I finally admitted that I haven't been playing as much as I should. I sometimes go weeks without picking up a guitar and then I expect to be right back where I was. That is unrealistic, but it is also human nature, lol. My goal is to use the exerciser and play more often and gain back the vibrato control I used to have, while eliminating any of those bad habits I allowed myself to fall into.