The 6 Best Ukulele Capos To Buy (2020 Guide)

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Here Are Some of the Best Ukulele Capos Out There!

Looking for the best ukulele capo? You’re not the only one searching! A uke capo is a great little ukulele accessory that can have a big impact on your ukulele playing. From changing the ukulele pitch so you can sing to your playing to just jamming in different keys, a capo for uke can make ukulele playing even more enjoyable. Luckily, there are a few really good ukulele capos for sale – like the Planet Waves NS Ukulele Capo Pro.

So, if you’re searching for a capo for ukulele, you’re in the right place. Our detailed guide will help you understand what a ukulele capo is, how it differs from a guitar capo, and how to find the best capo for ukuleles. We’ll walk you through the pros and cons of the top ukulele capos on the market – and cover specifically what to look for in the best ukulele capo for your ukulele!

The Top 6 Best Ukulele Capos

To begin your search for great capos for ukuleles, below are three of the best ukulele capos on the market. These ukulele capos are among the top picks based on a combination of overall function, reliability, reviews, and price.

Mini Size Professional 4 String Ukulele Capo
Planet Waves PW-CP-12 NS Ukulele Capo Pro
Shubb L9 Ukulele Capo
Mini Size Professional 4 String Guitar Capo, Ukulele Capo (GOLD)
Planet Waves PW-CP-12 NS Ukulele Capo Pro
Shubb L9 ukulele capo (GC-20UL)
Mini Size Professional 4 String Ukulele Capo
Mini Size Professional 4 String Guitar Capo, Ukulele Capo (GOLD)
Planet Waves PW-CP-12 NS Ukulele Capo Pro
Planet Waves PW-CP-12 NS Ukulele Capo Pro
Shubb L9 Ukulele Capo
Shubb L9 ukulele capo (GC-20UL)

Last update on 2020-12-01 at 13:22

If you want to read more about these capos (and a few other great ukulele capo options), you’ll find a detailed breakdown of the best capos for ukulele below. These capos differ by style/how they work but all of them are specifically designed for ukuleles and not guitars. You’ll be sure to find a uke capo that works for you and your ukulele!

Mini Size Professional 4 String Ukulele Capo

Mini Size Professional 4 String Guitar Capo, Ukulele Capo (GOLD)
  • Total metal material, quality steel spring, perfect silicon cushion
  • Easy to use on ukulele. It quickly lets you know if the string is flat or sharp or just right. It has made playing so much more enjoyable.

Last update on 2020-12-01 at 13:22

  • Features: Steel spring, silicone padding, simple trigger-style design
  • Pros: Super fast to apply and remove on the ukulele (single-hand usage)
  • Cons: The tension is not adjustable so what you squeeze is what you get

Planet Waves PW-CP-12 NS Ukulele Capo Pro

Planet Waves PW-CP-12 NS Ukulele Capo Pro
  • Designed specifically for ukulele
  • Micrometer tension adjustment assures buzz-free, in-tune performance at every fret

Last update on 2020-12-01 at 13:22

  • Features: Aluminum body, very small profile on the neck – widely considered among the best capo for ukulele
  • Pros: Can adjust the tension using the hand tightener for the perfect tension each time
  • Cons: Can be a tad slower to apply and remove but makes up for it in sound quality across ukuleles

Shubb L9 Ukulele Capo

Shubb L9 ukulele capo (GC-20UL)
  • Shubb capos are hand-made in the USA from the finest materials available
  • Aircraft aluminum and anodized silver with dual lever and spring-loaded thumbscrew tension adjustment system

Last update on 2020-12-01 at 13:22

  • Features: A high-quality C-clamp style ukulele capo that fits all ukulele sizes
  • Pros: Thick pads for cushioning front and back, adjustable tension for perfect sound each time
  • Cons: Can be slow and cumbersome to move each time (if moving the capo quickly is important to you)

Kyser Quick-Change Capo for Ukuleles

Kyser Quick-Change Capo for ukuleles, Hawaiian Lei, KULEA
  • Specifically made for ukuleles
  • The original one-handed Quick-Change capo

Last update on 2020-12-01 at 13:22

  • Features: A simple, reliable trigger-style design from a trusted brand
  • Pros: Very fast to apply and remove on the fretboard, a strong steel spring you can rely on
  • Cons: One tension is all you get – but it’s made for ukulele so it’s a reduced tension (compared to the guitar equivalent)

Donner Zinc Alloy Ukulele Capo

Sale
Donner Zinc Alloy Ukulele Capo DC-2U for Soprano Concert Tenor Baritone Ukulele 4 String with 4...
  • Concise and curved shape design. Perfect works on 4 String Ukulele, Soprano, Concert, Tenor, Baritone Ukuleles
  • Made of durable high quality Alloy, not only has a cool metal texture, but also with extreme corrosion-resistant.

Last update on 2020-12-01 at 13:22

  • Features: A “made-for-ukulele” trigger-style capo made from zinc alloy for all uke sizes
  • Pros: Fast to apply and remove on the ukulele, thick silicone padding on the front and back to reduce damage to the uke
  • Cons: Only one amount of tension is possible but it’s made for ukulele so it should be the correct tension

Rinastore Lightweight Ukulele Capo 

Ukulele Capo - Uke Capo Lightweight Single-handed Use Trigger Capo for Soprano, Concert, Tenor,...
  • ✔ 【TOP MATERIAL】 - Top alloy with Ergonomic Grip + Delicate Silicone Pad + Excellent Strong Spring. Made to last even for those rough long gigs.
  • ✔ 【NO FRET BUZZ】 - The smart-alloy spring is calibrated to apply just the right amount of pressure evenly across the fretboard. This means no fret buzz, less retuning,...

Last update on 2020-12-01 at 13:22

  • Features: A trigger-style ukulele capo with a unique ergonomic grip (for easier clamping)
  • Pros: Quick to apply and remove on the ukulele, steel spring, and narrower silicone pad feels less cumbersome
  • Cons: Once again, trigger-style means only one level of tension on the ukulele neck/strings

What Is A Ukulele Capo And Why You Need One

Are you wondering what a ukulele capo is, what a ukulele capo does, or how does a ukulele capo work? Wondering which capo is best for a ukulele? Before we dive into learning all about ukulele capos, here’s a small music lesson on capos and why ukulele capos are different than guitar capos.

A capo is a small accessory that – through clamping or pressing against the neck between any two frets – puts tension on the strings of a stringed instrument. The tension on the strings changes the pitch (or key) of the stringed instrument to sound “higher”. There are numerous different kinds of capo that create their tension in different ways (see Different Types of Ukulele Capos below).

Capos are used on guitars – mainly acoustic but also electric – and allow the player to play different songs in different keys. The capo essentially acts as the index finger if you were to play a “barre chord”.

That said, you use a capo on the ukulele to create the same effect. Changing the pitch of the ukulele allows the player to match a song to their natural singing voice. Some ukulele songs were also written with a capo on the neck so a ukulele capo is needed to replicate the original sound of the song. Overall, ukulele capos are pretty inexpensive so they can make a great addition to your ukulele set.

Ukulele Capos Versus Guitar Capos

With guitar capos being much more common than ukulele capos, many people ask: Do guitar capos work on ukuleles? So, can you use a guitar capo on an ukulele? The answer is: It depends, but generally no.

Not all guitar capos will work for ukuleles so it’s not super wise to search for a capo for ukulele and guitar. Luckily, there are many capos specifically made for ukuleles. One of the reasons guitar capos don’t always work for ukuleles is because the ukulele has a different neck size and shape than the guitar. Guitars generally have 6 strings whereas ukuleles have 4 – so a guitar capo might be too large for the ukulele fretboard.

Another reason guitars capos don’t always work for an uke is because guitar capos can be heavy. Ukulele capos are usually lightweight – and for good reason. Ukulele bodies aren’t huge and are fairly lightweight. A heavy capo at the end of the ukulele neck will throw off the balance of the ukulele and make it hard to hold and to play.

A final important distinction about the difference between ukulele capos and guitar capos is based on string tension. Ukulele strings are much lighter (made from nylon versus steel, for example) and under less tension than that of an acoustic guitar. So, a ukulele capo requires much less tension to change the instrument’s key.

Too much tension – as is created by some “trigger-style” guitar capos – can make the ukulele strings sound out of tune. It makes them sound sharper and can also make the strings buzz. This is not good for sound quality when you play your ukulele. That’s why it’s important to get a capo specifically designed for an ukulele!

The Different Types of Ukulele Capos

As mentioned above, there are two main types of ukulele capos. Compared to guitar capos, ukulele capos are all roughly the same size and only differ from one another in the way they work/create their string tension.

Some people might call a uke capo a ukulele clamp – and that wouldn’t be completely wrong. There are many different types of ukulele capos – and a “clamp-style” is simply one of them.

Below, we’ll outline the different types of ukulele capos. We’ll cover the two main types in detail and discuss the pros and cons of the capo type on a ukulele. We’ll also share a great uke capo in each type if that version interests you!

Trigger/Spring Capos

Trigger or “spring”-style capos are a very popular type of ukulele capo. These ukulele capos create their tension on the strings by clamping down against the fretboard – usually using a spring mechanism and a silicone padding. This style of ukulele capo makes it very easy to put a capo on your uke.

Trigger style ukulele capos usually require a single hand to use them since you just squeeze to open and release to clamp it on the ukulele. A classic example of a trigger ukulele capo would be the Kyser Ukulele Capo.

Pros of a Trigger-Style Ukulele Capo

The greatest pro of a trigger-style ukulele capo is the ease/speed to apply and remove it from the ukulele. It generally takes less than a second to move the capo to a new place on the fretboard.

Another small pro is that you can store it on the headstock of the ukulele but since a ukulele is lighter than a guitar the capo weight might throw of the balance of the ukulele when you hold it. Trigger-styles will also work on different types of ukuleles – from soprano to baritone ukulele.

Cons of a Trigger-style Capo

The biggest con of the trigger-style capo is that they apply firm, constant pressure to the strings and neck. You cannot adjust the tension which – depending on the neck and gauge of the ukulele strings – might cause the ukulele to buzz or go out of tune when played. Remember, ukulele strings are lighter and under less tension than strings of a guitar. So adjusting the capo tension is pretty important to maximize your sound quality.

A trigger capo might also feel bulky on a small soprano ukulele but this very much depends on the size and style of the trigger-style capo.

C-Clamp Capos

The other popular style of ukulele capo is the C-clamp capo. As you may have guessed, this style of capo got the name because of its “C” shape. This capo is a style of capo where the tension on the strings is adjustable (variable tension). These capos create their tension against the neck and strings by twisting a small screw – known as a thumbscrew.

When this screw is tightened, it squeezes the front of the clamp onto the strings (with a silicone padding) and closes the gap against the back of the ukulele neck (also with a rubber/silicone padding). A great example of this is the Shubb L9 Ukulele Capo.

C-clamp ukulele capos have slight variations in how they function overall (some have different quick-release mechanisms) but are generally similar in how they create/hold their tension.

Pros of a C-Clamp Capo

The biggest pro of the C-clamp ukulele capo is that you can adjust the tension to the perfect amount for you ukulele type and the strings you have. If you tighten too much and create string buzzing or a muted sound, simply unscrew to correct the tension.

Cons of a C-Clamp Capo

One of the drawbacks of the C-clamp is that they can be slower to move around from position to position. However, they are still very quick to move and the quality of the sound is enough of a positive for some ukulele players that this “con” doesn’t matter.

Squeeze-Style Capos

Lastly, one popular type of capo for guitars is the squeeze-style capo. These capos allow the user to manually adjust the level of tension by pressing/squeezing on the simply capo while it’s in position on the neck. They often work well for guitars.

Unfortunately, while this “variable tension” capo might sound like a great capo option for ukuleles, they can be too heavy for a ukulele’s body size and weight and throw the ukulele off balance. Just something to keep in mind when you buy!

Benefits Of Using A Ukulele Capo

There are a number of benefits to using a ukulele capo. Below, we’ll outline some of them in case you are still on the fence about whether you need a uke capo or not.

Playing Range/Singing

As we mentioned above, the ability to play different songs in different keys and having the ability to better fit a song with your singing voice are two big positives of having a ukulele capo. Different artists have all different styles/sounds and a ukulele capo can help you replicate their sounds – or create new ones.

Remember, a capo isn’t “cheating” since you wouldn’t be expected to barre chords every time you want to play something in a higher pitch. Besides, artists create songs with capos on ukuleles so if the pros do it, you can, too.

Versatility

The nice thing about having a ukulele capo is that one ukulele capo works for basically all other ukulele styles. The variation in neck shape and size between ukuleles is not that large.

So, if you buy a ukulele capo for a soprano ukulele, the capo will most likely also work for a concert ukulele, tenor ukulele, and a baritone ukulele. An acoustic guitar capo might work as a baritone ukulele capo (since the baritone ukulele is among the largest ukulele sizes) but that’s not something we’d gamble on.

Enjoyment

Overall, ukulele capos can help unleash a bit of creativity on your playing. Changing the pitch/key of your ukulele can open up a whole new world of covering songs you already love or creating new ones that you didn’t know were possible in just open ukulele tuning.

5 Things To Look For In A Good Ukulele Capo

Ukulele capos are usually small and simple accessories but there are a number of different elements to consider when you want to buy a good ukulele capo for your ukulele.

Made for Ukulele

We have already mentioned this above but it needs to be said again. When buying a ukulele capo, buy a capo that is made for a ukulele. Ukuleles are not guitars – they have different neck shapes and string gauges.

The best ukulele capo is likely going to be the capo that is made by a top ukulele brand for a ukulele and not a guitar. Also, the best ukulele capo is going to be one that is a lightweight capo since the ukulele itself isn’t that heavy. The Mini Size Professional 4 String Ukulele Capo is made specifically for ukuleles and it shows!

Sound Quality

The ukulele capo with the best sound is going to be one where you can adjust the tension for your ukulele to reduce buzzing and sharp strings. So if you want the best chance at the ukulele capo that sounds the best, we’d say get a Shubb L9 Ukulele Capo.

Materials/Construction

Of course, you should have a look at what the ukulele capo is made of. There are lots of high-strength and durable metals like aluminum and zinc that are used in capo body construction.

Another aspect of the capo construction is the quality of the rubber or silicone padding on the front and back. How are these squishy pieces attached? Will they become loose over time? These are smaller things to consider but the wrong ukulele capo may damage the ukulele fretboard edge over time.

A final aspect of construction to consider are the moving parts. If you have a trigger-style capo, check the spring mechanism for potential failures in the future. Capos operate under tension so they need to be created well to last long. Also, remember to remove the capo when not in use since the strings can damage the silicone padding and the excess tension isn’t good on the ukulele.

Overall Look

The overall look of the ukulele capo is definitely up to personal preference. However, choose a ukulele capo that is a color you like and in a style that works for you is also very important. There is more than one type of trigger-style capo with different arm/prong configurations and this might affect how much you love the capo/how often you actually use it.

Price/Quality

Lastly, price and quality is a big consideration when buying a ukulele capo. If you’re wondering “How much are ukulele capos” – the price really varies. That said, you don’t have to spend over $50.00 to get a good ukulele capo – but you should also be mindful of ukulele capos that are very cheap (like under $5).

If you’re searching for the best cheap ukulele capo, check out the Donner Zinc Alloy Ukulele Capo or the Mini Size Professional 4 String Ukulele Capo. However, remember that price can dictate overall quality so keep that in mind when you buy.

And there you have it – a rundown of the best ukulele capos out there! With a number of great styles and brands to choose from, we’re confident you’ll find a ukulele capo that works for you. Just remember our buying tips for uke capos!

As always, Happy Strumming,
-E