I have been doing some research over the internet and have seen and read tons of information about acoustic guitar strings and I'm still lost. I have been playing now for only about 5 1/2 months now so I'm very new to playing the guitar. I have a Yamaha FG700S and a Martin 000-15M acoustic guitar and want to change the strings on both of them. Currently from my experience it sounds like my yamaha has a louder and brighter sound then the martin...maybe because of the bigger body on the yamaha. I currently have problem changing from chord to chord and holding bar chords so would like some strings that would be easier for me to hold chords while still having a nice loud bright sound...I hope I made sense...lol I will be doing the string change myself for the first time (any good tutorial videos?) and will need a tool also if you guys can recommend me a tool also. I have a $50 budget to get a tool and some strings. Thanks for the help guys!
I personally love Ernie Ball Earthwound strings they aren't the most durable but have unbelievable tone. For you i would get the lightest strings they make in them that way it will be easier for you to build up finger strength. Of course lighter strings don't give the same tone but that don't really matter unless your performing. Earthwounds are the best.
I disagree with earthwounds. I prefer to get coated strings for a couple reasons. first, they last really really long. second, they sound pretty great. third, they last really really long.

I have tried elixir and cleartone. cleartone are expensive, but seem to be brighter than elixir. both last quite long and sound nice. I play elixir strings.

also a simple string winder with a slot that can remove pegs should be fine. costs about 3 bucks.
The trouble with asking for advice on strings is that you'll get a dozen answers... All different.

Each player will recommend his favorite brand, and opinions will vary wildly.

Strings are cheap enough to experiment with. The coated strings are hot stuff now, and they do seem to improve string life. However, they cost more...
Some folks like a bright-sounding string, some don't.
For years, I've used D'Addario phosphor bronze as they are not particularly bright.

Changing gauges can be problematic. Some guitars are not built to withstand medium-gauge strings, others sound very much better with heavier strings...
Best to check with the manufacturer.
My guitar just loves Elixir strings. Try Elixir Nanoweb and like 12-53's or 12 to 56's, they are perfect according to me.
Wow Bill43 posted a really good tread last week on strings. i dont know why it wasn't stickied.

What kinda strings to get? new ones.

Go into guitar shop and say to the dude 'hey man can i have a set of acoustic strings?' and he'll be all like 'what type brah?' and at this point you nervously look around at the wall of strings behind him and pick a brand at random. then you religiously buy the same brand for the rest of your guitar playing life. For me it was Martin, not that I can tell the difference.
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do