The ukulele is an exciting instrument that is easy to learn and quite affordable. For anyone who wants to quickly learn a musical instrument that can be played virtually anywhere, the ukulele is a great choice. With all of the available ukuleles on the market, buying the right one can be confusing since there are so many ukulele brands and models available. To make your choice easier, we have summarized the best ukulele brands on the market so that you know which one you should buy.
Use this list as a guideline for the best ukulele brands to buy. While not every ukulele brand on this list will fit your budget, experience level, or other search criteria, we hope it provides a great baseline to begin your search.
Don’t forget that once you buy your ukulele, you’re not done yet. Make sure you check out our list of recommended ukulele accessories!
Best Beginner Ukulele Brand
Kala makes great ukuleles both on the beginner-end and high-end. Their ukuleles always sound great and are made with high-quality materials. Our favorite beginner ukulele by Kala is the Kala Learn to Play Ukulele Starter Kit.
• Well-known ukulele brand
• Complete starter kits
Best Advanced Ukulele Brand
Mostly known for their acoustic guitars, Oscar Schmidt also makes great ukuleles. Their higher-end ukuleles are made from mahogany and produce the superb sound quality that you’d expect from a maker of fine ukuleles. Our favorite is the Oscar Schmidt OU2.
• Well-known instrument brand
• Beautiful craftsmanship
• Complete kits
What to Look for in Ukuleles
When searching for a ukulele there are certain features that you’ll want to look out for. Below are two of the most important features that you’ll see distinguishing ukuleles on the market.
Type of Ukulele
One of the first things that you have to consider when picking a ukulele is its type. It could be soprano, concert, tenor, or baritone. These types have different length and tuning.
A soprano ukulele, the smallest in the family, has a bright sound. It is regarded as the standard size with an overall length of 21 inches.
The concert ukulele has an overall length of 23 inches. It produces a deeper and louder sound that soprano.
The tenor ukulele produces a deeper and more resonant sound compared to the soprano and the concert. It has a wider fingerboard which could accommodate those with larger fingers.
With an overall length of about 30 inches, the baritone ukulele is regarded as the largest in the family. It produces a deeper bass sound compared to the others.
The Wood Used
The material is another defining factor that delineates a ukulele brand from another. Many ukuleles are typically made of Koa, a type of wood that could be found in Hawaii. Ukuleles produced from Koa create a warm and soothing sound.
Mahogany is another material that could be used. It may sound a bit softer than the Koa, but it could still pull off an excellent sound nonetheless.
Spruce, on the other hand, produces a loud and bright tone. Other materials that could be used in making ukuleles include Cedar, Redwood, Maple, and Rosewood.
The features which were mentioned above are just some of the key features that you should take into consideration. It is worth noting that the end choice will still be dependent on your preference as the player.
Best Ukulele Brands
Kala is the best ukulele brand on the market. They offer a wide range of ukuleles, from beginner to high-end, in soprano, concert, and baritone sizes.
This ukulele brand is known for producing high-quality instruments. Each of their ukuleles is handmade in their California workshop so you know that you are getting American-made quality. Their never-ending effort to make the best ukuleles makes rating Kala as our best ukulele brand an easy choice.
Oscar Schmidt is well-known as a guitar brand and though they have limited exposure in the ukulele marketplace, almost everyone who buys an Oscar Schmidt ukulele is pleased.
Established in Philadelphia in 1886, Oscar Schmidt, now a subsidiary of Washburn, continues to make high-quality instruments including guitars, ukuleles, and autoharps.
Most of the Oscar Schmidy ukuleles come with everything you need out of the box including case, tuner, polishing cloth, and DVD to teach you how to play.
Lohanu is a Canadian ukulele company that was the highest rated ukulele brand by Gearank.com.
Their ukuleles are handmade with sapele/mahogany tops, back, sides & neck, rosewood fingerboard, Aquila strings installed, handmade ABS bindings, and chrome die cast tuning gears.
Lohanu ukuleles come with an unconditional lifetime warranty on their instruments and accessories, so you can be sure that your investment is protected. These are great high-quality ukuleles.
If you’re looking for a great ukulele brand for beginners that is easy on the budget, the Hola! Music brand of ukuleles is for you. The HM-121MG+ model is less than $50, which is a very affordable price for a high-quality ukulele.
Hola! Music ukuleles come with Aquila strings, a gig bag, straps, and picks. They are made with all Mahogany bodies, Nato necks, and Walnut fingerboards and bridges.
Donner is a relatively young company, having only been founded in 2012, but they have already created a name for themselves in the musical instrument world.
To make their ukuleles, Donner follows a 100-step process to ensure that every ukulele they make meets their rigorous standards.
We were particularly happy with how smooth the fingerboard was. It provided an easy slide and was quite comfortable.
Every beginner Donner ukulele comes with a case, tuner, and strap.
Donner Soprano Ukulele Review
Previously known as Enya, Hankey makes great beginner and intermediate ukuleles. The craftsmanship of the Koa wood is notable on these ukuleles.
All of their kits include a lot of additional accessories beyond the ukulele itself. Most outfits include a case, tuner, beginner music book, extra Aquila strings, and a polishing cloth.
Every Hankey ukulele is backed by a 5 year warranty to make sure that you are happy with the product.
Makanu music is a China-based ukulele company that has been operating since 2014.
Every Maknau ukulele comes with a case and is handcrafted from woods that have been dried for at least 2 years. The fingerboards are made from rosewood and feature carbon nylon strings.
Hricane ukuleles consistently receive amazing reviews on Amazon both for their appearance and sound quality. Hricane ukuleles tend to have a deep, rich sound when compared to other ukuleles. These are great ukuleles to take while traveling, especially while camping since they sound great and are quite durable.
The craftsmanship is frequently mentioned in reviews as being top-notch, making Hricane ukuleles feel like premium instruments even though they are priced in line with many other ukuleles on this list.
Luna, another Chinese-based company, makes a wide variety of stringed instruments including guitar, bass, and ukuleles. Luna’s ukuleles have great sound quality and look great, especially the UKETCMAH below which has a beautiful Hawaiian tattoo. The only downside to this brand is that the ukuleles tend to be very fragile and numerous Amazon reviewers have commented on receiving broken ukuleles.
While they are not as widely known as Kala, All Days Music (ADM) is the type of brand that produces solid ukuleles in the entry-level range of the market.
ADM’s mission is to make learning instruments as easy as possible for students so they have made their beginner ukuleles easy to set up, easy to play, and quite affordable.
While the ADM outfits contain everything a student needs to get started, the most outstanding feature is the included stickers that students can put on the fingerboard to mark where the fingers should go. No other ukulele brand on this list provides these stickers in their outfits.
All of the best ukuleles brands on this list produce great ukuleles, but the best ukulele brands tend to differentiate themselves by providing great customer service and instrument that sound great. That’s why we consider Kala to be the best ukulele brand in our review. However, you should make sure that the ukulele that you buy fits your style and personality while also providing you with great quality sound.
Now that you’ve found your perfect ukulele, you should look to buy a ukulele stand.