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Finding Your Perfect Ukulele: 12 Best Brands to Consider

Introduction to Ukulele Brands

Ukuleles are beloved instruments for their portability and delightfully sweet sound. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, one of the keys to finding the right ukulele is choosing the right brand.

In this article, we’ll introduce you to twelve of the best ukulele brands and what makes them unique. We’ll also talk about the importance of choosing the right brand and give you a brief overview of what to expect from the article.

Importance of Choosing the Right Ukulele Brand

Choosing the right brand when buying a ukulele can make a world of difference. Not all ukuleles are created equal, and factors such as sound, craftsmanship, and materials vary significantly depending on the brand.

By choosing a reputable brand, you’re setting yourself up for a more enjoyable playing experience. A high-quality ukulele will not only sound better but also last longer and inspire you to continue playing and improving your skills.

Overview of the Article

In this article, we’ll be introducing you to twelve of the best ukulele brands and why they stand out. We’ll provide a brief history of each brand and tell you what makes them unique.

All of the brands on this list have a long and storied history of excellence and offer excellent craftsmanship and sound quality. Whether you’re interested in traditional Hawaiian styles or want something a bit more modern, there’s sure to be a brand on this list that will meet your needs.


Kamaka is the oldest ukulele brand in the world, having been established in 1916. The company has been family-owned and operated, and they specialize in crafting high-quality ukuleles made from Hawaiian koa wood.

Kamaka ukuleles are known for their superior craftsmanship, which is borne out by the fact that every single ukulele is made entirely by hand. Despite their handcrafted nature,

Kamaka ukuleles are relatively affordable, making them an excellent choice for beginners and professionals alike.

Unique Qualities of

Kamaka Ukuleles

Kamaka ukuleles are famous for their excellent craftsmanship and sound quality. They’re made from premium-quality Hawaiian koa wood, which gives them a warm and mellow tone.

However, what sets

Kamaka ukuleles apart is their unique shape. The pineapple ukulele is a

Kamaka creation and continues to be one of their most popular models.

The shape of the pineapple ukulele allows for a fuller, richer sound and has made

Kamaka famous the world over.


Choosing the right brand is critical when it comes to buying a ukulele. By choosing one of the brands we’ve discussed in this article, you can be sure that you’re getting a high-quality instrument that will provide you with years of enjoyment.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, there’s a ukulele out there for you, and we hope that this article has helped to guide you towards the perfect ukulele for your needs. 3) Kanile`a

Kanile`a ukuleles have gained a reputation as the best in Hawaii for their sound quality, durability, and unique designs.

The company was founded in 1998 by Joseph Souza and Kristen Souza, a husband and wife duo who combined their love of music and their Hawaiian heritage to create world-class instruments beloved by musicians worldwide. History of Kanile`a

Joseph and Kristen Souza began their musical journey in the 1950s with the popular Hawaiian band, The Invitations.

In 1998, they started manufacturing ukuleles in their garage in Kaneohe, Hawaii. Their dedication to high-quality craftsmanship proved to be a game-changer in the industry.

The company has grown exponentially since then, with its workshop and showroom a must-see destination for music lovers visiting Hawaii. Unique Qualities of Kanile`a Ukuleles

Kanile`a ukuleles are exceptionally well-built, with an emphasis on attention to detail and sound quality.

One of the most popular models in the Kanile`a lineup is the K-1 Tenor ukulele, which boasts a clear and powerful sound, coupled with a stunning design. Kanile`a is well-known for its dedication to sustainability, using only ethically-sourced materials to protect the environment.

In addition to its standard lineup, Kanile`a offers custom-built designs, where customers can choose everything from the wood type and inlay design to the tuners and string type. The company’s design team works closely with clients to ensure that their one-of-a-kind creations are perfect in every way.

4) Koolau

Koolau is a family-owned business that has been making ukuleles and guitars since 1997. The company was founded by John Kitakis, a Master Luthier and a third-generation woodworker, who is now joined by his son Noa in running the business.

Koolau is well-known in the music industry for its impeccably crafted and beautifully finished ukuleles.

History of Koolau

The Kitakis family has been building ukuleles and guitars since John’s grandfather immigrated to Hawaii in the early 1900s. John credits much of his success to his grandfather’s and father’s woodwork, which taught him the fundamental principles of creating world-class instruments.

Koolau initially began manufacturing guitars before transitioning to the creation of high-end ukuleles.

Unique Qualities of Koolau Ukuleles

Koolau ukuleles are masterfully crafted and pieced together with care to produce superior sound. The wood used in Koolau ukuleles is expertly selected to ensure the best acoustics, and every step of the building process is done with attention to detail.

Each instrument is handmade with love, taking time and care that cannot be replicated by machines. Koolau is famous for its beautifully finished wood and intricate designs.

The abalone inlay designs used on many Koolau’s ukuleles are highly sought after, adding an element of unique personality to the instrument. Their ukuleles maintain traditional looks and style while also providing a modern edge.


Choosing the right ukulele is a balance of personal preference and a quality instrument. These two brands, Kanile`a, and Koolau, depend on their craftsmanship, attention to detail, and high-quality materials to ensure that their ukuleles not only look beautiful but sound beautiful as well.

By selecting a ukulele made by one of these brands, musicians can be sure they are investing in an instrument that will stay with them for years to come.

5) KoAloha

KoAloha is a Hawaiian ukulele manufacturer that was founded by Alvin Okami and his wife, Pat, in 1995. The company produces high-quality, handcrafted ukuleles with unique inlaid abalone designs.

History of KoAloha

Alvin Okami and his wife, Pat, started KoAloha in their tiny apartment on Oahu, Hawaii after discovering a passion for making ukuleles. The company has grown exponentially since then, expanding its operations to a factory that employs more than 30 workers.

KoAloha has become one of the most respected names in custom ukuleles.

Unique Qualities of KoAloha Ukuleles

KoAloha ukuleles are handcrafted to perfection, with each one being made to order. The company offers three tiers of instruments: the KoAloha Opio, the KoAloha Koa, and the KoAloha Special.

Each tier provides its own unique sound and features that cater to different players’ tastes. Besides sound quality, KoAloha ukuleles are renowned for their unique inlaid abalone designs.

These designs are made from the highest-quality mother-of-pearl and abalone shell and are painstakingly handcrafted onto the soundboard, making each KoAloha ukulele truly one-of-a-kind. KoAloha is also committed to accessibility and stability when developing their ukuleles.

The company’s patented Musubi soundhole design increases volume by up to 35%, making it one of the loudest and most resonant ukuleles in the world. Additionally, KoAloha uses trunk wood that is not only sustainable but also withstood extreme weather.

Committed to quality, KoAloha ukuleles are revered by musicians worldwide.

6) Kala

Kala is a well-known family-owned and operated business that produces high-quality ukuleles and other instruments. The company was founded in 2005 by Mike Upton and has become one of the most recognizable names in the industry.

History of Kala

Mike Upton began producing ukuleles in his home garage, with the vision of creating affordable, high-quality instruments suitable for musicians of all skill levels. The company’s growing reputation soon demanded expansion, and Kala moved to its current location in Petaluma, California.

Unique Qualities of Kala Ukuleles

Kala’s ukuleles are well-known for their affordability, making them a favorite choice for beginners. Still, they’re fantastic instruments for advanced musicians alike.

Kala offers a wide range of ukuleles and provides various shapes, sizes, colors, and sounds to cater to individual players’ tastes. Kala is also a popular choice of ukulele among professional musicians.

The brand’s high-quality materials, such as solid Sitka spruce and mahogany, provide superior sound quality, rivaling even the more expensive brands. In addition to ukuleles, Kala produces a range of other instruments, including guitars, basses, and banjos.

The company’s other instruments’ affordability and high-quality material choices make them just as respected as their famous ukuleles.


Choosing the right ukulele brand is just as important as selecting the right instrument. KoAloha’s unique soundhole design and inlaid abalone designs or Kala’s affordability, famous among professionals and beginners alike, showcases why these brands have become so popular.

The craftsmanship, materials, and attention to detail that goes into their instruments create world-class ukuleles that musicians worldwide love.

7) Cordoba

Cordoba is a California-based company that produces fine nylon-string instruments, including ukuleles and guitars. The company has been in operation since 1997 and is primarily known for its guitar production.

History of Cordoba

Cordoba founder, Tim Miklaucic, began his career making guitars in a small workshop in Spain. He later moved to California and founded Cordoba to produce high-quality, affordable guitars.

Since then, Cordoba has expanded its range of nylon-string instruments to include ukuleles.

Unique Qualities of Cordoba Ukuleles

Cordoba ukuleles are made from sustainably sourced wood, with an emphasis on quality craftsmanship. The company uses environmentally friendly woods such as mahogany and ebony, ensuring the sound quality is superb.

Cordoba has made a name for itself in the industry by producing hand-made instruments that are beautiful in sound and design. Cordoba’s ukuleles are slightly higher in price than some competitors, but each one is worth every penny.

The company uses high-quality materials, such as bone nuts and saddles, to ensure maximum string vibration and resonance. This leads to a better, warmer, and more responsive sound.

Cordoba also offers a range of sizes and shapes to cater to any musician’s playing style.

8) Martin

Martin has been producing high-quality musical instruments since 1833, making it the oldest surviving guitar maker in the world. The company has expanded into other instruments, including ukuleles, over the years, always maintaining its tradition of top-tier craftsmanship.

History of Martin

Christian Frederick Martin first founded Martin in New York in the 1830s and later moved the company to Pennsylvania. Martin quickly gained a reputation for building superior quality guitars and other string instruments that have stood the test of time.

Martin’s ukuleles are no different, bore out of the company’s storied history of excellence in design and material choice.

Unique Qualities of Martin Ukuleles

Martin’s ukuleles are well-known for their expensive price points, but excellent quality and superior craftsmanship remain the star of each build. Each Martin ukulele is hand-made from carefully selected and sustainably sourced materials, creating instruments that are meant to last for a lifetime.

Martin’s ukuleles come in a variety of sizes from soprano and concert to tenor and baritone, providing options to catering to beginner and advanced musicians alike. Martin ukuleles are stunningly beautiful and sound just as amazing, created with an attention to detail, which includes how the woods and strings interact with each other, providing a superior sound quality.

Martin offers a range of ukuleles that consistently tops charts worldwide.


There are many ukulele brands available, but only a few stand out for their exceptional reputation, quality materials, and long-standing history of excellence in sound. Cordoba’s focus on sustainably sourced wood, excellent craftsmanship, and a slightly higher price point make them a contender, while Martin’s carefully selected materials, hand-made construction, and reputation make them a choice for longtime ukulele enthusiasts.

Each of these brands’ unique qualities ensures that their ukuleles sound as good as they look, making them well-deserving of musicians’ attention.

9) Mitchell

Mitchell is a well-known brand in the acoustic guitar world, with a reputation for producing high-quality instruments. The company has recently added ukuleles to its lineup, providing a range of options for players of all skill levels.

History of Mitchell

Mitchell has been producing superior-quality guitars for over two decades, focusing on providing smooth finishes and excellent construction. The company has been expanding its range to offer a wide variety of guitar styles to its customers.

Unique Qualities of Mitchell Ukuleles

Mitchell’s ukuleles are designed to provide exceptional sound and looks for both beginners and professional players. The company provides a ukulele starter pack, which includes everything a beginner would need, such as a tuner, gig bag, and instructional materials.

Mitchell’s ukuleles come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, offering options tailored to every player’s taste. The company ensures that its ukuleles are easy to play, and the sounds they produce are exceptional.

Mitchell’s focus on details and quality construction

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