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5 Ukulele Brands To Avoid & Which To Consider

This sweet-sounding Hawaiian instrument is available in many sizes from the petit soprano to the guitalele baritone. The tradition and rich history, plus the melodious tunes from the Uke, have made it popular among the string family. The fun derived from moving your fingers along the four nylon strings will want to make you keep playing all day long.

However, getting the wrong brand of Ukulele for a musical instrument can be very frustrating and disappointing. Especially as a professional, it’s not worth being an instrument when your instrument is not producing the right tune. Find below a list of brands to avoid so as not to fall into the pit of finding out after purchase that you got the wrong brand.

 Ukulele Brands To Avoid

We recommend that you steer clear of the following 5 Ukuleles

Martin Smith UK-222

Kadence Ukulele

Kangaroo Ukulele

Diamond Head DU-150

Low Profile Chinese Ukulele Brands

The above list is derived after a careful review of different Ukuleles brands and from feedback from users far and wide. The list was compiled based on the Ukulele’s performance, tone consistency, usability, playability, durability, and price. Nevertheless, the following ukuleles can be considered when shopping for your ideal musical instrument. 






Ukulele Brands Not To Buy

1. Martin Smith SO UK-222

Usually, Martin Smith’s Ukulele models are generally alright, and the affordability makes them quite popular in the market. However, the Martin Smith Soprano Ukulele UK-222 is not a fantastic musical instrument because of some flaws discovered in the Ukulele. The inconsistency in the quality of this instrument is a major turn-off and why you should steer clear of buying one. 

Below are other shortcomings attributes to the Martin Smith Soprano Ukulele UK-222.

Reasons not to purchase

  • The quality of Martin Smith Soprano Ukulele UK-222 strings is very poor.
  • While some of its notes are just decent, others are distorted.
  • Not suitable for beginners as it is very difficult to tune.
  • Apart from the terrible body quality, the Martin Smith Soprano Ukulele UK-222 is easily breakable.

2. Kadence Ukulele

The Kadence Ukulele comes with some challenges that might want to be overlooked by pros because they can find their way around it. However, it’s a no-go area for an intermediate or a beginner just handling the musical instrument for the first time.

Kadence Ukulele comes with challenges like the narrow gap between the strings, length of the string, and the ridges on the wood. Also, this Ukulele is easily breakable, which not a good characteristic of a musical instrument.

Reasons not to purchase

  • The sound quality is uninspiring
  • The quality of the laminated body is cheap
  • The Ukulele is difficult to tune, especially for beginners 
  • Not a suitable option for a learner

3. Kangaroo Ukulele

Though the Kangaroo Ukulele is designed for both adults and young, it does not have the characteristics fit for this recourse. Below are some of the challenges of the Kangaroo Ukulele

Reasons not to purchase

  • The Kangaroo Ukulele doesn’t hold tune
  • The wooden body construction is very fragile and easily breakable. 
  • The nylon strings don’t stay in place hence why it’s not holding tune

4. Diamond Head DU-150

The inconsistent sound produced by the Diamond Head DU-150 Soprano Ukulele has brought it on the list of brands to avoid. Though it’s a very pocket-friendly musical instrument with a quintessential look, it is not a top brand instrument. Below are reasons why the Diamond Head DU-150 is not a suitable instrument

Reasons not to purchase

  • Produces inconsistent sounds
  • The tuners of this instrument are too loose; no amount of screwing can keep tuners in tune
  • The body is made with cheap material that makes it easily bendable. 
  • It is tough to manipulate for the production of adorable sounds.

5. Ukulele From Low Profile Chinese Brands

Products from China are less expensive than other countries, and they can be of low quality. However, this is not to say you can’t get quality products from China when dealing with a reliable manufacturer. If you must buy a Chinese brand, then get your musical instrument from a legitimate manufacturer. 

Some local manufacturers with poor Chinese Ukulele brands mislead buyers by putting top brands’ names on their products and selling at a higher rate.

Reasons not to purchase

  • The names of these Chinese Ukulele Brands instruments are funny and unfamiliar. 
  • The majority of the Chinese Ukulele Brands are at the lowest prices, an indicator of inferiority.
  • Due to the poor quality of the instrument, it starts falling apart after just a few uses. 
  • It does not produce beautiful sounds. 

Top 5 Ukulele Brands To Consider

1. Huawind

The Huawind concert Ukulele is a top pick when it comes to quality and affordability. This concert musical instrument features some qualities that made it make this top list. Its easy-to-use and convenient carrying case, plus the high-quality mahogany body, makes the Huawind a suitable ukulele for anyone, especially beginners. 

Huawind concert ukulele comes with four nylon strings that are easily tuned to produce melodious sounds. Its smooth mahogany body and neck are warm and rich; you want to continue playing after holding one. It comes with no age or gender restrictions and can easily be played; i.e., anyone can learn to play the Huawind concert Ukulele effortlessly.

Reasons to purchase

  • It is very durable and affordable
  • The body is made from quality mahogany wood

2. Luna Tatoo Concert Ukulele

The Luna Tatoo concert Ukuleles are of top quality and very affordable; they can be considered a gift for a loved one. The tattoo concert’s bodies are beautifully and carefully crafted in a traditional Hawaiian design. The layout of design patterns can felt while holding and playing this beautiful musical instrument. 

Luna Tatoo concert Ukulele is very versatile and built to produce all types of music sound. It is very suitable for all levels of players, be it beginner, intermediate, or expert. The quality and consistent sound production and the satisfying feel while playing make Luna a top brand Ukulele. 

Luna Tatoo Concert Ukulele features a great mahogany top and neck, Walnut Bridge and Fretboard, and a magnificent satin-finished body. The Luna Tatoo concert Ukulele fixed hand orientation allows it to be played by both right-handed and left-handed players and even players using both hands.  

Reasons to purchase

  • Made of quality mahogany wood
  • It comes with a guitar bridge system. 
  • The fret markers are made in a sharks’ teeth style. 
  • It has a clear and resonated sound production under its concert body. 

3. Kmise

The Kmise Ukulele is an excellent musical instrument for beginners and very easy to install. The Ukulele is carefully and beautifully crafted with a quality solid mahogany neck and body. It is a very convenient instrument you can take out to play and enjoy anywhere.

The strings of this Ukulele can be tuned more precisely because of the higher gears making the instrument stay tuned. The gear tuning pegs are also top-notch; you don’t have to worry about going out of tune. The Kmise Ukulele comes with a strap, digital tuner, and a bag.

Reasons to purchase

  • It is very durable and affordable
  • Comes with accessories
  • Free online lessons for beginners on their official website. 

4. Kala KA-C Concert Ukulele

Kala is a household name for the Ukulele musical instrument, and they are very popular for their quality products. The Kala KA-C Concert Ukulele is also known as the Satin Mahogany Concert Ukulele. The exquisite look and fantastic sound quality of the Kala KA-C, plus the reasonable price, is unarguable.

The Kala KA-C Concert ukulele is manufactured with high-quality material and premium solid mahogany woods. Are you looking for a ukulele to begin your learning journey with? Then think about the Kala KA-C concert ukulele. The instrument is ideal for players of all ages and skill levels; it is built and designed to stand the test of time.

This model of Kala comes with various features such as a decent body length, satin-finished body, Rosewood Bridge and fingerboard, mahogany top, Die-cast, and a traditional cream binding.

Reasons to purchase

  • Standard quality sound
  • Made with a premium satin mahogany
  • Comes with high-quality strings
  • Rosewood bridge and fingerboard
  • Price is worth the weight in gold
  • Comes with an Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD and Polishing cloth

5. Cordoba 15CFM Concert Ukulele

Cordoba is known for all-time best-selling Ukuleles worldwide due to the premium quality of their musical instruments. The Cordoba 15CFM is your best bet if you are looking for a quality concert ukulele. Cordoba 15CFM Concert Ukulele is carefully manufactured with great quality and produces melodious musical tones.

Combining its inbuilt electronics, mahogany top, and a rosewood fingerboard help amplifies the sound production effectively. Also, the Cordoba 15CFM Concert Ukuleles is a handmade instrument, leaving you no doubt about the quality. However, this concert ukulele may not be a suitable choice for beginners because of the plethora of the design. 

Nevertheless, as you take your musical career to the next level, you can go for this adorable concert ukulele.

Reasons to purchase

  • Quality handmade musical instrument
  • Best for pros and people with larger hands  
  • Hardwood body made with quality mahogany
  • Comes with inbuilt electronics

Buyer’s Guide – Common Mistakes To Avoid When Buying A Ukulele

The excitement that comes with buying a musical instrument for the first time can be very overwhelming. Your sense of judgment is not activated as all you want is to go home with your new instrument. Also, lots of sellers hide the cons of their products during advert and you are not sure of the quality of the product. Below are some pitfalls you should avoid when shopping for a Ukulele

Avoid Too-Good-To-Be-True Prices

You don’t have to inconvenience yourself when buying your first Ukulele. However, it’s important to identify the difference between a cheap inferior product and affordable quality products. Don’t get disappointed after buying a cheap instrument, and you are back in the store after three months, shopping for another.

Cheap ukuleles are often characterized by bad sound, poor playability, and generally not enjoyable to play, especially those with unfamiliar names. This is not to say there are no durable and relatively cheap Ukuleles producing great sound. But when the instrument has a too good to be true price, save yourself and walk away from it. 

Do Not Judge From The Look.

Looks they say can be very deceptive. The same goes for a musical instrument. You can buy an instrument based on the look alone. Sometimes you have a piece of junk beautifully packaged for a musical instrument. You have to put other things like durability, sound production, playability, etc., into consideration. 

Know Your Instrument

Knowing your instrument is very important, especially for beginners. There are different types of Ukuleles, and they are in various sizes. The prior knowledge of the instrument helps you make a better choice when shopping. 

What Are The Various Types And Sizes Of Ukulele?

As mentioned earlier, the Ukulele comes in different types and sizes, but many people are familiar with the soprano Ukulele. The Ukulele can be classified into 4 different types: the Soprano, Concert, Tenor, and Baritone. The major differences between these 4 instruments are their full-lengths, scale lengths, and numbers of frets. 

Each of these differences keeps increasing as one moves from soprano to baritone ukulele. It is worth noting that specification may differ between brands; however, below is a generally acceptable specification. 

Soprano Ukulele: Full length: 21 inches, Scale length: 13 inches, Frets: 12-15.

Concert Ukulele: Full length: 23 inches, Scale length: 15 inches, Frets: 15-20.

Tenor Ukulele: Full length: 26 inches, Scale length: 17 inches, Frets: 15-20.

Baritone Ukulele: Full length: 30 inches, Scale length: 19 inches, Frets: at least 19. 

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The quality of your musical instrument determines how far you are going to enjoy playing your instrument. Hence, the reason why you should go for a quality musical instrument that will give you that desired sound production.

This article has helped highlight the ukuleles to be avoided and ones you can consider when shopping for your musical instrument.