Lanikai Ukulele

4.19/5 (75)

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Lanikai are part of the Hohner music company. Initially their ukuleles, being made in China and laminated, were at the cheaper end of the scale (although they are increasingly moving into higher end ukes) but that hasn’t stopped them getting some high level support.

Lanikai are a bit hit with the indie crowd. The most famous Lanikai uker is Zach Condon of Beirut.The model he uses is an LU-21TE. The LU-21T only costs around $100, which makes it a good buy for a first time uker – particularly if you’re looking to start with a tenor. The LU-21T is also used by tUnE-YaRdS, Scott Matthew and Hailey Wojcik. Other high profile Lanikai supporter are Jason Mraz and Robert Plant (although the only place I’ve seen them with a Lanikai is in promo pictures).

Overall, their LU-21 range is a great place to start for anyone looking to buy their first ukulele.

On Video

Zach Condon strums on his Lanikai LU-21TE

On Musician’s Friend

LU-11: Starter ukulele, nato construction. Price: $46
LU-21 standard: Soprano ukulele, nato construction. (no, I’m not sure what the difference between the LU-11 and the LU-21 is either) Price: $59
LU-21P: Soprano pineapple ukulele, nato wood. Price: $59
LU-21C: Concert size version of LU-21. Price: $79
LU-21T: Tenor version of LU-21. Price: $109
LU-21B: Introductory baritone ukulele. Price: $119

On eBay US

On Amazon UK


More in-depth look at Lanikai’s models:

Cheap-o Range

Kohala C
Kohala Standard
Kohala HU-212

Introductory Range
LU-21 Standard

O Series

O Series & Spruce O-6
O Series & Spruce O-8 8-String
O Series & Spruce S-T
O Series & Spruce S-TEQ

Curly Koa Series

Curly Koa CK-6E
Curly Koa CK-B
Curly Koa CK-C
Curly Koa CK-S
Curly Koa CK-T
Curly Koa CK-TEQ

Custom Series

Custom NK-C
Custom SM-T

Designer Series

Designer LCD-C
Designer LSM-C
Desinger LSM-T
Flame Maple LFM-C
Flame Maple LFM-S
Flame Maple LFM-T

Lanikai LU21 Video Review

Lanikai LU21 ukulele review by Mike.

Here’s the picture showing the thickness of the top which he references in the video:

lanikai LU21

Lanikai Concert Ukulele Review

Review by hoosierhiver

Ode to a Lanikai Ukulele by Stephen Palmer

My Best Ukulele by Stephen Palmer

Chords: C, A, G
Time: 4/4

You get the idea of structure after the first verse:

My favourite uke is a
Concert sized Lanakai
I bought from Ron.

He is man who owns a
Music shop in my
Town Darlington

We had a conversation
About me getting tickets
To see Tom Waits

When I got back I played my
Uke til my fingers ached.

My ukulele has a slender neck
And curves like my girlfriend
She is the only one that
I will ever play, until my ditty ends.
I’ll never treat it bad
Or treat her bad.
This is a promise I’ll tell you.
All I ever want to do
Is sit
And play my uke.

I wanted to make a video
To win the competition
I would have played the song myself
And give a demonstration.
But I don’t have the time,
And I don’t have the patience.
So I will leave the melody
Open to your own interpretation.

I think the ukulele is the best
Everyone should have one
Mankind should strive to reach
This aim of mine, it would be so much fun
There would no terrorism,
Or danger to the world coming from guns.
In the one hand would be a ukulele
The other hand would strum.

So now you know my great plan
To achieve world dominaton
Using only cunning plans
And a four string combination.
The world would be
Such a better place, if I was in charge.
With my army of ukulele players.
We would do no harm.

So this what I think of
When I pick up my uke to play.
And should my enemies try to steal
Her or plan to make her stray.
I will play a song so beautiful


  1. Doc Craft August 27th, 2014 4:53 am

    Do yourself a favor and put a set of Aquilla Red Series strings on your ukulele. They take two days to carfully put on but well worth the wait . They will give you the sound you are looking for especially noticed on mahogany models but they maximize any instrument. Wait until you see the difference in tone , projection and all around feel.

  2. Paul R. September 10th, 2014 8:16 pm

    Just got a Lanikai concert CKCGC at my nearby Guitar Center and love it. Sounds so sweet and appears well made (in Indonesia). My first Ukulele. Compared it in the store to a variety of other makes and models. At 239.99 it hit the sweet spot for me along the savings/quality axis.

  3. Chris February 7th, 2015 11:45 pm

    If it helps anyone, I’ve played all manner of guitars for many (OK over 40) years and became very adept at setting them up properly. I still own and play a custom Fender Strat and a beautiful vintage Washbourne semi. A couple of years ago I had a yearning for a uke and settled on an above average (in my opinion) Lanikai LU21-C. A great buy and I love it but…. it needs setting up to get the best from it. Having said that, so did my two infinitely expensive guitars. You either have to put in the time (and the risk of mistakes) or pay to have it set up by a pro. My use benefited from a very dress (not much required) a lowering of the bridge saddle by over 1mm and some work on lowering the nut grooves. Not easy but a huge difference and the Aquila strings suit it even better now. In a nutshell, no mass produced uke is going to give its best of of the box. You have to get it set up and I am fortunate that I can do that. If you can’t then please be prepared to pay in order to really get the best enjoyment from a decent but relatively cheap instrument. And have fun!

  4. Jan May 13th, 2015 2:11 pm

    I play my Flame Maple LFM-S regularly.
    It sounded great when I got it, and it sounds even better now.
    I think it likes to be played.
    Has a pretty quick action, plenty of dynamics in the voice and is easy to get audibly textured strum patterns from.
    I am using Aquila strings with a low G (guitar D wound nylon)and I avoid any hard plecrtrums as they shorten string life!

  5. Ralph May 20th, 2015 3:50 pm

    Reading these reviews I caught the bug and ordered a SMP-T hope its as good as the what everyone says of their models on here.

  6. Juli June 24th, 2015 2:19 am

    Has anyone tried the new Tunauke system? Have anything to say about it? I am looking into it- does it really help all that much?

  7. Craig Manning December 20th, 2015 8:56 pm

    I recently picked up a Hohner HU – 19 (baritone, made in Japan) ukelele at an auction. I’m trying to determine its (approximate) vintage. The case suggests it’s a bit old-ish! Would you happen to have any information on these ukes? (Google isn’t helping me at all) Alternately, do you know when Hohner ukes became Lanakai? Anything offered would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much – Craig

  8. Christian December 29th, 2015 2:24 pm

    When I first started to learn the Uke, I bought the LU22CGC for around 87 U.S. (Originally 99.99 U.S. But I had a 20% discount,) and what I can say for it.. It is aha amazing Uke, and the first one I purchased. I’ve owned it for about 2 years now? And it’s still plays as if I had just bought it. It has a nice finish to it, personally, I also love the gold tuning pegs, it brings the whole thing together. I also have two other ukes (O.S. OU2 and OU2E) but I still prefer my good ol Lanikai. If you need an affordable Uke, but don’t want to spend more than around 100 U.S. Then I suggest the LU22CGC.

  9. Joe Kwiatkowski February 21st, 2016 9:14 am

    Anyone own or have ever played a Lanikai LQA-T? It’s a solid spruce top with quilted ash back and sides(tenor). Curious as I see a few places still carry them but you don’t see that wood combination used by any of the popular companies including Lanikai. Thanks

  10. David April 26th, 2016 2:53 am

    I bought a Lanikai LU22CGC from Guitar Center on sale for $79.95. For that price, I figured I could not go wrong. It arrived by UPS . . . I love it! What a prize. GC’s sale price is now $89.95 . . . get’em while they’re hot. I would gladly pay that price, or even more. I am a very happy Uker.

  11. David January 10th, 2019 8:05 pm

    I like the look of these Lanakai’s. I have a KALA KA-SMHCE-C which is nice, but for looks the equivalent in price point is the Lanakai QMRDCEC. It really looks beautiful! Here in the UK both cost around GBP 320! Oh, for a trade deal with the US of A!

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